Näf, D; Wilson, L A; Bergstrom, R A; Smith, R S; Goodwin, N C; Verkerk, A; van Ommen, G J; Ackerman, S L; Frankel, W N; Schimenti, J C
Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome (WHS) is a deletion syndrome caused by segmental haploidy of chromosome 4p16.3. Its hallmark features include a 'Greek warrior helmet' facial appearance, mental retardation, various midline defects and seizures. The WHS critical region (WHSCR) lies between the Huntington's disease gene, HD, and FGFR3. In mice, the homologs of these genes map to chromosome 5 in a region of conserved synteny with human 4p16.3. To derive mouse models of WHS and map genes responsible for subphenotypes of the syndrome, five mouse lines bearing radiation-induced deletions spanning the WHSCR syntenic region were generated and characterized. Similar to WHS patients, these animals were growth-retarded, were susceptible to seizures and showed midline (palate closure, tail kinks), craniofacial and ocular anomalies (colobomas, corneal opacities). Other phenotypes included cerebellar hypoplasia and a shortened cerebral cortex. Expression of WHS-like traits was variable and influenced by strain background and deletion size. These mice represent the first animal models for WHS. This collection of nested chromosomal deletions will be useful for mapping and identifying loci responsible for the various subphenotypes of WHS, and provides a paradigm for the dissection of other deletion syndromes using the mouse.
Park, Young-Seok; Gauna, Adrienne E.; Cha, Seunghee
Sjögren’s syndrome (SjS) is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by immune cell infiltration and progressive injury to the salivary and lacrimal glands. As a consequence, patients with SjS develop xerostomia (dry mouth) and keratoconjunctivitis sicca (dry eyes). SjS is the third most common rheumatic autoimmune disorder, affecting 4 million Americans with over 90% of patients being female. Current diagnostic criteria for SjS frequently utilize histological examinations of minor salivary glands for immune cell foci, serology for autoantibodies, and dry eye evaluation by corneal or conjunctival staining. SjS can be classified as primary or secondary SjS, depending on whether it occurs alone or in association with other systemic rheumatic conditions, respectively. Clinical manifestations typically become apparent when the disease is relatively advanced in SjS patients, which poses a challenge for early diagnosis and treatment of SjS. Therefore, SjS mouse models, because of their close resemblance to the human SjS, have been extremely valuable to identify early disease markers and to investigate underlying biological and immunological dysregulations. However, it is important to bear in mind that no single mouse model has duplicated all aspects of SjS pathogenesis and clinical features, mainly due to the multifactorial etiology of SjS that includes numerous susceptibility genes and environmental factors. As such, various mouse models have been developed in the field to try to recapitulate SjS. In this review, we focus on recent mouse models of primary SjS and describe them under three categories of spontaneous, genetically engineered, and experimentally induced development of SjS-like disease. In addition, we discuss future perspectives of SjS mouse models highlighting pros and cons of utilizing mouse models and demands for improved models. PMID:25777752
Choong, Xun Yu; Tosh, Justin L.; Pulford, Laura J.; Fisher, Elizabeth M. C.
Down syndrome (DS) is a common genetic condition caused by the presence of three copies of chromosome 21 (trisomy 21). This greatly increases the risk of Alzheimer disease (AD), but although virtually all people with DS have AD neuropathology by 40 years of age, not all develop dementia. To dissect the genetic contribution of trisomy 21 to DS phenotypes including those relevant to AD, a range of DS mouse models has been generated which are trisomic for chromosome segments syntenic to human chromosome 21. Here, we consider key characteristics of human AD in DS (AD-DS), and our current state of knowledge on related phenotypes in AD and DS mouse models. We go on to review important features needed in future models of AD-DS, to understand this type of dementia and so highlight pathogenic mechanisms relevant to all populations at risk of AD. PMID:26528151
Kooy, R.F.; Reyniers, E.; De Boulle, K.
Transgenic fragile X knockout mice have been constructed to provide an animal model to study the physiologic function of the fragile X gene (FMR1) and to gain more insight into the clinical phenotype caused by the absence of the fragile X protein. Initial experiments suggested that the knockout mice show macroorchidism and cognitive and behavioral deficits, abnormalities comparable to those of human fragile X patients. In the present study, we have extended our experiments, and conclude that the Fmr1 knockout mouse is a reliable transgenic model to study the fragile X syndrome. 20 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.
Kazdoba, Tatiana M; Leach, Prescott T; Silverman, Jill L; Crawley, Jacqueline N
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is a commonly inherited form of intellectual disability and one of the leading genetic causes for autism spectrum disorder. Clinical symptoms of FXS can include impaired cognition, anxiety, hyperactivity, social phobia, and repetitive behaviors. FXS is caused by a CGG repeat mutation which expands a region on the X chromosome containing the FMR1 gene. In FXS, a full mutation (> 200 repeats) leads to hypermethylation of FMR1, an epigenetic mechanism that effectively silences FMR1 gene expression and reduces levels of the FMR1 gene product, fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). FMRP is an RNA-binding protein that is important for the regulation of protein expression. In an effort to further understand how loss of FMR1 and FMRP contribute to FXS symptomology, several FXS animal models have been created. The most well characterized rodent model is the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse, which lacks FMRP protein due to a disruption in its Fmr1 gene. Here, we review the behavioral phenotyping of the Fmr1 KO mouse to date, and discuss the clinical relevance of this mouse model to the human FXS condition. While much remains to be learned about FXS, the Fmr1 KO mouse is a valuable tool for understanding the repercussions of functional loss of FMRP and assessing the efficacy of pharmacological compounds in ameliorating the molecular and behavioral phenotypes relevant to FXS.
Johnson, Christopher M; Cui, Ningren; Zhong, Weiwei; Oginsky, Max F; Jiang, Chun
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a female neurodevelopmental disease with breathing abnormalities. To understand whether breathing defects occur in the early lives of a group of female Mecp2(+/-) mice, a mouse model of RTT, and what percentage of mice shows RTT-like breathing abnormality, breathing activity was measured by plethysmography in conscious mice. Breathing frequency variation and central apnea in a group of Mecp2(+/-) females displayed a distribution pattern similar to Mecp2(-/Y) males, while the rest resembled the wild-type mice. Similar results were obtained using the k-mean clustering statistics analysis. With two independent methods, about 20% of female Mecp2(+/-) mice showed RTT-like breathing abnormalities that began as early as 3 weeks of age in the Mecp2(+/-) mice, and were suppressed with 3% CO2. The finding that only a small proportion of Mecp2(+/-) mice develops RTT-like breathing abnormalities suggests incomplete allele inactivation in the RTT-model Mecp2(+/-) mice.
Bader, Patrick L; Faizi, Mehrdad; Kim, Leo H; Owen, Scott F; Tadross, Michael R; Alfa, Ronald W; Bett, Glenna C L; Tsien, Richard W; Rasmusson, Randall L; Shamloo, Mehrdad
Autism and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) typically arise from a mixture of environmental influences and multiple genetic alterations. In some rare cases, such as Timothy syndrome (TS), a specific mutation in a single gene can be sufficient to generate autism or ASD in most patients, potentially offering insights into the etiology of autism in general. Both variants of TS (the milder TS1 and the more severe TS2) arise from missense mutations in alternatively spliced exons that cause the same G406R replacement in the Ca(V)1.2 L-type calcium channel. We generated a TS2-like mouse but found that heterozygous (and homozygous) animals were not viable. However, heterozygous TS2 mice that were allowed to keep an inverted neomycin cassette (TS2-neo) survived through adulthood. We attribute the survival to lowering of expression of the G406R L-type channel via transcriptional interference, blunting deleterious effects of mutant L-type channel overactivity, and addressed potential effects of altered gene dosage by studying Ca(V)1.2 knockout heterozygotes. Here we present a thorough behavioral phenotyping of the TS2-neo mouse, capitalizing on this unique opportunity to use the TS mutation to model ASD in mice. Along with normal general health, activity, and anxiety level, TS2-neo mice showed markedly restricted, repetitive, and perseverative behavior, altered social behavior, altered ultrasonic vocalization, and enhanced tone-cued and contextual memory following fear conditioning. Our results suggest that when TS mutant channels are expressed at levels low enough to avoid fatality, they are sufficient to cause multiple, distinct behavioral abnormalities, in line with the core aspects of ASD.
Animal models provide a simplified representation of biological systems impossible to study directly in the human being. Regarding genetic pathologies, mouse models are the most studied since they enable to reproduce in animals the mutation of the gene or genes responsible for the disease and to study the phenotypic consequences. Down syndrome is a genetic disorder arising from the presence of a third copy of the human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and is characterized by different degrees of phenotypic alterations including morphological, cardiac, muscular, cerebral, motor and intellectual changes. This high phenotypic heterogeneity involves genetic and environmental effects, which are impossible to dissect out in human beings. Various models in mice have been developed in order to identify the genetic and neurobiological mechanisms responsible for Down syndrome. The Tc1 mouse is the most complete genetic animal model currently available to study Down syndrome, since it carries an almost complete Hsa 21. The behavioural and electrophysiological studies of this model reveal a great similarity between the animal phenotype and the Down syndrome symptomatology, consequently this model represents a powerful genetic tool with a potential to unravel the mechanisms underlying the deficiencies array characteristic of this human condition. In the long term, Tc1 mice will contribute to the development and the screening of new therapeutics, with the goal of improving all the impairments reported in Down syndrome.
Cramer, Nathan; Galdzicki, Zygmunt
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the overexpression of genes on triplicated regions of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). While the resulting physiological and behavioral phenotypes vary in their penetrance and severity, all individuals with DS have variable but significant levels of cognitive disability. At the core of cognitive processes is the phenomenon of synaptic plasticity, a functional change in the strength at points of communication between neurons. A wide variety of evidence from studies on DS individuals and mouse models of DS indicates that synaptic plasticity is adversely affected in human trisomy 21 and mouse segmental trisomy 16, respectively, an outcome that almost certainly extensively contributes to the cognitive impairments associated with DS. In this review, we will highlight some of the neurophysiological changes that we believe reduce the ability of trisomic neurons to undergo neuroplasticity-related adaptations. We will focus primarily on hippocampal networks which appear to be particularly impacted in DS and where consequently the majority of cellular and neuronal network research has been performed using DS animal models, in particular the Ts65Dn mouse. Finally, we will postulate on how altered plasticity may contribute to the DS cognitive disability.
Cramer, Nathan; Galdzicki, Zygmunt
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the overexpression of genes on triplicated regions of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). While the resulting physiological and behavioral phenotypes vary in their penetrance and severity, all individuals with DS have variable but significant levels of cognitive disability. At the core of cognitive processes is the phenomenon of synaptic plasticity, a functional change in the strength at points of communication between neurons. A wide variety of evidence from studies on DS individuals and mouse models of DS indicates that synaptic plasticity is adversely affected in human trisomy 21 and mouse segmental trisomy 16, respectively, an outcome that almost certainly extensively contributes to the cognitive impairments associated with DS. In this review, we will highlight some of the neurophysiological changes that we believe reduce the ability of trisomic neurons to undergo neuroplasticity-related adaptations. We will focus primarily on hippocampal networks which appear to be particularly impacted in DS and where consequently the majority of cellular and neuronal network research has been performed using DS animal models, in particular the Ts65Dn mouse. Finally, we will postulate on how altered plasticity may contribute to the DS cognitive disability. PMID:22848844
Pacey, Laura K K; Xuan, Ingrid C Y; Guan, Sihui; Sussman, Dafna; Henkelman, R Mark; Chen, Yan; Thomsen, Christian; Hampson, David R
Fragile X Syndrome is the most common inherited cause of autism. Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which is absent in fragile X, is an mRNA binding protein that regulates the translation of hundreds of different mRNA transcripts. In the adult brain, FMRP is expressed primarily in the neurons; however, it is also expressed in developing glial cells, where its function is not well understood. Here, we show that fragile X (Fmr1) knockout mice display abnormalities in the myelination of cerebellar axons as early as the first postnatal week, corresponding roughly to the equivalent time in human brain development when symptoms of the syndrome first become apparent (1-3 years of age). At postnatal day (PND) 7, diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging showed reduced volume of the Fmr1 cerebellum compared with wild-type mice, concomitant with an 80-85% reduction in the expression of myelin basic protein, fewer myelinated axons and reduced thickness of myelin sheaths, as measured by electron microscopy. Both the expression of the proteoglycan NG2 and the number of PDGFRα+/NG2+ oligodendrocyte precursor cells were reduced in the Fmr1 cerebellum at PND 7. Although myelin proteins were still depressed at PND 15, they regained wild-type levels by PND 30. These findings suggest that impaired maturation or function of oligodendrocyte precursor cells induces delayed myelination in the Fmr1 mouse brain. Our results bolster an emerging recognition that white matter abnormalities in early postnatal brain development represent an underlying neurological deficit in Fragile X syndrome.
Jia, Shu-Ting; Yang, Shi-Hua; Luo, Ying
Werner syndrome (WS) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disease in human. It is considered as a good model disease in studying human premature syndrome. Werner protein (WRN) is a nuclear protein mutated in WS. Recent biochemical and genetic studies indicated that WRN plays important roles in DNA replication, DNA repair, and telomere maintenance. Here, we reviewed the molecular genetics of WS and the importance of telomere and WRN in the development of WS. Knocking out both telomerase and Wrn genes in mouse faithfully manifests human WS. The mouse model provides a unique genetic platform to explore the crosstalk of premature aging and tumor.
de Souza, Fabio M Simoes; Busquet, Nicolas; Blatner, Megan; Maclean, Kenneth N; Restrepo, Diego
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common form of congenital intellectual disability. Although DS involves multiple disturbances in various tissues, there is little doubt that in terms of quality of life cognitive impairment is the most serious facet and there is no effective treatment for this aspect of the syndrome. The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS recapitulates multiple aspects of DS including cognitive impairment. Here the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS was evaluated in an associative learning paradigm based on olfactory cues. In contrast to disomic controls, trisomic mice exhibited significant deficits in olfactory learning. Treatment of trisomic mice with the acetylcholinesterase inhibitor galantamine resulted in a significant improvement in olfactory learning. Collectively, our study indicates that olfactory learning can be a sensitive tool for evaluating deficits in associative learning in mouse models of DS and that galantamine has therapeutic potential for improving cognitive abilities.
Filonova, Irina; Trotter, Justin H.; Banko, Jessica L.; Weeber, Edwin J.
Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a devastating neurological disorder caused by disruption of the maternal "UBE3A" gene. Ube3a protein is identified as an E3 ubiquitin ligase that shows neuron-specific imprinting. Despite extensive research evaluating the localization and basal expression profiles of Ube3a in mouse models, the molecular…
Scott-McKean, Jonah J.; Costa, Alberto C. S.
The Ts65Dn mouse is the best-studied animal model for Down syndrome. In the experiments described here, NMDA-mediated or mGluR-mediated LTD was induced in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices from Ts65Dn and euploid control mice by bath application of 20 [mu]M NMDA for 3 min and 50 [mu]M DHPG for 5 min, respectively. We found that Ts65Dn mice…
Guidi, Sandra; Stagni, Fiorenza; Bianchi, Patrizia; Ciani, Elisabetta; Giacomini, Andrea; De Franceschi, Marianna; Moldrich, Randal; Kurniawan, Nyoman; Mardon, Karine; Giuliani, Alessandro; Calzà, Laura; Bartesaghi, Renata
Intellectual impairment is a strongly disabling feature of Down's syndrome, a genetic disorder of high prevalence (1 in 700-1000 live births) caused by trisomy of chromosome 21. Accumulating evidence shows that widespread neurogenesis impairment is a major determinant of abnormal brain development and, hence, of intellectual disability in Down's syndrome. This defect is worsened by dendritic hypotrophy and connectivity alterations. Most of the pharmacotherapies designed to improve cognitive performance in Down's syndrome have been attempted in Down's syndrome mouse models during adult life stages. Yet, as neurogenesis is mainly a prenatal event, treatments aimed at correcting neurogenesis failure in Down's syndrome should be administered during pregnancy. Correction of neurogenesis during the very first stages of brain formation may, in turn, rescue improper brain wiring. The aim of our study was to establish whether it is possible to rescue the neurodevelopmental alterations that characterize the trisomic brain with a prenatal pharmacotherapy with fluoxetine, a drug that is able to restore post-natal hippocampal neurogenesis in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down's syndrome. Pregnant Ts65Dn females were treated with fluoxetine from embryonic Day 10 until delivery. On post-natal Day 2 the pups received an injection of 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine and were sacrificed after either 2 h or after 43 days (at the age of 45 days). Untreated 2-day-old Ts65Dn mice exhibited a severe neurogenesis reduction and hypocellularity throughout the forebrain (subventricular zone, subgranular zone, neocortex, striatum, thalamus and hypothalamus), midbrain (mesencephalon) and hindbrain (cerebellum and pons). In embryonically treated 2-day-old Ts65Dn mice, precursor proliferation and cellularity were fully restored throughout all brain regions. The recovery of proliferation potency and cellularity was still present in treated Ts65Dn 45-day-old mice. Moreover, embryonic treatment restored
Cockrell, Adam S; Yount, Boyd L; Scobey, Trevor; Jensen, Kara; Douglas, Madeline; Beall, Anne; Tang, Xian-Chun; Marasco, Wayne A; Heise, Mark T; Baric, Ralph S
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel virus that emerged in 2012, causing acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe pneumonia-like symptoms and multi-organ failure, with a case fatality rate of ∼36%. Limited clinical studies indicate that humans infected with MERS-CoV exhibit pathology consistent with the late stages of ARDS, which is reminiscent of the disease observed in patients infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Models of MERS-CoV-induced severe respiratory disease have been difficult to achieve, and small-animal models traditionally used to investigate viral pathogenesis (mouse, hamster, guinea-pig and ferret) are naturally resistant to MERS-CoV. Therefore, we used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to modify the mouse genome to encode two amino acids (positions 288 and 330) that match the human sequence in the dipeptidyl peptidase 4 receptor, making mice susceptible to MERS-CoV infection and replication. Serial MERS-CoV passage in these engineered mice was then used to generate a mouse-adapted virus that replicated efficiently within the lungs and evoked symptoms indicative of severe ARDS, including decreased survival, extreme weight loss, decreased pulmonary function, pulmonary haemorrhage and pathological signs indicative of end-stage lung disease. Importantly, therapeutic countermeasures comprising MERS-CoV neutralizing antibody treatment or a MERS-CoV spike protein vaccine protected the engineered mice against MERS-CoV-induced ARDS.
Gografe, Sylvia I; Garbuzova-Davis, Svitlana; Willing, Alison E; Haas, Ken; Chamizo, Wilfredo; Sanberg, Paul R
Sanfilippo syndrome type B or mucopolysaccharidosis type III B (MPS IIIB) is a lysosomal storage disorder that is inherited in autosomal recessive manner. It is characterized by systemic heparan sulfate accumulation in lysosomes due to deficiency of the enzyme alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase (Naglu). Devastating clinical abnormalities with severe central nervous system involvement and somatic disease lead to premature death. A mouse model of Sanfilippo syndrome type B was created by targeted disruption of the gene encoding Naglu, providing a powerful tool for understanding pathogenesis and developing novel therapeutic strategies. However, the JAX GEMM Strain B6.129S6-Naglutm1Efn mouse, although showing biochemical similarities to humans with Sanfilippo syndrome, exhibits aging and behavioral differences. We observed idiosyncrasies, such as skeletal dysmorphism, hydrocephalus, ocular abnormalities, organomegaly, growth retardation, and anomalies of the integument, in our breeding colony of Naglu mutant mice and determined that several of them were at least partially related to the background strain C57BL/6. These background strain abnormalities, therefore, potentially mimic or overlap signs of the induced syndrome in our mice. Our observations may prove useful in studies of Naglu mutant mice. The necessity for distinguishing background anomalies from signs of the modeled disease is apparent.
Wegener, Eike; Brendel, Cornelia; Fischer, Andre; Hülsmann, Swen; Gärtner, Jutta; Huppke, Peter
Rett syndrome, one of the most common causes of mental retardation in females, is caused by mutations in the X chromosomal gene MECP2. Mice deficient for MeCP2 recapitulate some of the symptoms seen in patients with Rett syndrome. It has been shown that reactivation of silent MECP2 alleles can reverse some of the symptoms in these mice. We have generated a knockin mouse model for translational research that carries the most common nonsense mutation in Rett syndrome, R168X. In this article we describe the phenotype of this mouse model. In male MeCP2(R168X) mice life span was reduced to 12-14 weeks and bodyweight was significantly lower than in wild type littermates. First symptoms including tremor, hind limb clasping and inactivity occurred at age 27 days. At age 6 weeks nest building, rotarod, open-field and elevated plus maze experiments showed impaired motor performance, reduced activity and decreased anxiety-like behavior. Plethysmography at the same time showed apneas and irregular breathing with reduced frequency. Female MeCP2R168X mice showed no significant abnormalities except decreased performance on the rotarod at age 9 months. In conclusion we show that the male MeCP2(R168X) mice have a phenotype similar to that seen in MECP2 knockout mouse models and are therefore well suited for translational research. The female mice, however, have a much milder and less constant phenotype making such research with this mouse model more challenging.
Lania, Gabriella; Bresciani, Alberto; Bisbocci, Monica; Francone, Alessandra; Colonna, Vincenza; Altamura, Sergio; Baldini, Antonio
Pathological conditions caused by reduced dosage of a gene, such as gene haploinsufficiency, can potentially be reverted by enhancing the expression of the functional allele. In practice, low specificity of therapeutic agents, or their toxicity reduces their clinical applicability. Here, we have used a high throughput screening (HTS) approach to identify molecules capable of increasing the expression of the gene Tbx1, which is involved in one of the most common gene haploinsufficiency syndromes, the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. Surprisingly, we found that one of the two compounds identified by the HTS is the vitamin B12. Validation in a mouse model demonstrated that vitamin B12 treatment enhances Tbx1 gene expression and partially rescues the haploinsufficiency phenotype. These results lay the basis for preclinical and clinical studies to establish the effectiveness of this drug in the human syndrome.
Witton, Jonathan; Padmashri, Ragunathan; Zinyuk, Larissa E; Popov, Victor I; Kraev, Igor; Line, Samantha J; Jensen, Thomas P; Tedoldi, Angelo; Cummings, Damian M; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Bannerman, David M; Randall, Andrew D; Brown, Jonathan T; Edwards, Frances A; Rusakov, Dmitri A; Stewart, Michael G; Jones, Matt W
Hippocampal pathology is likely to contribute to cognitive disability in Down syndrome, yet the neural network basis of this pathology and its contributions to different facets of cognitive impairment remain unclear. Here we report dysfunctional connectivity between dentate gyrus and CA3 networks in the transchromosomic Tc1 mouse model of Down syndrome, demonstrating that ultrastructural abnormalities and impaired short-term plasticity at dentate gyrus-CA3 excitatory synapses culminate in impaired coding of new spatial information in CA3 and CA1 and disrupted behavior in vivo. These results highlight the vulnerability of dentate gyrus-CA3 networks to aberrant human chromosome 21 gene expression and delineate hippocampal circuit abnormalities likely to contribute to distinct cognitive phenotypes in Down syndrome.
El Idrissi, Abdeslem; Boukarrou, Latifa; Dokin, Carl; Brown, W Ted
Increased seizure susceptibility is a feature of the mouse model for fragile X that has parallels in the hyperarousal and prevalence of seizures in the fragile X syndrome. Our investigation of the basis for the increased seizure susceptibility of the fragile X mouse indicated a reduction in GABA(A) receptor expression and increased expression of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme responsible for GAB(A) synthesis. Taurine-fed mice also show these GABAergic alterations. However, unlike fragile X mice, taurine-fed mice show a significant increase in memory acquisition and retention. This discordance implies that there may be divergent events downstream of the biochemical changes in the GABAergic system in these two mouse models. To investigate the divergence of these two models we fed taurine to fragile X mice. Our preliminary data shows that taurine supplementation to fragile X mice resulted in a significant improvement in acquisition of a passive avoidance task. Since taurine is an agonist for GABA(A) receptor, we suggest that chronic activation of GABA(A) receptors and the ensuing alterations in the GABAergic system may have beneficial effects in ameliorating the learning deficits characteristic of the fragile X syndrome.
Petazzi, Paolo; Sandoval, Juan; Szczesna, Karolina; Jorge, Olga C; Roa, Laura; Sayols, Sergi; Gomez, Antonio; Huertas, Dori; Esteller, Manel
Mecp2 is a transcriptional repressor protein that is mutated in Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder that is the second most common cause of mental retardation in women. It has been shown that the loss of the Mecp2 protein in Rett syndrome cells alters the transcriptional silencing of coding genes and microRNAs. Herein, we have studied the impact of Mecp2 impairment in a Rett syndrome mouse model on the global transcriptional patterns of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). Using a microarray platform that assesses 41,232 unique lncRNA transcripts, we have identified the aberrant lncRNA transcriptome that is present in the brain of Rett syndrome mice. The study of the most relevant lncRNAs altered in the assay highlighted the upregulation of the AK081227 and AK087060 transcripts in Mecp2-null mice brains. Chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrated the Mecp2 occupancy in the 5'-end genomic loci of the described lncRNAs and its absence in Rett syndrome mice. Most importantly, we were able to show that the overexpression of AK081227 mediated by the Mecp2 loss was associated with the downregulation of its host coding protein gene, the gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor subunit Rho 2 (Gabrr2). Overall, our findings indicate that the transcriptional dysregulation of lncRNAs upon Mecp2 loss contributes to the neurological phenotype of Rett syndrome and highlights the complex interaction between ncRNAs and coding-RNAs.
Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J
The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain.
Kelley, Scott T.; Skarra, Danalea V.; Rivera, Alissa J.; Thackray, Varykina G.
Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have reproductive and metabolic abnormalities that result in an increased risk of infertility, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The large intestine contains a complex community of microorganisms (the gut microbiome) that is dysregulated in humans with obesity and type 2 diabetes. Using a letrozole-induced PCOS mouse model, we demonstrated significant diet-independent changes in the gut microbial community, suggesting that gut microbiome dysbiosis may also occur in PCOS women. Letrozole treatment was associated with a time-dependent shift in the gut microbiome and a substantial reduction in overall species and phylogenetic richness. Letrozole treatment also correlated with significant changes in the abundance of specific Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes previously implicated in other mouse models of metabolic disease in a time-dependent manner. Our results suggest that the hyperandrogenemia observed in PCOS may significantly alter the gut microbiome independently of diet. PMID:26731268
Choi, Catherine H; Schoenfeld, Brian P; Weisz, Eliana D; Bell, Aaron J; Chambers, Daniel B; Hinchey, Joseph; Choi, Richard J; Hinchey, Paul; Kollaros, Maria; Gertner, Michael J; Ferrick, Neal J; Terlizzi, Allison M; Yohn, Nicole; Koenigsberg, Eric; Liebelt, David A; Zukin, R Suzanne; Woo, Newton H; Tranfaglia, Michael R; Louneva, Natalia; Arnold, Steven E; Siegel, Steven J; Bolduc, Francois V; McDonald, Thomas V; Jongens, Thomas A; McBride, Sean M J
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading cause of both intellectual disability and autism resulting from a single gene mutation. Previously, we characterized cognitive impairments and brain structural defects in a Drosophila model of FXS and demonstrated that these impairments were rescued by treatment with metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonists or lithium. A well-documented biochemical defect observed in fly and mouse FXS models and FXS patients is low cAMP levels. cAMP levels can be regulated by mGluR signaling. Herein, we demonstrate PDE-4 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate memory impairments and brain structural defects in the Drosophila model of fragile X. Furthermore, we examine the effects of PDE-4 inhibition by pharmacologic treatment in the fragile X mouse model. We demonstrate that acute inhibition of PDE-4 by pharmacologic treatment in hippocampal slices rescues the enhanced mGluR-dependent LTD phenotype observed in FXS mice. Additionally, we find that chronic treatment of FXS model mice, in adulthood, also restores the level of mGluR-dependent LTD to that observed in wild-type animals. Translating the findings of successful pharmacologic intervention from the Drosophila model into the mouse model of FXS is an important advance, in that this identifies and validates PDE-4 inhibition as potential therapeutic intervention for the treatment of individuals afflicted with FXS.
Choi, Catherine H.; Schoenfeld, Brian P.; Weisz, Eliana D.; Bell, Aaron J.; Chambers, Daniel B.; Hinchey, Joseph; Choi, Richard J.; Hinchey, Paul; Kollaros, Maria; Gertner, Michael J.; Ferrick, Neal J.; Terlizzi, Allison M.; Yohn, Nicole; Koenigsberg, Eric; Liebelt, David A.; Zukin, R. Suzanne; Woo, Newton H.; Tranfaglia, Michael R.; Louneva, Natalia; Arnold, Steven E.; Siegel, Steven J.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the leading cause of both intellectual disability and autism resulting from a single gene mutation. Previously, we characterized cognitive impairments and brain structural defects in a Drosophila model of FXS and demonstrated that these impairments were rescued by treatment with metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) antagonists or lithium. A well-documented biochemical defect observed in fly and mouse FXS models and FXS patients is low cAMP levels. cAMP levels can be regulated by mGluR signaling. Herein, we demonstrate PDE-4 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy to ameliorate memory impairments and brain structural defects in the Drosophila model of fragile X. Furthermore, we examine the effects of PDE-4 inhibition by pharmacologic treatment in the fragile X mouse model. We demonstrate that acute inhibition of PDE-4 by pharmacologic treatment in hippocampal slices rescues the enhanced mGluR-dependent LTD phenotype observed in FXS mice. Additionally, we find that chronic treatment of FXS model mice, in adulthood, also restores the level of mGluR-dependent LTD to that observed in wild-type animals. Translating the findings of successful pharmacologic intervention from the Drosophila model into the mouse model of FXS is an important advance, in that this identifies and validates PDE-4 inhibition as potential therapeutic intervention for the treatment of individuals afflicted with FXS. PMID:25568131
Fernandez, Fabian; Trinidad, Jonathan C.; Blank, Martina; Feng, Dong-Dong; Burlingame, Alma L.; Garner, Craig C.
Down syndrome is the most prevalent form of intellectual disability caused by the triplication of ~ 230 genes on chromosome 21. Recent data in Ts65Dn mice, the foremost mouse model of Down syndrome, strongly suggest that cognitive impairment in individuals with Down syndrome is a consequence of reduced synaptic plasticity due to chronic over-inhibition. It remains unclear however whether changes in plasticity are tied to global molecular changes at synapses, or are due to regional changes in the functional properties of synaptic circuits. One interesting framework for evaluating the activity state of the Down syndrome brain comes from in vitro studies showing that chronic pharmacological silencing of neuronal excitability orchestrates stereotyped changes in the protein composition of synaptic junctions. In the present study, we use proteomic strategies to evaluate whether synapses from the Ts65Dn cerebrum carry signatures characteristic of inactive cortical neurons. Our data reveal that synaptic junctions do not exhibit overt alterations in protein composition. Only modest changes in the levels of synaptic proteins and in their phosphorylation are observed. This suggests that subtle changes in the functional properties of specific synaptic circuits rather than large-scale homeostatic shifts in the expression of synaptic molecules contribute to cognitive impairment in people with Down syndrome. PMID:19453946
Guy, Jacky; Gan, Jian; Selfridge, Jim; Cobb, Stuart; Bird, Adrian
Rett syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder caused by mosaic expression of mutant copies of the X-linked MECP2 gene in neurons. However, neurons do not die, which suggests that this is not a neurodegenerative disorder. An important question for future therapeutic approaches to this and related disorders concerns phenotypic reversibility. Can viable but defective neurons be repaired, or is the damage done during development without normal MeCP2 irrevocable? Using a mouse model, we demonstrate robust phenotypic reversal, as activation of MeCP2 expression leads to striking loss of advanced neurological symptoms in both immature and mature adult animals.
Zieba, Jerzy; Low, Jac Kee; Purtell, Louise; Qi, Yue; Campbell, Lesley; Herzog, Herbert; Karl, Tim
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is the predominant genetic cause of obesity in humans and is associated with several behavioural phenotypes such as altered motoric function, reduced activity, and learning disabilities. It can include mood instability and, in some cases, psychotic episodes. Recently, the Snord116 gene has been associated with the development of PWS, however, it's contribution to the behavioural aspects of the disease are unknown. Here we show that male and female mice lacking Snord116 on both alleles exhibit normal motor behaviours and exploration but do display task-dependent alterations to locomotion and anxiety-related behaviours. Sociability is well developed in Snord116 deficient mice as are social recognition memory, spatial working memory, and fear-associated behaviours. No sex-specific effects were found. In conclusion, the biallelic Snord116 deficiency mouse model exhibits particular endophenotypes with some relevance to PWS, suggesting partial face validity for the syndrome.
Hamlett, Eric D.; Boger, Heather A.; Ledreux, Aurélie; Kelley, Christy M.; Mufson, Elliott J.; Falangola, Maria F.; Guilfoyle, David N.; Nixon, Ralph A.; Patterson, David; Duval, Nathan; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte E.
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common non-lethal genetic condition that affects approximately 1 in 700 births in the United States of America. DS is characterized by complete or segmental chromosome 21 trisomy, which leads to variable intellectual disabilities, progressive memory loss, and accelerated neurodegeneration with age. During the last three decades, people with DS have experienced a doubling of life expectancy due to progress in treatment of medical comorbidities, which has allowed this population to reach the age when they develop early onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Individuals with DS develop cognitive and pathological hallmarks of AD in their fourth or fifth decade, and are currently lacking successful prevention or treatment options for dementia. The profound memory deficits associated with DS-related AD (DS-AD) have been associated with degeneration of several neuronal populations, but mechanisms of neurodegeneration are largely unexplored. The most successful animal model for DS is the Ts65Dn mouse, but several new models have also been developed. In the current review, we discuss recent findings and potential treatment options for the management of memory loss and AD neuropathology in DS mouse models. We also review age-related neuropathology, and recent findings from neuroimaging studies. The validation of appropriate DS mouse models that mimic neurodegeneration and memory loss in humans with DS can be valuable in the study of novel preventative and treatment interventions, and may be helpful in pinpointing gene-gene interactions as well as specific gene segments involved in neurodegeneration. PMID:26391050
Hamlett, Eric D; Boger, Heather A; Ledreux, Aurélie; Kelley, Christy M; Mufson, Elliott J; Falangola, Maria F; Guilfoyle, David N; Nixon, Ralph A; Patterson, David; Duval, Nathan; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte E
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common non-lethal genetic condition that affects approximately 1 in 700 births in the United States of America. DS is characterized by complete or segmental chromosome 21 trisomy, which leads to variable intellectual disabilities, progressive memory loss, and accelerated neurodegeneration with age. During the last three decades, people with DS have experienced a doubling of life expectancy due to progress in treatment of medical comorbidities, which has allowed this population to reach the age when they develop early onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). Individuals with DS develop cognitive and pathological hallmarks of AD in their fourth or fifth decade, and are currently lacking successful prevention or treatment options for dementia. The profound memory deficits associated with DS-related AD (DS-AD) have been associated with degeneration of several neuronal populations, but mechanisms of neurodegeneration are largely unexplored. The most successful animal model for DS is the Ts65Dn mouse, but several new models have also been developed. In the current review, we discuss recent findings and potential treatment options for the management of memory loss and AD neuropathology in DS mouse models. We also review agerelated neuropathology, and recent findings from neuroimaging studies. The validation of appropriate DS mouse models that mimic neurodegeneration and memory loss in humans with DS can be valuable in the study of novel preventative and treatment interventions, and may be helpful in pinpointing gene-gene interactions as well as specific gene segments involved in neurodegeneration.
Pratt, C. Herbert; Potter, Christopher S.; Fairfield, Heather; Reinholdt, Laura G.; Bergstrom, David E.; Harris, Belinda S.; Greenstein, Ian; Dadras, Soheil S.; Liang, Bruce T.; Schofield, Paul N.; Sundberg, John P.
Studies of spontaneous mutations in mice have provided valuable disease models and important insights into the mechanisms of human disease. Ruffled (rul) is a new autosomal recessive mutation causing abnormal hair coat in mice. The rul allele arose spontaneously in the RB156Bnr/EiJ inbred mouse strain. In addition to an abnormal coat texture, we found diffuse epidermal blistering, abnormal electrocardiograms (ECGs), and ventricular fibrosis in mutant animals. Using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) we found a frameshift mutation at 38,288,978 bp of chromosome 13 in the desmoplakin gene (Dsp). The predicted mutant protein is truncated at the c-terminus and missing the majority of the plakin repeat domain. The phenotypes found in Dsprul mice closely model a rare human disorder, Carvajal-Huerta Syndrome. Carvajal-Huerta Syndrome (CHS) is a rare cardiocutaneous disorder that presents in humans with woolly hair, palmoplantar keratoderma and ventricular cardiomyopathy. CHS results from an autosomal recessive mutation on the 3′ end of Desmoplakin (DSP) truncating the full length protein. The Dsprul mouse provides a new model to investigate the pathogenesis of CHS, as well as the underlying basic biology of the adhesion molecules coded by the desmosomal genes. PMID:25659760
Herbert Pratt, C; Potter, Christopher S; Fairfield, Heather; Reinholdt, Laura G; Bergstrom, David E; Harris, Belinda S; Greenstein, Ian; Dadras, Soheil S; Liang, Bruce T; Schofield, Paul N; Sundberg, John P
Studies of spontaneous mutations in mice have provided valuable disease models and important insights into the mechanisms of human disease. Ruffled (rul) is a new autosomal recessive mutation causing abnormal hair coat in mice. The rul allele arose spontaneously in the RB156Bnr/EiJ inbred mouse strain. In addition to an abnormal coat texture, we found diffuse epidermal blistering, abnormal electrocardiograms (ECGs), and ventricular fibrosis in mutant animals. Using high-throughput sequencing (HTS) we found a frameshift mutation at 38,288,978bp of chromosome 13 in the desmoplakin gene (Dsp). The predicted mutant protein is truncated at the c-terminus and missing the majority of the plakin repeat domain. The phenotypes found in Dsp(rul) mice closely model a rare human disorder, Carvajal-Huerta syndrome. Carvajal-Huerta syndrome (CHS) is a rare cardiocutaneous disorder that presents in humans with wooly hair, palmoplantar keratoderma and ventricular cardiomyopathy. CHS results from an autosomal recessive mutation on the 3' end of desmoplakin (DSP) truncating the full length protein. The Dsp(rul) mouse provides a new model to investigate the pathogenesis of CHS, as well as the underlying basic biology of the adhesion molecules coded by the desmosomal genes.
Young, Nicholas A; Wu, Lai-Chu; Bruss, Michael; Kaffenberger, Benjamin H; Hampton, Jeffrey; Bolon, Brad; Jarjour, Wael N
Despite recent advances in the understanding of Sjögren's Syndrome (SjS), the pathogenic mechanisms remain elusive and an ideal model for early drug discovery is not yet available. To establish a humanized mouse model of SjS, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from healthy volunteers or patients with SjS were transferred into immunodeficient NOD-scid IL-2rγ(null) mouse recipients to produce chimeric mice. While no difference was observed in the distribution of cells, chimeric mice transferred with PBMCs from SjS patients produced enhanced cytokine levels, most significantly IFN-γ and IL-10. Histological examination revealed enhanced inflammatory responses in the lacrimal and salivary glands of SjS chimeras, as measured by digital image analysis and blinded histopathological scoring. Infiltrates were primarily CD4+, with minimal detection of CD8+ T-cells and B-cells. These results demonstrate a novel chimeric mouse model of human SjS that provides a unique in vivo environment to test experimental therapeutics and investigate T-cell disease pathology.
Rueda, Noemí; Flórez, Jesús; Martínez-Cué, Carmen
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of mental disability. Based on the homology of Hsa21 and the murine chromosomes Mmu16, Mmu17 and Mmu10, several mouse models of DS have been developed. The most commonly used model, the Ts65Dn mouse, has been widely used to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the mental disabilities seen in DS individuals. A wide array of neuromorphological alterations appears to compromise cognitive performance in trisomic mice. Enhanced inhibition due to alterations in GABAA-mediated transmission and disturbances in the glutamatergic, noradrenergic and cholinergic systems, among others, has also been demonstrated. DS cognitive dysfunction caused by neurodevelopmental alterations is worsened in later life stages by neurodegenerative processes. A number of pharmacological therapies have been shown to partially restore morphological anomalies concomitantly with cognition in these mice. In conclusion, the use of mouse models is enormously effective in the study of the neurobiological substrates of mental disabilities in DS and in the testing of therapies that rescue these alterations. These studies provide the basis for developing clinical trials in DS individuals and sustain the hope that some of these drugs will be useful in rescuing mental disabilities in DS individuals. PMID:22685678
Webster, R G; Cossins, J; Lashley, D; Maxwell, S; Liu, W W; Wickens, J R; Martinez-Martinez, P; de Baets, M; Beeson, D
In the slow channel congenital myasthenic syndrome mutations in genes encoding the muscle acetylcholine receptor give rise to prolonged ion channel activations. The resulting cation overload in the postsynaptic region leads to damage of synaptic structures, impaired neuromuscular transmission and fatigable muscle weakness. Previously we identified and characterised in detail the properties of the slow channel syndrome mutation εL221F. Here, using this mutation, we generate a transgenic mouse model for the slow channel syndrome that expresses mutant human ε-subunits harbouring an EGFP tag within the M3-M4 cytoplasmic region, driven by a ~1500 bp region of the CHRNB promoter. Fluorescent mutant acetylcholine receptors are assembled, cluster at the motor endplates and give rise to a disease model that mirrors the human condition. Mice demonstrate mild fatigable muscle weakness, prolonged endplate and miniature endplate potentials, and variable degeneration of the postsynaptic membrane. We use our model to investigate ephedrine as a potential treatment. Mice were assessed before and after six weeks on oral ephedrine (serum ephedrine concentration 89 ± 3 ng/ml) using an inverted screen test and in vivo electromyography. Treated mice demonstrated modest benefit for screen hang time, and in measures of compound muscle action potentials and mean jitter that did not reach statistical significance. Ephedrine and salbutamol show clear benefit when used in the treatment of DOK7 or COLQ congenital myasthenic syndromes. Our results highlight only a modest potential benefit of these β2-adrenergic receptor agonists for the treatment of the slow channel syndrome.
Insulin resistance is a major underlying mechanism responsible for the 'metabolic syndrome', which is also known as insulin resistance syndrome. The incidence of the metabolic syndrome is increasing at an alarming rate, becoming a major public and clinical problem worldwide. The metabolic syndrome is represented by a group of interrelated disorders, including obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. It is also a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and increased morbidity and mortality. Animal studies have demonstrated that insulin and its signaling cascade normally control cell growth, metabolism, and survival through the activation of MAPKs and activation of phosphatidylinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), in which the activation of PI3K associated with insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and IRS2 and subsequent Akt→Foxo1 phosphorylation cascade has a central role in the control of nutrient homeostasis and organ survival. The inactivation of Akt and activation of Foxo1, through the suppression IRS1 and IRS2 in different organs following hyperinsulinemia, metabolic inflammation, and overnutrition, may act as the underlying mechanisms for the metabolic syndrome in humans. Targeting the IRS→Akt→Foxo1 signaling cascade will probably provide a strategy for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and its complications. This review discusses the basis of insulin signaling, insulin resistance in different mouse models, and how a deficiency of insulin signaling components in different organs contributes to the features of the metabolic syndrome. Emphasis is placed on the role of IRS1, IRS2, and associated signaling pathways that are coupled to Akt and the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor Foxo1.
Marland, Jamie R. K.; Smillie, Karen J.; Cousin, Michael A.
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability, and arises from trisomy of human chromosome 21. Accumulating evidence from studies of both DS patient tissue and mouse models has suggested that synaptic dysfunction is a key factor in the disorder. The presence of several genes within the DS trisomy that are either directly or indirectly linked to synaptic vesicle (SV) endocytosis suggested that presynaptic dysfunction could underlie some of these synaptic defects. Therefore we determined whether SV recycling was altered in neurons from the Ts65Dn mouse, the best characterised model of DS to date. We found that SV exocytosis, the size of the SV recycling pool, clathrin-mediated endocytosis, activity-dependent bulk endocytosis and SV generation from bulk endosomes were all unaffected by the presence of the Ts65Dn trisomy. These results were obtained using battery of complementary assays employing genetically-encoded fluorescent reporters of SV cargo trafficking, and fluorescent and morphological assays of fluid-phase uptake in primary neuronal culture. The absence of presynaptic dysfunction in central nerve terminals of the Ts65Dn mouse suggests that future research should focus on the established alterations in excitatory / inhibitory balance as a potential route for future pharmacotherapy. PMID:26808141
Ricceri, Laura; De Filippis, Bianca; Laviola, Giovanni
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a pervasive developmental disorder, primarily affecting girls with a prevalence of 1 in every 10,000 births; it represents the second most common cause of intellectual disability in females. Mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) have been identified as clear etiological factors in more than 90% of classical RTT cases. Whereas the mechanisms leading to the severe, progressive and specific neurological dysfunctions when this gene is mutated still remain to be elucidated, a series of different mouse models have been generated, bearing different Mecp2 mutation. Neurobehavioural analysis in these mouse lines have been carried out and phenotyping analysis can be now utilised to preclinically evaluate the effects of potential RTT treatments. This review summarizes the different results achieved in this research field taking into account different key targets identified to ameliorate RTT phenotype in mouse models, including those not directly downstream of MeCP2 and those limited to the early phases of postnatal development. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Neurodevelopmental Disorders'.
Sałaga, M; Kowalczuk, A; Zielinska, M; Błażewicz, A; Fichna, J
Calea zacatechichi Schltdl. (Asteraceae alt. Compositae) is a Mexican plant commonly used in folk medicine to treat respiratory and gastrointestinal (GI) disorders. The objective of this study is to characterize the effect of C. zacatechichi extracts in mouse models mimicking the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Powdered C. zacatechichi herb (leaves, stems, and flowers) was extracted with methanol. Methanolic extract was filtered and evaporated giving methanolic fraction. The residue was extracted with dichloromethane (DCM). Methanolic and DCM (200 mg/kg, per os) extracts were screened for their effect on GI motility in several in vitro tests, and the antidiarrheal and antinociceptive effects were assessed using mouse models. The influence of the DCM extract on motoric parameters and exploratory behaviors was also assessed. Finally, the composition of C. zacatechichi DCM extract was qualitatively analyzed using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method. C. zacatechichi DCM extract significantly inhibited the contractility of mouse colon in vitro (IC50 = 17 ± 2 μg/ml). Administration of the DCM extract in vivo (200 mg/kg, per os) significantly prolonged the time of whole GI transit (46 ± 1 vs. 117 ± 27 min for control and DCM-treated animals, respectively; P = 0.0023), inhibited hypermotility, and reduced pain in mouse models mimicking functional GI disorders. Our findings suggest that constituents of the C. zacatechichi DCM extract exhibit antidiarrheal and analgesic activity. The extract may thus become an attractive material for isolation of compounds that may be used as a supplementary treatment for pain and diarrhea associated with IBS in the future.
Lacaria, Melanie; Gu, Wenli; Lupski, James R
Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS; OMIM 182290) is a genomic disorder characterized by multiple congenital anomalies, intellectual disability, behavioral abnormalities, and disordered sleep resulting from an ~3.7 Mb deletion copy number variant (CNV) on chromosome 17p11.2 or from point mutations in the gene RAI1. The reciprocal duplication of this region results in another genomic disorder, Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS; OMIM 610883), characterized by autism, intellectual disability, and congenital anomalies. We previously used chromosome-engineering and gene targeting to generate mouse models for PTLS (Dp(11)17/+), and SMS due to either deletion CNV or gene knock-out (Df(11)17-2/+ and Rai1(+/-) , respectively) and we observed phenotypes in these mouse models consistent with their associated human syndromes. To investigate the contribution of individual genes to the circadian phenotypes observed in SMS, we now report the analysis of free-running period lengths in Rai1(+/-) and Df(11)17-2/+ mice, as well as in mice deficient for another known circadian gene mapping within the commonly deleted/duplicated region, Dexras1, and we compare these results to those previously observed in Dp(11)17/+ mice. Reduced free-running period lengths were seen in Df(11)17-2/+, Rai1(+/-) , and Dexras1(-/-) , but not Dexras1(+/-) mice, suggesting that Rai1 may be the primary gene underlying the circadian defects in SMS. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that cis effects between multiple haploinsufficient genes in the SMS critical interval (e.g., RAI1 and DEXRAS1) either exacerbate the circadian phenotypes observed in SMS patients with deletions or increase their penetrance in certain environments. This study also confirms a previous report of abnormal circadian function in Dexras1(-/-) mice.
Tae, Hyun-Jin; Petrashevskaya, Natalia; Marshall, Shannon; Krawczyk, Melissa; Talan, Mark
Marfan syndrome (MFS) is a systemic disorder of connective tissue caused by mutations in fibrillin-1. Cardiac dysfunction in MFS has not been characterized halting the development of therapies of cardiac complication in MFS. We aimed to study the age-dependent cardiac remodeling in the mouse model of MFS FbnC1039G+/- mouse [Marfan heterozygous (HT) mouse] and its association with valvular regurgitation. Marfan HT mice of 2-4 mo demonstrated a mild hypertrophic cardiac remodeling with predominant decline of diastolic function and increased transforming growth factor-β canonical (p-SMAD2/3) and noncanonical (p-ERK1/2 and p-p38 MAPK) signaling and upregulation of hypertrophic markers natriuretic peptides atrium natriuretic peptide and brain natriuretic peptide. Among older HT mice (6-14 mo), cardiac remodeling was associated with two distinct phenotypes, manifesting either dilated or constricted left ventricular chamber. Dilatation of left ventricular chamber was accompanied by biochemical evidence of greater mechanical stress, including elevated ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK phosphorylation and higher brain natriuretic peptide expression. The aortic valve regurgitation was registered in 20% of the constricted group and 60% of the dilated group, whereas mitral insufficiency was observed in 40% of the constricted group and 100% of the dilated group. Cardiac dysfunction was not associated with the increase of interstitial fibrosis and nonmyocyte proliferation. In the mouse model fibrillin-1, haploinsufficiency results in the early onset of nonfibrotic hypertrophic cardiac remodeling and dysfunction, independently from valvular abnormalities. MFS heart is vulnerable to stress-induced cardiac dilatation in the face of valvular regurgitation, and stress-activated MAPK signals represent a potential target for cardiac management in MFS.
Insulin resistance is a major underlying mechanism for the “metabolic syndrome”, which is also known as insulin resistance syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is increasing at an alarming rate, becoming a major public and clinical problem worldwide. Metabolic syndrome is represented by a group of interrelated disorders, including obesity, hyperglycemia, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. It is also a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease and increased morbidity and mortality. Animal studies demonstrate that insulin and its signaling cascade normally control cell growth, metabolism and survival through activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and phosphotidylinositide-3-kinase (PI3K), of which activation of PI-3K-associated with insulin receptor substrate-1 and -2 (IRS1, 2) and subsequent Akt→Foxo1 phosphorylation cascade has a central role in control of nutrient homeostasis and organ survival. Inactivation of Akt and activation of Foxo1, through suppression IRS1 and IRS2 in different organs following hyperinsulinemia, metabolic inflammation, and over nutrition may provide the underlying mechanisms for metabolic syndrome in humans. Targeting the IRS→Akt→Foxo1 signaling cascade will likely provide a strategy for therapeutic intervention in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and its complications. This review discusses the basis of insulin signaling, insulin resistance in different mouse models, and how a deficiency of insulin signaling components in different organs contributes to the feature of the metabolic syndrome. Emphasis will be placed on the role of IRS1, IRS2, and associated signaling pathways that couple to Akt and the forkhead/winged helix transcription factor Foxo1. PMID:24281010
Miller, Alison R.; Hawkins, Nicole A.; McCollom, Clint E.; Kearney, Jennifer A.
Epilepsy is a common neurological disorder affecting approximately 1% of the population. Mutations in voltage-gated sodium channels are responsible for several monogenic epilepsy syndromes. More than 800 mutations in the voltage-gated sodium channel SCN1A have been reported in patients with generalized epilepsy with febrile seizures plus and Dravet syndrome. Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in SCN1A result in Dravet syndrome, a severe infant-onset epileptic encephalopathy characterized by intractable seizures, developmental delays and increased mortality. A common feature of monogenic epilepsies is variable expressivity among individuals with the same mutation, suggesting that genetic modifiers may influence clinical severity. Mice with heterozygous deletion of Scn1a (Scn1a+/−) model a number of Dravet syndrome features, including spontaneous seizures and premature lethality. Phenotype severity in Scn1a+/− mice is strongly dependent on strain background. On the 129S6/SvEvTac strain Scn1a+/− mice exhibit no overt phenotype, while on the (C57BL/6J × 129S6/SvEvTac)F1 strain Scn1a+/− mice exhibit spontaneous seizures and early lethality. To systematically identify loci that influence premature lethality in Scn1a+/− mice, we performed genome scans on reciprocal backcrosses. QTL mapping revealed modifier loci on mouse chromosomes 5, 7, 8 and 11. RNA-seq analysis of strain-dependent gene expression, regulation and coding sequence variation provided a list of potential functional candidate genes at each locus. Identification of modifier genes that influence survival in Scn1a+/− mice will improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of Dravet syndrome and may suggest novel therapeutic strategies for improved treatment of human patients. PMID:24152123
Gheyara, Ania L; Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Djukic, Biljana; Craft, Ryan J; Ho, Kaitlyn; Guo, Weikun; Finucane, Mariel M; Sanchez, Pascal E; Mucke, Lennart
Objective Reducing levels of the microtubule-associated protein tau has shown promise as a potential treatment strategy for diseases with secondary epileptic features such as Alzheimer disease. We wanted to determine whether tau reduction may also be of benefit in intractable genetic epilepsies. Methods We studied a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, a severe childhood epilepsy caused by mutations in the human SCN1A gene encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel subunit Nav1.1. We genetically deleted 1 or 2 Tau alleles in mice carrying an Nav1.1 truncation mutation (R1407X) that causes Dravet syndrome in humans, and examined their survival, epileptic activity, related hippocampal alterations, and behavioral abnormalities using observation, electroencephalographic recordings, acute slice electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and behavioral assays. Results Tau ablation prevented the high mortality of Dravet mice and reduced the frequency of spontaneous and febrile seizures. It reduced interictal epileptic spikes in vivo and drug-induced epileptic activity in brain slices ex vivo. Tau ablation also prevented biochemical changes in the hippocampus indicative of epileptic activity and ameliorated abnormalities in learning and memory, nest building, and open field behaviors in Dravet mice. Deletion of only 1 Tau allele was sufficient to suppress epileptic activity and improve survival and nesting performance. Interpretation Tau reduction may be of therapeutic benefit in Dravet syndrome and other intractable genetic epilepsies. Ann Neurol 2014;76:443–456 PMID:25042160
Asaka, Yukiko; Jugloff, Denis G M; Zhang, Liang; Eubanks, James H; Fitzsimonds, Reiko Maki
Rett syndrome is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional repressor methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Here we demonstrate that the Mecp2-null mouse model of Rett syndrome shows an age-dependent impairment in hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation induced by tetanic or theta-burst stimulation. Long-term depression induced by repetitive low-frequency stimulation is also absent in behaviorally symptomatic Mecp2-null mice. Immunoblot analyses from behaviorally symptomatic Mecp2-null mice reveal altered expression of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor subunits NR2A and NR2B. Presynaptic function is also affected, as demonstrated by a significant reduction in paired-pulse facilitation. Interestingly, the properties of basal neurotransmission are normal in the Mecp2-null mice, consistent with our observations that the levels of expression of synaptic and cytoskeletal proteins, including glutamate receptor subunits GluR1 and GluR2, PSD95, synaptophysin-1, synaptobrevin-2, synaptotagmin-1, MAP2, betaIII-tubulin and NF200, are not significantly altered. Together, these data provide the first evidence that the loss of Mecp2 expression is accompanied by age-dependent alterations in excitatory synaptic plasticity that are likely to contribute to the cognitive and functional deficits underlying Rett syndrome.
Czosek, Richard J; Haaning, Allison; Ware, Stephanie M
Duplication or absence of parts of the specialized cardiac conduction system in patients with heterotaxy syndrome causes significant clinical disease, but the mechanistic basis by which embryonic disruption of left-right patterning alters conduction system patterning in these patients is not well understood. We sought to determine whether a mouse model of X-linked human heterotaxy recapitulates conduction system abnormalities identified in patients with heterotaxy. Cardiac structure and conduction system patterning were evaluated in Zic3 null embryos from e9.5 to e16.5 using genetic and molecular methods. Severe structural abnormalities involving atrial, ventricular, and conotruncal development were associated with a spectrum of disorganized and ambiguous arrangements throughout the conduction system, including the appearance of duplicated structures. The severity and location of conduction system abnormalities correlated with the severity and location of associated structural heart disease and were identifiable at the earliest stages examined. The Zic3 mouse model provides a novel tool to dissect the mechanistic underpinnings of conduction system patterning and dysfunction and its relationship to cardiovascular malformations, making it a promising model to improve understanding and risk assessment in the clinical arena.
Schaevitz, Laura R; Moriuchi, Jennifer M; Nag, Nupur; Mellot, Tiffany J; Berger-Sweeney, Joanne
Rett syndrome (RTT) is an autism-spectrum disorder caused by mutations in the X-linked gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Abnormalities in social behavior, stereotyped movements, and restricted interests are common features in both RTT and classic autism. While mouse models of both RTT and autism exist, social behaviors have not been explored extensively in mouse models of RTT. Here, we report cognitive and social abnormalities in Mecp2(1lox) null mice, an animal model of RTT. The null mice show severe deficits in short- and long-term object recognition memories, reminiscent of the severe cognitive deficits seen in RTT girls. Social behavior, however, is abnormal in that the null mice spend more time in contact with stranger mice than do wildtype controls. These findings are consistent with reports of increased reciprocal social interaction in RTT girls relative to classic autism. We also report here that the levels of the neurotrophins brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), and nerve growth factor (NGF) are decreased in the hippocampus of the null mice, and discuss how this may provide an underlying mechanism for both the cognitive deficits and the increased motivation for social contact observed in the Mecp2(1lox) null mice. These studies support a differential etiology between RTT and autism, particularly with respect to sociability deficits.
Asher, J H; Friedman, T B
Four different Waardenburg syndromes have been defined based upon observed phenotypes. These syndromes are responsible for approximately 2% of subjects with profound congenital hearing loss. At present, Waardenburg syndromes have not been mapped to particular human chromosomes. One or more of the mouse mutant alleles, Ph (patch), s (piebald), Sp (splotch), and Mior (microphthalmia-Oak Ridge) and the hamster mutation Wh (anophthalmic white) may be homologous to mutations causing Waardenburg syndromes. In heterozygotes, phenotypic effects of these four mouse mutations and the hamster mutation are similar to the phenotypes produced by different Waardenburg syndrome mutations. The chromosomal locations and syntenic relationships associated with three of the four mouse mutant genes have been used to predict human chromosomal locations for Waardenburg syndromes: (1) on chromosome 2q near FN1 (fibronectin 1), (2) on chromosome 3p near the proto-oncogene RAF1 or 3q near RHO (rhodopsin), and (3) on chromosome 4p near the proto-oncogene KIT. Waardenburg syndromes show extensive intrafamilial phenotypic variability. Results of our studies with the hamster mutation Wh suggest that this variability may be explained in part by modifier genes segregating within families. Images PMID:2246770
Reynolds, Louise E; Watson, Alan R; Baker, Marianne; Jones, Tania A; D'Amico, Gabriela; Robinson, Stephen D; Joffre, Carine; Garrido-Urbani, Sarah; Rodriguez-Manzaneque, Juan Carlos; Martino-Echarri, Estefanía; Aurrand-Lions, Michel; Sheer, Denise; Dagna-Bricarelli, Franca; Nizetic, Dean; McCabe, Christopher J; Turnell, Andrew S; Kermorgant, Stephanie; Imhof, Beat A; Adams, Ralf; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Hart, Ian R; Hodivala-Dilke, Kairbaan M
Down's syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder caused by full or partial trisomy of human chromosome 21 and presents with many clinical phenotypes including a reduced incidence of solid tumours. Recent work with the Ts65Dn model of DS, which has orthologues of about 50% of the genes on chromosome 21 (Hsa21), has indicated that three copies of the ETS2 (ref. 3) or DS candidate region 1 (DSCR1) genes (a previously known suppressor of angiogenesis) is sufficient to inhibit tumour growth. Here we use the Tc1 transchromosomic mouse model of DS to dissect the contribution of extra copies of genes on Hsa21 to tumour angiogenesis. This mouse expresses roughly 81% of Hsa21 genes but not the human DSCR1 region. We transplanted B16F0 and Lewis lung carcinoma tumour cells into Tc1 mice and showed that growth of these tumours was substantially reduced compared with wild-type littermate controls. Furthermore, tumour angiogenesis was significantly repressed in Tc1 mice. In particular, in vitro and in vivo angiogenic responses to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were inhibited. Examination of the genes on the segment of Hsa21 in Tc1 mice identified putative anti-angiogenic genes (ADAMTS1and ERG) and novel endothelial cell-specific genes, never previously shown to be involved in angiogenesis (JAM-B and PTTG1IP), that, when overexpressed, are responsible for inhibiting angiogenic responses to VEGF. Three copies of these genes within the stromal compartment reduced tumour angiogenesis, explaining the reduced tumour growth in DS. Furthermore, we expect that, in addition to the candidate genes that we show to be involved in the repression of angiogenesis, the Tc1 mouse model of DS will permit the identification of other endothelium-specific anti-angiogenic targets relevant to a broad spectrum of cancer patients.
Martínez-García, Cristina; Izquierdo, Adriana; Velagapudi, Vidya; Vivas, Yurena; Velasco, Ismael; Campbell, Mark; Burling, Keith; Cava, Fernando; Ros, Manuel; Orešič, Matej; Vidal-Puig, Antonio; Medina-Gomez, Gema
SUMMARY Individuals with metabolic syndrome are at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) through unclear pathogenic mechanisms. Obesity and diabetes are known to induce glucolipotoxic effects in metabolically relevant organs. However, the pathogenic role of glucolipotoxicity in the aetiology of diabetic nephropathy is debated. We generated a murine model, the POKO mouse, obtained by crossing the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma 2 (PPARγ2) knockout (KO) mouse into a genetically obese ob/ob background. We have previously shown that the POKO mice showed: hyperphagia, insulin resistance, hyperglycaemia and dyslipidaemia as early as 4 weeks of age, and developed a complete loss of normal β-cell function by 16 weeks of age. Metabolic phenotyping of the POKO model has led to investigation of the structural and functional changes in the kidney and changes in blood pressure in these mice. Here we demonstrate that the POKO mouse is a model of renal disease that is accelerated by high levels of glucose and lipid accumulation. Similar to ob/ob mice, at 4 weeks of age these animals exhibited an increased urinary albumin:creatinine ratio and significantly increased blood pressure, but in contrast showed a significant increase in the renal hypertrophy index and an associated increase in p27Kip1 expression compared with their obese littermates. Moreover, at 4 weeks of age POKO mice showed insulin resistance, an alteration of lipid metabolism and glomeruli damage associated with increased transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) and parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) expression. At this age, levels of proinflammatory molecules, such as monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and fibrotic factors were also increased at the glomerular level compared with levels in ob/ob mice. At 12 weeks of age, renal damage was fully established. These data suggest an accelerated lesion through glucolipotoxic effects in the renal pathogenesis in POKO mice
Callizot, N; Guénet, J L; Baillet, C; Warter, J M; Poindron, P
The frissonnant (fri) mutation is an autosomic recessive mutation which spontaneously appeared in the stock of C3H mice. fri mutant mice have locomotor instability and rapid tremor. Since tremor ceases when mutant mice have sleep or are anaesthetized, and because of their obvious stereotyped motor behavior, these mice could represent an inherited Parkinsonian syndrome. We show here that the fri/fri mouse fulfills two out of the three criteria required to validate an experimental model of human disease, that is isomorphism, homology and predictivity. Indeed, fri/fri mice present an important motor deficit accompanying visible tremor and stereotypies. They display some memory deficits as in human Parkinson's desease. l-Dopa and apomorphine (dopaminergic agonists), ropinirole (selective D2 agonist), and selegiline (an monoamino-oxidase B [MAO-B] inhibitor) improve their clinical status. However, neither anatomopathological evidence of nigrostriatal lesion, nor decrease in tyrosine hydroxylase production could be seen.
Nag, Nupur; Berger-Sweeney, Joanne E
Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurodevelopmental disorder primarily affecting females, is accompanied by behavioral and neuropathological abnormalities and decreases in brain cholinergic markers. Because the cholinergic system is associated with cognitive and motor functions, cholinergic deficits in RTT may underlie some of the behavioral abnormalities. In rodents, increased choline availability during development enhances transmission at cholinergic synapses and improves behavioral performance throughout life. We examined whether choline supplementation of nursing dams would attenuate deficits in Mecp2(1lox) offspring, a mouse model of RTT. Dams were given choline in drinking water, and pups nursed from birth to weaning. Offspring were assessed on development and behavior. In Mecp2(1lox) males, choline supplementation improved motor coordination and locomotor activity, whereas in females it enhanced grip strength. Choline supplementation did not improve response to fear conditioning. Postnatal choline supplementation attenuates some behavioral deficits in Mecp2(1lox) mice and should be explored further as a therapeutic agent in RTT.
Popov, V.I.; Kraev, I.; Line, S.J.; Jensen, T.P.; Tedoldi, A.; Cummings, D.M.; Tybulewicz, V.L.J.; Fisher, E.M.C.; Bannerman, D.M.; Randall, A.D.; Brown, J.T.; Edwards, F.A.; Rusakov, D.A.; Stewart, M.G.; Jones, M.W.
Hippocampal pathology is likely to contribute to cognitive disability in Down syndrome (DS), yet the neural network basis of this pathology and its contributions to different facets of cognitive impairment remain unclear. Here, we report dysfunctional connectivity between dentate gyrus (DG) and CA3 networks in the transchromosomic Tc1 mouse model of DS, demonstrating that ultrastructural abnormalities and impaired short-term plasticity at DG-CA3 excitatory synapses culminate in impaired coding of novel spatial information in CA3 and CA1 and disrupted behaviour in vivo. These results highlight the vulnerability of DG-CA3 networks to aberrant human chromosome 21 gene expression, and delineate hippocampal circuit abnormalities likely to contribute to distinct cognitive phenotypes in DS. PMID:26237367
Goergen, Craig J.; Li, Hong-Hua; Francke, Uta; Taylor, Charles A.
Aims The Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) is a genetic disorder caused by a heterozygous ∼1.5-Mb deletion. The aim of this study was to determine how the genetic changes in a Wbs mouse model alter Eln expression, blood pressure, vessel structure, and abdominal aortic wall dynamics in vivo. Methods Elastin (ELN) transcript levels were quantified by qRT-PCR and blood pressure was measured with a tail cuff system. M-mode ultrasound was used to track pulsatile abdominal aortic wall motion. Aortas were sectioned and stained to determine medial lamellar structure. Results ELN transcript levels were reduced by 38–41% in Wbs mice lacking one copy of the ELN gene. These mice also had a 10–20% increase in mean blood pressure and significantly reduced circumferential cyclic strain (p < 0.001). Finally, histological sections showed disorganized and fragmented elastin sheets in Wbs mice, but not the characteristic increase in lamellar units seen in Eln+/– mice. Conclusions The deletion of Eln in this Wbs mouse model results in lower gene expression, hypertension, reduced cyclic strain, and fragmented elastin sheets. The observation that the number of medial lamellar units is normal in Wbs deletion mice, which is in contrast to Eln+/– mice, suggests other genes may be involved in vascular development. PMID:20926892
Della Vedova, Maria C.; Muñoz, Marcos D.; Santillan, Lucas D.; Plateo-Pignatari, Maria G.; Germanó, Maria J.; Rinaldi Tosi, Martín E.; Garcia, Silvina; Gomez, Nidia N.; Fornes, Miguel W.; Gomez Mejiba, Sandra E.; Ramirez, Dario C.
Increased chicken-derived fat and fructose consumption in the human diet is paralleled by an increasing prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome (MS). Herein, we aimed at developing and characterizing a mouse model of diet-induced obesity (DIO) resembling most of the key features of the human MS. To accomplish this, we fed male C57BL/6J mice for 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks with either a low-fat diet (LFD) or a high-chicken-fat diet (HFD) and tap water with or without 10% fructose (F). This experimental design resulted in the following four experimental groups: LFD, LFD + F, HFD, and HFD + F. Over the feeding period, and on a weekly basis, the HFD + F group had more caloric intake and gained more weight than the other experimental groups. Compared to the other groups, and at the end of the feeding period, the HFD + F group had a higher adipogenic index, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting basal glycemia, insulin resistance, hypertension, and atherogenic index and showed steatohepatitis and systemic oxidative stress/inflammation. A mouse model of DIO that will allow us to study the effect of MS in different organs and systems has been developed and characterized. PMID:27980421
Ricceri, Laura; De Filippis, Bianca; Laviola, Giovanni
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder, primarily affecting girls. RTT causes severe cognitive, social, motor and physiological impairments and no cure currently exists. The discovery of a monogenic origin for RTT and the subsequent generation of RTT mouse models provided a major breakthrough for RTT research. Although the characterization of these mutant mice is far from complete, they recapitulate several RTT symptoms. This review provides an overview of the behavioural domains so far investigated in these models, including the very few mouse data concerning the developmental course of RTT. Both clinical and animal studies support the presence of early defects and highlight the importance of probing the presymptomatic phase for both the precocious identification of biomarkers and the early assessment of potential therapies. Preclinical evaluations of pharmacological and nonpharmacological interventions so far carried out are also illustrated. In addition, genetic manipulations are reported that demonstrate rescue from the damage caused by the absence of the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene even at a mature stage. Given the rare occurrence of RTT cases, transnational collaborative networks are expected to provide a deeper understanding of aetiopathology and the development of new therapeutic approaches.
Kerr, Bredford; Silva, Pamela A.; Walz, Katherina; Young, Juan I.
