Department of Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology Works

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    Blocking muscle wasting via deletion of the muscle-specific E3 ligase MuRF1 impedes pancreatic tumor growth
    (Springer Nature, 2023-05-13) Neyroud, Daria; Laitano, Orlando; Dasgupta, Aneesha; Lopez, Christopher; Schmitt, Rebecca E.; Schneider, Jessica Z.; Hammers, David W.; Sweeney, H. Lee; Walter, Glenn A.; Doles, Jason; Judge, Sarah M.; Judge, Andrew R.; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    Cancer-induced muscle wasting reduces quality of life, complicates or precludes cancer treatments, and predicts early mortality. Herein, we investigate the requirement of the muscle-specific E3 ubiquitin ligase, MuRF1, for muscle wasting induced by pancreatic cancer. Murine pancreatic cancer (KPC) cells, or saline, were injected into the pancreas of WT and MuRF1-/- mice, and tissues analyzed throughout tumor progression. KPC tumors induces progressive wasting of skeletal muscle and systemic metabolic reprogramming in WT mice, but not MuRF1-/- mice. KPC tumors from MuRF1-/- mice also grow slower, and show an accumulation of metabolites normally depleted by rapidly growing tumors. Mechanistically, MuRF1 is necessary for the KPC-induced increases in cytoskeletal and muscle contractile protein ubiquitination, and the depression of proteins that support protein synthesis. Together, these data demonstrate that MuRF1 is required for KPC-induced skeletal muscle wasting, whose deletion reprograms the systemic and tumor metabolome and delays tumor growth.
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    Human jackstone arms show a protein-rich, X-ray lucent core, suggesting that proteins drive their rapid and linear growth
    (Springer, 2022) Canela, Victor Hugo; Dzien, Cornelius; Bledsoe, Sharon B.; Borofsky, Michael S.; Boris, Ronald S.; Lingeman, James E.; El-Achkar, Tarek M.; Williams, James C., Jr.; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    Jackstone calculi, having arms that extend out from the body of the stone, were first described over a century ago, but this morphology of stones has been little studied. We examined 98 jackstones from 50 different patient specimens using micro-computed tomography (micro CT) and infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Micro CT showed that jackstone arms consisted of an X-ray lucent core within each arm. This X-ray lucent core frequently showed sporadic, thin layers of apatite arranged transversely to the axis of the arm. The shells of the jackstones were always composed of calcium oxalate (CaOx), and with the monohydrate form the majority or sole mineral. Study of layering in the shell regions by micro CT showed that growth lines extended from the body of the stone out onto jack arms and that the thickness of the shell covering of jack arms often thinned with distance from the stone body, suggesting that the arms grew at a faster radial rate than did the stone body. Histological cross-sections of decalcified jackstone arms showed the core to be more highly autofluorescent than was the CaOx shell, and immunohistochemistry showed the core to be enriched in Tamm-Horsfall protein. We hypothesize that the protein-rich core of a jack arm might preferentially bind more protein from the urine and resist deposition of CaOx, such that the arm grows in a linear manner and at a faster rate than the bulk of the stone. This hypothesis thus predicts an enrichment of certain urine proteins in the core of the jack arm, a theory that is testable by appropriate analysis.
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    Body weight influences musculoskeletal adaptation to long-term voluntary wheel running during aging in female mice
    (Impact Journals, 2022) Kitase, Yukiko; Vallejo, Julian A.; Dallas, Sarah L.; Xie, Yixia; Dallas, Mark; Tiede-Lewis, LeAnn; Moore, David; Meljanac, Anthony; Kumar, Corrine; Zhao, Carrie; Rosser, Jennifer; Brotto, Marco; Johnson, Mark L.; Liu, Ziyue; Wacker, Michael J.; Bonewald, Lynda; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    Frailty is the hallmark of aging that can be delayed with exercise. The present studies were initiated based on the hypothesis that long-term voluntary wheel running (VWR) in female mice from 12 to 18 or 22 months of age would have beneficial effects on the musculoskeletal system. Mice were separated into high (HBW) and low (LBW) body weight based on final body weights upon termination of experiments. Bone marrow fat was significantly higher in HBW than LBW under sedentary conditions, but not with VWR. HBW was more protective for soleus size and function than LBW under sedentary conditions, however VWR increased soleus size and function regardless of body weight. VWR plus HBW was more protective against muscle loss with aging. Similar effects of VWR plus HBW were observed with the extensor digitorum longus, EDL, however, LBW with VWR was beneficial in improving EDL fatigue resistance in 18 mo mice and was more beneficial with regards to muscle production of bone protective factors. VWR plus HBW maintained bone in aged animals. In summary, HBW had a more beneficial effect on muscle and bone with aging especially in combination with exercise. These effects were independent of bone marrow fat, suggesting that intrinsic musculoskeletal adaptions were responsible for these beneficial effects.
