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The limited availability of human heart tissue and its complex cell composition are major limiting factors for the reliable testing of drug efficacy and toxicity. Recently, we developed functional human and pig heart slice biomimetic culture systems that preserve the viability and functionality of 300 μm heart slices for up to 6 days. Here, we tested the reliability of this culture system for testing the cardiotoxicity of anti-cancer drugs. We tested three anti-cancer drugs (doxorubicin, trastuzumab, and sunitinib) with known different mechanisms of cardiotoxicity at three concentrations and assessed the effect of these drugs on heart slice viability, structure, function and gene expression. Slices incubated with any of these drugs for 48 h showed diminished in viability as well as loss of cardiomyocyte structure and function. Mechanistically, RNA sequencing of doxorubicin-treated tissues demonstrated a significant downregulation of cardiac genes and upregulation of oxidative stress responses. Trastuzumab treatment downregulated cardiac muscle contraction-related genes consistent with its clinically known effect on cardiomyocytes. Interestingly, sunitinib treatment resulted in significant downregulation of angiogenesis-related genes, in line with its mechanism of action. Similar to hiPS-derived-cardiomyocytes, heart slices recapitulated the expected toxicity of doxorubicin and trastuzumab, however, slices were superior in detecting sunitinib cardiotoxicity and mechanism in the clinically relevant concentration range of 0.1-1 μM. These results indicate that heart slice culture models have the potential to become a reliable platform for testing and elucidating mechanisms of drug cardiotoxicity.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Forced abstinence from chronic two bottle-choice ethanol drinking produces the development of negative affective states in female C57BL/6J mice. We previously reported that this disrupted behavior is acutely reversed by administration of ketamine 30 min-prior to testing. Here we assessed whether ketamine can be used as an inoculant against the development of abstinence- dependent affective disturbances. In parallel, we examined the impact of ketamine administration on long-term potentiation (LTP) in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), a region implicated in affective disturbances. We administered ketamine (3 mg/kg i.p.) to female C57BL/6J mice with a history of chronic ethanol drinking at either the onset, two, or 6 days- post-abstinence and observed its impact on affective behavior in the elevated plus maze (EPM), the Novelty Suppressed Feeding Test (NSFT), and the Forced Swim Test (FST). In addition, we assessed BNST synaptic plasticity with field potential electrophysiology two to 3 weeks into abstinence. We found that early abstinence was associated with disrupted behavior on the EPM. Ketamine administered at the onset of forced abstinence prevented both the deficit in early EPM behavior, and the delayed deficits in NSFT and FST. However, ketamine administered either two or 6 days post-abstinence failed to prevent the abstinence-induced affective disturbances. To begin to explore potential alterations in neural circuit activity that accompanies these actions of ketamine, we assessed the impact of ketamine administration at the onset of forced abstinence and measured LTP induction in the BNST. We find that early ketamine administration persistently increased the capacity for LTP within the BNST. These findings suggest a critical period at the onset of forced abstinence in which ketamine inoculation can prevent the development of affective disturbances, in part by enhancing plasticity within the BNST.
The fabrication of engineered vascularized tissues and organs requiring sustained, controlled perfusion has been facilitated by the development of several pump systems. Currently, researchers in the field of tissue engineering require the use of pump systems that are in general large, expensive, and generically designed. Overall, these pumps often fail to meet the unique demands of perfusing clinically useful tissue constructs. Here, we describe a pumping platform that overcomes these limitations and enables scalable perfusion of large, three-dimensional hydrogels. We demonstrate the ability to perfuse multiple separate channels inside hydrogel slabs using a preprogrammed schedule that dictates pumping speed and time. The use of this pump system to perfuse channels in large-scale engineered tissue scaffolds sustained cell viability over several weeks.
Highly selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M subtype of muscarinic acetylcholine receptor have emerged as an exciting new approach for improving cognitive function in patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. However, excessive activation of M is known to induce seizure activity and have actions in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) that could impair cognitive function. We now report a series of pharmacological, electrophysiological, and behavioral studies in which we find that recently reported M PAMs, PF-06764427 and MK-7622, have robust agonist activity in cell lines and agonist effects in the mouse PFC, and have the potential to overactivate the M receptor and disrupt PFC function. In contrast, structurally distinct M PAMs (VU0453595 and VU0550164) are devoid of agonist activity in cell lines and maintain activity dependence of M activation in the PFC. Consistent with the previously reported effect of PF-06764427, the ago-PAM MK-7622 induces severe behavioral convulsions in mice. In contrast, VU0453595 does not induce behavioral convulsions at doses well above those required for maximal efficacy in enhancing cognitive function. Furthermore, in contrast to the robust efficacy of VU0453595, the ago-PAM MK-7622 failed to improve novel object recognition, a rodent assay of cognitive function. These findings suggest that in vivo cognition-enhancing efficacy of M PAMs can be observed with PAMs lacking intrinsic agonist activity and that intrinsic agonist activity of M PAMs may contribute to adverse effects and reduced efficacy in improving cognitive function.