Background Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked postnatal neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and one of the leading causes of mental retardation in females. RTT is characterized by psychomotor retardation, purposeless hand movements, autistic-like behavior and abnormal gait. We studied the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) on the phenotypic manifestations of a RTT mouse model that lacks MeCP2 (Mecp2−/y). Principal Findings We found that EE delayed and attenuated some neurological alterations presented by Mecp2−/y mice and prevented the development of motor discoordination and anxiety-related abnormalities. To define the molecular correlate of this beneficial effect of EE, we analyzed the expression of several synaptic marker genes whose expression is increased by EE in several mouse models. Conclusions/Significance We found that EE induced downregulation of several synaptic markers, suggesting that the partial prevention of RTT-associated phenotypes is achieved through a non-conventional transcriptional program. PMID:20634955
Brault, Véronique; Martin, Benoît; Costet, Nathalie; Bizot, Jean-Charles; Hérault, Yann
Down syndrome (DS) is a complex genetic syndrome characterized by intellectual disability, dysmorphism and variable additional physiological traits. Current research progress has begun to decipher the neural mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment, leading to new therapeutic perspectives. Pentylenetetrazol (PTZ) has recently been found to have positive effects on learning and memory capacities of a DS mouse model and is foreseen to treat DS patients. But PTZ is also known to be a convulsant drug at higher dose and DS persons are more prone to epileptic seizures than the general population. This raises concerns over what long-term effects of treatment might be in the DS population. The cause of increased propensity for epilepsy in the DS population and which Hsa21 gene(s) are implicated remain unknown. Among Hsa21 candidate genes in epilepsy, CSTB, coding for the cystein protease inhibitor cystatin B, is involved in progressive myoclonus epilepsy and ataxia in both mice and human. Thus we aim to evaluate the effect of an increase in Cstb gene dosage on spontaneous epileptic activity and susceptibility to PTZ-induced seizure. To this end we generated a new mouse model trisomic for Cstb by homologous recombination. We verified that increasing copy number of Cstb from Trisomy (Ts) to Tetrasomy (Tt) was driving overexpression of the gene in the brain, we checked transgenic animals for presence of locomotor activity and electroencephalogram (EEG) abnormalities characteristic of myoclonic epilepsy and we tested if those animals were prone to PTZ-induced seizure. Overall, the results of the analysis shows that an increase in Cstb does not induce any spontaneous epileptic activity and neither increase or decrease the propensity of Ts and Tt mice to myoclonic seizures suggesting that Ctsb dosage should not interfere with PTZ-treatment. PMID:22140471
Colic, Sinisa; Wither, Robert G; Zhang, Liang; Eubanks, James H; Bardakjian, Berj L
Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the X-linked gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Spontaneous recurrent discharge episodes are displayed in Rett-related seizures as in other types of epilepsies. The aim of this paper is to investigate the seizure-like event (SLE) and inter-SLE states in a female MeCP2-deficient mouse model of Rett syndrome and compare them to those found in other spontaneous recurrent epilepsy models. The study was performed on a small population of female MeCP2-deficient mice using telemetric local field potential (LFP) recordings over a 24 h period. Durations of SLEs and inter-SLEs were extracted using a rule-based automated SLE detection system for both daytime and nighttime, as well as high and low power levels of the delta frequency range (0.5-4 Hz) of the recorded LFPs. The results suggest SLE occurrences are not influenced by circadian rhythms, but had a significantly greater association with delta power. Investigating inter-SLE and SLE states by fitting duration histograms to the gamma distribution showed that SLE initiation and termination were associated with random and deterministic mechanisms, respectively. These findings when compared to reported studies on epilepsy suggest that Rett-related seizures share many similarities with absence epilepsy.
Sago, Haruhiko; Carlson, Elaine J.; Smith, Desmond J.; Kilbridge, Joshua; Rubin, Edward M.; Mobley, William C.; Epstein, Charles J.; Huang, Ting-Ting
A mouse model for Down syndrome, Ts1Cje, has been developed. This model has made possible a step in the genetic dissection of the learning, behavioral, and neurological abnormalities associated with segmental trisomy for the region of mouse chromosome 16 homologous with the so-called “Down syndrome region” of human chromosome segment 21q22. Tests of learning in the Morris water maze and assessment of spontaneous locomotor activity reveal distinct learning and behavioral abnormalities, some of which are indicative of hippocampal dysfunction. The triplicated region in Ts1Cje, from Sod1 to Mx1, is smaller than that in Ts65Dn, another segmental trisomy 16 mouse, and the learning deficits in Ts1Cje are less severe than those in Ts65Dn. In addition, degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons, which was observed in Ts65Dn, was absent in Ts1Cje. PMID:9600952
Lee, Yong-Seok; Ehninger, Dan; Zhou, Miou; Oh, Jun-Young; Kang, Minkyung; Kwak, Chuljung; Ryu, Hyun-Hee; Butz, Delana; Araki, Toshiyuki; Cai, Ying; Balaji, J; Sano, Yoshitake; Nam, Christine I; Kim, Hyong Kyu; Kaang, Bong-Kiun; Burger, Corinna; Neel, Benjamin G; Silva, Alcino J
In Noonan syndrome (NS) 30-50% of subjects show cognitive deficits of unknown etiology and with no known treatment. Here, we report that knock-in mice expressing either of two NS-associated mutations in Ptpn11, which encodes the nonreceptor protein tyrosine phosphatase Shp2, show hippocampal-dependent impairments in spatial learning and deficits in hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). In addition, viral overexpression of an NS-associated allele PTPN11(D61G) in adult mouse hippocampus results in increased baseline excitatory synaptic function and deficits in LTP and spatial learning, which can be reversed by a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitor. Furthermore, brief treatment with lovastatin reduces activation of the GTPase Ras-extracellular signal-related kinase (Erk) pathway in the brain and normalizes deficits in LTP and learning in adult Ptpn11(D61G/+) mice. Our results demonstrate that increased basal Erk activity and corresponding baseline increases in excitatory synaptic function are responsible for the LTP impairments and, consequently, the learning deficits in mouse models of NS. These data also suggest that lovastatin or MEK inhibitors may be useful for treating the cognitive deficits in NS.
Salehi, Ahmad; Faizi, Mehrdad; Belichenko, Pavel V.; Mobley, William C.
Down Syndrome (DS) caused by trisomy 21 is characterized by a variety of phenotypes and involves multiple organs. Sequencing of human chromosome 21 (HSA21) and subsequently of its orthologues on mouse chromosome 16 have created an unprecedented opportunity to explore the complex relationship between various DS phenotypes and the extra copy of…
Lai, Hao; Jia, Xiao; Yu, Qiuxiao; Zhang, Chenglu; Qiao, Jie; Guan, Youfei; Kang, Jihong
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is the most common female endocrinopathy associated with both reproductive and metabolic disorders. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is currently used to induce a PCOS mouse model. High-fat diet (HFD) has been shown to cause obesity and infertility in female mice. The possible effect of an HFD on the phenotype of DHEA-induced PCOS mice is unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate both reproductive and metabolic features of DHEA-induced PCOS mice fed a normal chow or a 60% HFD. Prepubertal C57BL/6 mice (age 25 days) on the normal chow or an HFD were injected (s.c.) daily with the vehicle sesame oil or DHEA for 20 consecutive days. At the end of the experiment, both reproductive and metabolic characteristics were assessed. Our data show that an HFD did not affect the reproductive phenotype of DHEA-treated mice. The treatment of HFD, however, caused significant metabolic alterations in DHEA-treated mice, including obesity, glucose intolerance, dyslipidemia, and pronounced liver steatosis. These findings suggest that HFD induces distinct metabolic features in DHEA-induced PCOS mice. The combined DHEA and HFD treatment may thus serve as a means of studying the mechanisms involved in metabolic derangements of this syndrome, particularly in the high prevalence of hepatic steatosis in women with PCOS.
Derecki, Noël C; Cronk, James C; Lu, Zhenjie; Xu, Eric; Abbott, Stephen B G; Guyenet, Patrice G; Kipnis, Jonathan
Rett syndrome is an X-linked autism spectrum disorder. The disease is characterized in most cases by mutation of the MECP2 gene, which encodes a methyl-CpG-binding protein. Although MECP2 is expressed in many tissues, the disease is generally attributed to a primary neuronal dysfunction. However, as shown recently, glia, specifically astrocytes, also contribute to Rett pathophysiology. Here we examine the role of another form of glia, microglia, in a murine model of Rett syndrome. Transplantation of wild-type bone marrow into irradiation-conditioned Mecp2-null hosts resulted in engraftment of brain parenchyma by bone-marrow-derived myeloid cells of microglial phenotype, and arrest of disease development. However, when cranial irradiation was blocked by lead shield, and microglial engraftment was prevented, disease was not arrested. Similarly, targeted expression of MECP2 in myeloid cells, driven by Lysm(cre) on an Mecp2-null background, markedly attenuated disease symptoms. Thus, through multiple approaches, wild-type Mecp2-expressing microglia within the context of an Mecp2-null male mouse arrested numerous facets of disease pathology: lifespan was increased, breathing patterns were normalized, apnoeas were reduced, body weight was increased to near that of wild type, and locomotor activity was improved. Mecp2(+/-) females also showed significant improvements as a result of wild-type microglial engraftment. These benefits mediated by wild-type microglia, however, were diminished when phagocytic activity was inhibited pharmacologically by using annexin V to block phosphatydilserine residues on apoptotic targets, thus preventing recognition and engulfment by tissue-resident phagocytes. These results suggest the importance of microglial phagocytic activity in Rett syndrome. Our data implicate microglia as major players in the pathophysiology of this devastating disorder, and suggest that bone marrow transplantation might offer a feasible therapeutic approach for it.
Goodliffe, Joseph W.; Olmos-Serrano, Jose Luis; Aziz, Nadine M.; Pennings, Jeroen L.A.; Guedj, Faycal; Bianchi, Diana W.
Studies in humans with Down syndrome (DS) show that alterations in fetal brain development are followed by postnatal deficits in neuronal numbers, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive and motor function. This same progression is replicated in several mouse models of DS. Dp(16)1Yey/+ (hereafter called Dp16) is a recently developed mouse model of DS in which the entire region of mouse chromosome 16 that is homologous to human chromosome 21 has been triplicated. As such, Dp16 mice may more closely reproduce neurodevelopmental changes occurring in humans with DS. Here, we present the first comprehensive cellular and behavioral study of the Dp16 forebrain from embryonic to adult stages. Unexpectedly, our results demonstrate that Dp16 mice do not have prenatal brain defects previously reported in human fetal neocortex and in the developing forebrains of other mouse models, including microcephaly, reduced neurogenesis, and abnormal cell proliferation. Nevertheless, we found impairments in postnatal developmental milestones, fewer inhibitory forebrain neurons, and deficits in motor and cognitive performance in Dp16 mice. Therefore, although this new model does not express prenatal morphological phenotypes associated with DS, abnormalities in the postnatal period appear sufficient to produce significant cognitive deficits in Dp16. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Down syndrome (DS) leads to intellectual disability. Several mouse models have increased our understanding of the neuropathology of DS and are currently being used to test therapeutic strategies. A new mouse model that contains an expanded number of DS-related genes, known as Dp(16)1Yey/+ (Dp16), has been generated recently. We sought to determine whether the extended triplication creates a better phenocopy of DS-related brain pathologies. We measured embryonic development, forebrain maturation, and perinatal/adult behavior and revealed an absence of prenatal phenotypes in Dp16 fetal brain, but specific cellular and behavioral
Brendel, Cornelia; Belakhov, Valery; Werner, Hauke; Wegener, Eike; Gärtner, Jutta; Nudelman, Igor; Baasov, Timor; Huppke, Peter
Thirty-five percent of patients with Rett syndrome carry nonsense mutations in the MECP2 gene. We have recently shown in transfected HeLa cells that readthrough of nonsense mutations in the MECP2 gene can be achieved by treatment with gentamicin and geneticin. This study was performed to test if readthrough can also be achieved in cells endogenously expressing mutant MeCP2 and to evaluate potentially more effective readthrough compounds. A mouse model was generated carrying the R168X mutation in the MECP2 gene. Transfected HeLa cells expressing mutated MeCP2 fusion proteins and mouse ear fibroblasts isolated from the new mouse model were treated with gentamicin and the novel aminoglycosides NB30, NB54, and NB84. The localization of the readthrough product was tested by immunofluorescence. Readthrough of the R168X mutation in mouse ear fibroblasts using gentamicin was detected but at lower level than in HeLa cells. As expected, the readthrough product, full-length Mecp2 protein, was located in the nucleus. NB54 and NB84 induced readthrough more effectively than gentamicin, while NB30 was less effective. Readthrough of nonsense mutations can be achieved not only in transfected HeLa cells but also in fibroblasts of the newly generated Mecp2(R168X) mouse model. NB54 and NB84 were more effective than gentamicin and are therefore promising candidates for readthrough therapy in Rett syndrome patients.
Kedlaya, Rajendra; Veera, Shreya; Horan, Daniel J; Moss, Rachel E; Ayturk, Ugur M; Jacobsen, Christina M; Bowen, Margot E; Paszty, Chris; Warman, Matthew L; Robling, Alexander G
Osteoporosis pseudoglioma syndrome (OPPG) is a rare genetic disease that produces debilitating effects in the skeleton. OPPG is caused by mutations in LRP5, a WNT co-receptor that mediates osteoblast activity. WNT signaling through LRP5, and also through the closely related receptor LRP6, is inhibited by the protein sclerostin (SOST). It is unclear whether OPPG patients might benefit from the anabolic action of sclerostin neutralization therapy (an approach currently being pursued in clinical trials for postmenopausal osteoporosis) in light of their LRP5 deficiency and consequent osteoblast impairment. To assess whether loss of sclerostin is anabolic in OPPG, we measured bone properties in a mouse model of OPPG (Lrp5(-/-)), a mouse model of sclerosteosis (Sost(-/-)), and in mice with both genes knocked out (Lrp5(-/-);Sost(-/-)). Lrp5(-/-);Sost(-/-) mice have larger, denser, and stronger bones than do Lrp5(-/-) mice, indicating that SOST deficiency can improve bone properties via pathways that do not require LRP5. Next, we determined whether the anabolic effects of sclerostin depletion in Lrp5(-/-) mice are retained in adult mice by treating 17-week-old Lrp5(-/-) mice with a sclerostin antibody for 3 weeks. Lrp5(+/+) and Lrp5(-/-) mice each exhibited osteoanabolic responses to antibody therapy, as indicated by increased bone mineral density, content, and formation rates. Collectively, our data show that inhibiting sclerostin can improve bone mass whether LRP5 is present or not. In the absence of LRP5, the anabolic effects of SOST depletion can occur via other receptors (such as LRP4/6). Regardless of the mechanism, our results suggest that humans with OPPG might benefit from sclerostin neutralization therapies.
Golding, David M; Rees, Daniel J; Davies, Jennifer R; Relkovic, Dinko; Furby, Hannah V; Guschina, Irina A; Hopkins, Anna L; Davies, Jeffrey S; Resnick, James L; Isles, Anthony R; Wells, Timothy
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss of paternal gene expression from 15q11-q13, is characterised by growth retardation, hyperphagia and obesity. However, as single gene mutation mouse models for this condition display an incomplete spectrum of the PWS phenotype, we have characterised the metabolic impairment in a mouse model for 'full' PWS, in which deletion of the imprinting centre (IC) abolishes paternal gene expression from the entire PWS cluster. We show that PWS-IC(del) mice displayed postnatal growth retardation, with reduced body weight, hyperghrelinaemia and marked abdominal leanness; proportionate retroperitoneal, epididymal/omental and inguinal white adipose tissue (WAT) weights being reduced by 82%, 84% and 67%, respectively. PWS-IC(del) mice also displayed a 48% reduction in proportionate interscapular brown adipose tissue (isBAT) weight with significant 'beiging' of abdominal WAT, and a 2°C increase in interscapular surface body temperature. Maintenance of PWS-IC(del) mice under thermoneutral conditions (30°C) suppressed the thermogenic activity in PWS-IC(del) males, but failed to elevate the abdominal WAT weight, possibly due to a normalisation of caloric intake. Interestingly, PWS-IC(del) mice also showed exaggerated food hoarding behaviour with standard and high-fat diets, but despite becoming hyperphagic when switched to a high-fat diet, PWS-IC(del) mice failed to gain weight. This evidence indicates that, unlike humans with PWS, loss of paternal gene expression from the PWS cluster in mice results in abdominal leanness. Although reduced subcutaneous insulation may lead to exaggerated heat loss and thermogenesis, abdominal leanness is likely to arise from a reduced lipid storage capacity rather than increased energy utilisation in BAT.
Golding, David M; Rees, Daniel J; Davies, Jennifer R; Relkovic, Dinko; Furby, Hannah V; Guschina, Irina A; Hopkins, Anna L; Davies, Jeffrey S; Resnick, James L; Isles, Anthony R
Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS), a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss of paternal gene expression from 15q11–q13, is characterised by growth retardation, hyperphagia and obesity. However, as single gene mutation mouse models for this condition display an incomplete spectrum of the PWS phenotype, we have characterised the metabolic impairment in a mouse model for ‘full’ PWS, in which deletion of the imprinting centre (IC) abolishes paternal gene expression from the entire PWS cluster. We show that PWS-ICdel mice displayed postnatal growth retardation, with reduced body weight, hyperghrelinaemia and marked abdominal leanness; proportionate retroperitoneal, epididymal/omental and inguinal white adipose tissue (WAT) weights being reduced by 82%, 84% and 67%, respectively. PWS-ICdel mice also displayed a 48% reduction in proportionate interscapular brown adipose tissue (isBAT) weight with significant ‘beiging’ of abdominal WAT, and a 2°C increase in interscapular surface body temperature. Maintenance of PWS-ICdel mice under thermoneutral conditions (30°C) suppressed the thermogenic activity in PWS-ICdel males, but failed to elevate the abdominal WAT weight, possibly due to a normalisation of caloric intake. Interestingly, PWS-ICdel mice also showed exaggerated food hoarding behaviour with standard and high-fat diets, but despite becoming hyperphagic when switched to a high-fat diet, PWS-ICdel mice failed to gain weight. This evidence indicates that, unlike humans with PWS, loss of paternal gene expression from the PWS cluster in mice results in abdominal leanness. Although reduced subcutaneous insulation may lead to exaggerated heat loss and thermogenesis, abdominal leanness is likely to arise from a reduced lipid storage capacity rather than increased energy utilisation in BAT. PMID:27799465
Diego, Jose L.; Bidikov, Luke; Pedler, Michelle G.; Kennedy, Jeffrey B.; Quiroz-Mercado, Hugo; Gregory, Darren G.; Petrash, J. Mark
Purpose Dry eye syndrome (DES) affects millions of people worldwide. Homeopathic remedies to treat a wide variety of ocular diseases have previously been documented in the literature, but little systematic work has been performed to validate the remedies’ efficacy using accepted laboratory models of disease. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of human milk and nopal cactus (prickly pear), two widely used homeopathic remedies, as agents to reduce pathological markers of DES. Methods The previously described benzalkonium chloride (BAK) dry eye mouse model was used to study the efficacy of human milk and nopal cactus (prickly pear). BAK (0.2%) was applied to the mouse ocular surface twice daily to induce dry eye pathology. Fluorescein staining was used to verify that the animals had characteristic signs of DES. After induction of DES, the animals were treated with human milk (whole and fat-reduced), nopal, nopal extract derivatives, or cyclosporine four times daily for 7 days. Punctate staining and preservation of corneal epithelial thickness, measured histologically at the end of treatment, were used as indices of therapeutic efficacy. Results Treatment with BAK reduced the mean corneal epithelial thickness from 36.77±0.64 μm in the control mice to 21.29±3.2 μm. Reduction in corneal epithelial thickness was largely prevented by administration of whole milk (33.2±2.5 μm) or fat-reduced milk (36.1±1.58 μm), outcomes that were similar to treatment with cyclosporine (38.52±2.47 μm), a standard in current dry eye therapy. In contrast, crude or filtered nopal extracts were ineffective at preventing BAK-induced loss of corneal epithelial thickness (24.76±1.78 μm and 27.99±2.75 μm, respectively), as were solvents used in the extraction of nopal materials (26.53±1.46 μm for ethyl acetate, 21.59±5.87 μm for methanol). Epithelial damage, as reflected in the punctate scores, decreased over 4 days of treatment with whole and fat
Connor, Nadine P.
Down syndrome is frequently associated with complex difficulties in oromotor development, feeding, and swallowing. However, the muscle phenotypes underlying these deficits are unclear. We tested the hypotheses that the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS has significantly altered myosin heavy chain (MyHC) isoform profiles of the muscles involved in feeding and swallowing, as well as reductions in the speed of these movements during behavioral assays. SDS-PAGE, immunofluorescence, and qRT-PCR were used to assess MyHC isoform expression in pertinent muscles, and functional feeding and swallowing performance were quantified through videofluoroscopy and mastication assays. We found that both the anterior digastric (ADG) and posterior digastric (PDG) muscles in 11-day old and 5–6 week old Ts65Dn groups showed significantly lower MyHC 2b protein levels than in age-matched euploid control groups. In videofluoroscopic and videotape assays used to quantify swallowing and mastication performance, 5–6 week old Ts65Dn and euploid controls showed similar swallow rates, inter-swallow intervals, and mastication rates. In analysis of adults, 10–11 week old Ts65Dn mice revealed significantly less MyHC 2b mRNA expression in the posterior digastric, but not the anterior digastric muscle as compared with euploid controls. Analysis of MyHC 2b protein levels across an adult age range (10–53 weeks of age) revealed lower levels of MyHC 2b protein in the PDG of Ts65Dn than in euploids, but similar levels of MyHC 2b in the ADG. Cumulatively, these results indicate biochemical differences in some, but not all, muscles involved in swallowing and jaw movement in Ts65Dn mice that manifest early in post-natal development, and persist into adulthood. These findings suggest potential utility of this model for future investigations of the mechanisms of oromotor difficulties associated with Down syndrome. PMID:27336944
Alford, Kate A; Slender, Amy; Vanes, Lesley; Li, Zhe; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Nizetic, Dean; Orkin, Stuart H; Roberts, Irene; Tybulewicz, Victor L J
Trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) results in Down syndrome (DS), a disorder that affects many aspects of physiology, including hematopoiesis. DS children have greatly increased rates of acute lymphoblastic leukemia and acute megakaryoblastic leukemia (AMKL); DS newborns present with transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD), a preleukemic form of AMKL. TMD and DS-AMKL almost always carry an acquired mutation in GATA1 resulting in exclusive synthesis of a truncated protein (GATA1s), suggesting that both trisomy 21 and GATA1 mutations are required for leukemogenesis. To gain further understanding of how Hsa21 contributes to hematopoietic abnormalities, we examined the Tc1 mouse model of DS, which carries an almost complete freely segregating copy of Hsa21, and is the most complete model of DS available. We show that although Tc1 mice do not develop leukemia, they have macrocytic anemia and increased extramedullary hematopoiesis. Introduction of GATA1s into Tc1 mice resulted in a synergistic increase in megakaryopoiesis, but did not result in leukemia or a TMD-like phenotype, demonstrating that GATA1s and trisomy of approximately 80% of Hsa21 perturb megakaryopoiesis but are insufficient to induce leukemia.
GÓMEZ, S A; FERNÁNDEZ, G C; VANZULLI, S; DRAN, G; RUBEL, C; BERKI, T; ISTURIZ, M A; PALERMO, M S
The concept that during an immune challenge the release of glucocorticoids (GC) provides feedback inhibition on evolving immune responses has been drawn primarily from studies of autoimmune and/or inflammatory processes in animal models. The epidemic form of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) occurs secondary to infection with Gram-negative bacteria that produce Shiga toxin (Stx). Although Stx binding to the specific receptors present on renal tissue is the primary pathogenic mechanism, inflammatory or immune interactions are necessary for the development of the complete form of HUS. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of endogenous GC on Stx-toxicity in a mouse model. Stx2 was injected into GC-deprived mice and survival rate, renal damage and serum urea levels were evaluated. Plasma corticosterone and cytosolic GC receptor (GR) concentration were also determined at multiple intervals post-Stx2 treatment. Higher sensitivity to Stx2 was observed in mice lacking endogenous GC, evidenced by an increase in mortality rates, circulating urea levels and renal histological damage. Moreover, Stx2 injection was associated with a transient but significant rise in corticosterone secretion. Interestingly, 24 h after Stx inoculation significant increases in total GR were detected in circulating neutrophils. These results indicate that interactions between the neuroendocrine and immune systems can modulate the level of damage significantly during a bacterial infection. PMID:12562380
Alagramam, Kumar N; Gopal, Suhasini R; Geng, Ruishuang; Chen, Daniel H-C; Nemet, Ina; Lee, Richard; Tian, Guilian; Miyagi, Masaru; Malagu, Karine F; Lock, Christopher J; Esmieu, William R K; Owens, Andrew P; Lindsay, Nicola A; Ouwehand, Krista; Albertus, Faywell; Fischer, David F; Bürli, Roland W; MacLeod, Angus M; Harte, William E; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Imanishi, Yoshikazu
Usher syndrome type III (USH3), characterized by progressive deafness, variable balance disorder and blindness, is caused by destabilizing mutations in the gene encoding the clarin-1 (CLRN1) protein. Here we report a new strategy to mitigate hearing loss associated with a common USH3 mutation CLRN1(N48K) that involves cell-based high-throughput screening of small molecules capable of stabilizing CLRN1(N48K), followed by a secondary screening to eliminate general proteasome inhibitors, and finally an iterative process to optimize structure-activity relationships. This resulted in the identification of BioFocus 844 (BF844). To test the efficacy of BF844, we developed a mouse model that mimicked the progressive hearing loss associated with USH3. BF844 effectively attenuated progressive hearing loss and prevented deafness in this model. Because the CLRN1(N48K) mutation causes both hearing and vision loss, BF844 could in principle prevent both sensory deficiencies in patients with USH3. Moreover, the strategy described here could help identify drugs for other protein-destabilizing monogenic disorders.
Alagramam, Kumar N.; Gopal, Suhasini R.; Geng, Ruishuang; Chen, Daniel H.-C.; Nemet, Ina; Lee, Richard; Tian, Guilian; Miyagi, Masaru; Malagu, Karine F.; Lock, Christopher J.; Esmieu, William R. K.; Owens, Andrew P.; Lindsay, Nicola A.; Ouwehand, Krista; Albertus, Faywell; Fischer, David F.; Bürli, Roland W.; MacLeod, Angus M.; Harte, William E.; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Imanishi, Yoshikazu
Usher syndrome type III (USH3) characterized by progressive deafness, variable balance disorder, and blindness is caused by destabilizing mutations in the gene encoding the clarin-1 protein (CLRN1). Here we report a novel strategy to mitigate hearing loss associated with a common USH3 mutation CLRN1N48K that involved a cell-based high-throughput screening of small molecules capable of stabilizing CLRN1N48K, a secondary screening to eliminate general proteasome inhibitors, and finally an iterative process to optimize structure activity relationships. This resulted in the identification of BF844. To test the efficacy of BF844, a mouse model was developed that mimicked the progressive hearing loss of USH3. BF844 effectively attenuated progressive hearing loss and prevented deafness in this model. Because the human CLRN1N48K mutation causes both hearing and vision loss, BF844 could in principle prevent both sensory deficiencies in USH3. Moreover, the strategy described here could help identify drugs for other protein-destabilizing monogenic disorders. PMID:27110679
Walus, Marius; Kida, Elizabeth; Rabe, Ausma; Albertini, Giorgio; Golabek, Adam A
Our previous study showed an improvement in locomotor deficits after voluntary lifelong running in Ts65Dn mice, an animal model for Down syndrome (DS). In the present study, we employed mouse microarrays printed with 55,681 probes in an attempt to identify molecular changes in the cerebellar transcriptome that might contribute to the observed behavioral benefits of voluntary long-term running in Ts65Dn mice. Euploid mice were processed in parallel for comparative purposes in some analyses. We found that running significantly changed the expression of 4,315 genes in the cerebellum of Ts65Dn mice, over five times more than in euploid animals, up-regulating 1,991 and down-regulating 2,324 genes. Functional analysis of these genes revealed a significant enrichment of 92 terms in the biological process category, including regulation of biosynthesis and metabolism, protein modification, phosphate metabolism, synaptic transmission, development, regulation of cell death/apoptosis, protein transport, development, neurogenesis and neuron differentiation. The KEGG pathway database identified 18 pathways that are up-regulated and two that are down-regulated by running that were associated with learning, memory, cell signaling, proteolysis, regeneration, cell cycle, proliferation, growth, migration, and survival. Of six mRNA protein products we tested by immunoblotting, four showed significant running-associated changes in their levels, the most prominent in glutaminergic receptor metabotropic 1, and two showed changes that were close to significant. Thus, unexpectedly, our data point to the high molecular plasticity of Ts65Dn mouse cerebellum, which translated into humans with DS, suggests that the motor deficits of individuals with DS could markedly benefit from prolonged exercise.
Meechan, Daniel W.; Maynard, Thomas M.; Fernandez, Alejandra; Karpinski, Beverly A.; Rothblat, Lawrence A.; LaMantia, Anthony S.
Understanding the developmental etiology of autistic spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and schizophrenia remains a major challenge for establishing new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to these common, difficult-to-treat diseases that compromise neural circuits in the cerebral cortex. One aspect of this challenge is the breadth and overlap of ASD, ADHD, and SCZ deficits; another is the complexity of mutations associated with each, and a third is the difficulty of analyzing disrupted development in at-risk or affected human fetuses. The identification of distinct genetic syndromes that include behavioral deficits similar to those in ASD, ADHC and SCZ provides a critical starting point for meeting this challenge. We summarize clinical and behavioral impairments in children and adults with one such genetic syndrome, the 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome, routinely called 22q11DS, caused by micro-deletions of between 1.5 and 3.0 MB on human chromosome 22. Among many syndromic features, including cardiovascular and craniofacial anomalies, 22q11DS patients have a high incidence of brain structural, functional, and behavioral deficits that reflect cerebral cortical dysfunction and fall within the spectrum that defines ASD, ADHD, and SCZ. We show that developmental pathogenesis underlying this apparent genetic “model” syndrome in patients can be defined and analyzed mechanistically using genomically accurate mouse models of the deletion that causes 22q11DS. We conclude that “modeling a model”, in this case 22q11DS as a model for idiopathic ASD, ADHD and SCZ, as well as other behavioral disorders like anxiety frequently seen in 22q11DS patients, in genetically engineered mice provides a foundation for understanding the causes and improving diagnosis and therapy for these disorders of cortical circuit development. PMID:25866365
Nilsson, Simon RO.; Fejgin, Kim; Gastambide, Francois; Vogt, Miriam A.; Kent, Brianne A.; Nielsen, Vibeke; Nielsen, Jacob; Gass, Peter; Robbins, Trevor W.; Saksida, Lisa M.; Stensbøl, Tine B.; Tricklebank, Mark D.; Didriksen, Michael; Bussey, Timothy J.
A chromosomal microdeletion at the 22q11.2 locus is associated with extensive cognitive impairments, schizophrenia and other psychopathology in humans. Previous reports indicate that mouse models of the 22q11.2 microdeletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) may model the genetic basis of cognitive deficits relevant for neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. To assess the models usefulness for drug discovery, a novel mouse (Df(h22q11)/+) was assessed in an extensive battery of cognitive assays by partners within the NEWMEDS collaboration (Innovative Medicines Initiative Grant Agreement No. 115008). This battery included classic and touchscreen-based paradigms with recognized sensitivity and multiple attempts at reproducing previously published findings in 22q11.2DS mouse models. This work represents one of the most comprehensive reports of cognitive functioning in a transgenic animal model. In accordance with previous reports, there were non-significant trends or marginal impairment in some tasks. However, the Df(h22q11)/+ mouse did not show comprehensive deficits; no robust impairment was observed following more than 17 experiments and 14 behavioral paradigms. Thus – within the current protocols – the 22q11.2DS mouse model fails to mimic the cognitive alterations observed in human 22q11.2 deletion carriers. We suggest that the 22q11.2DS model may induce liability for cognitive dysfunction with additional “hits” being required for phenotypic expression. PMID:27507786
Kaminen-Ahola, Nina; Ahola, Arttu; Flatscher-Bader, Traute; Wilkins, Sarah J; Anderson, Greg J; Whitelaw, Emma; Chong, Suyinn
Growth restriction, craniofacial dysmorphology, and central nervous system defects are the main diagnostic features of fetal alcohol syndrome. Studies in humans and mice have reported that the growth restriction can be prenatal or postnatal, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown.We recently described a mouse model of moderate gestational ethanol exposure that produces measurable phenotypes in line with fetal alcohol syndrome (e.g., craniofacial changes and growth restriction in adolescent mice). In this study, we characterize in detail the growth restriction phenotype by measuring body weight at gestational day 16.5, cross-fostering from birth to weaning, and by extending our observations into adulthood. Furthermore, in an attempt to unravel the molecular events contributing to the growth phenotype, we have compared gene expression patterns in the liver and kidney of nonfostered, ethanol-exposed and control mice at postnatal day 28.We find that the ethanol-induced growth phenotype is not detectable prior to birth, but is present at weaning, even in mice that have been cross-fostered to unexposed dams. This finding suggests a postnatal growth restriction phenotype that is not due to deficient postpartum care by dams that drank ethanol, but rather a physiologic result of ethanol exposure in utero. We also find that, despite some catch-up growth after 5 weeks of age, the effect extends into adulthood, which is consistent with longitudinal studies in humans.Genome-wide gene expression analysis revealed interesting ethanol-induced changes in the liver, including genes involved in the metabolism of exogenous and endogenous compounds, iron homeostasis, and lipid metabolism.
Heise, I; Fisher, S P; Banks, G T; Wells, S; Peirson, S N; Foster, R G; Nolan, P M
Down syndrome is a common disorder associated with intellectual disability in humans. Among a variety of severe health problems, patients with Down syndrome exhibit disrupted sleep and abnormal 24-h rest/activity patterns. The transchromosomic mouse model of Down syndrome, Tc1, is a trans-species mouse model for Down syndrome, carrying most of human chromosome 21 in addition to the normal complement of mouse chromosomes and expresses many of the phenotypes characteristic of Down syndrome. To date, however, sleep and circadian rhythms have not been characterized in Tc1 mice. Using both circadian wheel-running analysis and video-based sleep scoring, we showed that these mice exhibited fragmented patterns of sleep-like behaviour during the light phase of a 12:12-h light/dark (LD) cycle with an extended period of continuous wakefulness at the beginning of the dark phase. Moreover, an acute light pulse during night-time was less effective in inducing sleep-like behaviour in Tc1 animals than in wild-type controls. In wheel-running analysis, free running in constant light (LL) or constant darkness (DD) showed no changes in the circadian period of Tc1 animals although they did express subtle behavioural differences including a reduction in total distance travelled on the wheel and differences in the acrophase of activity in LD and in DD. Our data confirm that Tc1 mice express sleep-related phenotypes that are comparable with those seen in Down syndrome patients with moderate disruptions in rest/activity patterns and hyperactive episodes, while circadian period under constant lighting conditions is essentially unaffected.
Benhamou, Ygal; Miranda, Sébastien; Armengol, Guillaume; Harouki, Najah; Drouot, Laurent; Zahr, Noel; Thuillez, Christian; Boyer, Olivier; Levesque, Hervé; Joannides, Robinson; Richard, Vincent
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), induces endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress and systemic inflammation that may be mediated by TNFα. Thus, we investigated the possible protective effect of the anti-TNFα antibody infliximab (5μg/g) on endothelial function in a mouse APS model (induced by injection of purified human anti-β2GP1-IgG). Seven days after anti-β2GPI-IgG injection, we observed an increase in plasma sVCAM-1 and sE-selectin levels and in aortic mRNA expression of VCAM-1 and E-selectin. This was associated with a decreased endothelium-dependent relaxation of isolated mesenteric arteries to acetylcholine, together with decreased mesenteric eNOS mRNA expression and increased eNOS uncoupling, accompanied by increased iNOS and gp91phox mRNA and increased left ventricular GSH/GSSH ratio. Infliximab significantly improved the NO-mediated relaxing responses to acetylcholine, and induced a decrease in iNOS and gp91phox mRNA expression. The õpro-adhesive and pro-coagulant phenotypes induced by the anti-β2GP1-IgG were also reversed. This study provides the first evidence that TNFα antagonism improves endothelial dysfunction in APS and suggests that endothelial dysfunction is mediated by TNFα and oxidative stress. Therefore, infliximab may be of special relevance in clinical practice.
Selen, Ebru Selin; Bolandnazar, Zeinab; Tonelli, Marco; Bütz, Daniel E; Haviland, Julia A; Porter, Warren P; Assadi-Porter, Fariba M
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is associated with metabolic and endocrine disorders in women of reproductive age. The etiology of PCOS is still unknown. Mice prenatally treated with glucocorticoids exhibit metabolic disturbances that are similar to those seen in women with PCOS. We used an untargeted nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based metabolomics approach to understand the metabolic changes occurring in the plasma and kidney over time in female glucocorticoid-treated (GC-treated) mice. There are significant changes in plasma amino acid levels (valine, tyrosine, and proline) and their intermediates (2-hydroxybutyrate, 4-aminobutyrate, and taurine), whereas in kidneys, the TCA cycle metabolism (citrate, fumarate, and succinate) and the pentose phosphate (PP) pathway products (inosine and uracil) are significantly altered (p < 0.05) from 8 to 16 weeks of age. Levels of NADH, NAD(+), NAD(+)/NADH, and NADH redox in kidneys indicate increased mitochondrial oxidative stress from 8 to 16 weeks in GC-treated mice. These results indicate that altered metabolic substrates in the plasma and kidneys of treated mice are associated with altered amino acid metabolism, increased cytoplasmic PP, and increased mitochondrial activity, leading to a more oxidized state. This study identifies biomarkers associated with metabolic dysfunction in kidney mitochondria of a prenatal gluococorticoid-treated mouse model of PCOS that may be used as early predictive biomarkers of oxidative stress in the PCOS metabolic disorder in women.
Yang, Annan; Currier, Duane; Poitras, Jennifer L.; Reeves, Roger H.
Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of an extra copy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). People with DS display multiple clinical traits as a result of the dosage imbalance of several hundred genes. While many outcomes of trisomy are deleterious, epidemiological studies have shown a significant risk reduction for most solid tumors in DS. Reduced tumor incidence has also been demonstrated in functional studies using trisomic DS mouse models. Therefore, it was interesting to find that Ts1Rhr trisomic mice developed more papillomas than did their euploid littermates in a DMBA-TPA chemical carcinogenesis paradigm. Papillomas in Ts1Rhr mice also proliferated faster. The increased proliferation was likely caused by a stronger response of trisomy to TPA induction. Treatment with TPA caused hyperkeratosis to a greater degree in Ts1Rhr mice than in euploid, reminiscent of hyperkeratosis seen in people with DS. Cultured trisomic keratinocytes also showed increased TPA-induced proliferation compared to euploid controls. These outcomes suggest that altered gene expression in trisomy could elevate a proliferation signalling pathway. Gene expression analysis of cultured keratinocytes revealed upregulation of several trisomic and disomic genes may contribute to this hyperproliferation. The contributions of these genes to hyper-proliferation were further validated in a siRNA knockdown experiment. The unexpected findings reported here add a new aspect to our understanding of tumorigenesis with clinical implications for DS and demonstrates the complexity of the tumor repression phenotype in this frequent condition. PMID:26752700
Best, Tyler K.; Cramer, Nathan P.; Chakrabarti, Lina; Haydar, Tarik F.; Galdzicki, Zygmunt
GABAergic dysfunction is implicated in hippocampal deficits of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome (DS). Since Ts65Dn mice overexpress G-protein coupled inward-rectifying potassium (GIRK2) containing channels, we sought to evaluate whether increased GABAergic function disrupts the functioning of hippocampal circuitry. After confirming that GABAB/GIRK current density is significantly elevated in Ts65Dn CA1 pyramidal neurons, we compared monosynaptic inhibitory inputs in CA1 pyramidal neurons in response to proximal (stratum radiatum; SR) and distal (stratum lacunosum moleculare; SLM) stimulation of diploid and Ts65Dn acute hippocampal slices. Synaptic GABAB and GABAA mediated currents evoked by SR stimulation were generally unaffected in Ts65Dn CA1 neurons. However, the GABAB/GABAA ratios evoked by stimulation within the SLM of Ts65Dn hippocampus were significantly larger in magnitude, consistent with increased GABAB/GIRK currents after SLM stimulation. These results indicate that GIRK overexpression in Ts65Dn has functional consequences which affect the balance between GABAB and GABAA inhibition of CA1 pyramidal neurons, most likely in a pathway specific manner, and may contribute to cognitive deficits reported in these mice. PMID:22178330
Reinholdt, Laura G; Czechanski, Anne; Kamdar, Sonya; King, Benjamin L; Sun, Fengyun; Handel, Mary Ann
Aneuploidy, which leads to unpaired chromosomal axes during meiosis, is frequently accompanied by infertility. We previously showed, using three mouse models of Down syndrome, that it is an extra chromosome, but not extra gene dose, that is associated with male infertility and virtual absence of post-meiotic gem cells. Here, we test the hypothesis that aneuploid segments are differentially modified and expressed during meiosis, depending on whether they are present as an extra chromosome or not. In all three models examined, the trisomic region lacks a pairing partner, but in one case, spermatocytes have an extra (and unpaired) chromosome, while the two other models involve translocation of the trisomic region rather than an extra chromosome. An extra unpaired chromosome was always modified by phosphorylation of histone H2AX and lacked RNA PolII. But in the case of trisomic regions attached to a paired chromosome, assembly of these protein modifications was affected by the position of a trisomic region relative to a centromere and the physical extent of the unpaired chromatin. Analysis of gene expression in testes revealed that extra copy number alone was not sufficient for meiotic upregulation of genes in the trisomic interval. Additionally and unexpectedly, presence of meiotic gene silencing chromatin modifications was not sufficient for downregulation of genes in unpaired trisomic chromatin. Thus, the meiotic chromatin modifications that are cytologically visible are unlikely to be directly involved in sterility versus fertility of DS models. Finally, the presence of an extra unpaired chromosome, but not the presence of extra (trisomic) genes, caused global deregulation of transcription in spermatocytes. These results reveal mechanisms by which an extra chromosome, but not trisomic gene dose, impact on meiotic progress and infertility.
Whitney, Katharine N; Wenger, Galen R
The Ts65Dn mouse displays several phenotypic abnormalities that parallel characteristics found in Down syndrome. One important characteristic associated with Down syndrome is an increased incidence of early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Since Alzheimer's disease is characterized largely by progressive memory loss, it is of interest to study working memory in the Ts65Dn mouse. Previous research in our lab using a titrating, delayed matching-to-position schedule of reinforcement has demonstrated that young, adult male Ts65Dn mice do not display a working memory deficit when compared to age-matched littermate controls. However, there have been no studies examining the working memory of these mice as they age. Due to the correlation between Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease, and as part of a larger effort to further characterize the phenotype of the Ts65Dn mouse, the purpose of this study was to determine whether aged Ts65Dn mice possess a working memory deficit when compared to age-matched littermate controls. In order to study working memory, two groups of mice were trained under a titrating, delayed matching-to-position schedule of reinforcement. The first group was trained beginning at 3 months of age, and the second group began training at 15 months of age. Both groups were studied to 24 months of age. Initially, both groups of Ts65Dn mice performed at a lower level of accuracy than the control mice; however, this difference disappeared with further practice. The results from these lifespan studies indicate that the aged Ts65Dn mouse does not possess a working memory deficit when compared to age-matched controls.
Galante, Micaela; Jani, Harsha; Vanes, Lesley; Daniel, Hervé; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Bliss, Timothy V P; Morice, Elise
Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder arising from the presence of a third copy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). Recently, O'Doherty et al. [An aneuploid mouse strain carrying human chromosome 21 with Down syndrome phenotypes. Science 309 (2005) 2033-2037] generated a trans-species aneuploid mouse line (Tc1) that carries an almost complete Hsa21. The Tc1 mouse is the most complete animal model for DS currently available. Tc1 mice show many features that relate to human DS, including alterations in memory, synaptic plasticity, cerebellar neuronal number, heart development and mandible size. Because motor deficits are one of the most frequently occurring features of DS, we have undertaken a detailed analysis of motor behaviour in cerebellum-dependent learning tasks that require high motor coordination and balance. In addition, basic electrophysiological properties of cerebellar circuitry and synaptic plasticity have been investigated. Our results reveal that, compared with controls, Tc1 mice exhibit a higher spontaneous locomotor activity, a reduced ability to habituate to their environments, a different gait and major deficits on several measures of motor coordination and balance in the rota rod and static rod tests. Moreover, cerebellar long-term depression is essentially normal in Tc1 mice, with only a slight difference in time course. Our observations provide further evidence that support the validity of the Tc1 mouse as a model for DS, which will help us to provide insights into the causal factors responsible for motor deficits observed in persons with DS.
Agassandian, Khristofor; Patel, Milan; Agassandian, Marianna; Steren, Karina E; Rahmouni, Kamal; Sheffield, Val C; Card, J Patrick
Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) is a genetically heterogeneous inherited human disorder displaying a pleotropic phenotype. Many of the symptoms characterized in the human disease have been reproduced in animal models carrying deletions or knock-in mutations of genes causal for the disorder. Thinning of the cerebral cortex, enlargement of the lateral and third ventricles, and structural changes in cilia are among the pathologies documented in these animal models. Ciliopathy is of particular interest in light of recent studies that have implicated primary neuronal cilia (PNC) in neuronal signal transduction. In the present investigation, we tested the hypothesis that areas of the brain responsible for learning and memory formation would differentially exhibit PNC abnormalities in animals carrying a deletion of the Bbs4 gene (Bbs4-/-). Immunohistochemical localization of adenylyl cyclase-III (ACIII), a marker restricted to PNC, revealed dramatic alterations in PNC morphology and a statistically significant reduction in number of immunopositive cilia in the hippocampus and amygdala of Bbs4-/- mice compared to wild type (WT) littermates. Western blot analysis confirmed the decrease of ACIII levels in the hippocampus and amygdala of Bbs4-/- mice, and electron microscopy demonstrated pathological alterations of PNC in the hippocampus and amygdala. Importantly, no neuronal loss was found within the subregions of amygdala and hippocampus sampled in Bbs4-/- mice and there were no statistically significant alterations of ACIII immunopositive cilia in other areas of the brain not known to contribute to the BBS phenotype. Considered with data documenting a role of cilia in signal transduction these findings support the conclusion that alterations in cilia structure or neurochemical phenotypes may contribute to the cognitive deficits observed in the Bbs4-/- mouse mode.
Ossetrova, Natalia I; Ney, Patrick H; Condliffe, Donald P; Krasnopolsky, Katya; Hieber, Kevin P
Radiation accidents or terrorist attacks can result in serious consequences for the civilian population and for military personnel responding to such emergencies. The early medical management situation requires quantitative indications for early initiation of cytokine therapy in individuals exposed to life-threatening radiation doses and effective triage tools for first responders in mass-casualty radiological incidents. Previously established animal (Mus musculus, Macaca mulatta) total-body irradiation (γ-exposure) models have evaluated a panel of radiation-responsive proteins that, together with peripheral blood cell counts, create a multiparametic dose-predictive algorithm with a threshold for detection of ~1 Gy from 1 to 7 d after exposure as well as demonstrate the acute radiation syndrome severity score systems created similar to the Medical Treatment Protocols for Radiation Accident Victims developed by Fliedner and colleagues. The authors present a further demonstration of the acute radiation sickness severity score system in a mouse (CD2F1, males) TBI model (1-14 Gy, Co γ-rays at 0.6 Gy min) based on multiple biodosimetric endpoints. This includes the acute radiation sickness severity Observational Grading System, survival rate, weight changes, temperature, peripheral blood cell counts and radiation-responsive protein expression profile: Flt-3 ligand, interleukin 6, granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, thrombopoietin, erythropoietin, and serum amyloid A. Results show that use of the multiple-parameter severity score system facilitates identification of animals requiring enhanced monitoring after irradiation and that proteomics are a complementary approach to conventional biodosimetry for early assessment of radiation exposure, enhancing accuracy and discrimination index for acute radiation sickness response categories and early prediction of outcome.
Lockrow, Jason; Boger, Heather; Gerhardt, Greg; Aston-Jones, Gary; Bachman, David; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte
Individuals with Down syndrome (DS) acquire Alzheimer’s-like dementia (AD) and associated neuropathology earlier and at significantly greater rates than age-matched normosomic individuals. However, biological mechanisms have not been discovered and there is currently limited therapy for either DS- or AD-related dementia. Segmental trisomy 16 (Ts65Dn) mice provide a useful model for many of the degenerative changes which occur with age in DS including cognitive deficits, neuroinflammation, and degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. Loss of noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC) neurons is an early event in AD and in DS, and may contribute to the neuropathology. We report that Ts65Dn mice exhibit progressive loss of norepinephrine (NE) phenotype in LC neurons. In order to determine whether LC degeneration contributes to memory loss and neurodegeneration in Ts65Dn mice, we administered the noradrenergic neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4; 2 doses of 50 mg/kg, i.p.) to Ts65Dn mice at four months of age, prior to working memory loss. At eight months of age, Ts65Dn mice treated with DSP-4 exhibited an 80% reduction in hippocampal NE, coupled with a marked increase in hippocampal neuroinflammation. Noradrenergic depletion also resulted in accelerated cholinergic neuron degeneration and a further impairment of memory function in Ts65Dn mice. In contrast, DSP-4 had minimal effects on normosomic littermates, suggesting a disease-modulated vulnerability to NE loss in the DS mouse model. These data suggest that noradrenergic degeneration may play a role in the progressive memory loss, neuroinflammation, and cholinergic loss occurring in DS individuals, providing a possible therapeutic avenue for future clinical studies. PMID:21098982
Schaevitz, Laura R; Nicolai, Raffaella; Lopez, Carla M; D'Iddio, Stefania; Iannoni, Emerenziana; Berger-Sweeney, Joanne E
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 1 in 10,000 girls. Approximately 90% of cases are caused by spontaneous mutations in the X-linked gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). Girls with RTT suffer from severe motor, respiratory, cognitive and social abnormalities attributed to early deficits in synaptic connectivity which manifest in the adult as a myriad of physiological and anatomical abnormalities including, but not limited to, dimished dendritic complexity. Supplementation with acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC), an acetyl group donor, ameliorates motor and cognitive deficits in other disease models through a variety of mechanisms including altering patterns of histone acetylation resulting in changes in gene expression, and stimulating biosynthetic pathways such as acetylcholine. We hypothesized ALC treatment during critical periods in cortical development would promote normal synaptic maturation, and continuing treatment would improve behavioral deficits in the Mecp2(1lox) mouse model of RTT. In this study, wildtype and Mecp2(1lox) mutant mice received daily injections of ALC from birth until death (postnatal day 47). General health, motor, respiratory, and cognitive functions were assessed at several time points during symptom progression. ALC improved weight gain, grip strength, activity levels, prevented metabolic abnormalities and modestly improved cognitive function in Mecp2 null mice early in the course of treatment, but did not significantly improve motor or cognitive functions assessed later in life. ALC treatment from birth was associated with an almost complete rescue of hippocampal dendritic morphology abnormalities with no discernable side effects in the mutant mice. Therefore, ALC appears to be a promising therapeutic approach to treating early RTT symptoms and may be useful in combination with other therapies.
Jiang, Peng; Striz, Martin; Wisor, Jonathan P.; O'Hara, Bruce F.
Study Objective: The adaptive value of the endogenous circadian clock arises from its ability to synchronize (i.e., entrain) to external light-dark (LD) cycles at an appropriate phase. Studies have suggested that advanced circadian phase alignment might result from shortening of the period length of the clock. Here we explore mechanisms that contribute to an early activity phase in CAST/EiJ (CAST) mice. Methods: We investigated circadian rhythms of wheel-running activity in C57BL/6J (B6), CAST and 2 strains of B6.CAST congenic mice, which carry CAST segments introgressed in a B6 genome. Results: When entrained, all CAST mice initiate daily activity several hours earlier than normal mice. This difference could not be explained by alterations in the endogenous period, as activity onset did not correlate with period length. However, the photic phase-shifting responses in these mice were phase-lagged by 3 hours relative to their activity. Attenuated light masking responses were also found in CAST mice, which allow for activity normally inhibited by light. A previously identified quantitative trait locus (QTL), Era1, which contributes to the early activity trait, was confirmed and refined here using two B6.CAST congenic strains. Surprisingly, these B6.CAST mice exhibited longer rather than shorter endogenous periods, further demonstrating that the advanced phase in these mice is not due to alterations in period. Conclusions: CAST mice have an advanced activity phase similar to human advanced sleep phase syndrome. This advanced phase is not due to its shorter period length or smaller light-induced phase shifts, but appears to be related to both light masking and altered coupling of the circadian pacemaker with various outputs. Lastly, a QTL influencing this trait was confirmed and narrowed using congenic mice as a first step toward gene identification. Citation: Jiang P; Striz M; Wisor JP; O'Hara BF. Behavioral and genetic dissection of a mouse model for advanced sleep
Kamal, Bushra; Russell, David; Payne, Anthony; Constante, Diogo; Tanner, K. Elizabeth; Isaksson, Hanna; Mathavan, Neashan; Cobb, Stuart R.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked genetic disorder and a major cause of intellectual disability in girls. Mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene are the primary cause of the disorder. Despite the dominant neurological phenotypes, MECP2 is expressed ubiquitously throughout the body and a number of peripheral phenotypes such as scoliosis, reduced bone mineral density and skeletal fractures are also common and important clinical features of the disorder. In order to explore whether MeCP2 protein deficiency results in altered structural and functional properties of bone and to test the potential reversibility of any defects, we have conducted a series of histological, imaging and biomechanical tests of bone in a functional knockout mouse model of RTT. Both hemizygous Mecp2stop/y male mice in which Mecp2 is silenced in all cells and female Mecp2stop/+ mice in which Mecp2 is silenced in ~ 50% of cells as a consequence of random X-chromosome inactivation, revealed significant reductions in cortical bone stiffness, microhardness and tensile modulus. Microstructural analysis also revealed alterations in both cortical and cancellous femoral bone between wild-type and MeCP2-deficient mice. Furthermore, unsilencing of Mecp2 in adult mice cre-mediated stop cassette deletion resulted in a restoration of biomechanical properties (stiffness, microhardness) towards wild-type levels. These results show that MeCP2-deficiency results in overt, but potentially reversible, alterations in the biomechanical integrity of bone and highlights the importance of targeting skeletal phenotypes in considering the development of pharmacological and gene-based therapies. PMID:25445449
Relkovic, Dinko; Doe, Christine M; Humby, Trevor; Johnstone, Karen A; Resnick, James L; Holland, Anthony J; Hagan, Jim J; Wilkinson, Lawrence S; Isles, Anthony R
The genes in the imprinted cluster on human chromosome 15q11-q13 are known to contribute to psychiatric conditions such as schizophrenia and autism. Major disruptions of this interval leading to a lack of paternal allele expression give rise to Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), a neurodevelopmental disorder with core symptoms of a failure to thrive in infancy and, on emergence from infancy, learning disabilities and over-eating. Individuals with PWS also display a number of behavioural problems and an increased incidence of neuropsychiatric abnormalities, which recent work indicates involve aspects of frontal dysfunction. To begin to examine the contribution of genes in this interval to relevant psychological and behavioural phenotypes, we exploited the imprinting centre (IC) deletion mouse model for PWS (PWS-IC(+/-)) and the five-choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT), which is primarily an assay of visuospatial attention and response control that is highly sensitive to frontal manipulations. Locomotor activity, open-field behaviour and sensorimotor gating were also assessed. PWS-IC(+/-) mice displayed reduced locomotor activity, increased acoustic startle responses and decreased prepulse inhibition of startle responses. In the 5-CSRTT, the PWS-IC(+/-) mice showed deficits in discriminative response accuracy, increased correct reaction times and increased omissions. Task manipulations confirmed that these differences were likely to be due to impaired attention. Our data recapitulate several aspects of the PWS clinical condition, including findings consistent with frontal abnormalities, and may indicate novel contributions of the imprinted genes found in 15q11-q13 to behavioural and cognitive function generally.
Nguyen, Cao D; Costa, Alberto C S; Cios, Krzysztof J; Gardiner, Katheleen J
Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21 (HSA21), is a common genetic cause of cognitive impairment. This disorder results from the overexpression of HSA21 genes and the resulting perturbations in many molecular pathways and cellular processes. Knowledge-based identification of targets for pharmacotherapies will require defining the most critical protein abnormalities among these many perturbations. Here the authors show that using the Ts65Dn and Ts1Cje mouse models of DS, which are trisomic for 88 and 69 reference protein coding genes, respectively, a simple linear Naïve Bayes classifier successfully predicts behavioral outcome (level of locomotor activity) in response to treatment with the N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist MK-801. Input to the Naïve Bayes method were simple protein profiles generated from cortex and output was locomotor activity binned into three levels: low, medium, and high. When Feature Selection was used with the Naïve Bayes method, levels of three HSA21 and two non-HSA21 protein features were identified as making the most significant contributions to activity level. Using these five features, accuracies of up to 88% in prediction of locomotor activity were achieved. These predictions depend not only on genotype-specific differences but also on within-genotype individual variation in levels of molecular and behavioral parameters. With judicious choice of pathways and components, a similar approach may be useful in analysis of more complex behaviors, including those associated with learning and memory, and may facilitate identification of novel targets for pharmacotherapeutics.
Kalume, Franck; Oakley, John C.; Westenbroek, Ruth E.; Gile, Jennifer; de la Iglesia, Horacio O.; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A.
Dravet Syndrome (DS) is caused by heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.1. Our genetic mouse model of DS recapitulates its severe seizures and premature death. Sleep disturbance is common in DS, but its mechanism is unknown. Electroencephalographic studies revealed abnormal sleep in DS mice, including reduced delta wave power, reduced sleep spindles, increased brief wakes, and numerous interictal spikes in Non-Rapid-Eye-Movement sleep. Theta power was reduced in Rapid-Eye-Movement sleep. Mice with NaV1.1 deleted specifically in forebrain interneurons exhibited similar sleep pathology to DS mice, but without changes in circadian rhythm. Sleep architecture depends on oscillatory activity in the thalamocortical network generated by excitatory neurons in the ventrobasal nucleus (VBN) of the thalamus and inhibitory GABAergic neurons in the reticular nucleus of the thalamus (RNT). Whole-cell NaV current was reduced in GABAergic RNT neurons but not in VBN neurons. Rebound firing of action potentials following hyperpolarization, the signature firing pattern of RNT neurons during sleep, was also reduced. These results demonstrate imbalance of excitatory vs. inhibitory neurons in this circuit. As predicted from this functional impairment, we found substantial deficit in homeostatic rebound of slow wave activity following sleep deprivation. Although sleep disorders in epilepsies have been attributed to anti-epileptic drugs, our results show that sleep disorder in DS mice arises from loss of NaV1.1 channels in forebrain GABAergic interneurons without drug treatment. Impairment of NaV currents and excitability of GABAergic RNT neurons are correlated with impaired sleep quality and homeostasis in these mice. PMID:25766678
Zhang, Xiaoli; Su, Junda; Cui, Ningren; Gai, Hongyu; Wu, Zhongying; Jiang, Chun
People with Rett syndrome (RTT) have breathing instability in addition to other neuropathological manifestations. The breathing disturbances contribute to the high incidence of unexplained death and abnormal brain development. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying the breathing abnormalities remain unclear. To test the hypothesis that the central CO(2) chemoreception in these people is disrupted, we studied the CO(2) chemosensitivity in a mouse model of RTT. The Mecp2-null mice showed a selective loss of their respiratory response to 1-3% CO(2) (mild hypercapnia), whereas they displayed more regular breathing in response to 6-9% CO(2) (severe hypercapnia). The defect was alleviated with the NE uptake blocker desipramine (10 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) ip, for 5-7 days). Consistent with the in vivo observations, in vitro studies in brain slices indicated that CO(2) chemosensitivity of locus coeruleus (LC) neurons was impaired in Mecp2-null mice. Two major neuronal pH-sensitive Kir currents that resembled homomeric Kir4.1 and heteromeric Ki4.1/Kir5.1 channels were identified in the LC neurons. The screening of Kir channels with real-time PCR indicated the overexpression of Kir4.1 in the LC region of Mecp2-null mice. In a heterologous expression system, an overexpression of Kir4.1 resulted in a reduction in the pH sensitivity of the heteromeric Kir4.1-Kir5.1 channels. Given that Kir4.1 and Kir5.1 subunits are also expressed in brain stem respiration-related areas, the Kir4.1 overexpression may not allow CO(2) to be detected until hypercapnia becomes severe, leading to periodical hyper- and hypoventilation in Mecp2-null mice and, perhaps, in people with RTT as well.
Kamal, Bushra; Russell, David; Payne, Anthony; Constante, Diogo; Tanner, K Elizabeth; Isaksson, Hanna; Mathavan, Neashan; Cobb, Stuart R
Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked genetic disorder and a major cause of intellectual disability in girls. Mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene are the primary cause of the disorder. Despite the dominant neurological phenotypes, MECP2 is expressed ubiquitously throughout the body and a number of peripheral phenotypes such as scoliosis, reduced bone mineral density and skeletal fractures are also common and important clinical features of the disorder. In order to explore whether MeCP2 protein deficiency results in altered structural and functional properties of bone and to test the potential reversibility of any defects, we have conducted a series of histological, imaging and biomechanical tests of bone in a functional knockout mouse model of RTT. Both hemizygous Mecp2(stop/y) male mice in which Mecp2 is silenced in all cells and female Mecp2(stop/+) mice in which Mecp2 is silenced in ~50% of cells as a consequence of random X-chromosome inactivation, revealed significant reductions in cortical bone stiffness, microhardness and tensile modulus. Microstructural analysis also revealed alterations in both cortical and cancellous femoral bone between wild-type and MeCP2-deficient mice. Furthermore, unsilencing of Mecp2 in adult mice cre-mediated stop cassette deletion resulted in a restoration of biomechanical properties (stiffness, microhardness) towards wild-type levels. These results show that MeCP2-deficiency results in overt, but potentially reversible, alterations in the biomechanical integrity of bone and highlights the importance of targeting skeletal phenotypes in considering the development of pharmacological and gene-based therapies.
Zanella, Sébastien; Mebarek, Saida; Lajard, Anne-Marie; Picard, Nathalie; Dutschmann, Mathias; Hilaire, Gérard
Rett syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disease due to Mecp2 gene mutations that is associated to complex neurological symptoms, with bioaminergic deficits and life-threatening apneas related to sudden and unexpected death. In male mice, Mecp2-deficiency similarly induces medullary bioaminergic deficits, severe apneas and short life span. Here, we show that long-term oral treatment of Mecp2-deficient male mice with desipramine, an old drug of clinical use known to block norepinephrine uptake and to strengthen its synaptic effects, significantly alleviates their breathing symptoms and prolongs their life span. Although these mouse results identify desipramine as the first oral pharmacological treatment potentially able to alleviate breathing symptoms of Rett syndrome, we recommend further studies of desipramine effects in Mecp2-deficient mice before attempting any clinical trials in Rett patients.
Long, Yanqin; Liu, Ying; Tong, Jingjing; Qian, Wei; Hou, Xiaohua
Trimebutine maleate, which modulates the calcium and potassium channels, relieves abdominal pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. However, its effect on postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome is not clarified. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of trimebutine maleate on modulating colonic hypercontractility in a mouse model of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome. Mice infected up to 8 weeks with T. spiralis underwent abdominal withdrawal reflex to colorectal distention to evaluate the visceral sensitivity at different time points. Tissues were examined for histopathology scores. Colonic longitudinal muscle strips were prepared in the organ bath under basal condition or to be stimulated by acetylcholine and potassium chloride, and consecutive concentrations of trimebutine maleate were added to the bath to record the strip responses. Significant inflammation was observed in the intestines of the mice infected 2 weeks, and it resolved in 8 weeks after infection. Visceral hyperalgesia and colonic muscle hypercontractility emerged after infection, and trimebutine maleate could effectively reduce the colonic hyperreactivity. Hypercontractility of the colonic muscle stimulated by acetylcholine and high K(+) could be inhibited by trimebutine maleate in solution with Ca(2+), but not in Ca(2+) free solution. Compared with 8-week postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome group, 2-week acute infected strips were much more sensitive to the stimulators and the drug trimebutine maleate. Trimebutine maleate was effective in reducing the colonic muscle hypercontractility of postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome mice. The findings may provide evidence for trimebutine maleate to treat postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome patients effectively.
Goodliffe, Joseph W; Olmos-Serrano, Jose Luis; Aziz, Nadine M; Pennings, Jeroen L A; Guedj, Faycal; Bianchi, Diana W; Haydar, Tarik F
Studies in humans with Down syndrome (DS) show that alterations in fetal brain development are followed by postnatal deficits in neuronal numbers, synaptic plasticity, and cognitive and motor function. This same progression is replicated in several mouse models of DS. Dp(16)1Yey/+ (hereafter called Dp16) is a recently developed mouse model of DS in which the entire region of mouse chromosome 16 that is homologous to human chromosome 21 has been triplicated. As such, Dp16 mice may more closely reproduce neurodevelopmental changes occurring in humans with DS. Here, we present the first comprehensive cellular and behavioral study of the Dp16 forebrain from embryonic to adult stages. Unexpectedly, our results demonstrate that Dp16 mice do not have prenatal brain defects previously reported in human fetal neocortex and in the developing forebrains of other mouse models, including microcephaly, reduced neurogenesis, and abnormal cell proliferation. Nevertheless, we found impairments in postnatal developmental milestones, fewer inhibitory forebrain neurons, and deficits in motor and cognitive performance in Dp16 mice. Therefore, although this new model does not express prenatal morphological phenotypes associated with DS, abnormalities in the postnatal period appear sufficient to produce significant cognitive deficits in Dp16.
Robinson, Lianne; Guy, Jacky; McKay, Leanne; Brockett, Emma; Spike, Rosemary C; Selfridge, Jim; De Sousa, Dina; Merusi, Cara; Riedel, Gernot; Bird, Adrian; Cobb, Stuart R
Rett syndrome is a neurological disorder caused by mutation of the X-linked MECP2 gene. Mice lacking functional Mecp2 display a spectrum of Rett syndrome-like signs, including disturbances in motor function and abnormal patterns of breathing, accompanied by structural defects in central motor areas and the brainstem. Although routinely classified as a neurodevelopmental disorder, many aspects of the mouse phenotype can be effectively reversed by activation of a quiescent Mecp2 gene in adults. This suggests that absence of Mecp2 during brain development does not irreversibly compromise brain function. It is conceivable, however, that deep-seated neurological defects persist in mice rescued by late activation of Mecp2. To test this possibility, we have quantitatively analysed structural and functional plasticity of the rescued adult male mouse brain. Activation of Mecp2 in ∼70% of neurons reversed many morphological defects in the motor cortex, including neuronal size and dendritic complexity. Restoration of Mecp2 expression was also accompanied by a significant improvement in respiratory and sensory-motor functions, including breathing pattern, grip strength, balance beam and rotarod performance. Our findings sustain the view that MeCP2 does not play a pivotal role in brain development, but may instead be required to maintain full neurological function once development is complete.
Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Mitchell, James R; de Wit, Jan; Hoogstraten, Deborah; Volker, Marcel; Toussaint, Wendy; Speksnijder, Ewoud; Beems, Rudolph B; van Steeg, Harry; Jans, Judith; de Zeeuw, Chris I; Jaspers, Nicolaas G J; Raams, Anja; Lehmann, Alan R; Vermeulen, Wim; Hoeijmakers, Jan H J; van der Horst, Gijsbertus T J
Inborn defects in nucleotide excision DNA repair (NER) can paradoxically result in elevated cancer incidence (xeroderma pigmentosum [XP]) or segmental progeria without cancer predisposition (Cockayne syndrome [CS] and trichothiodystrophy [TTD]). We report generation of a knockin mouse model for the combined disorder XPCS with a G602D-encoding mutation in the Xpd helicase gene. XPCS mice are the most skin cancer-prone NER model to date, and we postulate an unusual NER dysfunction that is likely responsible for this susceptibility. XPCS mice also displayed symptoms of segmental progeria, including cachexia and progressive loss of germinal epithelium. Like CS fibroblasts, XPCS and TTD fibroblasts from human and mouse showed evidence of defective repair of oxidative DNA lesions that may underlie these segmental progeroid symptoms.
Braun, Sebastian; Kottwitz, Denise; Nuber, Ulrike A
Rett syndrome (RTT) is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2 coding for methyl CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). This protein can act as transcriptional repressor, and we showed in a previous study that glucocorticoid-inducible genes are up-regulated in an RTT mouse model and that these genes are direct MeCP2 targets. Here, we report that pharmacological intervention with the glucocorticoid system has an impact on the symptoms and lifespan in an RTT mouse model. Our data support a functional implication of the stress hormone system in RTT and suggest this hormone system as potential therapeutic target.
Martínez-Abadías, Neus; Heuzé, Yann; Wang, Yingli; Jabs, Ethylin Wang; Aldridge, Kristina; Richtsmeier, Joan T
The fibroblast growth factor and receptor system (FGF/FGFR) mediates cell communication and pattern formation in many tissue types (e.g., osseous, nervous, vascular). In those craniosynostosis syndromes caused by FGFR1-3 mutations, alteration of signaling in the FGF/FGFR system leads to dysmorphology of the skull, brain and limbs, among other organs. Since this molecular pathway is widely expressed throughout head development, we explore whether and how two specific mutations on Fgfr2 causing Apert syndrome in humans affect the pattern and level of integration between the facial skeleton and the neurocranium using inbred Apert syndrome mouse models Fgfr2(+/S252W) and Fgfr2(+/P253R) and their non-mutant littermates at P0. Skull morphological integration (MI), which can reflect developmental interactions among traits by measuring the intensity of statistical associations among them, was assessed using data from microCT images of the skull of Apert syndrome mouse models and 3D geometric morphometric methods. Our results show that mutant Apert syndrome mice share the general pattern of MI with their non-mutant littermates, but the magnitude of integration between and within the facial skeleton and the neurocranium is increased, especially in Fgfr2(+/S252W) mice. This indicates that although Fgfr2 mutations do not disrupt skull MI, FGF/FGFR signaling is a covariance-generating process in skull development that acts as a global factor modulating the intensity of MI. As this pathway evolved early in vertebrate evolution, it may have played a significant role in establishing the patterns of skull MI and coordinating proper skull development.
