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Abstract

Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a highly vascularized organ with abundant mitochondria that produce heat through uncoupled respiration. Obesity is associated with a reduction of BAT function; however, it is unknown how obesity promotes dysfunctional BAT. Here, using a murine model of diet-induced obesity, we determined that obesity causes capillary rarefaction and functional hypoxia in BAT, leading to a BAT “whitening” phenotype that is characterized by mitochondrial dysfunction, lipid droplet accumulation, and decreased expression of Vegfa. Targeted deletion of Vegfa in adipose tissue of nonobese mice resulted in BAT whitening, supporting a role for decreased vascularity in obesity-associated BAT. Conversely, introduction of VEGF-A specifically into BAT of obese mice restored vascularity, ameliorated brown adipocyte dysfunction, and improved insulin sensitivity. The capillary rarefaction in BAT that was brought about by obesity or Vegfa ablation diminished β-adrenergic signaling, increased mitochondrial ROS production, and promoted mitophagy. These data indicate that overnutrition leads to the development of a hypoxic state in BAT, causing it to whiten through mitochondrial dysfunction and loss. Furthermore, these results link obesity-associated BAT whitening to impaired systemic glucose metabolism.

Authors

Ippei Shimizu, Tamar Aprahamian, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Ayako Shimizu, Kyriakos N. Papanicolaou, Susan MacLauchlan, Sonomi Maruyama, Kenneth Walsh

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Abstract

Intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) signaling mediates physiological and pathological processes in multiple organs, including the renal podocyte; however, in vivo podocyte [Ca2+]i dynamics are not fully understood. Here we developed an imaging approach that uses multiphoton microscopy (MPM) to directly visualize podocyte [Ca2+]i dynamics within the intact kidneys of live mice expressing a fluorescent calcium indicator only in these cells. [Ca2+]i was at a low steady-state level in control podocytes, while Ang II infusion caused a minor elevation. Experimental focal podocyte injury triggered a robust and sustained elevation of podocyte [Ca2+]i around the injury site and promoted cell-to-cell propagating podocyte [Ca2+]i waves along capillary loops. [Ca2+]i wave propagation was ameliorated by inhibitors of purinergic [Ca2+]i signaling as well as in animals lacking the P2Y2 purinergic receptor. Increased podocyte [Ca2+]i resulted in contraction of the glomerular tuft and increased capillary albumin permeability. In preclinical models of renal fibrosis and glomerulosclerosis, high podocyte [Ca2+]i correlated with increased cell motility. Our findings provide a visual demonstration of the in vivo importance of podocyte [Ca2+]i in glomerular pathology and suggest that purinergic [Ca2+]i signaling is a robust and key pathogenic mechanism in podocyte injury. This in vivo imaging approach will allow future detailed investigation of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of glomerular disease in the intact living kidney.

Authors

James L. Burford, Karie Villanueva, Lisa Lam, Anne Riquier-Brison, Matthias J. Hackl, Jeffrey Pippin, Stuart J. Shankland, János Peti-Peterdi

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Abstract

A single G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) can activate multiple signaling cascades based on the binding of different ligands. The biological relevance of this feature in immune regulation has not been evaluated. The chemokine-binding GPCR CXCR3 is preferentially expressed on CD4+ T cells, and canonically binds 3 structurally related chemokines: CXCL9, CXCL10, and CXCL11. Here we have shown that CXCL10/CXCR3 interactions drive effector Th1 polarization via STAT1, STAT4, and STAT5 phosphorylation, while CXCL11/CXCR3 binding induces an immunotolerizing state that is characterized by IL-10hi (Tr1) and IL-4hi (Th2) cells, mediated via p70 kinase/mTOR in STAT3- and STAT6-dependent pathways. CXCL11 binds CXCR3 with a higher affinity than CXCL10, suggesting that CXCL11 has the potential to restrain inflammatory autoimmunity. We generated a CXCL11-Ig fusion molecule and evaluated its use in the EAE model of inflammatory autoimmune disease. Administration of CXCL11-Ig during the first episode of relapsing EAE in SJL/J mice not only led to rapid remission, but also prevented subsequent relapse. Using GFP-expressing effector CD4+ T cells, we observed that successful therapy was associated with reduced accumulation of these cells at the autoimmune site. Finally, we showed that very low doses of CXCL11 rapidly suppress signs of EAE in C57BL/6 mice lacking functional CXCL11.