Cytokines present during low-grade inflammation contribute to β-cell dysfunction and diabetes. Cytokine signaling disrupts β-cell glucose-stimulated Ca influx (GSCI) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca ([Ca]) handling, leading to diminished glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). However, cytokine-mediated changes in ion channel activity that alter β-cell Ca handling remain unknown. Here we investigated the role of K currents in cytokine-mediated β-cell dysfunction. K currents, which control the termination of intracellular Ca ([Ca]) oscillations, were reduced following cytokine exposure. As a consequence, [Ca] and electrical oscillations were accelerated. Cytokine exposure also increased basal islet [Ca] and decreased GSCI. The effect of cytokines on TALK-1 K currents were also examined as TALK-1 mediates K by facilitating [Ca] release. Cytokine exposure decreased KCNK16 transcript abundance and associated TALK-1 protein expression, increasing [Ca] storage while maintaining 2 phase GSCI and GSIS. This adaptive Ca response was absent in TALK-1 KO islets, which exhibited decreased 2 phase GSCI and diminished GSIS. These findings suggest that K and TALK-1 currents play important roles in altered β-cell Ca handling and electrical activity during low-grade inflammation. These results also reveal that a cytokine-mediated reduction in TALK-1 serves an acute protective role in β-cells by facilitating increased Ca content to maintain GSIS.
Excessive glucocorticoid exposure has been shown to be deleterious for pancreatic β-cell function and insulin release. However, glucocorticoids at physiological levels are essential for many homeostatic processes, including glycemic control. We show that corticosterone and cortisol and their less active precursors 11-dehydrocorticosterone (11-DHC) and cortisone suppress voltage-dependent Ca channel function and Ca fluxes in rodent as well as in human β-cells. However, insulin secretion, maximal ATP/ADP responses to glucose, and β-cell identity were all unaffected. Further examination revealed the upregulation of parallel amplifying cAMP signals and an increase in the number of membrane-docked insulin secretory granules. Effects of 11-DHC could be prevented by lipotoxicity and were associated with paracrine regulation of glucocorticoid activity because global deletion of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 normalized Ca and cAMP responses. Thus, we have identified an enzymatically amplified feedback loop whereby glucocorticoids boost cAMP to maintain insulin secretion in the face of perturbed ionic signals. Failure of this protective mechanism may contribute to diabetes in states of glucocorticoid excess, such as Cushing syndrome, which are associated with frank dyslipidemia.
© 2017 by the American Diabetes Association.
Activation of β-adrenergic receptors (βARs) enhances both the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells and hippocampal-dependent cognitive function. Interestingly, previous studies reveal that coincident activation of group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors with βARs in the hippocampal astrocytes induces a large increase in cyclic-AMP (cAMP) accumulation and release of adenosine. Adenosine then acts on A adenosine receptors at neighboring excitatory Schaffer collateral terminals, which could counteract effects of activation of neuronal βARs on excitatory transmission. On the basis of this, we postulated that activation of the specific mGlu receptor subtype that mediates this response could inhibit βAR-mediated effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function. Using novel mGlu receptor subtype-selective allosteric modulators along with knockout mice we now report that the effects of mGlu agonists on βAR-mediated increases in cAMP accumulation are exclusively mediated by mGlu. Furthermore, mGlu activation inhibits the ability of the βAR agonist isoproterenol to enhance hippocampal LTP, and this effect is absent in slices treated with either a glial toxin or an adenosine A receptor antagonist. Finally, systemic administration of the mGlu agonist LY379268 disrupted contextual fear memory in a manner similar to the effect of the βAR antagonist propranolol, and this effect was reversed by the mGlu-negative allosteric modulator VU0650786. Taken together, these data suggest that mGlu can influence astrocytic signaling and modulate βAR-mediated effects on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and cognitive function.