Ogier, Jacqueline M; Carpinelli, Marina R; Arhatari, Benedicta D; Symons, R C Andrew; Kile, Benjamin T; Burt, Rachel A
CHARGE syndrome is a rare human disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 7 (CHD7). Characteristics of CHARGE are varied and include developmental ear and hearing anomalies. Here we report a novel mouse model of CHD7 dysfunction, termed Looper. The Looper strain harbours a nonsense mutation (c.5690C>A, p.S1897X) within the Chd7 gene. Looper mice exhibit many of the clinical features of the human syndrome, consistent with previously reported CHARGE models, including growth retardation, facial asymmetry, vestibular defects, eye anomalies, hyperactivity, ossicle malformation, hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. Looper mice display an otosclerosis-like fusion of the stapes footplate to the cochlear oval window and blepharoconjunctivitis but not coloboma. Looper mice are hyperactive and have vestibular dysfunction but do not display motor impairment.
Gomis-González, Maria; Busquets-Garcia, Arnau; Matute, Carlos; Maldonado, Rafael; Mato, Susana; Ozaita, Andrés
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common monogenetic cause of intellectual disability. The cognitive deficits in the mouse model for this disorder, the Fragile X Mental Retardation 1 (Fmr1) knockout (KO) mouse, have been restored by different pharmacological approaches, among those the blockade of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor. In this regard, our previous study showed that the CB1 receptor antagonist/inverse agonist rimonabant normalized a number of core features in the Fmr1 knockout mouse. Rimonabant was commercialized at high doses for its anti-obesity properties, and withdrawn from the market on the bases of mood-related adverse effects. In this study we show, by using electrophysiological approaches, that low dosages of rimonabant (0.1 mg/kg) manage to normalize metabotropic glutamate receptor dependent long-term depression (mGluR-LTD). In addition, low doses of rimonabant (from 0.01 mg/kg) equally normalized the cognitive deficit in the mouse model of FXS. These doses of rimonabant were from 30 to 300 times lower than those required to reduce body weight in rodents and to presumably produce adverse effects in humans. Furthermore, NESS0327, a CB1 receptor neutral antagonist, was also effective in preventing the novel object-recognition memory deficit in Fmr1 KO mice. These data further support targeting CB1 receptors as a relevant therapy for FXS. PMID:27589806
Hill, Alexandria J.; Dreve, Nathan; Yin, Huaizhi; Tamayo, Esther; Saade, George; Bytautiene, Egle
OBJECTIVE Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most common cause of nongenetic mental retardation. Oxidative stress is one of the purported mechanisms. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase (NOX) is an enzyme involved in the production of reactive oxygen species. Our objective was to evaluate NOX in the fetal brain of a well-validated mouse model of FAS. STUDY DESIGN Timed, pregnant C57BL/6J mice were injected intraperitoneally with 0.03 mL/g of either 25% ethyl alcohol or saline. Fetal brain, liver, and placenta were harvested on gestational day 18. The unit of analysis was the litter; tissue from 6–8 litters in the alcohol and control group was isolated. Evaluation of messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression of NOX subunits (DUOX1, DUOX2, NOX1, NOX2, NOX3, NOX4, NOXA1, NOXO1, RAC1, p22phox, and p67phox) was performed using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction; alcohol vs placebo groups were compared using a Student t test or a Mann-Whitney test (P < .05). RESULTS Alcohol exposed fetal brains showed significant up-regulation in subunits DUOX2 (1.61 ± 0.28 vs 0.84 ± 0.09; P = .03), NOXA1 (1.75 ± 0.27 vs 1.09 ± 0.06; P = .04), and NOXO1 (1.59 ± 0.10 vs 1.28 ± 0.05; P = .02). Differences in mRNA expression in the placenta were not significant; p67phox was significantly up-regulated in alcohol-exposed livers. CONCLUSION Various NOX subunits are up-regulated in fetal brains exposed to alcohol. This effect was not observed in the fetal liver or placenta. Given the available evidence, the NOX system may be involved in the causation of FAS through the generation of reactive oxygen species and may be a potential target for preventative treatment in FAS. PMID:24334207
Guedj, Faycal; Pennings, Jeroen L A; Ferres, Millie A; Graham, Leah C; Wick, Heather C; Miczek, Klaus A; Slonim, Donna K; Bianchi, Diana W
Human fetuses with Down syndrome demonstrate abnormal brain growth and reduced neurogenesis. Despite the prenatal onset of the phenotype, most therapeutic trials have been conducted in adults. Here, we present evidence for fetal brain molecular and neonatal behavioral alterations in the Ts1Cje mouse model of Down syndrome. Embryonic day 15.5 brain hemisphere RNA from Ts1Cje embryos (n = 5) and wild type littermates (n = 5) was processed and hybridized to mouse gene 1.0 ST arrays. Bioinformatic analyses were implemented to identify differential gene and pathway regulation during Ts1Cje fetal brain development. In separate experiments, the Fox scale, ultrasonic vocalization and homing tests were used to investigate behavioral deficits in Ts1Cje pups (n = 29) versus WT littermates (n = 64) at postnatal days 3-21. Ts1Cje fetal brains displayed more differentially regulated genes (n = 71) than adult (n = 31) when compared to their age-matched euploid brains. Ts1Cje embryonic brains showed up-regulation of cell cycle markers and down-regulation of the solute-carrier amino acid transporters. Several cellular processes were dysregulated at both stages, including apoptosis, inflammation, Jak/Stat signaling, G-protein signaling, and oxidoreductase activity. In addition, early behavioral deficits in surface righting, cliff aversion, negative geotaxis, forelimb grasp, ultrasonic vocalization, and the homing tests were observed. The Ts1Cje mouse model exhibits abnormal gene expression during fetal brain development, and significant neonatal behavioral deficits in the pre-weaning period. In combination with human studies, this suggests that the Down syndrome phenotype manifests prenatally and provides a rationale for prenatal therapy to improve perinatal brain development and postnatal neurocognition.
Guedj, Faycal; Pennings, Jeroen L. A.; Ferres, Millie A.; Graham, Leah C.; Wick, Heather C.; Miczek, Klaus A.; Slonim, Donna K.; Bianchi, Diana W.
Human fetuses with Down syndrome demonstrate abnormal brain growth and reduced neurogenesis. Despite the prenatal onset of the phenotype, most therapeutic trials have been conducted in adults. Here, we present evidence for fetal brain molecular and neonatal behavioral alterations in the Ts1Cje mouse model of Down syndrome. Embryonic day 15.5 brain hemisphere RNA from Ts1Cje embryos (n = 5) and wild type littermates (n = 5) was processed and hybridized to mouse gene 1.0 ST arrays. Bioinformatic analyses were implemented to identify differential gene and pathway regulation during Ts1Cje fetal brain development. In separate experiments, the Fox scale, ultrasonic vocalization and homing tests were used to investigate behavioral deficits in Ts1Cje pups (n = 29) versus WT littermates (n = 64) at postnatal days 3–21. Ts1Cje fetal brains displayed more differentially regulated genes (n = 71) than adult (n = 31) when compared to their age-matched euploid brains. Ts1Cje embryonic brains showed up-regulation of cell cycle markers and down-regulation of the solute-carrier amino acid transporters. Several cellular processes were dysregulated at both stages, including apoptosis, inflammation, Jak/Stat signaling, G-protein signaling, and oxidoreductase activity. In addition, early behavioral deficits in surface righting, cliff aversion, negative geotaxis, forelimb grasp, ultrasonic vocalization, and the homing tests were observed. The Ts1Cje mouse model exhibits abnormal gene expression during fetal brain development, and significant neonatal behavioral deficits in the pre-weaning period. In combination with human studies, this suggests that the Down syndrome phenotype manifests prenatally and provides a rationale for prenatal therapy to improve perinatal brain development and post-natal neurocognition. PMID:25975229
Galante, Micaela; Jani, Harsha; Vanes, Lesley; Daniel, Hervé; Fisher, Elizabeth M.C.; Tybulewicz, Victor L.J.; Bliss, Timothy V.P.; Morice, Elise
Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder arising from the presence of a third copy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). Recently, O'Doherty et al. [An aneuploid mouse strain carrying human chromosome 21 with Down syndrome phenotypes. Science 309 (2005) 2033–2037] generated a trans-species aneuploid mouse line (Tc1) that carries an almost complete Hsa21. The Tc1 mouse is the most complete animal model for DS currently available. Tc1 mice show many features that relate to human DS, including alterations in memory, synaptic plasticity, cerebellar neuronal number, heart development and mandible size. Because motor deficits are one of the most frequently occurring features of DS, we have undertaken a detailed analysis of motor behaviour in cerebellum-dependent learning tasks that require high motor coordination and balance. In addition, basic electrophysiological properties of cerebellar circuitry and synaptic plasticity have been investigated. Our results reveal that, compared with controls, Tc1 mice exhibit a higher spontaneous locomotor activity, a reduced ability to habituate to their environments, a different gait and major deficits on several measures of motor coordination and balance in the rota rod and static rod tests. Moreover, cerebellar long-term depression is essentially normal in Tc1 mice, with only a slight difference in time course. Our observations provide further evidence that support the validity of the Tc1 mouse as a model for DS, which will help us to provide insights into the causal factors responsible for motor deficits observed in persons with DS. PMID:19181682
Inoue, Hiroko; Kishimoto, Atsuhiro; Ushikoshi-Nakayama, Ryoko; Hasaka, Ayaka; Takahashi, Ayako; Ryo, Koufuchi; Muramatsu, Takashi; Ide, Fumio; Mishima, Kenji; Saito, Ichiro
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol produced by plants in response to environmental stress. This compound has been shown to have pharmacological effects against a wide range of diseases including neurological, hepatic, cardiovascular and autoimmune conditions. The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse, in which loss of lacrimal and salivary gland function occurs, has been studied as an animal model for Sjögren’s syndrome. In this study, we confirmed that administration of resveratrol results in increased secretion of saliva in NOD mice. Although resveratrol enhanced Sirt1 activity, inflammatory cell infiltration was not affected. Moreover, expression of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in salivary glands was enhanced in the resveratrol-administered group. Thus, we confirmed a novel therapeutic effect for resveratrol on salivary dysfunction in Sjögren’s syndrome. PMID:27698537
Han, Jong-Min; Kim, Hyeong-Geug; Lee, Jin-Seok; Choi, Min-Kyung; Kim, Young-Ae; Son, Chang-Gue
Obesity-related disorders, especially metabolic syndrome, contribute to 2.8 million deaths each year worldwide, with significantly increasing morbidity. Eating at regular times and proper food quantity are crucial for maintaining a healthy status. However, many people in developed countries do not follow a regular eating schedule due to a busy lifestyle. Herein, we show that a repeated sense of hunger leads to a high risk of developing visceral obesity and metabolic syndrome in a mouse model (both 3-week and 6-week-old age, 10 mice in each group). The ad libitum (AL) group (normal eating pattern) and the food restriction (FR) group (alternate-day partially food restriction by given only 1/3 of average amount) were compared after 8-week experimental period. The total food consumption in the FR group was lower than in the AL group, however, the FR group showed a metabolic syndrome-like condition with significant fat accumulation in adipose tissues. Consequently, the repeated sense of hunger induced the typical characteristics of metabolic syndrome in an animal model; a distinct visceral obesity, hyperlipidemia, hyperglycemia and hepatic steatosis. Furthermore, we found that specifically leptin, a major metabolic hormone, played a major role in the development of these pathological disorders. Our study indicated the importance of regular eating habits besides controlling calorie intake. PMID:24879081
Ellegood, Jacob; Pacey, Laura K; Hampson, David R; Lerch, Jason P; Henkelman, R Mark
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) is the most common single gene cause of inherited mental impairment, and cognitive deficits can range from simple learning disabilities to mental retardation. Human FXS is caused by a loss of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). The fragile X knockout (FX KO) mouse also shows a loss of FMRP, as well as many of the physical and behavioural characteristics of human FXS. This work aims to characterize the anatomical changes between the FX KO and a corresponding wild type mouse. Significant volume decreases were found in two regions within the deep cerebellar nuclei, namely the nucleus interpositus and the fastigial nucleus, which may be caused by a loss of neurons as indicated by histological analysis. Well-known links between these nuclei and previously established behavioural and physical characteristics of FXS are discussed. The loss of FMRP has a significant effect on these two nuclei, and future studies of FXS should evaluate the biochemical, physiological, and behavioral consequences of alterations in these key nuclei.
Fuchs, Jennifer C.; Linden, Jennifer F.; Baldini, Antonio; Tucker, Abigail S.
Otitis media (OM), the inflammation of the middle ear, is the most common disease and cause for surgery in infants worldwide. Chronic Otitis media with effusion (OME) often leads to conductive hearing loss and is a common feature of a number of craniofacial syndromes, such as 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome (22q11.2DS). OM is more common in children because the more horizontal position of the Eustachian tube (ET) in infants limits or delays clearance of middle ear effusions. Some mouse models with OM have shown alterations in the morphology and angle of the ET. Here, we present a novel mechanism in which OM is caused not by a defect in the ET itself but in the muscles that control its function. Our results show that in two mouse models of 22q11.2DS (Df1/+ and Tbx1+/−) presenting with bi- or unilateral OME, the fourth pharyngeal arch-derived levator veli palatini muscles were hypoplastic, which was associated with an earlier altered pattern of MyoD expression. Importantly, in mice with unilateral OME, the side with the inflammation was associated with significantly smaller muscles than the contralateral unaffected ear. Functional tests examining ET patency confirmed a reduced clearing ability in the heterozygous mice. Our findings are also of clinical relevance as targeting hypoplastic muscles might present a novel preventative measure for reducing the high rates of OM in 22q11.2DS patients. PMID:25452432
Ruparelia, Aarti; Pearn, Matthew L.; Mobley, William C.
Down syndrome (DS) is one of many causes of intellectual disability (ID), others including but not limited to, fetal alcohol syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, Rett syndrome, Williams syndrome, hypoxia, and infection. Down syndrome is characterized by a number of neurobiological problems resulting in learning and memory deficits and early onset…
Galdzicki, Z; Siarey, R; Pearce, R; Stoll, J; Rapoport, S I
Down syndrome (DS, trisomy 21, Ts21) is the most common known cause of mental retardation. In vivo structural brain imaging in young DS adults, and post-mortem studies, indicate a normal brain size after correction for height, and the absence of neuropathology. Functional imaging with positron emission tomography (PET) shows normal brain glucose metabolism, but fewer significant correlations between metabolic rates in different brain regions than in controls, suggesting reduced functional connections between brain circuit elements. Cultured neurons from Ts21 fetuses and from fetuses of an animal model for DS, the trisomy 16 (Ts16) mouse, do not differ from controls with regard to passive electrical membrane properties, including resting potential and membrane resistance. On the other hand, the trisomic neurons demonstrate abnormal active electrical and biochemical properties (duration of action potential and its rates of depolarization and repolarization, altered kinetics of active Na(+), Ca(2+) and K(+) currents, altered membrane densities of Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels). Another animal model, the adult segmental trisomy 16 mouse (Ts65Dn), demonstrates reduced long-term potentiation and increased long-term depression (models for learning and memory related to synaptic plasticity) in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Evidence suggests that the abnormalities in the trisomy mouse models are related to defective signal transduction pathways involving the phosphoinositide cycle, protein kinase A and protein kinase C. The phenotypes of DS and its mouse models do not involve abnormal gene products due to mutations or deletions, but result from altered expression of genes on human chromosome 21 or mouse chromosome 16, respectively. To the extent that the defects in signal transduction and in active electrical properties, including synaptic plasticity, that are found in the Ts16 and Ts65Dn mouse models, are found in the brain of DS subjects, we postulate that mental
Hunsaker, Michael R; Smith, Genevieve K; Kesner, Raymond P
We propose and validate a clear strategy to efficiently and comprehensively characterize neurobehavioral deficits in the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome. This novel approach uses neurocognitive theory to design and select behavioral tasks that test specific hypotheses concerning the results of Down syndrome. In this article, we model the Arizona Cognitive Task Battery, used to study human populations with Down syndrome, in Ts65Dn mice. We observed specific deficits for spatial memory, impaired long-term memory for visual objects, acquisition and reversal of motor responses, reduced motor dexterity, and impaired adaptive function as measured by nesting and anxiety tasks. The Ts65Dn mice showed intact temporal ordering, novelty detection, and visual object recognition with short delays. These results phenocopy the performance of participants with Down syndrome on the Arizona Cognitive Task Battery. This approach extends the utility of mouse models of Down syndrome by integrating the expertise of clinical neurology and cognitive neuroscience into the mouse behavioral laboratory. Further, by directly emphasizing the reciprocal translation of research between human disease states and the associated mouse models, we demonstrate that it is possible for both groups to mutually inform each other's research to more efficiently generate hypotheses and elucidate treatment strategies. (PsycINFO Database Record
Siddiqui, Almas; Lacroix, Thomas; Stasko, Melissa R.; Scott-McKean, Jonah J.; Costa, Alberto C.S.; Gardiner, Katheleen J.
Down syndrome, due to trisomy of human chromosome 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability. The Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome is trisomic for orthologs of 94 chr21-encoded confirmed protein coding genes and displays a number of behavioral deficits. Recently, Ts65Dn mice were shown to be hypersensitive to the locomotor stimulatory effects of the high affinity N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) channel blocker, MK-801. This is consistent with the functions of several chr21 proteins that are predicted directly or indirectly to impact NMDA receptor function or NMDA receptor-mediated signaling. Here, we show that a second mouse model of Down syndrome, the Ts1Cje, which is trisomic for 70 protein coding genes, is also hypersensitive to MK-801. To investigate the molecular basis for the responses to MK-801, we have measured levels of a subset of chr21 and phosphorylated non-chr21 proteins, in the cortex and hippocampus of Ts65Dn and Ts1Cje mice and euploid controls, with and without treatment with MK-801. We show that, in euploid mice, the chr21-encoded proteins, TIAM1 and DYRK1A, and phosphorylation of Akt, Erk1/2 and the transcription factor Elk are involved in the MK-801 response. However, in both Ts65Dn and Ts1Cje mice, levels of phosphorylation are constitutively elevated in naïve, unstimulated mice and the MK-801 induced changes in TIAM1 and DYRK1A and in phosphorylation are either absent or abnormal, with both genotype and brain region-specific patterns. These results emphasize the complexities of the pathway perturbations that arise with segmental trisomy. PMID:19125866
Delépine, Chloé; Nectoux, Juliette; Letourneur, Franck; Baud, Véronique; Chelly, Jamel; Billuart, Pierre; Bienvenu, Thierry
Mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional modulator methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) are responsible for the neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome which is one of the most frequent sources of intellectual disability in women. Recent studies showed that loss of Mecp2 in astrocytes contributes to Rett-like symptoms and restoration of Mecp2 can rescue some of these defects. The goal of this work is to compare gene expression profiles of wild-type and mutant astrocytes from Mecp2(308/y) mice (B6.129S-MeCP2
Feng, Weiguo; Choi, Irene; Clouthier, David E.; Niswander, Lee; Williams, Trevor
Mouse models provide valuable opportunities for probing the underlying pathology of human birth defects. Employing an ENU-based screen for recessive mutations affecting craniofacial anatomy we isolated a mouse strain, Dogface-like (DL), with abnormal skull and snout morphology. Examination of the skull indicated that these mice developed craniosynostosis of the lambdoid suture. Further analysis revealed skeletal defects related to the pathology of basal cell nevus syndrome (BCNS) including defects in development of the limbs, scapula, ribcage, secondary palate, cranial base, and cranial vault. In humans, BCNS is often associated with mutations in the Hedgehog receptor PTCH1 and genetic mapping in DL identified a point mutation at a splice donor site in Ptch1. Using genetic complementation analysis we determined that DL is a hypomorphic allele of Ptch1, leading to increased Hedgehog signaling. Two aberrant transcripts are generated by the mutated Ptch1DL gene, which would be predicted to reduce significantly the levels of functional Patched1 protein. This new Ptch1 allele broadens the mouse genetic reagents available to study the Hedgehog pathway and provides a valuable means to study the underlying skeletal abnormalities in BCNS. In addition, these results strengthen the connection between elevated Hedgehog signaling and craniosynostosis. PMID:23897749
Ziporen, Lea; Polak-Charcon, Sylvia; Korczyn, D. Amos; Goldberg, Iris; Afek, Arnon; Kopolovic, Juri; Chapman, Joab
The aim of this work was to study the pathological processes underlying neurological dysfunctions displayed by BALB/C mice induced with experimental antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), as we have previously reported. Experimental APS was induced in female BALB/C mice by immunization with a pathogenic monoclonal anticardiolipin (aCL) antibody, H-3 (n=10), or an irrelevant immunoglobulin in controls (n=10). Mice immunized with H-3 developed clinical and neurological manifestations of APS, including: embryo resorption, thrombocytopenia neurological defects and behavioral disturbances. In mouse sera, the titer of various autoantibodies were elevated, including: anti-phospholipids (aPLs), anti-2 glycoprotein-I (β2GPI), anti-endothelial cell antibodies (AECA) and low titer of anti-dsDNA antibodies. Five months after APS induction, mice were sacrificed and brain tissue specimens were processed for hematoxylin and eosin (H&E), immunofluorescence staining and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). H&E staining of cortical tissue derived from all APS mice revealed mild inflammation, localized mainly in the meninges. Prominent IgG deposits in the large vessel walls and perivascular IgG leakage were observed by immunofluorescence. No large thrombi were observed in large vessels. However, EM evaluation of cerebral tissue revealed pathological changes in the microvessels. Thrombotic occlusion of capillaries in combination with mild inflammation was the main finding and may underlie the neurological defects displayed by mice with APS. PMID:15154615
Moon, J; Beaudin, A E; Verosky, S; Driscoll, L L; Weiskopf, M; Levitsky, D A; Crnic, L S; Strupp, B J
On a series of attention tasks, male mice with a mutation targeted to the fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmrl) gene (Fmrl knockout [KO] mice) committed a higher rate of premature responses than wild-type littermates, with the largest differences seen when task contingencies changed. This finding indicates impaired inhibitory control, particularly during times of stress or arousal. The KO mice also committed a higher rate of inaccurate responses than controls, particularly during the final third of each daily test session, indicating impaired sustained attention. In the selective attention task, the unpredictable presentation of potent olfactory distractors produced a generalized disruption in the performance of the KO mice, whereas for controls, the disruption produced by the distractors was temporally limited. Finally, the attentional disruption seen following an error was more pronounced for the KO mice than for controls, further implicating impaired regulation of arousal and/or negative affect. The present study provides the first evidence that the Fmrl KO mouse is impaired in inhibitory control, attention, and arousal regulation, hallmark areas of dysfunction in fragile X syndrome. The resistance to change also seen in these mice provides a behavioral index for studying the autistic features of this disorder.
Fukuda, Ryosuke; Morino-Koga, Saori; Suico, Mary Ann; Koyama, Kosuke; Sato, Takashi; Shuto, Tsuyoshi; Kai, Hirofumi
Alport syndrome is a hereditary glomerulopathy with proteinuria and nephritis caused by defects in genes encoding type IV collagen in the glomerular basement membrane. All male and most female patients develop end-stage renal disease. Effective treatment to stop or decelerate the progression of proteinuria and nephritis is still under investigation. Here we showed that combination treatment of mild electrical stress (MES) and heat stress (HS) ameliorated progressive proteinuria and renal injury in mouse model of Alport syndrome. The expressions of kidney injury marker neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-1β were suppressed by MES+HS treatment. The anti-proteinuric effect of MES+HS treatment is mediated by podocytic activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-OH kinase (PI3K)-Akt and heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72)-dependent pathways in vitro and in vivo. The anti-inflammatory effect of MES+HS was mediated by glomerular activation of c-jun NH2-terminal kinase 1/2 (JNK1/2) and p38-dependent pathways ex vivo. Collectively, our studies show that combination treatment of MES and HS confers anti-proteinuric and anti-inflammatory effects on Alport mice likely through the activation of multiple signaling pathways including PI3K-Akt, Hsp72, JNK1/2, and p38 pathways, providing a novel candidate therapeutic strategy to decelerate the progression of patho-phenotypes in Alport syndrome. PMID:22937108
Chen, Zhifang; Li, Xiao; Zhou, Jingjing; Yuan, Bo; Yu, Bin; Tong, Dali; Cheng, Cheng; Shao, Yinqi; Xia, Shengnan; Zhang, Ran; Lyu, Jingwen; Yu, Xiuya; Dong, Chen; Zhou, Wen-Hao; Qiu, Zilong
Duplications of Methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) -containing segments lead to the MECP2 duplication syndrome, in which severe autistic symptoms were identified. Whether adult neurogenesis may play a role in pathogenesis of autism and the role of MECP2 on state determination of adult neural stem cells (NSCs) remain largely unclear. Using a MECP2 transgenic (TG) mouse model for the MECP2 duplication syndrome, we found that adult hippocampal quiescent NSCs were significantly accumulated in TG mice comparing to wild type (WT) mice, the neural progenitor cells (NPCs) were reduced and the neuroblasts were increased in adult hippocampi of MECP2 TG mice. Interestingly, we found that parvalbumin (PV) positive interneurons were significantly decreased in MECP2 TG mice, which were critical for determining fates of adult hippocampal NSCs between the quiescence and activation. In summary, we found that MeCP2 plays a critical role in regulating fate determination of adult NSCs. These evidences further suggest that abnormal development of NSCs may play a role in the pathogenesis of the MECP2 duplication syndrome. PMID:28139724
Kalinowska, Magdalena; Castillo, Catherine; Francesconi, Anna
Fragile X Syndrome, a leading cause of inherited intellectual disability and autism, arises from transcriptional silencing of the FMR1 gene encoding an RNA-binding protein, Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP). FMRP can regulate the expression of approximately 4% of brain transcripts through its role in regulation of mRNA transport, stability and translation, thus providing a molecular rationale for its potential pleiotropic effects on neuronal and brain circuitry function. Several intracellular signaling pathways are dysregulated in the absence of FMRP suggesting that cellular deficits may be broad and could result in homeostatic changes. Lipid rafts are specialized regions of the plasma membrane, enriched in cholesterol and glycosphingolipids, involved in regulation of intracellular signaling. Among transcripts targeted by FMRP, a subset encodes proteins involved in lipid biosynthesis and homeostasis, dysregulation of which could affect the integrity and function of lipid rafts. Using a quantitative mass spectrometry-based approach we analyzed the lipid raft proteome of Fmr1 knockout mice, an animal model of Fragile X syndrome, and identified candidate proteins that are differentially represented in Fmr1 knockout mice lipid rafts. Furthermore, network analysis of these candidate proteins reveals connectivity between them and predicts functional connectivity with genes encoding components of myelin sheath, axonal processes and growth cones. Our findings provide insight to aid identification of molecular and cellular dysfunctions arising from Fmr1 silencing and for uncovering shared pathologies between Fragile X syndrome and other autism spectrum disorders.
Nong, Yi; Blundell, Jacqueline; Wong, Lili; Duff, Karen; Flajolet, Marc; Greengard, Paul
β-amyloid levels are elevated in Down syndrome (DS) patients throughout life and are believed to cause Alzheimer's disease (AD) in adult members of this population. However, it is not known if β-amyloid contributes to intellectual disability in younger individuals. We used a γ-secretase inhibitor to lower β-amyloid levels in young mice that model DS. This treatment corrected learning deficits characteristic of these mice, suggesting that β-amyloid-lowering therapies might improve cognitive function in young DS patients. PMID:20532168
Morice, Elise; Andreae, Laura C.; Cooke, Sam F.; Vanes, Lesley; Fisher, Elizabeth M. C.; Tybulewicz, Victor L. J.; Bliss, Timothy V. P.
Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder arising from the presence of a third copy of the human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). Recently, O'Doherty and colleagues in an earlier study generated a new genetic mouse model of DS (Tc1) that carries an almost complete Hsa21. Since DS is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation, we have undertaken a…
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disease characterized by persistent hunger and hyperphagia. The lack of the Snord116 small nucleolar RNA cluster has been identified as the major contributor to PWS symptoms. The Snord116 deletion (Snord116del) mouse model manifested a subset of PWS symptoms ...
Brace, Lear E; Vose, Sarah C; Vargas, Dorathy F; Zhao, Shuangyun; Wang, Xiu-Ping; Mitchell, James R
Cockayne syndrome (CS) is a rare autosomal recessive segmental progeria characterized by growth failure, lipodystrophy, neurological abnormalities, and photosensitivity, but without skin cancer predisposition. Cockayne syndrome life expectancy ranges from 5 to 16 years for the two most severe forms (types II and I, respectively). Mouse models of CS have thus far been of limited value due to either very mild phenotypes, or premature death during postnatal development prior to weaning. The cause of death in severe CS models is unknown, but has been attributed to extremely rapid aging. Here, we found that providing mutant pups with soft food from as late as postnatal day 14 allowed survival past weaning with high penetrance independent of dietary macronutrient balance in a novel CS model (Csa(-/-) | Xpa(-/-)). Survival past weaning revealed a number of CS-like symptoms including small size, progressive loss of adiposity, and neurological symptoms, with a maximum lifespan of 19 weeks. Our results caution against interpretation of death before weaning as premature aging, and at the same time provide a valuable new tool for understanding mechanisms of progressive CS-related progeroid symptoms including lipodystrophy and neurodysfunction.
Incerti, Maddalena; Vink, Joy; Roberson, Robin; Abebe, Daniel; Spong, Catherine Y
Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is the most common nongenetic cause of mental retardation and is characterized by neurodevelopmental anomalies. C-FOS is a cellular marker of transcriptional activity in the stress-signal pathway. Previously, we showed the treatment with NAP (NAPVSIPQ) + SAL (SALLRSIPA) reversed the learning deficit after prenatal alcohol exposure in FAS. Our objective was to evaluate if the mechanism of actions of NAP + SAL involves the stress-signal pathway differentiating C-FOS expression in mouse brains after prenatal alcohol exposure. C57Bl6/J mice were treated with alcohol (0.03 mL/g) or placebo on gestational day 8. On postnatal day 40, in utero alcohol-exposed males were treated via gavage with 40 μg D-NAP and 40 μg D-SAL ( N = 6) or placebo ( N = 4); controls were gavaged with placebo daily ( N = 12). After learning evaluation, hippocampus, cerebellum, and cortex were isolated. Calibrator-normalized relative real-time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis were performed. Statistics included analysis of variance and post hoc Fisher analysis. Adult treatment with NAP + SAL restored the down-regulation of C-FOS in the hippocampus after prenatal alcohol exposure ( P < 0.05), but not in the cerebellum. There was no difference in C-FOS expression in the cortex. Adult treatment with NAP + SAL restored the down-regulation of C-FOS expression in hippocampus attenuating the alcohol-induced alteration of the stress-signal pathway.
Riddell, John S.; Bailey, Mark E. S.; Cobb, Stuart R.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a genetic disorder characterized by a range of features including cognitive impairment, gait abnormalities and a reduction in purposeful hand skills. Mice harbouring knockout mutations in the Mecp2 gene display many RTT-like characteristics and are central to efforts to find novel therapies for the disorder. As hand stereotypies and gait abnormalities constitute major diagnostic criteria in RTT, it is clear that motor and gait-related phenotypes will be of importance in assessing preclinical therapeutic outcomes. We therefore aimed to assess gait properties over the prodromal phase in a functional knockout mouse model of RTT. In male Mecp2 knockout mice, we observed alterations in stride, coordination and balance parameters at 4 weeks of age, before the onset of other overt phenotypic changes as revealed by observational scoring. These data suggest that gait measures may be used as a robust and early marker of MeCP2-dysfunction in future preclinical therapeutic studies. PMID:25392929
Chakrabarti, Lina; Scafidi, Joseph; Gallo, Vittorio; Haydar, Tarik F
Down syndrome (DS), the most frequent genetic cause of intellectual disability and developmental delay, results from impaired neural stem cell proliferation and differentiation. Impaired neurogenesis in the neocortex, hippocampus and cerebellum is believed to be the underlying cause of learning and behavioral deficits in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. Aggressive sensorimotor and cognitive therapies have shown promise in mitigating the cognitive disabilities in DS but these behavioral therapies have not yet been investigated at the cellular level. Here, using the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS, we demonstrate that a combination of environmental enrichment and physical exercise starting in juvenile mice (postnatal day 18) markedly increases cell proliferation, neurogenesis and gliogenesis in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and the forebrain subventricular zone (SVZ) of both male and female mice. Enrichment and exercise increased the rate of Ts65Dn DG neurogenesis to be comparable to that of the nonenriched euploid group, while the effect on SVZ neurogenesis was reduced and seen only after prolonged exposure. These results clearly indicate that in a comprehensive stimulatory environment, the postnatal DS brain has the intrinsic capability of improving neurogenesis and gliogenesis to the levels of normal matched controls and that this cellular response underlies the cognitive improvement seen following behavioral therapies.
Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Grieco, Joseph C; D'Agostino, Dominic P; Weeber, Edwin J
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a rare genetic and neurological disorder presenting with seizures, developmental delay, ataxia, and lack of speech. Previous studies have indicated that oxidative stress-dependent metabolic dysfunction may underlie the phenotypic deficits reported in the AS mouse model. While the ketogenic diet (KD) has been used to protect against oxidative stress and has successfully treated refractory epilepsy in AS case studies, issues arise due to its strict adherence requirements, in addition to selective eating habits and weight issues reported in patients with AS. We hypothesized that ketone ester supplementation would mimic the KD as an anticonvulsant and improve the behavioral and synaptic plasticity deficits in vivo. AS mice were supplemented R,S-1,3-butanediol acetoacetate diester (KE) ad libitum for eight weeks. KE administration improved motor coordination, learning and memory, and synaptic plasticity in AS mice. The KE was also anticonvulsant and altered brain amino acid metabolism in AS treated animals. Our findings suggest that KE supplementation produces sustained ketosis and ameliorates many phenotypes in the AS mouse model, and should be investigated further for future clinical use.
Huang, Wen-Chin; Chen, Youjun; Page, Damon T.
Multiple autism risk genes converge on the regulation of mTOR signalling, which is a key effector of neuronal growth and connectivity. We show that mTOR signalling is dysregulated during early postnatal development in the cerebral cortex of germ-line heterozygous Pten mutant mice (Pten+/−), which model macrocephaly/autism syndrome. The basolateral amygdala (BLA) receives input from subcortical-projecting neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). Analysis of mPFC to BLA axonal projections reveals that Pten+/− mice exhibit increased axonal branching and connectivity, which is accompanied by increased activity in the BLA in response to social stimuli and social behavioural deficits. The latter two phenotypes can be suppressed by pharmacological inhibition of S6K1 during early postnatal life or by reducing the activity of mPFC–BLA circuitry in adulthood. These findings identify a mechanism of altered connectivity that has potential relevance to the pathophysiology of macrocephaly/autism syndrome and autism spectrum disorders featuring dysregulated mTOR signalling. PMID:27845329
Navein, Alice E.; Cooke, Esther J.; Davies, Jennifer R.; Smith, Terence G.; Wells, Lois H. M.; Ohazama, Atsushi; Healy, Christopher; Sharpe, Paul T.; Evans, Sam L.; Evans, Bronwen A. J.; Votruba, Marcela; Wells, Timothy
Mitochondrial dysfunction connects metabolic disturbance with numerous pathologies, but the significance of mitochondrial activity in bone remains unclear. We have, therefore, characterized the skeletal phenotype in the Opa3L122P mouse model for Costeff syndrome, in which a missense mutation of the mitochondrial membrane protein, Opa3, impairs mitochondrial activity resulting in visual and metabolic dysfunction. Although widely expressed in the developing normal mouse head, Opa3 expression was restricted after E14.5 to the retina, brain, teeth and mandibular bone. Opa3 was also expressed in adult tibiae, including at the trabecular surfaces and in cortical osteocytes, epiphyseal chondrocytes, marrow adipocytes and mesenchymal stem cell rosettes. Opa3L122P mice displayed craniofacial abnormalities, including undergrowth of the lower mandible, accompanied in some individuals by cranial asymmetry and incisor malocclusion. Opa3L122P mice showed an 8-fold elevation in tibial marrow adiposity, due largely to increased adipogenesis. In addition, femoral length and cortical diameter and wall thickness were reduced, the weakening of the calcified tissue and the geometric component of strength reducing overall cortical strength in Opa3L122P mice by 65%. In lumbar vertebrae reduced vertebral body area and wall thickness were accompanied by a proportionate reduction in marrow adiposity. Although the total biomechanical strength of lumbar vertebrae was reduced by 35%, the strength of the calcified tissue (σmax) was proportionate to a 38% increase in trabecular number. Thus, mitochondrial function is important for the development and maintenance of skeletal integrity, impaired bone growth and strength, particularly in limb bones, representing a significant new feature of the Costeff syndrome phenotype. PMID:27106103
De Filippis, Bianca; Fabbri, Alessia; Simone, Daiana; Canese, Rossella; Ricceri, Laura; Malchiodi-Albedi, Fiorella; Laviola, Giovanni; Fiorentini, Carla
RhoGTPases are crucial molecules in neuronal plasticity and cognition, as confirmed by their role in non-syndromic mental retardation. Activation of brain RhoGTPases by the bacterial cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1 (CNF1) reshapes the actin cytoskeleton and enhances neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in mouse brains. We evaluated the effects of a single CNF1 intracerebroventricular inoculation in a mouse model of Rett syndrome (RTT), a rare neurodevelopmental disorder and a genetic cause of mental retardation, for which no effective therapy is available. Fully symptomatic MeCP2-308 male mice were evaluated in a battery of tests specifically tailored to detect RTT-related impairments. At the end of behavioral testing, brain sections were immunohistochemically characterized. Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy (MRS) were also applied to assess morphological and metabolic brain changes. The CNF1 administration markedly improved the behavioral phenotype of MeCP2-308 mice. CNF1 also dramatically reversed the evident signs of atrophy in astrocytes of mutant mice and restored wt-like levels of this cell population. A partial rescue of the overexpression of IL-6 cytokine was also observed in RTT brains. CNF1-induced brain metabolic changes detected by MRS analysis involved markers of glial integrity and bioenergetics, and point to improved mitochondria functionality in CNF1-treated mice. These results clearly indicate that modulation of brain RhoGTPases by CNF1 may constitute a totally innovative therapeutic approach for RTT and, possibly, for other disorders associated with mental retardation.
Roy, Snigdha; Watkins, Nick; Heck, Detlef
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is a well-recognized form of inherited mental retardation, caused by a mutation in the fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmr1) gene. The gene is located on the long arm of the X chromosome and encodes fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). Absence of FMRP in fragile X patients as well as in Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice results, among other changes, in abnormal dendritic spine formation and altered synaptic plasticity in the neocortex and hippocampus. Clinical features of FXS include cognitive impairment, anxiety, abnormal social interaction, mental retardation, motor coordination and speech articulation deficits. Mouse pups generate ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) when isolated from their mothers. Whether those social ultrasonic vocalizations are deficient in mouse models of FXS is unknown. Here we compared isolation-induced USVs generated by pups of Fmr1-KO mice with those of their wild type (WT) littermates. Though the total number of calls was not significantly different between genotypes, a detailed analysis of 10 different categories of calls revealed that loss of Fmr1 expression in mice causes limited and call-type specific deficits in ultrasonic vocalization: the carrier frequency of flat calls was higher, the percentage of downward calls was lower and that the frequency range of complex calls was wider in Fmr1-KO mice compared to their WT littermates.
Fragile X syndrome (FXS), an inherited disorder characterized by mental retardation and autism-like behaviors, is caused by the failure to transcribe the gene for fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a translational regulator and transporter of select mRNAs. FXS model mice (Fmr1 KO mice) exhibit impaired neuropeptide release. Release of biogenic amines does not differ between wild-type (WT) and Fmr1 KO mice. Rab3A, an mRNA cargo of FMRP involved in the recruitment of vesicles, is decreased by ∼50% in synaptoneurosomes of Fmr1 KO mice; however, the number of dense-core vesicles (DCVs) does not differ between WT and Fmr1 KO mice. Therefore, deficits associated with FXS may reflect this aberrant vesicle release, specifically involving docking and fusion of peptidergic DCVs, and may lead to defective maturation and maintenance of synaptic connections. PMID:20495672
Powell, Nick M; Modat, Marc; Cardoso, M Jorge; Ma, Da; Holmes, Holly E; Yu, Yichao; O'Callaghan, James; Cleary, Jon O; Sinclair, Ben; Wiseman, Frances K; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Lythgoe, Mark F; Ourselin, Sébastien
We describe a fully automated pipeline for the morphometric phenotyping of mouse brains from μMRI data, and show its application to the Tc1 mouse model of Down syndrome, to identify new morphological phenotypes in the brain of this first transchromosomic animal carrying human chromosome 21. We incorporate an accessible approach for simultaneously scanning multiple ex vivo brains, requiring only a 3D-printed brain holder, and novel image processing steps for their separation and orientation. We employ clinically established multi-atlas techniques-superior to single-atlas methods-together with publicly-available atlas databases for automatic skull-stripping and tissue segmentation, providing high-quality, subject-specific tissue maps. We follow these steps with group-wise registration, structural parcellation and both Voxel- and Tensor-Based Morphometry-advantageous for their ability to highlight morphological differences without the laborious delineation of regions of interest. We show the application of freely available open-source software developed for clinical MRI analysis to mouse brain data: NiftySeg for segmentation and NiftyReg for registration, and discuss atlases and parameters suitable for the preclinical paradigm. We used this pipeline to compare 29 Tc1 brains with 26 wild-type littermate controls, imaged ex vivo at 9.4T. We show an unexpected increase in Tc1 total intracranial volume and, controlling for this, local volume and grey matter density reductions in the Tc1 brain compared to the wild-types, most prominently in the cerebellum, in agreement with human DS and previous histological findings.
Modat, Marc; Cardoso, M. Jorge; Ma, Da; Holmes, Holly E.; Yu, Yichao; O’Callaghan, James; Cleary, Jon O.; Sinclair, Ben; Wiseman, Frances K.; Tybulewicz, Victor L. J.; Fisher, Elizabeth M. C.; Lythgoe, Mark F.; Ourselin, Sébastien
We describe a fully automated pipeline for the morphometric phenotyping of mouse brains from μMRI data, and show its application to the Tc1 mouse model of Down syndrome, to identify new morphological phenotypes in the brain of this first transchromosomic animal carrying human chromosome 21. We incorporate an accessible approach for simultaneously scanning multiple ex vivo brains, requiring only a 3D-printed brain holder, and novel image processing steps for their separation and orientation. We employ clinically established multi-atlas techniques–superior to single-atlas methods–together with publicly-available atlas databases for automatic skull-stripping and tissue segmentation, providing high-quality, subject-specific tissue maps. We follow these steps with group-wise registration, structural parcellation and both Voxel- and Tensor-Based Morphometry–advantageous for their ability to highlight morphological differences without the laborious delineation of regions of interest. We show the application of freely available open-source software developed for clinical MRI analysis to mouse brain data: NiftySeg for segmentation and NiftyReg for registration, and discuss atlases and parameters suitable for the preclinical paradigm. We used this pipeline to compare 29 Tc1 brains with 26 wild-type littermate controls, imaged ex vivo at 9.4T. We show an unexpected increase in Tc1 total intracranial volume and, controlling for this, local volume and grey matter density reductions in the Tc1 brain compared to the wild-types, most prominently in the cerebellum, in agreement with human DS and previous histological findings. PMID:27658297
Ohmi, Kazuhiro; Zhao, Hui-Zhi; Neufeld, Elizabeth F
Sanfilippo syndrome type B (MPS IIIB) is characterized by profound mental retardation in childhood, dementia and death in late adolescence; it is caused by deficiency of α-N-acetylglucosaminidase and resulting lysosomal storage of heparan sulfate. A mouse model, generated by homologous recombination of the Naglu gene, was used to study pathological changes in the brain. We found earlier that neurons in the medial entorhinal cortex (MEC) and the dentate gyrus showed a number of secondary defects, including the presence of hyperphosphorylated tau (Ptau) detected with antibodies raised against Ptau in Alzheimer disease brain. By further use of immunohistochemistry, we now show staining in neurons of the same area for beta amyloid, extending the resemblance to Alzheimer disease. Ptau inclusions in the dentate gyrus of MPS IIIB mice were reduced in number when the mice were administered LiCl, a specific inhibitor of Gsk3β. Additional proteins found elevated in MEC include proteins involved in autophagy and the heparan sulfate proteoglycans, glypicans 1 and 5, the latter closely related to the primary defect. The level of secondary accumulations was associated with elevation of glypican, as seen by comparing brains of mice at different ages or with different mucopolysaccharide storage diseases. The MEC of an MPS IIIA mouse had the same intense immunostaining for glypican 1 and other markers as MPS IIIB, while MEC of MPS I and MPS II mice had weak staining, and MEC of an MPS VI mouse had no staining at all for the same proteins. A considerable amount of glypican was found in MEC of MPS IIIB mice outside of lysosomes. We propose that it is the extralysosomal glypican that would be harmful to neurons, because its heparan sulfate branches could potentiate the formation of Ptau and beta amyloid aggregates, which would be toxic as well as difficult to degrade.
Villarroya, Olga; Ballestín, Raúl; López-Hidalgo, Rosa; Mulet, Maria; Blasco-Ibáñez, José Miguel; Crespo, Carlos; Nacher, Juan; Gilabert-Juan, Javier; Varea, Emilio
Down syndrome (DS) is the most common chromosomal aneuploidy. Although trisomy on chromosome 21 can display variable phenotypes, there is a common feature among all DS individuals: the presence of intellectual disability. This condition is partially attributed to abnormalities found in the hippocampus of individuals with DS and in the murine model for DS, Ts65Dn. To check if all hippocampal areas were equally affected in 4-5 month adult Ts65Dn mice, we analysed the morphology of dentate gyrus granule cells and cornu ammonis pyramidal neurons using Sholl method on Golgi-Cox impregnated neurons. Structural plasticity has been analysed using immunohistochemistry for plasticity molecules followed by densitometric analysis (Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), Polysialylated form of the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (PSA-NCAM) and the Growth Associated Protein 43 (GAP43)). We observed an impairment in the dendritic arborisation of granule cells, but not in the pyramidal neurons in the Ts65Dn mice. When we analysed the expression of molecules related to structural plasticity in trisomic mouse hippocampus, we observed a reduction in the expression of BDNF and PSA-NCAM, and an increment in the expression of GAP43. These alterations were restricted to the regions related to dentate granule cells suggesting an interrelation. Therefore the impairment in dendritic arborisation and molecular plasticity is not a general feature of all Down Syndrome principal neurons. Pharmacological manipulations of the levels of plasticity molecules could provide a way to restore granule cell morphology and function.
Schütz, Melanie; Auth, Tanja; Gehrt, Anna; Bosen, Felicitas; Körber, Inken; Strenzke, Nicola; Moser, Tobias; Willecke, Klaus
Mutations in the GJB2 gene coding for connexin26 (Cx26) can cause a variety of deafness and hereditary hyperproliferative skin disorders in humans. In this study, we investigated the Cx26S17F mutation in mice, which had been identified to cause the keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome in humans. The KID syndrome is characterized by keratitis and chronic progressive corneal neovascularization, skin hyperplasia, sensorineural hearing loss and increased carcinogenic potential. We have generated a conditional mouse mutant, in which the floxed wild-type Cx26-coding DNA can be deleted and the Cx26S17F mutation is expressed under control of the endogenous Cx26 promoter. Homozygous mutants are not viable, whereas the surviving heterozygous mice show hyperplasia of tail and foot epidermis, wounded tails and annular tail restrictions, and are smaller than their wild-type littermates. Analyses of auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) indicate an ∼35 dB increased hearing threshold in these mice, which is likely due to the reduction of the endocochlear potential by 20-40%. Our results indicate that the Cx26S17F protein, which does not form functional gap junction channels or hemichannels, alters epidermal proliferation and differentiation in the heterozygous state. In the inner ear, reduced intercellular coupling by heteromeric channels composed of Cx26S17F and Cx30 could contribute to hearing impairment in heterozygous mice, while remaining wild-type Cx26 may be sufficient to stabilize Cx30 and partially maintain cochlear homeostasis. The phenotype of heterozygous mice resembles many of the symptoms of the human KID syndrome. Thus, these mice represent an appropriate model to further investigate the disease mechanism.
Metcalf, B M; Mullaney, B C; Johnston, M V; Blue, M E
Rett syndrome is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in methyl-CpG binding protein 2. Females with identical mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 gene can display varying severity of symptoms, suggesting that other factors such as X-chromosome inactivation affect phenotypic expression in Rett syndrome. Although X-chromosome inactivation is random and balanced in the blood and brain of the majority of girls with classic Rett syndrome, skewing in the ratio of expression of the mutant methyl-CpG binding protein 2-X to the wildtype-X affects the severity of symptoms. In this study, the pattern of immunostaining for methyl-CpG binding protein 2 was compared with that of neuronal nuclei specific protein, a pan-neuronal marker, to assess X-chromosome inactivation in a Rett syndrome mouse model. The number of cortical neurons and cortical volume were assessed by unbiased stereological measurements in younger adult (7-9 week old) wildtype (wildtype/methyl-CpG binding protein 2+/+), female heterozygous (heterozygous/methyl-CpG binding protein 2+/-), and null (methyl-CpG binding protein 2-/y) male mice and in older adult (24-95 week old) wildtype and heterozygous mice. The results showed that the number of neuronal nuclei specific protein-positive cells and cortical volume did not differ by genotype or age. However, younger adult heterozygous mice had significantly fewer methyl-CpG binding protein 2 cells and the pattern of methyl-CpG binding protein 2 staining was less distinct than in younger adult wildtype mice. However, in older adult heterozygous mice, the number and pattern of methyl-CpG binding protein 2-expressing neurons were similar to the wildtype. The ratio of methyl-CpG binding protein 2 to neuronal nuclei specific protein-stained neurons, a potential measure of X-chromosome inactivation, was close to 50% in the younger adult heterozygous mice, but nearly 70% in the older adult heterozygous mice. These results suggest that X
Nagaoka, Akira; Takehara, Hiroaki; Hayashi-Takagi, Akiko; Noguchi, Jun; Ishii, Kazuhiko; Shirai, Fukutoshi; Yagishita, Sho; Akagi, Takanori; Ichiki, Takanori; Kasai, Haruo
Dendritic spine generation and elimination play an important role in learning and memory, the dynamics of which have been examined within the neocortex in vivo. Spine turnover has also been detected in the absence of specific learning tasks, and is frequently exaggerated in animal models of autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). The present study aimed to examine whether the baseline rate of spine turnover was activity-dependent. This was achieved using a microfluidic brain interface and open-dura surgery, with the goal of abolishing neuronal Ca2+ signaling in the visual cortex of wild-type mice and rodent models of fragile X syndrome (Fmr1 knockout [KO]). In wild-type and Fmr1 KO mice, the majority of baseline turnover was found to be activity-independent. Accordingly, the application of matrix metalloproteinase-9 inhibitors selectively restored the abnormal spine dynamics observed in Fmr1 KO mice, without affecting the intrinsic dynamics of spine turnover in wild-type mice. Such findings indicate that the baseline turnover of dendritic spines is mediated by activity-independent intrinsic dynamics. Furthermore, these results suggest that the targeting of abnormal intrinsic dynamics might pose a novel therapy for ASD. PMID:27221801
Begenisic, Tatjana; Sansevero, Gabriele; Baroncelli, Laura; Cioni, Giovanni; Sale, Alessandro
Down syndrome (DS), the most common genetic disorder associated with intellectual disabilities, is an untreatable condition characterized by a number of developmental defects and permanent deficits in the adulthood. Ts65Dn mice, the major animal model for DS, display severe cognitive and synaptic plasticity defects closely resembling the human phenotype. Here, we employed a multidisciplinary approach to investigate, for the first time in developing Ts65Dn mice, the effects elicited by early environmental enrichment (EE) on brain maturation and function. We report that exposure to EE resulted in a robust increase in maternal care levels displayed by Ts65Dn mothers and led to a normalization of declarative memory abilities and hippocampal plasticity in trisomic offspring. The positive effects of EE on Ts65Dn phenotype were not limited to the cognitive domain, but also included a rescue of visual system maturation. The beneficial EE effects were accompanied by increased BDNF and correction of over-expression of the GABA vesicular transporter vGAT. These findings highlight the beneficial impact of early environmental stimuli and their potential for application in the treatment of major functional deficits in children with DS.
Tomassy, Giulio Srubek; Morello, Noemi; Calcagno, Eleonora; Giustetto, Maurizio
Rett syndrome (RTT, MIM312750), a neurodevelopmental disorder predominantly occurring in females, is caused in the majority of cases by sporadic mutations in the gene encoding the transcriptional modulator methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). In mice, impaired MeCP2 function results in severe motor, cognitive, and emotional defects. The lack of Mecp2 in γ-aminobutyric acid-(GABA) releasing forebrain interneurons (INs) recapitulate many RTT features, however, the role of this gene in the development of the cortical inhibitory system is still unknown. Here, we found that MeCP2 expression varies among the three major classes of cortical INs and its nuclear localization differs between neuronal types. The density of calretinin(+) and parvalbumin(+) INs increases in Mecp2 knockout mice (Mecp2(-/y) ) already at early post-natal developmental stages. In contrast, the density of somatostatin(+) INs is not affected. We also found that the development of multipolar-calretinin(+) INs is selectively affected by the absence of Mecp2. Additionally, we show that in Mecp2 heterozygous female mice, a model closely mimicking human RTT condition, IN abnormalities are similar to those observed in Mecp2(-/y) mice. Together, our study indicates that loss of function of Mecp2 strongly interferes with the correct establishment of the neocortical inhibitory system producing effects that are specific to different IN subtypes.
Li, Quan; Loh, Dawn H; Kudo, Takashi; Truong, Danny; Derakhshesh, Matthew; Kaswan, Zoë MacDowell; Ghiani, Cristina A; Tsoa, Rosemarie; Cheng, Yin; Sun, Yi E; Colwell, Christopher S
Disturbances in the sleep/wake cycle are prevalent in patients with Rett syndrome (RTT). We sought to determine whether the circadian system is disrupted in a RTT model, Mecp2(-/y) mice. We found that MeCP2 mutants showed decreased strength and precision of daily rhythms of activity coupled with extremely fragmented sleep. The central circadian clock (suprachiasmatic nucleus) exhibited significant reduction in the number of neurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) as well as compromised spontaneous neural activity. The molecular clockwork was disrupted both centrally in the SCN and in peripheral organs, indicating a general disorganization of the circadian system. Disruption of the molecular clockwork was observed in fibroblasts of RTT patients. Finally, MeCP2 mutant mice were vulnerable to circadian disruption as chronic jet lag accelerated mortality. Our finds suggest an integral role of MeCP2 in the circadian timing system and provides a possible mechanistic explanation for the sleep/wake distrubances observed in RTT patients. The work raises the possibility that RTT patients may benefit from a temporally structured environment.
Chronic alcohol consumption (CAC) can lead to the Korsakoff syndrome (KS), a memory deficiency attributed to diencephalie damage and/or to medial temporal or cortical related dysfunction. The etiology of KS remains unclear. Most animal models of KS involve thiaminedeficient diets associated with pyrithiamine treatment. Here we present a mouse model of CAC-induced KS. We demonstrate that CAC-generated retrieval memory deficits in working/ episodic memory tasks, together with a reduction of fear reactivity, result from damage to the mammillary bodies (MB). Experimental lesions of MB in non-alcoholic mice produced the same memory and emotional impairments. Drugs having anxiogenic-like properties counteract such impairments produced by CAC or by MB lesions. We suggest (a) that MB are the essential components of a brain network underlying emotional processes, which would be critically important in the retrieval processes involved in working/ episodic memory tasks, and (b) that failure to maintain emotional arousal due to MB damage can be a main factor of CAC-induced memory deficits. Overall, our animal model fits well with general neuropsychological and anatomic impairments observed in KS. PMID:16444899
Vogelgesang, Steffen; Niebert, Sabine; Renner, Ute; Möbius, Wiebke; Hülsmann, Swen; Manzke, Till; Niebert, Marcus
Mutations in the transcription factor methyl-CpG-binding-protein 2 (MeCP2) cause a delayed-onset neurodevelopmental disorder known as Rett syndrome (RTT). Although alteration in serotonin levels have been reported in RTT patients, the molecular mechanisms underlying these defects are not well understood. Therefore, we chose to investigate the serotonergic system in hippocampus and brainstem of male Mecp2-/y knock-out mice in the B6.129P2(C)-Mecp2(tm1.1Bird) mouse model of RTT. The serotonergic system in mouse is comprised of 16 genes, whose mRNA expression profile was analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. Mecp2-/y mice are an established animal model for RTT displaying most of the cognitive and physical impairments of human patients and the selected areas receive significant modulation through serotonin. Using anatomically and functional characterized areas, we found region-specific differential expression between wild type and Mecp2-/y mice at post-natal day 40. In brainstem, we found five genes to be dysregulated, while in hippocampus, two genes were dysregulated. The one gene dysregulated in both brain regions was dopamine decarboxylase, but of special interest is the serotonin receptor 5b (5-ht5b), which showed 75-fold dysregulation in brainstem of Mecp2-/y mice. This dysregulation was not due to upregulation, but due to failure of down-regulation in Mecp2-/y mice during development. Detailed analysis of 5-ht5b revealed a receptor that localizes to endosomes and interacts with Gαi proteins. PMID:28337123
Ahmed, Md Mahiuddin; Dhanasekaran, A Ranjitha; Block, Aaron; Tong, Suhong; Costa, Alberto C S; Stasko, Melissa; Gardiner, Katheleen J
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by an extra copy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). Although it is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability (ID), there are, as yet, no effective pharmacotherapies. The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS is trisomic for orthologs of ∼55% of Hsa21 classical protein coding genes. These mice display many features relevant to those seen in DS, including deficits in learning and memory (L/M) tasks requiring a functional hippocampus. Recently, the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, memantine, was shown to rescue performance of the Ts65Dn in several L/M tasks. These studies, however, have not been accompanied by molecular analyses. In previous work, we described changes in protein expression induced in hippocampus and cortex in control mice after exposure to context fear conditioning (CFC), with and without memantine treatment. Here, we extend this analysis to Ts65Dn mice, measuring levels of 85 proteins/protein modifications, including components of MAP kinase and MTOR pathways, and subunits of NMDA receptors, in cortex and hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice after failed learning in CFC and after learning was rescued by memantine. We show that, compared with wild type littermate controls, (i) of the dynamic responses seen in control mice in normal learning, >40% also occur in Ts65Dn in failed learning or are compensated by baseline abnormalities, and thus are considered necessary but not sufficient for successful learning, and (ii) treatment with memantine does not in general normalize the initial protein levels but instead induces direct and indirect responses in approximately half the proteins measured and results in normalization of the endpoint protein levels. Together, these datasets provide a first view of the complexities associated with pharmacological rescue of learning in the Ts65Dn. Extending such studies to additional drugs and mouse models of DS will aid in identifying pharmacotherapies for effective clinical trials.
Bakhshalizadeh, Shabnam; Amidi, Fardin; Alleyassin, Ashraf; Soleimani, Masoud; Shirazi, Reza; Shabani Nashtaei, Maryam
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is the most common endocrine disorder of women of reproductive age characterized by polycystic ovarian morphology, anovulation or oligomenorrhea, and hyperandrogenism. It is shown that disruption in the steroidogenesis pathway caused by excess androgen in PCOS is a critical element of abnormal folliculogenesis and failure in dominant follicle selection. Vitamin D plays an important role in the regulation of ovulatory dysfunction and can influence genes involved in steroidogenesis in granulosa cells. In the present study, we investigated the effects of vitamin D3 on steroidogenic enzyme expression and activities in granulosa cell using a PCOS mouse model. In our study, the PCOS mouse model was developed by the injection of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) for 20 days. The mRNA and protein expression levels of genes involved in steroidogenesis in granulosa cells were compared between polycystic and normal ovaries using real-time PCR and Western blotting assays. Granulosa cells of DHEA-induced PCOS mice were then cultured with and without vitamin D3 and mRNA and protein expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes and serum 17beta-estradiol and progesterone levels were investigated using qRT-PCR, western blot, and radioimmunoassay, respectively. Steroidogenic enzymes including Cyp11a1, StAR, Cyp19a1, and 3β-HSD were upregulated in granulosa cells of PCOS mice when compared to normal mice. Treatment with vitamin D3 decreased mRNA and protein expression levels of steroidogenic enzymes in cultured granulosa cells. Vitamin D3 also decreased aromatase and 3β-HSD activity that leads to decreased 17beta-estradiol and progesterone release. This study suggests that vitamin D3 could modulate the steroidogenesis pathway in granulosa cells of PCOS mice that may lead to improving follicular development and maturation. This is a step towards a possible conceivable treatment for PCOS.
Davies, Jennifer R; Humby, Trevor; Dwyer, Dominic M; Garfield, Alastair S; Furby, Hannah; Wilkinson, Lawrence S; Wells, Timothy; Isles, Anthony R
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by deletion or inactivation of paternally expressed imprinted genes on human chromosome 15q11-q13, the most recognised feature of which is hyperphagia. This is thought to arise as a consequence of abnormalities in both the physiological drive for food and the rewarding properties of food. Although a number of mouse models for PWS exist, the underlying variables dictating maladaptive feeding remain unknown. Here, feeding behaviour in a mouse model in which the imprinting centre (IC) of the syntenic PWS interval has been deleted (PWS(ICdel) mice) is characterised. It is demonstrated that PWS(ICdel) mice show hyperghrelinaemia and increased consumption of food both following overnight fasting and when made more palatable with sucrose. However, hyperphagia in PWS(ICdel) mice was not accompanied by any changes in reactivity to the hedonic properties of palatable food (sucrose or saccharin), as measured by lick-cluster size. Nevertheless, overall consumption by PWS(ICdel) mice for non-caloric saccharin in the licking test was significantly reduced. Combined with converging findings from a continuous reinforcement schedule, these data indicate that PWS(ICdel) mice show a marked heightened sensitivity to the calorific value of food. Overall, these data indicate that any impact of the rewarding properties of food on the hyperphagia seen in PWS(ICdel) mice is driven primarily by calorie content and is unlikely to involve hedonic processes. This has important implications for understanding the neural systems underlying the feeding phenotype of PWS and the contribution of imprinted genes to abnormal feeding behaviour more generally.
Gribble, Susan M; Wiseman, Frances K; Clayton, Stephen; Prigmore, Elena; Langley, Elizabeth; Yang, Fengtang; Maguire, Sean; Fu, Beiyuan; Rajan, Diana; Sheppard, Olivia; Scott, Carol; Hauser, Heidi; Stephens, Philip J; Stebbings, Lucy A; Ng, Bee Ling; Fitzgerald, Tomas; Quail, Michael A; Banerjee, Ruby; Rothkamm, Kai; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Carter, Nigel P
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by trisomy of chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and presents a complex phenotype that arises from abnormal dosage of genes on this chromosome. However, the individual dosage-sensitive genes underlying each phenotype remain largely unknown. To help dissect genotype--phenotype correlations in this complex syndrome, the first fully transchromosomic mouse model, the Tc1 mouse, which carries a copy of human chromosome 21 was produced in 2005. The Tc1 strain is trisomic for the majority of genes that cause phenotypes associated with DS, and this freely available mouse strain has become used widely to study DS, the effects of gene dosage abnormalities, and the effect on the basic biology of cells when a mouse carries a freely segregating human chromosome. Tc1 mice were created by a process that included irradiation microcell-mediated chromosome transfer of Hsa21 into recipient mouse embryonic stem cells. Here, the combination of next generation sequencing, array-CGH and fluorescence in situ hybridization technologies has enabled us to identify unsuspected rearrangements of Hsa21 in this mouse model; revealing one deletion, six duplications and more than 25 de novo structural rearrangements. Our study is not only essential for informing functional studies of the Tc1 mouse but also (1) presents for the first time a detailed sequence analysis of the effects of gamma radiation on an entire human chromosome, which gives some mechanistic insight into the effects of radiation damage on DNA, and (2) overcomes specific technical difficulties of assaying a human chromosome on a mouse background where highly conserved sequences may confound the analysis. Sequence data generated in this study is deposited in the ENA database, Study Accession number: ERP000439.
Clayton, Stephen; Prigmore, Elena; Langley, Elizabeth; Yang, Fengtang; Maguire, Sean; Fu, Beiyuan; Rajan, Diana; Sheppard, Olivia; Scott, Carol; Hauser, Heidi; Stephens, Philip J.; Stebbings, Lucy A.; Ng, Bee Ling; Fitzgerald, Tomas; Quail, Michael A.; Banerjee, Ruby; Rothkamm, Kai; Tybulewicz, Victor L. J.; Fisher, Elizabeth M. C.; Carter, Nigel P.
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by trisomy of chromosome 21 (Hsa21) and presents a complex phenotype that arises from abnormal dosage of genes on this chromosome. However, the individual dosage-sensitive genes underlying each phenotype remain largely unknown. To help dissect genotype – phenotype correlations in this complex syndrome, the first fully transchromosomic mouse model, the Tc1 mouse, which carries a copy of human chromosome 21 was produced in 2005. The Tc1 strain is trisomic for the majority of genes that cause phenotypes associated with DS, and this freely available mouse strain has become used widely to study DS, the effects of gene dosage abnormalities, and the effect on the basic biology of cells when a mouse carries a freely segregating human chromosome. Tc1 mice were created by a process that included irradiation microcell-mediated chromosome transfer of Hsa21 into recipient mouse embryonic stem cells. Here, the combination of next generation sequencing, array-CGH and fluorescence in situ hybridization technologies has enabled us to identify unsuspected rearrangements of Hsa21 in this mouse model; revealing one deletion, six duplications and more than 25 de novo structural rearrangements. Our study is not only essential for informing functional studies of the Tc1 mouse but also (1) presents for the first time a detailed sequence analysis of the effects of gamma radiation on an entire human chromosome, which gives some mechanistic insight into the effects of radiation damage on DNA, and (2) overcomes specific technical difficulties of assaying a human chromosome on a mouse background where highly conserved sequences may confound the analysis. Sequence data generated in this study is deposited in the ENA database, Study Accession number: ERP000439. PMID:23596509
Vogel, P; Gelfman, C M; Issa, T; Payne, B J; Hansen, G M; Read, R W; Jones, C; Pitcher, M R; Ding, Z-M; DaCosta, C M; Shadoan, M K; Vance, R B; Powell, D R
Mice deficient in TMEM218 (Tmem218(-/-) ) were generated as part of an effort to identify and validate pharmaceutically tractable targets for drug development through large-scale phenotypic screening of knockout mice. Routine diagnostics, expression analysis, histopathology, and electroretinogram analyses completed on Tmem218(-/-) mice identified a previously unknown role for TMEM218 in the development and function of the kidney and eye. The major observed phenotypes in Tmem218(-/-) mice were progressive cystic kidney disease and retinal degeneration. The renal lesions were characterized by diffuse renal cyst development with tubulointerstitial nephropathy and disruption of tubular basement membranes in essentially normal-sized kidneys. The retinal lesions were characterized by slow-onset loss of photoreceptors, which resulted in reduced electroretinogram responses. These renal and retinal lesions are most similar to those associated with nephronophthisis (NPHP) and retinitis pigmentosa in humans. At least 10% of NPHP cases present with extrarenal conditions, which most often include retinal degeneration. Senior-Løken syndrome is characterized by the concurrent development of autosomal recessive NPHP and retinitis pigmentosa. Since mutations in the known NPHP genes collectively account for only about 30% of NPHP cases, it is possible that TMEM218 could be involved in the development of similar ciliopathies in humans. In reviewing all other reported mouse models of NPHP, we suggest that Tmem218(-/-) mice could provide a useful model for elucidating the pathogenesis of cilia-associated disease in both the kidney and the retina, as well as in developing and testing novel therapeutic strategies for Senior-Løken syndrome.
Takahashi, Tetsuyuki; Nishida, Takeshi; Baba, Hayato; Hatta, Hideki; Imura, Johji; Sutoh, Mitsuko; Toyohara, Syunji; Hokao, Ryoji; Watanabe, Syunsuke; Ogawa, Hirohisa; Uehara, Hisanori; Tsuneyama, Koichi
We previously reported that Tsumura-Suzuki obese diabetic (TSOD) mice, a polygenic model of spontaneous type 2 diabetes, is a valuable model of hepatic carcinogenesis via non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). One of the characteristics of tumors in these mice is the diffuse expression of glutamine synthetase (GS), which is a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we performed detailed histopathological examinations and found that GS expression was diffusely positive in >70% of the hepatic tumors from 15-month-old male TSOD mice. Translocation of β-catenin into nuclei with enhanced membranous expression also occurred in GS-positive tumors. Small lesions (<1 mm) in GS-positive cases exhibited dysplastic nodules, with severe nuclear atypia, whereas large lesions (>3 mm) bore the characteristics of human HCC, exhibiting nuclear and structural atypia with invasive growth. By contrast, the majority of GS-negative tumors were hepatocellular adenomas with advanced fatty change and low nuclear grade. In GS-negative tumors, loss of liver fatty acid-binding protein expression was observed. These results suggest that the histological characteristics of GS-positive hepatic tumors in TSOD mice resemble human HCC; thus, this model may be a useful tool in translational research targeting the NAFLD/NASH-HCC sequence. PMID:27446562
Takahashi, Tetsuyuki; Nishida, Takeshi; Baba, Hayato; Hatta, Hideki; Imura, Johji; Sutoh, Mitsuko; Toyohara, Syunji; Hokao, Ryoji; Watanabe, Syunsuke; Ogawa, Hirohisa; Uehara, Hisanori; Tsuneyama, Koichi
We previously reported that Tsumura-Suzuki obese diabetic (TSOD) mice, a polygenic model of spontaneous type 2 diabetes, is a valuable model of hepatic carcinogenesis via non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). One of the characteristics of tumors in these mice is the diffuse expression of glutamine synthetase (GS), which is a diagnostic marker for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). In this study, we performed detailed histopathological examinations and found that GS expression was diffusely positive in >70% of the hepatic tumors from 15-month-old male TSOD mice. Translocation of β-catenin into nuclei with enhanced membranous expression also occurred in GS-positive tumors. Small lesions (<1 mm) in GS-positive cases exhibited dysplastic nodules, with severe nuclear atypia, whereas large lesions (>3 mm) bore the characteristics of human HCC, exhibiting nuclear and structural atypia with invasive growth. By contrast, the majority of GS-negative tumors were hepatocellular adenomas with advanced fatty change and low nuclear grade. In GS-negative tumors, loss of liver fatty acid-binding protein expression was observed. These results suggest that the histological characteristics of GS-positive hepatic tumors in TSOD mice resemble human HCC; thus, this model may be a useful tool in translational research targeting the NAFLD/NASH-HCC sequence.