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    Blueberry Polyphenols do not Improve Bone Mineral Density or Mechanical Properties in Ovariectomized Rats
    (Springer, 2022) Cladis, Dennis P.; Swallow, Elizabeth A.; Allen, Matthew R.; Hill Gallant, Kathleen M.; Weaver, Connie M.; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    Osteoporosis-related bone fragility fractures are a major public health concern. Given the potential for adverse side effects of pharmacological treatment, many have sought alternative treatments, including dietary changes. Based on recent evidence that polyphenol-rich foods, like blueberries, increase calcium absorption and bone mineral density (BMD), we hypothesized that blueberry polyphenols would improve bone biomechanical properties. To test this, 5-month-old ovariectomized Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 10/gp) were orally gavaged for 90 days with either a purified extract of blueberry polyphenols (0-1000 mg total polyphenols/kg bw/day) or lyophilized blueberries (50 mg total polyphenols/kg bw/day). Upon completion of the dosing regimen, right femur, right tibia, and L1-L4 vertebrae were harvested and assessed for bone mineral density (BMD), with femurs being further analyzed for biomechanical properties via three-point bending. There were no differences in BMD at any of the sites analyzed. For bone mechanical properties, the only statistically significant difference was the high dose group having greater ultimate stress than the medium dose, although in the absence of differences in other measures of bone mechanical properties, we concluded that this result, while statistically significant, had little biological significance. Our results indicate that blueberry polyphenols had little impact on BMD or bone mechanical properties in an animal model of estrogen deficiency-induced bone loss.
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    NaF-PET Imaging of Atherosclerosis Burden
    (MDPI, 2023-01-30) Høilund-Carlsen, Poul F.; Piri, Reza; Gerke, Oke; Sturek, Michael; Werner, Thomas J.; Revheim, Mona-Elisabeth; Alavi, Abass; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    The method of 18F-sodium fluoride (NaF) positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) of atherosclerosis was introduced 12 years ago. This approach is particularly interesting because it demonstrates microcalcification as an incipient sign of atherosclerosis before the development of arterial wall macrocalcification detectable by CT. However, this method has not yet found its place in the clinical routine. The more exact association between NaF uptake and future arterial calcification is not fully understood, and it remains unclear to what extent NaF-PET may replace or significantly improve clinical cardiovascular risk scoring. The first 10 years of publications in the field were characterized by heterogeneity at multiple levels, and it is not clear how the method may contribute to triage and management of patients with atherosclerosis, including monitoring effects of anti-atherosclerosis intervention. The present review summarizes findings from the recent 2¾ years including the ability of NaF-PET imaging to assess disease progress and evaluate response to treatment. Despite valuable new information, pertinent questions remain unanswered, not least due to a pronounced lack of standardization within the field and of well-designed long-term studies illuminating the natural history of atherosclerosis and effects of intervention.
