Exercise after weight loss reduces risk of type-2 diabetes: Coverage by Fox News, US News and World Report, Reuters, Diabetes.co.uk, Health Day, and Medical Daily on “Clinical trial demonstrates exercise following bariatric surgery improves insulin sensitivity.”
Genetic marker may help predict success of kidney transplants: Coverage by MedicalXpress.com on “Intronic locus determines SHROOM3 expression and potentiates renal allograft fibrosis.”
Discovery of gene associated with an aggressive breast cancer: Coverage by Nasdaq.com on “RASAL2 activates RAC1 to promote triple-negative breast cancer progression.”
Anesthesia can impact memory: Coverage from The Varsity on “Sustained increase in α5GABAA receptor function impairs memory after anesthesia.”
Gene linked to breast cancer therapy response: Coverage by HealthCanal.com on “Efferocytosis produces a prometastatic landscape during postpartum mammary gland involution.”
Inhibition of miR-21 represents a potential therapeutic strategy for chronic kidney diseases including Alport nephropathy: Coverage by Genomeweb of “Anti-microRNA-21 oligonucleotides prevent Alport nephropathy progression by stimulating metabolic pathways.”
As the US addresses its budget dilemma, the easiest items to cut are those with the longest-term payoff. Research stands out among this group. Biomedical research has already been markedly reduced, and further reductions appear to be in store. As a frequent witness in Congressional hearings on such matters, here I discuss the challenge of assessing the value of investments in biomedical research.
Norman R. Augustine
Paul M. Coen, Charles J. Tanner, Nicole L. Helbling, Gabriel S. Dubis, Kazanna C. Hames, Hui Xie, George M. Eid, Maja Stefanovic-Racic, Frederico G.S. Toledo, John M. Jakicic, Joseph A. Houmard, Bret H. Goodpaster
Fibrosis underlies the loss of renal function in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and in kidney transplant recipients with chronic allograft nephropathy (CAN). Here, we studied the effect of an intronic SNP in
Madhav C. Menon, Peter Y. Chuang, Zhengzhe Li, Chengguo Wei, Weijia Zhang, Yi Luan, Zhengzi Yi, Huabao Xiong, Christopher Woytovich, Ilana Greene, Jessica Overbey, Ivy Rosales, Emilia Bagiella, Rong Chen, Meng Ma, Li Li, Wei Ding, Arjang Djamali, Millagros Saminego, Philip J. O’Connell, Lorenzo Gallon, Robert Colvin, Bernd Schroppel, John Cijiang He, Barbara Murphy
Patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) have a high incidence of early relapse and metastasis; however, the molecular basis for recurrence in these individuals remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that
Min Feng, Yi Bao, Zhimei Li, Juntao Li, Min Gong, Stella Lam, Jinhua Wang, Diego M. Marzese, Nicholas Donovan, Ern Yu Tan, Dave S.B. Hoon, Qiang Yu
Many patients who undergo general anesthesia and surgery experience cognitive dysfunction, particularly memory deficits that can persist for days to months. The mechanisms underlying this postoperative cognitive dysfunction in the adult brain remain poorly understood. Depression of brain function during anesthesia is attributed primarily to increased activity of γ-aminobutyric acid type A receptors (GABAARs), and it is assumed that once the anesthetic drug is eliminated, the activity of GABAARs rapidly returns to baseline and these receptors no longer impair memory. Here, using a murine model, we found that a single in vivo treatment with the injectable anesthetic etomidate increased a tonic inhibitory current generated by α5 subunit–containing GABAARs (α5GABAARs) and cell-surface expression of α5GABAARs for at least 1 week. The sustained increase in α5GABAAR activity impaired memory performance and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Inhibition of α5GABAARs completely reversed the memory deficits after anesthesia. Similarly, the inhaled anesthetic isoflurane triggered a persistent increase in tonic current and cell-surface expression of α5GABAARs. Thus, α5GABAAR function does not return to baseline after the anesthetic is eliminated, suggesting a mechanism to account for persistent memory deficits after general anesthesia.