Kondo, Mari A; Gray, Laura J; Pelka, Gregory J; Leang, Sook-Kwan; Christodoulou, John; Tam, Patrick P L; Hannan, Anthony J
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder associated with mutations in the X-linked gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and consequent dysregulation of brain maturation. Patients suffer from a range of debilitating physical symptoms, however, behavioral and emotional symptoms also severely affect their quality of life. Here, we present previously unreported and clinically relevant affective dysfunction in the female heterozygous Mecp2(tm1Tam) mouse model of RTT (129sv and C57BL6 mixed background). The affective dysfunction and aberrant anxiety-related behavior of the Mecp2(+/-) mice were found to be reversible with environmental enrichment (EE) from 4 weeks of age. The effect of exercise alone (via wheel running) was also explored, providing the first evidence that increased voluntary physical activity in an animal model of RTT is beneficial for some phenotypes. Mecp2(+/-) mutants displayed elevated corticosterone despite decreased Crh expression, demonstrating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation. EE of Mecp2(+/-) mice normalized basal serum corticosterone and hippocampal BDNF protein levels. The enrichment-induced rescue appears independent of the transcriptional regulation of the MeCP2 targets Bdnf exon 4 and Crh. These findings provide new insight into the neurodevelopmental role of MeCP2 and pathogenesis of RTT, in particular the affective dysfunction. The positive outcomes of environmental stimulation and physical exercise have implications for the development of therapies targeting the affective symptoms, as well as behavioral and cognitive dimensions, of this devastating neurodevelopmental disorder.
Garg, Saurabh K; Lioy, Daniel T; Cheval, Hélène; McGann, James C; Bissonnette, John M; Murtha, Matthew J; Foust, Kevin D; Kaspar, Brian K; Bird, Adrian; Mandel, Gail
De novo mutations in the X-linked gene encoding the transcription factor methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) are the most frequent cause of the neurological disorder Rett syndrome (RTT). Hemizygous males usually die of neonatal encephalopathy. Heterozygous females survive into adulthood but exhibit severe symptoms including microcephaly, loss of purposeful hand motions and speech, and motor abnormalities, which appear after a period of apparently normal development. Most studies have focused on male mouse models because of the shorter latency to and severity in symptoms, yet how well these mice mimic the disease in affected females is not clear. Very few therapeutic treatments have been proposed for females, the more gender-appropriate model. Here, we show that self-complementary AAV9, bearing MeCP2 cDNA under control of a fragment of its own promoter (scAAV9/MeCP2), is capable of significantly stabilizing or reversing symptoms when administered systemically into female RTT mice. To our knowledge, this is the first potential gene therapy for females afflicted with RTT.
Fortress, Ashley M; Hamlett, Eric D; Vazey, Elena M; Aston-Jones, Gary; Cass, Wayne A; Boger, Heather A; Granholm, Ann-Charlotte E
Designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs (DREADDs) are novel and powerful tools to investigate discrete neuronal populations in the brain. We have used DREADDs to stimulate degenerating neurons in a Down syndrome (DS) model, Ts65Dn mice. Individuals with DS develop Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology and have elevated risk for dementia starting in their 30s and 40s. Individuals with DS often exhibit working memory deficits coupled with degeneration of the locus coeruleus (LC) norepinephrine (NE) neurons. It is thought that LC degeneration precedes other AD-related neuronal loss, and LC noradrenergic integrity is important for executive function, working memory, and attention. Previous studies have shown that LC-enhancing drugs can slow the progression of AD pathology, including amyloid aggregation, oxidative stress, and inflammation. We have shown that LC degeneration in Ts65Dn mice leads to exaggerated memory loss and neuronal degeneration. We used a DREADD, hM3Dq, administered via adeno-associated virus into the LC under a synthetic promoter, PRSx8, to selectively stimulate LC neurons by exogenous administration of the inert DREADD ligand clozapine-N-oxide. DREADD stimulation of LC-NE enhanced performance in a novel object recognition task and reduced hyperactivity in Ts65Dn mice, without significant behavioral effects in controls. To confirm that the noradrenergic transmitter system was responsible for the enhanced memory function, the NE prodrug l-threo-dihydroxyphenylserine was administered in Ts65Dn and normosomic littermate control mice, and produced similar behavioral results. Thus, NE stimulation may prevent memory loss in Ts65Dn mice, and may hold promise for treatment in individuals with DS and dementia.
Igarashi, Miki; Narayanaswami, Vidya; Kimonis, Virginia; Galassetti, Pietro M; Oveisi, Fariba; Jung, Kwang-Mook; Piomelli, Daniele
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), the leading genetic cause of obesity, is characterized by a striking hyperphagic behavior that can lead to obesity, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death. The molecular mechanism underlying impaired satiety in PWS is unknown. Oleoylethanolamide (OEA) is a lipid mediator involved in the control of feeding, body weight and energy metabolism. OEA produced by small-intestinal enterocytes during dietary fat digestion activates type-α peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPAR-α) to trigger an afferent signal that causes satiety. Emerging evidence from genetic and human laboratory studies suggests that deficits in OEA-mediated signaling might be implicated in human obesity. In the present study, we investigated whether OEA contributes to feeding dysregulation in Magel2(m+/p-) (Magel2 KO) mice, an animal model of PWS. Fasted/refed male Magel2 KO mice eat more than do their wild-type littermates and become overweight with age. Meal pattern analyses show that hyperphagia in Magel2 KO is due to increased meal size and meal duration rather than to lengthening of the intermeal interval, which is suggestive of a defect in mechanisms underlying satiation. Food-dependent OEA accumulation in jejunum and fasting OEA levels in plasma are significantly greater in Magel2 KO mice than in wild-type controls. Together, these findings indicate that deletion of the Magel2 gene is accompanied by marked changes in OEA signaling. Importantly, intraperitoneal administration of OEA (10mg/kg) significantly reduces food intake in fasted/refed Magel2 KO mice, pointing to a possible use of this natural compound to control hunger in PWS.
Tao, Xinrong; Garron, Tania; Agrawal, Anurodh Shankar; Algaissi, Abdullah; Peng, Bi-Hung; Wakamiya, Maki; Chan, Teh-Sheng; Lu, Lu; Du, Lanying; Jiang, Shibo; Couch, Robert B.
ABSTRACT Characterized animal models are needed for studying the pathogenesis of and evaluating medical countermeasures for persisting Middle East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infections. Here, we further characterized a lethal transgenic mouse model of MERS-CoV infection and disease that globally expresses human CD26 (hCD26)/DPP4. The 50% infectious dose (ID50) and lethal dose (LD50) of virus were estimated to be <1 and 10 TCID50 of MERS-CoV, respectively. Neutralizing antibody developed in the surviving mice from the ID50/LD50 determinations, and all were fully immune to challenge with 100 LD50 of MERS-CoV. The tissue distribution and histopathology in mice challenged with a potential working dose of 10 LD50 of MERS-CoV were subsequently evaluated. In contrast to the overwhelming infection seen in the mice challenged with 105 LD50 of MERS-CoV, we were able to recover infectious virus from these mice only infrequently, although quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) tests indicated early and persistent lung infection and delayed occurrence of brain infection. Persistent inflammatory infiltrates were seen in the lungs and brain stems at day 2 and day 6 after infection, respectively. While focal infiltrates were also noted in the liver, definite pathology was not seen in other tissues. Finally, using a receptor binding domain protein vaccine and a MERS-CoV fusion inhibitor, we demonstrated the value of this model for evaluating vaccines and antivirals against MERS. As outcomes of MERS-CoV infection in patients differ greatly, ranging from asymptomatic to overwhelming disease and death, having available both an infection model and a lethal model makes this transgenic mouse model relevant for advancing MERS research. IMPORTANCE Fully characterized animal models are essential for studying pathogenesis and for preclinical screening of vaccines and drugs against MERS-CoV infection and disease. When given a high dose of MERS-CoV, our transgenic
Blanchard, Julie; Bolognin, Silvia; Chohan, Muhammad Omar; Rabe, Ausma; Iqbal, Khalid; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge
Down syndrome (DS) is caused by the triplication of ∼240 protein-coding genes on chromosome 21 and is the most prevalent form of developmental disability. This condition results in abnormalities in many organ systems, as well as in intellectual retardation. Many previous efforts to understand brain dysfunction in DS have indicated that cognitive deficits are coincident with reduced synaptic plasticity and decreased neuronal proliferation. One therapeutic strategy for optimizing the microenvironment for neuronal proliferation and synaptic plasticity in the brain is the use of neurotrophins to restore the homeostasis of the brain biochemical milieu. Here, we show that peripheral administration of Peptide 6, an 11-mer corresponding to an active region of ciliary neurotrophic factor, amino acid residues 146 to 156, can inhibit learning and memory impairments in Ts65Dn mice, a trisomic mouse model of DS. Long-term treatment with Peptide 6 enhanced the pool of neural progenitor cells in the hippocampus and increased levels of synaptic proteins crucial for synaptic plasticity. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential of Peptide 6 in promoting functional neural integration into networks, thereby strengthening biologic substrates of memory processing.
Moon, Jisook; Chen, May; Gandhy, Shruti U; Strawderman, Myla; Levitsky, David A; Maclean, Kenneth N; Strupp, Barbara J
In addition to mental retardation, individuals with Down syndrome (DS) also develop the neuropathological changes typical of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and the majority of these individuals exhibit dementia. The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS exhibits key features of these disorders, including early degeneration of cholinergic basal forebrain (CBF) neurons and impairments in functions dependent on the two CBF projection systems; namely, attention and explicit memory. Herein, we demonstrate that supplementing the maternal diet with excess choline during pregnancy and lactation dramatically improved attentional function of the adult trisomic offspring. Specifically, the adult offspring of choline-supplemented Ts65Dn dams performed significantly better than unsupplemented Ts65Dn mice on a series of 5 visual attention tasks, and in fact, on some tasks did not differ from the normosomic (2N) controls. A second area of dysfunction in the trisomic animals, heightened reactivity to committing an error, was partially normalized by the early choline supplementation. The 2N littermates also benefited from increased maternal choline intake on 1 attention task. These findings collectively suggest that perinatal choline supplementation might significantly lessen cognitive dysfunction in DS and reduce cognitive decline in related neurodegenerative disorders such as AD.
Qin, Mei; Zeidler, Zachary; Moulton, Kristen; Krych, Leland; Xia, Zengyan; Smith, Carolyn B
Silencing the gene FMR1 in fragile X syndrome (FXS) with consequent loss of its protein product, FMRP, results in intellectual disability, hyperactivity, anxiety, seizure disorders, and autism-like behavior. In a mouse model (Fmr1 knockout (KO)) of FXS, a deficit in performance on the passive avoidance test of learning and memory is a robust phenotype. We report that drugs acting on the endocannabinoid (eCB) system can improve performance on this test. We present three lines of evidence: (1) Propofol (reported to inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) activity) administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on wild type (WT). FAAH catalyzes the metabolism of the eCB, anandamide, so its inhibition should result in increased anandamide levels. (2) The effect of propofol was blocked by prior administration of the cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist AM-251. (3) Treatment with the FAAH inhibitor, URB-597, administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test also improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on WT. Our results indicate that the eCB system is involved in FXS and suggest that the eCB system is a promising target for treatment of FXS.
Lauterborn, Julie C; Jafari, Matiar; Babayan, Alex H; Gall, Christine M
Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and the Fmr1 knockout (KO) mouse model of this disorder exhibit abnormal dendritic spines in neocortex, but the degree of spine disturbances in hippocampus is not clear. The present studies tested if the mutation influences dendritic branching and spine measures for CA1 pyramidal cells in Fmr1 KO and wild-type (WT) mice provided standard or enriched environment (EE) housing. Automated measures from 3D reconstructions of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-labeled cells showed that spine head volumes were ∼ 40% lower in KOs when compared with WTs in both housing conditions. With standard housing, average spine length was greater in KOs versus WTs but there was no genotype difference in dendritic branching, numbers of spines, or spine length distribution. However, with EE rearing, significant effects of genotype emerged including greater dendritic branching in WTs, greater spine density in KOs, and greater numbers of short thin spines in KOs when compared with WTs. Thus, EE rearing revealed greater effects of the Fmr1 mutation on hippocampal pyramidal cell morphology than was evident with standard housing, suggesting that environmental enrichment allows for fuller appreciation of the impact of the mutation and better representation of abnormalities likely to be present in human FXS.
Hayrapetyan, Volodya; Castro, Stephen; Sukharnikova, Tatyana; Yu, Chunxiu; Cao, Xinyu; Jiang, Yong-Hui; Yin, Henry H
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by mental retardation and impaired speech. Because patients with this disorder often exhibit motor tremor and stereotypical behaviors, which are associated with basal ganglia pathology, we hypothesized that AS is accompanied by abnormal functioning of the striatum, the input nucleus of the basal ganglia. Using mutant mice with maternal deficiency of AS E6-AP ubiquitin protein ligase Ube3a (Ube3a(m-/p+) ), we assessed the effects of Ube3a deficiency on instrumental conditioning, a striatum-dependent task. We used whole-cell patch-clamp recording to measure glutamatergic transmission in the dorsomedial striatum (DMS) and dorsolateral striatum (DLS). Ube3a(m-/p+) mice were severely impaired in initial acquisition of lever pressing. Whereas the lever pressing of wild-type controls was reduced by outcome devaluation and instrumental contingency reversal, the performance of Ube3a(m-/p+) mice were more habitual, impervious to changes in outcome value and action-outcome contingency. In the DMS, but not the DLS, Ube3a(m-/p+) mice showed reduced amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. These results show for the first time a selective deficit in instrumental conditioning in the Ube3a deficient mouse model, and suggest a specific impairment in glutmatergic transmission in the associative corticostriatal circuit in AS.
Colas, Damien; Chuluun, Bayarsaikhan; Garner, Craig C; Heller, H Craig
Down syndrome (DS) is a common genetic cause of intellectual disability yet no pro-cognitive drug therapies are approved for human use. Mechanistic studies in a mouse model of DS (Ts65Dn mice) demonstrate that impaired cognitive function is due to excessive neuronal inhibitory tone. These deficits are normalized by chronic, short-term low doses of GABAA receptor (GABAAR) antagonists in adult animals, but none of the compounds investigated are approved for human use. We explored the therapeutic potential of flumazenil (FLUM), a GABAAR antagonist working at the benzodiazepine binding site that has FDA approval. Long-term memory was assessed by the Novel Object Recognition (NOR) testing in Ts65Dn mice after acute or short-term chronic treatment with FLUM. Short-term, low, chronic dose regimens of FLUM elicit long-lasting (>1week) normalization of cognitive function in both young and aged mice. FLUM at low dosages produces long lasting cognitive improvements and has the potential of fulfilling an unmet therapeutic need in DS.
Qin, Mei; Zeidler, Zachary; Moulton, Kristen; Krych, Leland; Xia, Zengyan; Smith, Carolyn B.
Silencing the gene FMR1 in fragile X syndrome (FXS) with consequent loss of its protein product, FMRP, results in intellectual disability, hyperactivity, anxiety, seizure disorders, and autism-like behavior. In a mouse model (Fmr1 knockout (KO)) of FXS, a deficit in performance on the passive avoidance test of learning and memory is a robust phenotype. We report that drugs acting on the endocannabinoid (eCB) system can improve performance on this test. We present three lines of evidence: (1) Propofol (reported to inhibit fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) activity) administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on wild type (WT). FAAH catalyzes the metabolism of the eCB, anandamide, so its inhibition should result in increased anandamide levels. (2) The effect of propofol was blocked by prior administration of the cannabinoid receptor 1 antagonist AM-251. (3) Treatment with the FAAH inhibitor, URB-597, administered 30 min after training on the passive avoidance test also improved performance in Fmr1 KO mice but had no effect on WT. Our results indicate that the eCB system is involved in FXS and suggest that the eCB system is a promising target for treatment of FXS. PMID:25979787
Yao, Bing; Lin, Li; Street, R. Craig; Zalewski, Zachary A.; Galloway, Jocelyn N.; Wu, Hao; Nelson, David L.; Jin, Peng
Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder in which patients carry premutation alleles of 55–200 CGG repeats in the FMR1 gene. To date, whether alterations in epigenetic regulation modulate FXTAS has gone unexplored. 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) converted from 5-methylcytosine (5mC) by the ten-eleven translocation (TET) family of proteins has been found recently to play key roles in neuronal functions. Here, we undertook genome-wide profiling of cerebellar 5hmC in a FXTAS mouse model (rCGG mice) and found that rCGG mice at 16 weeks showed overall reduced 5hmC levels genome-wide compared with age-matched wild-type littermates. However, we also observed gain-of-5hmC regions in repetitive elements, as well as in cerebellum-specific enhancers, but not in general enhancers. Genomic annotation and motif prediction of wild-type- and rCGG-specific differential 5-hydroxymethylated regions (DhMRs) revealed their high correlation with genes and transcription factors that are important in neuronal developmental and functional pathways. DhMR-associated genes partially overlapped with genes that were differentially associated with ribosomes in CGG mice identified by bacTRAP ribosomal profiling. Taken together, our data strongly indicate a functional role for 5hmC-mediated epigenetic modulation in the etiology of FXTAS, possibly through the regulation of transcription. PMID:24108107
Mandel-Brehm, Caleigh; Salogiannis, John; Dhamne, Sameer C.; Rotenberg, Alexander; Greenberg, Michael E.
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder arising from loss-of-function mutations in the maternally inherited copy of the UBE3A gene, and is characterized by an absence of speech, excessive laughter, cognitive delay, motor deficits, and seizures. Despite the fact that the symptoms of AS occur in early childhood, behavioral characterization of AS mouse models has focused primarily on adult phenotypes. In this report we describe juvenile behaviors in AS mice that are strain-independent and clinically relevant. We find that young AS mice, compared with their wild-type littermates, produce an increased number of ultrasonic vocalizations. In addition, young AS mice have defects in motor coordination, as well as abnormal brain activity that results in an enhanced seizure-like response to an audiogenic challenge. The enhanced seizure-like activity, but not the increased ultrasonic vocalizations or motor deficits, is rescued in juvenile AS mice by genetically reducing the expression level of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein, Arc. These findings suggest that therapeutic interventions that reduce the level of Arc expression have the potential to reverse the seizures associated with AS. In addition, the identification of aberrant behaviors in young AS mice may provide clues regarding the neural circuit defects that occur in AS and ultimately allow new approaches for treating this disorder. PMID:25848016
Zeier, Z; Kumar, A; Bodhinathan, K; Feller, J A; Foster, T C; Bloom, D C
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by a mutation that silences the fragile X mental retardation gene (FMR1), which encodes the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP). To determine whether FMRP replacement can rescue phenotypic deficits in a fmr1-knockout (KO) mouse model of FXS, we constructed an adeno-associated virus-based viral vector that expresses the major central nervous system (CNS) isoform of FMRP. Using this vector, we tested whether FMRP replacement could rescue the fmr1-KO phenotype of enhanced long-term depression (LTD), a form of synaptic plasticity that may be linked to cognitive impairments associated with FXS. Extracellular excitatory postsynaptic field potentials were recorded from CA3-CA1 synaptic contacts in hippocampal slices from wild-type (WT) and fmr1-KO mice in the presence of AP-5 and anisomycin. Paired-pulse low-frequency stimulation (PP-LFS)-induced LTD is enhanced in slices obtained from fmr1 KO compared with WT mice. Analyses of hippocampal synaptic function in fmr1-KO mice that received hippocampal injections of vector showed that the PP-LFS-induced LTD was restored to WT levels. These results indicate that expression of the major CNS isoform of FMRP alone is sufficient to rescue this phenotype and suggest that post-developmental protein replacement may have the potential to improve cognitive function in FXS.
Mandel-Brehm, Caleigh; Salogiannis, John; Dhamne, Sameer C; Rotenberg, Alexander; Greenberg, Michael E
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder arising from loss-of-function mutations in the maternally inherited copy of the UBE3A gene, and is characterized by an absence of speech, excessive laughter, cognitive delay, motor deficits, and seizures. Despite the fact that the symptoms of AS occur in early childhood, behavioral characterization of AS mouse models has focused primarily on adult phenotypes. In this report we describe juvenile behaviors in AS mice that are strain-independent and clinically relevant. We find that young AS mice, compared with their wild-type littermates, produce an increased number of ultrasonic vocalizations. In addition, young AS mice have defects in motor coordination, as well as abnormal brain activity that results in an enhanced seizure-like response to an audiogenic challenge. The enhanced seizure-like activity, but not the increased ultrasonic vocalizations or motor deficits, is rescued in juvenile AS mice by genetically reducing the expression level of the activity-regulated cytoskeleton-associated protein, Arc. These findings suggest that therapeutic interventions that reduce the level of Arc expression have the potential to reverse the seizures associated with AS. In addition, the identification of aberrant behaviors in young AS mice may provide clues regarding the neural circuit defects that occur in AS and ultimately allow new approaches for treating this disorder.
Rueda, Noemí; Llorens-Martín, María; Flórez, Jesús; Valdizán, Elsa; Banerjee, Pradeep; Trejo, Jose Luis; Martínez-Cué, Carmen
Ts65Dn (TS) mice exhibit several phenotypic characteristics of human Down syndrome, including an increased brain expression of amyloid-beta protein precursor (AbetaPP) and cognitive disturbances. Aberrant N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor signaling has been suspected in TS mice, due to an impaired generation of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP). Memantine, an uncompetitive NMDA receptor antagonist approved for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, is known to normalize LTP and improve cognition in transgenic mice with high brain levels of AbetaPP and amyloid-beta protein. It has recently been demonstrated that acute injections of memantine rescue performance deficits of TS mice on a fear conditioning test. Here we show that oral treatment of aged TS mice with a clinically relevant dose of memantine (30 mg/kg/day for 9 weeks) improved spatial learning in the water maze task and slightly reduced brain AbetaPP levels. We also found that TS mice exhibited a significantly reduced granule cell count and vesicular glutamate transporter-1 (VGLUT1) labeling compared to disomic control mice. After memantine treatment, the levels of hippocampal VGLUT1 were significantly increased, reaching the levels observed in vehicle treated-control animals. Memantine did not significantly affect granule cell density. These data indicate that memantine may normalize several phenotypic abnormalities in TS mice, many of which--such as impaired cognition--are also associated with Down syndrome and Alzheimer's disease.
Heude, Églantine; Bellessort, Brice; Fontaine, Anastasia; Hamazaki, Manatsu; Treier, Anna-Corina; Treier, Mathias; Levi, Giovanni; Narboux-Nême, Nicolas
Blepharophimosis, ptosis, epicanthus-inversus syndrome (BPES) is an autosomal dominant genetic disorder characterized by narrow palpebral fissures and eyelid levator muscle defects. BPES is often associated to premature ovarian insufficiency (BPES type I). FOXL2, a member of the forkhead transcription factor family, is the only gene known to be mutated in BPES. Foxl2 is essential for maintenance of ovarian identity, but the developmental origin of the facial malformations of BPES remains, so far, unexplained. In this study, we provide the first detailed account of the developmental processes leading to the craniofacial malformations associated to Foxl2. We show that, during development, Foxl2 is expressed both by Cranial Neural Crest Cells (CNCCs) and by Cranial Mesodermal Cells (CMCs), which give rise to skeletal (CNCCs and CMCs) and muscular (CMCs) components of the head. Using mice in which Foxl2 is selectively inactivated in either CNCCs or CMCs, we reveal that expression of Foxl2 in CNCCs is essential for the development of extraocular muscles. Indeed, inactivation of Foxl2 in CMCs has only minor effects on muscle development, whereas its inactivation in CNCCs provokes a severe hypoplasia of the levator palpabrae superioris and of the superior and inferior oblique muscles. We further show that Foxl2 deletion in either CNCCs or CMCs prevents eyelid closure and induces subtle skeletal developmental defects. Our results provide new insights in the complex developmental origin of human BPES and could help to understand the origin of other ocular anomalies associated to this syndrome.
Duchon, Arnaud; Raveau, Matthieu; Chevalier, Claire; Nalesso, Valérie; Sharp, Andrew J; Herault, Yann
Down syndrome (DS) is the most frequent genetic disorder leading to intellectual disabilities and is caused by three copies of human chromosome 21. Mouse models are widely used to better understand the physiopathology in DS or to test new therapeutic approaches. The older and the most widely used mouse models are the trisomic Ts65Dn and the Ts1Cje mice. They display deficits similar to those observed in DS people, such as those in behavior and cognition or in neuronal abnormalities. The Ts65Dn model is currently used for further therapeutic assessment of candidate drugs. In both models, the trisomy was induced by reciprocal chromosomal translocations that were not further characterized. Using a comparative genomic approach, we have been able to locate precisely the translocation breakpoint in these two models and we took advantage of this finding to derive a new and more efficient Ts65Dn genotyping strategy. Furthermore, we found that the translocations introduce additional aneuploidy in both models, with a monosomy of seven genes in the most telomeric part of mouse chromosome 12 in the Ts1Cje and a trisomy of 60 centromeric genes on mouse chromosome 17 in the Ts65Dn. Finally, we report here the overexpression of the newly found aneuploid genes in the Ts65Dn heart and we discuss their potential impact on the validity of the DS model.
Belichenko, Pavel V; Madani, Rime; Rey-Bellet, Lorianne; Pihlgren, Maria; Becker, Ann; Plassard, Adeline; Vuillermot, Stephanie; Giriens, Valérie; Nosheny, Rachel L; Kleschevnikov, Alexander M; Valletta, Janice S; Bengtsson, Sara K S; Linke, Gordon R; Maloney, Michael T; Hickman, David T; Reis, Pedro; Granet, Anne; Mlaki, Dorin; Lopez-Deber, Maria Pilar; Do, Long; Singhal, Nishant; Masliah, Eliezer; Pearn, Matthew L; Pfeifer, Andrea; Muhs, Andreas; Mobley, William C
In Down syndrome (DS) or trisomy of chromosome 21, the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide product of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is present in excess. Evidence points to increased APP gene dose and Aβ as playing a critical role in cognitive difficulties experienced by people with DS. Particularly, Aβ is linked to the late-life emergence of dementia as associated with neuropathological markers of Alzheimer's disease (AD). At present, no treatment targets Aβ-related pathogenesis in people with DS. Herein we used a vaccine containing the Aβ 1-15 peptide embedded into liposomes together with the adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA). Ts65Dn mice, a model of DS, were immunized with the anti-Aβ vaccine at 5 months of age and were examined for cognitive measures at 8 months of age. The status of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and brain levels of APP and its proteolytic products were measured. Immunization of Ts65Dn mice resulted in robust anti-Aβ IgG titers, demonstrating the ability of the vaccine to break self-tolerance. The vaccine-induced antibodies reacted with Aβ without detectable binding to either APP or its C-terminal fragments. Vaccination of Ts65Dn mice resulted in a modest, but non-significant reduction in brain Aβ levels relative to vehicle-treated Ts65Dn mice, resulting in similar levels of Aβ as diploid (2N) mice. Importantly, vaccinated Ts65Dn mice showed resolution of memory deficits in the novel object recognition and contextual fear conditioning tests, as well as reduction of cholinergic neuron atrophy. No treatment adverse effects were observed; vaccine did not result in inflammation, cellular infiltration, or hemorrhage. These data are the first to show that an anti-Aβ immunotherapeutic approach may act to target Aβ-related pathology in a mouse model of DS.
Rey-Bellet, Lorianne; Pihlgren, Maria; Becker, Ann; Plassard, Adeline; Vuillermot, Stephanie; Giriens, Valérie; Nosheny, Rachel L.; Kleschevnikov, Alexander M.; Valletta, Janice S.; Bengtsson, Sara K. S.; Linke, Gordon R.; Maloney, Michael T.; Hickman, David T.; Reis, Pedro; Granet, Anne; Mlaki, Dorin; Lopez-Deber, Maria Pilar; Do, Long; Singhal, Nishant; Masliah, Eliezer; Pearn, Matthew L.; Pfeifer, Andrea; Muhs, Andreas; Mobley, William C.
In Down syndrome (DS) or trisomy of chromosome 21, the β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide product of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) is present in excess. Evidence points to increased APP gene dose and Aβ as playing a critical role in cognitive difficulties experienced by people with DS. Particularly, Aβ is linked to the late-life emergence of dementia as associated with neuropathological markers of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). At present, no treatment targets Aβ–related pathogenesis in people with DS. Herein we used a vaccine containing the Aβ 1–15 peptide embedded into liposomes together with the adjuvant monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA). Ts65Dn mice, a model of DS, were immunized with the anti-Aβ vaccine at 5 months of age and were examined for cognitive measures at 8 months of age. The status of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons and brain levels of APP and its proteolytic products were measured. Immunization of Ts65Dn mice resulted in robust anti-Aβ IgG titers, demonstrating the ability of the vaccine to break self-tolerance. The vaccine-induced antibodies reacted with Aβ without detectable binding to either APP or its C-terminal fragments. Vaccination of Ts65Dn mice resulted in a modest, but non-significant reduction in brain Aβ levels relative to vehicle-treated Ts65Dn mice, resulting in similar levels of Aβ as diploid (2N) mice. Importantly, vaccinated Ts65Dn mice showed resolution of memory deficits in the novel object recognition and contextual fear conditioning tests, as well as reduction of cholinergic neuron atrophy. No treatment adverse effects were observed; vaccine did not result in inflammation, cellular infiltration, or hemorrhage. These data are the first to show that an anti-Aβ immunotherapeutic approach may act to target Aβ-related pathology in a mouse model of DS. PMID:27023444
Arbogast, Thomas; Ouagazzal, Abdel-Mouttalib; Chevalier, Claire; Kopanitsa, Maksym; Afinowi, Nurudeen; Migliavacca, Eugenia; Cowling, Belinda S.; Birling, Marie-Christine; Champy, Marie-France; Reymond, Alexandre; Herault, Yann
The 16p11.2 600 kb BP4-BP5 deletion and duplication syndromes have been associated with developmental delay; autism spectrum disorders; and reciprocal effects on the body mass index, head circumference and brain volumes. Here, we explored these relationships using novel engineered mouse models carrying a deletion (Del/+) or a duplication (Dup/+) of the Sult1a1-Spn region homologous to the human 16p11.2 BP4-BP5 locus. On a C57BL/6N inbred genetic background, Del/+ mice exhibited reduced weight and impaired adipogenesis, hyperactivity, repetitive behaviors, and recognition memory deficits. In contrast, Dup/+ mice showed largely opposite phenotypes. On a F1 C57BL/6N × C3B hybrid genetic background, we also observed alterations in social interaction in the Del/+ and the Dup/+ animals, with other robust phenotypes affecting recognition memory and weight. To explore the dosage effect of the 16p11.2 genes on metabolism, Del/+ and Dup/+ models were challenged with high fat and high sugar diet, which revealed opposite energy imbalance. Transcriptomic analysis revealed that the majority of the genes located in the Sult1a1-Spn region were sensitive to dosage with a major effect on several pathways associated with neurocognitive and metabolic phenotypes. Whereas the behavioral consequence of the 16p11 region genetic dosage was similar in mice and humans with activity and memory alterations, the metabolic defects were opposite: adult Del/+ mice are lean in comparison to the human obese phenotype and the Dup/+ mice are overweight in comparison to the human underweight phenotype. Together, these data indicate that the dosage imbalance at the 16p11.2 locus perturbs the expression of modifiers outside the CNV that can modulate the penetrance, expressivity and direction of effects in both humans and mice. PMID:26872257
Sakai, Daisuke; Dixon, Jill; Achilleos, Annita; Dixon, Michael; Trainor, Paul A.
Craniofacial anomalies account for approximately one-third of all birth defects and are a significant cause of infant mortality. Since the majority of the bones, cartilage and connective tissues that comprise the head and face are derived from a multipotent migratory progenitor cell population called the neural crest, craniofacial disorders are typically attributed to defects in neural crest cell development. Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is a disorder of craniofacial development and although TCS arises primarily through autosomal dominant mutations in TCOF1, no clear genotype–phenotype correlation has been documented. Here we show that Tcof1 haploinsufficiency results in oxidative stress-induced DNA damage and neuroepithelial cell death. Consistent with this discovery, maternal treatment with antioxidants minimizes cell death in the neuroepithelium and substantially ameliorates or prevents the pathogenesis of craniofacial anomalies in Tcof1+/− mice. Thus maternal antioxidant dietary supplementation may provide an avenue for protection against the pathogenesis of TCS and similar neurocristopathies. PMID:26792133
Sakai, Daisuke; Dixon, Jill; Achilleos, Annita; Dixon, Michael; Trainor, Paul A
Craniofacial anomalies account for approximately one-third of all birth defects and are a significant cause of infant mortality. Since the majority of the bones, cartilage and connective tissues that comprise the head and face are derived from a multipotent migratory progenitor cell population called the neural crest, craniofacial disorders are typically attributed to defects in neural crest cell development. Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is a disorder of craniofacial development and although TCS arises primarily through autosomal dominant mutations in TCOF1, no clear genotype-phenotype correlation has been documented. Here we show that Tcof1 haploinsufficiency results in oxidative stress-induced DNA damage and neuroepithelial cell death. Consistent with this discovery, maternal treatment with antioxidants minimizes cell death in the neuroepithelium and substantially ameliorates or prevents the pathogenesis of craniofacial anomalies in Tcof1(+/-) mice. Thus maternal antioxidant dietary supplementation may provide an avenue for protection against the pathogenesis of TCS and similar neurocristopathies.
Oginsky, Max F; Cui, Ningren; Zhong, Weiwei; Johnson, Christopher M; Jiang, Chun
Rett syndrome is an autism-spectrum disorder resulting from mutations to the X-linked gene, methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2), which causes abnormalities in many systems. It is possible that the body may develop certain compensatory mechanisms to alleviate the abnormalities. The norepinephrine system originating mainly in the locus coeruleus (LC) is defective in Rett syndrome and Mecp2-null mice. LC neurons are subject to modulation by GABA, glutamate, and acetylcholine (ACh), providing an ideal system to test the compensatory hypothesis. Here we show evidence for potential compensatory modulation of LC neurons by post- and presynaptic ACh inputs. We found that the postsynaptic currents of nicotinic ACh receptors (nAChR) were smaller in amplitude and longer in decay time in the Mecp2-null mice than in the wild type. Single-cell PCR analysis showed a decrease in the expression of α3-, α4-, α7-, and β3-subunits and an increase in the α5- and α6-subunits in the mutant mice. The α5-subunit was present in many of the LC neurons with slow-decay nAChR currents. The nicotinic modulation of spontaneous GABAA-ergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents in LC neurons was enhanced in Mecp2-null mice. In contrast, the nAChR manipulation of glutamatergic input to LC neurons was unaffected in both groups of mice. Our current-clamp studies showed that the modulation of LC neurons by ACh input was reduced moderately in Mecp2-null mice, despite the major decrease in nAChR currents, suggesting possible compensatory processes may take place, thus reducing the defects to a lesser extent in LC neurons.
Johnstone, Karen A; DuBose, Amanda J; Futtner, Christopher R; Elmore, Michael D; Brannan, Camilynn I; Resnick, James L
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Angelman syndrome (AS) are caused by the loss of imprinted gene expression from chromosome 15q11-q13. Imprinted gene expression in the region is regulated by a bipartite imprinting centre (IC), comprising the PWS-IC and the AS-IC. The PWS-IC is a positive regulatory element required for bidirectional activation of a number of paternally expressed genes. The function of the AS-IC appears to be to suppress PWS-IC function on the maternal chromosome through a methylation imprint acquired during female gametogenesis. Here we have placed the entire mouse locus under the control of a human PWS-IC by targeted replacement of the mouse PWS-IC with the equivalent human region. Paternal inheritance of the human PWS-IC demonstrates for the first time that a positive regulatory element in the PWS-IC has diverged. These mice show postnatal lethality and growth deficiency, phenotypes not previously attributed directly to the affected genes. Following maternal inheritance, the human PWS-IC is able to acquire a methylation imprint in mouse oocytes, suggesting that acquisition of the methylation imprint is conserved. However, the imprint is lost in somatic cells, showing that maintenance has diverged. This maternal imprinting defect results in expression of maternal Ube3a-as and repression of Ube3a in cis, providing evidence that Ube3a is regulated by its antisense and creating the first reported mouse model for AS imprinting defects.
Rangasamy, Sampathkumar; Olfers, Shannon; Gerald, Brittany; Hilbert, Alex; Svejda, Sean; Narayanan, Vinodh
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutation in the X-linked MECP2 gene, encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2. We have created a mouse model ( Mecp2 A140V “knock-in” mutant) expressing the recurrent human MECP2 A140V mutation linked to an X-linked mental retardation/Rett syndrome phenotype. Morphological analyses focused on quantifying soma and nucleus size were performed on primary hippocampus and cerebellum granule neuron (CGN) cultures from mutant ( Mecp2 A140V/y) and wild type ( Mecp2 +/y) male mice. Cultured hippocampus and cerebellar granule neurons from mutant animals were significantly smaller than neurons from wild type animals. We also examined soma size in hippocampus neurons from individual female transgenic mice that express both a mutant (maternal allele) and a wild type Mecp2 gene linked to an eGFP transgene (paternal allele). In cultures from such doubly heterozygous female mice, the size of neurons expressing the mutant (A140V) allele also showed a significant reduction compared to neurons expressing wild type MeCP2, supporting a cell-autonomous role for MeCP2 in neuronal development. IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1) treatment of neuronal cells from Mecp2 mutant mice rescued the soma size phenotype. We also found that Mecp2 mutation leads to down-regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway, known to be involved in neuronal size regulation. Our results suggest that i) reduced neuronal size is an important in vitro cellular phenotype of Mecp2 mutation in mice, and ii) MeCP2 might play a critical role in the maintenance of neuronal structure by modulation of the mTOR pathway. The definition of a quantifiable cellular phenotype supports using neuronal size as a biomarker in the development of a high-throughput, in vitro assay to screen for compounds that rescue small neuronal phenotype (“phenotypic assay”). PMID:27781091
Rangasamy, Sampathkumar; Olfers, Shannon; Gerald, Brittany; Hilbert, Alex; Svejda, Sean; Narayanan, Vinodh
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutation in the X-linked MECP2 gene, encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2. We have created a mouse model ( Mecp2 A140V "knock-in" mutant) expressing the recurrent human MECP2 A140V mutation linked to an X-linked mental retardation/Rett syndrome phenotype. Morphological analyses focused on quantifying soma and nucleus size were performed on primary hippocampus and cerebellum granule neuron (CGN) cultures from mutant ( Mecp2(A140V/y)) and wild type ( Mecp2(+/y)) male mice. Cultured hippocampus and cerebellar granule neurons from mutant animals were significantly smaller than neurons from wild type animals. We also examined soma size in hippocampus neurons from individual female transgenic mice that express both a mutant (maternal allele) and a wild type Mecp2 gene linked to an eGFP transgene (paternal allele). In cultures from such doubly heterozygous female mice, the size of neurons expressing the mutant (A140V) allele also showed a significant reduction compared to neurons expressing wild type MeCP2, supporting a cell-autonomous role for MeCP2 in neuronal development. IGF-1 (insulin growth factor-1) treatment of neuronal cells from Mecp2 mutant mice rescued the soma size phenotype. We also found that Mecp2 mutation leads to down-regulation of the mTOR signaling pathway, known to be involved in neuronal size regulation. Our results suggest that i) reduced neuronal size is an important in vitro cellular phenotype of Mecp2 mutation in mice, and ii) MeCP2 might play a critical role in the maintenance of neuronal structure by modulation of the mTOR pathway. The definition of a quantifiable cellular phenotype supports using neuronal size as a biomarker in the development of a high-throughput, in vitro assay to screen for compounds that rescue small neuronal phenotype ("phenotypic assay").
Restivo, Leonardo; Ferrari, Francesca; Passino, Enrica; Sgobio, Carmelo; Bock, Jörg; Oostra, Ben A; Bagni, Claudia; Ammassari-Teule, Martine
Fragile X syndrome, the most frequent form of hereditary mental retardation, is due to a mutation of the fragile X mental retardation 1 (FMR1) gene on the X chromosome. Like fragile X patients, FMR1-knockout (FMR1-KO) mice lack the normal fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) and show both cognitive alterations and an immature neuronal morphology. We reared FMR1-KO mice in a C57BL/6 background in enriched environmental conditions to examine the possibility that experience-dependent stimulation alleviates their behavioral and neuronal abnormalities. FMR1-KO mice kept in standard cages were hyperactive, displayed an altered pattern of open field exploration, and did not show habituation. Quantitative morphological analyses revealed a reduction in basal dendrite length and branching together with more immature-appearing spines along apical dendrites of layer five pyramidal neurons in the visual cortex. Enrichment largely rescued these behavioral and neuronal abnormalities while increasing alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor subunit 1 (GluR1) levels in both genotypes. Enrichment did not, however, affect FMRP levels in the WT mice. These data suggest that FMRP-independent pathways activating glutamatergic signaling are preserved in FMR1-KO mice and that they can be elicited by environmental stimulation.
Gou-Fàbregas, Myriam; Macià, Anna; Anerillas, Carlos; Vaquero, Marta; Jové, Mariona; Jain, Sanjay; Ribera, Joan; Encinas, Mario
Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a rare disorder of cholesterol synthesis. Affected individuals exhibit growth failure, intellectual disability and a broad spectrum of developmental malformations. Among them, renal agenesis or hypoplasia, decreased innervation of the gut, and ptosis are consistent with impaired Ret signaling. Ret is a receptor tyrosine kinase that achieves full activity when recruited to lipid rafts. Mice mutant for Ret are born with no kidneys and enteric neurons, and display sympathetic nervous system defects causing ptosis. Since cholesterol is a critical component of lipid rafts, here we tested the hypothesis of whether the cause of the above malformations found in SLOS is defective Ret signaling owing to improper lipid raft composition or function. No defects consistent with decreased Ret signaling were found in newborn Dhcr7(-/-) mice, or in Dhcr7(-/-) mice lacking one copy of Ret. Although kidneys from Dhcr7(-/-) mice showed a mild branching defect in vitro, GDNF was able to support survival and downstream signaling of sympathetic neurons. Consistently, GFRα1 correctly partitioned to lipid rafts in brain tissue. Finally, replacement experiments demonstrated that 7-DHC efficiently supports Ret signaling in vitro. Taken together, our findings do not support a role of Ret signaling in the pathogenesis of SLOS.
King, M K; Jope, R S
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by suppressed expression of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), which results in intellectual disability accompanied by many variably manifested characteristics, such as hyperactivity, seizures and autistic-like behaviors. Treatment of mice that lack FMRP, Fmr1 knockout (KO) mice, with lithium has been reported to ameliorate locomotor hyperactivity, prevent hypersensitivity to audiogenic seizures, improve passive avoidance behavior and attenuate sociability deficits. To focus on the defining characteristic of FXS, which is cognitive impairment, we tested if lithium treatment ameliorated impairments in four cognitive tasks in Fmr1 KO mice, tested if the response to lithium differed in adolescent and adult mice and tested if therapeutic effects persisted after discontinuation of lithium administration. Fmr1 KO mice displayed impaired cognition in the novel object detection task, temporal ordering for objects task and coordinate and categorical spatial processing tasks. Chronic lithium treatment of adolescent (from 4 to 8 weeks of age) and adult (from 8 to 12 weeks of age) mice abolished cognitive impairments in all four cognitive tasks. Cognitive deficits returned after lithium treatment was discontinued for 4 weeks. These results show that Fmr1 KO mice exhibit severe impairments in these cognitive tasks, that lithium is equally effective in normalizing cognition in these tasks whether it is administered to young or adult mice and that lithium administration must be continued for the cognitive improvements to be sustained. These findings provide further evidence that lithium administration may be beneficial for individuals with FXS.
Matagne, Valerie; Budden, Sarojini; Ojeda, Sergio R; Raber, Jacob
Rett syndrome (RTT) is an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the MECP2. Several genes have been shown to be MECP2 targets. We previously identified FXYD1 (encoding phospholemman; a protein containing the motif phenylalanine-X-tyrosine-aspartate), a gene encoding a transmembrane modulator of the Na, K-ATPase (NKA) enzyme, as one of them. In the absence of MECP2, FXYD1 expression is increased in the frontal cortex (FC) of both RTT patients and Mecp2(Bird) null mice. Here, we show that Fxyd1 mRNA levels are also increased in the FC and hippocampus (HC) of male mice carrying a truncating mutation of the Mecp2 gene (Mecp2(308)). To test the hypothesis that some of the behavioral phenotypes seen in these Mecp2 mutants could be ameliorated by genetically preventing the Fxyd1 response to MECP2 deficiency, we crossed Fxyd1 null male mice with Mecp2(308) heterozygous females and behaviorally tested the adult male offspring. Mecp2(308) mice had impaired HC-dependent novel location recognition, and this impairment was rescued by deletion of both Fxyd1 alleles. No other behavioral or sensorimotor impairments were rescued. These results indicate that reducing FXYD1 levels improves a specific cognitive impairment in MECP2-deficient mice.
Gou-Fàbregas, Myriam; Macià, Anna; Anerillas, Carlos; Vaquero, Marta; Jové, Mariona; Jain, Sanjay; Ribera, Joan; Encinas, Mario
Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a rare disorder of cholesterol synthesis. Affected individuals exhibit growth failure, intellectual disability and a broad spectrum of developmental malformations. Among them, renal agenesis or hypoplasia, decreased innervation of the gut, and ptosis are consistent with impaired Ret signaling. Ret is a receptor tyrosine kinase that achieves full activity when recruited to lipid rafts. Mice mutant for Ret are born with no kidneys and enteric neurons, and display sympathetic nervous system defects causing ptosis. Since cholesterol is a critical component of lipid rafts, here we tested the hypothesis of whether the cause of the above malformations found in SLOS is defective Ret signaling owing to improper lipid raft composition or function. No defects consistent with decreased Ret signaling were found in newborn Dhcr7−/− mice, or in Dhcr7−/− mice lacking one copy of Ret. Although kidneys from Dhcr7−/− mice showed a mild branching defect in vitro, GDNF was able to support survival and downstream signaling of sympathetic neurons. Consistently, GFRα1 correctly partitioned to lipid rafts in brain tissue. Finally, replacement experiments demonstrated that 7-DHC efficiently supports Ret signaling in vitro. Taken together, our findings do not support a role of Ret signaling in the pathogenesis of SLOS. PMID:27334845
DREVER, Nathan; Yin, Huaizhi; KECHICHIAN, Talar; COSTANTINE, Maged; LONGO, Monica; SAADE, George R.; BYTAUTIENE, Egle
OBJECTIVE Superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and catalase (CAT) prevent cellular damage produced by free radicals. Our objective was to evaluate if prenatal alcohol exposure decreased the expression of antioxidant enzymes in the brain, liver or placenta of fetal mice. STUDY DESIGN Timed, pregnant C57BL6/J mice were treated on gestational day 8 (E8) with intraperitoneal injection of alcohol (0.03 ml/g) or saline (control). Fetuses were harvested on E18. Fetal brain, liver and placenta were analyzed for mRNA expression of SOD, GPx and CAT by real-time PCR, with 18S RNA used as reference. RESULTS SOD, GPx and CAT expression was lower in fetal brains exposed to alcohol with no differences detected in the liver or placenta between the two groups. CONCLUSION Maternal alcohol consumption causes a decrease in SOD, GPx and CAT expression in the fetal brain. This may explain the long term neurologic findings in fetal alcohol syndrome. PMID:22365038
Mucerino, Sabrina; Di Salle, Anna; Alessio, Nicola; Margarucci, Sabrina; Nicolai, Raffaella; Melone, Mariarosa A. B.; Galderisi, Umberto; Peluso, Gianfranco
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disease that leads to intellectual deficit, motor disability, epilepsy and increased risk of sudden death. Although in up to 95% of cases this disease is caused by de novo loss-of-function mutations in the X-linked methyl-CpG binding protein 2 gene, it is a multisystem disease associated also with mitochondrial metabolic imbalance. In addition, the presence of long QT intervals (LQT) on the patients’ electrocardiograms has been associated with the development of ventricular tachyarrhythmias and sudden death. In the attempt to shed light on the mechanism underlying heart failure in RTT, we investigated the contribution of the carnitine cycle to the onset of mitochondrial dysfunction in the cardiac tissues of two subgroups of RTT mice, namely Mecp2+/− NQTc and Mecp2+/− LQTc mice, that have a normal and an LQT interval, respectively. We found that carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 A/B and carnitine acylcarnitine translocase were significantly upregulated at mRNA and protein level in the heart of Mecp2+/− mice. Moreover, the carnitine system was imbalanced in Mecp2+/− LQTc mice due to decreased carnitine acylcarnitine transferase expression. By causing accumulation of intramitochondrial acylcarnitines, this imbalance exacerbated incomplete fatty acid oxidation, which, in turn, could contribute to mitochondrial overload and sudden death. PMID:28150739
Karpinski, Beverly A.; Maynard, Thomas M.; Fralish, Matthew S.; Nuwayhid, Samer; Zohn, Irene E.; Moody, Sally A.; LaMantia, Anthony-S.
ABSTRACT We assessed feeding-related developmental anomalies in the LgDel mouse model of chromosome 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a common developmental disorder that frequently includes perinatal dysphagia – debilitating feeding, swallowing and nutrition difficulties from birth onward – within its phenotypic spectrum. LgDel pups gain significantly less weight during the first postnatal weeks, and have several signs of respiratory infections due to food aspiration. Most 22q11 genes are expressed in anlagen of craniofacial and brainstem regions critical for feeding and swallowing, and diminished expression in LgDel embryos apparently compromises development of these regions. Palate and jaw anomalies indicate divergent oro-facial morphogenesis. Altered expression and patterning of hindbrain transcriptional regulators, especially those related to retinoic acid (RA) signaling, prefigures these disruptions. Subsequently, gene expression, axon growth and sensory ganglion formation in the trigeminal (V), glossopharyngeal (IX) or vagus (X) cranial nerves (CNs) that innervate targets essential for feeding, swallowing and digestion are disrupted. Posterior CN IX and X ganglia anomalies primarily reflect diminished dosage of the 22q11DS candidate gene Tbx1. Genetic modification of RA signaling in LgDel embryos rescues the anterior CN V phenotype and returns expression levels or pattern of RA-sensitive genes to those in wild-type embryos. Thus, diminished 22q11 gene dosage, including but not limited to Tbx1, disrupts oro-facial and CN development by modifying RA-modulated anterior-posterior hindbrain differentiation. These disruptions likely contribute to dysphagia in infants and young children with 22q11DS. PMID:24357327
Dickson, Price E.; Corkill, Beau; McKimm, Eric; Miller, Mellessa M.; Calton, Michele A.; Goldowitz, Daniel; Blaha, Charles D.; Mittleman, Guy
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability in males and the most common genetic cause of autism. Although executive dysfunction is consistently found in humans with FXS, evidence of executive dysfunction in Fmr1 KO mice, a mouse model of FXS, has been inconsistent. One possible explanation for this is that executive dysfunction in Fmr1 KO mice, similar to humans with FXS, is only evident when cognitive demands are high. Using touchscreen operant conditioning chambers, male Fmr1 KO mice and their male wildtype littermates were tested on the acquisition of a pairwise visual discrimination followed by four serial reversals of the response rule. We assessed reversal learning performance under two different conditions. In the first, the correct stimulus was salient and the incorrect stimulus was non-salient. In the second and more challenging condition, the incorrect stimulus was salient and the correct stimulus was non-salient; this increased cognitive load by introducing conflict between sensory-driven (i.e., bottom-up) and task-dependent (i.e., top-down) signals. Fmr1 KOs displayed two distinct impairments relative to wildtype littermates. First, Fmr1 KOs committed significantly more learning-type errors during the second reversal stage, but only under high cognitive load. Second, during the first reversal stage, Fmr1 KOs committed significantly more attempts to collect a reward during the timeout following an incorrect response. These findings indicate that Fmr1 KO mice display executive dysfunction that, in some cases, is only evident under high cognitive load. PMID:23747611
Kida, Elizabeth; Rabe, Ausma; Walus, Marius; Albertini, Giorgio; Golabek, Adam A
Running may affect the mood, behavior and neurochemistry of running animals. In the present study, we investigated whether voluntary daily running, sustained over several months, might improve cognition and motor function and modify the brain levels of selected proteins (SOD1, DYRK1A, MAP2, APP and synaptophysin) in Ts65Dn mice, a mouse model for Down syndrome (DS). Ts65Dn and age-matched wild-type mice, all females, had free access to a running wheel either from the time of weaning (post-weaning cohort) or from around 7 months of age (adult cohort). Sedentary female mice were housed in similar cages, without running wheels. Behavioral testing and evaluation of motor performance showed that running improved cognitive function and motor skills in Ts65Dn mice. However, while a dramatic improvement in the locomotor functions and learning of motor skills was observed in Ts65Dn mice from both post-weaning and adult cohorts, improved object memory was seen only in Ts65Dn mice that had free access to the wheel from weaning. The total levels of APP and MAP2ab were reduced and the levels of SOD1 were increased in the runners from the post-weaning cohort, while only the levels of MAP2ab and α-cleaved C-terminal fragments of APP were reduced in the adult group in comparison with sedentary trisomic mice. Hence, our study demonstrates that Ts65Dn females benefit from sustained voluntary physical exercise, more prominently if running starts early in life, providing further support to the idea that a properly designed physical exercise program could be a valuable adjuvant to future pharmacotherapy for DS.
Smith-Hicks, Constance L; Cai, Peiling; Savonenko, Alena V; Reeves, Roger H; Worley, Paul F
Down syndrome (DS) is the leading chromosomal cause of intellectual disability, yet the neural substrates of learning and memory deficits remain poorly understood. Here, we interrogate neural networks linked to learning and memory in a well-characterized model of DS, the Ts65Dn mouse. We report that Ts65Dn mice exhibit exploratory behavior that is not different from littermate wild-type (WT) controls yet behavioral activation of Arc mRNA transcription in pyramidal neurons of the CA1 region of the hippocampus is altered in Ts65Dn mice. In WT mice, a 5 min period of exploration of a novel environment resulted in Arc mRNA transcription in 39% of CA1 neurons. By contrast, the same period of exploration resulted in only ~20% of CA1 neurons transcribing Arc mRNA in Ts65Dn mice indicating increased sparsity of the behaviorally induced ensemble. Like WT mice the CA1 pyramidal neurons of Ts65Dn mice reactivated Arc transcription during a second exposure to the same environment 20 min after the first experience, but the size of the reactivated ensemble was only ~60% of that in WT mice. After repeated daily exposures there was a further decline in the size of the reactivated ensemble in Ts65Dn and a disruption of reactivation. Together these data demonstrate reduction in the size of the behaviorally induced network that expresses Arc in Ts65Dn mice and disruption of the long-term stability of the ensemble. We propose that these deficits in network formation and stability contribute to cognitive symptoms in DS.
Grier, Mark D; Carson, Robert P; Lagrange, Andre H
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by a number of neurological problems, including developmental delay, movement disorders, and epilepsy. AS results from the loss of UBE3A (an imprinted gene) expressed from the maternal chromosome in neurons. Given the ubiquitous expression of Ube3a and the devastating nature of AS, the role of environmental and maternal effects has been largely ignored. Severe ataxia, anxiety-like behaviors and learning deficits are well-documented in patients and AS mice. More recently, clinical imaging studies of AS patients suggest myelination may be delayed or reduced. Utilizing a mouse model of AS, we found disrupted expression of cortical myelin proteins, the magnitude of which is influenced by maternal status, in that the aberrant myelination in the AS pups of AS affected mothers were more pronounced than those seen in AS pups raised by unaffected (Ube3a (m+/p-)) Carrier mothers. Furthermore, feeding the breeding mothers a higher fat (11% vs 5%) diet normalizes these myelin defects. These effects are not limited to myelin proteins. Since AS mice have abnormal stress responses, including altered glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression, we measured GR expression in pups from Carrier and affected AS mothers. AS pups had higher GR expression than their WT littermates. However, we also found an effect of maternal status, with reduced GR levels in pups from affected mothers compared to genotypically identical pups raised by unaffected Carrier mothers. Taken together, our findings suggest that the phenotypes observed in AS mice may be modulated by factors independent of Ube3a genotype.
Oddi, Diego; Subashi, Enejda; Middei, Silvia; Bellocchio, Luigi; Lemaire-Mayo, Valerie; Guzmán, Manuel; Crusio, Wim E; D'Amato, Francesca R; Pietropaolo, Susanna
Converging lines of evidence support the use of environmental stimulation to ameliorate the symptoms of a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. Applying these interventions at very early ages is critical to achieve a marked reduction of the pathological phenotypes. Here we evaluated the impact of early social enrichment in Fmr1-KO mice, a genetic mouse model of fragile X syndrome (FXS), a major developmental disorder and the most frequent monogenic cause of autism. Enrichment was achieved by providing male KO pups and their WT littermates with enhanced social stimulation, housing them from birth until weaning with the mother and an additional nonlactating female. At adulthood they were tested for locomotor, social, and cognitive abilities; furthermore, dendritic alterations were assessed in the hippocampus and amygdala, two brain regions known to be involved in the control of the examined behaviors and affected by spine pathology in Fmr1-KOs. Enrichment rescued the behavioral FXS-like deficits displayed in adulthood by Fmr1-KO mice, that is, hyperactivity, reduced social interactions, and cognitive deficits. Early social enrichment also eliminated the abnormalities shown by adult KO mice in the morphology of hippocampal and amygdala dendritic spines, namely an enhanced density of immature vs mature types. Importantly, enrichment did not induce neurobehavioral changes in WT mice, thus supporting specific effects on FXS-like pathology. These findings show that early environmental stimulation has profound and long-term beneficial effects on the pathological FXS phenotype, thereby encouraging the use of nonpharmacological interventions for the treatment of this and perhaps other neurodevelopmental diseases. PMID:25348604
Chrast, Jacqueline; Gu, Wenli; Gheldof, Nele; Pradervand, Sylvain; Schütz, Frédéric; Young, Juan I.; Lupski, James R.; Reymond, Alexandre; Walz, Katherina
A large fraction of genome variation between individuals is comprised of submicroscopic copy number variation of genomic DNA segments. We assessed the relative contribution of structural changes and gene dosage alterations on phenotypic outcomes with mouse models of Smith-Magenis and Potocki-Lupski syndromes. We phenotyped mice with 1n (Deletion/+), 2n (+/+), 3n (Duplication/+), and balanced 2n compound heterozygous (Deletion/Duplication) copies of the same region. Parallel to the observations made in humans, such variation in gene copy number was sufficient to generate phenotypic consequences: in a number of cases diametrically opposing phenotypes were associated with gain versus loss of gene content. Surprisingly, some neurobehavioral traits were not rescued by restoration of the normal gene copy number. Transcriptome profiling showed that a highly significant propensity of transcriptional changes map to the engineered interval in the five assessed tissues. A statistically significant overrepresentation of the genes mapping to the entire length of the engineered chromosome was also found in the top-ranked differentially expressed genes in the mice containing rearranged chromosomes, regardless of the nature of the rearrangement, an observation robust across different cell lineages of the central nervous system. Our data indicate that a structural change at a given position of the human genome may affect not only locus and adjacent gene expression but also “genome regulation.” Furthermore, structural change can cause the same perturbation in particular pathways regardless of gene dosage. Thus, the presence of a genomic structural change, as well as gene dosage imbalance, contributes to the ultimate phenotype. PMID:21124890
Sueyoshi, Ryo; Woods Ignatoski, Kathleen M; Okawada, Manabu; Hartmann, Bolette; Holst, Jens; Teitelbaum, Daniel H
Glucagon-like peptide-2 (GLP-2) has been shown to be effective in patients with short bowel syndrome (SBS), but it is rapidly inactivated by dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPP4). We used an orally active DPP4 inhibitor (DPP4-I), MK-0626, to determine the efficacy of this approach to promote adaptation after SBS, determined optimal dosing, and identified further functional actions in a mouse model of SBS. Ten-week-old mice underwent a 50% proximal small bowel resection. Dose optimization was determined over a 3-day post-small bowel resection period. The established optimal dose was given for 7, 30, and 90 days and for 7 days followed by a 23-day washout period. Adaptive response was assessed by morphology, intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) proliferation (proliferating cell nuclear antigen), epithelial barrier function (transepithelial resistance), RT-PCR for intestinal transport proteins and GLP-2 receptor, IGF type 1 receptor, and GLP-2 plasma levels. Glucose-stimulated sodium transport was assessed for intestinal absorptive function. Seven days of DPP4-I treatment facilitated an increase in GLP-2 receptor levels, intestinal growth, and IEC proliferation. Treatment led to differential effects over time, with greater absorptive function at early time points and enhanced proliferation at later time points. Interestingly, adaptation continued in the group treated for 7 days followed by a 23-day washout. DPP4-I enhanced IEC proliferative action up to 90 days postresection, but this action seemed to peak by 30 days, as did GLP-2 plasma levels. Thus DPP4-I treatment may prove to be a viable option for accelerating intestinal adaptation with SBS.
Baudry, Michel; Kramar, Eniko; Xu, Xiaobo; Zadran, Homera; Moreno, Stephanie; Lynch, Gary; Gall, Christine; Bi, Xiaoning
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder largely due to abnormal maternal expression of the UBE3A gene leading to the deletion of E6-associated protein. AS subjects have severe cognitive impairments for which there are no therapeutic interventions. Mouse models (knockouts of the maternal Ube3a gene: 'AS mice') of the disorder have substantial deficits in long-term potentiation (LTP) and learning. Here we report a clinically plausible pharmacological treatment that ameliorates both deficits. AS mice were injected ip twice daily for 5 days with vehicle or the ampakine CX929; drugs of this type enhance fast EPSCs by positively modulating AMPA receptors. Theta burst stimulation (TBS) produced a normal enhancement of field EPSPs in hippocampal slices prepared from vehicle-treated AS mice but LTP decreased steadily to baseline; however, LTP in slices from ampakine-treated AS mice stabilized at levels found in wild-type controls. TBS-induced actin polymerization within dendritic spines, an essential event for stabilizing LTP, was severely impaired in slices from vehicle-treated AS mice but not in those from ampakine-treated AS mice. Long-term memory scores in a fear conditioning paradigm were reduced by 50% in vehicle-treated AS mice but were comparable to values for littermate controls in the ampakine-treated AS mice. We propose that AS is associated with a profound defect in activity-driven spine cytoskeletal reorganization, resulting in a loss of the synaptic plasticity required for the encoding of long-term memory. Notably, the spine abnormality along with the LTP and learning impairments can be reduced by a minimally invasive drug treatment.
Smith-Hicks, Constance L.; Cai, Peiling; Savonenko, Alena V.; Reeves, Roger H.; Worley, Paul F.
Down syndrome (DS) is the leading chromosomal cause of intellectual disability, yet the neural substrates of learning and memory deficits remain poorly understood. Here, we interrogate neural networks linked to learning and memory in a well-characterized model of DS, the Ts65Dn mouse. We report that Ts65Dn mice exhibit exploratory behavior that is not different from littermate wild-type (WT) controls yet behavioral activation of Arc mRNA transcription in pyramidal neurons of the CA1 region of the hippocampus is altered in Ts65Dn mice. In WT mice, a 5 min period of exploration of a novel environment resulted in Arc mRNA transcription in 39% of CA1 neurons. By contrast, the same period of exploration resulted in only ~20% of CA1 neurons transcribing Arc mRNA in Ts65Dn mice indicating increased sparsity of the behaviorally induced ensemble. Like WT mice the CA1 pyramidal neurons of Ts65Dn mice reactivated Arc transcription during a second exposure to the same environment 20 min after the first experience, but the size of the reactivated ensemble was only ~60% of that in WT mice. After repeated daily exposures there was a further decline in the size of the reactivated ensemble in Ts65Dn and a disruption of reactivation. Together these data demonstrate reduction in the size of the behaviorally induced network that expresses Arc in Ts65Dn mice and disruption of the long-term stability of the ensemble. We propose that these deficits in network formation and stability contribute to cognitive symptoms in DS. PMID:28217086
Karpinski, Beverly A; Maynard, Thomas M; Fralish, Matthew S; Nuwayhid, Samer; Zohn, Irene E; Moody, Sally A; LaMantia, Anthony-S
We assessed feeding-related developmental anomalies in the LgDel mouse model of chromosome 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS), a common developmental disorder that frequently includes perinatal dysphagia--debilitating feeding, swallowing and nutrition difficulties from birth onward--within its phenotypic spectrum. LgDel pups gain significantly less weight during the first postnatal weeks, and have several signs of respiratory infections due to food aspiration. Most 22q11 genes are expressed in anlagen of craniofacial and brainstem regions critical for feeding and swallowing, and diminished expression in LgDel embryos apparently compromises development of these regions. Palate and jaw anomalies indicate divergent oro-facial morphogenesis. Altered expression and patterning of hindbrain transcriptional regulators, especially those related to retinoic acid (RA) signaling, prefigures these disruptions. Subsequently, gene expression, axon growth and sensory ganglion formation in the trigeminal (V), glossopharyngeal (IX) or vagus (X) cranial nerves (CNs) that innervate targets essential for feeding, swallowing and digestion are disrupted. Posterior CN IX and X ganglia anomalies primarily reflect diminished dosage of the 22q11DS candidate gene Tbx1. Genetic modification of RA signaling in LgDel embryos rescues the anterior CN V phenotype and returns expression levels or pattern of RA-sensitive genes to those in wild-type embryos. Thus, diminished 22q11 gene dosage, including but not limited to Tbx1, disrupts oro-facial and CN development by modifying RA-modulated anterior-posterior hindbrain differentiation. These disruptions likely contribute to dysphagia in infants and young children with 22q11DS.
Ricard, Guénola; Molina, Jessica; Chrast, Jacqueline; Gu, Wenli; Gheldof, Nele; Pradervand, Sylvain; Schütz, Frédéric; Young, Juan I; Lupski, James R; Reymond, Alexandre; Walz, Katherina
A large fraction of genome variation between individuals is comprised of submicroscopic copy number variation of genomic DNA segments. We assessed the relative contribution of structural changes and gene dosage alterations on phenotypic outcomes with mouse models of Smith-Magenis and Potocki-Lupski syndromes. We phenotyped mice with 1n (Deletion/+), 2n (+/+), 3n (Duplication/+), and balanced 2n compound heterozygous (Deletion/Duplication) copies of the same region. Parallel to the observations made in humans, such variation in gene copy number was sufficient to generate phenotypic consequences: in a number of cases diametrically opposing phenotypes were associated with gain versus loss of gene content. Surprisingly, some neurobehavioral traits were not rescued by restoration of the normal gene copy number. Transcriptome profiling showed that a highly significant propensity of transcriptional changes map to the engineered interval in the five assessed tissues. A statistically significant overrepresentation of the genes mapping to the entire length of the engineered chromosome was also found in the top-ranked differentially expressed genes in the mice containing rearranged chromosomes, regardless of the nature of the rearrangement, an observation robust across different cell lineages of the central nervous system. Our data indicate that a structural change at a given position of the human genome may affect not only locus and adjacent gene expression but also "genome regulation." Furthermore, structural change can cause the same perturbation in particular pathways regardless of gene dosage. Thus, the presence of a genomic structural change, as well as gene dosage imbalance, contributes to the ultimate phenotype.
Caprio, Cinzia; Baldini, Antonio
T-box 1 (Tbx1), a gene encoding a T-box transcription factor, is required for embryonic development in humans and mice. Half dosage of this gene in humans causes most of the features of the DiGeorge or Velocardiofacial syndrome phenotypes, including aortic arch and cardiac outflow tract abnormalities. Here we found a strong genetic interaction between Tbx1 and transformation related protein 53 (Trp53). Indeed, genetic ablation of Trp53, or pharmacological inhibition of its protein product p53, rescues significantly the cardiovascular defects of Tbx1 heterozygous and hypomorphic mutants. We found that the Tbx1 and p53 proteins do not interact directly but both occupy a genetic element of Gbx2, which is required for aortic arch and cardiac outflow tract development, and is a known genetic interactor of Tbx1. We found that Gbx2 expression is down-regulated in Tbx1+/− embryos and is restored to normal levels in Tbx1+/−;Trp53+/− embryos. In addition, we found that the genetic element that binds both Tbx1 and p53 is highly enriched in H3K27 trimethylation, and upon p53 suppression H3K27me3 levels are reduced, along with Ezh2 enrichment. This finding suggests that the rescue of Gbx2 expression in Tbx1+/−;Trp53+/− embryos is due to reduction of repressive chromatin marks. Overall our data identify unexpected genetic interactions between Tbx1 and Trp53 and provide a proof of principle that developmental defects associated with reduced dosage of Tbx1 can be rescued pharmacologically. PMID:25197075
Huang, Yan; Powers, Corey; Madala, Satish K.; Greis, Kenneth D.; Haffey, Wendy D.; Towbin, Jeffrey A.; Purevjav, Enkhsaikhan; Javadov, Sabzali; Strauss, Arnold W.; Khuchua, Zaza
Cardiolipin (CL) is a mitochondrial phospholipid essential for electron transport chain (ETC) integrity. CL-deficiency in humans is caused by mutations in the tafazzin (Taz) gene and results in a multisystem pediatric disorder, Barth syndrome (BTHS). It has been reported that tafazzin deficiency destabilizes mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes and affects supercomplex assembly. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of Taz-knockdown on the mitochondrial proteomic landscape and metabolic processes, such as stability of respiratory chain supercomplexes and their interactions with fatty acid oxidation enzymes in cardiac muscle. Proteomic analysis demonstrated reduction of several polypeptides of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, including Rieske and cytochrome c1 subunits of complex III, NADH dehydrogenase alpha subunit 5 of complex I and the catalytic core-forming subunit of F0F1-ATP synthase. Taz gene knockdown resulted in upregulation of enzymes of folate and amino acid metabolic pathways in heart mitochondria, demonstrating that Taz-deficiency causes substantive metabolic remodeling in cardiac muscle. Mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplexes are destabilized in CL-depleted mitochondria from Taz knockdown hearts resulting in disruption of the interactions between ETC and the fatty acid oxidation enzymes, very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, potentially affecting the metabolic channeling of reducing equivalents between these two metabolic pathways. Mitochondria-bound myoglobin was significantly reduced in Taz-knockdown hearts, potentially disrupting intracellular oxygen delivery to the oxidative phosphorylation system. Our results identify the critical pathways affected by the Taz-deficiency in mitochondria and establish a future framework for development of therapeutic options for BTHS. PMID:26030409
Huang, Yan; Powers, Corey; Madala, Satish K; Greis, Kenneth D; Haffey, Wendy D; Towbin, Jeffrey A; Purevjav, Enkhsaikhan; Javadov, Sabzali; Strauss, Arnold W; Khuchua, Zaza
Cardiolipin (CL) is a mitochondrial phospholipid essential for electron transport chain (ETC) integrity. CL-deficiency in humans is caused by mutations in the tafazzin (Taz) gene and results in a multisystem pediatric disorder, Barth syndrome (BTHS). It has been reported that tafazzin deficiency destabilizes mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes and affects supercomplex assembly. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of Taz-knockdown on the mitochondrial proteomic landscape and metabolic processes, such as stability of respiratory chain supercomplexes and their interactions with fatty acid oxidation enzymes in cardiac muscle. Proteomic analysis demonstrated reduction of several polypeptides of the mitochondrial respiratory chain, including Rieske and cytochrome c1 subunits of complex III, NADH dehydrogenase alpha subunit 5 of complex I and the catalytic core-forming subunit of F0F1-ATP synthase. Taz gene knockdown resulted in upregulation of enzymes of folate and amino acid metabolic pathways in heart mitochondria, demonstrating that Taz-deficiency causes substantive metabolic remodeling in cardiac muscle. Mitochondrial respiratory chain supercomplexes are destabilized in CL-depleted mitochondria from Taz knockdown hearts resulting in disruption of the interactions between ETC and the fatty acid oxidation enzymes, very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase and long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase, potentially affecting the metabolic channeling of reducing equivalents between these two metabolic pathways. Mitochondria-bound myoglobin was significantly reduced in Taz-knockdown hearts, potentially disrupting intracellular oxygen delivery to the oxidative phosphorylation system. Our results identify the critical pathways affected by the Taz-deficiency in mitochondria and establish a future framework for development of therapeutic options for BTHS.
