Peptides derived from pre-proglucagon (GCG peptides) act in both the periphery and the CNS to change food intake, glucose homeostasis, and metabolic rate while playing a role in anxiety behaviors and physiological responses to stress. Although the actions of GCG peptides produced in the gut and pancreas are well described, the role of glutamatergic GGC peptide–secreting hindbrain neurons in regulating metabolic homeostasis has not been investigated. Here, we have shown that chemogenetic stimulation of GCG-producing neurons reduces metabolic rate and food intake in fed and fasted states and suppresses glucose production without an effect on glucose uptake. Stimulation of GCG neurons had no effect on corticosterone secretion, body weight, or conditioned taste aversion. In the diet-induced obese state, the effects of GCG neuronal stimulation on gluconeogenesis were lost, while the food intake–lowering effects remained, resulting in reductions in body weight and adiposity. Our work suggests that GCG peptide–expressing neurons can alter feeding, metabolic rate, and glucose production independent of their effects on hypothalamic pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, aversive conditioning, or insulin secretion. We conclude that GCG neurons likely stimulate separate populations of downstream cells to produce a change in food intake and glucose homeostasis and that these effects depend on the metabolic state of the animal.
Ronald P. Gaykema, Brandon A. Newmyer, Matteo Ottolini, Vidisha Raje, Daniel M. Warthen, Philip S. Lambeth, Maria Niccum, Ting Yao, Yiru Huang, Ira G. Schulman, Thurl E. Harris, Manoj K. Patel, Kevin W. Williams, Michael M. Scott
Autoimmune responses to meiotic germ cell antigens (MGCA) that are expressed on sperm and testis occur in human infertility and after vasectomy. Many MGCA are also expressed as cancer/testis antigens (CTA) in human cancers, but the tolerance status of MGCA has not been investigated. MGCA are considered to be uniformly immunogenic and nontolerogenic, and the prevailing view posits that MGCA are sequestered behind the Sertoli cell barrier in seminiferous tubules. Here, we have shown that only some murine MGCA are sequestered. Nonsequestered MCGA (NS-MGCA) egressed from normal tubules, as evidenced by their ability to interact with systemically injected antibodies and form localized immune complexes outside the Sertoli cell barrier. NS-MGCA derived from cell fragments that were discarded by spermatids during spermiation. They egressed as cargo in residual bodies and maintained Treg-dependent physiological tolerance. In contrast, sequestered MGCA (S-MGCA) were undetectable in residual bodies and were nontolerogenic. Unlike postvasectomy autoantibodies, which have been shown to mainly target S-MGCA, autoantibodies produced by normal mice with transient Treg depletion that developed autoimmune orchitis exclusively targeted NS-MGCA. We conclude that spermiation, a physiological checkpoint in spermatogenesis, determines the egress and tolerogenicity of MGCA. Our findings will affect target antigen selection in testis and sperm autoimmunity and the immune responses to CTA in male cancer patients.
Kenneth S.K. Tung, Jessica Harakal, Hui Qiao, Claudia Rival, Jonathan C.H. Li, Alberta G.A. Paul, Karen Wheeler, Patcharin Pramoonjago, Constance M. Grafer, Wei Sun, Robert D. Sampson, Elissa W.P. Wong, Prabhakara P. Reddi, Umesh S. Deshmukh, Daniel M. Hardy, Huanghui Tang, C. Yan Cheng, Erwin Goldberg
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are negative modulators of gene expression that fine-tune numerous biological processes. miRNA loss-of-function rarely results in highly penetrant phenotypes, but rather, influences cellular responses to physiologic and pathophysiologic stresses. Here, we have reported that a single member of the evolutionarily conserved miR-7 family, miR-7a2, is essential for normal pituitary development and hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) function in adulthood. Genetic deletion of
Kashan Ahmed, Mary P. LaPierre, Emanuel Gasser, Rémy Denzler, Yinjie Yang, Thomas Rülicke, Jukka Kero, Mathieu Latreille, Markus Stoffel
Microvascular endothelial cells (ECs) are increasingly recognized as organ-specific gatekeepers of their microenvironment. Microvascular ECs instruct neighboring cells in their organ-specific vascular niches through angiocrine factors, which include secreted growth factors (angiokines), extracellular matrix molecules, and transmembrane proteins. However, the molecular regulators that drive organ-specific microvascular transcriptional programs and thereby regulate angiodiversity are largely elusive. In contrast to other ECs, which form a continuous cell layer, liver sinusoidal ECs (LSECs) constitute discontinuous, permeable microvessels. Here, we have shown that the transcription factor GATA4 controls murine LSEC specification and function. LSEC-restricted deletion of
Cyrill Géraud, Philipp-Sebastian Koch, Johanna Zierow, Kay Klapproth, Katrin Busch, Victor Olsavszky, Thomas Leibing, Alexandra Demory, Friederike Ulbrich, Miriam Diett, Sandhya Singh, Carsten Sticht, Katja Breitkopf-Heinlein, Karsten Richter, Sanna-Maria Karppinen, Taina Pihlajaniemi, Bernd Arnold, Hans-Reimer Rodewald, Hellmut G. Augustin, Kai Schledzewski, Sergij Goerdt
