Siska et al. provide evidence for immunometabolic dysregulation in COVID-19, which can be mitigated by dexamethasone treatment. Image credit: Thomas Simeth.
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The dysregulation of energy homeostasis in obesity involves multi-hormone resistance. Although leptin and insulin resistance have been well characterized, catecholamine resistance remains largely unexplored. Murine β3-adrenergic receptor expression in adipocytes is orders of magnitude higher compared to other isoforms. While resistant to classical desensitization pathways, its mRNA (Adrb3) and protein expression are dramatically downregulated after ligand exposure (homologous desensitization). β3-adrenergic receptor downregulation also occurs after high fat diet feeding, concurrent with catecholamine resistance and elevated inflammation. This downregulation is recapitulated in vitro by TNFα treatment (heterologous desensitization). Both homologous and heterologous desensitization of Adrb3 were triggered by induction of the pseudokinase TRIB1 downstream of the EPAC/RAP2A/PI-PLC pathway. TRIB1 in turn degraded the primary transcriptional activator of Adrb3, CEBPα. EPAC/RAP inhibition enhanced catecholamine-stimulated lipolysis and energy expenditure in obese mice. Moreover, adipose tissue expression of genes in this pathway correlated with body weight extremes in a cohort of genetically diverse mice, and with BMI in two independent cohorts of humans. These data implicate a new signaling axis that may explain reduced hormone-stimulated lipolysis in obesity and resistance to therapeutic interventions with β3-adrenergic receptor agonists.
Joseph M. Valentine, Maryam Ahmadian, Omer Keinan, Mohammad Abu-Odeh, Peng Zhao, Xin Zhou, Mark P. Keller, Hui Gao, Ruth T. Yu, Christopher Liddle, Michael Downes, Jin Zhang, Aldons J. Lusis, Alan D. Attie, Ronald M. Evans, Mikael Rydén, Alan R. Saltiel
BACKGROUND. Noninvasive assessment of metabolic processes that sustain regeneration of human retinal visual pigments (visual cycle) is essential to improve ophthalmic diagnostics and to accelerate development of new treatments to counter retinal diseases. Fluorescent vitamin A derivatives, which are the chemical intermediates of these processes, are highly sensitive to UV light; thus, safe analyses of these processes in humans are currently beyond the reach of even the most modern ocular imaging modalities. METHODS. We present a compact fluorescence scanning laser ophthalmoscope (TPEF-SLO) and spectrally resolved images of the human retina based on two-photon excitation (TPE) with near-infrared (IR) light. A custom Er:fiber laser with integrated pulse selection, along with intelligent post-processing of data, enables excitation with low laser power and precise measurement of weak signals. RESULTS. We demonstrate spectrally resolved TPE fundus images of human subjects. Comparison of TPE data between human and mouse models of retinal diseases revealed similarity with mouse models that rapidly accumulate bisretinoid condensation products. Thus, visual cycle intermediates and toxic byproducts of this metabolic pathway can be measured and quantified by TPE imaging. CONCLUSION. Our work establishes a TPE instrument and measurement method for noninvasive metabolic assessment of the human retina. This approach opens the possibility for monitoring eye diseases in the earliest stages before structural damage to the retina occurs. FUNDING. NIH, Research to Prevent Blindness, Foundation for Polish Science, European Regional Development Fund, Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange and Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Jakub Boguslawski, Grazyna Palczewska, Slawomir Tomczewski, Jadwiga Milkiewicz, Piotr Kasprzycki, Dorota Stachowiak, Katarzyna Komar, Marcin J. Marzejon, Bartosz L. Sikorski, Arkadiusz Hudzikowski, Aleksander Głuszek, Zbigniew Łaszczych, Karol Karnowski, Grzegorz Soboń, Krzysztof Palczewski, Maciej Wojtkowski
Autophagy selectively degrades aggregation-prone misfolded proteins caused by defective cellular proteostasis. However, the complexity of autophagy may prevent the full appreciation of how its modulation could be used as a therapeutic strategy in disease management. Here we define a molecular pathway through which recombinant interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra, anakinra) affects cellular proteostasis independently from the IL-1 receptor (IL-1R1). Anakinra promoted H2O2-driven autophagy through a xenobiotic sensing pathway involving the aryl hydrocarbon receptor that, activated through the indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1-kynurenine pathway, transcriptionally activates NADPH Oxidase 4 independent of the IL-1R1. By coupling the mitochondrial redox balance to autophagy, anakinra improved the dysregulated proteostasis network in murine and human cystic fibrosis. We anticipate that anakinra may represent a therapeutic option in addition to its IL-1R1 dependent anti-inflammatory properties by acting at the intersection of mitochondrial oxidative stress and autophagy with the capacity to restore conditions in which defective proteostasis leads to human disease.