Caprio, Cinzia; Baldini, Antonio
T-box 1 (Tbx1), a gene encoding a T-box transcription factor, is required for embryonic development in humans and mice. Half dosage of this gene in humans causes most of the features of the DiGeorge or Velocardiofacial syndrome phenotypes, including aortic arch and cardiac outflow tract abnormalities. Here we found a strong genetic interaction between Tbx1 and transformation related protein 53 (Trp53). Indeed, genetic ablation of Trp53, or pharmacological inhibition of its protein product p53, rescues significantly the cardiovascular defects of Tbx1 heterozygous and hypomorphic mutants. We found that the Tbx1 and p53 proteins do not interact directly but both occupy a genetic element of Gbx2, which is required for aortic arch and cardiac outflow tract development, and is a known genetic interactor of Tbx1. We found that Gbx2 expression is down-regulated in Tbx1(+/-) embryos and is restored to normal levels in Tbx1(+/-);Trp53(+/-) embryos. In addition, we found that the genetic element that binds both Tbx1 and p53 is highly enriched in H3K27 trimethylation, and upon p53 suppression H3K27me3 levels are reduced, along with Ezh2 enrichment. This finding suggests that the rescue of Gbx2 expression in Tbx1(+/-);Trp53(+/-) embryos is due to reduction of repressive chromatin marks. Overall our data identify unexpected genetic interactions between Tbx1 and Trp53 and provide a proof of principle that developmental defects associated with reduced dosage of Tbx1 can be rescued pharmacologically.
Gambino, Frédéric; Khelfaoui, Malik; Poulain, Bernard; Bienvenu, Thierry; Chelly, Jamel; Humeau, Yann
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2 - methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 - an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life. PMID:20625482
Chen, Tsung-Sheng; Chen, Yi-Ting; Liu, Chia-Hsin; Sun, Chi-Ching; Mao, Frank Chiahung
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a complex endocrine disorder and one of the most common causes of anovulatory infertility. In addition, insulin resistance is commonly associated with PCOS and contributed to pathophysiology connected to dietary minerals including chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), and zinc (Zn). The aims of this study were to explore whether PCOS in mice alters levels of these elements and determine if Cr supplementation resolves changes. Twenty-four female BALB/c mice were divided into three groups of eight mice [normal control (NC), PCOS+placebo milk (PP), and PCOS+Cr-containing milk (PCr)]. Each group received a high-fat diet for 4 weeks. Our results show significantly higher levels of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) (p<0.001), fasting glucose (p<0.05), and fasting insulin (p<0.05) in the PP group compared with both NC and PCr group. However, Cr levels were significantly lower in muscle, bone, and serum in the PP group (p<0.05) compared with NC and PCr groups. In liver, bone, and serum, Fe levels were significantly higher in the PP group compared with the NC group (p<0.05). In addition, we found significant correlations between Cu/Zn ratio and fasting insulin in all mice (r=0.61; p=0.002). Given that significant research shows that Cr supplementation improves fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and metal metabolism disorders for PCOS mice, our data suggest that trace element levels can serve as biomarkers to prescribe therapeutic supplementation to maintain a healthy metabolic balance and treat disease conditions.
Moretti, Paolo; Levenson, Jonathan M; Battaglia, Fortunato; Atkinson, Richard; Teague, Ryan; Antalffy, Barbara; Armstrong, Dawna; Arancio, Ottavio; Sweatt, J David; Zoghbi, Huda Y
Loss-of-function mutations or abnormal expression of the X-linked gene encoding methyl CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) cause a spectrum of postnatal neurodevelopmental disorders including Rett syndrome (RTT), nonsyndromic mental retardation, learning disability, and autism. Mice expressing a truncated allele of Mecp2 (Mecp2(308)) reproduce the motor and social behavior abnormalities of RTT; however, it is not known whether learning deficits are present in these animals. We investigated learning and memory, neuronal morphology, and synaptic function in Mecp2(308) mice. Hippocampus-dependent spatial memory, contextual fear memory, and social memory were significantly impaired in Mecp2(308) mutant males (Mecp2(308/Y)). The morphology of dendritic arborizations, the biochemical composition of synaptosomes and postsynaptic densities, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression were not altered in these mice. However, reduced postsynaptic density cross-sectional length was identified in asymmetric synapses of area CA1 of the hippocampus. In the hippocampus of symptomatic Mecp2(308/Y) mice, Schaffer-collateral synapses exhibited enhanced basal synaptic transmission and decreased paired-pulse facilitation, suggesting that neurotransmitter release was enhanced. Schaffer-collateral long-term potentiation (LTP) was impaired. LTP was also reduced in the motor and sensory regions of the neocortex. Finally, very early symptomatic Mecp2(308/Y) mice had increased basal synaptic transmission and deficits in the induction of long-term depression. These data demonstrate a requirement for MeCP2 in learning and memory and suggest that functional and ultrastructural synaptic dysfunction is an early event in the pathogenesis of RTT.
Gambino, Frédéric; Khelfaoui, Malik; Poulain, Bernard; Bienvenu, Thierry; Chelly, Jamel; Humeau, Yann
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neuro-developmental disorder caused by loss of function of Mecp2--methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--an epigenetic factor controlling DNA transcription. In mice, removal of Mecp2 in the forebrain recapitulates most of behavioral deficits found in global Mecp2 deficient mice, including amygdala-related hyper-anxiety and lack of social interaction, pointing a role of Mecp2 in emotional learning. Yet very little is known about the establishment and maintenance of synaptic function in the adult amygdala and the role of Mecp2 in these processes. Here, we performed a longitudinal examination of synaptic properties at excitatory projections to principal cells of the lateral nucleus of the amygdala (LA) in Mecp2 mutant mice and their wild-type littermates. We first show that during animal life, Cortico-LA projections switch from a tonic to a phasic mode, whereas Thalamo-LA synapses are phasic at all ages. In parallel, we observed a specific elimination of Cortico-LA synapses and a decrease in their ability of generating presynaptic long term potentiation. In absence of Mecp2, both synaptic maturation and synaptic elimination were exaggerated albeit still specific to cortical projections. Surprisingly, associative LTP was unaffected at Mecp2 deficient synapses suggesting that synaptic maintenance rather than activity-dependent synaptic learning may be causal in RTT physiopathology. Finally, because the timing of synaptic evolution was preserved, we propose that some of the developmental effects of Mecp2 may be exerted within an endogenous program and restricted to synapses which maturate during animal life.
Kuhn, Stephanie; Ingham, Neil; Pearson, Selina; Gribble, Susan M; Clayton, Stephen; Steel, Karen P; Marcotti, Walter
Down syndrome is one of the most common congenital disorders leading to a wide range of health problems in humans, including frequent otitis media. The Tc1 mouse carries a significant part of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21) in addition to the full set of mouse chromosomes and shares many phenotypes observed in humans affected by Down syndrome with trisomy of chromosome 21. However, it is unknown whether Tc1 mice exhibit a hearing phenotype and might thus represent a good model for understanding the hearing loss that is common in Down syndrome. In this study we carried out a structural and functional assessment of hearing in Tc1 mice. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) measurements in Tc1 mice showed normal thresholds compared to littermate controls and ABR waveform latencies and amplitudes were equivalent to controls. The gross anatomy of the middle and inner ears was also similar between Tc1 and control mice. The physiological properties of cochlear sensory receptors (inner and outer hair cells: IHCs and OHCs) were investigated using single-cell patch clamp recordings from the acutely dissected cochleae. Adult Tc1 IHCs exhibited normal resting membrane potentials and expressed all K(+) currents characteristic of control hair cells. However, the size of the large conductance (BK) Ca(2+) activated K(+) current (I(K,f)), which enables rapid voltage responses essential for accurate sound encoding, was increased in Tc1 IHCs. All physiological properties investigated in OHCs were indistinguishable between the two genotypes. The normal functional hearing and the gross structural anatomy of the middle and inner ears in the Tc1 mouse contrast to that observed in the Ts65Dn model of Down syndrome which shows otitis media. Genes that are trisomic in Ts65Dn but disomic in Tc1 may predispose to otitis media when an additional copy is active.
Brooks, H L; Pollow, D P; Hoyer, P B
In females, menopause, the cessation of menstrual cycling, is associated with an increase in risk for several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, the metabolic syndrome, and ovarian cancer. The majority of women enter menopause via a gradual reduction of ovarian function over several years (perimenopause) and retain residual ovarian tissue. The VCD mouse model of menopause (ovarian failure in rodents) is a follicle-deplete, ovary-intact animal that more closely approximates the natural human progression through perimenopause and into the postmenopausal stage of life. In this review, we present the physiological parameters of how to use the VCD model and explore the VCD model and its application into the study of postmenopausal disease mechanisms, focusing on recent murine studies of diabetic kidney disease, the metabolic syndrome, and hypertension.
Aluri, Hema S.; Samizadeh, Mahta; Edman, Maria C.; Armaos, Helene L.; Janga, Srikanth R.; Meng, Zhen; Sendra, Victor G.; Hamrah, Pedram; Kublin, Claire L.
The purpose of the present study was to test the potential of mouse bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BD-MSCs) in improving tear production in a mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome dry eye and to investigate the underlying mechanisms involved. NOD mice (n = 20) were randomized to receive i.p. injection of sterile phosphate buffered saline (PBS, control) or murine BD-MSCs (1 × 106 cells). Tears production was measured at baseline and once a week after treatment using phenol red impregnated threads. Cathepsin S activity in the tears was measured at the end of treatment. After 4 weeks, animals were sacrificed and the lacrimal glands were excised and processed for histopathology, immunohistochemistry, and RNA analysis. Following BD-MSC injection, tears production increased over time when compared to both baseline and PBS injected mice. Although the number of lymphocytic foci in the lacrimal glands of treated animals did not change, the size of the foci decreased by 40.5% when compared to control animals. The mRNA level of the water channel aquaporin 5 was significantly increased following delivery of BD-MSCs. We conclude that treatment with BD-MSCs increases tear production in the NOD mouse model of Sjögren's syndrome. This is likely due to decreased inflammation and increased expression of aquaporin 5. PMID:28348600
Gonzalez, Juan Ramon; Notredame, Cedric
Intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS) is accompanied by altered neuro-architecture, deficient synaptic plasticity, and excitation-inhibition imbalance in critical brain regions for learning and memory. Recently, we have demonstrated beneficial effects of a combined treatment with green tea extract containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and cognitive stimulation in young adult DS individuals. Although we could reproduce the cognitive-enhancing effects in mouse models, the underlying mechanisms of these beneficial effects are unknown. Here, we explored the effects of a combined therapy with environmental enrichment (EE) and EGCG in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS at young age. Our results show that combined EE-EGCG treatment improved corticohippocampal-dependent learning and memory. Cognitive improvements were accompanied by a rescue of cornu ammonis 1 (CA1) dendritic spine density and a normalization of the proportion of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic markers in CA1 and dentate gyrus. PMID:27844057
Na, Elisa S; Nelson, Erika D; Adachi, Megumi; Autry, Anita E; Mahgoub, Melissa A; Kavalali, Ege T; Monteggia, Lisa M
Rett syndrome and MECP2 duplication syndrome are neurodevelopmental disorders that arise from loss-of-function and gain-of-function alterations in methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) expression, respectively. Although there have been studies examining MeCP2 loss of function in animal models, there is limited information on MeCP2 overexpression in animal models. Here, we characterize a mouse line with MeCP2 overexpression restricted to neurons (Tau-Mecp2). This MeCP2 overexpression line shows motor coordination deficits, heightened anxiety, and impairments in learning and memory that are accompanied by deficits in long-term potentiation and short-term synaptic plasticity. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings of cultured hippocampal neurons from Tau-Mecp2 mice reveal augmented frequency of miniature EPSCs with no change in miniature IPSCs, indicating that overexpression of MeCP2 selectively impacts excitatory synapse function. Moreover, we show that alterations in transcriptional repression mechanisms underlie the synaptic phenotypes in hippocampal neurons from the Tau-Mecp2 mice. These results demonstrate that the Tau-Mecp2 mouse line recapitulates many key phenotypes of MECP2 duplication syndrome and support the use of these mice to further study this devastating disorder.
Ogier, Jacqueline M.; Carpinelli, Marina R.; Arhatari, Benedicta D.; Symons, R. C. Andrew; Kile, Benjamin T.; Burt, Rachel A.
CHARGE syndrome is a rare human disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding chromodomain helicase DNA binding protein 7 (CHD7). Characteristics of CHARGE are varied and include developmental ear and hearing anomalies. Here we report a novel mouse model of CHD7 dysfunction, termed Looper. The Looper strain harbours a nonsense mutation (c.5690C>A, p.S1897X) within the Chd7 gene. Looper mice exhibit many of the clinical features of the human syndrome, consistent with previously reported CHARGE models, including growth retardation, facial asymmetry, vestibular defects, eye anomalies, hyperactivity, ossicle malformation, hearing loss and vestibular dysfunction. Looper mice display an otosclerosis-like fusion of the stapes footplate to the cochlear oval window and blepharoconjunctivitis but not coloboma. Looper mice are hyperactive and have vestibular dysfunction but do not display motor impairment. PMID:24840056
Mouse models are a standard tool in the study of many human diseases, providing insights into the normal functions of a gene, how these are altered in disease and how they contribute to a disease process, as well as information on drug action, efficacy and side effects. Our knowledge of human genes, their genetics, functions, interactions and…
Marechal, Damien; Lopes Pereira, Patricia; Duchon, Arnaud; Herault, Yann
Down syndrome (DS) results from one extra copy of human chromosome 21 and leads to several alterations including intellectual disabilities and locomotor defects. The transchromosomic Tc1 mouse model carrying an extra freely-segregating copy of human chromosome 21 was developed to better characterize the relation between genotype and phenotype in DS. The Tc1 mouse exhibits several locomotor and cognitive deficits related to DS. In this report we analyzed the contribution of the genetic dosage of 13 conserved mouse genes located between Abcg1 and U2af1, in the telomeric part of Hsa21. We used the Ms2Yah model carrying a deletion of the corresponding interval in the mouse genome to rescue gene dosage in the Tc1/Ms2Yah compound mice to determine how the different behavioral phenotypes are affected. We detected subtle changes with the Tc1/Ms2Yah mice performing better than the Tc1 individuals in the reversal paradigm of the Morris water maze. We also found that Tc1/Ms2Yah compound mutants performed better in the rotarod than the Tc1 mice. This data support the impact of genes from the Abcg1-U2af1 region as modifiers of Tc1-dependent memory and locomotor phenotypes. Our results emphasize the complex interactions between triplicated genes inducing DS features.
Marechal, Damien; Pereira, Patricia Lopes; Duchon, Arnaud; Herault, Yann
Down syndrome (DS) results from one extra copy of human chromosome 21 and leads to several alterations including intellectual disabilities and locomotor defects. The transchromosomic Tc1 mouse model carrying an extra freely-segregating copy of human chromosome 21 was developed to better characterize the relation between genotype and phenotype in DS. The Tc1 mouse exhibits several locomotor and cognitive deficits related to DS. In this report we analyzed the contribution of the genetic dosage of 13 conserved mouse genes located between Abcg1 and U2af1, in the telomeric part of Hsa21. We used the Ms2Yah model carrying a deletion of the corresponding interval in the mouse genome to rescue gene dosage in the Tc1/Ms2Yah compound mice to determine how the different behavioral phenotypes are affected. We detected subtle changes with the Tc1/Ms2Yah mice performing better than the Tc1 individuals in the reversal paradigm of the Morris water maze. We also found that Tc1/Ms2Yah compound mutants performed better in the rotarod than the Tc1 mice. This data support the impact of genes from the Abcg1-U2af1 region as modifiers of Tc1-dependent memory and locomotor phenotypes. Our results emphasize the complex interactions between triplicated genes inducing DS features. PMID:25706610
Pieke-Dahl, S; Ohlemiller, K K; McGee, J; Walsh, E J; Kimberling, W J
The Usher syndromes (US) are a group of inherited disorders that feature autosomal recessive neurosensory hearing loss or deafness with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Moderate to severe non-progressive high frequency hearing loss with RP and normal vestibular function describes Usher syndrome type IIa, which has been localized to 1q41. Severe retinal degeneration in the inbred mouse strain RBF/DnJ is caused by rd3, a recessive gene located on mouse chromosome 1 distal to akp1 in a region which is orthologous to human 1q32-q42. We evaluated rd3 as a candidate for orthology with USH2A by first reducing and refining the relatively broad region in which rd3 is thought to reside. DNA of offspring from an RBF/DnJ x MOLF/Ei backcross was genotyped with PCR markers closely flanking the predicted location of rd3. Our haplotype analysis re-positioned rd3 to a 3.6 cM region between markers D1Mit273 (cen) and D1Mit209 (tel), consistent with the expected position of an USH2A murine orthologue. Consequently, rd3 is a positional candidate for Usher type IIa. Next we assessed the rd3/rd3 audiological phenotype to see how closely it paralleled that of Usher IIa. Audiological evaluation of mice at various ages revealed evidence of high frequency progressive hearing loss, previously unreported in the RBF/DnJ strain. However, this newly discovered hearing deficit was observed to be inherited independently of rd3, establishing that a completely different gene is responsible.
Faizi, Mehrdad; Bader, Patrick L.; Tun, Christine; Encarnacion, Angelo; Kleschevnikov, Alexander; Belichenko, Pavel; Saw, Nay; Priestley, Matthew; Tsien, Richard W; Mobley, William C; Shamloo, Mehrdad
Down Syndrome (DS) is the most prevalent form of mental retardation caused by genetic abnormalities in humans. This has been successfully modeled in mice to generate the Ts65Dn mouse, a genetic model of DS. This transgenic mouse model shares a number of physical and functional abnormalities with people with DS, including changes in the structure and function of neuronal circuits. Significant abnormalities in noradrenergic (NE-ergic) afferents from the locus coeruleus to the hippocampus, as well as deficits in NE-ergic neurotransmission are detected in these animals. In the current study we characterized in detail the behavioral phenotype of Ts65Dn mice, in addition to using pharmacological tools for identification of target receptors mediating the learning and memory deficits observed in this model of DS. We undertook a comprehensive approach to mouse phenotyping using a battery of standard and novel tests encompassing: i) locomotion (Activity Chamber, PhenoTyper, and CatWalk), ii) learning and memory (spontaneous alternation, delayed matching-to-place water maze, fear conditioning, and Intellicage), and iii) social behavior. Ts65Dn mice showed increased locomotor activity in novel and home cage environments. There were significant and reproducible deficits in learning and memory tests including spontaneous alternation, delayed matching-to-place water maze, Intellicage place avoidance and contextual fear conditioning. Although Ts65Dn mice showed no deficit in sociability in the 3-chamber test, a marked impairment in social memory was detected. Xamoterol, a β1-adrenergic receptor (β1-ADR) agonist, effectively restored the memory deficit in contextual fear conditioning, spontaneous alternation and novel object recognition. These behavioral improvements were reversed by betaxolol, a selective β1-ADR antagonist. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that this mouse model of Down Syndrome display cognitive deficits which is mediated by imbalance in noradrenergic
Faizi, Mehrdad; Bader, Patrick L; Tun, Christine; Encarnacion, Angelo; Kleschevnikov, Alexander; Belichenko, Pavel; Saw, Nay; Priestley, Matthew; Tsien, Richard W; Mobley, William C; Shamloo, Mehrdad
Down syndrome (DS) is the most prevalent form of mental retardation caused by genetic abnormalities in humans. This has been successfully modeled in mice to generate the Ts65Dn mouse, a genetic model of DS. This transgenic mouse model shares a number of physical and functional abnormalities with people with DS, including changes in the structure and function of neuronal circuits. Significant abnormalities in noradrenergic (NE-ergic) afferents from the locus coeruleus to the hippocampus, as well as deficits in NE-ergic neurotransmission are detected in these animals. In the current study we characterized in detail the behavioral phenotype of Ts65Dn mice, in addition to using pharmacological tools for identification of target receptors mediating the learning and memory deficits observed in this model of DS. We undertook a comprehensive approach to mouse phenotyping using a battery of standard and novel tests encompassing: (i) locomotion (Activity Chamber, PhenoTyper, and CatWalk), (ii) learning and memory (spontaneous alternation, delayed matching-to-place water maze, fear conditioning, and Intellicage), and (iii) social behavior. Ts65Dn mice showed increased locomotor activity in novel and home cage environments. There were significant and reproducible deficits in learning and memory tests including spontaneous alternation, delayed matching-to-place water maze, Intellicage place avoidance and contextual fear conditioning. Although Ts65Dn mice showed no deficit in sociability in the 3-chamber test, a marked impairment in social memory was detected. Xamoterol, a β1-adrenergic receptor (β1-ADR) agonist, effectively restored the memory deficit in contextual fear conditioning, spontaneous alternation and novel object recognition. These behavioral improvements were reversed by betaxolol, a selective β1-ADR antagonist. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that this mouse model of Down syndrome displays cognitive deficits which are mediated by an imbalance in the
Haas, Matilda A; Bell, Donald; Slender, Amy; Lana-Elola, Eva; Watson-Scales, Sheona; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Guillemot, François
Down Syndrome (DS) is a highly prevalent developmental disorder, affecting 1/700 births. Intellectual disability, which affects learning and memory, is present in all cases and is reflected by below average IQ. We sought to determine whether defective morphology and connectivity in neurons of the cerebral cortex may underlie the cognitive deficits that have been described in two mouse models of DS, the Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse lines. We utilised in utero electroporation to label a cohort of future upper layer projection neurons in the cerebral cortex of developing mouse embryos with GFP, and then examined neuronal positioning and morphology in early adulthood, which revealed no alterations in cortical layer position or morphology in either Tc1 or Ts1Rhr mouse cortex. The number of dendrites, as well as dendrite length and branching was normal in both DS models, compared with wildtype controls. The sites of projection neuron synaptic inputs, dendritic spines, were analysed in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr cortex at three weeks and three months after birth, and significant changes in spine morphology were observed in both mouse lines. Ts1Rhr mice had significantly fewer thin spines at three weeks of age. At three months of age Tc1 mice had significantly fewer mushroom spines--the morphology associated with established synaptic inputs and learning and memory. The decrease in mushroom spines was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of stubby spines. This data suggests that dendritic spine abnormalities may be a more important contributor to cognitive deficits in DS models, rather than overall neuronal architecture defects.
Haas, Matilda A.; Bell, Donald; Slender, Amy; Lana-Elola, Eva; Watson-Scales, Sheona; Fisher, Elizabeth M. C.; Tybulewicz, Victor L. J.; Guillemot, François
Down Syndrome (DS) is a highly prevalent developmental disorder, affecting 1/700 births. Intellectual disability, which affects learning and memory, is present in all cases and is reflected by below average IQ. We sought to determine whether defective morphology and connectivity in neurons of the cerebral cortex may underlie the cognitive deficits that have been described in two mouse models of DS, the Tc1 and Ts1Rhr mouse lines. We utilised in utero electroporation to label a cohort of future upper layer projection neurons in the cerebral cortex of developing mouse embryos with GFP, and then examined neuronal positioning and morphology in early adulthood, which revealed no alterations in cortical layer position or morphology in either Tc1 or Ts1Rhr mouse cortex. The number of dendrites, as well as dendrite length and branching was normal in both DS models, compared with wildtype controls. The sites of projection neuron synaptic inputs, dendritic spines, were analysed in Tc1 and Ts1Rhr cortex at three weeks and three months after birth, and significant changes in spine morphology were observed in both mouse lines. Ts1Rhr mice had significantly fewer thin spines at three weeks of age. At three months of age Tc1 mice had significantly fewer mushroom spines - the morphology associated with established synaptic inputs and learning and memory. The decrease in mushroom spines was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of stubby spines. This data suggests that dendritic spine abnormalities may be a more important contributor to cognitive deficits in DS models, rather than overall neuronal architecture defects. PMID:24205261
Introduction Primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) is a chronic autoimmune disease with complex etiopathogenesis. Despite extensive studies to understand the disease process utilizing human and mouse models, the intersection between these species remains elusive. To address this gap, we utilized a novel systems biology approach to identify disease-related gene modules and signaling pathways that overlap between humans and mice. Methods Parotid gland tissues were harvested from 24 pSS and 16 non-pSS sicca patients and 25 controls. For mouse studies, salivary glands were harvested from C57BL/6.NOD-Aec1Aec2 mice at various times during development of pSS-like disease. RNA was analyzed with Affymetrix HG U133+2.0 arrays for human samples and with MOE430+2.0 arrays for mouse samples. The images were processed with Affymetrix software. Weighted-gene co-expression network analysis was used to identify disease-related and functional pathways. Results Nineteen co-expression modules were identified in human parotid tissue, of which four were significantly upregulated and three were downregulated in pSS patients compared with non-pSS sicca patients and controls. Notably, one of the human disease-related modules was highly preserved in the mouse model, and was enriched with genes involved in immune and inflammatory responses. Further comparison between these two species led to the identification of genes associated with leukocyte recruitment and germinal center formation. Conclusion Our systems biology analysis of genome-wide expression data from salivary gland tissue of pSS patients and from a pSS mouse model identified common dysregulated biological pathways and molecular targets underlying critical molecular alterations in pSS pathogenesis. PMID:23116360
La Merrill, Michele; Baston, David S; Denison, Michael S; Birnbaum, Linda S; Pomp, Daniel; Threadgill, David W
Diets high in fat are associated with increased susceptibility to obesity and metabolic syndrome. Increased adipose tissue that is caused by high-fat diets (HFD) results in altered storage of lipophilic toxicants like 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), which may further increase susceptibility to metabolic syndrome. Because both TCDD and HFD are associated with increased breast cancer risk, we examined their effects on metabolic syndrome-associated phenotypes in three mouse models of breast cancer: 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA), Tg(MMTV-Neu)202Mul/J (HER2), and TgN(MMTV-PyMT)634Mul/J (PyMT), all on an FVB/N genetic background. Pregnant mice dosed with 1 microg/kg of TCDD or vehicle on gestational day 12.5 were placed on a HFD or low-fat diet (LFD) at parturition. Body weights, percent body fat, and fasting blood glucose were measured longitudinally, and triglycerides were measured at study termination. On HFD, all cancer models reached the pubertal growth spurt ahead of FVB controls. Among mice fed HFD, the HER2 model had a greater increase in body weight and adipose tissue from puberty through adulthood compared with the PyMT and DMBA models. However, the DMBA model consistently had higher fasting blood glucose levels than the PyMT and HER2 models. TCDD only impacted serum triglycerides in the PyMT model maintained on HFD. Because the estrogenic activity of the HFD was three times lower than that of the LFD, differential dietary estrogenic activities did not drive the observed phenotypic differences. Rather, the HFD-dependent changes were cancer model dependent. These results show that cancer models can have differential effects on metabolic syndrome-associated phenotypes even before cancers arise.
Jiang, Ying; Rigoglioso, Andrew; Peterhoff, Corrinne M; Pawlik, Monika; Sato, Yutaka; Bleiwas, Cynthia; Stavrides, Philip; Smiley, John F; Ginsberg, Stephen D; Mathews, Paul M; Levy, Efrat; Nixon, Ralph A
β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) are strongly implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, although recent evidence has linked APP-βCTF generated by BACE1 (β-APP cleaving enzyme 1) to the development of endocytic abnormalities and cholinergic neurodegeneration in early AD. We show that partial BACE1 genetic reduction prevents these AD-related pathological features in the Ts2 mouse model of Down syndrome. Partially reducing BACE1 by deleting one BACE1 allele blocked development of age-related endosome enlargement in the medial septal nucleus, cerebral cortex, and hippocampus and loss of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive medial septal nucleus neurons. BACE1 reduction normalized APP-βCTF elevation but did not alter Aβ40 and Aβ42 peptide levels in brain, supporting a critical role in vivo for APP-βCTF in the development of these abnormalities. Although ameliorative effects of BACE1 inhibition on β-amyloidosis and synaptic proteins levels have been previously noted in AD mouse models, our results highlight the additional potential value of BACE1 modulation in therapeutic targeting of endocytic dysfunction and cholinergic neurodegeneration in Down syndrome and AD.
Abdala, Ana P.; Lioy, Daniel T.; Garg, Saurabh K.; Knopp, Sharon J.; Paton, Julian F. R.
Disturbances in respiration are common and debilitating features of Rett syndrome (RTT). A previous study showed that the 5-HT1a receptor agonist (R)-(+)-8-hydroxy-dipropyl-2-aminotetralin hydrobromide (8-OH-DPAT) significantly reduced the incidence of apnea and the irregular breathing pattern in a mouse model of the disorder. 8-OH-DPAT, however, is not available for clinical practice. Sarizotan, a full 5-HT1a agonist and a dopamine D2–like agonist/partial agonist, has been used in clinical trials for the treatment of l-dopa–induced dyskinesia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of sarizotan on respiration and locomotion in mouse models of RTT. Studies were performed in Bird and Jaenisch strains of methyl-CpG–binding protein 2-–deficient heterozygous female and Jaenisch strain Mecp2 null male mice and in knock-in heterozygous female mice of a common nonsense mutation (R168X). Respiratory pattern was determined with body plethysmography, and locomotion was determined with open-field recording. Sarizotan or vehicle was administered 20 minutes before a 30-minute recording of respiratory pattern or motor behavior. In separate studies, a crossover design was used to administer the drug for 7 and for 14 days. Sarizotan reduced the incidence of apnea in all three RTT mouse models to approximately 15% of their pretreatment levels. The irregular breathing pattern was corrected to that of wild-type littermates. When administered for 7 or 14 days, apnea decreased to 25 to 33% of the incidence seen with vehicle. This study indicates that the clinically approved drug sarizotan is an effective treatment for respiratory disorders in mouse models of RTT. PMID:24351104
Abdala, Ana P; Lioy, Daniel T; Garg, Saurabh K; Knopp, Sharon J; Paton, Julian F R; Bissonnette, John M
Disturbances in respiration are common and debilitating features of Rett syndrome (RTT). A previous study showed that the 5-HT1a receptor agonist (R)-(+)-8-hydroxy-dipropyl-2-aminotetralin hydrobromide (8-OH-DPAT) significantly reduced the incidence of apnea and the irregular breathing pattern in a mouse model of the disorder. 8-OH-DPAT, however, is not available for clinical practice. Sarizotan, a full 5-HT1a agonist and a dopamine D2-like agonist/partial agonist, has been used in clinical trials for the treatment of l-dopa-induced dyskinesia. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of sarizotan on respiration and locomotion in mouse models of RTT. Studies were performed in Bird and Jaenisch strains of methyl-CpG-binding protein 2--deficient heterozygous female and Jaenisch strain Mecp2 null male mice and in knock-in heterozygous female mice of a common nonsense mutation (R168X). Respiratory pattern was determined with body plethysmography, and locomotion was determined with open-field recording. Sarizotan or vehicle was administered 20 minutes before a 30-minute recording of respiratory pattern or motor behavior. In separate studies, a crossover design was used to administer the drug for 7 and for 14 days. Sarizotan reduced the incidence of apnea in all three RTT mouse models to approximately 15% of their pretreatment levels. The irregular breathing pattern was corrected to that of wild-type littermates. When administered for 7 or 14 days, apnea decreased to 25 to 33% of the incidence seen with vehicle. This study indicates that the clinically approved drug sarizotan is an effective treatment for respiratory disorders in mouse models of RTT.
Egawa, Kiyoshi; Kitagawa, Kyoko; Inoue, Koichi; Takayama, Masakazu; Takayama, Chitoshi; Saitoh, Shinji; Kishino, Tatsuya; Kitagawa, Masatoshi; Fukuda, Atsuo
Angelman syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss of function of the UBE3A gene encoding a ubiquitin E3 ligase. Motor dysfunction is a characteristic feature of Angelman syndrome, but neither the mechanisms of action nor effective therapeutic strategies have yet been elucidated. We report that tonic inhibition is specifically decreased in cerebellar granule cells of Ube3a-deficient mice, a model of Angelman syndrome. As a mechanism underlying this decrease in tonic inhibition, we show that Ube3a controls degradation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter 1 (GAT1) and that deficiency of Ube3a induces a surplus of GAT1 that results in a decrease in GABA concentrations in the extrasynaptic space. Administering low doses of 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisothiazolo-[5,4-c]pyridin-3-ol (THIP), a selective extrasynaptic GABA(A) receptor agonist, improves the abnormal firing properties of a population of Purkinje cells in cerebellar brain slices and reduces cerebellar ataxia in Ube3a-deficient mice in vivo. These results suggest that pharmacologically increasing tonic inhibition may be a useful strategy for alleviating motor dysfunction in Angelman syndrome.
Johnson, K R; Cook, S A; Erway, L C; Matthews, A N; Sanford, L P; Paradies, N E; Friedman, R A
A spontaneous mutation causing deafness and circling behavior was discovered in a C3H/HeJ colony of mice at the Jackson Laboratory. Pathological analysis of mutant mice revealed gross morphological abnormalities of the inner ear, and also dysmorphic or missing kidneys. The deafness and abnormal behavior were shown to be inherited as an autosomal recessive trait and mapped to mouse chromosome 1 near the position of the Eya1 gene. The human homolog of this gene, EYA1, has been shown to underly branchio-oto-renal (BOR) syndrome, an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by hearing loss with associated branchial and renal anomalies. Molecular analysis of the Eya1 gene in mutant mice revealed the insertion of an intracisternal A particle (IAP) element in intron 7. The presence of the IAP insertion was associated with reduced expression of the normal Eya1 message and formation of additional aberrant transcripts. The hypomorphic nature of the mutation may explain its recessive inheritance, if protein levels in homozygotes, but not heterozygotes, are below a critical threshold needed for normal developmental function. The new mouse mutation is designated Eya1(bor) to denote its similarity to human BOR syndrome, and will provide a valuable model for studying mutant gene expression and etiology.
De Filippis, Bianca; Valenti, Daniela; de Bari, Lidia; De Rasmo, Domenico; Musto, Mattia; Fabbri, Alessia; Ricceri, Laura; Fiorentini, Carla; Laviola, Giovanni; Vacca, Rosa Anna
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder mainly caused by mutations in the X-linked MECP2 gene associated with severe intellectual disability, movement disorders, and autistic-like behaviors. Its pathogenesis remains mostly not understood and no effective therapy is available. High circulating levels of oxidative stress markers in patients and the occurrence of oxidative brain damage in MeCP2-deficient mouse models suggest the involvement of oxidative stress in RTT pathogenesis. However, the molecular mechanism and the origin of the oxidative stress have not been elucidated. Here we demonstrate that a redox imbalance arises from aberrant mitochondrial functionality in the brain of MeCP2-308 heterozygous female mice, a condition that more closely recapitulates that of RTT patients. The marked increase in the rate of hydrogen peroxide generation in the brain of RTT mice seems mainly produced by the dysfunctional complex II of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. In addition, both membrane potential generation and mitochondrial ATP synthesis are decreased in RTT mouse brains when succinate, the complex II respiratory substrate, is used as an energy source. Respiratory chain impairment is brain area specific, owing to a decrease in either cAMP-dependent phosphorylation or protein levels of specific complex subunits. Further, we investigated whether the treatment of RTT mice with the bacterial protein CNF1, previously reported to ameliorate the neurobehavioral phenotype and brain bioenergetic markers in an RTT mouse model, exerts specific effects on brain mitochondrial function and consequently on hydrogen peroxide production. In RTT brains treated with CNF1, we observed the reactivation of respiratory chain complexes, the rescue of mitochondrial functionality, and the prevention of brain hydrogen peroxide overproduction. These results provide definitive evidence of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species overproduction in RTT mouse brain and
Zallocchi, Marisa; Binley, Katie; Lad, Yatish; Ellis, Scott; Widdowson, Peter; Iqball, Sharifah; Scripps, Vicky; Kelleher, Michelle; Loader, Julie; Miskin, James; Peng, You-Wei; Wang, Wei-Min; Cheung, Linda; Delimont, Duane; Mitrophanous, Kyriacos A; Cosgrove, Dominic
Usher syndrome type 1B is a combined deaf-blindness condition caused by mutations in the MYO7A gene. Loss of functional myosin VIIa in the retinal pigment epithelia (RPE) and/or photoreceptors leads to blindness. We evaluated the impact of subretinally delivered UshStat, a recombinant EIAV-based lentiviral vector expressing human MYO7A, on photoreceptor function in the shaker1 mouse model for Usher type 1B that lacks a functional Myo7A gene. Subretinal injections of EIAV-CMV-GFP, EIAV-RK-GFP (photoreceptor specific), EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat) or EIAV-CMV-Null (control) vectors were performed in shaker1 mice. GFP and myosin VIIa expression was evaluated histologically. Photoreceptor function in EIAV-CMV-MYO7A treated eyes was determined by evaluating α-transducin translocation in photoreceptors in response to low light intensity levels, and protection from light induced photoreceptor degeneration was measured. The safety and tolerability of subretinally delivered UshStat was evaluated in macaques. Expression of GFP and myosin VIIa was confirmed in the RPE and photoreceptors in shaker1 mice following subretinal delivery of the EIAV-CMV-GFP/MYO7A vectors. The EIAV-CMV-MYO7A vector protected the shaker1 mouse photoreceptors from acute and chronic intensity light damage, indicated by a significant reduction in photoreceptor cell loss, and restoration of the α-transducin translocation threshold in the photoreceptors. Safety studies in the macaques demonstrated that subretinal delivery of UshStat is safe and well-tolerated. Subretinal delivery of EIAV-CMV-MYO7A (UshStat) rescues photoreceptor phenotypes in the shaker1 mouse. In addition, subretinally delivered UshStat is safe and well-tolerated in macaque safety studies These data support the clinical development of UshStat to treat Usher type 1B syndrome.
Lee, Ling; Cui, Jason Z.; Cua, Michelle; Esfandiarei, Mitra; Sheng, Xiaoye; Chui, Winsey Audrey; Xu, Michael Haoying; Sarunic, Marinko V.; Beg, Mirza Faisal; van Breemen, Cornelius; Sandor, George G. S.
Marfan syndrome (MFS) is an autosomal-dominant disorder of connective tissue caused by mutations in the fibrillin-1 (FBN1) gene. Mortality is often due to aortic dissection and rupture. We investigated the structural and functional properties of the heart and aorta in a [Fbn1C1039G/+] MFS mouse using high-resolution ultrasound (echo) and optical coherence tomography (OCT). Echo was performed on 6- and 12-month old wild type (WT) and MFS mice (n = 8). In vivo pulse wave velocity (PWV), aortic root diameter, ejection fraction, stroke volume, left ventricular (LV) wall thickness, LV mass and mitral valve early and atrial velocities (E/A) ratio were measured by high resolution echocardiography. OCT was performed on 12-month old WT and MFS fixed mouse hearts to measure ventricular volume and mass. The PWV was significantly increased in 6-mo MFS vs. WT (366.6 ± 19.9 vs. 205.2 ± 18.1 cm/s; p = 0.003) and 12-mo MFS vs. WT (459.5 ± 42.3 vs. 205.3 ± 30.3 cm/s; p< 0.0001). PWV increased with age in MFS mice only. We also found a significantly enlarged aortic root and decreased E/A ratio in MFS mice compared with WT for both age groups. The [Fbn1C1039G/+] mouse model of MFS replicates many of the anomalies of Marfan patients including significant aortic dilation, central aortic stiffness, LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction. This is the first demonstration of the direct measurement in vivo of pulse wave velocity non-invasively in the aortic arch of MFS mice, a robust measure of aortic stiffness and a critical clinical parameter for the assessment of pathology in the Marfan syndrome. PMID:27824871
Zitvogel, Laurence; Pitt, Jonathan M; Daillère, Romain; Smyth, Mark J; Kroemer, Guido
Fundamental cancer research and the development of efficacious antineoplastic treatments both rely on experimental systems in which the relationship between malignant cells and immune cells can be studied. Mouse models of transplantable, carcinogen-induced or genetically engineered malignancies - each with their specific advantages and difficulties - have laid the foundations of oncoimmunology. These models have guided the immunosurveillance theory that postulates that evasion from immune control is an essential feature of cancer, the concept that the long-term effects of conventional cancer treatments mostly rely on the reinstatement of anticancer immune responses and the preclinical development of immunotherapies, including currently approved immune checkpoint blockers. Specific aspects of pharmacological development, as well as attempts to personalize cancer treatments using patient-derived xenografts, require the development of mouse models in which murine genes and cells are replaced with their human equivalents. Such 'humanized' mouse models are being progressively refined to characterize the leukocyte subpopulations that belong to the innate and acquired arms of the immune system as they infiltrate human cancers that are subjected to experimental therapies. We surmise that the ever-advancing refinement of murine preclinical models will accelerate the pace of therapeutic optimization in patients.
Marcondes, Rodrigo R; Maliqueo, Manuel; Fornes, Romina; Benrick, Anna; Hu, Min; Ivarsson, Niklas; Carlström, Mattias; Cushman, Samuel W; Stenkula, Karin G; Maciel, Gustavo A R; Stener-Victorin, Elisabet
Here we hypothesized that exercise in dihydrotestosterone (DHT) or letrozole (LET)-induced polycystic ovary syndrome mouse models improves impaired insulin and glucose metabolism, adipose tissue morphology, and expression of genes related to adipogenesis, lipid metabolism, Notch pathway and browning in inguinal and mesenteric fat. DHT-exposed mice had increased body weight, increased number of large mesenteric adipocytes. LET-exposed mice displayed increased body weight and fat mass, decreased insulin sensitivity, increased frequency of small adipocytes and increased expression of genes related to lipolysis in mesenteric fat. In both models, exercise decreased fat mass and inguinal and mesenteric adipose tissue expression of Notch pathway genes, and restored altered mesenteric adipocytes morphology. In conclusion, exercise restored mesenteric adipocytes morphology in DHT- and LET-exposed mice, and insulin sensitivity and mesenteric expression of lipolysis-related genes in LET-exposed mice. Benefits could be explained by downregulation of Notch, and modulation of browning and lipolysis pathways in the adipose tissue.
Damerla, Rama Rao; Cui, Cheng; Gabriel, George C; Liu, Xiaoqin; Craige, Branch; Gibbs, Brian C; Francis, Richard; Li, You; Chatterjee, Bishwanath; San Agustin, Jovenal T; Eguether, Thibaut; Subramanian, Ramiah; Witman, George B; Michaud, Jacques L; Pazour, Gregory J; Lo, Cecilia W
Recent studies identified a previously uncharacterized gene C5ORF42 (JBTS17) as a major cause of Joubert syndrome (JBTS), a ciliopathy associated with cerebellar abnormalities and other birth defects. Here we report the first Jbts17 mutant mouse model, Heart Under Glass (Hug), recovered from a forward genetic screen. Exome sequencing identified Hug as a S235P missense mutation in the mouse homolog of JBTS17 (2410089e03rik). Hug mutants exhibit multiple birth defects typical of ciliopathies, including skeletal dysplasia, polydactyly, craniofacial anomalies, kidney cysts and eye defects. Some Hug mutants exhibit congenital heart defects ranging from mild pulmonary stenosis to severe pulmonary atresia. Immunostaining showed JBTS17 is localized in the cilia transition zone. Fibroblasts from Hug mutant mice and a JBTS patient with a JBTS17 mutation showed ciliogenesis defects. Significantly, Hug mutant fibroblasts showed loss of not only JBTS17, but also NPHP1 and CEP290 from the cilia transition zone. Hug mutants exhibited reduced ciliation in the cerebellum. This was associated with reduction in cerebellar foliation. Using a fibroblast wound-healing assay, we showed Hug mutant cells cannot establish cell polarity required for directional cell migration. However, stereocilia patterning was grossly normal in the cochlea, indicating planar cell polarity is not markedly affected. Overall, we showed the JBTS pathophysiology is replicated in the Hug mutant mice harboring a Jbts17 mutation. Our findings demonstrate JBTS17 is a cilia transition zone component that acts upstream of other Joubert syndrome associated transition zone proteins NPHP1 and CEP290, indicating its importance in the pathogenesis of Joubert syndrome.
Lima-Cabello, Elena; Garcia-Guirado, Francisco; Calvo-Medina, Rocio; el Bekay, Rajaa; Perez-Costillas, Lucia; Quintero-Navarro, Carolina; Sanchez-Salido, Lourdes
Background. Fragile X syndrome is the most common genetic cause of mental disability. Although many research has been performed, the mechanism underlying the pathogenesis is unclear and needs further investigation. Oxidative stress played major roles in the syndrome. The aim was to investigate the nitric oxide metabolism, protein nitration level, the expression of NOS isoforms, and furthermore the activation of the nuclear factor NF-κB-p65 subunit in different brain areas on the fragile X mouse model. Methods. This study involved adult male Fmr1-knockout and wild-type mice as controls. We detected nitric oxide metabolism and the activation of the nuclear factor NF-κBp65 subunit, comparing the mRNA expression and protein content of the three NOS isoforms in different brain areas. Results. Fmr1-KO mice showed an abnormal nitric oxide metabolism and increased levels of protein tyrosine nitrosylation. Besides that, nuclear factor NF-κB-p65 and inducible nitric oxide synthase appeared significantly increased in the Fmr1-knockout mice. mRNA and protein levels of the neuronal nitric oxide synthase appeared significantly decreased in the knockout mice. However, the epithelial nitric oxide synthase isoform displayed no significant changes. Conclusions. These data suggest the potential involvement of an abnormal nitric oxide metabolism in the pathogenesis of the fragile X syndrome. PMID:26788253
Carmona-Mora, P; Molina, J; Encina, C.A; Walz, K
Each human's genome is distinguished by extra and missing DNA that can be “benign” or powerfully impact everything from development to disease. In the case of genomic disorders DNA rearrangements, such as deletions or duplications, correlate with a clinical specific phenotype. The clinical presentations of genomic disorders were thought to result from altered gene copy number of physically linked dosage sensitive genes. Genomic disorders are frequent diseases (~1 per 1,000 births). Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) and Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS) are genomic disorders, associated with a deletion and a duplication, of 3.7 Mb respectively, within chromosome 17 band p11.2. This region includes 23 genes. Both syndromes have complex and distinctive phenotypes including multiple congenital and neurobehavioral abnormalities. Human chromosome 17p11.2 is syntenic to the 32-34 cM region of murine chromosome 11. The number and order of the genes are highly conserved. In this review, we will exemplify how genomic disorders can be modeled in mice and the advantages that such models can give in the study of genomic disorders in particular and gene copy number variation (CNV) in general. The contributions of the SMS and PTLS animal models in several aspects ranging from more specific ones, as the definition of the clinical aspects of the human clinical spectrum, the identification of dosage sensitive genes related to the human syndromes, to the more general contributions as the definition of genetic locus impacting obesity and behavior and the elucidation of general mechanisms related to the pathogenesis of gene CNV are discussed. PMID:19949547
Carmona-Mora, P; Molina, J; Encina, C A; Walz, K
Each human's genome is distinguished by extra and missing DNA that can be "benign" or powerfully impact everything from development to disease. In the case of genomic disorders DNA rearrangements, such as deletions or duplications, correlate with a clinical specific phenotype. The clinical presentations of genomic disorders were thought to result from altered gene copy number of physically linked dosage sensitive genes. Genomic disorders are frequent diseases (~1 per 1,000 births). Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS) and Potocki-Lupski syndrome (PTLS) are genomic disorders, associated with a deletion and a duplication, of 3.7 Mb respectively, within chromosome 17 band p11.2. This region includes 23 genes. Both syndromes have complex and distinctive phenotypes including multiple congenital and neurobehavioral abnormalities. Human chromosome 17p11.2 is syntenic to the 32-34 cM region of murine chromosome 11. The number and order of the genes are highly conserved. In this review, we will exemplify how genomic disorders can be modeled in mice and the advantages that such models can give in the study of genomic disorders in particular and gene copy number variation (CNV) in general. The contributions of the SMS and PTLS animal models in several aspects ranging from more specific ones, as the definition of the clinical aspects of the human clinical spectrum, the identification of dosage sensitive genes related to the human syndromes, to the more general contributions as the definition of genetic locus impacting obesity and behavior and the elucidation of general mechanisms related to the pathogenesis of gene CNV are discussed.
In the absence of a natural animal model for sickle cell disease, transgenic mouse models have been generated to better understand the complex pathophysiology of the disease and to evaluate potential specific therapies. In the early nineties, the simple addition of human globin genes induced the expression of hemoglobin S (HbS) or HbS-related human hemoglobins in mice still expressing mouse hemoglobin. To increase the proportion of human hemoglobin and the severity of the mouse sickle cell syndrome, the proportion of mouse hemoglobin could be decreased by a combination of mouse alpha- and beta-thalassemic defects, leading to complex genotypes and mild disease. Following the discovery of gene targeting in the mouse embryonic stem cells (ES cells), it was made possible to knock out all mouse adult globin genes (2alpha and 2beta) and to add the human homologous genes elsewhere in the mouse genome. In addition, the human gamma gene of fetal hemoglobin was protecting the fetus from HbS polymer formation. Accordingly, the resulting adult mouse models obtained in 1997, expressing human HbS-only, had a very severe anemia (Hb=5-6 g/dL). In order to survive, these "HbS-only mice" had to reduce the HbS concentration within the red blood cells. The phenotype could be less severe by adding modified human gamma genes, still expressed in adult mice. In 2006, a last "S-only" model was obtained by homologous knock in, replacing the mouse globin genes by human genes. This array of models contributes to better understand the role of different interacting factors in the complexity of sickle cell events, such as red cell defects, changes in blood flow and vaso-occlusion, hyperhemolysis, vascular tone dysregulation, oxidations, inflammation, activation and adhesion of cells, ischemia, reperfusion... In addition, each model has an appropriate usefulness to evaluate experimental therapies in vivo and to perform preclinical studies.
Ding, Feng; Prints, Yelena; Dhar, Madhu; Johnson, Dabney K; Garnacho-Montero, Carmen; Nicholls, Robert; Francke, Uta
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a neurobehavioral disorder caused by the lack of paternal expression of imprinted genes in the human chromosome region 15q11-13. Recent studies of rare human translocation patients narrowed the PWS critical genes to a 121-kb region containing PWCR1/HBII-85 and HBII-438 snoRNA genes. The existing mouse models of PWS that lack the expression of multiple genes, including Snrpn, Ube3a, and many intronic snoRNA genes, are characterized by 80%-100% neonatal lethality. To define the candidate region for PWS-like phenotypes in mice,we analyzed the expression of several genetic elements in mice carrying the large radiation-induced p30PUb deletion that includes the p locus. Mice having inherited this deletion from either parent develop normally into adulthood. By Northern blot and RTPCR assays of brain tissue, we found that Pwcr1/MBII-85 snoRNAs are expressed normally, while MBII-52 snoRNAs are not expressed when the deletion is paternally inherited. Mapping of the distal deletion breakpoint indicated that the p30PUb deletion includes the entire MBII-52 snoRNA gene cluster and three previously unmapped EST sequences. The lack of expression of these elements in mice with a paternal p30PUb deletion indicates that they are not critical for the neonatal lethality observed in PWS mouse models. In addition, we identified MBII-436, the mouse homolog of the HBII-436 snoRNA, confirmed its imprinting status, and mapped it outside of the p30PUb deletion. Taking together all available data, we conclude that the lack of Pwcr1/MBII-85 snoRNA expression is the most likely cause for the neonatal lethality in PWS model mice.
Zhou, Chengwen; Huang, Zhiling; Ding, Li; Deel, M Elizabeth; Arain, Fazal M; Murray, Clark R; Patel, Ronak S; Flanagan, Christopher D; Gallagher, Martin J
Patients with generalized epilepsy exhibit cerebral cortical disinhibition. Likewise, mutations in the inhibitory ligand-gated ion channels, GABAA receptors (GABAARs), cause generalized epilepsy syndromes in humans. Recently, we demonstrated that heterozygous knock-out (Hetα1KO) of the human epilepsy gene, the GABAAR α1 subunit, produced absence epilepsy in mice. Here, we determined the effects of Hetα1KO on the expression and physiology of GABAARs in the mouse cortex. We found that Hetα1KO caused modest reductions in the total and surface expression of the β2 subunit but did not alter β1 or β3 subunit expression, results consistent with a small reduction of GABAARs. Cortices partially compensated for Hetα1KO by increasing the fraction of residual α1 subunit on the cell surface and by increasing total and surface expression of α3, but not α2, subunits. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that Hetα1KO increased the fraction of α1 subunits, and decreased the fraction of α3 subunits, that associated in hybrid α1α3βγ receptors. Patch clamp electrophysiology studies showed that Hetα1KO layer VI cortical neurons exhibited reduced inhibitory postsynaptic current peak amplitudes, prolonged current rise and decay times, and altered responses to benzodiazepine agonists. Finally, application of inhibitors of dynamin-mediated endocytosis revealed that Hetα1KO reduced base-line GABAAR endocytosis, an effect that probably contributes to the observed changes in GABAAR expression. These findings demonstrate that Hetα1KO exerts two principle disinhibitory effects on cortical GABAAR-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission: 1) a modest reduction of GABAAR number and 2) a partial compensation with GABAAR isoforms that possess physiological properties different from those of the otherwise predominant α1βγ GABAARs.
Kalmbach, Brian E; Johnston, Daniel; Brager, Darrin H
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by transcriptional silencing of the fmr1 gene resulting in the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) expression. FXS patients display several behavioral phenotypes associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction. Voltage-gated ion channels, some of which are regulated by FMRP, heavily influence PFC neuron function. Although there is evidence for brain region-specific alterations to the function a single type of ion channel in FXS, it is unclear whether subtypes of principal neurons within a brain region are affected uniformly. We tested for alterations to ion channels critical in regulating neural excitability in two subtypes of prefrontal L5 pyramidal neurons. Using somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings, we provide evidence that the functional expression of h-channels (Ih) is down-regulated, whereas A-type K(+) channel function is up-regulated in pyramidal tract-projecting (PT) neurons in the fmr1-/y mouse PFC. This is the opposite pattern of results from published findings from hippocampus where Ih is up-regulated and A-type K(+) channel function is down-regulated. Additionally, we find that somatic Kv1-mediated current is down-regulated, resulting in increased excitability of fmr1-/y PT neurons. Importantly, these h- and K(+) channel differences do not extend to neighboring intratelencephalic-projecting neurons. Thus, the absence of FMRP has divergent effects on the function of individual types of ion channels not only between brain regions, but also variable effects across cell types within the same brain region. Given the importance of ion channels in regulating neural circuits, these results suggest cell-type-specific phenotypes for the disease.
Janc, Oliwia A.; Hüser, Marc A.; Dietrich, Katharina; Kempkes, Belinda; Menzfeld, Christiane; Hülsmann, Swen; Müller, Michael
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder typically arising from spontaneous mutations in the X-chromosomal methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. The almost exclusively female Rett patients show an apparently normal development during their first 6–18 months of life. Subsequently, cognitive- and motor-impairment, hand stereotypies, loss of learned skills, epilepsy and irregular breathing manifest. Early mitochondrial impairment and oxidative challenge are considered to facilitate disease progression. Along this line, we recently confirmed in vitro that acute treatment with the vitamin E-derivative Trolox dampens neuronal hyperexcitability, reinstates synaptic plasticity, ameliorates cellular redox balance and improves hypoxia tolerance in male MeCP2-deficient (Mecp2−/y) mouse hippocampus. Pursuing these promising findings, we performed a preclinical study to define the merit of systemic Trolox administration. Blinded, placebo-controlled in vivo treatment of male mice started at postnatal day (PD) 10–11 and continued for ~40 days. Compounds (vehicle only, 10 mg/kg or 40 mg/kg Trolox) were injected intraperitoneally every 48 h. Detailed phenotyping revealed that in Mecp2−/y mice, blood glucose levels, lipid peroxidation, synaptic short-term plasticity, hypoxia tolerance and certain forms of environmental exploration were improved by Trolox. Yet, body weight and size, motor function and the rate and regularity of breathing did not improve. In conclusion, in vivo Trolox treatment partially ameliorated a subset of symptoms of the complex Rett phenotype, thereby confirming a partial merit of the vitamin E-derivative based pharmacotherapy. Yet, it also became evident that frequent animal handling and the route of drug administration are critical issues to be optimized in future trials. PMID:27895554
Tao, Jifang; Wu, Hao; Coronado, Amanda A; de Laittre, Elizabeth; Osterweil, Emily K; Zhang, Yi; Bear, Mark F
Rett syndrome (RTT) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MECP2), an epigenetic regulator of mRNA transcription. Here, we report a test of the hypothesis of shared pathophysiology of RTT and fragile X, another monogenic cause of autism and intellectual disability. In fragile X, the loss of the mRNA translational repressor FMRP leads to exaggerated protein synthesis downstream of metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGluR5). We found that mGluR5- and protein-synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity were similarly altered in area CA1 of Mecp2 KO mice. CA1 pyramidal cell-type-specific, genome-wide profiling of ribosome-bound mRNAs was performed in wild-type and Mecp2 KO hippocampal CA1 neurons to reveal the MeCP2-regulated "translatome." We found significant overlap between ribosome-bound transcripts overexpressed in the Mecp2 KO and FMRP mRNA targets. These tended to encode long genes that were functionally related to either cytoskeleton organization or the development of neuronal connectivity. In the Fmr1 KO mouse, chronic treatment with mGluR5-negative allosteric modulators (NAMs) has been shown to ameliorate many mutant phenotypes by correcting excessive protein synthesis. In Mecp2 KO mice, we found that mGluR5 NAM treatment significantly reduced the level of overexpressed ribosome-associated transcripts, particularly those that were also FMRP targets. Some Rett phenotypes were also ameliorated by treatment, most notably hippocampal cell size and lifespan. Together, these results suggest a potential mechanistic link between MeCP2-mediated transcription regulation and mGluR5/FMRP-mediated protein translation regulation through coregulation of a subset of genes relevant to synaptic functions.
Zhou, Chengwen; Huang, Zhiling; Ding, Li; Deel, M. Elizabeth; Arain, Fazal M.; Murray, Clark R.; Patel, Ronak S.; Flanagan, Christopher D.; Gallagher, Martin J.
Patients with generalized epilepsy exhibit cerebral cortical disinhibition. Likewise, mutations in the inhibitory ligand-gated ion channels, GABAA receptors (GABAARs), cause generalized epilepsy syndromes in humans. Recently, we demonstrated that heterozygous knock-out (Hetα1KO) of the human epilepsy gene, the GABAAR α1 subunit, produced absence epilepsy in mice. Here, we determined the effects of Hetα1KO on the expression and physiology of GABAARs in the mouse cortex. We found that Hetα1KO caused modest reductions in the total and surface expression of the β2 subunit but did not alter β1 or β3 subunit expression, results consistent with a small reduction of GABAARs. Cortices partially compensated for Hetα1KO by increasing the fraction of residual α1 subunit on the cell surface and by increasing total and surface expression of α3, but not α2, subunits. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that Hetα1KO increased the fraction of α1 subunits, and decreased the fraction of α3 subunits, that associated in hybrid α1α3βγ receptors. Patch clamp electrophysiology studies showed that Hetα1KO layer VI cortical neurons exhibited reduced inhibitory postsynaptic current peak amplitudes, prolonged current rise and decay times, and altered responses to benzodiazepine agonists. Finally, application of inhibitors of dynamin-mediated endocytosis revealed that Hetα1KO reduced base-line GABAAR endocytosis, an effect that probably contributes to the observed changes in GABAAR expression. These findings demonstrate that Hetα1KO exerts two principle disinhibitory effects on cortical GABAAR-mediated inhibitory neurotransmission: 1) a modest reduction of GABAAR number and 2) a partial compensation with GABAAR isoforms that possess physiological properties different from those of the otherwise predominant α1βγ GABAARs. PMID:23744069
Jiang, Ying; Rigoglioso, Andrew; Peterhoff, Corrinne M.; Pawlik, Monika; Sato, Yutaka; Bleiwas, Cynthia; Stavrides, Philip; Smiley, John F.; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; Mathews, Paul M.; Levy, Efrat; Nixon, Ralph A.
β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) and amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) are strongly implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathogenesis, although recent evidence has linked APP-βCTF generated by BACE1 (β-APP cleaving enzyme 1) to the development of endocytic abnormalities and cholinergic neurodegeneration in early AD. We show that partial BACE1 genetic reduction prevents these AD-related pathological features in the Ts2 mouse model of Down syndrome (DS). Partially reducing BACE1 by deleting one BACE1 allele blocked development of age-related endosome enlargement in the medial septal nucleus (MSN), cerebral cortex, and hippocampus and loss of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive MSN neurons. BACE1 reduction normalized APP-βCTF elevation but did not alter Aβ40 and Aβ42 peptide levels in brain, supporting a critical role in vivo for APP-βCTF in the development of these abnormalities. While ameliorative effects of BACE1 inhibition on β-amyloidosis and synaptic proteins levels have been previously noted in AD mouse models, our results highlight the additional potential value of BACE1 modulation in therapeutic targeting of endocytic dysfunction and cholinergic neurodegeneration in DS and AD. PMID:26923405
Kazim, Syed Faraz; Blanchard, Julie; Bianchi, Riccardo; Iqbal, Khalid
Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and is associated with a greatly increased risk of early-onset Alzheimer's disease (AD). The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS exhibits several key features of the disease including developmental delay and AD-like cognitive impairment. Accumulating evidence suggests that impairments in early brain development caused by trisomy 21 contribute significantly to memory deficits in adult life in DS. Prenatal genetic testing to diagnose DS in utero, provides the novel opportunity to initiate early pharmacological treatment to target this critical period of brain development. Here, we report that prenatal to early postnatal treatment with a ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) small-molecule peptide mimetic, Peptide 021 (P021), rescued developmental delay in pups and AD-like hippocampus-dependent memory impairments in adult life in Ts65Dn mice. Furthermore, this treatment prevented pre-synaptic protein deficit, decreased glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK3β) activity, and increased levels of synaptic plasticity markers including brain derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) and phosphorylated CREB, both in young (3-week-old) and adult (~ 7-month-old) Ts65Dn mice. These findings provide novel evidence that providing neurotrophic support during early brain development can prevent developmental delay and AD-like memory impairments in a DS mouse model.
Kazim, Syed Faraz; Blanchard, Julie; Bianchi, Riccardo; Iqbal, Khalid
Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy 21, is the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability and is associated with a greatly increased risk of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The Ts65Dn mouse model of DS exhibits several key features of the disease including developmental delay and AD-like cognitive impairment. Accumulating evidence suggests that impairments in early brain development caused by trisomy 21 contribute significantly to memory deficits in adult life in DS. Prenatal genetic testing to diagnose DS in utero, provides the novel opportunity to initiate early pharmacological treatment to target this critical period of brain development. Here, we report that prenatal to early postnatal treatment with a ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) small-molecule peptide mimetic, Peptide 021 (P021), rescued developmental delay in pups and AD-like hippocampus-dependent memory impairments in adult life in Ts65Dn mice. Furthermore, this treatment prevented pre-synaptic protein deficit, decreased glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK3β) activity, and increased levels of synaptic plasticity markers including brain derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF) and phosphorylated CREB, both in young (3-week-old) and adult (~ 7-month-old) Ts65Dn mice. These findings provide novel evidence that providing neurotrophic support during early brain development can prevent developmental delay and AD-like memory impairments in a DS mouse model. PMID:28368015
Ronesi, Jennifer A.; Collins, Katie A.; Hays, Seth A.; Tsai, Nien-Pei; Guo, Weirui; Birnbaum, Shari G.; Hu, Jia-Hua; Worley, Paul F.; Gibson, Jay R.; Huber, Kimberly M.
Enhanced mGluR5 function is causally associated with the pathophysiology of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), a leading inherited cause of intellectual disability and autism. Here we provide evidence that altered mGluR5-Homer scaffolds contribute to mGluR5 dysfunction and phenotypes in the FXS mouse model, Fmr1 KO. In Fmr1 KO mice mGluR5 is less associated with long Homer isoforms, but more associated with the short Homer1a. Genetic deletion of Homer1a restores mGluR5- long Homer scaffolds and corrects multiple phenotypes in Fmr1 KO mice including altered mGluR5 signaling, neocortical circuit dysfunction, and behavior. Acute, peptide-mediated disruption of mGluR5-Homer scaffolds in wildtype mice mimics many Fmr1 KO phenotypes. In contrast, Homer1a deletion does not rescue altered mGluR-dependent long-term synaptic depression or translational control of FMRP target mRNAs. Our findings reveal novel functions for mGluR5-Homer interactions in the brain and delineate distinct mechanisms of mGluR5 dysfunction in a mouse model of cognitive dysfunction and autism. PMID:22267161
Basham, Kaitlin J.; Hung, Holly A.; Lerario, Antonio M.; Hammer, Gary D.
The molecular basis of the organogenesis, homeostasis, and tumorigenesis of the adrenal cortex has been the subject of intense study for many decades. Specifically, characterization of tumor predisposition syndromes with adrenocortical manifestations and molecular profiling of sporadic adrenocortical tumors have led to the discovery of key molecular pathways that promote pathological adrenal growth. However, given the observational nature of such studies, several important questions regarding the molecular pathogenesis of adrenocortical tumors have remained. This review will summarize naturally occurring and genetically engineered mouse models that have provided novel tools to explore the molecular and cellular underpinnings of adrenocortical tumors. New paradigms of cancer initiation, maintenance, and progression that have emerged from this work will be discussed. PMID:26678830
Szczesna, Karolina; de la Caridad, Olga; Petazzi, Paolo; Soler, Marta; Roa, Laura; Saez, Mauricio A; Fourcade, Stéphane; Pujol, Aurora; Artuch-Iriberri, Rafael; Molero-Luis, Marta; Vidal, August; Huertas, Dori; Esteller, Manel
Rett Syndrome is a neurodevelopmental autism spectrum disorder caused by mutations in the gene coding for methyl CpG-binding protein (MeCP2). The disease is characterized by abnormal motor, respiratory, cognitive impairment, and autistic-like behaviors. No effective treatment of the disorder is available. Mecp2 knockout mice have a range of physiological and neurological abnormalities that resemble the human syndrome and can be used as a model to interrogate new therapies. Herein, we show that the combined administration of Levodopa and a Dopa-decarboxylase inhibitor in RTT mouse models is well tolerated, diminishes RTT-associated symptoms, and increases life span. The amelioration of RTT symptomatology is particularly significant in those features controlled by the dopaminergic pathway in the nigrostratium, such as mobility, tremor, and breathing. Most important, the improvement of the RTT phenotype upon use of the combined treatment is reflected at the cellular level by the development of neuronal dendritic growth. However, much work is required to extend the duration of the benefit of the described preclinical treatment.
Meng, Linyan; Person, Richard Erwin; Huang, Wei; Zhu, Ping Jun; Costa-Mattioli, Mauro; Beaudet, Arthur L.
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by maternal deficiency of the imprinted gene UBE3A. Individuals with AS suffer from intellectual disability, speech impairment, and motor dysfunction. Currently there is no cure for the disease. Here, we evaluated the phenotypic effect of activating the silenced paternal allele of Ube3a by depleting its antisense RNA Ube3a-ATS in mice. Premature termination of Ube3a-ATS by poly(A) cassette insertion activates expression of Ube3a from the paternal chromosome, and ameliorates many disease-related symptoms in the AS mouse model, including motor coordination defects, cognitive deficit, and impaired long-term potentiation. Studies on the imprinting mechanism of Ube3a revealed a pattern of biallelic transcription initiation with suppressed elongation of paternal Ube3a, implicating transcriptional collision between sense and antisense polymerases. These studies demonstrate the feasibility and utility of unsilencing the paternal copy of Ube3a via targeting Ube3a-ATS as a treatment for Angelman syndrome. PMID:24385930
Been, Raha A.; Nagel, Christian W.; Hooten, Anthony J.; Langer, Erica K.; DeCoursin, Krista J.; Marek, Courtney A.; Janik, Callie L.; Linden, Michael A.; Reed, Robyn C.; Schutten, Melissa M.; Largaespada, David A.; Johnson, Kimberly J.