Mutations in laminin α2-subunit (Lmα2, encoded by
Karen K. McKee, Stephanie C. Crosson, Sarina Meinen, Judith R. Reinhard, Markus A. Rüegg, Peter D. Yurchenco
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is a prothrombotic disorder initiated by antibodies against complexes between human platelet factor 4 (hPF4) and heparin. A better understanding of the events that initiate the prothrombotic state may improve approaches to antithrombotic management. Here, we visualized thrombus formation in an in vivo murine model and an endothelialized microfluidic system that simulate the pathogenesis of HIT. hPF4 released from platelets predominantly bound to peri-injury endothelium and formed HIT antigenic complexes that were dissociated by heparin. In mice expressing both hPF4+ and human platelet IgG Fc receptor IIA (FcγRIIA), infusion of the HIT-like monoclonal antibody KKO increased fibrin and platelet deposition at sites of injury, followed immediately by antigen formation on proximate endothelial cells. After a few minutes, HIT antigen was detected within the thrombus itself at the interface between the platelet core and the surrounding shell. We observed similar results in the humanized, endothelialized microfluidic system. hPF4 and KKO selectively bound to photochemically injured endothelium at sites where surface glycocalyx was reduced. These studies support the concept that the perithrombus endothelium is the predominant site of HIT antigen assembly. This suggests that disrupting antigen formation along the endothelium or protecting the endothelium may provide a therapeutic opportunity to prevent thrombotic complications of HIT, while sparing systemic hemostatic pathways.
Vincent Hayes, Ian Johnston, Gowthami M. Arepally, Steven E. McKenzie, Douglas B. Cines, Lubica Rauova, Mortimer Poncz
Blood vessels have a unified mission to circulate blood throughout the body; however, they have additional diverse and specialized roles in various organs. For example, in the liver, discontinuous sinusoids, which are fenestrated capillaries with intercellular gaps and a fragmented basement membrane, facilitate delivery of macromolecules to highly metabolic hepatocytes. During embryonic development, discontinuous sinusoids also allow circulating hematopoietic progenitor and stem cells to populate the liver and promote blood cell differentiation. In this issue of the
Courtney T. Griffin, Siqi Gao
Glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor (GLP-1R) signaling in the CNS has been linked to reduced food intake, lower body weight, improved glucose homeostasis, and activation of CNS stress axes. GLP-1 is produced by cells that express proglucagon (GCG); however, the stimuli that activate GCG+ neurons are not well known, which has made understanding the role of this neuronal population in the CNS a challenge. In this issue of the
Jonathan E. Campbell, David A. D’Alessio
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as important regulators of a variety of biological processes and pathways. In this issue of the
William F. Crowley, Ravi Balasubramanian
Muscular dystrophies result from a defect in the linkage between the muscle fiber cytoskeleton and the basement membrane (BM). Congenital muscular dystrophy type MDC1A is caused by mutations in laminin α2 that either reduce its expression or impair its ability to polymerize within the muscle fiber BM. Defects in this BM lead to muscle fiber damage from the force of contraction. In this issue of the
Steven D. Funk, Jeffrey H. Miner
Comninos et al. report that the peptide hormone kisspeptin is a central regulator of sexual and emotional brain processing in men, in addition to its established roles in regulating the reproductive axis. The cover image includes a functional neuroimage of limbic brain activity following kisspeptin administration in response to images that were sexual (red) or couple-bonding related (purple).
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Metabolic syndrome constitutes a constellation of conditions, including central obesity, glucose intolerance, and dyslipidemia. These conditions enhance the risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, fatty liver/cirrhosis, hypertension, and cancer. The finding over 20 years ago that the inflammatory mediator TNF is overexpressed in adipose fundamentally changed our understanding of obesity and metabolic syndrome. We now know that metabolic syndrome in humans is characterized by chronic low-grade inflammation in multiple organs and we are now beginning to delineate the mechanisms by which inflammation and metabolism influence each other. Reviews in this series examine the activation of the innate and adaptive immune system in obesity; inflammation within diabetic islets, brain, liver, gut, and muscle; the role of inflammation in fibrosis and angiogenesis; the factors that contribute to the initiation of inflammation; and therapeutic approaches to modulate inflammation in the context of obesity and metabolic syndrome. We now know that an inflammatory program is activated early in adipose expansion and during chronic obesity, permanently skewing the immune system to a pro-inflammatory phenotype.