Discovery of glucose greed mechanism in brain: Coverage by Sunday World, Today Online, Oregon Live, and PressTV on “Glucokinase activity in the arcuate nucleus regulates glucose intake.”
Alzheimer’s breakthrough: Coverage by Science News and Patch.com on “Prostaglandin signaling suppresses beneficial microglial function in Alzheimer’s disease models.”
Porcine model of cardiac sodium channelopathy: Coverage by Bioscience Technology and Medical Xpress on “Genetically engineered SCN5A mutant pig hearts exhibit conduction defects and arrhythmias.”
Genetic clue to menopause-like condition in young women: Coverage by NIH and Medical Xpress on “Exome sequencing reveals MCM8 mutation underlies ovarian failure and chromosomal instability.”
Receptor may be key to treating nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: Coverage by Medical Xpress on “Intestinal farnesoid X receptor signaling promotes nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.”
The brain relies on a constant supply of glucose, its primary fuel, for optimal function. A taste-independent mechanism within the CNS that promotes glucose delivery to the brain has been postulated to maintain glucose homeostasis; however, evidence for such a mechanism is lacking. Here, we determined that glucokinase activity within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus is involved in regulation of dietary glucose intake. In fasted rats, glucokinase activity was specifically increased in the arcuate nucleus but not other regions of the hypothalamus. Moreover, pharmacologic and genetic activation of glucokinase in the arcuate nucleus of rodent models increased glucose ingestion, while decreased arcuate nucleus glucokinase activity reduced glucose intake. Pharmacologic targeting of potential downstream glucokinase effectors revealed that ATP-sensitive potassium channel and P/Q calcium channel activity are required for glucokinase-mediated glucose intake. Additionally, altered glucokinase activity affected release of the orexigenic neurotransmitter neuropeptide Y in response to glucose. Together, our results suggest that glucokinase activity in the arcuate nucleus specifically regulates glucose intake and that appetite for glucose is an important driver of overall food intake. Arcuate nucleus glucokinase activation may represent a CNS mechanism that underlies the oft-described phenomena of the “sweet tooth” and carbohydrate craving.
Syed Hussain, Errol Richardson, Yue Ma, Christopher Holton, Ivan De Backer, Niki Buckley, Waljit Dhillo, Gavin Bewick, Shuai Zhang, David Carling, Steve Bloom, James Gardiner
Microglia, the innate immune cells of the CNS, perform critical inflammatory and noninflammatory functions that maintain normal neural function. For example, microglia clear misfolded proteins, elaborate trophic factors, and regulate and terminate toxic inflammation. In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), however, beneficial microglial functions become impaired, accelerating synaptic and neuronal loss. Better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that contribute to microglial dysfunction is an important objective for identifying potential strategies to delay progression to AD. The inflammatory cyclooxygenase/prostaglandin E2 (COX/PGE2) pathway has been implicated in preclinical AD development, both in human epidemiology studies and in transgenic rodent models of AD. Here, we evaluated murine models that recapitulate microglial responses to Aβ peptides and determined that microglia-specific deletion of the gene encoding the PGE2 receptor EP2 restores microglial chemotaxis and Aβ clearance, suppresses toxic inflammation, increases cytoprotective insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) signaling, and prevents synaptic injury and memory deficits. Our findings indicate that EP2 signaling suppresses beneficial microglia functions that falter during AD development and suggest that inhibition of the COX/PGE2/EP2 immune pathway has potential as a strategy to restore healthy microglial function and prevent progression to AD.
Jenny U. Johansson, Nathaniel S. Woodling, Qian Wang, Maharshi Panchal, Xibin Liang, Angel Trueba-Saiz, Holden D. Brown, Siddhita D. Mhatre, Taylor Loui, Katrin I. Andreasson
David S. Park, Marina Cerrone, Gregory Morley, Carolina Vasquez, Steven Fowler, Nian Liu, Scott A. Bernstein, Fang-Yu Liu, Jie Zhang, Christopher S. Rogers, Silvia G. Priori, Larry A. Chinitz, Glenn I. Fishman
Premature ovarian failure (POF) is a genetically and phenotypically heterogeneous disorder that includes individuals with manifestations ranging from primary amenorrhea to loss of menstrual function prior to age 40. POF presents as hypergonadotropic hypogonadism and can be part of a syndrome or occur in isolation. Here, we studied 3 sisters with primary amenorrhea, hypothyroidism, and hypergonadotropic hypogonadism. The sisters were born to parents who are first cousins. SNP analysis and whole-exome sequencing revealed the presence of a pathogenic variant of the minichromosome maintenance 8 gene (
Saleh AlAsiri, Sulman Basit, Michelle A. Wood-Trageser, Svetlana A. Yatsenko, Elizabeth P. Jeffries, Urvashi Surti, Deborah M. Ketterer, Sibtain Afzal, Khushnooda Ramzan, Muhammad Faiyaz-Ul Haque, Huaiyang Jiang, Michael A. Trakselis, Aleksandar Rajkovic
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a major worldwide health problem. Recent studies suggest that the gut microbiota influences NAFLD pathogenesis. Here, a murine model of high-fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) NAFLD was used, and the effects of alterations in the gut microbiota on NAFLD were determined. Mice treated with antibiotics or tempol exhibited altered bile acid composition, with a notable increase in conjugated bile acid metabolites that inhibited intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) signaling. Compared with control mice, animals with intestine-specific
Changtao Jiang, Cen Xie, Fei Li, Limin Zhang, Robert G. Nichols, Kristopher W. Krausz, Jingwei Cai, Yunpeng Qi, Zhong-Ze Fang, Shogo Takahashi, Naoki Tanaka, Dhimant Desai, Shantu G. Amin, Istvan Albert, Andrew D. Patterson, Frank J. Gonzalez