Hereditary nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome (NBCCS) is caused by PTCH1 gene mutations that result in diverse neoplasms including medulloblastoma (MB). Epidemiological studies report reduced pediatric brain tumor risks associated with maternal intake of prenatal vitamins containing folic acid (FA) and FA supplements specifically. We hypothesized that low maternal FA intake during the peri-gestational period would increase MB incidence in a transgenic NBCCS mouse model, which carries an autosomal dominant mutation in the Ptch1 gene. Female wild-type C57BL/6 mice (n=126) were randomized to one of three diets with differing FA amounts: 0.3 mg/kg (low), 2.0 mg/kg (control), and 8.0 mg/kg (high) one month prior to mating with Ptch1+/− C57BL/6 males. Females were maintained on the diet until pup weaning; the pups were then aged for tumor development. Compared to the control group, offspring MB incidence was significantly lower in the low FA group (Hazard Ratio (HR)=0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.27–0.80) at one year. No significant difference in incidence was observed between the control and high FA groups. Low maternal peri-gestational FA levels may decrease MB incidence in mice genetically predisposed to tumor development. Our results could have implications for prenatal FA intake recommendations in the presence of cancer syndromes. PMID:23909730
Meng, Linyan; Person, Richard Erwin; Huang, Wei; Zhu, Ping Jun; Costa-Mattioli, Mauro; Beaudet, Arthur L
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by maternal deficiency of the imprinted gene UBE3A. Individuals with AS suffer from intellectual disability, speech impairment, and motor dysfunction. Currently there is no cure for the disease. Here, we evaluated the phenotypic effect of activating the silenced paternal allele of Ube3a by depleting its antisense RNA Ube3a-ATS in mice. Premature termination of Ube3a-ATS by poly(A) cassette insertion activates expression of Ube3a from the paternal chromosome, and ameliorates many disease-related symptoms in the AS mouse model, including motor coordination defects, cognitive deficit, and impaired long-term potentiation. Studies on the imprinting mechanism of Ube3a revealed a pattern of biallelic transcription initiation with suppressed elongation of paternal Ube3a, implicating transcriptional collision between sense and antisense polymerases. These studies demonstrate the feasibility and utility of unsilencing the paternal copy of Ube3a via targeting Ube3a-ATS as a treatment for Angelman syndrome.
Ward, Christopher S.; Huang, Teng-Wei; Herrera, José A.; Samaco, Rodney C.; Pitcher, Meagan R.; Herron, Alan; Skinner, Steven A.; Kaufmann, Walter E.; Glaze, Daniel G.; Percy, Alan K.; Neul, Jeffrey L.
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by loss of acquired skills during development, autonomic dysfunction, and an increased risk for premature lethality. Clinical experience identified a subset of individuals with RTT that present with urological dysfunction including individuals with frequent urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and urine retention requiring frequent catheterization for bladder voiding. To determine if urologic dysfunction is a feature of RTT, we queried the Rett Syndrome Natural History Study, a repository of clinical data from over 1000 individuals with RTT and found multiple instances of urological dysfunction. We then evaluated urological function in a mouse model of RTT and found an abnormal pattern of micturition. Both male and female mice possessing Mecp2 mutations show a decrease in urine output per micturition event. Furthermore, we identified signs of kidney failure secondary to urethral obstruction. Although genetic strain background significantly affects both survival and penetrance of the urethral obstruction phenotype, survival and penetrance of urethral obstruction do not directly correlate. We have identified an additional phenotype caused by loss of MeCP2, urological dysfunction. Furthermore, we urge caution in the interpretation of survival data as an endpoint in preclinical studies, especially where causes of mortality are poorly characterized. PMID:27828991
Ward, Christopher S; Huang, Teng-Wei; Herrera, José A; Samaco, Rodney C; Pitcher, Meagan R; Herron, Alan; Skinner, Steven A; Kaufmann, Walter E; Glaze, Daniel G; Percy, Alan K; Neul, Jeffrey L
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by loss of acquired skills during development, autonomic dysfunction, and an increased risk for premature lethality. Clinical experience identified a subset of individuals with RTT that present with urological dysfunction including individuals with frequent urinary tract infections, kidney stones, and urine retention requiring frequent catheterization for bladder voiding. To determine if urologic dysfunction is a feature of RTT, we queried the Rett Syndrome Natural History Study, a repository of clinical data from over 1000 individuals with RTT and found multiple instances of urological dysfunction. We then evaluated urological function in a mouse model of RTT and found an abnormal pattern of micturition. Both male and female mice possessing Mecp2 mutations show a decrease in urine output per micturition event. Furthermore, we identified signs of kidney failure secondary to urethral obstruction. Although genetic strain background significantly affects both survival and penetrance of the urethral obstruction phenotype, survival and penetrance of urethral obstruction do not directly correlate. We have identified an additional phenotype caused by loss of MeCP2, urological dysfunction. Furthermore, we urge caution in the interpretation of survival data as an endpoint in preclinical studies, especially where causes of mortality are poorly characterized.
Chang, Qing; Wang, Jianjun; Li, Qi; Kim, Yeunjung; Zhou, Binfei; Wang, Yunfeng; Li, Huawei; Lin, Xi
Mutations in the potassium channel subunit KCNQ1 cause the human severe congenital deafness Jervell and Lange-Nielsen (JLN) syndrome. We applied a gene therapy approach in a mouse model of JLN syndrome (Kcnq1(-/-) mice) to prevent the development of deafness in the adult stage. A modified adeno-associated virus construct carrying a Kcnq1 expression cassette was injected postnatally (P0-P2) into the endolymph, which resulted in Kcnq1 expression in most cochlear marginal cells where native Kcnq1 is exclusively expressed. We also found that extensive ectopic virally mediated Kcnq1 transgene expression did not affect normal cochlear functions. Examination of cochlear morphology showed that the collapse of the Reissner's membrane and degeneration of hair cells (HCs) and cells in the spiral ganglia were corrected in Kcnq1(-/-) mice. Electrophysiological tests showed normal endocochlear potential in treated ears. In addition, auditory brainstem responses showed significant hearing preservation in the injected ears, ranging from 20 dB improvement to complete correction of the deafness phenotype. Our results demonstrate the first successful gene therapy treatment for gene defects specifically affecting the function of the stria vascularis, which is a major site affected by genetic mutations in inherited hearing loss.
Mienaltowski, Michael J; Birk, David E
Mutant mouse models are valuable resources for the study of tendon and ligament biology. Many mutant mouse models are used because their manifested phenotypes mimic clinical pathobiology for several heritable disorders, such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Moreover, these models are helpful for discerning roles of specific genes in the development, maturation, and repair of musculoskeletal tissues. There are several categories of genes with essential roles in the synthesis and maintenance of tendon and ligament structures. The form and function of these tissues depend highly upon fibril-forming collagens, the primary extracellular macromolecules of tendons and ligaments. Models for these fibril-forming collagens, as well as for regulatory molecules like FACITs and SLRPs, are important for studying fibril assembly, growth, and maturation. Additionally, mouse models for growth factors and transcription factors are useful for defining regulation of cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and cues that stimulate matrix synthesis. Models for membrane-bound proteins assess the roles of cell-cell communication and cell-matrix interaction. In some cases, special considerations need to be given to spatio-temporal control of a gene in a model. Thus, conditional and inducible mouse models allow for specific regulation of genes of interest. Advances in mouse models have provided valuable tools for gaining insight into the form and function of tendons and ligaments.
Urosevic, Jelena; Sauzeau, Vincent; Soto-Montenegro, María L.; Reig, Santiago; Desco, Manuel; Wright, Emma M. Burkitt; Cañamero, Marta; Mulero, Francisca; Ortega, Sagrario; Bustelo, Xosé R.; Barbacid, Mariano
RASopathies are a class of developmental syndromes that result from congenital mutations in key elements of the RAS/RAF/MEK signaling pathway. A well-recognized RASopathy is the cardio-facio-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome characterized by a distinctive facial appearance, heart defects, and mental retardation. Clinically diagnosed CFC patients carry germ-line mutations in four different genes, B-RAF, MEK1, MEK2, and K-RAS. B-RAF is by far the most commonly mutated locus, displaying mutations that most often result in constitutive activation of the B-RAF kinase. Here, we describe a mouse model for CFC generated by germ-line expression of a B-RafLSLV600E allele. This targeted allele allows low levels of expression of B-RafV600E, a constitutively active B-Raf kinase first identified in human melanoma. B-Raf+/LSLV600E mice are viable and display several of the characteristic features observed in CFC patients, including reduced life span, small size, facial dysmorphism, cardiomegaly, and epileptic seizures. These mice also show up-regulation of specific catecholamines and cataracts, two features detected in a low percentage of CFC patients. In addition, B-Raf+/LSLV600E mice develop neuroendocrine tumors, a pathology not observed in CFC patients. These mice may provide a means of better understanding the pathophysiology of at least some of the clinical features present in CFC patients. Moreover, they may serve as a tool to evaluate the potential therapeutic efficacy of B-RAF inhibitors and establish the precise window at which they could be effective against this congenital syndrome. PMID:21383153
Kleschevnikov, Alexander M; Yu, Jessica; Kim, Jeesun; Lysenko, Larisa V; Zeng, Zheng; Yu, Y Eugene; Mobley, William C
Down syndrome (DS), trisomy 21, is caused by increased dose of genes present on human chromosome 21 (HSA21). The gene-dose hypothesis argues that a change in the dose of individual genes or regulatory sequences on HSA21 is necessary for creating DS-related phenotypes, including cognitive impairment. We focused on a possible role for Kcnj6, the gene encoding Kir3.2 (Girk2) subunits of a G-protein-coupled inwardly-rectifying potassium channel. This gene resides on a segment of mouse Chromosome 16 that is present in one extra copy in the genome of the Ts65Dn mouse, a well-studied genetic model of DS. Kir3.2 subunit-containing potassium channels serve as effectors for a number of postsynaptic metabotropic receptors including GABAB receptors. Several studies raise the possibility that increased Kcnj6 dose contributes to synaptic and cognitive abnormalities in DS. To assess directly a role for Kcnj6 gene dose in cognitive deficits in DS, we produced Ts65Dn mice that harbor only 2 copies of Kcnj6 (Ts65Dn:Kcnj6++- mice). The reduction in Kcnj6 gene dose restored to normal the hippocampal level of Kir3.2. Long-term memory, examined in the novel object recognition test with the retention period of 24h, was improved to the level observed in the normosomic littermate control mice (2N:Kcnj6++). Significantly, both short-term and long-term potentiation (STP and LTP) was improved to control levels in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the Ts65Dn:Kcnj6++- mouse. In view of the ability of fluoxetine to suppress Kir3.2 channels, we asked if fluoxetine-treated DG slices of Ts65Dn:Kcnj6+++ mice would rescue synaptic plasticity. Fluoxetine increased STP and LTP to control levels. These results are evidence that increased Kcnj6 gene dose is necessary for synaptic and cognitive dysfunction in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. Strategies aimed at pharmacologically reducing channel function should be explored for enhancing cognition in DS.
Gogliotti, Rocco G; Senter, Rebecca K; Rook, Jerri M; Ghoshal, Ayan; Zamorano, Rocio; Malosh, Chrysa; Stauffer, Shaun R; Bridges, Thomas M; Bartolome, Jose M; Daniels, J Scott; Jones, Carrie K; Lindsley, Craig W; Conn, P Jeffrey; Niswender, Colleen M
Rett syndrome (RS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that shares many symptomatic and pathological commonalities with idiopathic autism. Alterations in protein synthesis-dependent synaptic plasticity (PSDSP) are a hallmark of a number of syndromic forms of autism; in the present work, we explore the consequences of disruption and rescue of PSDSP in a mouse model of RS. We report that expression of a key regulator of synaptic protein synthesis, the metabotropic glutamate receptor 5 (mGlu5) protein, is significantly reduced in both the brains of RS model mice and in the motor cortex of human RS autopsy samples. Furthermore, we demonstrate that reduced mGlu5 expression correlates with attenuated DHPG-induced long-term depression in the hippocampus of RS model mice, and that administration of a novel mGlu5 positive allosteric modulator (PAM), termed VU0462807, can rescue synaptic plasticity defects. Additionally, treatment of Mecp2-deficient mice with VU0462807 improves motor performance (open-field behavior and gait dynamics), corrects repetitive clasping behavior, as well as normalizes cued fear-conditioning defects. Importantly, due to the rationale drug discovery approach used in its development, our novel mGlu5 PAM improves RS phenotypes and synaptic plasticity defects without evoking the overt adverse effects commonly associated with potentiation of mGlu5 signaling (i.e. seizures), or affecting cardiorespiratory defects in RS model mice. These findings provide strong support for the continued development of mGlu5 PAMs as potential therapeutic agents for use in RS, and, more broadly, for utility in idiopathic autism.
Sobczak, Marta; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Sałaga, Maciej; Husbands, Stephen M.; Fichna, Jakub
Background The opioid and nociceptin systems play a crucial role in the maintenance of homeostasis in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The aim of this study was to characterize the effect of BU08070, a novel mixed MOP/NOP agonist, on mouse intestinal contractility in vitro and GI motility in vivo in physiological conditions and in animal models mimicking symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), including diarrhea and abdominal pain. Methods The effect of BU08070 on muscle contractility in vitro was characterized in the ileum and colon. To assess the effect of BU08070 in vivo, the following parameters were assessed: whole GI transit, gastric emptying, geometric center, colonic bead expulsion, fecal pellet output and time to castor oil-induced diarrhea. The antinociceptive activity of BU08070 was characterized in the mustard oil (MO)-induced abdominal pain model and the writhing test, alone and in the presence of MOP and NOP antagonists. Results In vitro, BU08070 (10−10–10−6 M) inhibited colonic and ileal smooth muscle contractions in a concentration-dependent manner. In vivo, BU08070 prolonged the whole GI transit and inhibited colonic bead expulsion. The antitransit and antidiarrheal effect of BU08070 was observed already at the dose of 0.1 mg/kg (i.p.). BU08070 reversed hypermotility and reduced pain in mouse models mimicking IBS-D symptoms. Conclusion Our results suggest that BU08070 has a potential of becoming an efficient drug in IBS-D therapy. Here we also validate mixed NOP/MOP receptor targeting as possible future treatment of functional GI diseases. PMID:24815321
Godavarthi, Swetha K; Dey, Parthanarayan; Sharma, Ankit; Jana, Nihar Ranjan
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by severe cognitive and motor deficits, caused by the loss of function of maternally inherited Ube3a. Ube3a-maternal deficient mice (AS model mice) recapitulate many essential features of AS, but how the deficiency of Ube3a lead to such behavioural abnormalities is poorly understood. Here we have demonstrated significant impairment of adult hippocampal neurogenesis in AS mice brain. Although, the number of BrdU and Ki67-positive cell in the hippocampal DG region was nearly equal at early postnatal days among wild type and AS mice, they were significantly reduced in adult AS mice compared to wild type controls. Reduced number of doublecortin-positive immature neurons in this region of AS mice further indicated impaired neurogenesis. Unaltered BrdU and Ki67-positive cells number in the sub ventricular zone of adult AS mice brain along with the absence of imprinted expression of Ube3a in the neural progenitor cell suggesting that Ube3a may not be directly linked with altered neurogenesis. Finally, we show that the impaired hippocampal neurogenesis in these mice can be partially rescued by the chronic treatment of antidepressant fluoxetine. These results suggest that the chronic stress may lead to reduced hippocampal neurogenesis in AS mice and that impaired neurogenesis could contribute to cognitive disturbances observed in these mice.
Sciorati, Clara; Esposito, Antonio; Campana, Lara; Canu, Tamara; Monno, Antonella; Palmisano, Anna; De Cobelli, Francesco; Del Maschio, Alessandro; Ascheman, Dana P.; Manfredi, Angelo A.; Rovere-Querini, Patrizia
Inflammatory myopathies comprise heterogeneous disorders. Their etiopathogenesis is poorly understood, because of the paucity of informative experimental models and of approaches for the noninvasive study of inflamed tissues. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides information about the state of the skeletal muscle that reflects various facets of inflammation and remodeling. This technique has been scarcely used in experimental models of inflammatory myopathies. We characterized the performance of MRI in a well-established mouse model of myositis and the antisynthetase syndrome, based on the immunization of wild-type mice with the amino-terminal fragment of histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS). Over an eight-week period following myositis induction, MRI enabled precise identification of pathological events taking place in muscle tissue. Areas of edema and of active inflammation identified by histopathology paralleled muscle modifications detected noninvasively by MRI. Muscles changes were chronologically associated with the establishment of autoimmunity, as reflected by the development of anti-HisRS antibodies in the blood of immunized mice. MR imaging easily appreciated muscle damage and remodeling even if actual disruption of myofiber integrity (as assessed by serum concentrations of creatinine phosphokinase) was limited. Thus, MR imaging represents an informative and noninvasive analytical tool for studying in vivo immune-mediated muscle involvement. PMID:24895622
Peyghambari, Fatemeh; Amanpour, Saeid; Fayazi, Mehri; Haddadi, Mahnaz; Muhammadnejad, Samad; Muhammadnejad, Ahad; Salimi, Mehdi; Mazaheri, Zohreh
Background: It has been hypothesized that blastocyst integrin expression changes can affect the spontaneous miscarriage in polycystic ovarian syndromes (PCOS). Objective: In this study, the profile of integrin genes and proteins was investigated on blastocyst of the PCOS experimental mouse model. Materials and Methods: 30 NMRI female mice were equally divided into 3 groups: control, experimental [PCOS that was injected estradiol valerate (40 mg/kg)]. After 8 weeks, each group was hyper stimulated by PMSG and HCG. Vaginal plaque was checked, and mice were investigated 5 days after the test. Progesterone and estradiol levels were determined; α4, αv, β1 and β3 integrin genes and protein of blastocysts were examined by real time PCR method and immunohistochemistry, respectively. Results: Estradiol level was significantly increased (p≤0.035) in PCOS group. Based on our finding, the ratio of genes' expressions αv, β3, β1 and α4 in PCOS to control group was 0.479±0.01, 0.5±0.001, 2.7±0.4 and 1.023±0.2 respectively. Genes expression showed a great difference (p≤0.001) between β3, β1 and αv in PCOS compared to other groups. αv and β3 integrin proteins expressed in all groups but intensity of these proteins in PCOS groups, was lower than other groups. Conclusion: Pattern of αv and β3 integrins expression on the mouse blastocyst surface has an important effect during the implantation window. This pattern has changed in PCOS model and might have a great influence on implantation failure. Therefore, this experimental study suggests that a great attention to this problem may be essential in patients who are involved. PMID:25469135
Yan, Jiong; Bi, Weimin; Lupski, James R
Craniofacial abnormality is one of the major clinical manifestations of Smith-Magenis syndrome (SMS). Previous analyses in a mixed genetic background of several SMS mouse models--including Df(11)17/+ and Df(11)17-1/+, which have 2-Mb and 590-kb deletions, respectively, and Rai1(-/+)--revealed that the penetrance of the craniofacial phenotype appears to be influenced by deletion size and genetic background. We generated an additional strain with a 1-Mb deletion intermediate in size between the two described above. Remarkably, the penetrance of its craniofacial anomalies in the mixed background was between those of Df(11)17 and Df(11)17-1. We further analyzed the deletion mutations and the Rai1(-/+) allele in a pure C57BL/6 background, to control for nonlinked modifier loci. The penetrance of the craniofacial anomalies was markedly increased for all the strains in comparison with the mixed background. Mice with Df(11)17 and Df(11)17-1 deletions had a similar penetrance, suggesting that penetrance may be less influenced by deletion size, whereas that of Rai1(-/+) mice was significantly lower than that of the deletion strains. We hypothesize that potential trans-regulatory sequence(s) or gene(s) that reside within the 590-kb genomic interval surrounding Rai1 are the major modifying genetic element(s) affecting the craniofacial penetrance. Moreover, we confirmed the influence of genetic background and different deletion sizes on the phenotype. The complicated control of the penetrance for one phenotype in SMS mouse models provides tools to elucidate molecular mechanisms for penetrance and clearly shows that a null allele caused by chromosomal deletion can have different phenotypic consequences than one caused by gene inactivation.
Costa, Alberto C. S.; Stasko, Melissa R.; Schmidt, Cecilia; Davisson, Muriel T.
The Ts65Dn mouse is the most studied and complete aneuploid model of Down syndrome (DS) widely available. As a model for human trisomy 21, these mice display many attractive features, including performance deficits in different behavioral tasks, alterations in synaptic plasticity and adult neurogenesis, motor dysfunction, and age-dependent cholinergic neurodegeneration. Currently, Ts65Dn mice are maintained on a genetic background that leads to blindness in about 25% of their offspring, because it segregates for the retinal degeneration 1 (Pde6brd1) mutation of C3H/HeSnJ. This means that 25% of the mice have to be discarded in most experiments involving these animals, which is particularly problematic because the Ts65Dn stock has low reproductive performance. To circumvent this problem, we have bred the Ts65Dn extra chromosome many generations into a closely related genetic background that does not carry the Pde6brd1 mutation. Although the new genetic background is expected to be nearly identical to the original, differences in genetic background have the potential to alter mouse performance in certain behavioral tests. Therefore, we designed the present study primarily as a behavioral validation of Ts65Dn mice of the new background. We compared side-by-side their performance with that of Ts65Dn mice of the original background on the following set of assessments: 1) body length and weight; 2) 24-hour locomotor activity; 3) the Morris water maze; 4) fear conditioning; and 5) grip strength. Except for very subtle differences on water maze performance, we found no significant differences between Ts65Dn mice on the two backgrounds in the measures assessed. PMID:19720087
Hanson, Jesse E; Blank, Martina; Valenzuela, Ricardo A; Garner, Craig C; Madison, Daniel V
Down's syndrome (DS) is the most common cause of mental retardation, and memory impairments are more severe in DS than in most if not all other causes of mental retardation. The Ts65Dn mouse, a genetic model of DS, exhibits phenotypes of DS, including memory impairments indicative of hippocampal dysfunction. We examined functional synaptic connectivity in area CA3 of the hippocampus of Ts65Dn mice using organotypic slice cultures as a model. We found reductions in multiple measures of synaptic function in both excitatory and inhibitory inputs to pyramidal neurons in CA3 of the Ts65Dn hippocampus. However, associational synaptic connections between pyramidal neurons were more abundant and more likely to be active rather than silent in the Ts65Dn hippocampus. Synaptic potentiation was normal in these associational connections. Decreased overall functional synaptic input onto pyramidal neurons expressed along with the specific hyperconnectivity of associational connections between pyramidal neurons will result in predictable alterations of CA3 network function, which may contribute to the memory impairments seen in DS.
Background Down’s syndrome (DS) is caused by triplication of all or part of human chromosome 21 and is characterized by a decrease in the overall size of the brain. One of the brain regions most affected is the cerebellum, in which the number of granule cells (GCs) is markedly decreased. GCs process sensory information entering the cerebellum via mossy fibres and pass it on to Purkinje cells and inhibitory interneurons. How GCs transform incoming signals depends on their input–output relationship, which is adjusted by tonically active GABAA receptor channels. Results We report that in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS, in which cerebellar volume and GC number are decreased as in DS, the tonic GABAA receptor current in GCs is smaller than in wild-type mice and is less effective in moderating input resistance and raising the minimum current required for action potential firing. We also find that tonically active GABAA receptors curb the height and broaden the width of action potentials in wild-type GCs but not in Ts65Dn GCs. Single-cell real-time quantitative PCR reveals that these electrical differences are accompanied by decreased expression of the gene encoding the GABAA receptor β3 subunit but not genes coding for some of the other GABAA receptor subunits expressed in GCs (α1, α6, β2 and δ). Conclusions Weaker moderation of excitability and action potential waveform in GCs of the Ts65Dn mouse by tonically active GABAA receptors is likely to contribute to atypical transfer of information through the cerebellum. Similar changes may occur in DS. PMID:23870245
Dinel, Anne-Laure; André, Caroline; Aubert, Agnès; Ferreira, Guillaume; Layé, Sophie; Castanon, Nathalie
Although peripheral low-grade inflammation has been associated with a high incidence of mood symptoms in patients with metabolic syndrome (MetS), much less is known about the potential involvement of brain activation of cytokines in that context. Recently we showed in a mouse model of MetS, namely the db/db mice, an enhanced hippocampal inflammation associated with increased anxiety-like behavior (Dinel et al., 2011). However, depressive-like behavior was not affected in db/db mice. Based on the strong association between depressive-like behavior and cytokine-induced brain activation of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the enzyme that metabolizes tryptophan along the kynurenine pathway, these results may suggest an impairment of brain IDO activation in db/db mice. To test this hypothesis, we measured the ability of db/db mice and their healthy db/+ littermates to enhance brain IDO activity and depressive-like behavior after a systemic immune challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here we show that LPS (5 μg/mouse) significantly increased depressive-like behavior (increased immobility time in a forced-swim test, FST) 24h after treatment in db/+ mice, but not in db/db mice. Interestingly, db/db mice also displayed after LPS treatment blunted increase of brain kynurenine/tryptophan ratio compared to their db/+ counterparts, despite enhanced induction of hippocampal cytokine expression (interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α). Moreover, this was associated with an impaired effect of LPS on hippocampal expression of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) that contributes to mood regulation, including under inflammatory conditions. Collectively, these data indicate that the rise in brain tryptophan catabolism and depressive-like behavior induced by innate immune system activation is impaired in db/db mice. These findings could have relevance in improving the management and treatment of inflammation-related complications in MetS.
Raveau, Matthieu; Lignon, Jacques M.; Nalesso, Valérie; Duchon, Arnaud; Groner, Yoram; Sharp, Andrew J.; Dembele, Doulaye; Brault, Véronique; Hérault, Yann
Down syndrome (DS) leads to complex phenotypes and is the main genetic cause of birth defects and heart diseases. The Ts65Dn DS mouse model is trisomic for the distal part of mouse chromosome 16 and displays similar features with post-natal lethality and cardiovascular defects. In order to better understand these defects, we defined electrocardiogram (ECG) with a precordial set-up, and we found conduction defects and modifications in wave shape, amplitudes, and durations in Ts65Dn mice. By using a genetic approach consisting of crossing Ts65Dn mice with Ms5Yah mice monosomic for the App-Runx1 genetic interval, we showed that the Ts65Dn viability and ECG were improved by this reduction of gene copy number. Whole-genome expression studies confirmed gene dosage effect in Ts65Dn, Ms5Yah, and Ts65Dn/Ms5Yah hearts and showed an overall perturbation of pathways connected to post-natal lethality (Coq7, Dyrk1a, F5, Gabpa, Hmgn1, Pde10a, Morc3, Slc5a3, and Vwf) and heart function (Tfb1m, Adam19, Slc8a1/Ncx1, and Rcan1). In addition cardiac connexins (Cx40, Cx43) and sodium channel sub-units (Scn5a, Scn1b, Scn10a) were found down-regulated in Ts65Dn atria with additional down-regulation of Cx40 in Ts65Dn ventricles and were likely contributing to conduction defects. All these data pinpoint new cardiac phenotypes in the Ts65Dn, mimicking aspects of human DS features and pathways altered in the mouse model. In addition they highlight the role of the App-Runx1 interval, including Sod1 and Tiam1, in the induction of post-natal lethality and of the cardiac conduction defects in Ts65Dn. These results might lead to new therapeutic strategies to improve the care of DS people. PMID:22693452
Bosen, Felicitas; Celli, Anna; Crumrine, Debra; vom Dorp, Katharina; Ebel, Philipp; Jastrow, Holger; Dörmann, Peter; Winterhager, Elke; Mauro, Theodora; Willecke, Klaus
The keratitis–ichthyosis–deafness (KID) syndrome is caused by mutations in the gap junctional channel protein connexin 26 (Cx26), among them the mutation Cx26S17F. Heterozygous Cx26S17F mice resemble the human KID syndrome, i.e. exhibiting epidermal hyperplasia and hearing impairments. Newborn Cx26S17F mice show a defective epidermal water barrier as well as altered epidermal lipid secretion and location. Linoleoyl ω-esterified ceramides are strongly decreased on the skin surface of Cx26S17F mice. Moreover, the epidermal calcium gradient is altered in the mutant mice. These alterations may be caused by an abnormal Cx26S17F channel function that leads to a defective epidermal water barrier, which in turn may trigger the hyperproliferation seen in the KID syndrome. PMID:26070424
Bosen, Felicitas; Celli, Anna; Crumrine, Debra; vom Dorp, Katharina; Ebel, Philipp; Jastrow, Holger; Dörmann, Peter; Winterhager, Elke; Mauro, Theodora; Willecke, Klaus
The keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome is caused by mutations in the gap junctional channel protein connexin 26 (Cx26), among them the mutation Cx26S17F. Heterozygous Cx26S17F mice resemble the human KID syndrome, i.e. exhibiting epidermal hyperplasia and hearing impairments. Newborn Cx26S17F mice show a defective epidermal water barrier as well as altered epidermal lipid secretion and location. Linoleoyl ω-esterified ceramides are strongly decreased on the skin surface of Cx26S17F mice. Moreover, the epidermal calcium gradient is altered in the mutant mice. These alterations may be caused by an abnormal Cx26S17F channel function that leads to a defective epidermal water barrier, which in turn may trigger the hyperproliferation seen in the KID syndrome.
Wells, Timothy; Davies, Jennifer R; Guschina, Irina A; Ball, Daniel J; Davies, Jeffrey S; Davies, Vanessa J; Evans, Bronwen A J; Votruba, Marcela
The interrelationship between brown adipose tissue (BAT) and white adipose tissue (WAT) is emerging as an important factor in obesity, but the effect of impairing non-shivering thermogenesis in BAT on lipid storage in WAT remains unclear. To address this, we have characterized the metabolic phenotype of a mouse model for Costeff syndrome, in which a point mutation in the mitochondrial membrane protein Opa3 impairs mitochondrial activity. Opa3(L122P) mice displayed an 80% reduction in insulin-like growth factor 1, postnatal growth retardation and hepatic steatosis. A 90% reduction in uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) expression in interscapular BAT was accompanied by a marked reduction in surface body temperature, with a 2.5-fold elevation in interscapular BAT mass and lipid storage. The sequestration of circulating lipid into BAT resulted in profound reductions in epididymal and retroperitoneal WAT mass, without affecting subcutaneous WAT. The histological appearance and intense mitochondrial staining in intra-abdominal WAT suggest significant 'browning', but with UCP1 expression in WAT of Opa3(L122P) mice only 62% of that in wild-type littermates, any precursor differentiation does not appear to result in thermogenically active beige adipocytes. Thus, we have identified Opa3 as a novel regulator of lipid metabolism, coupling lipid uptake with lipid processing in liver and with thermogenesis in BAT. These findings indicate that skeletal and metabolic impairment in Costeff syndrome may be more significant than previously thought and that uncoupling lipid uptake from lipid metabolism in BAT may represent a novel approach to controlling WAT mass in obesity.
Llewellyn, Katrina J; Nalbandian, Angèle; Gomez, Arianna; Wei, Don; Walker, Naomi; Kimonis, Virginia E
Genetic defects in the UBE3A gene, which encodes for the imprinted E6-AP ubiquitin E3 ligase (UBE3A), is responsible for the occurrence of Angelman syndrome (AS), a neurodegenerative disorder which arises in 1 out of every 12,000-20,000 births. Classical symptoms of AS include delayed development, impaired speech, and epileptic seizures with characteristic electroencephalography (EEG) readings. We have previously reported impaired mitochondrial structure and reduced complex III in the hippocampus and cerebellum in the Ube3a(m-/p+) mice. CoQ10 supplementation restores the electron flow to the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) to ultimately increase mitochondrial antioxidant capacity. A number of recent studies with CoQ10 analogues seem promising in providing therapeutic benefit to patients with a variety of disorders. CoQ10 therapy has been reported to be safe and relatively well-tolerated at doses as high as 3000mg/day in patients with disorders of CoQ10 biosynthesis and MRC disorders. Herein, we report administration of idebenone, a potent CoQ10 analogue, to the Ube3a(m-/p+) mouse model corrects motor coordination and anxiety levels, and also improves the expression of complexes III and IV in hippocampus CA1 and CA2 neurons and cerebellum in these Ube3a(m-/p+) mice. However, treatment with idebenone illustrated no beneficial effects in the reduction of oxidative stress. To our knowledge, this is the first study to suggest an improvement in mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction via bioenergetics modulation with a CoQ10 analogue. These findings may further elucidate possible cellular and molecular mechanism(s) and ultimately a clinical therapeutic approach/benefit for patients with Angelman syndrome.
Tai, Chao; Abe, Yasuyuki; Westenbroek, Ruth E; Scheuer, Todd; Catterall, William A
Haploinsufficiency of the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.1 causes Dravet syndrome, an intractable developmental epilepsy syndrome with seizure onset in the first year of life. Specific heterozygous deletion of NaV1.1 in forebrain GABAergic-inhibitory neurons is sufficient to cause all the manifestations of Dravet syndrome in mice, but the physiological roles of specific subtypes of GABAergic interneurons in the cerebral cortex in this disease are unknown. Voltage-clamp studies of dissociated interneurons from cerebral cortex did not detect a significant effect of the Dravet syndrome mutation on sodium currents in cell bodies. However, current-clamp recordings of intact interneurons in layer V of neocortical slices from mice with haploinsufficiency in the gene encoding the NaV1.1 sodium channel, Scn1a, revealed substantial reduction of excitability in fast-spiking, parvalbumin-expressing interneurons and somatostatin-expressing interneurons. The threshold and rheobase for action potential generation were increased, the frequency of action potentials within trains was decreased, and action-potential firing within trains failed more frequently. Furthermore, the deficit in excitability of somatostatin-expressing interneurons caused significant reduction in frequency-dependent disynaptic inhibition between neighboring layer V pyramidal neurons mediated by somatostatin-expressing Martinotti cells, which would lead to substantial disinhibition of the output of cortical circuits. In contrast to these deficits in interneurons, pyramidal cells showed no differences in excitability. These results reveal that the two major subtypes of interneurons in layer V of the neocortex, parvalbumin-expressing and somatostatin-expressing, both have impaired excitability, resulting in disinhibition of the cortical network. These major functional deficits are likely to contribute synergistically to the pathophysiology of Dravet syndrome.
Morice, Elise; Andreae, Laura C; Cooke, Sam F; Vanes, Lesley; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Bliss, Timothy V P
Down syndrome (DS) is a genetic disorder arising from the presence of a third copy of the human chromosome 21 (Hsa21). Recently, O'Doherty and colleagues in an earlier study generated a new genetic mouse model of DS (Tc1) that carries an almost complete Hsa21. Since DS is the most common genetic cause of mental retardation, we have undertaken a detailed analysis of cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in Tc1 mice. Here we show that Tc1 mice have impaired spatial working memory (WM) but spared long-term spatial reference memory (RM) in the Morris watermaze. Similarly, Tc1 mice are selectively impaired in short-term memory (STM) but have intact long-term memory (LTM) in the novel object recognition task. The pattern of impaired STM and normal LTM is paralleled by a corresponding phenotype in long-term potentiation (LTP). Freely-moving Tc1 mice exhibit reduced LTP 1 h after induction but normal maintenance over days in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation. Biochemical analysis revealed a reduction in membrane surface expression of the AMPAR (alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-propionic acid receptor) subunit GluR1 in the hippocampus of Tc1 mice, suggesting a potential mechanism for the impairment in early LTP. Our observations also provide further evidence that STM and LTM for hippocampus-dependent tasks are subserved by parallel processing streams.
Bearer, Elaine L.; Zhang, Xiaowei; Jacobs, Russell E.
Connections from hippocampus to septal nuclei have been implicated in memory loss and the cognitive impairment in Down syndrome (DS). We trace these connections in living mice by Mn2+ enhanced 3D MRI and compare normal with a trisomic mouse model of DS, Ts65Dn. After injection of 4 nl of 200 mM Mn2+ into the right hippocampus, Mn2+ enhanced circuitry was imaged at 0.5, 6, and 24 hr in each of 13 different mice by high resolution MRI to detect dynamic changes in signal over time. The pattern of Mn2+ enhanced signal in vivo correlated with the histologic pattern in fixed brains of co-injected 3kD rhodamine-dextranamine, a classic tracer. Statistical parametric mapping comparing intensity changes between different time points revealed that the dynamics of Mn2+ transport in this pathway were surprisingly more robust in DS mice than in littermate controls, with statistically significant intensity changes in DS appearing at earlier time points along expected pathways. This supports reciprocal alterations of transport in the hippocampal-forebrain circuit as being implicated in DS and argues against a general failure of transport. This is the first examination of in vivo transport dynamics in this pathway and the first report of elevated transport in DS. PMID:17566763
Alger, Bradley E.
The Fmr1 knock-out mouse model of fragile X syndrome (Fmr1−/y) has an epileptogenic phenotype that is triggered by group I metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) activation. We found that a membrane-permeable peptide that disrupts mGluR5 interactions with long-form Homers enhanced mGluR-induced epileptiform burst firing in wild-type (WT) animals, replicating the early stages of hyperexcitability in Fmr1−/y. The peptide enhanced mGluR-evoked endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated suppression of inhibitory synapses, decreased it at excitatory synapses in WTs, but had no effect on eCB actions in Fmr1−/y. At a low concentration, the mGluR agonist did not generate eCBs at excitatory synapses but nevertheless induced burst firing in both Fmr1−/y and peptide-treated WT slices. This burst firing was suppressed by a cannabinoid receptor antagonist. We suggest that integrity of Homer scaffolds is essential for normal mGluR–eCB functioning and that aberrant eCB signaling resulting from disturbances of this molecular structure contributes to the epileptic phenotype of Fmr1−/y. PMID:25740522
Toritsuka, Michihiro; Kimoto, Sohei; Muraki, Kazue; Landek-Salgado, Melissa A; Yoshida, Atsuhiro; Yamamoto, Norio; Horiuchi, Yasue; Hiyama, Hideki; Tajinda, Katsunori; Keni, Ni; Illingworth, Elizabeth; Iwamoto, Takashi; Kishimoto, Toshifumi; Sawa, Akira; Tanigaki, Kenji
22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) frequently accompanies psychiatric conditions, some of which are classified as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder in the current diagnostic categorization. However, it remains elusive how the chromosomal microdeletion leads to the mental manifestation at the mechanistic level. Here we show that a 22q11DS mouse model with a deletion of 18 orthologous genes of human 22q11 (Df1/+ mice) has deficits in migration of cortical interneurons and hippocampal dentate precursor cells. Furthermore, Df1/+ mice show functional defects in Chemokine receptor 4/Chemokine ligand 12 (Cxcr4/Cxcl12; Sdf1) signaling, which reportedly underlie interneuron migration. Notably, the defects in interneuron progenitors are rescued by ectopic expression of Dgcr8, one of the genes in 22q11 microdeletion. Furthermore, heterozygous knockout mice for Dgcr8 show similar neurodevelopmental abnormalities as Df1/+ mice. Thus, Dgcr8-mediated regulation of microRNA is likely to underlie Cxcr4/Cxcl12 signaling and associated neurodevelopmental defects. Finally, we observe that expression of CXCL12 is decreased in olfactory neurons from sporadic cases with schizophrenia compared with normal controls. Given the increased risk of 22q11DS in schizophrenia that frequently shows interneuron abnormalities, the overall study suggests that CXCR4/CXCL12 signaling may represent a common downstream mediator in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and related mental conditions.
Mojabi, Fatemeh S; Fahimi, Atoossa; Moghadam, Shahrzad; Moghadam, Sarah; Windy McNerneny, M; Ponnusamy, Ravikumar; Kleschevnikov, Alexander; Mobley, William C; Salehi, Ahmad
It has been suggested that increased GABAergic innervation in the hippocampus plays a significant role in cognitive dysfunction in Down syndrome (DS). Bolstering this notion, are studies linking hyper-innervation of the dentate gyrus (DG) by GABAergic terminals to failure in LTP induction in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. Here, we used extensive morphometrical methods to assess the status of GABAergic interneurons in the DG of young and old Ts65Dn mice and their 2N controls. We detected an age-dependent increase in GABAergic innervation of dentate granule cells (DGCs) in Ts65Dn mice. The primary source of GABAergic terminals to DGCs somata is basket cells (BCs). For this reason, we assessed the status of these cells and found a significant increase in the number of BCs in Ts65Dn mice compared with controls. Then we aimed to identify the gene/s whose overexpression could be linked to increased number of BCs in Ts65Dn and found that deleting the third copy of App gene in Ts65Dn mice led to normalization of the number of BCs in these mice. Our data suggest that App overexpression plays a major role in the pathophysiology of GABAergic hyperinnervation of the DG in Ts65Dn mice. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Martin, Henry G S; Lassalle, Olivier; Brown, Jonathan T; Manzoni, Olivier J
The most common inherited monogenetic cause of intellectual disability is Fragile X syndrome (FXS). The clinical symptoms of FXS evolve with age during adulthood; however, neurophysiological data exploring this phenomenon are limited. The Fmr1 knockout (Fmr1KO) mouse models FXS, but studies in these mice of prefrontal cortex (PFC) function are underrepresented, and aging linked data are absent. We studied synaptic physiology and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity in the medial PFC of Fmr1KO mice from 2 to 12 months. In young adult Fmr1KO mice, NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated long-term potentiation (LTP) is intact; however, in 12-month-old mice this LTP is impaired. In parallel, there was an increase in the AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and a concomitant decrease of synaptic NMDAR currents in 12-month-old Fmr1KO mice. We found that acute pharmacological blockade of mGlu5 receptor in 12-month-old Fmr1KO mice restored a normal AMPAR/NMDAR ratio and LTP. Taken together, the data reveal an age-dependent deficit in LTP in Fmr1KO mice, which may correlate to some of the complex age-related deficits in FXS.
Oller, Jorge; Méndez-Barbero, Nerea; Ruiz, E Josue; Villahoz, Silvia; Renard, Marjolijn; Canelas, Lizet I; Briones, Ana M; Alberca, Rut; Lozano-Vidal, Noelia; Hurlé, María A; Milewicz, Dianna; Evangelista, Arturo; Salaices, Mercedes; Nistal, J Francisco; Jiménez-Borreguero, Luis Jesús; De Backer, Julie; Campanero, Miguel R; Redondo, Juan Miguel
Heritable thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD), including Marfan syndrome (MFS), currently lack a cure, and causative mutations have been identified for only a fraction of affected families. Here we identify the metalloproteinase ADAMTS1 and inducible nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) as therapeutic targets in individuals with TAAD. We show that Adamts1 is a major mediator of vascular homeostasis, given that genetic haploinsufficiency of Adamts1 in mice causes TAAD similar to MFS. Aortic nitric oxide and Nos2 levels were higher in Adamts1-deficient mice and in a mouse model of MFS (hereafter referred to as MFS mice), and Nos2 inactivation protected both types of mice from aortic pathology. Pharmacological inhibition of Nos2 rapidly reversed aortic dilation and medial degeneration in young Adamts1-deficient mice and in young or old MFS mice. Patients with MFS showed elevated NOS2 and decreased ADAMTS1 protein levels in the aorta. These findings uncover a possible causative role for the ADAMTS1-NOS2 axis in human TAAD and warrant evaluation of NOS2 inhibitors for therapy.
Sauter, Kristin A. D.; Melton-Celsa, Angela R.; Larkin, Kay; Troxell, Megan L.; O'Brien, Alison D.; Magun, Bruce E.
Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) results from infection by Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli and is the most common cause of acute renal failure in children. We have developed a mouse model of HUS by administering endotoxin-free Stx2 in multiple doses over 7 to 8 days. At sacrifice, moribund animals demonstrated signs of HUS: increased blood urea nitrogen and serum creatinine levels, proteinuria, deposition of fibrin(ogen), glomerular endothelial damage, hemolysis, leukocytopenia, and neutrophilia. Increased expression of proinflammatory chemokines and cytokines in the sera of Stx2-treated mice indicated a systemic inflammatory response. Currently, specific therapeutics for HUS are lacking, and therapy for patients is primarily supportive. Mice that received 11E10, a monoclonal anti-Stx2 antibody, 4 days after starting injections of Stx2 recovered fully, displaying normal renal function and normal levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes. In addition, these mice showed decreased fibrin(ogen) deposition and expression of proinflammatory mediators compared to those of Stx2-treated mice in the absence of antibody. These results indicate that, when performed during progression of HUS, passive immunization of mice with anti-Stx2 antibody prevented the lethal effects of Stx2. PMID:18694970
Meechan, Daniel W; Tucker, Eric S; Maynard, Thomas M; LaMantia, Anthony-Samuel
The 22q11 deletion (or DiGeorge) syndrome (22q11DS), the result of a 1.5- to 3-megabase hemizygous deletion on human chromosome 22, results in dramatically increased susceptibility for "diseases of cortical connectivity" thought to arise during development, including schizophrenia and autism. We show that diminished dosage of the genes deleted in the 1.5-megabase 22q11 minimal critical deleted region in a mouse model of 22q11DS specifically compromises neurogenesis and subsequent differentiation in the cerebral cortex. Proliferation of basal, but not apical, progenitors is disrupted, and subsequently, the frequency of layer 2/3, but not layer 5/6, projection neurons is altered. This change is paralleled by aberrant distribution of parvalbumin-labeled interneurons in upper and lower cortical layers. Deletion of Tbx1 or Prodh (22q11 genes independently associated with 22q11DS phenotypes) does not similarly disrupt basal progenitors. However, expression analysis implicates additional 22q11 genes that are selectively expressed in cortical precursors. Thus, diminished 22q11 gene dosage disrupts cortical neurogenesis and interneuron migration. Such developmental disruption may alter cortical circuitry and establish vulnerability for developmental disorders, including schizophrenia and autism.
Lipopolysaccharide-induced endotoxemia in corn oil-preloaded mice causes an extended course of lung injury and repair and pulmonary fibrosis: A translational mouse model of acute respiratory distress syndrome
Wu, Chaomin; Evans, Colin E.; Dai, Zhiyu; Huang, Xiaojia; Zhang, Xianming; Jin, Hua; Hu, Guochang; Song, Yuanlin; Zhao, You-Yang
Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by acute hypoxemia respiratory failure, bilateral pulmonary infiltrates, and pulmonary edema of non-cardiac origin. Effective treatments for ARDS patients may arise from experimental studies with translational mouse models of this disease that aim to delineate the mechanisms underlying the disease pathogenesis. Mouse models of ARDS, however, can be limited by their rapid progression from injured to recovery state, which is in contrast to the course of ARDS in humans. Furthermore, current mouse models of ARDS do not recapitulate certain prominent aspects of the pathogenesis of ARDS in humans. In this study, we developed an improved endotoxemic mouse model of ARDS resembling many features of clinical ARDS including extended courses of injury and recovery as well as development of fibrosis following i.p. injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to corn oil-preloaded mice. Compared with mice receiving LPS alone, those receiving corn oil and LPS exhibited extended course of lung injury and repair that occurred over a period of >2 weeks instead of 3–5days. Importantly, LPS challenge of corn oil-preloaded mice resulted in pulmonary fibrosis during the repair phase as often seen in ARDS patients. In summary, this simple novel mouse model of ARDS could represent a valuable experimental tool to elucidate mechanisms that regulate lung injury and repair in ARDS patients. PMID:28333981
Hafezparast, Majid; Ahmad-Annuar, Azlina; Wood, Nicholas W; Tabrizi, Sarah J; Fisher, Elizabeth M C
The mouse has many advantages over human beings for the study of genetics, including the unique property that genetic manipulation can be routinely carried out in the mouse genome. Most importantly, mice and human beings share the same mammalian genes, have many similar biochemical pathways, and have the same diseases. In the minority of cases where these features do not apply, we can still often gain new insights into mouse and human biology. In addition to existing mouse models, several major programmes have been set up to generate new mouse models of disease. Alongside these efforts are new initiatives for the clinical, behavioural, and physiological testing of mice. Molecular genetics has had a major influence on our understanding of the causes of neurological disorders in human beings, and much of this has come from work in mice.
Yu, Sungsook; Yang, Mijeong
Gastric cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Animal models have been used to elucidate the details of the molecular mechanisms of various cancers. However, most inbred strains of mice have resistance to gastric carcinogenesis. Helicobacter infection and carcinogen treatment have been used to establish mouse models that exhibit phenotypes similar to those of human gastric cancer. A large number of transgenic and knockout mouse models of gastric cancer have been developed using genetic engineering. A combination of carcinogens and gene manipulation has been applied to facilitate development of advanced gastric cancer; however, it is rare for mouse models of gastric cancer to show aggressive, metastatic phenotypes required for preclinical studies. Here, we review current mouse models of gastric carcinogenesis and provide our perspectives on future developments in this field. PMID:25061535
Piroli, Gerardo G.; Manuel, Allison M.; Clapper, Anna C.; Walla, Michael D.; Baatz, John E.; Palmiter, Richard D.; Quintana, Albert; Frizzell, Norma
Elevated fumarate concentrations as a result of Krebs cycle inhibition lead to increases in protein succination, an irreversible post-translational modification that occurs when fumarate reacts with cysteine residues to generate S-(2-succino)cysteine (2SC). Metabolic events that reduce NADH re-oxidation can block Krebs cycle activity; therefore we hypothesized that oxidative phosphorylation deficiencies, such as those observed in some mitochondrial diseases, would also lead to increased protein succination. Using the Ndufs4 knockout (Ndufs4 KO) mouse, a model of Leigh syndrome, we demonstrate for the first time that protein succination is increased in the brainstem (BS), particularly in the vestibular nucleus. Importantly, the brainstem is the most affected region exhibiting neurodegeneration and astrocyte and microglial proliferation, and these mice typically die of respiratory failure attributed to vestibular nucleus pathology. In contrast, no increases in protein succination were observed in the skeletal muscle, corresponding with the lack of muscle pathology observed in this model. 2D SDS-PAGE followed by immunoblotting for succinated proteins and MS/MS analysis of BS proteins allowed us to identify the voltage-dependent anion channels 1 and 2 as specific targets of succination in the Ndufs4 knockout. Using targeted mass spectrometry, Cys77 and Cys48 were identified as endogenous sites of succination in voltage-dependent anion channels 2. Given the important role of voltage-dependent anion channels isoforms in the exchange of ADP/ATP between the cytosol and the mitochondria, and the already decreased capacity for ATP synthesis in the Ndufs4 KO mice, we propose that the increased protein succination observed in the BS of these animals would further decrease the already compromised mitochondrial function. These data suggest that fumarate is a novel biochemical link that may contribute to the progression of the neuropathology in this mitochondrial disease model
Schneider, Anne; Mehmood, Tahir; Pannetier, Solange; Hanauer, André
Coffin-Lowry syndrome is a syndromic form of mental retardation caused by mutations of the Rps6ka3 gene encoding ribosomal s6 kinase (RSK)2. RSK2 belongs to a family containing four members in mammals: RSK1-4. RSKs are serine/threonine kinases and cytosolic substrates of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the Ras/MAPK signaling pathway. RSK2 is highly expressed in the hippocampus, and mrsk2_KO mice display spatial learning and memory impairment. In the present study, we provide evidence of abnormally increased phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in the hippocampus of mrsk2_KO mice. Further studies based on cultured hippocampal neurons revealed that glutamate activates ERK1/2 and RSKs, and confirmed a stronger activation of ERK1/2 in mrsk2_KO neurons than in WT cells. We, thus, provide further evidence that RSK2 exerts a feedback inhibitory effect on the ERK1/2 pathway. We also observed a transient sequestration of P-ERK1/2 in the cytoplasm upon glutamate stimulation. In addition, the transcription factors cAMP response element binding and Ets LiKe gene1 show over-activation in RSK2-deficient neurons. Finally, c-Fos, Zif268 and Arc were significantly over-expressed in mrsk2_KO neurons upon glutamate stimulation. Importantly, the increased phosphorylation of other RSK family members observed in mutant neurons was unable to compensate for RSK2 deficiency. This aberrant ERK1/2 signaling can influence various neuronal functions, and thus play a significant role in cognitive dysfunction in mrsk2_KO mice and in the Coffin-Lowry syndrome.
Belichenko, Pavel V; Wright, Elena E; Belichenko, Nadia P; Masliah, Eliezer; Li, Hong Hua; Mobley, William C; Francke, Uta
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the X-linked gene MECP2. Girls with RTT show dramatic changes in brain function, but relatively few studies have explored the structure of neural circuits. Examining two mouse models of RTT (Mecp2B and Mecp2J), we previously documented changes in brain anatomy. Herein, we use confocal microscopy to study the effects of MeCP2 deficiency on the morphology of dendrites and axons in the fascia dentata (FD), CA1 area of hippocampus, and motor cortex following Lucifer yellow microinjection or carbocyanine dye tracing. At 3 weeks of age, most (33 of 41) morphological parameters were significantly altered in Mecp2B mice; fewer (23 of 39) were abnormal in Mecp2J mice. There were striking changes in the density and size of the dendritic spines and density and orientation of axons. In Mecp2B mice, dendritic spine density was decreased in the FD (approximately 11%), CA1 (14-22%), and motor cortex (approximately 16%). A decreased spine head size (approximately 9%) and an increased spine neck length (approximately 12%) were found in Mecp2B FD. In addition, axons in the motor cortex were disorganized. In Mecp2J mice, spine density was significantly decreased in CA1 (14-26%). In both models, dendritic swelling and elongated spine necks were seen in all areas studied. Marked variation in the type and extent of changes was noted in dendrites of adjacent neurons. Electron microscopy confirmed abnormalities in dendrites and axons and showed abnormal mitochondria. Our findings document widespread abnormalities of dendrites and axons that recapitulate those seen in RTT.
Fowler, Kenneth A; Jania, Corey M; Tilley, Stephen L; Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Angela; Baldwin, Albert S; Serody, Jonathan S; Coghill, James M
Idiopathic pneumonia syndrome (IPS) is a noninfectious inflammatory disorder of the lungs that occurs most often after fully myeloablative allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). IPS can be severe and is associated with high 1-year mortality rates despite existing therapies. The canonical nuclear factor-(NF) κB signaling pathway has previously been linked to several inflammatory disorders of the lung, including asthma and lung allograft rejection. It has never been specifically targeted as a novel IPS treatment approach, however. Here, we report that the IκB kinase 2 (IKK2) antagonist BAY 65-5811 or "compound A," a highly potent and specific inhibitor of the NF-κB pathway, was able to improve median survival times and recipient oxygenation in a well-described mouse model of IPS. Compound A impaired the production of the proinflammatory chemokines CCL2 and CCL5 within the host lung after transplantation. This resulted in significantly lower numbers of donor lung infiltrating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and reduced pulmonary inflammatory cytokine production after allograft. Compound A's beneficial effects appeared to be specific for limiting pulmonary injury, as the drug was unable to improve outcomes in a B6 into B6D2 haplotype-matched murine HSCT model in which recipient mice succumb to lethal acute graft-versus-host disease of the gastrointestinal tract. Collectively, our data suggest that the targeting of the canonical NF-κB pathway with a small molecule IKK2 antagonist may represent an effective and novel therapy for the specific management of acute lung injury that can occur after allogeneic HSCT.
Fan, Weiwei; Coskun, Pinar E.; Nalbandian, Angèle; Knoblach, Susan; Resnick, James L.; Hoffman, Eric; Wallace, Douglas C.; Kimonis, Virginia E.
Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder caused by deficiency of imprinted gene expression from the paternal chromosome 15q11-15q13 and clinically characterized by neonatal hypotonia, short stature, cognitive impairment, hypogonadism, hyperphagia, morbid obesity and diabetes. Previous clinical studies suggest that a defect in energy metabolism may be involved in the pathogenesis of PWS. We focused our attention on the genes associated with energy metabolism and found that there were 95 and 66 mitochondrial genes differentially expressed in PWS muscle and brain, respectively. Assessment of enzyme activities of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) complexes in the brain, heart, liver and muscle were assessed. We found the enzyme activities of the cardiac mitochondrial complexes II+III were upregulated in the imprinting center deletion (PWS-IC) mice compared to the wild type littermates. These studies suggest that differential gene expression, especially of the mitochondrial genes may contribute to the pathophysiology of PWS. PMID:24127921
Herrera, José A; Ward, Christopher S; Pitcher, Meagan R; Percy, Alan K; Skinner, Steven; Kaufmann, Walter E; Glaze, Daniel G; Wehrens, Xander H T; Neul, Jeffrey L
One quarter of deaths associated with Rett syndrome (RTT), an X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder, are sudden and unexpected. RTT is associated with prolonged QTc interval (LQT), and LQT-associated cardiac arrhythmias are a potential cause of unexpected death. The standard of care for LQT in RTT is treatment with β-adrenergic antagonists; however, recent work indicates that acute treatment of mice with RTT with a β-antagonist, propranolol, does not prevent lethal arrhythmias. In contrast, acute treatment with the Na(+) channel blocker phenytoin prevented arrhythmias. Chronic dosing of propranolol may be required for efficacy; therefore, we tested the efficacy of chronic treatment with either propranolol or phenytoin on RTT mice. Phenytoin completely abolished arrhythmias, whereas propranolol showed no benefit. Surprisingly, phenytoin also normalized weight and activity, but worsened breathing patterns. To explore the role of Na(+) channel blockers on QT in people with RTT, we performed a retrospective analysis of QT status before and after Na(+) channel blocker antiepileptic therapies. Individuals with RTT and LQT significantly improved their QT interval status after being started on Na(+) channel blocker antiepileptic therapies. Thus, Na(+) channel blockers should be considered for the clinical management of LQT in individuals with RTT.
Higuera, Clara; Gardiner, Katheleen J; Cios, Krzysztof J
Down syndrome (DS) is a chromosomal abnormality (trisomy of human chromosome 21) associated with intellectual disability and affecting approximately one in 1000 live births worldwide. The overexpression of genes encoded by the extra copy of a normal chromosome in DS is believed to be sufficient to perturb normal pathways and normal responses to stimulation, causing learning and memory deficits. In this work, we have designed a strategy based on the unsupervised clustering method, Self Organizing Maps (SOM), to identify biologically important differences in protein levels in mice exposed to context fear conditioning (CFC). We analyzed expression levels of 77 proteins obtained from normal genotype control mice and from their trisomic littermates (Ts65Dn) both with and without treatment with the drug memantine. Control mice learn successfully while the trisomic mice fail, unless they are first treated with the drug, which rescues their learning ability. The SOM approach identified reduced subsets of proteins predicted to make the most critical contributions to normal learning, to failed learning and rescued learning, and provides a visual representation of the data that allows the user to extract patterns that may underlie novel biological responses to the different kinds of learning and the response to memantine. Results suggest that the application of SOM to new experimental data sets of complex protein profiles can be used to identify common critical protein responses, which in turn may aid in identifying potentially more effective drug targets.
Tai, Derek J. C.; Liu, Yen C.; Hsu, Wei L.; Ma, Yun L.; Cheng, Sin J.; Liu, Shau Y.; Lee, Eminy H. Y.
The methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene, MECP2, is an X-linked gene encoding the MeCP2 protein, and mutations of MECP2 cause Rett syndrome (RTT). However, the molecular mechanism of MECP2-mutation-caused RTT is less known. Here we find that MeCP2 could be SUMO-modified by the E3 ligase PIAS1 at Lys-412. MeCP2 phosphorylation (at Ser-421 and Thr-308) facilitates MeCP2 SUMOylation, and MeCP2 SUMOylation is induced by NMDA, IGF-1 and CRF in the rat brain. MeCP2 SUMOylation releases CREB from the repressor complex and enhances Bdnf mRNA expression. Several MECP2 mutations identified in RTT patients show decreased MeCP2 SUMOylation. Re-expression of wild-type MeCP2 or SUMO-modified MeCP2 in Mecp2-null neurons rescues the deficits of social interaction, fear memory and LTP observed in Mecp2 conditional knockout (cKO) mice. These results together reveal an important role of MeCP2 SUMOylation in social interaction, memory and synaptic plasticity, and that abnormal MeCP2 SUMOylation is implicated in RTT. PMID:26842955
Kao, Fang-Chi; Su, San-Hua; Carlson, Gregory C; Liao, Wenlin
Rett Syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene. Affected individuals develop motor deficits including stereotypic hand movements, impaired motor learning and difficulties with movement. To understand the neural mechanisms of motor deficits in RTT, we characterized the molecular and cellular phenotypes in the striatum, the major input nucleus of the basal ganglia that controls psychomotor function, in mice carrying a null allele of Mecp2. These mice showed significant hypoactivity associated with impaired motor coordination and motor skill learning. We found that dopamine content was significantly reduced in the striatum of Mecp2 null mice. Reduced dopamine was accompanied by down-regulation of tyrosine hydroxylase and up-regulation of dopamine D2 receptors, particularly in the rostral striatum. We also observed that loss of MeCP2 induced compartment-specific alterations in the striatum, including reduced expression of μ-opioid receptors in the striosomes and increased number of calbindin-positive neurons in the striatal matrix. The total number of parvalbumin-positive interneurons and their dendritic arborization were also significantly increased in the striatum of Mecp2 null mice. Together, our findings support that MeCP2 regulates a unique set of genes critical for modulating motor output of the striatum, and that aberrant structure and function of the striatum due to MeCP2 deficiency may underlie the motor deficits in RTT.
Gustin, Richard M; Bichell, Terry Jo; Bubser, Michael; Daily, Jennifer; Filonova, Irina; Mrelashvili, Davit; Deutch, Ariel Y; Colbran, Roger J; Weeber, Edwin J; Haas, Kevin F
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic disorder caused by loss of maternal UBE3A expression or mutation-induced dysfunction of its protein product, the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase, UBE3A. In humans and rodents, UBE3A/Ube3a transcript is maternally imprinted in several brain regions, but the distribution of native UBE3A/Ube3a(1) protein expression has not been comprehensively examined. To address this, we systematically evaluated Ube3a expression in the brain and peripheral tissues of wild-type (WT) and Ube3a maternal knockout mice (AS mice). Immunoblot and immunohistochemical analyses revealed a marked loss of Ube3a protein in hippocampus, hypothalamus, olfactory bulb, cerebral cortex, striatum, thalamus, midbrain, and cerebellum in AS mice relative to WT littermates. Also, Ube3a expression in heart and liver of AS mice showed greater than the predicted 50% reduction relative to WT mice. Co-localization studies showed Ube3a expression to be primarily neuronal in all brain regions and present in GABAergic interneurons as well as principal neurons. These findings suggest that neuronal function throughout the brain is compromised in AS.
Okawada, Manabu; Holst, Jens J.; Teitelbaum, Daniel H.
Background Glucagon-like peptide-2(GLP-2) induces small intestine mucosal epithelial cell (EC) proliferation; and may have benefit for patients suffering from short bowel syndrome (SBS). However, GLP-2 is rapidly inactivated in vivo by dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV). Therefore, we hypothesized that selectively inhibiting DPPIV would prolong the circulating life of GLP-2 and lead to increased intestinal adaptation after development of SBS. Methods 8-week old C57BL/6J mice underwent a 50% proximal small bowel resection and were treated with either sitagliptin, a DPPIV-inhibitor (DPPIV-I), starting 1 day before surgery versus placebo. DPPIV-I efficacy was assessed 3 days after resection, including intestinal morphology, EC apoptosis and EC proliferation. Adaptive mechanisms were assessed with quantitative real-time PCR, and plasma bioactive GLP-2 was measured by radioimmunoassay. RESULT Body weight loss and peripheral blood glucose levels did not change compared to SBS controls. DPPIV-I treatment led to significant increases in villus height and crypt depth. DPPIV-I treatment did not significantly change EC apoptosis rates, but significantly increased crypt EC proliferation versus placebo-SBS controls. DPPIV-I treatment markedly increased mRNA expression of β-catenin and c-myc in ileal mucosa. Plasma GLP-2 levels significantly increased(~40.9%) in DPPIV-I-SBS mice. Conclusions DPPIV- I treatment increased SBS adaptation, and may potentially be useful for SBS patients. PMID:21719060
Higuera, Clara; Gardiner, Katheleen J.; Cios, Krzysztof J.
Down syndrome (DS) is a chromosomal abnormality (trisomy of human chromosome 21) associated with intellectual disability and affecting approximately one in 1000 live births worldwide. The overexpression of genes encoded by the extra copy of a normal chromosome in DS is believed to be sufficient to perturb normal pathways and normal responses to stimulation, causing learning and memory deficits. In this work, we have designed a strategy based on the unsupervised clustering method, Self Organizing Maps (SOM), to identify biologically important differences in protein levels in mice exposed to context fear conditioning (CFC). We analyzed expression levels of 77 proteins obtained from normal genotype control mice and from their trisomic littermates (Ts65Dn) both with and without treatment with the drug memantine. Control mice learn successfully while the trisomic mice fail, unless they are first treated with the drug, which rescues their learning ability. The SOM approach identified reduced subsets of proteins predicted to make the most critical contributions to normal learning, to failed learning and rescued learning, and provides a visual representation of the data that allows the user to extract patterns that may underlie novel biological responses to the different kinds of learning and the response to memantine. Results suggest that the application of SOM to new experimental data sets of complex protein profiles can be used to identify common critical protein responses, which in turn may aid in identifying potentially more effective drug targets. PMID:26111164
Bortolussi, Giulia; Zentillin, Lorena; Vaníkova, Jana; Bockor, Luka; Bellarosa, Cristina; Mancarella, Antonio; Vianello, Eleonora; Tiribelli, Claudio; Giacca, Mauro; Vitek, Libor
Abstract Null mutations in the UGT1A1 gene result in Crigler–Najjar syndrome type I (CNSI), characterized by severe hyperbilirubinemia and constant risk of developing neurological damage. Phototherapy treatment lowers plasma bilirubin levels, but its efficacy is limited and liver transplantation is required. To find alternative therapies, we applied AAV liver-specific gene therapy to a lethal mouse model of CNSI. We demonstrated that a single neonatal hUGT1A1 gene transfer was successful and the therapeutic effect lasted up to 17 months postinjection. The therapeutic effect was mediated by the presence of transcriptionally active double-stranded episomes. We also compared the efficacy of two different gene therapy approaches: liver versus skeletal muscle transgene expression. We observed that 5–8% of normal liver expression and activity levels were sufficient to significantly reduce bilirubin levels and maintain lifelong low plasma bilirubin concentration (3.1±1.5 mg/dl). In contrast, skeletal muscle was not able to efficiently lower bilirubin (6.4±2.0 mg/dl), despite 20–30% of hUgt1a1 expression levels, compared with normal liver. We propose that this remarkable difference in gene therapy efficacy could be related to the absence of the Mrp2 and Mrp3 transporters of conjugated bilirubin in muscle. Taken together, our data support the concept that liver is the best organ for efficient and long-term CNSI gene therapy, and suggest that the use of extra-hepatic tissues should be coupled to the presence of bilirubin transporters. PMID:25072305
Powers, Brian E; Kelley, Christy M; Velazquez, Ramon; Ash, Jessica A; Strawderman, Myla S; Alldred, Melissa J; Ginsberg, Stephen D; Mufson, Elliott J; Strupp, Barbara J
The Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome (DS) and Alzheimer's disease (AD) exhibits cognitive impairment and degeneration of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons (BFCNs). Our prior studies demonstrated that maternal choline supplementation (MCS) improves attention and spatial cognition in Ts65Dn offspring, normalizes hippocampal neurogenesis, and lessens BFCN degeneration in the medial septal nucleus (MSN). Here we determined whether (i) BFCN degeneration contributes to attentional dysfunction, and (ii) whether the attentional benefits of perinatal MCS are due to changes in BFCN morphology. Ts65Dn dams were fed either a choline-supplemented or standard diet during pregnancy and lactation. Ts65Dn and disomic (2N) control offspring were tested as adults (12-17months of age) on a series of operant attention tasks, followed by morphometric assessment of BFCNs. Ts65Dn mice demonstrated impaired learning and attention relative to 2N mice, and MCS significantly improved these functions in both genotypes. We also found, for the first time, that the number of BFCNs in the nucleus basalis of Meynert/substantia innominata (NBM/SI) was significantly increased in Ts65Dn mice relative to controls. In contrast, the number of BFCNs in the MSN was significantly decreased. Another novel finding was that the volume of BFCNs in both basal forebrain regions was significantly larger in Ts65Dn mice. MCS did not normalize any of these morphological abnormalities in the NBM/SI or MSN. Finally, correlational analysis revealed that attentional performance was inversely associated with BFCN volume, and positively associated with BFCN density. These results support the lifelong attentional benefits of MCS for Ts65Dn and 2N offspring and have profound implications for translation to human DS and pathology attenuation in AD.
Guidi, Sandra; Ciani, Elisabetta; Mangano, Chiara; Calzà, Laura; Bartesaghi, Renata
Down syndrome (DS) is a high-incidence genetic pathology characterized by severe impairment of cognitive functions, including declarative memory. Impairment of hippocampus-dependent long-term memory in DS appears to be related to anatomo-functional alterations of the hippocampal trisynaptic circuit formed by the dentate gyrus (DG) granule cells - CA3 pyramidal neurons - CA1 pyramidal neurons. No therapies exist to improve cognitive disability in individuals with DS. In previous studies we demonstrated that pharmacotherapy with fluoxetine restores neurogenesis, granule cell number and dendritic morphology in the DG of the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. The goal of the current study was to establish whether treatment rescues the impairment of synaptic connectivity between the DG and CA3 that characterizes the trisomic condition. Euploid and Ts65Dn mice were treated with fluoxetine during the first two postnatal weeks and examined 45–60 days after treatment cessation. Untreated Ts65Dn mice had a hypotrophyc mossy fiber bundle, fewer synaptic contacts, fewer glutamatergic contacts, and fewer dendritic spines in the stratum lucidum of CA3, the terminal field of the granule cell projections. Electrophysiological recordings from CA3 pyramidal neurons showed that in Ts65Dn mice the frequency of both mEPSCs and mIPSCs was reduced, indicating an overall impairment of excitatory and inhibitory inputs to CA3 pyramidal neurons. In treated Ts65Dn mice all these aberrant features were fully normalized, indicating that fluoxetine can rescue functional connectivity between the DG and CA3. The positive effects of fluoxetine on the DG-CA3 system suggest that early treatment with this drug could be a suitable therapy, possibly usable in humans, to restore the physiology of the hippocampal networks and, hence, memory functions. PMID:23620781
Giacomini, Andrea; Stagni, Fiorenza; Trazzi, Stefania; Guidi, Sandra; Emili, Marco; Brigham, Elizabeth; Ciani, Elisabetta; Bartesaghi, Renata
Neurogenesis impairment starting from early developmental stages is a key determinant of intellectual disability in Down syndrome (DS). Previous evidence provided a causal relationship between neurogenesis impairment and malfunctioning of the mitogenic Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) pathway. In particular, excessive levels of AICD (amyloid precursor protein intracellular domain), a cleavage product of the trisomic gene APP (amyloid precursor protein) up-regulate transcription of Ptch1 (Patched1), the Shh receptor that keeps the pathway repressed. Since AICD results from APP cleavage by γ-secretase, the goal of the current study was to establish whether treatment with a γ-secretase inhibitor normalizes AICD levels and restores neurogenesis in trisomic neural precursor cells. We found that treatment with a selective γ-secretase inhibitor (ELND006; ELN) restores proliferation in neurospheres derived from the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS. This effect was accompanied by reduction of AICD and Ptch1 levels and was prevented by inhibition of the Shh pathway with cyclopamine. Treatment of Ts65Dn mice with ELN in the postnatal period P3-P15 restored neurogenesis in the SVZ and hippocampus, hippocampal granule cell number and synapse development, indicating a positive impact of treatment on brain development. In addition, in the hippocampus of treated Ts65Dn mice there was a reduction in the expression levels of various genes that are transcriptionally regulated by AICD, including APP, its origin substrate. Inhibitors of γ-secretase are currently envisaged as tools for the cure of Alzheimer's disease because they lower βamyloid levels. Current results provide novel evidence that γ-secretase inhibitors may represent a strategy for the rescue of neurogenesis defects in DS.