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) accounts for more than 300,000 deaths worldwide per year as a consequence of tumor cell invasion of adjacent structures or metastasis. LIM-only protein 4 (LMO4) and LIM-domain binding protein 1 (LDB1), two directly interacting transcriptional adaptors that have important roles in normal epithelial cell differentiation, have been associated with increased metastasis, decreased differentiation, and shortened survival in carcinoma of the breast. Here, we implicate two LDB1-binding proteins, single-stranded binding protein 2 (SSBP2) and 3 (SSBP3), in controlling LMO4 and LDB1 protein abundance in HNSCC and in regulating specific tumor cell functions in this disease. First, we found that the relative abundance of LMO4, LDB1, and the two SSBPs correlated very significantly in a panel of human HNSCC cell lines. Second, expression of these proteins in tumor primaries and lymph nodes involved by metastasis were concordant in 3 of 3 sets of tissue. Third, using a Matrigel invasion and organotypic reconstruct assay, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of LDB1 in the VU-SCC-1729 cell line, which is highly invasive of basement membrane and cellular monolayers, reduced tumor cell invasiveness and migration, as well as proliferation on tissue culture plastic. Finally, inactivation of the LDB1 gene in these cells decreased growth and vascularization of xenografted human tumor cells in vivo. These data show that LMO4, LDB1, and SSBP2 and/or SSBP3 regulate metastasis, proliferation, and angiogenesis in HNSCC and provide the first evidence that SSBPs control LMO4 and LDB1 protein abundance in a cancer context.
Abnormalities in the signaling of the N-methyl-d-aspartate subtype of the glutamate receptor (NMDAR) within cortical and limbic brain regions are thought to underlie many of the complex cognitive and affective symptoms observed in individuals with schizophrenia. The M muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) subtype is a closely coupled signaling partner of the NMDAR. Accumulating evidence suggests that development of selective positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) of the M receptor represent an important treatment strategy for the potential normalization of disruptions in NMDAR signaling in patients with schizophrenia. In the present studies, we evaluated the effects of the novel and highly potent M PAM, VU6004256, in ameliorating selective prefrontal cortical (PFC)-mediated physiologic and cognitive abnormalities in a genetic mouse model of global reduction in the NR1 subunit of the NMDAR (NR1 knockdown [KD]). Using slice-based extracellular field potential recordings, deficits in muscarinic agonist-induced long-term depression (LTD) in layer V of the PFC in the NR1 KD mice were normalized with bath application of VU6004256. Systemic administration of VU6004256 also reduced excessive pyramidal neuron firing in layer V PFC neurons in awake, freely moving NR1 KD mice. Moreover, selective potentiation of M by VU6004256 reversed the performance impairments of NR1 KD mice observed in two preclinical models of PFC-mediated learning, specifically the novel object recognition and cue-mediated fear conditioning tasks. VU6004256 also produced a robust, dose-dependent reduction in the hyperlocomotor activity of NR1 KD mice. Taken together, the current findings provide further support for M PAMs as a novel therapeutic approach for the PFC-mediated impairments in schizophrenia.
The long term prognosis of liver cancer patients remains unsatisfactory because of cancer recurrence after surgical interventions, particularly in patients with viral infections. Since hepatitis B and C viral proteins lead to inactivation of the tumor suppressors p53 and Retinoblastoma (Rb), we hypothesize that surgery in the context of p53/Rb inactivation initiate de novo tumorigenesis.We, therefore, generated transgenic mice with hepatocyte and cholangiocyte/liver progenitor cell (LPC)-specific deletion of p53 and Rb, by interbreeding conditional p53/Rb knockout mice with either Albumin-cre or Cytokeratin-19-cre transgenic mice.We show that liver cancer develops at the necrotic injury site after surgical resection or radiofrequency ablation in p53/Rb deficient livers. Cancer initiation occurs as a result of specific migration, expansion and transformation of cytokeratin-19+-liver (CK-19+) cells. At the injury site migrating CK-19+ cells formed small bile ducts and adjacent cells strongly expressed the transforming growth factor β (TGFβ). Isolated cytokeratin-19+ cells deficient for p53/Rb were resistant against hypoxia and TGFβ-mediated growth inhibition. CK-19+ specific deletion of p53/Rb verified that carcinomas at the injury site originates from cholangiocytes or liver progenitor cells.These findings suggest that human liver patients with hepatitis B and C viral infection or with mutations for p53 and Rb are at high risk to develop tumors at the surgical intervention site.