Authors

Yaniv Zohar, Gizi Wildbaum, Rostislav Novak, Andrew L. Salzman, Marcus Thelen, Ronen Alon, Yiftah Barsheshet, Christopher L. Karp, Nathan Karin

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Abstract

A precise balance between protein degradation and synthesis is essential to preserve skeletal muscle mass. Here, we found that TP53INP2, a homolog of the Drosophila melanogaster DOR protein that regulates autophagy in cellular models, has a direct impact on skeletal muscle mass in vivo. Using different transgenic mouse models, we demonstrated that muscle-specific overexpression of Tp53inp2 reduced muscle mass, while deletion of Tp53inp2 resulted in muscle hypertrophy. TP53INP2 activated basal autophagy in skeletal muscle and sustained p62-independent autophagic degradation of ubiquitinated proteins. Animals with muscle-specific overexpression of Tp53inp2 exhibited enhanced muscle wasting in streptozotocin-induced diabetes that was dependent on autophagy; however, TP53INP2 ablation mitigated experimental diabetes-associated muscle loss. The overexpression or absence of TP53INP2 did not affect muscle wasting in response to denervation, a condition in which autophagy is blocked, further indicating that TP53INP2 alters muscle mass by activating autophagy. Moreover, TP53INP2 expression was markedly repressed in muscle from patients with type 2 diabetes and in murine models of diabetes. Our results indicate that TP53INP2 negatively regulates skeletal muscle mass through activation of autophagy. Furthermore, we propose that TP53INP2 repression is part of an adaptive mechanism aimed at preserving muscle mass under conditions in which insulin action is deficient.

Authors

David Sala, Saška Ivanova, Natàlia Plana, Vicent Ribas, Jordi Duran, Daniel Bach, Saadet Turkseven, Martine Laville, Hubert Vidal, Monika Karczewska-Kupczewska, Irina Kowalska, Marek Straczkowski, Xavier Testar, Manuel Palacín, Marco Sandri, Antonio L. Serrano, Antonio Zorzano

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Abstract

Genome-wide analyses determined previously that the receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) EPHA2 is commonly overexpressed in non–small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs). EPHA2 overexpression is associated with poor clinical outcomes; therefore, EPHA2 may represent a promising therapeutic target for patients with NSCLC. In support of this hypothesis, here we have shown that targeted disruption of EphA2 in a murine model of aggressive Kras-mutant NSCLC impairs tumor growth. Knockdown of EPHA2 in human NSCLC cell lines reduced cell growth and viability, confirming the epithelial cell autonomous requirements for EPHA2 in NSCLCs. Targeting EPHA2 in NSCLCs decreased S6K1-mediated phosphorylation of cell death agonist BAD and induced apoptosis. Induction of EPHA2 knockdown within established NSCLC tumors in a subcutaneous murine model reduced tumor volume and induced tumor cell death. Furthermore, an ATP-competitive EPHA2 RTK inhibitor, ALW-II-41-27, reduced the number of viable NSCLC cells in a time-dependent and dose-dependent manner in vitro and induced tumor regression in human NSCLC xenografts in vivo. Collectively, these data demonstrate a role for EPHA2 in the maintenance and progression of NSCLCs and provide evidence that ALW-II-41-27 effectively inhibits EPHA2-mediated tumor growth in preclinical models of NSCLC.

Authors

Katherine R. Amato, Shan Wang, Andrew K. Hastings, Victoria M. Youngblood, Pranav R. Santapuram, Haiying Chen, Justin M. Cates, Daniel C. Colvin, Fei Ye, Dana M. Brantley-Sieders, Rebecca S. Cook, Li Tan, Nathanael S. Gray, Jin Chen

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Abstract

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection is the major cause of bronchiolitis in young children. The factors that contribute to the increased propensity of RSV-induced distal airway disease compared with other commonly encountered respiratory viruses remain unclear. Here, we identified the RSV-encoded nonstructural 2 (NS2) protein as a viral genetic determinant for initiating RSV-induced distal airway obstruction. Infection of human cartilaginous airway epithelium (HAE) and a hamster model of disease with recombinant respiratory viruses revealed that NS2 promotes shedding of infected epithelial cells, resulting in two consequences of virus infection. First, epithelial cell shedding accelerated the reduction of virus titers, presumably by clearing virus-infected cells from airway mucosa. Second, epithelial cells shedding into the narrow-diameter bronchiolar airway lumens resulted in rapid accumulation of detached, pleomorphic epithelial cells, leading to acute distal airway obstruction. Together, these data indicate that RSV infection of the airway epithelium, via the action of NS2, promotes epithelial cell shedding, which not only accelerates viral clearance but also contributes to acute obstruction of the distal airways. Our results identify RSV NS2 as a contributing factor for the enhanced propensity of RSV to cause severe airway disease in young children and suggest NS2 as a potential therapeutic target for reducing the severity of distal airway disease.