Unmehopa, Unga; Matarazzo, Valery; Watrin, Françoise; Linke, Matthias; Georges, Beatrice; Bischof, Jocelyn; Dijkstra, Femke; Bloemsma, Monique; Corby, Severine; Michel, François J.; Wevrick, Rachel; Zechner, Ulrich; Swaab, Dick; Dudley, Keith; Bezin, Laurent; Muscatelli, Françoise
Genomic imprinting is a process that causes genes to be expressed from one allele only according to parental origin, the other allele being silent. Diseases can arise when the normally active alleles are not expressed. In this context, low level of expression of the normally silent alleles has been considered as genetic noise although such expression has never been further studied. Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a neurodevelopmental disease involving imprinted genes, including NDN, which are only expressed from the paternally inherited allele, with the maternally inherited allele silent. We present the first in-depth study of the low expression of a normally silent imprinted allele, in pathological context. Using a variety of qualitative and quantitative approaches and comparing wild-type, heterozygous and homozygous mice deleted for Ndn, we show that, in absence of the paternal Ndn allele, the maternal Ndn allele is expressed at an extremely low level with a high degree of non-genetic heterogeneity. The level of this expression is sex-dependent and shows transgenerational epigenetic inheritance. In about 50% of mutant mice, this expression reduces birth lethality and severity of the breathing deficiency, correlated with a reduction in the loss of serotonergic neurons. In wild-type brains, the maternal Ndn allele is never expressed. However, using several mouse models, we reveal a competition between non-imprinted Ndn promoters which results in monoallelic (paternal or maternal) Ndn expression, suggesting that Ndn allelic exclusion occurs in the absence of imprinting regulation. Importantly, specific expression of the maternal NDN allele is also detected in post-mortem brain samples of PWS individuals. Our data reveal an unexpected epigenetic flexibility of PWS imprinted genes that could be exploited to reactivate the functional but dormant maternal alleles in PWS. Overall our results reveal high non-genetic heterogeneity between genetically identical individuals
Qin, Lingfeng; Yu, Luyang; Min, Wang
Graft arteriosclerois (GA), also called allograft vasculopathy, is a pathologic lesion that develops over months to years in transplanted organs characterized by diffuse, circumferential stenosis of the entire graft vascular tree. The most critical component of GA pathogenesis is the proliferation of smooth muscle-like cells within the intima. When a human coronary artery segment is interposed into the infra-renal aortae of immunodeficient mice, the intimas could be expand in response to adoptively transferred human T cells allogeneic to the artery donor or exogenous human IFN-γ in the absence of human T cells. Interposition of a mouse aorta from one strain into another mouse strain recipient is limited as a model for chronic rejection in humans because the acute cell-mediated rejection response in this mouse model completely eliminates all donor-derived vascular cells from the graft within two-three weeks. We have recently developed two new mouse models to circumvent these problems. The first model involves interposition of a vessel segment from a male mouse into a female recipient of the same inbred strain (C57BL/6J). Graft rejection in this case is directed only against minor histocompatibility antigens encoded by the Y chromosome (present in the male but not the female) and the rejection response that ensues is sufficiently indolent to preserve donor-derived smooth muscle cells for several weeks. The second model involves interposing an artery segment from a wild type C57BL/6J mouse donor into a host mouse of the same strain and gender that lacks the receptor for IFN-γ followed by administration of mouse IFN-γ (delivered via infection of the mouse liver with an adenoviral vector. There is no rejection in this case as both donor and recipient mice are of the same strain and gender but donor smooth muscle cells proliferate in response to the cytokine while host-derived cells, lacking receptor for this cytokine, are unresponsive. By backcrossing additional
Smyth, Ian; Scambler, Peter
Fraser syndrome is a recessive multisystem disorder characterized by embryonic epidermal blistering, cryptophthalmos, syndactyly, renal defects and a range of other developmental abnormalities. More than 17 years ago, the family of four mapped mouse blebs mutants was proposed as models of this disorder, given their striking phenotypic overlaps. In the last few years, these loci have been cloned, uncovering a family of three large extracellular matrix proteins and an intracellular adapter protein which are required for normal epidermal adhesion early in development. The proteins have also been shown to play a crucial role in the development and homeostasis of the kidney. We review the cloning and characterization of these genes and explore the consequences of their loss.
Kelley, Christy M; Ash, Jessica A; Powers, Brian E; Velazquez, Ramon; Alldred, Melissa J; Ikonomovic, Milos D; Ginsberg, Stephen D; Strupp, Barbara J; Mufson, Elliott J
Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy of chromosome 21, is marked by intellectual disability (ID) and early onset of Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology including hippocampal cholinergic projection system degeneration. Here we determined the effects of age and maternal choline supplementation (MCS) on hippocampal cholinergic deficits in Ts65Dn mice compared to 2N mice sacrificed at 6-8 and 14-18 months of age. Ts65Dn mice and disomic (2N) littermates sacrificed at ages 6-8 and 14-18 mos were used for an aging study and Ts65Dn and 2N mice derived from Ts65Dn dams were maintained on either a choline-supplemented or a choline-controlled diet (conception to weaning) and examined at 14-18 mos for MCS studies. In the latter, mice were behaviorally tested on the radial arm Morris water maze (RAWM) and hippocampal tissue was examined for intensity of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity. Hippocampal ChAT activity was evaluated in a separate cohort. ChAT-positive fiber innervation was significantly higher in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus in Ts65Dn mice compared with 2N mice, independent of age or maternal diet. Similarly, hippocampal ChAT activity was significantly elevated in Ts65Dn mice compared to 2N mice, independent of maternal diet. A significant increase with age was seen in hippocampal cholinergic innervation of 2N mice, but not Ts65Dn mice. Degree of ChAT intensity correlated negatively with spatial memory ability in unsupplemented 2N and Ts65Dn mice, but positively in MCS 2N mice. The increased innervation produced by MCS appears to improve hippocampal function, making this a therapy that may be exploited for future translational approaches in human DS.
Kelley, Christy M.; Ash, Jessica A.; Powers, Brian E.; Velazquez, Ramon; Alldred, Melissa J.; Ikonomovic, Milos D.; Ginsberg, Stephen D.; Strupp, Barbara J.; Mufson, Elliott J.
Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy of chromosome 21, is marked by intellectual disability (ID) and early onset of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) neuropathology including hippocampal cholinergic projection system degeneration. Here we determined the effects of age and maternal choline supplementation (MCS) on hippocampal cholinergic deficits in Ts65Dn mice. Ts65Dn mice and disomic (2N) littermates sacrificed at ages 6–8 and 14–18 mos were used for an aging study, and Ts65Dn and 2N mice derived from Ts65Dn dams were maintained on either a choline-supplemented or a choline-controlled diet (conception to weaning) and examined at 14–18 mos for MCS studies. In the latter, mice were behaviorally tested on the radial arm Morris water maze (RAWM) and hippocampal tissue was examined for intensity of choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity. Hippocampal ChAT activity was evaluated in a separate cohort. ChAT-positive fiber innervation was significantly higher in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus in Ts65Dn mice compared with 2N mice, independent of age or maternal diet. Similarly, hippocampal ChAT activity was significantly elevated in TS65Dn mice compared to 2N mice, independent of maternal diet. A significant increase with age was seen in hippocampal cholinergic innervation of 2N mice, but not Ts65Dn mice. Degree of ChAT intensity correlated negatively with spatial memory ability in unsupplemented 2N and Ts65Dn mice, but positively in MCS 2N mice. The increased innervation produced by MCS appears to improve hippocampal function, making this a therapy that may be exploited for future translational approaches in human DS. PMID:26391045
Kamaludin, Ain A; Smolarchuk, Christa; Bischof, Jocelyn M; Eggert, Rachelle; Greer, John J; Ren, Jun; Lee, Joshua J; Yokota, Toshifumi; Berry, Fred B; Wevrick, Rachel
Prader-Willi syndrome is characterized by severe hypotonia in infancy, with decreased lean mass and increased fat mass in childhood followed by severe hyperphagia and consequent obesity. Scoliosis and other orthopaedic manifestations of hypotonia are common in children with Prader-Willi syndrome and cause significant morbidity. The relationships among hypotonia, reduced muscle mass and scoliosis have been difficult to establish. Inactivating mutations in one Prader-Willi syndrome candidate gene, MAGEL2, cause a Prader-Willi-like syndrome called Schaaf-Yang syndrome, highlighting the importance of loss of MAGEL2 in Prader-Willi syndrome phenotypes. Gene-targeted mice lacking Magel2 have excess fat and decreased muscle, recapitulating altered body composition in Prader-Willi syndrome. We now demonstrate that Magel2 is expressed in the developing musculoskeletal system, and that loss of Magel2 causes muscle-related phenotypes in mice consistent with atrophy caused by altered autophagy. Magel2-null mice serve as a preclinical model for therapies targeting muscle structure and function in children lacking MAGEL2 diagnosed with Prader-Willi or Schaaf-Yang syndrome.
Norris, Dominic P; Grimes, Daniel T
The ciliopathies are an apparently disparate group of human diseases that all result from defects in the formation and/or function of cilia. They include disorders such as Meckel-Grüber syndrome (MKS), Joubert syndrome (JBTS), Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) and Alström syndrome (ALS). Reflecting the manifold requirements for cilia in signalling, sensation and motility, different ciliopathies exhibit common elements. The mouse has been used widely as a model organism for the study of ciliopathies. Although many mutant alleles have proved lethal, continued investigations have led to the development of better models. Here, we review current mouse models of a core set of ciliopathies, their utility and future prospects.
Caplazi, P; Baca, M; Barck, K; Carano, R A D; DeVoss, J; Lee, W P; Bolon, B; Diehl, L
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic debilitating autoimmune disorder characterized by synovitis that leads to cartilage and bone erosion by invading fibrovascular tissue. Mouse models of RA recapitulate many features of the human disease. Despite the availability of medicines that are highly effective in many patient populations, autoimmune diseases (including RA) remain an area of active biomedical research, and consequently mouse models of RA are still extensively used for mechanistic studies and validation of therapeutic targets. This review aims to integrate morphologic features with model biology and cover the key characteristics of the most commonly used induced and spontaneous mouse models of RA. Induced models emphasized in this review include collagen-induced arthritis and antibody-induced arthritis. Collagen-induced arthritis is an example of an active immunization strategy, whereas antibody- induced arthritis models, such as collagen antibody-induced arthritis and K/BxN antibody transfer arthritis, represent examples of passive immunization strategies. The coverage of spontaneous models in this review is focused on the TNFΔ (ARE) mouse, in which arthritis results from overexpression of TNF-α, a master proinflammatory cytokine that drives disease in many patients.
Leung, Celeste; Jia, Zhengping
Over the past three decades, genetic manipulations in mice have been used in neuroscience as a major approach to investigate the in vivo function of genes and their alterations. In particular, gene targeting techniques using embryonic stem cells have revolutionized the field of mammalian genetics and have been at the forefront in the generation of numerous mouse models of human brain disorders. In this review, we will first examine childhood developmental disorders such as autism, intellectual disability, Fragile X syndrome, and Williams-Beuren syndrome. We will then explore psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and lastly, neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. We will outline the creation of these mouse models that range from single gene deletions, subtle point mutations to multi-gene manipulations, and discuss the key behavioral phenotypes of these mice. Ultimately, the analysis of the models outlined in this review will enhance our understanding of the in vivo role and underlying mechanisms of disease-related genes in both normal brain function and brain disorders, and provide potential therapeutic targets and strategies to prevent and treat these diseases. PMID:27047540
Duchon, Arnaud; Pothion, Stéphanie; Brault, Véronique; Sharp, Andrew J; Tybulewicz, Victor L J; Fisher, Elizabeth M C; Herault, Yann
Trisomy 21 or Down syndrome (DS) is the most common form of human aneuploid disorder. Increase in the copy number of human chromosome 21 genes leads to several alterations including mental retardation, heart and skeletal dysmorphologies with additional physiological defects. To better understand the genotype and phenotype relationships, several mouse models have been developed, including the transchromosomic Tc1 mouse, which carries an almost complete human chromosome 21, that displays several locomotor and cognitive alterations related to DS. In this report we explore the contribution of the genetic dosage of 47 mouse genes located in the most telomeric part of Hsa21, using a novel model, named Ms4Yah, carrying a deletion of the 2.2Mb Ctsb-Prmt2 genetic interval. We combine this deletion with the Tc1 Hsa21 in a rescue experiment. We could recapitulate most of the Tc1 phenotypes but we found no phenotypes induced by the Ms4Yah and no contribution to the Tc1-induced phenotypes even if we described new alteration in social preference but not in olfaction. Thus we conclude that the genes conserved between mouse and human, found in the most telomeric part of Hsa21, and trisomic in Tc1, are not contributing to the major Tc1 phenotypes, suggesting that the Cstb-Prmt2 region is not playing a major role in locomotor and cognitive deficits found in DS.
Ban, Joanne; Phillips, William D
Myasthenia gravis is a muscle weakness disease characterized by autoantibodies that target components of the neuromuscular junction, impairing synaptic transmission. The most common form of myasthenia gravis involves antibodies that bind the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in the postsynaptic membrane. Many of the remaining cases are due to antibodies against muscle specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK). Recently, autoantibodies against LRP4 (another component of the MuSK signaling complex in the postsynaptic membrane) were identified as the likely cause of myasthenia gravis in some patients. Fatiguing weakness is the common symptom in all forms of myasthenia gravis, but muscles of the body are differentially affected, for reasons that are not fully understood. Much of what we have learnt about the immunological and neurobiological aspects of the pathogenesis derives from mouse models. The most widely used mouse models involve either passive transfer of autoantibodies, or active immunization of the mouse with acetylcholine receptors or MuSK protein. These models can provide a robust replication of many of the features of the human disease. Depending upon the protocol, acute fatiguing weakness develops 2 - 14 days after the start of autoantibody injections (passive transfer) or might require repeated immunizations over several weeks (active models). Here we review mouse models of myasthenia gravis, including what they have contributed to current understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms and their current application to the testing of therapeutics.
Jiang, Yong-Hui; Pan, Yanzhen; Zhu, Li; Landa, Luis; Yoo, Jong; Spencer, Corinne; Lorenzo, Isabel; Brilliant, Murray; Noebels, Jeffrey; Beaudet, Arthur L
communication behaviors in human AS patients. Thus, mutant mice with a maternal deletion from Ube3a to Gabrb3 provide an AS mouse model that is molecularly more similar to the contiguous gene deletion form of AS in humans than mice with Ube3a mutation alone. These mice will be valuable for future comparative studies to mice with maternal deficiency of Ube3a alone.
Stagni, Fiorenza; Raspanti, Alessandra; Giacomini, Andrea; Guidi, Sandra; Emili, Marco; Ciani, Elisabetta; Giuliani, Alessandro; Bighinati, Andrea; Calzà, Laura; Magistretti, Jacopo; Bartesaghi, Renata
Neurogenesis impairment is considered a major determinant of the intellectual disability that characterizes Down syndrome (DS), a genetic condition caused by triplication of chromosome 21. Previous evidence obtained in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS showed that the triplicated gene APP (amyloid precursor protein) is critically involved in neurogenesis alterations. In particular, excessive levels of AICD (amyloid precursor protein intracellular domain) resulting from APP cleavage by gamma-secretase increase the transcription of Ptch1, a Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) receptor that keeps the mitogenic Shh pathway repressed. Previous evidence showed that neonatal treatment with ELND006, an inhibitor of gamma-secretase, reinstates the Shh pathway and fully restores neurogenesis in Ts65Dn pups. In the framework of potential therapies for DS, it is extremely important to establish whether the positive effects of early intervention are retained after treatment cessation. Therefore, the goal of the current study was to establish whether early treatment with ELND006 leaves an enduring trace in the brain of Ts65Dn mice. Ts65Dn and euploid pups were treated with ELND006 in the postnatal period P3-P15 and the outcome of treatment was examined at ~one month after treatment cessation. We found that in treated Ts65Dn mice the pool of proliferating cells in the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and total number of granule neurons were still restored as was the number of pre- and postsynaptic terminals in the stratum lucidum of CA3, the site of termination of the mossy fibers from the DG. Accordingly, patch-clamp recording from field CA3 showed functional normalization of the input to CA3. Unlike in field CA3, the number of pre- and postsynaptic terminals in the DG of treated Ts65Dn mice was no longer fully restored. The finding that many of the positive effects of neonatal treatment were retained after treatment cessation provides proof of principle demonstration of the efficacy of early
De Filippis, Bianca; Ricceri, Laura; Fuso, Andrea; Laviola, Giovanni
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder, primarily affecting girls. RTT causes a wide variety of debilitating symptoms and no cure currently exists. Mouse models bearing mutations in the Mecp2 gene recapitulate most physiological and behavioural RTT-related abnormalities. Stimulating neonatal environments (e.g. brief maternal separations or maternal low-dose corticosterone supplementation) reduce stress and fear responses at adulthood. The present study investigated whether impacting early in development the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, by exposing Mecp2-308 mutant pups to a low dose of corticosterone (50 µg/ml, during the 1st week of life) may contrast RTT-related abnormalities in neuroendocrine regulation and behavioural adaptation at adulthood. In line with previous reports, when fully symptomatic, MeCP2-308 mice showed a reduction in the regular nocturnal hyperactivity in the home-cage and increased anxiety-like behaviours and plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels in response to restraint stress. An abnormal elevation in mRNA levels of mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and BDNF gene was also evident in the hippocampus of fully symptomatic mutant mice. Neonatal CORT modulated MR gene expression and behavioural reactivity towards a novel object, also restoring wt-like levels of locomotor/exploratory behaviour in mutant mice. Enhanced sensitivity to the neonatal treatment (in terms of increase in GR and MR mRNA levels), was also evident in the hippocampus of MeCP2-308 mice compared to wt littermates. Present results corroborate the hypothesis that targeting the glucocorticoid system may prove valid in contrasting at least some of the RTT-related symptoms and provide evidence that pharmacological interventions during critical early time windows can persistently improve the behavioural phenotype of RTT mice. Current data also support the emerging role played by Mecp2 in mediating the epigenetic programming induced by early life events
Ferrés, Millie A.; Bianchi, Diana W.; Siegel, Ashley E.; Bronson, Roderick T.; Huggins, Gordon S.; Guedj, Faycal
Background The Ts1Cje model of Down syndrome is of particular interest for perinatal studies because affected males are fertile. This permits affected pups to be carried in wild-type females, which is similar to human pregnancies. Here we describe the early natural history and growth profiles of Ts1Cje embryos and neonates and determine if heart defects are present in this strain. Methods Pups were studied either on embryonic (E) day 15.5, or from postnatal (P) day 3 through weaning on P21. PCR amplification targeting the neomycin cassette (present in Ts1Cje) and Sry (present in males) was used to analyze pup genotypes and sex ratios. Body weights and lengths, as well as developmental milestones, were recorded in Ts1Cje mice and compared to their wild-type (WT) littermates. Histological evaluations were performed at E15.5 to investigate the presence or absence of heart defects. Pups were divided into two groups: Ts1Cje-I pups survived past weaning and Ts1Cje-II pups died at some point before P21. Results Ts1Cje mouse embryos showed expected Mendelian ratios (45.8%, n = 66 for Ts1Cje embryos; 54.2%, n = 78 for WT embryos). Histological analysis revealed the presence of ventricular septal defects (VSDs) in 21% of Ts1Cje E15.5 embryos. After weaning, only 28.2% of pups were Ts1Cje (185 Ts1Cje out of 656 total pups generated), with males predominating (male:female ratio of 1.4:1). Among the recovered dead pups (n = 207), Ts1Cje (63.3%, n = 131, p<0.01) genotype was found significantly more often than WT (36.7%, n = 76). Retrospective analysis of Ts1Cje-II (pre-weaning deceased) pups showed that they were growth restricted compared to Ts1Cje-I pups (post-weaning survivors). Growth restriction correlated with statistically significant delays in achieving several neonatal milestones between P3 and P21 compared to Ts1Cje-I (post-weaning survivors) neonates and WT littermates. Conclusions Ts1Cje genotype is not associated with increased early in utero mortality. Cardiac
Sałaga, M; Polepally, P R; Sobczak, M; Grzywacz, D; Kamysz, W; Sibaev, A; Storr, M; Do Rego, J C; Zjawiony, J K; Fichna, J
The opioid and cannabinoid systems play a crucial role in multiple physiological processes in the central nervous system and in the periphery. Selective opioid as well as cannabinoid (CB) receptor agonists exert a potent inhibitory action on gastrointestinal (GI) motility and pain. In this study, we examined (in vitro and in vivo) whether PR-38 (2-O-cinnamoylsalvinorin B), a novel analog of salvinorin A, can interact with both systems and demonstrate therapeutic effects. We used mouse models of hypermotility, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. We also assessed the influence of PR-38 on the central nervous system by measurement of motoric parameters and exploratory behaviors in mice. Subsequently, we investigated the pharmacokinetics of PR-38 in mouse blood samples after intraperitoneal and oral administration. PR-38 significantly inhibited mouse colonic motility in vitro and in vivo. Administration of PR-38 significantly prolonged the whole GI transit time, and this effect was mediated by µ- and κ-opioid receptors and the CB1 receptor. PR-38 reversed hypermotility and reduced pain in mouse models mimicking functional GI disorders. These data expand our understanding of the interactions between opioid and cannabinoid systems and their functions in the GI tract. We also provide a novel framework for the development of future potential treatments of functional GI disorders.
Pan, Qiuhui; Fichna, Jakub; Zheng, Lijun; Wang, Kesheng; Yu, Zhen; Li, Yongyu; Li, Kun; Song, Aihong; Liu, Zhongchen; Song, Zhenshun; Kreis, Martin
Background and Aims Berberine and its derivatives display potent analgesic, anti-inflammatory and anticancer activity. Here we aimed at characterizing the mechanism of action of berberine in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and cortical neurons using animal models and in vitro tests. Methods The effect of berberine was characterized in murine models mimicking diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D) symptoms. Then the opioidantagonists were used to identify the receptors involved. Furthermore, the effect of berberineon opioid receptors expression was established in the mouse intestine and rat fetal cortical neurons. Results In mouse models, berberine prolonged GI transit and time to diarrhea in a dose-dependent manner, and significantly reduced visceral pain. In physiological conditions the effects of berberine were mediated by mu- (MOR) and delta- (DOR) opioidreceptors; hypermotility, excessive secretion and nociception were reversed by berberine through MOR and DOR-dependent action. We also found that berberine increased the expression of MOR and DOR in the mouse bowel and rat fetal cortical neurons. Conclusion Berberine significantly improved IBS-D symptoms in animal models, possibly through mu- and delta- opioid receptors. Berberine may become a new drug candidate for the successful treatment of IBS-D in clinical conditions. PMID:26700862
Wang, Jun; Tang, Cheuk; Ferruzzi, Mario G.; Gong, Bing; Song, Brian J.; Janle, Elsa M.; Chen, Tzu-Ying; Cooper, Bruce; Varghese, Merina; Cheng, Alice; Freire, Daniel; Bilski, Amanda; Roman, Jessica; Nguyen, Tuyen; Ho, Lap; Talcott, Stephen T.; Simon, James E.; Wu, Qingli; Pasinetti, Giulio M.
Scope Metabolic syndrome has become an epidemic and poses tremendous burden on the health system. People with metabolic syndrome are more likely to experience cognitive decline. As obesity and sedentary lifestyles become more common, the development of early prevention strategies are critical. In this study, we explore the potential beneficial effects of a combinatory polyphenol preparation composed of grape seed extract, Concord purple grape juice extract and resveratrol, referred to as Standardized Grape Polyphenol Preparation (SGP), on peripheral as well as brain dysfunction induced by metabolic syndrome. Methods We found dietary fat content had minimal effects on absorption and metabolites of major polyphenols derived from SGP. Using a diet-induced animal model of metabolic syndrome (DIM), we found that brain functional connectivity and synaptic plasticity are compromised in the DIM mice. Treatment with SGP not only prevented peripheral metabolic abnormality but also improved brain synaptic plasticity. Conclusion Our study demonstrated that SGP comprised of multiple bioavailable and bioactive components targeting a wide range of metabolic syndrome-related pathological features provides greater global protection against peripheral and central nervous system dysfunctions and can be potentially developed as novel prevention/treatment for improving brain connectivity and synaptic plasticity important for learning and memory. PMID:23963661
Stewart, Colin L. . E-mail: email@example.com; Kozlov, Serguei; Fong, Loren G.; Young, Stephen G. . E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The A and B type lamins are nuclear intermediate filament proteins that comprise the bulk of the nuclear lamina, a thin proteinaceous structure underlying the inner nuclear membrane. The A type lamins are encoded by the lamin A gene (LMNA). Mutations in this gene have been linked to at least nine diseases, including the progeroid diseases Hutchinson-Gilford progeria and atypical Werner's syndromes, striated muscle diseases including muscular dystrophies and dilated cardiomyopathies, lipodystrophies affecting adipose tissue deposition, diseases affecting skeletal development, and a peripheral neuropathy. To understand how different diseases arise from different mutations in the same gene, mouse lines carrying some of the same mutations found in the human diseases have been established. We, and others have generated mice with different mutations that result in progeria, muscular dystrophy, and dilated cardiomyopathy. To further our understanding of the functions of the lamins, we also created mice lacking lamin B1, as well as mice expressing only one of the A type lamins. These mouse lines are providing insights into the functions of the lamina and how changes to the lamina affect the mechanical integrity of the nucleus as well as signaling pathways that, when disrupted, may contribute to the disease.
Shedlovsky, A.; McDonald, J. D.; Symula, D.; Dove, W. F.
Phenylketonuria (PKU) results from a deficiency in phenylalanine hydroxylase, the enzyme catalyzing the conversion of phenylalanine (PHE) to tyrosine. Although this inborn error of metabolism was among the first in humans to be understood biochemically and genetically, little is known of the mechanism(s) involved in the pathology of PKU. We have combined mouse germline mutagenesis with screens for hyperphenylalaninemia to isolate three mutants deficient in phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) activity and cross-reactive protein. Two of these have reduced PAH mRNA and display characteristics of untreated human PKU patients. A low PHE diet partially reverses these abnormalities. Our success in using high frequency random germline point mutagenesis to obtain appropriate disease models illustrates how such mutagenesis can complement the emergent power of targeted mutagenesis in the mouse. The mutants now can be used as models in studying both maternal PKU and somatic gene therapy. PMID:8375656
Pfeffer, J; Kaufmann, R; Boehncke, W-H
Psoriasis is characterized by a complex phenotype and pathogenesis along with polygenic determination. Several psoriasis animal models have only been able to incompletely reproduce the disease. A xenogeneic transplantation approach, grafting skin from psoriatic patients onto mice with a severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), was the first to meet the criteria for a psoriasis model. During the last 10 years, this psoriasis SCID-mouse model not only allowed telling experiments focusing on pathogenetic aspects, but also proved being a powerful tool for drug discovery with a good predictive value.
Peters, Heidi L.; Pitt, James J.; Wood, Leonie R.; Hamilton, Natasha J.; Sarsero, Joseph P.; Buck, Nicole E.
Methylmalonic aciduria (MMA) is a disorder of organic acid metabolism resulting from a functional defect of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM). MMA is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, thus therapies are necessary to help improve quality of life and prevent renal and neurological complications. Transgenic mice carrying an intact human MCM locus have been produced. Four separate transgenic lines were established and characterised as carrying two, four, five or six copies of the transgene in a single integration site. Transgenic mice from the 2-copy line were crossed with heterozygous knockout MCM mice to generate mice hemizygous for the human transgene on a homozygous knockout background. Partial rescue of the uniform neonatal lethality seen in homozygous knockout mice was observed. These rescued mice were significantly smaller than control littermates (mice with mouse MCM gene). Biochemically, these partial rescue mice exhibited elevated methylmalonic acid levels in urine, plasma, kidney, liver and brain tissue. Acylcarnitine analysis of blood spots revealed elevated propionylcarnitine levels. Analysis of mRNA expression confirms the human transgene is expressed at higher levels than observed for the wild type, with highest expression in the kidney followed closely by brain and liver. Partial rescue mouse fibroblast cultures had only 20% of the wild type MCM enzyme activity. It is anticipated that this humanised partial rescue mouse model of MMA will enable evaluation of long-term pathophysiological effects of elevated methylmalonic acid levels and be a valuable model for the investigation of therapeutic strategies, such as cell transplantation. PMID:22792386
Clark, Elizabeth S.; Pepper, Victoria K.; Best, Cameron; Onwuka, Ekene; Yi, Tai; Tara, Shuhei; Cianciolo, Rachel; Baker, Peter; Shinoka, Toshiharu; Breuer, Christopher K.
Background Endocardial Fibroelastosis (EFE) is a pathologic condition of abnormal deposition of collagen and elastin within the endocardium of the heart. It is seen in conjunction with a variety of diseases including hypoplastic left heart syndrome and viral endocarditis. While an experimental model using heterotopic heart transplant in rats has been described, we sought to fully describe a mouse model that can be used to further elucidate the potential mechanisms of and treatments for EFE. Materials and Methods The hearts of 2-day-old C57BL/6 mice were transplanted into the abdomen of 7-week-old C57BL/6 mice. At 2 weeks, the hearts were harvested and histologic analysis performed using hematoxylin and eosin, Masson’s Trichrome, Russell-Movat’s Pentachrome, Picrosirius Red, Hart’s, Verhoeff-Van Gieson, and Weigert’s Resorcin-Fuschin stains. Additionally, one heart was analysed using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Results Specimens demonstrated abnormal accumulation of both collagen and elastin within the endocardium with occasional expansion in to the myocardium. Heterogeneity in extracellular matrix deposition was noted in the histologic specimens. In addition, TEM demonstrated the presence of excess collagen within the endocardium. Conclusions The heterotopic transplantation of an immature heart into a mouse results in changes consistent with EFE. This model is appropriate to investigate the etiology and treatment of endocardial fibroelastosis. PMID:26363814
Ackert-Bicknell, Cheryl L; Anderson, Laura C; Sheehan, Susan; Hill, Warren G; Chang, Bo; Churchill, Gary A; Chesler, Elissa J; Korstanje, Ron; Peters, Luanne L
Despite the dramatic increase in human lifespan over the past century, there remains pronounced variability in "health-span," or the period of time in which one is generally healthy and free of disease. Much of the variability in health-span and lifespan is thought to be genetic in origin. Understanding the genetic mechanisms of aging and identifying ways to boost longevity is a primary goal in aging research. Here, we describe a pipeline of phenotypic assays for assessing mouse models of aging. This pipeline includes behavior/cognition testing, body composition analysis, and tests of kidney function, hematopoiesis, and immune function, as well as physical parameters. We also describe study design methods for assessing lifespan and health-span, and other important considerations when conducting aging research in the laboratory mouse. The tools and assays provided can assist researchers with understanding the correlative relationships between age-associated phenotypes and, ultimately, the role of specific genes in the aging process.
Ackert-Bicknell, Cheryl L.; Anderson, Laura; Sheehan, Susan; Hill, Warren G.; Chang, Bo; Churchill, Gary A.; Chesler, Elissa J.; Korstanje, Ron; Peters, Luanne L.
Despite the dramatic increase in human lifespan over the past century, there remains pronounced variability in “health-span”, or the period of time in which one is generally healthy and free of disease. Much of the variability in health-span and lifespan is thought to be genetic in origin. Understanding the genetic mechanisms of aging and identifying ways to boost longevity is a primary goal in aging research. Here, we describe a pipeline of phenotypic assays for assessing mouse models of aging. This pipeline includes behavior/cognition testing, body composition analysis, and tests of kidney function, hematopoiesis, immune function and physical parameters. We also describe study design methods for assessing lifespan and health-span, and other important considerations when conducting aging research in the laboratory mouse. The tools and assays provided can assist researchers with understanding the correlative relationships between age-associated phenotypes and, ultimately, the role of specific genes in the aging process. PMID:26069080
Ngiow, Shin Foong; Loi, Sherene; Thomas, David; Smyth, Mark J
Immunotherapy is now evolving into a major therapeutic option for cancer patients. Such clinical advances also promote massive interest in the search for novel immunotherapy targets, and to understand the mechanism of action of current drugs. It is projected that a series of novel immunotherapy agents will be developed and assessed for their therapeutic activity. In light of this, in vivo experimental mouse models that recapitulate human malignancies serve as valuable tools to validate the efficacy and safety profile of immunotherapy agents, before their transition into clinical trials. In this review, we will discuss the major classes of experimental mouse models of cancer commonly used for immunotherapy assessment and provide examples to guide the selection of appropriate models. We present some new data concerning the utility of a carcinogen-induced tumor model for comparing immunotherapies and combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy. We will also highlight some recent advances in experimental modeling of human malignancies in mice that are leading towards personalized therapy in patients.
Gage, Philip J.; Hurd, Elizabeth A.; Martin, Donna M.
Purpose CHARGE syndrome (Coloboma of the eye, Heart defects, Atresia of the choanae, Retardation of growth and/or development, Genital and/or urinary tract abnormalities, and Ear abnormalities and deafness) is the second-leading cause of deaf-blindness after Usher syndrome. Heterozygous mutations in CHD7 cause CHARGE syndrome in 70% to 90% of patients. We tested the hypothesis that tissue-specific mutant mice provide models for molecularly dissecting CHD7 functions during eye development. Methods The conditional Chd7flox allele was mated together with tissue-specific Cre transgenes. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the normal CHD7 pattern in the early eye primordia and to assess Chd7 mutants for expression of region-specific protein markers. Results CHD7 is present in the neural ectoderm and surface ectoderm of the eye. Deletion from neural and surface ectoderm results in severely dysmorphic eyes generally lacking recognizable optic cup structures and small lenses. Deletion from the neural ectoderm results in similar defects. Deletion from the surface ectoderm results in eyes with smaller lenses. Lens tissue and the major subdivisions of the neural ectoderm are present following conditional deletion of Chd7 from the neural ectoderm. Closure of the optic fissure depends on the Chd7 gene dose within the neural ectoderm. Conclusions Eye development requires CHD7 in multiple embryonic tissues. Lens development requires CHD7 in the surface ectoderm, whereas optic cup and stalk morphogenesis require CHD7 in the neural ectoderm. CHD7 is not absolutely required for specification of the major subdivisions within the neural ectoderm. As in humans, normal eye development in mice is sensitive to Chd7 haploinsufficiency. These data indicate the Chd7 mutant mice are models for determining the molecular etiology of ocular defects in CHARGE syndrome. PMID:26670829
Esquerda-Canals, Gisela; Montoliu-Gaya, Laia; Güell-Bosch, Jofre; Villegas, Sandra
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that nowadays affects more than 40 million people worldwide and it is predicted to exponentially increase in the coming decades. Because no curative treatment exists, research on the pathophysiology of the disease, as well as the testing of new drugs, are mandatory. For these purposes, animal models constitute a valuable, although perfectible tool. This review takes a tour through several aspects of mouse models of AD, such as the generation of transgenic models, the relevance of the promoter driving the expression of the transgenes, and the concrete transgenes used to simulate AD pathophysiology. Then, transgenic mouse lines harboring mutated human genes at several loci such as APP, PSEN1, APOEɛ4, and ob (leptin) are reviewed. Therefore, not only the accumulation of the Aβ peptide is emulated but also cholesterol and insulin metabolism. Further novel information about the disease will allow for the development of more accurate animal models, which in turn will undoubtedly be helpful for bringing preclinical research closer to clinical trials in humans.
Novak, Edward K; Gautam, Rashi; Reddington, Madonna; Collinson, Lucy M; Copeland, Neal G; Jenkins, Nancy A; McGarry, Michael P; Swank, Richard T
The ashen (ash) mouse, a model for Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) and for a subset of patients with Griscelli syndrome, presents with hypopigmentation, prolonged bleeding times, and platelet storage pool deficiency due to a mutation which abrogates expression of the Rab27a protein. Platelets of mice with the ashen mutation on the C3H/HeSnJ inbred strain background have greatly reduced amounts of dense granule components such as serotonin and adenine nucleotides though near-normal numbers of dense granules as enumerated by the dense granule-specific fluorescent dye mepacrine. Thus, essentially normal numbers of platelet dense granules are produced but the granule interiors are abnormal. Collagen-mediated aggregation of mutant platelets is significantly depressed. No abnormalities in the concentrations or secretory rates of 2 other major platelet granules, lysosomes and alpha granules, were apparent. Similarly, no platelet ultrastructural alterations other than those involving dense granules were detected. Therefore, Rab27a regulates the synthesis and secretion of only one major platelet organelle, the dense granule. There were likewise no mutant effects on levels or secretion of lysosomal enzymes of several other tissues. Together with other recent analyses of the ashen mouse, these results suggest a close relationship between platelet dense granules, melanosomes of melanocytes and secretory lysosomes of cytotoxic T lymphocytes, all mediated by Rab27a. Surprisingly, the effects of the ashen mutation on platelet-dense granule components, platelet aggregation, and bleeding times were highly dependent on genetic background. This suggests that bleeding tendencies may likewise vary among patients with Griscelli syndrome and HPS with Rab27a mutations.
Anderson, W.F.; Martinell, J.; Whitney, J.B. III; Popp, R.A.
The group of diseases called the thalassemias is the largest single-gene health problem in the world according the World Health Organization. The thalassemias are lethal hereditary anemias in which the infants cannot make their own blood. Three mouse mutants are shown to be models of the human disease ..cap alpha..-thalassemia. However, since an additional gene is affected, these mutants represent a particularly severe condition in which death occurs in the homozygous embryo even before globin genes are activated. Phenotypic and genotypic characteristics are described. (ACR)
Animal models are extensively used in genetics, neuroscience and biomedical research. Recent studies illustrate the usefulness and the challenges of research utilising genetically engineered mice to explore the developmental biology of Down syndrome. These studies highlight many of the issues at the centre of what we understand about Down…
This chapter focuses on the use of genetically modified mice in investigating the neurobiology of depressive behaviour. First, the behavioural tests commonly used as a model of depressive-like behaviour in rodents are described. These tests include those sensitive to antidepressant treatment such as the forced swim test and the tail suspension test, as well as other tests that encompass the wider symptomatology of a depressive episode. A selection of example mutant mouse lines is then presented to illustrate the use of these tests. As our understanding of depression increases, an expanding list of candidate genes is being investigated using mutant mice. Here, mice relevant to the monoamine and corticotrophin-releasing factor hypotheses of depression are covered as well as those relating to the more recent candidate, brain-derived neurotrophic factor. This selection provides interesting examples of the use of complimentary lines, such as those that have genetic removal or overexpression, and also opposing behavioural changes seen following manipulation of closely related genes. Finally, factors such as the issue of background strain and influence of environmental factors are reflected upon, before considering what can realistically be expected of a mouse model of this complex psychiatric disorder.
Brager, Darrin H.
Abstract Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by transcriptional silencing of the fmr1 gene resulting in the loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) expression. FXS patients display several behavioral phenotypes associated with prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction. Voltage-gated ion channels, some of which are regulated by FMRP, heavily influence PFC neuron function. Although there is evidence for brain region-specific alterations to the function a single type of ion channel in FXS, it is unclear whether subtypes of principal neurons within a brain region are affected uniformly. We tested for alterations to ion channels critical in regulating neural excitability in two subtypes of prefrontal L5 pyramidal neurons. Using somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings, we provide evidence that the functional expression of h-channels (Ih) is down-regulated, whereas A-type K+ channel function is up-regulated in pyramidal tract-projecting (PT) neurons in the fmr1-/y mouse PFC. This is the opposite pattern of results from published findings from hippocampus where Ih is up-regulated and A-type K+ channel function is down-regulated. Additionally, we find that somatic Kv1-mediated current is down-regulated, resulting in increased excitability of fmr1-/y PT neurons. Importantly, these h- and K+ channel differences do not extend to neighboring intratelencephalic-projecting neurons. Thus, the absence of FMRP has divergent effects on the function of individual types of ion channels not only between brain regions, but also variable effects across cell types within the same brain region. Given the importance of ion channels in regulating neural circuits, these results suggest cell-type-specific phenotypes for the disease. PMID:26601124
Janc, Oliwia A; Müller, Michael
Rett syndrome (RS) causes severe cognitive impairment, loss of speech, epilepsy, and breathing disturbances with intermittent hypoxia. Also mitochondria are affected; a subunit of respiratory complex III is dysregulated, the inner mitochondrial membrane is leaking protons, and brain ATP levels seem reduced. Our recent assessment of mitochondrial function in MeCP2 (methyl-CpG-binding protein 2)-deficient mouse (Mecp2 (-) (/y)) hippocampus confirmed early metabolic alterations, an increased oxidative burden, and a more vulnerable cellular redox balance. As these changes may contribute to the manifestation of symptoms and disease progression, we now evaluated whether free radical scavengers are capable of improving neuronal and mitochondrial function in RS. Acute hippocampal slices of adult mice were incubated with the vitamin E derivative Trolox for 3-5 h. In Mecp2 (-) (/y) slices this treatment dampened neuronal hyperexcitability, improved synaptic short-term plasticity, and fully restored synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP). Furthermore, Trolox specifically attenuated the increased hypoxia susceptibility of Mecp2 (-) (/y) slices. Also, the anticonvulsive effects of Trolox were assessed, but the severity of 4-aminopyridine provoked seizure-like discharges was not significantly affected. Adverse side effects of Trolox on mitochondria can be excluded, but clear indications for an improvement of mitochondrial function were not found. Since several ion-channels and neurotransmitter receptors are redox modulated, the mitochondrial alterations and the associated oxidative burden may contribute to the neuronal dysfunction in RS. We confirmed in Mecp2 (-) (/y) hippocampus that Trolox dampens neuronal hyperexcitability, reinstates synaptic plasticity, and improves the hypoxia tolerance. Therefore, radical scavengers are promising compounds for the treatment of neuronal dysfunction in RS and deserve further detailed evaluation.
Romero-Aleshire, Melissa J; Diamond-Stanic, Maggie K; Hasty, Alyssa H; Hoyer, Patricia B; Brooks, Heddwen L
Factors comprising the metabolic syndrome occur with increased incidence in postmenopausal women. To investigate the effects of ovarian failure on the progression of the metabolic syndrome, female B(6)C(3)F(1) mice were treated with 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD) and fed a high-fat (HF) diet for 16 wk. VCD destroys preantral follicles, causing early ovarian failure and is a well-characterized model for the gradual onset of menopause. After 12 wk on a HF diet, VCD-treated mice had developed an impaired glucose tolerance, whereas cycling controls were unaffected [12 wk AUC HF mice 13,455 +/- 643 vs. HF/VCD 17,378 +/- 1140 mg/dl/min, P < 0.05]. After 16 wk on a HF diet, VCD-treated mice had significantly higher fasting insulin levels (HF 5.4 +/- 1.3 vs. HF/VCD 10.1 +/- 1.4 ng/ml, P < 0.05) and were significantly more insulin resistant (HOMA-IR) than cycling controls on a HF diet (HF 56.2 +/- 16.7 vs. HF/VCD 113.1 +/- 19.6 mg/dl x microU/ml, P < 0.05). All mice on a HF diet gained more weight than mice on a standard diet, and weight gain in HF/VCD mice was significantly increased compared with HF cycling controls. Interestingly, even without a HF diet, progression into VCD-induced menopause caused a significant increase in cholesterol and free fatty acids. Furthermore, in mice fed a standard diet (6% fat), insulin resistance developed 4 mo after VCD-induced ovarian failure. Insulin resistance following ovarian failure (menopause) was prevented by estrogen replacement. Studies here demonstrate that ovarian failure (menopause) accelerates progression into the metabolic syndrome and that estrogen replacement prevents the onset of insulin resistance in VCD-treated mice. Thus, the VCD model of menopause provides a physiologically relevant means of studying how sex hormones influence the progression of the metabolic syndrome.
Leccia, Felicia; Batisse-Lignier, Marie; Sahut-Barnola, Isabelle; Val, Pierre; Lefrançois-Martinez, A-Marie; Martinez, Antoine
Adrenal cortex tumors are divided into benign forms, such as primary hyperplasias and adrenocortical adenomas (ACAs), and malignant forms or adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs). Primary hyperplasias are rare causes of adrenocorticotropin hormone-independent hypercortisolism. ACAs are the most common type of adrenal gland tumors and they are rarely “functional,” i.e., producing steroids. When functional, adenomas result in endocrine disorders, such as Cushing’s syndrome (hypercortisolism) or Conn’s syndrome (hyperaldosteronism). By contrast, ACCs are extremely rare but highly aggressive tumors that may also lead to hypersecreting syndromes. Genetic analyses of patients with sporadic or familial forms of adrenocortical tumors (ACTs) led to the identification of potentially causative genes, most of them being involved in protein kinase A (PKA), Wnt/β-catenin, and P53 signaling pathways. Development of mouse models is a crucial step to firmly establish the functional significance of candidate genes, to dissect mechanisms leading to tumors and endocrine disorders, and in fine to provide in vivo tools for therapeutic screens. In this article, we will provide an overview on the existing mouse models (xenografted and genetically engineered) of ACTs by focusing on the role of PKA and Wnt/β-catenin pathways in this context. We will discuss the advantages and limitations of models that have been developed heretofore and we will point out necessary improvements in the development of next generation mouse models of adrenal diseases. PMID:27471492
Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is a rare syndrome, characterized by cutaneous abnormalities and premature death caused by bone marrow failure. In this issue of Genes & Development, Hockemeyer and colleagues (pp. 1773–1785) report a new mouse model that reconstitutes key features of DC. Disease phenotypes are generated by a POT1b deletion in a telomerase-deficient background that accelerates the shortening of telomeres by degradation. PMID:18593874
Wang, Yutang; Emeto, Theophilus I; Lee, James; Marshman, Laurence; Moran, Corey; Seto, Sai-wang; Golledge, Jonathan
Subarachnoid hemorrhage secondary to rupture of an intracranial aneurysm is a highly lethal medical condition. Current management strategies for unruptured intracranial aneurysms involve radiological surveillance and neurosurgical or endovascular interventions. There is no pharmacological treatment available to decrease the risk of aneurysm rupture and subsequent subarachnoid hemorrhage. There is growing interest in the pathogenesis of intracranial aneurysm focused on the development of drug therapies to decrease the incidence of aneurysm rupture. The study of rodent models of intracranial aneurysms has the potential to improve our understanding of intracranial aneurysm development and progression. This review summarizes current mouse models of intact and ruptured intracranial aneurysms and discusses the relevance of these models to human intracranial aneurysms. The article also reviews the importance of these models in investigating the molecular mechanisms involved in the disease. Finally, potential pharmaceutical targets for intracranial aneurysm suggested by previous studies are discussed. Examples of potential drug targets include matrix metalloproteinases, stromal cell-derived factor-1, tumor necrosis factor-α, the renin-angiotensin system and the β-estrogen receptor. An agreed clear, precise and reproducible definition of what constitutes an aneurysm in the models would assist in their use to better understand the pathology of intracranial aneurysm and applying findings to patients.
Lee, Kyeryoung; Tosti, Elena; Edelmann, Winfried
Germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes are the cause of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer/Lynch syndrome (HNPCC/LS) one of the most common cancer predisposition syndromes, and defects in MMR are also prevalent in sporadic colorectal cancers. In the past, the generation and analysis of mouse lines with knockout mutations in all of the known MMR genes has provided insight into how loss of individual MMR genes affects genome stability and contributes to cancer susceptibility. These studies also revealed essential functions for some of the MMR genes in B cell maturation and fertility. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of the cancer predisposition phenotypes of recently developed mouse models with targeted mutations in MutS and MutL homologs (Msh and Mlh, respectively) and their utility as preclinical models. The focus will be on mouse lines with conditional MMR mutations that have allowed more accurate modeling of human cancer syndromes in mice and that together with new technologies in gene targeting, hold great promise for the analysis of MMR-deficient intestinal tumors and other cancers which will drive the development of preventive and therapeutic treatment strategies. PMID:26708047
Lee, Kyeryoung; Tosti, Elena; Edelmann, Winfried
Germline mutations in DNA mismatch repair (MMR) genes are the cause of hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer/Lynch syndrome (HNPCC/LS) one of the most common cancer predisposition syndromes, and defects in MMR are also prevalent in sporadic colorectal cancers. In the past, the generation and analysis of mouse lines with knockout mutations in all of the known MMR genes has provided insight into how loss of individual MMR genes affects genome stability and contributes to cancer susceptibility. These studies also revealed essential functions for some of the MMR genes in B cell maturation and fertility. In this review, we will provide a brief overview of the cancer predisposition phenotypes of recently developed mouse models with targeted mutations in MutS and MutL homologs (Msh and Mlh, respectively) and their utility as preclinical models. The focus will be on mouse lines with conditional MMR mutations that have allowed more accurate modeling of human cancer syndromes in mice and that together with new technologies in gene targeting, hold great promise for the analysis of MMR-deficient intestinal tumors and other cancers which will drive the development of preventive and therapeutic treatment strategies.
Fujimoto, Makoto; Tsuneyama, Koichi; Chen, Shao-Yuan; Nishida, Takeshi; Chen, Jiun-Liang; Chen, Yen-Chen; Fujimoto, Takako; Imura, Johji; Shimada, Yutaka
Purpose. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a progressive and intractable disease associated with metabolic syndrome. Red yeast rice (RYR) contains monacolin K, a potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, and its consumption decreases cholesterol and triglyceride levels. We examined the efficacy of RYR constituents using a novel metabolic syndrome-NAFLD mouse model (MSG mice). Methods. Two types of RYR grown under different culture conditions were used. 1P-DU contained only 0.002 g/100 g of monacolin K, whereas 3P-D1 contained 0.131 g/100 g. MSG mice were divided into three groups: control (C) group fed standard food, RYR-C group fed standard food with 1% 1P-DU, and RYR-M group fed standard food with 1% 3P-D1. Mice were examined from 12 to 24 weeks of age. Results. Serum insulin, leptin, and liver damage as well as macrophage aggregation in visceral fat in RYR-C and RYR-M groups were lower than those in C group. The serum adiponectin levels in RYR-C group were significantly higher than those in RYR-M and C groups. Conclusions. RYR was effective against obesity-related inflammation, insulin resistance, and NAFLD in MSG mice irrespective of monacolin K levels. GABA and various peptides produced during fermentation were determined as the active constituents of RYR. PMID:23320041
Bradfute, Steven B.; Warfield, Kelly L.; Bray, Mike
The filoviruses marburg- and ebolaviruses can cause severe hemorrhagic fever (HF) in humans and nonhuman primates. Because many cases have occurred in geographical areas lacking a medical research infrastructure, most studies of the pathogenesis of filoviral HF, and all efforts to develop drugs and vaccines, have been carried out in biocontainment laboratories in non-endemic countries, using nonhuman primates (NHPs), guinea pigs and mice as animal models. NHPs appear to closely mirror filoviral HF in humans (based on limited clinical data), but only small numbers may be used in carefully regulated experiments; much research is therefore done in rodents. Because of their availability in large numbers and the existence of a wealth of reagents for biochemical and immunological testing, mice have become the preferred small animal model for filovirus research. Since the first experiments following the initial 1967 marburgvirus outbreak, wild-type or mouse-adapted viruses have been tested in immunocompetent or immunodeficient mice. In this paper, we review how these types of studies have been used to investigate the pathogenesis of filoviral disease, identify immune responses to infection and evaluate antiviral drugs and vaccines. We also discuss the strengths and weaknesses of murine models for filovirus research, and identify important questions for further study. PMID:23170168
Morice, Elise; Farley, Séverine; Poirier, Roseline; Dallerac, Glenn; Chagneau, Carine; Pannetier, Solange; Hanauer, André; Davis, Sabrina; Vaillend, Cyrille; Laroche, Serge
The Coffin-Lowry syndrome (CLS) is a syndromic form of intellectual disability caused by loss-of-function of the RSK2 serine/threonine kinase encoded by the rsk2 gene. Rsk2 knockout mice, a murine model of CLS, exhibit spatial learning and memory impairments, yet the underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. In the current study, we examined the performance of Rsk2 knockout mice in cued, trace and contextual fear memory paradigms and identified selective deficits in the consolidation and reconsolidation of hippocampal-dependent fear memories as task difficulty and hippocampal demand increase. Electrophysiological, biochemical and electron microscopy analyses were carried out in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus to explore potential alterations in neuronal functions and structure. In vivo and in vitro electrophysiology revealed impaired synaptic transmission, decreased network excitability and reduced AMPA and NMDA conductance in Rsk2 knockout mice. In the absence of RSK2, standard measures of short-term and long-term potentiation (LTP) were normal, however LTP-induced CREB phosphorylation and expression of the transcription factors EGR1/ZIF268 were reduced and that of the scaffolding protein SHANK3 was blocked, indicating impaired activity-dependent gene regulation. At the structural level, the density of perforated and non-perforated synapses and of multiple spine boutons was not altered, however, a clear enlargement of spine neck width and post-synaptic densities indicates altered synapse ultrastructure. These findings show that RSK2 loss-of-function is associated in the dentate gyrus with multi-level alterations that encompass modifications of glutamate receptor channel properties, synaptic transmission, plasticity-associated gene expression and spine morphology, providing novel insights into the mechanisms contributing to cognitive impairments in CLS.
Leibovici, Michel; Safieddine, Saaid; Petit, Christine
Hearing impairment is a frequent condition in humans. Identification of the causative genes for the early onset forms of isolated deafness began 15 years ago and has been very fruitful. To date, approximately 50 causative genes have been identified. Yet, limited information regarding the underlying pathogenic mechanisms can be derived from hearing tests in deaf patients. This chapter describes the success of mouse models in the elucidation of some pathophysiological processes in the auditory sensory organ, the cochlea. These models have revealed a variety of defective structures and functions at the origin of deafness genetic forms. This is illustrated by three different examples: (1) the DFNB9 deafness form, a synaptopathy of the cochlear sensory cells where otoferlin is defective; (2) the Usher syndrome, in which deafness is related to abnormal development of the hair bundle, the mechanoreceptive structure of the sensory cells to sound; (3) the DFNB1 deafness form, which is the most common form of inherited deafness in Caucasian populations, mainly caused by connexin-26 defects that alter gap junction communication between nonsensory cochlear cells.
Catuara-Solarz, Silvina; Espinosa-Carrasco, Jose; Erb, Ionas; Langohr, Klaus; Notredame, Cedric; Gonzalez, Juan R.; Dierssen, Mara
Down syndrome (DS) individuals present increased risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) neuropathology and AD-type dementia. Here, we investigated the use of green tea extracts containing (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), as co-adjuvant to enhance the effects of environmental enrichment (EE) in Ts65Dn mice, a segmental trisomy model of DS that partially mimics DS/AD pathology, at the age of initiation of cognitive decline. Classical repeated measures ANOVA showed that combined EE-EGCG treatment was more efficient than EE or EGCG alone to improve specific spatial learning related variables. Using principal component analysis (PCA) we found that several spatial learning parameters contributed similarly to a first PC and explained a large proportion of the variance among groups, thus representing a composite learning measure. This PC1 revealed that EGCG or EE alone had no significant effect. However, combined EE-EGCG significantly ameliorated learning alterations of middle age Ts65Dn mice. Interestingly, PCA revealed an increased variability along learning sessions with good and poor learners in Ts65Dn, and this stratification did not disappear upon treatments. Our results suggest that combining EE and EGCG represents a viable therapeutic approach for amelioration of age-related cognitive decline in DS, although its efficacy may vary across individuals. PMID:26696850
Brager, Darrin H.; Akhavan, Arvin R.; Johnston, Daniel
SUMMARY Despite extensive research into both synaptic and morphological changes, surprisingly little is known about dendritic function in fragile X syndrome (FXS). We found that the dendritic input resistance of CA1 neurons was significantly lower in fmr1−/y versus wild-type mice. Consistent with elevated dendritic Ih, voltage sag, rebound, and resonance frequency were significantly higher and temporal fmr1−/y summation was lower in the dendrites of mice. Dendritic expression of the h-channel subunit HCN1, but not HCN2, was higher in the CA1 region of fmr1−/y mice. Interestingly, whereas mGluR-mediated persistent decreases in Ih occurred in both wild-type and fmr1−/y mice, persistent increases in Ih that occurred after LTP induction in wild-type mice were absent in fmr1−/y mice. Thus, chronic upregulation of dendritic Ih in conjunction with impairment of homeostatic h-channel plasticity represents a dendritic channelopathy in this model of mental retardation and may provide a mechanism for the cognitive impairment associated with FXS. PMID:22662315
Cunningham, M.L.; Nunes, M.E.
Greig syndrome is the autosomal dominant association of mild hypertelorism, variable polysyndactyly, and normal intelligence. Several families have been found to have translocations or deletions of 7p13 interrupting the normal expression of GLI3 (a zinc finger, DNA binding, transcription repressor). Recently, a mutation in the mouse homologue of GLI3 was found in the extra-toes mutant mouse (Xt). The phenotypic features of this mouse model include mild hypertelorism, postaxial polydactyly of the forelimbs, preaxial polydactyly of the hindlimbs, and variable tibial hemimelia. The homozygous mutant Xt/Xt have severe frontonasal dysplasia (FND), polysyndactyly of fore-and hindlimbs and invariable tibial hemimelia. We have recently evaluated a child with severe (type D) frontonasal dysplasia, fifth finger camptodactyly, preaxial polydactyly of one foot, and ispilateral tibial hemimelia. His father was born with a bifid nose, broad columnella, broad feet, and a two centimeter leg length discrepancy. The paternal grandmother of the proband is phenotypically normal; however, her fraternal twin died at birth with severe facial anomalies. The paternal great-grandmother of the proband is phenotypically normal however her niece was born with moderate ocular hypertelorism. This pedigree is suggestive of an autosomal dominant form of frontonasal dysplasia with variable expressivity. The phenotypic features of our case more closely resemble the Xt mouse than the previously defined features of Greig syndrome in humans. This suggests that a mutation in GLI3 may be responsible for FND in this family. We are currently using polymorphic dinucleotide repeat markers flanking GLI3 in a attempt to demonstrate linkage in this pedigree. Demonstration of a GLI3 mutation in this family would broaden our view of the spectrum of phenotypes possible in Greig syndrome and could provide insight into genotype/phenotype correlation in FND.
Ortiz-Abalia, Jon; Sahún, Ignasi; Altafaj, Xavier; Andreu, Núria; Estivill, Xavier; Dierssen, Mara; Fillat, Cristina
Genetic-dissection studies carried out with Down syndrome (DS) murine models point to the critical contribution of Dyrk1A overexpression to the motor abnormalities and cognitive deficits displayed in DS individuals. In the present study we have used a murine model overexpressing Dyrk1A (TgDyrk1A mice) to evaluate whether functional CNS defects could be corrected with an inhibitory RNA against Dyrk1A, delivered by bilateral intrastriatal injections of adeno-associated virus type 2 (AAVshDyrk1A). We report that AAVshDyrk1A efficiently transduced HEK293 cells and primary neuronal cultures, triggering the specific inhibition of Dyrk1A expression. Injecting the vector into the striata of TgDyrk1A mice resulted in a restricted, long-term transduction of the striatum. This gene therapy was found to be devoid of toxicity and succeeded in normalizing Dyrk1A protein levels in TgDyrk1A mice. Importantly, the behavioral studies of the adult TgDyrk1A mice treated showed a reversal of corticostriatal-dependent phenotypes, as revealed by the attenuation of their hyperactive behavior, the restoration of motor-coordination defects, and an improvement in sensorimotor gating. Taken together, the data demonstrate that normalizing Dyrk1A gene expression in the striatum of adult TgDyrk1A mice, by means of AAVshRNA, clearly reverses motor impairment. Furthermore, these results identify Dyrk1A as a potential target for therapy in DS. PMID:18940310
Mironov, S L; Skorova, E; Hartelt, N; Mironova, L A; Hasan, M T; Kügler, S
Rett syndrome caused by MeCP2 mutations is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder accompanied by severe breathing irregularities. Using transduction of organotypic slices from model MeCP2-/y mice with neuron-specific calcium sensor protein D3cpv, we examined the slow calcium buffering in neurons in pre-Bötzinger complex (preBötC), a component of the complex respiratory network. Examination of wild-type (WT) and MeCP2 null mice showed clear differences in the spatial organisations of neurons in preBötC and also in the disturbances in calcium homeostasis in mutant mice during early postnatal development. Deregulated calcium buffering in MeCP2-/y neurons was indicated by increased amplitude and kinetics of depolarisation-induced calcium transients. Both effects were related to an insufficient calcium uptake into the endoplasmic reticulum that was restored after pretreatment with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BNDF). Conversely, the inhibition of BDNF signalling in WT neurons produced disturbances similar to those observed in MeCP2-/y mice. Brief hypoxia and calcium release from internal stores induced global calcium increases, after which the processes of many MeCP2-/y neurons were retracted, an effect that was also corrected by pretreatment with BDNF. The data obtained point to a tight connection between calcium homeostasis and long-term changes in neuronal connectivity. We therefore propose that calcium-dependent retraction of neurites in preBötC neurons can cause remodelling of the neuronal network during development and set up the conditions for appearance of breathing irregularities in Rett model mice.
Chang, Qing; Gold, Paul E.
Spatial working memory and the ability of a cholinesterase inhibitor to enhance memory were assessed at 4, 10, and 16 months of ages in control and Ts65Dn mice, a partial trisomy model of Down syndrome, with possibly significant relationships to Alzheimer’s Disease as well. In addition, ACh release during memory testing was measured in samples collected from the hippocampus using in vivo microdialysis at 4, 10, and 22–25 months of age. When tested on a four-arm spontaneous alternation task, the Ts65Dn mice exhibited impaired memory scores at both 4 and 10 months. At 16 months, control performance had declined toward that of the Ts65Dn mice and the difference in scores across genotypes was not significant. Physostigmine (50 μg/kg) fully reversed memory deficits in the Ts65Dn mice in the 4-month-old group but not in older mice. Ts65Dn and control mice exhibited comparable baseline levels of ACh release at all ages tested; these levels did not decline significantly across age in either genotype. ACh release increased significantly during alternation testing only in the young Ts65Dn and control mice. However, the increase in ACh release during alternation testing was significantly greater in control than Ts65Dn mice at this age. The controls exhibited a significant age-related decline in the testing-related increase in ACh release. With only a small increase during testing in young Ts65Dn mice, the age-related decline in responsiveness of ACh release to testing was not significant in these mice. Overall, these results suggest that diminished responsiveness of ACh release in the hippocampus to behavioral testing may contribute memory impairments in Ts65Dn mice. PMID:17644430
Schmid, Danielle; Yang, Tao; Ogier, Michael; Adams, Ian; Mirakhur, Yatin; Wang, Qifang; Massa, Stephen M.; Longo, Frank M.; Katz, David M.
Rett syndrome (RTT) results from loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and is characterized by abnormal motor, respiratory and autonomic control, cognitive impairment, autistic-like behaviors and increased risk of seizures. RTT patients and Mecp2 null mice exhibit reduced expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF), which has been linked in mice to increased respiratory frequency, a hallmark of RTT. The present study was undertaken to test the hypotheses that BDNF deficits in Mecp2 mutants are associated with reduced activation of the BDNF receptor, TrkB, and that pharmacologic activation of TrkB would improve respiratory function. We characterized BDNF protein expression, TrkB activation and respiration in heterozygous female Mecp2 mutant mice (Het), a model that recapitulates the somatic mosaicism for mutant Mecp2 found in typical RTT patients, and evaluated the ability of a small molecule TrkB agonist, LM22A-4, to ameliorate biochemical and functional abnormalities in these animals. We found that Het mice exhibit 1) reduced BDNF expression and TrkB activation in the medulla and pons and 2) breathing dysfunction, characterized by increased frequency due to periods of tachypnea, and increased apneas, as in RTT patients. Treatment of Het mice with LM22A-4 for 4 weeks rescued wildtype levels of TrkB phosphorylation in the medulla and pons and restored wildtype breathing frequency. These data provide new insight into the role of BDNF signaling deficits in the pathophysiology of RTT and highlight TrkB as a possible therapeutic target in this disease. PMID:22302819
Schmid, Danielle A; Yang, Tao; Ogier, Michael; Adams, Ian; Mirakhur, Yatin; Wang, Qifang; Massa, Stephen M; Longo, Frank M; Katz, David M
Rett syndrome (RTT) results from loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) and is characterized by abnormal motor, respiratory and autonomic control, cognitive impairment, autistic-like behaviors and increased risk of seizures. RTT patients and Mecp2-null mice exhibit reduced expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which has been linked in mice to increased respiratory frequency, a hallmark of RTT. The present study was undertaken to test the hypotheses that BDNF deficits in Mecp2 mutants are associated with reduced activation of the BDNF receptor, TrkB, and that pharmacologic activation of TrkB would improve respiratory function. We characterized BDNF protein expression, TrkB activation and respiration in heterozygous female Mecp2 mutant mice (Het), a model that recapitulates the somatic mosaicism for mutant MECP2 found in typical RTT patients, and evaluated the ability of a small molecule TrkB agonist, LM22A-4, to ameliorate biochemical and functional abnormalities in these animals. We found that Het mice exhibit (1) reduced BDNF expression and TrkB activation in the medulla and pons and (2) breathing dysfunction, characterized by increased frequency due to periods of tachypnea, and increased apneas, as in RTT patients. Treatment of Het mice with LM22A-4 for 4 weeks rescued wild-type levels of TrkB phosphorylation in the medulla and pons and restored wild-type breathing frequency. These data provide new insight into the role of BDNF signaling deficits in the pathophysiology of RTT and highlight TrkB as a possible therapeutic target in this disease.
Tosini, Gianluca; Owino, Sharon; Guillame, Jean-Luc; Jockers, Ralf
Summary Melatonin, the neuro-hormone synthesized during the night, has recently seen an unexpected extension of its functional implications towards type 2 diabetes development, visual functions, sleep disturbances and depression. Transgenic mouse models were instrumental for the establishment of the link between melatonin and these major human diseases. Most of the actions of melatonin are mediated by two types of G protein-coupled receptors, named MT1 and MT2, which are expressed in many different organs and tissues. Understanding the pharmacology and function of mouse MT1 and MT2 receptors, including MT1/MT2 heteromers, will be of crucial importance to evaluate the relevance of these mouse models for future therapeutic developments. This review will critically discuss these aspects, and give some perspectives including the generation of new mouse models. PMID:24903552
Lopez-Saucedo, Catalina; Bernal-Reynaga, Rodolfo; Zayas-Jahuey, Jesus; Galindo-Gomez, Silvia; Shibayama, Mineko; Garcia-Galvez, Carlos; Estrada-Parra, Sergio; Estrada-Garcia, Teresa
Individuals with X-HIGM syndrome fail to express functional CD40 ligand; consequently they cannot mount effective protective antibody responses against pathogenic bacteria. We evaluated, compared, and characterized the humoral immune response of wild type (WT) and C57-CD40L deficient (C57-CD40L−/−) mice infected with Citrobacter rodentium. Basal serum isotype levels were similar for IgM and IgG3 among mice, while total IgG and IgG2b concentrations were significantly lower in C57-CD40L−/− mice compared with WT. Essentially IgG1 and IgG2c levels were detectable only in WT mice. C57-CD40L−/− animals, orally inoculated with 2 × 109 CFU, presented several clinical manifestations since the second week of infection and eventually died. In contrast at this time point no clinical manifestations were observed among C57-CD40L−/− mice infected with 1 × 107 CFU. Infection was subclinical in WT mice inoculated with either bacterial dose. The serum samples from infected mice (1 × 107 CFU), collected at day 14 after infection, had similar C. rodentium-specific IgM titres. Although C57-CD40L−/− animals had lower IgG and IgG2b titres than WT mice, C57-CD40L−/− mice sera displayed complement-mediated bactericidal activity against C. rodentium. C. rodentium-infected C57-CD40L−/− mice are capable of producing antibodies that are protective. C57-CD40L−/− mouse is a useful surrogate model of X-HIGM syndrome for studying immune responses elicited against pathogens. PMID:26064940
Martin, Brandon S; Martinez-Botella, Gabriel; Loya, Carlos M; Salituro, Francesco G; Robichaud, Albert J; Huntsman, Molly M; Ackley, Mike A; Doherty, James J; Corbin, Joshua G
Alterations in the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory transmission are emerging as a common component of many nervous system disorders, including autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Tonic γ-aminobutyric acidergic (GABAergic) transmission provided by peri- and extrasynaptic GABA type A (GABAA ) receptors powerfully controls neuronal excitability and plasticity and, therefore, provides a rational therapeutic target for normalizing hyperexcitable networks across a variety of disorders, including ASDs. Our previous studies revealed tonic GABAergic deficits in principal excitatory neurons in the basolateral amygdala (BLA) in the Fmr1(-/y) knockout (KO) mouse model fragile X syndrome. To correct amygdala deficits in tonic GABAergic neurotransmission in Fmr1(-/y) KO mice, we developed a novel positive allosteric modulator of GABAA receptors, SGE-872, based on endogenously active neurosteroids. This study shows that SGE-872 is nearly as potent and twice as efficacious for positively modulating GABAA receptors as its parent molecule, allopregnanolone. Furthermore, at submicromolar concentrations (≤1 μM), SGE-872 is selective for tonic, extrasynaptic α4β3δ-containing GABAA receptors over typical synaptic α1β2γ2 receptors. We further find that SGE-872 strikingly rescues the tonic GABAergic transmission deficit in principal excitatory neurons in the Fmr1(-/y) KO BLA, a structure heavily implicated in the neuropathology of ASDs. Therefore, the potent and selective action of SGE-872 on tonic GABAA receptors containing α4 subunits may represent a novel and highly useful therapeutic avenue for ASDs and related disorders involving hyperexcitability of neuronal networks.