Agnieszka A. Zurek, Jieying Yu, Dian-Shi Wang, Sean C. Haffey, Erica M. Bridgwater, Antonello Penna, Irene Lecker, Gang Lei, Tom Chang, Eric W.R. Salter, Beverley A. Orser
Breast cancers that occur in women 2–5 years postpartum are more frequently diagnosed at metastatic stages and correlate with poorer outcomes compared with breast cancers diagnosed in young, premenopausal women. The molecular mechanisms underlying the malignant severity associated with postpartum breast cancers (ppBCs) are unclear but relate to stromal wound-healing events during postpartum involution, a dynamic process characterized by widespread cell death in milk-producing mammary epithelial cells (MECs). Using both spontaneous and allografted mammary tumors in fully immune–competent mice, we discovered that postpartum involution increases mammary tumor metastasis. Cell death was widespread, not only occurring in MECs but also in tumor epithelium. Dying tumor cells were cleared through receptor tyrosine kinase MerTK–dependent efferocytosis, which robustly induced the transcription of genes encoding wound-healing cytokines, including IL-4, IL-10, IL-13, and TGF-β. Animals lacking MerTK and animals treated with a MerTK inhibitor exhibited impaired efferocytosis in postpartum tumors, a reduction of M2-like macrophages but no change in total macrophage levels, decreased TGF-β expression, and a reduction of postpartum tumor metastasis that was similar to the metastasis frequencies observed in nulliparous mice. Moreover, TGF-β blockade reduced postpartum tumor metastasis. These data suggest that widespread cell death during postpartum involution triggers efferocytosis-induced wound-healing cytokines in the tumor microenvironment that promote metastatic tumor progression.
Jamie C. Stanford, Christian Young, Donna Hicks, Philip Owens, Andrew Williams, David B. Vaught, Meghan M. Morrison, Jiyeon Lim, Michelle Williams, Dana M. Brantley-Sieders, Justin M. Balko, Debra Tonetti, H. Shelton Earp III, Rebecca S. Cook
MicroRNA-21 (miR-21) contributes to the pathogenesis of fibrogenic diseases in multiple organs, including the kidneys, potentially by silencing metabolic pathways that are critical for cellular ATP generation, ROS production, and inflammatory signaling. Here, we developed highly specific oligonucleotides that distribute to the kidney and inhibit miR-21 function when administered subcutaneously and evaluated the therapeutic potential of these anti–miR-21 oligonucleotides in chronic kidney disease. In a murine model of Alport nephropathy, miR-21 silencing did not produce any adverse effects and resulted in substantially milder kidney disease, with minimal albuminuria and dysfunction, compared with vehicle-treated mice. miR-21 silencing dramatically improved survival of Alport mice and reduced histological end points, including glomerulosclerosis, interstitial fibrosis, tubular injury, and inflammation. Anti–miR-21 enhanced PPARα/retinoid X receptor (PPARα/RXR) activity and downstream signaling pathways in glomerular, tubular, and interstitial cells. Moreover, miR-21 silencing enhanced mitochondrial function, which reduced mitochondrial ROS production and thus preserved tubular functions. Inhibition of miR-21 was protective against TGF-β–induced fibrogenesis and inflammation in glomerular and interstitial cells, likely as the result of enhanced PPARα/RXR activity and improved mitochondrial function. Together, these results demonstrate that inhibition of miR-21 represents a potential therapeutic strategy for chronic kidney diseases including Alport nephropathy.
Ivan G. Gomez, Deidre A. MacKenna, Bryce G. Johnson, Vivek Kaimal, Allie M. Roach, Shuyu Ren, Naoki Nakagawa, Cuiyan Xin, Rick Newitt, Shweta Pandya, Tai-He Xia, Xueqing Liu, Dorin-Bogdan Borza, Monica Grafals, Stuart J. Shankland, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Didier Portilla, Shiguang Liu, B. Nelson Chau, Jeremy S. Duffield