Authors

Rachael M. Liesman, Ursula J. Buchholz, Cindy L. Luongo, Lijuan Yang, Alan D. Proia, John P. DeVincenzo, Peter L. Collins, Raymond J. Pickles

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Abstract

The transcription factor steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1; also known as NR5A1) is a crucial mediator of both steroidogenic and nonsteroidogenic tissue differentiation. Mutations within SF1 underlie different disorders of sexual development (DSD), including sex reversal, spermatogenic failure, ovarian insufficiency, and adrenocortical deficiency. Here, we identified a recessive mutation within SF1 that resulted in a substitution of arginine to glutamine at codon 103 (R103Q) in a child with both severe 46,XY-DSD and asplenia. The R103Q mutation decreased SF-1 transactivation of TLX1, a transcription factor that has been shown to be essential for murine spleen development. Additionally, the SF1 R103Q mutation impaired activation of steroidogenic genes, without affecting synergistic SF-1 and sex-determining region Y (SRY) coactivation of the testis development gene SOX9. Together, our data provide evidence that SF-1 is required for spleen development in humans via transactivation of TLX1 and that mutations that only impair steroidogenesis, without altering the SF1/SRY transactivation of SOX9, can lead to 46,XY-DSD.

Authors

David Zangen, Yotam Kaufman, Ehud Banne, Ariella Weinberg-Shukron, Abdulsalam Abulibdeh, Benjamin P. Garfinkel, Dima Dweik, Moein Kanaan, Núria Camats, Christa Flück, Paul Renbaum, Ephrat Levy-Lahad

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Abstract

Transcriptional coregulators are important components of nuclear receptor (NR) signaling machinery and provide additional mechanisms for modulation of NR activity. Expression of a mutated nuclear corepressor 1 (NCoR1) that lacks 2 NR interacting domains (NCoRΔID) in the liver leads to elevated expression of genes regulated by thyroid hormone receptor (TR) and liver X receptor (LXR), both of which control hepatic cholesterol metabolism. Here, we demonstrate that expression of NCoRΔID in mouse liver improves dietary cholesterol tolerance in an LXRα-independent manner. NCoRΔID-associated cholesterol tolerance was primarily due to diminished intestinal cholesterol absorption as the result of changes in the composition and hydrophobicity of the bile salt pool. Alterations of the bile salt pool were mediated by increased expression of genes encoding the bile acid metabolism enzymes CYP27A1 and CYP3A11 as well as canalicular bile salt pump ABCB11. We have determined that these genes are regulated by thyroid hormone and that TRβ1 is recruited to their regulatory regions. Together, these data indicate that interactions between NCoR1 and TR control a specific pathway involved in regulation of cholesterol metabolism and clearance.

Authors

Inna Astapova, Preeti Ramadoss, Ricardo H. Costa-e-Sousa, Felix Ye, Kaila A. Holtz, Yingxia Li, Michele W. Niepel, David E. Cohen, Anthony N. Hollenberg

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April 2014


124-4-cover

April 2014 Issue

On the cover:
Sonic hedgehog signaling

Neuroepithelium stained for tight junction protein ZO1(white), phospho-histone H3 (cyan), and DAPI (blue). Cleft lip is a common orofacial birth defect that results from incomplete growth and fusion of facial processes. In this month’s issue, Hiroshi Kurosaka and colleagues uncover a critical link between WNT signaling and the sonic hedgehog (SHH) pathway in the development of cleft lip (1660). Their studies reveal that altered SHH signaling promotes the formation of cleft lip by antagonizing the canonical WNT pathway and reducing expression of interferon regulatory factor (IRF6).

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Jci_impact_2014_04

April 2014 Impact

JCI Impact is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Series - More

Review_series_85
Lymphatic Vasculature
Series edited by Dontscho Kerjaschki

Significant progress in the last 15 years has transformed the field of lymphatic vasculature research into a boom area. The relatively recent identification of specific growth factors and molecular markers that distinguish endothelial cells of the lymphatic and blood vasculature lineages were pivotal for this development. Given the almost ubiquituous distribution of lymphatic vessels in most organs, it is not surprising that this type of vasculature is actively or passively involved in a large number of human diseases. The reviews in this series aim to describe a number of emerging areas in lymphatic biology, including mechanisms that mediate lymphangiogenesis, the development of mammalian lymphatic vasculature, the genetics of lymphatic anomalies, new technologies for studying the lymphatic vasculature, and the role of lymphatics in disease, including lymphedema and cancer, and physiological processes, such as inflammation and immunity. Cover image credit: K.Pichler/CeMM/MedUni Wien/Josephinum (www.josephinum.ac.at).

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