Presenescent or senescent hBF (1.2 or 18x×10 4/well, respectively) [M, Stampfer , P. Yaswen, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory wdre suspended in 60 l cold...2.8 1 2.8 Inducing a human-like senescent phenotype in mouse fibroblasts Jean-Philihoo Copp , Simona Parrinello, Ana Krtolica, Christopher K. Patil...MAMMARY EPITHELIAL CELL PROLIFERATION AND TUMORIGENESIS: A MOUSE MODEL FOR HUMAN AGING. Jean-Philippe Coppe, Simona Parrinello, Ana Krtolica, Christopher
Chuang, Tsu Tshen
The brains of the adult mouse and human possess neural stem cells (NSCs) that retain the capacity to generate new neurons through the process of neurogenesis. They share the same anatomical locations of stem cell niches in the brain, as well as the prominent feature of rostral migratory stream formed by neuroblasts migrating from the lateral ventricles towards the olfactory bulb. Therefore the mouse possesses some fundamental features that may qualify it as a relevant model for adult human neurogenesis. Adult born young hippocampal neurons in the mouse display the unique property of enhanced plasticity, and can integrate physically and functionally into existing neural circuits in the brain. Such crucial properties of neurogenesis may at least partially underlie the improved learning and memory functions observed in the mouse when hippocampal neurogenesis is augmented, leading to the suggestion that neurogenesis induction may be a novel therapeutic approach for diseases with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Research towards this goal has benefited significantly from the use of AD mouse models to facilitate the understanding in the impact of AD pathology on neurogenesis. The present article reviews the growing body of controversial data on altered neurogenesis in mouse models of AD and attempts to assess their relative relevance to humans.
Yeh, Elizabeth S; Vernon-Grey, Ann; Martin, Heather; Chodosh, Lewis A
Genetically engineered mouse models (GEMMs) have proven essential to the study of mammalian gene function in both development and disease. However, traditional constitutive transgenic mouse model systems are limited by the temporal and spatial characteristics of the experimental promoter used to drive transgene expression. To address this limitation, considerable effort has been dedicated to developing conditional and inducible mouse model systems. Although a number of approaches to generating inducible GEMMs have been pursued, several have been restricted by toxic or undesired physiological side effects of the compounds used to activate gene expression. The development of tetracycline (tet)-dependent regulatory systems has allowed for circumvention of these issues resulting in the widespread adoption of these systems as an invaluable tool for modeling the complex nature of cancer progression.
Didriksen, Michael; Fejgin, Kim; Nilsson, Simon R.O.; Birknow, Michelle R.; Grayton, Hannah M.; Larsen, Peter H.; Lauridsen, Jes B.; Nielsen, Vibeke; Celada, Pau; Santana, Noemi; Kallunki, Pekka; Christensen, Kenneth V.; Werge, Thomas M.; Stensbøl, Tine B.; Egebjerg, Jan; Gastambide, Francois; Artigas, Francesc; Bastlund, Jesper F.; Nielsen, Jacob
Background The hemizygous 22q11.2 microdeletion is a common copy number variant in humans. The deletion confers high risk for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. Up to 41% of deletion carriers experience psychotic symptoms. Methods We present a new mouse model (Df(h22q11)/+) of the deletion syndrome (22q11.2DS) and report on, to our knowledge, the most comprehensive study undertaken to date in 22q11.2DS models. The study was conducted in male mice. Results We found elevated postpubertal N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist–induced hyperlocomotion, age-independent prepulse inhibition (PPI) deficits and increased acoustic startle response (ASR). The PPI deficit and increased ASR were resistant to antipsychotic treatment. The PPI deficit was not a consequence of impaired hearing measured by auditory brain stem responses. The Df(h22q11)/+ mice also displayed increased amplitude of loudness-dependent auditory evoked potentials. Prefrontal cortex and dorsal striatal elevations of the dopamine metabolite DOPAC and increased dorsal striatal expression of the AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 was found. The Df(h22q11)/+ mice did not deviate from wild-type mice in a wide range of other behavioural and biochemical assays. Limitations The 22q11.2 microdeletion has incomplete penetrance in humans, and the severity of disease depends on the complete genetic makeup in concert with environmental factors. In order to obtain more marked phenotypes reflecting the severe conditions related to 22q11.2DS it is suggested to expose the Df(h22q11)/+ mice to environmental stressors that may unmask latent psychopathology. Conclusion The Df(h22q11)/+ model will be a valuable tool for increasing our understanding of the etiology of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders associated with the 22q11DS. PMID:27391101
Bilimoria, Parizad M; Hensch, Takao K; Bavelier, Daphne
In a new study published in Scientific Reports, Christakis and colleagues investigate a mouse model for technology-induced overstimulation. We review their findings, discuss the challenges of defining overstimulation, and consider the resemblance of the phenotypes observed in Christakis et al. to those noted in genetic models of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Puthiyaveetil, Abdul Gafoor; Reilly, Christopher M.; Pardee, Timothy S.; Caudell, David L.
Chromosomal translocations typically impair cell differentiation and often require secondary mutations for malignant transformation. However, the role of a primary translocation in the development of collaborating mutations is debatable. To delineate the role of leukemic translocation NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) in secondary mutagenesis, DNA break and repair mechanisms in stimulated mouse B lymphocytes expressing NHD13 were analyzed. Our results showed significantly reduced expression of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ)-mediated DNA repair genes, DNA Pkcs, DNA ligase4, and Xrcc4 leading to cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase. Our results showed that expression of NHD13 fusion gene resulted in impaired NHEJ-mediated DNA break repair. PMID:23131583
Puthiyaveetil, Abdul Gafoor; Reilly, Christopher M; Pardee, Timothy S; Caudell, David L
Chromosomal translocations typically impair cell differentiation and often require secondary mutations for malignant transformation. However, the role of a primary translocation in the development of collaborating mutations is debatable. To delineate the role of leukemic translocation NUP98-HOXD13 (NHD13) in secondary mutagenesis, DNA break and repair mechanisms in stimulated mouse B lymphocytes expressing NHD13 were analyzed. Our results showed significantly reduced expression of non-homologous end joining (NHEJ)-mediated DNA repair genes, DNA Pkcs, DNA ligase4, and Xrcc4 leading to cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase. Our results showed that expression of NHD13 fusion gene resulted in impaired NHEJ-mediated DNA break repair.
Ure, Kerstin; Lu, Hui; Wang, Wei; Ito-Ishida, Aya; Wu, Zhenyu; He, Ling-jie; Sztainberg, Yehezkel; Chen, Wu; Tang, Jianrong; Zoghbi, Huda Y
The postnatal neurodevelopmental disorder Rett syndrome, caused by mutations in MECP2, produces a diverse array of symptoms, including loss of language, motor, and social skills and the development of hand stereotypies, anxiety, tremor, ataxia, respiratory dysrhythmias, and seizures. Surprisingly, despite the diversity of these features, we have found that deleting Mecp2 only from GABAergic inhibitory neurons in mice replicates most of this phenotype. Here we show that genetically restoring Mecp2 expression only in GABAergic neurons of male Mecp2 null mice enhanced inhibitory signaling, extended lifespan, and rescued ataxia, apraxia, and social abnormalities but did not rescue tremor or anxiety. Female Mecp2+/- mice showed a less dramatic but still substantial rescue. These findings highlight the critical regulatory role of GABAergic neurons in certain behaviors and suggest that modulating the excitatory/inhibitory balance through GABAergic neurons could prove a viable therapeutic option in Rett syndrome. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14198.001 PMID:27328321
Zhao, Weidong; Wang, Jiaqin; Song, Shunyi; Li, Fang; Yuan, Fangfang
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) caused by lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (Fmr1) is the most common cause of inherited intellectual disability and characterized by many cognitive disturbances like attention deficit, autistic behavior, and audiogenic seizure and have region-specific altered expression of some gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAA) receptor subunits. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot experiments were performed in the cultured cortical neurons and forebrain obtained from wild-type (WT) and Fmr1 KO mice demonstrate the reduction in the expression of α1 gamma-aminobutyric acid (α1GABAA) receptor, phospho-α1GABAA receptor, PKC and phosphor-PKC in Fmr1 KO mice comparing with WT mice, both in vivo and in vitro. Furthermore, we found that the phosphorylation of the α1GABAA receptor was mediated by PKC. Our results elucidate that the lower phosphorylation of the α1GABAA receptor mediated by PKC neutralizes the seizure-promoting effects in Fmr1 KO mice and point to the potential therapeutic targets of α1GABAA agonists for the treatment of fragile X syndrome. PMID:26550246
Routh, Brandy N; Johnston, Daniel; Brager, Darrin H
Despite the critical importance of voltage-gated ion channels in neurons, very little is known about their functional properties in Fragile X syndrome: the most common form of inherited cognitive impairment. Using three complementary approaches, we investigated the physiological role of A-type K(+) currents (I(KA)) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons from fmr1-/y mice. Direct measurement of I(KA) using cell-attached patch-clamp recordings revealed that there was significantly less I(KA) in the dendrites of CA1 neurons from fmr1-/y mice. Interestingly, the midpoint of activation for A-type K(+) channels was hyperpolarized for fmr1-/y neurons compared with wild-type, which might partially compensate for the lower current density. Because of the rapid time course for recovery from steady-state inactivation, the dendritic A-type K(+) current in CA1 neurons from both wild-type and fmr1-/y mice is likely mediated by K(V)4 containing channels. The net effect of the differences in I(KA) was that back-propagating action potentials had larger amplitudes producing greater calcium influx in the distal dendrites of fmr1-/y neurons. Furthermore, CA1 pyramidal neurons from fmr1-/y mice had a lower threshold for LTP induction. These data suggest that loss of I(KA) in hippocampal neurons may contribute to dendritic pathophysiology in Fragile X syndrome.
Dani, Vardhan S; Nelson, Sacha B
Mutations in MECP2 cause Rett syndrome and some related forms of mental retardation and autism. Mecp2-null mice exhibit symptoms reminiscent of Rett syndrome including deficits in learning. Previous reports demonstrated impaired long-term potentiation (LTP) in slices of symptomatic Mecp2-null mice, and decreased excitatory neurotransmission, but the causal relationship between these phenomena is unclear. Reduced plasticity could lead to altered transmission, or reduced excitatory transmission could alter the ability to induce LTP. To help distinguish these possibilities, we compared LTP induction and baseline synaptic transmission at synapses between layer 5 cortical pyramidal neurons in slices of wild-type and Mecp2-null mice. Paired recordings reveal that LTP induction mechanisms are intact in Mecp2-null connections, even after the onset of symptoms. However, fewer connections were found in Mecp2-null mice and individual connections were weaker. These data suggest that loss of MeCP2 function reduces excitatory synaptic connectivity and that this precedes deficits in plasticity.
Routh, Brandy N.; Johnston, Daniel
Despite the critical importance of voltage-gated ion channels in neurons, very little is known about their functional properties in Fragile X syndrome: the most common form of inherited cognitive impairment. Using three complementary approaches, we investigated the physiological role of A-type K+ currents (IKA) in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons from fmr1-/y mice. Direct measurement of IKA using cell-attached patch-clamp recordings revealed that there was significantly less IKA in the dendrites of CA1 neurons from fmr1-/y mice. Interestingly, the midpoint of activation for A-type K+ channels was hyperpolarized for fmr1-/y neurons compared with wild-type, which might partially compensate for the lower current density. Because of the rapid time course for recovery from steady-state inactivation, the dendritic A-type K+ current in CA1 neurons from both wild-type and fmr1-/y mice is likely mediated by KV4 containing channels. The net effect of the differences in IKA was that back-propagating action potentials had larger amplitudes producing greater calcium influx in the distal dendrites of fmr1-/y neurons. Furthermore, CA1 pyramidal neurons from fmr1-/y mice had a lower threshold for LTP induction. These data suggest that loss of IKA in hippocampal neurons may contribute to dendritic pathophysiology in Fragile X syndrome. PMID:24336711
Hülsmann, Swen; Mesuret, Guillaume; Dannenberg, Julia; Arnoldt, Mauricio; Niebert, Marcus
Mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2) gene have been shown to manifest in a neurodevelopmental disorder that is called Rett syndrome. A typical problem that occurs during development is a disturbance of breathing. To address the role of inhibitory neurons, we generated a mouse line that restores MECP2 in inhibitory neurons in the brainstem by crossbreeding a mouse line that expresses the Cre-recombinase (Cre) in inhibitory neurons under the control of the glycine transporter 2 (GlyT2, slc6a5) promotor (GlyT2-Cre) with a mouse line that has a floxed-stop mutation of the Mecp2 gene (Mecp2stop/y). Unrestrained whole-body-plethysmography at postnatal day P60 revealed a low respiratory rate and prolonged respiratory pauses in Mecp2stop/y mice. In contrast, GlyT2-Cre positive Mecp2stop/y mice (Cre+; Mecp2stop/y) showed greatly improved respiration and were indistinguishable from wild type littermates. These data support the concept that alterations in inhibitory neurons are important for the development of the respiratory phenotype in Rett syndrome. PMID:27672368
Grier, Mark D; Carson, Robert P; Lagrange, Andre Hollis
Angelman Syndrome (AS) is a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by developmental delay, speech impairment, movement disorder, sleep disorders and refractory epilepsy. AS is caused by loss of the Ube3a protein encoded for by the imprinted Ube3a gene. Ube3a is expressed nearly exclusively from the maternal chromosome in mature neurons. While imprinting in neurons of the brain has been well described, the imprinting and expression of Ube3a in other neural tissues remains relatively unexplored. Moreover, given the overwhelming deficits in brain function in AS patients, the possibility of disrupted Ube3a expression in the infratentorial nervous system and its consequent disability have been largely ignored. We evaluated the imprinting status of Ube3a in the spinal cord and sciatic nerve and show that it is also imprinted in these neural tissues. Furthermore, a growing body of clinical and radiological evidence has suggested that myelin dysfunction may contribute to morbidity in many neurodevelopmental syndromes. However, findings regarding Ube3a expression in non-neuronal cells of the brain have varied. Utilizing enriched primary cultures of oligodendrocytes and astrocytes, we show that Ube3a is expressed, but not imprinted in these cell types. Unlike many other neurodevelopmental disorders, AS symptoms do not become apparent until roughly 6 to 12 months of age. To determine the temporal expression pattern and silencing, we analyzed Ube3a expression in AS mice at several time points. We confirm relaxed imprinting of Ube3a in neurons of the postnatal developing cortex, but not in structures in which neurogenesis and migration are more complete. This furthers the hypothesis that the apparently normal window of development in AS patients is supported by an incompletely silenced paternal allele in developing neurons, resulting in a relative preservation of Ube3a expression during this crucial epoch of early development.
Portmann, Thomas; Yang, Mu; Mao, Rong; Panagiotakos, Georgia; Ellegood, Jacob; Dolen, Gul; Bader, Patrick L; Grueter, Brad A; Goold, Carleton; Fisher, Elaine; Clifford, Katherine; Rengarajan, Pavitra; Kalikhman, David; Loureiro, Darren; Saw, Nay L; Zhengqui, Zhou; Miller, Michael A; Lerch, Jason P; Henkelman, R Mark; Shamloo, Mehrdad; Malenka, Robert C; Crawley, Jacqueline N; Dolmetsch, Ricardo E
A deletion on human chromosome 16p11.2 is associated with autism spectrum disorders. We deleted the syntenic region on mouse chromosome 7F3. MRI and high-throughput single-cell transcriptomics revealed anatomical and cellular abnormalities, particularly in cortex and striatum of juvenile mutant mice (16p11(+/-)). We found elevated numbers of striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) expressing the dopamine D2 receptor (Drd2(+)) and fewer dopamine-sensitive (Drd1(+)) neurons in deep layers of cortex. Electrophysiological recordings of Drd2(+) MSN revealed synaptic defects, suggesting abnormal basal ganglia circuitry function in 16p11(+/-) mice. This is further supported by behavioral experiments showing hyperactivity, circling, and deficits in movement control. Strikingly, 16p11(+/-) mice showed a complete lack of habituation reminiscent of what is observed in some autistic individuals. Our findings unveil a fundamental role of genes affected by the 16p11.2 deletion in establishing the basal ganglia circuitry and provide insights in the pathophysiology of autism.
Wu, Hao; Tao, Jifang; Chen, Pauline J; Shahab, Atif; Ge, Weihong; Hart, Ronald P; Ruan, Xiaoan; Ruan, Yijun; Sun, Yi E
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, noncoding RNAs that function as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. Many miRNAs are expressed in the developing brain and regulate multiple aspects of neural development, including neurogenesis, dendritogenesis, and synapse formation. Rett syndrome (RTT) is a progressive neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). Although Mecp2 is known to act as a global transcriptional regulator, miRNAs that are directly regulated by Mecp2 in the brain are not known. Using massively parallel sequencing methods, we have identified miRNAs whose expression is altered in cerebella of Mecp2-null mice before and after the onset of severe neurological symptoms. In vivo genome-wide analyses indicate that promoter regions of a significant fraction of dysregulated miRNA transcripts, including a large polycistronic cluster of brain-specific miRNAs, are DNA-methylated and are bound directly by Mecp2. Functional analysis demonstrates that the 3' UTR of messenger RNA encoding Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (Bdnf) can be targeted by multiple miRNAs aberrantly up-regulated in the absence of Mecp2. Taken together, these results suggest that dysregulation of miRNAs may contribute to RTT pathoetiology and also may provide a valuable resource for further investigations of the role of miRNAs in RTT.
Baranovich, Tatiana; Burnham, Andrew J.; Marathe, Bindumadhav M.; Armstrong, Jianling; Guan, Yi; Shu, Yuelong; Peiris, Joseph Malik Sriyal; Webby, Richard J.; Webster, Robert G.; Govorkova, Elena A.
Background. High mortality and uncertainty about the effectiveness of neuraminidase inhibitors (NAIs) in humans infected with influenza A(H7N9) viruses are public health concerns. Methods. Susceptibility of N9 viruses to NAIs was determined in a fluorescence-based assay. The NAI oseltamivir (5, 20, or 80 mg/kg/day) was administered to BALB/c mice twice daily starting 24, 48, or 72 hours after A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) virus challenge. Results. All 12 avian N9 and 3 human H7N9 influenza viruses tested were susceptible to NAIs. Without prior adaptation, A/Anhui/1/2013 (H7N9) caused lethal infection in mice that was restricted to the respiratory tract and resulted in pulmonary edema and acute lung injury with hyaline membrane formation, leading to decreased oxygenation, all characteristics of human acute respiratory distress syndrome. Oseltamivir at 20 and 80 mg/kg protected 80% and 88% of mice when initiated after 24 hours, and the efficacy decreased to 70% and 60%, respectively, when treatment was delayed by 48 hours. Emergence of oseltamivir-resistant variants was not detected. Conclusions. H7N9 viruses are comparable to currently circulating influenza A viruses in susceptibility to NAIs. Based on these animal studies, early treatment is associated with improved outcomes. PMID:24133191
Wood, Lydia; Shepherd, Gordon M. G.
Motor and cognitive functions are severely impaired in Rett syndrome (RTT). Here, we examined local synaptic circuits of layer 2/3 (L2/3) pyramidal neurons in motor-frontal cortex of male hemizygous MeCP2-null mice at 3–4 weeks of age. We mapped local excitatory input to L2/3 neurons using glutamate uncaging and laser scanning photostimulation, and compared synaptic input maps recorded from MeCP2-null and wild type (WT) mice. Local excitatory input was significantly reduced in the mutants. The strongest phenotype was observed for lateral (horizontal, intralaminar) inputs, that is, L2/3→2/3 inputs, which showed a large reduction in MeCP2−/y animals. Neither the amount of local inhibitory input to these L2/3 pyramidal neurons nor their intrinsic electrophysiological properties differed by genotype. Our findings provide further evidence that excitatory networks are selectively reduced in RTT. We discuss our findings in the context of recently published parallel studies using selective MeCP2 knockdown in individual L2/3 neurons. PMID:20138994
Miao, Mingsan; Guo, Lin; Yan, Xiaoli; Wang, Tan; Li, Zuming
The aim of this study was to observe the treatment characteristics of verbenalin on a prostatitis mouse model. Give Xiaozhiling injection in the prostate locally to make a prostatitis mouse model. High, medium and low doses of verbenalin were each given to different mouse groups. The amount of water was determined in 14th, 28th. The number of white cells and lecithin corpuscle density in prostatic fluid were determined. Morphological changes in the prostate, testis, epididymis and kidney were detected. Compared with the model control group, the mice treated with high, medium and low doses of verbenalin had significantly increased amounts of water, and prostate white blood cell count and prostate volume density (Vv) were decreased significantly, the density of lecithin corpuscle score increased, and pathologic prostatitis changes were significantly reduced. Pathological change in the testis was significantly reduced and the change in the epididymis was obviously reduced. The thymic cortex thickness and the number of lymphocytes increased significantly and could reduce the renal pathological changes in potential. Verbenalin has a good therapeutic effect on the prostatitis mouse model. PMID:26858560
Wipl knockout mouse model and have shown defects in cell cycle control in cells derived from Wipl null animals. We are crossing these mice to mammary...compartment of the testes (13,14). Mice lacking Wipl are viable, but males show a reduced longevity and frequent runting (14). Wipl null males also show...predominates and thus the other TG/p53 mouse . Wnt-1 TG mice contain several copies nontumor components should not obscure any strong of a germline Wnt-1
Tian, Mi; Zeng, Yan; Hu, Yilan; Yuan, Xiuxue; Liu, Shumin; Li, Jie; Lu, Pan; Sun, Yao; Gao, Lei; Fu, Daan; Li, Yi; Wang, Shasha; McClintock, Shawn M
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is characterized by immature dendritic spine architectures and cognitive impairment. 7, 8-Dihydroxyflavone (7, 8-DHF) has recently been identified as a high affinity tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrkB) agonist. The purpose of this paper was to examine the utility of 7, 8-DHF as an effective pharmacotherapeutic agent that targets dendritic pathology and cognitive impairments in FXS mutant. We synthesized pharmacologic, behavioral, and biochemical approaches to examine the effects of 7, 8-DHF on spatial and fear memory functions, and morphological spine abnormalities in fragile X mental retardation 1 (Fmr1) gene knock-out mice. The study found that 4 weeks of treatment with 7, 8-DHF improved spatial and fear memory, and ameliorated morphological spine abnormalities including the number and elongation of spines in the hippocampus and amygdala. Further mechanism analysis revealed that 7, 8-DHF enhanced the expression of alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) GluA1 receptor, but reduced the normal levels of GluA2 at the synapses in Fmr1. Potentially related to drug-induced changes in AMPA receptor subunits, 7, 8-DHF at the synapses led to phosphorylation of specific serine sites on subunits Ser818 and Ser813 of GluA1, and Ser880 of GluA2, as well as phosphorylation of TrkB, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and protein kinase C. However, 7, 8-DHF neither affected behavioral performance nor increased TrkB phosphorylation in WT mice, which suggested that it had FXS-specific correcting effect. Altogether, these results demonstrated that 7, 8-DHF improved learning and memory, and reduced abnormalities in spine morphology, thus providing a potential pharmacotherapeutic strategy for FXS.
Ju, Xiaoxi; Ijaz, Talha; Sun, Hong; LeJeune, Wanda; Vargas, Gracie; Shilagard, Tuya; Recinos, Adrian; Milewicz, Dianna M.; Brasier, Allan R.; Tilton, Ronald G.
Background Development of thoracic aortic aneurysms is the most significant clinical phenotype in patients with Marfan syndrome. An inflammatory response has been described in advanced stages of the disease. Because the hallmark of vascular inflammation is local interleukin‐6 (IL‐6) secretion, we explored the role of this proinflammatory cytokine in the formation of aortic aneurysms and rupture in hypomorphic fibrillin‐deficient mice (mgR/mgR). Methods and Results MgR/mgR mice developed ascending aortic aneurysms with significant dilation of the ascending aorta by 12 weeks (2.7±0.1 and 1.3±0.1 for mgR/mgR versus wild‐type mice, respectively; P<0.001). IL‐6 signaling was increased in mgR/mgR aortas measured by increases in IL‐6 and SOCS3 mRNA transcripts (P<0.05) and in cytokine secretion of IL‐6, MCP‐1, and GM‐CSF (P<0.05). To investigate the role of IL‐6 signaling, we generated mgR homozygous mice with IL‐6 deficiency (DKO). The extracellular matrix of mgR/mgR mice showed significant disruption of elastin and the presence of dysregulated collagen deposition in the medial‐adventitial border by second harmonic generation multiphoton autofluorescence microscopy. DKO mice exhibited less elastin and collagen degeneration than mgR/mgR mice, which was associated with decreased activity of matrix metalloproteinase‐9 and had significantly reduced aortic dilation (1.0±0.1 versus 1.6±0.2 mm change from baseline, DKO versus mgR/mgR, P<0.05) that did not affect rupture and survival. Conclusion Activation of IL‐6‐STAT3 signaling contributes to aneurysmal dilation in mgR/mgR mice through increased MMP‐9 activity, aggravating extracellular matrix degradation. PMID:24449804
Willing, Alison E; Garbuzova-Davis, Svitlana N; Zayko, Olga; Derasari, Hiranya M; Rawls, Ashley E; James, Chris R; Mervis, Ron F; Sanberg, Cyndy D; Kuzmin-Nichols, Nicole; Sanberg, Paul R
Sanfilippo syndrome type III B (MPS III B) is an inherited disorder characterized by a deficiency of α-N-acetylglucosaminidase (Naglu) enzyme leading to accumulation of heparan sulfate in lysosomes and severe neurological deficits. We have previously shown that a single administration of human umbilical cord mononuclear cells (hUCB MNCs) into Naglu knockout mice decreased behavioral abnormalities and tissue pathology. In this study, we tested whether repeated doses of hUCB MNCs would be more beneficial than a single dose of cells. Naglu mice at 3 months of age were randomly assigned to either a Media-only group or one of three hUCB MNC treatment groups--single low dose (3 × 10(6) cells), single high dose (1.8 × 10(7) cells), or multiple doses (3 × 10(6) cells monthly for 6 months) delivered intravenously; cyclosporine was injected intraperitoneally to immune suppress the mice for the duration of the study. An additional control group of wild-type mice was also used. We measured anxiety in an open field test and cognition in an active avoidance test prior to treatment and then at monthly intervals for 6 months. hUCB MNCs restored normal anxiety-like behavior in these mice (p < 0.001). The repeated cell administrations also restored hippocampal cytoarchitecture, protected the dendritic tree, decreased GM3 ganglioside accumulation, and decreased microglial activation, particularly in the hippocampus and cortex. These data suggest that the neuroprotective effect of hUCB MNCs can be enhanced by repeated cell administrations.
Willing, Alison E; Garbuzova-Davis, Svitlana N; Zayko, Olga; Derasari, Hiranya M; Rawls, Ashley E; James, Chris R; Mervis, Ron F; Sanberg, Cyndy D; Kuzmin-Nichols, Nicole; Sanberg, Paul R
Sanfilippo syndrome type III B (MPS III B) is an inherited disorder characterized by a deficiency of ?-N-acetylglucosaminidase (Naglu) enzyme leading to accumulation of heparan sulfate in lysosomes and severe neurological deficits. We have previously shown that a single administration of human umbilical cord mononuclear cells (hUCB MNC) into Nagluknockout mice decreased behavioral abnormalities and tissue pathology. In this study, we tested whether repeated doses of hUCB MNCs would be more beneficial than a single dose of cells. Naglumice at 3 months of age were randomly assigned to either a Media only group, or one of three hUCB MNC treatment groups - single low dose (3x10(6) cells), single high dose (1.8x10(7) cells) or multiple doses (3x10(6) cells monthly for 6 months) delivered intravenously (i.v.); cyclosporine was injected i.p. to immune suppress the mice for the duration of the study. An additional control group of wild type mice was also used. We measured anxiety in an open field test and cognition inactive avoidance test prior to treatment and then at monthly intervals for 6 months. hUCB MNCs restored normal anxiety-like behavior in these mice (p < 0.001). The repeated cell administrations also restored hippocampal cytoarchitecture, protected the dendritic tree, decreased GM3 ganglioside accumulation and decreased microglial activation, particularly in hippocampus and cortex. These data suggest that the neuroprotective effect of hUCB MNCs can be enhanced by repeated cell administrations.
Ifrim, Marius F; Williams, Kathryn R; Bassell, Gary J
Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is caused by the loss of the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), an RNA binding protein that regulates translation of numerous target mRNAs, some of which are dendritically localized. Our previous biochemical studies using synaptoneurosomes demonstrate a role for FMRP and miR-125a in regulating the translation of PSD-95 mRNA. However, the local translation of PSD-95 mRNA within dendrites and spines, as well as the roles of FMRP or miR-125a, have not been directly studied. Herein, local synthesis of a Venus-PSD-95 fusion protein was directly visualized in dendrites and spines using single-molecule imaging of a diffusion-restricted Venus-PSD-95 reporter under control of the PSD-95 3'UTR. The basal translation rates of Venus-PSD-95 mRNA was increased in cultured hippocampal neurons from Fmr1 KO mice compared with WT neurons, which correlated with a transient elevation of endogenous PSD-95 within dendrites. Following mGluR stimulation with (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine, the rate of Venus-PSD-95 mRNA translation increased rapidly in dendrites of WT hippocampal neurons, but not in those of Fmr1 KO neurons or when the binding site of miR125a, previously shown to bind PSD-95 3'UTR, was mutated. This study provides direct support for the hypothesis that local translation within dendrites and spines is dysregulated in FXS. Impairments in the regulated local synthesis of PSD-95, a critical regulator of synaptic structure and function, may affect the spatiotemporal control of PSD-95 levels and affect dendritic spine development and synaptic plasticity in FXS.
Kron, Miriam; Lang, Min; Adams, Ian T.; Sceniak, Michael; Longo, Frank; Katz, David M.
Reduced levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of Rett syndrome (RTT), a severe neurodevelopmental disorder caused by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MeCP2). In Mecp2 mutant mice, BDNF deficits have been associated with breathing abnormalities, a core feature of RTT, as well as with synaptic hyperexcitability within the brainstem respiratory network. Application of BDNF can reverse hyperexcitability in acute brainstem slices from Mecp2-null mice, suggesting that therapies targeting BDNF or its receptor, TrkB, could be effective at acute reversal of respiratory abnormalities in RTT. Therefore, we examined the ability of LM22A-4, a small-molecule BDNF loop-domain mimetic and TrkB partial agonist, to modulate synaptic excitability within respiratory cell groups in the brainstem nucleus tractus solitarius (nTS) and to acutely reverse abnormalities in breathing at rest and during behavioral arousal in Mecp2 mutants. Patch-clamp recordings in Mecp2-null brainstem slices demonstrated that LM22A-4 decreases excitability at primary afferent synapses in the nTS by reducing the amplitude of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents and the frequency of spontaneous and miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. In vivo, acute treatment of Mecp2-null and -heterozygous mutants with LM22A-4 completely eliminated spontaneous apneas in resting animals, without sedation. Moreover, we demonstrate that respiratory dysregulation during behavioral arousal, a feature of human RTT, is also reversed in Mecp2 mutants by acute treatment with LM22A-4. Together, these data support the hypothesis that reduced BDNF signaling and respiratory dysfunction in RTT are linked, and establish the proof-of-concept that treatment with a small-molecule structural mimetic of a BDNF loop domain and a TrkB partial agonist can acutely reverse abnormal breathing at rest and in response to behavioral arousal
Lana-Elola, Eva; Watson-Scales, Sheona; Slender, Amy; Gibbins, Dorota; Martineau, Alexandrine; Douglas, Charlotte; Mohun, Timothy; Fisher, Elizabeth MC; Tybulewicz, Victor LJ
Down syndrome (DS), caused by trisomy of human chromosome 21 (Hsa21), is the most common cause of congenital heart defects (CHD), yet the genetic and mechanistic causes of these defects remain unknown. To identify dosage-sensitive genes that cause DS phenotypes, including CHD, we used chromosome engineering to generate a mapping panel of 7 mouse strains with partial trisomies of regions of mouse chromosome 16 orthologous to Hsa21. Using high-resolution episcopic microscopy and three-dimensional modeling we show that these strains accurately model DS CHD. Systematic analysis of the 7 strains identified a minimal critical region sufficient to cause CHD when present in 3 copies, and showed that it contained at least two dosage-sensitive loci. Furthermore, two of these new strains model a specific subtype of atrio-ventricular septal defects with exclusive ventricular shunting and demonstrate that, contrary to current hypotheses, these CHD are not due to failure in formation of the dorsal mesenchymal protrusion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11614.001 PMID:26765563
Martin, Rebecca A; Hodgkins, Samantha R; Dixon, Anne E; Poynter, Matthew E
Substantial gains in understanding the pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying asthma have been made using preclinical mouse models. However, because asthma is a complex, heterogeneous syndrome that is rarely due to a single allergen and that often presents in the absence of atopy, few of the promising therapeutics that demonstrated effectiveness in mouse models have translated into new treatments for patients. This has resulted in an urgent need to characterize Th2-low, noneosinophilic subsets of asthma, to study models that are resistant to conventional treatments such as corticosteroids, and to develop therapies targeting patients with severe disease. Classifying asthma based on underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms, known as endotyping, offers a stratified approach for the development of new therapies for asthma. In preclinical research, new models of asthma are being utilized that more closely resemble the clinical features of different asthma endotypes, including the presence of IL-17 and a Th17 response, a biomarker of severe disease. These models utilize more physiologically relevant sensitizing agents, exacerbating factors, and allergens, as well as incorporate time points that better reflect the natural history and chronicity of clinical asthma. Importantly, some models better represent nonclassical asthma endotypes that facilitate the study of non-Th2 driven pathology and resemble the complex nature of clinical asthma, including corticosteroid resistance. Placing mouse asthma models into the context of human asthma endotypes will afford a more relevant approach to the understanding of pathophysiological mechanisms of disease that will afford the development of new therapies for those asthmatics that remain difficult to treat. PMID:24811131
The re-issue of a nineteenth-century French "Drawing Course" is the occasion for an examination of issues of "models of good practice" in current art teaching. These are listed as an expanded set of student-centred pedagogical paradigms, which embrace the forceful popular imagery of electronic games and comic strips. The formalist adaptations of…
Perlman, Robert L.
The use of mice as model organisms to study human biology is predicated on the genetic and physiological similarities between the species. Nonetheless, mice and humans have evolved in and become adapted to different environments and so, despite their phylogenetic relatedness, they have become very different organisms. Mice often respond to experimental interventions in ways that differ strikingly from humans. Mice are invaluable for studying biological processes that have been conserved during the evolution of the rodent and primate lineages and for investigating the developmental mechanisms by which the conserved mammalian genome gives rise to a variety of different species. Mice are less reliable as models of human disease, however, because the networks linking genes to disease are likely to differ between the two species. The use of mice in biomedical research needs to take account of the evolved differences as well as the similarities between mice and humans. PMID:27121451
Juriloff, D M; Harris, M J
Neural tube closure defects (NTDs), in particular anencephaly and spina bifida, are common human birth defects (1 in 1000), their genetics is complex and their risk is reduced by periconceptional maternal folic acid supplementation. There are > 60 mouse mutants and strains with NTDs, many reported within the past 2 years. Not only are NTD mutations at loci widely heterogeneous in function, but also most of the mutants demonstrate variable low penetrance and some show complex inheritance patterns (e.g. SELH/Bc, Abl / Arg, Mena / Profilin1 ). In most of these mouse models, the NTDs are exencephaly (equivalent to anencephaly) or spina bifida or both, reflecting failure of neural fold elevation in well defined, mechanistically distinct elevation zones. NTD risk is reduced in various models by different maternal nutrient supplements, including folic acid ( Pax3, Cart1, Cd mutants), inositol ( ct ) and methionine ( Axd ). Lack of de novo methylation in embryos ( Dnmt3b -null) leads to NTD risk, and we suggest a potential link between methylation and the observed female excess among cranial NTDs in several models. Some surprising NTD mutants ( Gadd45a, Terc, Trp53 ) suggest that genes with a basic mitotic function also have a function specific to neural fold elevation. The genes mutated in several mouse NTD models involve actin regulation ( Abl/Arg, Macs, Mena/Profilin1, Mlp, Shrm, Vcl ), support the postulated key role of actin in neural fold elevation, and may be a good candidate pathway to search for human NTD genes.
Czerwinski, Stefanie; Mostafa, Safinaz; Rowan, Vanessa Seamon; Azzarolo, Ana Maria
Sjögren’s Syndrome (SS) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by lacrimal gland lymphocytic infiltration and epithelial cell death, as well as by the presence of serum autoantibodies. Although the symptoms of this syndrome are well characterized, patients are not diagnosed until 5–10 years into disease progression; furthermore, the early series of events leading to the initiation of SS are not well understood. In order to better understand the early events of the disease, we have been using ovariectomized (OVX) NOD.B10.H2b mice as a genetically predisposed model of SS. Previously, we have shown that removal of ovarian hormones through ovariectomy accelerated the symptoms of this disease, and in early events of SS in the lacrimal glands, lymphocytic infiltration preceded acinar cell apoptosis. To further elucidate the earlier events of this disease in the SS animal model, we investigated the expression and concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lacrimal glands as well as the presence of autoantibodies in both lacrimal glands and serum. Six weeks old NOD.B10.H2b and C57BL/10 control mice were either sham-operated, OVX, OVX and treated with 17β-estradiol (E2), or OVX and treated with dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Lacrimal glands were collected at 3, 7, 21, and 30 days after surgery and analyzed for cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-10, and IL-4 gene expression by using quantitative RT-PCR and for cytokine levels using ELISA. Furthermore, anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB autoantibodies were measured in the serum and lacrimal glands supernatants using ELISA. The results of this study showed that OVX caused a significant increase in the expression and levels of the cytokines IL-1β, TNF-α, and IL-4 in the lacrimal glands of the NOD.B10.H2b mice starting at 3 days after OVX, while a significant increase of IL-10 gene expression and levels was observed only at later experimental time points. A small but significant increase in the
Chadman, Kathryn K.; Yang, Mu; Crawley, Jacqueline N.
Animal models of human diseases are in widespread use for biomedical research. Mouse models with a mutation in a single gene or multiple genes are excellent research tools for understanding the role of a specific gene in the etiology of a human genetic disease. Ideally, the mouse phenotypes will recapitulate the human phenotypes exactly. However, exact matches are rare, particularly in mouse models of neuropsychiatric disorders. This article summarizes the current strategies for optimizing the validity of a mouse model of a human brain dysfunction. We address the common question raised by molecular geneticists and clinical researchers in psychiatry, “what is a ‘good enough’ mouse model”? PMID:18484083
Pash, J.; Popescu, N.; Matocha, M.; Rapoport, S.; Bustin, M. )
The gene for human high-mobility-group (HMG) chromosomal protein HMG-14 is located in region 21q22.3, a region associated with the pathogenesis of Down syndrome, one of the most prevalent human birth defects. The expression of this gene is analyzed in mouse embryos that are trisomic in chromosome 16 and are considered to be an animal model for Down syndrome. RNA blot-hybridization analysis and detailed analysis of HMG-14 protein levels indicate that mouse trisomy 16 embryos have approximately 1.5 times more HMG-14 mRNA and protein than their normal littermates, suggesting a direct gene dosage effect. The HMG-14 gene may be an additional marker for the Down syndrome. Chromosomal protein HMG-14 is a nucleosomal binding protein that may confer distinct properties to the chromatin structure of transcriptionally active genes and therefore may be a contributing factor in the etiology of the syndrome.
Sahún, Ignasi; Marechal, Damien; Pereira, Patricia Lopes; Nalesso, Valérie; Gruart, Agnes; Garcia, José Maria Delgado; Antonarakis, Stylianos E.; Dierssen, Mara; Herault, Yann
Down syndrome (DS) is due to increased copy number of human chromosome 21. The contribution of different genetic regions has been tested using mouse models. As shown previously, the Abcg1-U2af1 genetic region contributes to cognitive defects in working and short-term recognition memory in Down syndrome mouse models. Here we analyzed the impact of monosomy of the same genetic interval, using a new mouse model, named Ms2Yah. We used several cognitive paradigms and did not detect defects in the object recognition or the Morris water maze tests. However, surprisingly, Ms2Yah mice displayed increased associative memory in a pure contextual fear-conditioning test and decreased social novelty interaction along with a larger long-term potentiation recorded in the CA1 area following stimulation of Schaffer collaterals. Whole-genome expression studies carried out on hippocampus showed that the transcription of only a small number of genes is affected, mainly from the genetic interval (Cbs, Rsph1, Wdr4), with a few additional ones, including the postsynaptic Gabrr2, Gabbr1, Grid2p, Park2, and Dlg1 and the components of the Ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis (Anapc1, Rnf7, Huwe1, Park2). The Abcg1–U2af1 region is undeniably encompassing dosage-sensitive genes or elements whose change in copy number directly affects learning and memory, synaptic function, and autistic related behavior. PMID:24752061
Maguire, H.C. Jr.; Kaidbey, K.
We have induced photoallergic contact dermatitis in mice to 3,3',4',5 tetrachlorosalicylanilide (TCSA), chlorpromazine and 6-methylcoumarin. These compounds are known to produce photoallergic contact dermatitis in humans. The photoallergic contact dermatitis reaction in the mouse is immunologically specific viz. mice photosensitized to TCSA react, by photochallenge, to that compound and not to chlorpromazine, and conversely. The reaction requires UVA at both sensitization and challenge. It appears to be T-cell mediated in that it can be passively transferred to syngeneic mice by lymph node cells from actively sensitized mice, the histology of the reactions resembles that of classic allergic contact dermatitis in mice, challenge reactions are seen at 24 but not at 4 hr, and photoallergic contact dermatitis can be induced in B-cell deficient mice. The availability of a mouse model for the study of photo-ACD will facilitate the identification of pertinent control mechanisms and may aid in the management of the disease. It is likely that a bioassay for photoallergens of humans can be based on this mouse model.
Cheeseman, Michael T.; Vowell, Kate; Hough, Tertius A.; Jones, Lynn; Pathak, Paras; Tyrer, Hayley E.; Kelly, Michelle; Cox, Roger; Warren, Madhuri V.; Peters, Jo
GNAS/Gnas encodes Gsα that is mainly biallelically expressed but shows imprinted expression in some tissues. In Albright Hereditary Osteodystrophy (AHO) heterozygous loss of function mutations of GNAS can result in ectopic ossification that tends to be superficial and attributable to haploinsufficiency of biallelically expressed Gsα. Oed-Sml is a point missense mutation in exon 6 of the orthologous mouse locus Gnas. We report here both the late onset ossification and occurrence of benign cutaneous fibroepithelial polyps in Oed-Sml. These phenotypes are seen on both maternal and paternal inheritance of the mutant allele and are therefore due to an effect on biallelically expressed Gsα. The ossification is confined to subcutaneous tissues and so resembles the ossification observed with AHO. Our mouse model is the first with both subcutaneous ossification and fibroepithelial polyps related to Gsα deficiency. It is also the first mouse model described with a clinically relevant phenotype associated with a point mutation in Gsα and may be useful in investigations of the mechanisms of heterotopic bone formation. Together with earlier results, our findings indicate that Gsα signalling pathways play a vital role in repressing ectopic bone formation. PMID:23284784
Karp, Christopher L
Mus musculus enjoys pride of place at the center of contemporary biomedical research. Despite being the current model system of choice for in vivo mechanistic analysis, mice have clear limitations. The literature is littered with examples of therapeutic approaches that showed promise in mouse models but failed in clinical trials. More generally, mice often provide poor mimics of the human diseases being modeled. Available data suggest that the cold stress to which laboratory mice are ubiquitously subjected profoundly affects mouse physiology in ways that impair the modeling of human homeostasis and disease. Experimental attention to this key, albeit largely ignored, environmental variable is likely to have a broad transformative effect on biomedical research.
Malachowa, Natalia; Kobayashi, Scott D; Braughton, Kevin R; DeLeo, Frank R
Bacterial skin and soft tissue infections are abundant worldwide and many are caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Indeed, S. aureus is the leading cause of skin and soft tissue infections in the USA. Here, we describe a mouse model of skin and soft tissue infection induced by subcutaneous inoculation of S. aureus. This animal model can be used to investigate a number of factors related to the pathogenesis of skin and soft tissue infections, including strain virulence and the contribution of specific bacterial molecules to disease, and it can be employed to test the potential effectiveness of antibiotic therapies or vaccine candidates.
Kim, Airie; Rivera, Seth; Shprung, Dana; Limbrick, Donald; Gabayan, Victoria; Nemeth, Elizabeta; Ganz, Tomas
Anemia of cancer (AC) may contribute to cancer-related fatigue and impair quality of life. Improved understanding of the pathogenesis of AC could facilitate better treatment, but animal models to study AC are lacking. We characterized four syngeneic C57BL/6 mouse cancers that cause AC. Mice with two different rapidly-growing metastatic lung cancers developed the characteristic findings of anemia of inflammation (AI), with dramatically different degrees of anemia. Mice with rapidly-growing metastatic melanoma also developed a severe anemia by 14 days, with hematologic and inflammatory parameters similar to AI. Mice with a slow-growing peritoneal ovarian cancer developed an iron-deficiency anemia, likely secondary to chronically impaired nutrition and bleeding into the peritoneal cavity. Of the four models, hepcidin mRNA levels were increased only in the milder lung cancer model. Unlike in our model of systemic inflammation induced by heat-killed Brucella abortus, ablation of hepcidin in the ovarian cancer and the milder lung cancer mouse models did not affect the severity of anemia. Hepcidin-independent mechanisms play an important role in these murine models of AC. PMID:24681760
Kimber, W L; Hsieh, P; Hirotsune, S; Yuva-Paylor, L; Sutherland, H F; Chen, A; Ruiz-Lozano, P; Hoogstraten-Miller, S L; Chien, K R; Paylor, R; Scambler, P J; Wynshaw-Boris, A
Deletions or rearrangements of human chromosome 22q11 lead to a variety of related clinical syndromes such as DiGeorge syndrome (DGS) and velo--cardiofacial syndrome (VCFS). In addition, patients with 22q11 deletions have an increased incidence of schizophrenia and several studies have mapped susceptibility loci for schizophrenia to this region. Human molecular genetic studies have so far failed to identify the crucial genes or disruption mechanisms that result in these disorders. We have used gene targeting in the mouse to delete a defined region within the conserved DGS critical region (DGCR) on mouse chromosome 16 to prospectively investigate the role of the mouse DGCR in 22q11 syndromes. The deletion spans a conserved portion ( approximately 150 kb) of the proximal region of the DGCR, containing at least seven genes ( Znf74l, Idd, Tsk1, Tsk2, Es2, Gscl and Ctp ). Mice heterozygous for this deletion display no findings of DGS/VCFS in either inbred or mixed backgrounds. However, heterozygous mice display an increase in prepulse inhibition of the startle response, a manifestation of sensorimotor gating that is reduced in humans with schizophrenia. Homozygous deleted mice die soon after implantation, demonstrating that the deleted region contains genes essential for early post-implantation embryonic development. These results suggest that heterozygous deletion of this portion of the DGCR is sufficient for sensorimotor gating abnormalities, but not sufficient to produce the common features of DGS/VCFS in the mouse.
Westbrook, Aya M; Szakmary, Akos; Schiestl, Robert H
Chronic inflammation is strongly associated with approximately one-fifth of all human cancers. Arising from combinations of factors such as environmental exposures, diet, inherited gene polymorphisms, infections, or from dysfunctions of the immune response, chronic inflammation begins as an attempt of the body to remove injurious stimuli; however, over time, this results in continuous tissue destruction and promotion and maintenance of carcinogenesis. Here, we focus on intestinal inflammation and its associated cancers, a group of diseases on the rise and affecting millions of people worldwide. Intestinal inflammation can be widely grouped into inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease) and celiac disease. Long-standing intestinal inflammation is associated with colorectal cancer and small-bowel adenocarcinoma, as well as extraintestinal manifestations, including lymphomas and autoimmune diseases. This article highlights potential mechanisms of pathogenesis in inflammatory bowel diseases and celiac disease, as well as those involved in the progression to associated cancers, most of which have been identified from studies utilizing mouse models of intestinal inflammation. Mouse models of intestinal inflammation can be widely grouped into chemically induced models; genetic models, which make up the bulk of the studied models; adoptive transfer models; and spontaneous models. Studies in these models have lead to the understanding that persistent antigen exposure in the intestinal lumen, in combination with loss of epithelial barrier function, and dysfunction and dysregulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses lead to chronic intestinal inflammation. Transcriptional changes in this environment leading to cell survival, hyperplasia, promotion of angiogenesis, persistent DNA damage, or insufficient repair of DNA damage due to an excess of proinflammatory mediators are then thought to lead to sustained malignant transformation. With
Melenotte, Cléa; Lepidi, Hubert; Nappez, Claude; Bechah, Yassina; Audoly, Gilles; Terras, Jérôme; Raoult, Didier
Coxiella burnetii is mainly transmitted by aerosols and is responsible for multiple-organ lesions. Animal models have shown C. burnetii pathogenicity, but long-term outcomes still need to be clarified. We used a whole-body aerosol inhalation exposure system to mimic the natural route of infection in immunocompetent (BALB/c) and severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. After an initial lung inoculum of 104 C. burnetii cells/lung, the outcome, serological response, hematological disorders, and deep organ lesions were described up to 3 months postinfection. C. burnetii-specific PCR, anti-C. burnetii immunohistochemistry, and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) targeting C. burnetii-specific 16S rRNA completed the detection of the bacterium in the tissues. In BALB/c mice, a thrombocytopenia and lymphopenia were first observed, prior to evidence of C. burnetii replication. In all SCID mouse organs, DNA copies increased to higher levels over time than in BALB/c ones. Clinical signs of discomfort appeared in SCID mice, so follow-up had to be shortened to 2 months in this group. At this stage, all animals presented bone, cervical, and heart lesions. The presence of C. burnetii could be attested in situ for all organs sampled using immunohistochemistry and FISH. This mouse model described C. burnetii Nine Mile strain spread using aerosolization in a way that corroborates the pathogenicity of Q fever described in humans and completes previously published data in mouse models. C. burnetii infection occurring after aerosolization in mice thus seems to be a useful tool to compare the pathogenicity of different strains of C. burnetii. PMID:27160294
Nijagal, Amar; Le, Tom; Wegorzewska, Marta; Mackenzie, Tippi C
The transplantation of stem cells and viruses in utero has tremendous potential for treating congenital disorders in the human fetus. For example, in utero transplantation (IUT) of hematopoietic stem cells has been used to successfully treat patients with severe combined immunodeficiency. In several other conditions, however, IUT has been attempted without success. Given these mixed results, the availability of an efficient non-human model to study the biological sequelae of stem cell transplantation and gene therapy is critical to advance this field. We and others have used the mouse model of IUT to study factors affecting successful engraftment of in utero transplanted hematopoietic stem cells in both wild-type mice and those with genetic diseases. The fetal environment also offers considerable advantages for the success of in utero gene therapy. For example, the delivery of adenoviral, adeno-associated viral, retroviral, and lentiviral vectors into the fetus has resulted in the transduction of multiple organs distant from the site of injection with long-term gene expression. in utero gene therapy may therefore be considered as a possible treatment strategy for single gene disorders such as muscular dystrophy or cystic fibrosis. Another potential advantage of IUT is the ability to induce immune tolerance to a specific antigen. As seen in mice with hemophilia, the introduction of Factor IX early in development results in tolerance to this protein. In addition to its use in investigating potential human therapies, the mouse model of IUT can be a powerful tool to study basic questions in developmental and stem cell biology. For example, one can deliver various small molecules to induce or inhibit specific gene expression at defined gestational stages and manipulate developmental pathways. The impact of these alterations can be assessed at various timepoints after the initial transplantation. Furthermore, one can transplant pluripotent or lineage specific progenitor
Schmid, Annina B; Kubler, Paul A; Johnston, Venerina; Coppieters, Michel W
Non-neutral wrist positions and external pressure leading to increased carpal tunnel pressure during computer use have been associated with a heightened risk of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). This study investigated whether commonly used ergonomic devices reduce carpal tunnel pressure in patients with CTS. Carpal tunnel pressure was measured in twenty-one patients with CTS before, during and after a computer mouse task using a standard mouse, a vertical mouse, a gel mouse pad and a gliding palm support. Carpal tunnel pressure increased while operating a computer mouse. Although the vertical mouse significantly reduced ulnar deviation and the gel mouse pad and gliding palm support decreased wrist extension, none of the ergonomic devices reduced carpal tunnel pressure. The findings of this study do therefore not endorse a strong recommendation for or against any of the ergonomic devices commonly recommended for patients with CTS. Selection of ergonomic devices remains dependent on personal preference.
Bhutta, Mahmood Fazal
There has been a rapid rise in the use of the mouse to investigate pathobiology of otitis media. This is for good reason, including easy husbandry, but also capacity for genetic manipulation of the mouse. Insights into human disease have been gleaned from mouse models, but there are limitations of the mouse-to-man approach. First, important differences exist between mouse and man, particularly in immune function. Second, functional equivalence of genes in the 2 species is not ensured. Third, laboratory mice of a uniform genetic background and environment are an inadequate model of the plethora of factors affecting complex disease in humans. Finally, gene function in mouse models is often obliterated using gene knockout technology, but this is a poor mimic of normal gene variation in man. These drawbacks of the mouse may in the future limit its usefulness in otitis media research.
Even now fruit of the human genome project is available, we have difficulties to approach neuropsychiatric disorders at the molecular level. Autism is a complex psychiatric illness but has received considerable attention as a developmental brain disorder not only from basic researchers but also from society. Substantial evidence suggests that chromosomal abnormalities contribute to autism risk. The duplication of human chromosome 15q11-13 is known to be the most frequent cytogenetic abnormality in autism. We succeeded to generate mice with a 6.3-Mb-wide interstitial duplication in mouse chromosome 7c that is highly syntenic to human 15q11-13 by using a Cre-loxP-based chromosome-engineering technique. The only paternally duplicated mice display autistic behavioral features such as poor social interaction and stereotypical behavior, and exhibit a developmental abnormality in ultrasonic vocalizations as well as anxiety. The detailed analysis focusing on a non-coding small nucleolar RNA, MBII52, within the duplicated region, revealed that the paternally duplicated mice alter the editing ratio of serotonin (5-HT) 2c receptor pre-mRNA and intracellular calcium responses by a 5-HT2c receptor specific agonist are changed in neurons. This result may explain one of molecular mechanisms of abnormal behaviors in the paternal duplicated mice. The first chromosome-engineered mouse model for human chromosome 15q11-13 duplication fulfills not only face validity of human autistic phenotypes but also construct validity based on human chromosome abnormality. This model will be a founder mouse for forward genetics of autistic disease and an invaluable tool for its therapeutic development.
Rose, Samuel J; Kriener, Lisa H; Heinzer, Ann K; Fan, Xueliang; Raike, Robert S; van den Maagdenberg, Arn M J M; Hess, Ellen J
Episodic ataxia type 2 (EA2) is an autosomal dominant disorder associated with attacks of ataxia that are typically precipitated by stress, ethanol, caffeine or exercise. EA2 is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the CACNA1A gene, which encodes the α1A subunit of the CaV2.1 voltage-gated Ca(2+) channel. To better understand the pathomechanisms of this disorder in vivo, we created the first genetic animal model of EA2 by engineering a mouse line carrying the EA2-causing c.4486T>G (p.F1406C) missense mutation in the orthologous mouse Cacna1a gene. Mice homozygous for the mutated allele exhibit a ~70% reduction in CaV2.1 current density in Purkinje cells, though surprisingly do not exhibit an overt motor phenotype. Mice hemizygous for the knockin allele (EA2/- mice) did exhibit motor dysfunction measurable by rotarod and pole test. Studies using Cre-flox conditional genetics explored the role of cerebellar Purkinje cells or cerebellar granule cells in the poor motor performance of EA2/- mice and demonstrate that manipulation of either cell type alone did not cause poor motor performance. Thus, it is possible that subtle dysfunction arising from multiple cell types is necessary for the expression of certain ataxia syndromes.
Mizoguchi, Atsushi; Takeuchi, Takahito; Himuro, Hidetomo; Okada, Toshiyuki; Mizoguchi, Emiko
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic intestinal inflammatory condition that is mediated by very complex mechanisms controlled by genetic, immune, and environmental factors. More than 74 kinds of genetically engineered mouse strains have been established since 1993 for studying IBD. Although mouse models cannot fully reflect human IBD, they have provided significant contributions for not only understanding the mechanism, but also developing new therapeutic means for IBD. Indeed, 20 kinds of genetically engineered mouse models carry the susceptibility genes identified in human IBD, and the functions of some other IBD susceptibility genes have also been dissected out using mouse models. Cutting-edge technologies such as cell-specific and inducible knockout systems, which were recently employed to mouse IBD models, have further enhanced the ability of investigators to provide important and unexpected rationales for developing new therapeutic strategies for IBD. In this review article, we briefly introduce 74 kinds of genetically engineered mouse models that spontaneously develop intestinal inflammation. PMID:26387641
Eppig, Janan T; Blake, Judith A; Bult, Carol J; Kadin, James A; Richardson, Joel E
The Mouse Genome Database (MGD, http://www.informatics.jax.org) serves the international biomedical research community as the central resource for integrated genomic, genetic and biological data on the laboratory mouse. To facilitate use of mouse as a model in translational studies, MGD maintains a core of high-quality curated data and integrates experimentally and computationally generated data sets. MGD maintains a unified catalog of genes and genome features, including functional RNAs, QTL and phenotypic loci. MGD curates and provides functional and phenotype annotations for mouse genes using the Gene Ontology and Mammalian Phenotype Ontology. MGD integrates phenotype data and associates mouse genotypes to human diseases, providing critical mouse-human relationships and access to repositories holding mouse models. MGD is the authoritative source of nomenclature for genes, genome features, alleles and strains following guidelines of the International Committee on Standardized Genetic Nomenclature for Mice. A new addition to MGD, the Human-Mouse: Disease Connection, allows users to explore gene-phenotype-disease relationships between human and mouse. MGD has also updated search paradigms for phenotypic allele attributes, incorporated incidental mutation data, added a module for display and exploration of genes and microRNA interactions and adopted the JBrowse genome browser. MGD resources are freely available to the scientific community.
Ueno, Akiko; Lazaro, Raul; Wang, Ping-Yen; Higashiyama, Reiichi; Machida, Keigo; Tsukamoto, Hidekazu
Direct intragastric delivery of a diet, nutrient or test substance can be achieved in rodents (mice and rats) on a long-term (2–3 months) basis using a chronically implanted gastrostomy catheter and a flow-through swivel system. This rodent intragastric infusion (iG) model has broad applications in research on food intake, gastrointestinal (GI) physiology, GI neuroendocrinology, drug metabolism and toxicity, obesity and liver disease. It achieves maximal control over the rate and pattern of delivery and it can be combined with normal ad libitum feeding of solid diet if so desired. It may be adopted to achieve infusion at other sites of the GI system to test the role of a bypassed GI segment in neuroendocrine physiology, and its use in genetic mouse models facilitates the genetic analysis of a central question under investigation. PMID:22461066
Hawkins, Nicole A.; Zachwieja, Nicole J.; Miller, Alison R.; Anderson, Lyndsey L.; Kearney, Jennifer A.
A substantial number of mutations have been identified in voltage-gated sodium channel genes that result in various forms of human epilepsy. SCN1A mutations result in a spectrum of severity ranging from mild febrile seizures to Dravet syndrome, an infant-onset epileptic encephalopathy. Dravet syndrome patients experience multiple seizures types that are often refractory to treatment, developmental delays, and elevated risk for SUDEP. The same sodium channel mutation can produce epilepsy phenotypes of varying clinical severity. This suggests that other factors, including genetic, modify the primary mutation and change disease severity. Mouse models provide a useful tool in studying the genetic basis of epilepsy. The mouse strain background can alter phenotype severity, supporting a contribution of genetic modifiers in epilepsy. The Scn1a+/- mouse model has a strain-dependent epilepsy phenotype. Scn1a+/- mice on the 129S6/SvEvTac (129) strain have a normal phenotype and lifespan, while [129xC57BL/6J]F1-Scn1a+/- mice experience spontaneous seizures, hyperthermia-induced seizures and high rates of premature death. We hypothesize the phenotypic differences are due to strain-specific genetic modifiers that influence expressivity of the Scn1a+/- phenotype. Low resolution mapping of Scn1a+/- identified several Dravet syndrome modifier (Dsm) loci responsible for the strain-dependent difference in survival. One locus of interest, Dsm1 located on chromosome 5, was fine mapped to a 9 Mb region using interval specific congenics. RNA-Seq was then utilized to identify candidate modifier genes within this narrowed region. Three genes with significant total gene expression differences between 129S6/SvEvTac and [129xC57BL/6J]F1 were identified, including the GABAA receptor subunit, Gabra2. Further analysis of Gabra2 demonstrated allele-specific expression. Pharmological manipulation by clobazam, a common anticonvulsant with preferential affinity for the GABRA2 receptor, revealed
Paccione, M F; Warren, S M; Spector, J A; Greenwald, J A; Bouletreau, P J; Longaker, M T
The purpose of this study was to establish a novel mouse model of membranous osteotomy healing. By applying this model to transgenic mice or using in situ hybridization techniques, we can subsequently investigate candidate genes that are believed to be important in membranous osteotomy healing. In the current study, 20 adult male CD-1 mice underwent a full-thickness osteotomy between the second and third molars of the right hemimandible using a 3-mm diamond disc and copious irrigation. Compo-Post pins were secured into the mandible, 2 mm anterior and posterior to the osteotomy. After the soft tissues were reapproximated and the skin was closed, an acrylic external fixator was attached to the exposed posts for stabilization. The animals were killed on postoperative day number 7, 10, 14, and 28 (n=5 animals per time point). The right hemimandibles were decalcified and embedded in paraffin for histologic evaluation or immunohistochemistry localizing osteocalcin. At 7 days after the osteotomy, early intramembranous bone formation could be seen extending from either edge of the osteotomized bone. By 10 days, an increasing number of small blood vessels could be seen within and around the osteotomy. At 14 days, the bone edges were in close approximation, and by 28 days the callus had been replaced by actively remodeling woven bone in all specimens examined. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that osteocalcin expression correlated temporally with the transition from a soft to a hard callus. Furthermore, osteocalcin was spatially confined to osteoblasts actively laying down new osteoid or remodeling bone. This study describes a novel mouse model of membranous osteotomy healing that can be used as a paradigm for future osteotomy healing studies investigating candidate genes critical for osteogenesis and successful bone repair.
PEGylated G-CSF (BBT-015), GM-CSF (BBT-007), and IL-11 (BBT-059) analogs enhance survival and hematopoietic cell recovery in a mouse model of the hematopoietic syndrome of the acute radiation syndrome.
Plett, Paul Artur; Chua, Hui Lin; Sampson, Carol H; Katz, Barry P; Fam, Christine M; Anderson, Lana J; Cox, George N; Orschell, Christie M
Hematopoietic growth factors (HGF) are recommended therapy for high dose radiation exposure, but unfavorable administration schedules requiring early and repeat dosing limit the logistical ease with which they can be used. In this report, using a previously described murine model of H-ARS, survival efficacy and effect on hematopoietic recovery of unique PEGylated HGF were investigated. The PEGylated-HGFs possess longer half-lives and more potent hematopoietic properties than corresponding non-PEGylated-HGFs. C57BL/6 mice underwent single dose lethal irradiation (7.76-8.72 Gy, Cs, 0.62-1.02 Gy min) and were treated with various dosing regimens of 0.1, 0.3, and 1.0 mg kg of analogs of human PEG-G-CSF, murine PEG-GM-CSF, or human PEG-IL-11. Mice were administered one of the HGF analogs at 24-28 h post irradiation, and in some studies, additional doses given every other day (beginning with the 24-28 h dose) for a total of three or nine doses. Thirty-day (30 d) survival was significantly increased with only one dose of 0.3 mg kg of PEG-G-CSF and PEG-IL-11 or three doses of 0.3 mg kg of PEG-GM-CSF (p ≤ 0.006). Enhanced survival correlated with consistently and significantly enhanced WBC, NE, RBC, and PLT recovery for PEG-G- and PEG-GM-CSF, and enhanced RBC and PLT recovery for PEG-IL-11 (p ≤ 0.05). Longer administration schedules or higher doses did not provide a significant additional survival benefit over the shorter, lower dose, schedules. These data demonstrate the efficacy of BBT's PEG-HGF to provide significantly increased survival with fewer injections and lower drug doses, which may have significant economic and logistical value in the aftermath of a radiation event.
Bailey, M A; Cantone, A; Yan, Q; MacGregor, G G; Leng, Q; Amorim, J B O; Wang, T; Hebert, S C; Giebisch, G; Malnic, G
Type II Bartter's syndrome is a hereditary hypokalemic renal salt-wasting disorder caused by mutations in the ROMK channel (Kir1.1; Kcnj1), mediating potassium recycling in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop (TAL) and potassium secretion in the distal tubule and cortical collecting duct (CCT). Newborns with Type II Bartter are transiently hyperkalemic, consistent with loss of ROMK channel function in potassium secretion in distal convoluted tubule and CCT. Yet, these infants rapidly develop persistent hypokalemia owing to increased renal potassium excretion mediated by unknown mechanisms. Here, we used free-flow micropuncture and stationary microperfusion of the late distal tubule to explore the mechanism of renal potassium wasting in the Romk-deficient, Type II Bartter's mouse. We show that potassium absorption in the loop of Henle is reduced in Romk-deficient mice and can account for a significant fraction of renal potassium loss. In addition, we show that iberiotoxin (IBTX)-sensitive, flow-stimulated maxi-K channels account for sustained potassium secretion in the late distal tubule, despite loss of ROMK function. IBTX-sensitive potassium secretion is also increased in high-potassium-adapted wild-type mice. Thus, renal potassium wasting in Type II Bartter is due to both reduced reabsorption in the TAL and K secretion by max-K channels in the late distal tubule.
Miller, Kerry A; Williams, Louise H; Dahl, Hans-Henrik M; Manji, Shehnaaz S M
Animal models that recapitulate human disease are proving to be an invaluable tool in the identification of novel disease-associated genes. These models can improve our understanding of the complex genetic mechanisms involved in disease and provide a basis to guide therapeutic strategies to combat these conditions. We have identified a novel mouse model of non-syndromic sensorineural hearing loss with linkage to a region on chromosome 18. Eeyore mutant mice have early onset progressive hearing impairment and show abnormal structure of the sensory epithelium from as early as 4 weeks of age. Ultrastructural and histological analyses show irregular hair cell structure and degeneration of the sensory hair bundles in the cochlea. The identification of new genes involved in hearing is central to understanding the complex genetic pathways involved in the hearing process and the loci at which these pathways are interrupted in people with a genetic hearing loss. We therefore discuss possible candidate genes within the linkage region identified in eeyore that may underlie the deafness phenotype in these mice. Eeyore provides a new model of hereditary sensorineural deafness and will be an important tool in the search for novel deafness genes.
Bouvet, Michael; Hoffman, Robert M.
Here we describe our cumulative experience with the development and preclinical application of several highly fluorescent, clinically-relevant, metastatic orthotopic mouse models of pancreatic cancer. These models utilize the human pancreatic cancer cell lines which have been genetically engineered to selectively express high levels of the bioluminescent green fluorescent (GFP) or red fluorescent protein (RFP). Fluorescent tumors are established subcutaneously in nude mice, and tumor fragments are then surgically transplanted onto the pancreas. Locoregional tumor growth and distant metastasis of these orthotopic implants occurs spontaneously and rapidly throughout the abdomen in a manner consistent with clinical human disease. Highly specific, high-resolution, real-time visualization of tumor growth and metastasis may be achieved in vivo without the need for contrast agents, invasive techniques, or expensive imaging equipment. We have shown a high correlation between florescent optical imaging and magnetic resonance imaging in these models. Alternatively, transplantation of RFP-expressing tumor fragments onto the pancreas of GFP-expressing transgenic mice may be used to facilitate visualization of tumor-host interaction between the pancreatic tumor fragments and host-derived stroma and vasculature. Such in vivo models have enabled us to serially visualize and acquire images of the progression of pancreatic cancer in the live animal, and to demonstrate the real-time antitumor and antimetastatic effects of several novel therapeutic strategies on pancreatic malignancy. These fluorescent models are therefore powerful and reliable tools with which to investigate human pancreatic cancer and therapeutic strategies directed against it.
Bergmann, B; Grimsholm, O; Thorarinsdottir, K; Ren, W; Jirholt, P; Gjertsson, I; Mårtensson, I-L
One of the principles behind vaccination, as shown by Edward Jenner in 1796, and host protection is immunological memory, and one of the cells central to this is the antigen-experienced memory B cell that responds rapidly upon re-exposure to the initiating antigen. Classically, memory B cells have been defined as progenies of germinal centre (GC) B cells expressing isotype-switched and substantially mutated B cell receptors (BCRs), that is, membrane-bound antibodies. However, it has become apparent over the last decade that this is not the only pathway to B cell memory. Here, we will discuss memory B cells in mice, as defined by (1) cell surface markers; (2) multiple layers; (3) formation in a T cell-dependent and either GC-dependent or GC-independent manner; (4) formation in a T cell-independent fashion. Lastly, we will touch upon memory B cells in; (5) mouse models of autoimmune diseases.
Koike, Satoshi; Nagata, Noriyo
Transgenic mice (tg mice) that express the human poliovirus receptor (PVR), CD155, are susceptible to poliovirus and develop a neurological disease that resembles human poliomyelitis. Assessment of the neurovirulence levels of poliovirus strains, including mutant viruses produced by reverse genetics, circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus, and vaccine candidates, is useful for basic research of poliovirus pathogenicity, the surveillance of circulating polioviruses, and the quality control of oral live poliovirus vaccines, and does not require the use of monkeys. Furthermore, PVR-tg mice are useful for studying poliovirus tissue tropism and host immune responses. PVR-tg mice can be bred with mice deficient in the genes involved in viral pathogenicity. This report describes the methods used to analyze the pathogenicity and immune responses of poliovirus using the PVR-tg mouse model.