Frank L. van de Veerdonk, Giorgia Renga, Marilena Pariano, Marina M. Bellet, Giuseppe Servillo, Francesca Fallarino, Antonella De Luca, Rossana G. Iannitti, Danilo Piobbico, Marco Gargaro, Giorgia Manni, Fiorella D’Onofrio, Claudia Stincardini, Luigi Sforna, Monica Borghi, Marilena Castelli, Stefania Pieroni, Vasileios Oikonomou, Valeria R. Villella, Matteo Puccetti, Stefano Giovagnoli, Roberta Galarini, Carolina Barola, Luigi Maiuri, Della-Fazia Maria Agnese, Barbara Cellini, Vincenzo Talesa, Charles A. Dinarello, Claudio Costantini, Luigina Romani
Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) have prominent sex differences in incidence, symptoms, and treatment response that are not well understood. Androgens are steroid hormones present at much higher levels in males than females and could be involved in these differences. In adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a FGID that affects 5-10% of the population worldwide, we found that free testosterone levels were lower than those in healthy controls and inversely correlated with symptom severity. To determine how this diminished androgen signaling could contribute to bowel dysfunction, we depleted gonadal androgens in adult mice and found that this caused a profound deficit in gastrointestinal transit. Restoring a single androgen hormone was sufficient to rescue this deficit, suggesting that circulating androgens are essential for normal bowel motility in vivo. To determine the site of action, we probed androgen receptor expression in the intestine and discovered, unexpectedly, that a large subset of enteric neurons became androgen-responsive upon puberty. Androgen signaling to these neurons was required for normal colonic motility in adult mice. Taken together, these observations establish a role for gonadal androgens in the neural regulation of bowel function and link altered androgen levels with a common digestive disorder.
Daniella Rastelli, Ariel Robinson, Valentina N. Lagomarsino, Lynley T. Matthews, Rafla Hassan, Kristina Perez, William Dan, Peter D. Yim, Madison Mixer, Aleksandra Prochera, Amy Shepherd, Liang Sun, Kathryn Hall, Sarah Ballou, Anthony Lembo, Judy Nee, Meenakshi Rao
Therapeutics targeting osteoclasts are commonly used treatments for bone metastasis; however, whether and how osteoclasts regulate pre-metastatic niche and bone tropism is largely unknown. In this study, we report that osteoclast precursors (OPs) can function as a pre-metastatic niche component that facilitates breast cancer (BCa) bone metastasis at early stages. At the molecular level, unbiased GPCR ligand/agonist screening in BCa cells suggested that R-spondin 2 (RSPO2) and RANKL, through interacting with their receptor LGR4, promoted osteoclastic pre-metastatic niche formation and enhanced BCa bone metastasis. This was achieved by RSPO2/RANKL-LGR4 signal modulating WNT inhibitor DKK1 through Gαq and β-catenin signaling. DKK1 directly facilitated OP recruitment through suppressing its receptor low-density lipoprotein-related receptors 5 (LRP5) but not LRP6, upregulating Rnasek expression via inhibiting canonical WNT signaling. In clinical samples, RSPO2, LGR4 and DKK1 expression showed positive correlation with BCa bone metastasis. Furthermore, soluble LGR4 extracellular domain (ECD) protein, acting as a decoy receptor for RSPO2 and RANKL, significantly alleviated bone metastasis and osteolytic lesions in mouse bone metastasis model. These findings provide unique insights into the functional role of OPs as key components of pre-metastatic niche for BCa bone metastasis, indicate RSPO2/RANKL-LGR4 signaling as a promising target for inhibiting BCa bone metastasis.
Zhiying Yue, Xin Niu, Zengjin Yuan, Qin Qin, Wenhao Jiang, Liang He, Jingduo Gao, Yi Ding, Yanxi Liu, Ziwei Xu, Zhenxi Li, Zhengfeng Yang, Rong Li, Xiwen Xue, Yankun Gao, Fei Yue, Xiang H.-F. Zhang, Guohong Hu, Yi Wang, Yi Li, Geng Chen, Stefan Siwko, Alison Gartland, Ning Wang, Jianru Xiao, Mingyao Liu, Jian Luo
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Animals, plants, and bacteria all display behavioral patterns that coincide with Earth’s light and dark cycles. These oscillating behaviors are the manifestation of the molecular circadian clock, a highly conserved network that maintains a near 24-hour rhythm even in the absence of light. In mammals, light signals are transmitted via the superchiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus to synchronize peripheral clocks and coordinate physiological functions with the organism’s active period. This collection of reviews, curated by Amita Sehgal, considers the critical role of the circadian system in human health. Technology, work, and social obligations can disrupt optimal sleep and wake schedules, leaving humans vulnerable to diseases affecting the heart, brain, metabolism, and more. Sleep disorders as well as normal variations in human chronotype may exacerbate circadian disruptions, with profound consequences. These reviews emphasize that ongoing efforts to understand the complexities of human circadian rhythm will be essential for developing chronotherapies and other circadian-based interventions.