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    TREM2 splice isoforms generate soluble TREM2 species that disrupt long-term potentiation
    (BMC, 2023-02-20) Moutinho, Miguel; Coronel, Israel; Tsai, Andy P.; Di Prisco, Gonzalo Viana; Pennington, Taylor; Atwood, Brady K.; Puntambekar, Shweta S.; Smith, Daniel C.; Martinez, Pablo; Han, Seonggyun; Lee, Younghee; Lasagna‑Reeves, Cristian A.; Lamb, Bruce T.; Bissel, Stephanie J.; Nho, Kwangsik; Landreth, Gary E.; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    Background: TREM2 is a transmembrane receptor expressed by myeloid cells and acts to regulate their immune response. TREM2 governs the response of microglia to amyloid and tau pathologies in the Alzheimer's disease (AD) brain. TREM2 is also present in a soluble form (sTREM2), and its CSF levels fluctuate as a function of AD progression. Analysis of stroke and AD mouse models revealed that sTREM2 proteins bind to neurons, which suggests sTREM2 may act in a non-cell autonomous manner to influence neuronal function. sTREM2 arises from the proteolytic cleavage of the membrane-associated receptor. However, alternatively spliced TREM2 species lacking a transmembrane domain have been postulated to contribute to the pool of sTREM2. Thus, both the source of sTREM2 species and its actions in the brain remain unclear. Methods: The expression of TREM2 isoforms in the AD brain was assessed through the analysis of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership for Alzheimer's Disease Consortium transcriptomics data, as well as qPCR analysis using post-mortem samples of AD patients and of the AD mouse model 5xFAD. TREM2 cleavage and secretion were studied in vitro using HEK-293T and HMC3 cell lines. Synaptic plasticity, as evaluated by induction of LTP in hippocampal brain slices, was employed as a measure of sTREM2 actions. Results: Three distinct TREM2 transcripts, namely ENST00000373113 (TREM2230), which encodes the full-length transmembrane receptor, and the alternatively spliced isoforms ENST00000373122 (TREM2222) and ENST00000338469 (TREM2219), are moderately increased in specific brain regions of patients with AD. We provide experimental evidence that TREM2 alternatively spliced isoforms are translated and secreted as sTREM2. Furthermore, our functional analysis reveals that all sTREM2 species inhibit LTP induction, and this effect is abolished by the GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin. Conclusions: TREM2 transcripts can give rise to a heterogeneous pool of sTREM2 which acts to inhibit LTP. These results provide novel insight into the generation, regulation, and function of sTREM2 which fits into the complex biology of TREM2 and its role in human health and disease. Given that sTREM2 levels are linked to AD pathogenesis and progression, our finding that sTREM2 species interfere with LTP furthers our understanding about the role of TREM2 in AD.
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    Nmp4, a Regulator of Induced Osteoanabolism, Also Influences Insulin Secretion and Sensitivity
    (Springer, 2022) Bidwell, Joseph; Tersey, Sarah A.; Adaway, Michele; Bone, Robert N.; Creecy, Amy; Klunk, Angela; Atkinson, Emily G.; Wek, Ronald C.; Robling, Alexander G.; Wallace, Joseph M.; Evans-Molina, Carmella; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    A bidirectional and complex relationship exists between bone and glycemia. Persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D) are at risk for bone loss and fracture, however, heightened osteoanabolism may ameliorate T2D-induced deficits in glycemia as bone-forming osteoblasts contribute to energy metabolism via increased glucose uptake and cellular glycolysis. Mice globally lacking Nuclear Matrix Protein 4 (Nmp4), a transcription factor expressed in all tissues and conserved between humans and rodents, are healthy and exhibit enhanced bone formation in response to anabolic osteoporosis therapies. To test whether loss of Nmp4 similarly impacted bone deficits caused by diet induced obesity, male wild type (WT) and Nmp4−/− mice (8wks) were fed either low-fat diet (LFD) or high-fat diet (HFD) for 12wks. Endpoint parameters included bone architecture, structural and estimated tissue level mechanical properties, body weight/composition, glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, glucose tolerance, insulin tolerance and metabolic cage analysis. HFD diminished bone architecture and ultimate force and stiffness equally in both genotypes. Unexpectedly, the Nmp4−/− mice exhibited deficits in pancreatic β-cell function and were modestly glucose intolerant under normal diet conditions. Despite the β-cell deficits, the Nmp4−/− mice were less sensitive to HFD-induced weight gain, increases in % fat mass, and decreases in glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity. We conclude that Nmp4 supports pancreatic β-cell function but suppresses peripheral glucose utilization, perhaps contributing to its suppression of induced skeletal anabolism. Selective disruption of Nmp4 in peripheral tissues may provide a strategy for improving both induced osteoanabolism and energy metabolism in comorbid patients.
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    Poly(I:C)-exposed zebrafish shows autism-like behaviors which are ameliorated by fabp2 gene knockout
    (Frontiers Media, 2023-01-05) Wu, Jing; Lin, Xueting; Wu, Dian; Yan, Binhong; Bao, Mengyi; Zheng, Peilei; Wang, Jiangping; Yang, Cuiwei; Li, Zhongxia; Jin, Xiaoming; Jiang, Kewen; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    Introduction: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders mainly representing impaired social communication. The etiology of ASD includes genetic and environmental risk factors. Rodent models containing ASD risk gene mutations or environmental risk factors, such as exposure to maternal inflammation, show abnormal behavior. Although zebrafish conserves many important brain structures of humans and has sophisticated and fine behaviors in social interaction, it is unknown whether the social behaviors of their offspring would be impaired due to exposure to maternal inflammation. Methods: We exposed zebrafish to maternal immune activation (MIA) by injection with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)], and screened their behaviors through social behavioral tests such as social preference and shoaling behavior tests. We compared phenotypes resulted from different ways of poly(I:C) exposure. RNA sequencing was performed to explore the differential expression genes (DEGs). Gene ontology (GO), Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analysis was performed with the detected DEGs to find the concentrated pathways. Finally, we knocked out the fatty acid-binding protein 2 (fabp2), a key node of the concentrated PPI network, to find its rescues on the altered social behavior. Results: We reported here that MIA offspring born to mothers injected with poly(I:C) exhibited impaired social approach and social cohesion that mimicked human ASD phenotypes. Both maternal exposure and direct embryo exposure to poly(I:C) resulted in activations of the innate immune system through toll-like receptors 3 and 4. RNA-sequencing results from MIA brain tissues illustrated that the numbers of overexpressed genes were significantly more than that of underexpressed genes. GO and KEGG analyses found that MIA-induced DEGs were mainly concentrated in complement and coagulation cascade pathways. PPI network analyses suggested that villin-1 (vil1) pathway might play a key role in MIA-induced ASD. Knockout of fabp2 in F0 zebrafish rescued the social behavior deficits in MIA offspring. Conclusions: Overall, our work established an ASD model with assessable behavior phenotype in zebrafish and provided key insights into environmental risk factor in ASD etiology and the influence of fabp2 gene on ASD-like behavior.
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    MiR-150 blunts cardiac dysfunction in mice with cardiomyocyte loss of β1-adrenergic receptor/β-arrestin signaling and controls a unique transcriptome
    (Springer Nature, 2022-12-30) Moukette, Bruno; Kawaguchi, Satoshi; Sepulveda, Marisa N.; Hayasaka, Taiki; Aonuma, Tatsuya; Liangpunsakul, Suthat; Yang, Lei; Dharmakumar, Rohan; Conway, Simon J.; Kim, Il-man; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    The β1-adrenergic receptor (β1AR) is found primarily in hearts (mainly in cardiomyocytes [CMs]) and β-arrestin-mediated β1AR signaling elicits cardioprotection through CM survival. We showed that microRNA-150 (miR-150) is upregulated by β-arrestin-mediated β1AR signaling and that CM miR-150 inhibits maladaptive remodeling post-myocardial infarction. Here, we investigate whether miR-150 rescues cardiac dysfunction in mice bearing CM-specific abrogation of β-arrestin-mediated β1AR signaling. Using CM-specific transgenic (TG) mice expressing a mutant β1AR (G protein-coupled receptor kinase [GRK]–β1AR that exhibits impairment in β-arrestin-mediated β1AR signaling), we first generate a novel double TG mouse line overexpressing miR-150. We demonstrate that miR-150 is sufficient to improve cardiac dysfunction in CM-specific GRK–β1AR TG mice following chronic catecholamine stimulation. Our genome-wide circular RNA, long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), and mRNA profiling analyses unveil a subset of cardiac ncRNAs and genes as heretofore unrecognized mechanisms for beneficial actions of β1AR/β-arrestin signaling or miR-150. We further show that lncRNA Gm41664 and GDAP1L1 are direct novel upstream and downstream regulators of miR-150. Lastly, CM protective actions of miR-150 are attributed to repressing pro-apoptotic GDAP1L1 and are mitigated by pro-apoptotic Gm41664. Our findings support the idea that miR-150 contributes significantly to β1AR/β-arrestin-mediated cardioprotection by regulating unique ncRNA and gene signatures in CMs.
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    Orai1: A New Therapeutic Target for the Acute Kidney Injury-to-Chronic Kidney Disease Transition
    (Karger, 2022) Basile, David P.; Collett, Jason A.; Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, School of Medicine
    This review focuses on the potential mediation in the acute kidney injury (AKI)-to-chronic kidney disease (CKD) transition by lymphocytes. We highlight evidence that lymphocytes, particularly Th17 cells, modulate the severity of both acute injury and chronic kidney disease. Th17 cells are strongly influenced by the activity of the store-operated Ca2+channel Orai1, which is upregulated on lymphocytes in animal models of AKI. Inhibition of this channel attenuates both acute and chronic kidney injury in rodent models. In addition, Oria1+ cells are increased in peripheral blood of patients with AKI. Similarly, peripheral blood cells manifest an early and sustained increase in Orai1 expression in a rat model of ischemia/reperfusion, suggesting that blood cell Orai1 may represent a marker informing potential Th17 activity in the setting of AKI or the AKI-to-CKD transition.