Browsing by Subject "MICE"

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  • Yegutkin, Gennady G.; Auvinen, Kaisa; Karikoski, Marika; Rantakari, Pia; Gerke, Heidi; Elima, Kati; Maksimow, Mikael; Quintero, Ileana B.; Vihko, Pirkko; Salmi, Marko; Jalkanen, Sirpa (2014)
  • Kopra, Jaakko; Villarta-Aguilera, Marian; Savolainen, Mari; Weingerl, Samo; Myohänen, Timo T.; Rannanpää, Saara; Salvatore, Michael E.; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Piepponen, T. Petteri (2018)
    Addictive drugs enhance dopamine release in the striatum, which can lead to compulsive drug-seeking after repeated exposure. Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) is an important regulator of midbrain dopamine neurons, and may play a mechanistic role in addiction-related behaviors. To elucidate the components of GDNF-signaling that contribute to addiction-related behaviors of place preference and its extinction, we utilized two genetically modified GDNF mouse models in an amphetamine induced conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm and evaluated how the behavioral findings correlate with dopamine signaling in the dorsal and ventral striatum. We utilized two knock-in mouse strains to delineate contributions of GDNF and Ret signaling using MEN2B mice (constitutively active GDNF receptor Ret), and GDNF hypermorphic mice (enhanced endogenous GDNF expression). The duration of amphetamine-induced CPP was greatly enhanced in MEN2B mice, but not in the GDNF hypermorphic mice. The enhanced duration of CPP was correlated with increased tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) expression and dopamine content in the ventral striatum. Together, our results suggest that downstream components of GDNF signaling, in this case Ret, may mediate persistent drug-seeking behavior through increased TH expression and dopamine levels in the mesolimbic dopamine neurons. (C) 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Tsuiko, O.; Noukas, M.; Zilina, O.; Hensen, K.; Tapanainen, J. S.; Magi, R.; Kals, M.; Kivistik, P. A.; Haller-Kikkatalo, K.; Salumets, A.; Kurg, A. (2016)
    Can spontaneous premature ovarian failure (POF) patients derived from population-based biobanks reveal the association between copy number variations (CNVs) and POF? CNVs can hamper the functional capacity of ovaries by disrupting key genes and pathways essential for proper ovarian function. POF is defined as the cessation of ovarian function before the age of 40 years. POF is a major reason for female infertility, although its cause remains largely unknown. The current retrospective CNV study included 301 spontaneous POF patients and 3188 control individuals registered between 2003 and 2014 at Estonian Genome Center at the University of Tartu (EGCUT) biobank. DNA samples from 301 spontaneous POF patients were genotyped by Illumina HumanCoreExome (258 samples) and HumanOmniExpress (43 samples) BeadChip arrays. Genotype and phenotype information was drawn from the EGCUT for the 3188 control population samples, previously genotyped with HumanCNV370 and HumanOmniExpress BeadChip arrays. All identified CNVs were subjected to functional enrichment studies for highlighting the POF pathogenesis. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to validate a subset of CNVs. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on six patients carrying hemizygous deletions that encompass genes essential for meiosis or folliculogenesis. Eleven novel microdeletions and microduplications that encompass genes relevant to POF were identified. For example, FMN2 (1q43) and SGOL2 (2q33.1) are essential for meiotic progression, while TBP (6q27), SCARB1 (12q24.31), BNC1 (15q25) and ARFGAP3 (22q13.2) are involved in follicular growth and oocyte maturation. The importance of recently discovered hemizygous microdeletions of meiotic genes SYCE1 (10q26.3) and CPEB1 (15q25.2) in POF patients was also corroborated. This is a descriptive analysis and no functional studies were performed. Anamnestic data obtained from population-based biobank lacked clinical, biological (hormone levels) or ultrasonographical data, and spontaneous POF was predicted retrospectively by excluding known extraovarian causes for premature menopause. The present study, with high number of spontaneous POF cases, provides novel data on associations between the genomic aberrations and premature menopause of ovarian cause and demonstrates that population-based biobanks are powerful source of biological samples and clinical data to reveal novel genetic lesions associated with human reproductive health and disease, including POF. This study was supported by the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research (IUT20-43, IUT20-60, IUT34-16, SF0180027s10 and 9205), Enterprise Estonia (EU30020 and EU48695), Eureka's EUROSTARS programme (NOTED, EU41564), grants from European Union's FP7 Marie Curie Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP, SARM, |EU324509) and Horizon 2020 innovation programme (WIDENLIFE, 692065), Academy of Finland and the Sigrid Juselius Foundation.
  • Saurus, Pauliina; Kuusela, Sara; Dumont, Vincent; Lehtonen, Eero; Fogarty, Christopher L.; Lassenius, Mariann I.; Forsblom, Carol; Lehto, Markku; Saleem, Moin A.; Groop, Per-Henrik; Lehtonen, Sanna (2016)
    Loss of podocytes is an early feature of diabetic nephropathy (DN) and predicts its progression. We found that treatment of podocytes with sera from normoalbuminuric type 1 diabetes patients with high lipopolysaccharide (LPS) activity, known to predict progression of DN, downregulated CDK2 (cyclin-dependent kinase 2). LPS-treatment of mice also reduced CDK2 expression. LPS-induced downregulation of CDK2 was prevented in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting the Toll-like receptor (TLR) pathway using immunomodulatory agent GIT27. We also observed that CDK2 is downregulated in the glomeruli of obese Zucker rats before the onset of proteinuria. Knockdown of CDK2, or inhibiting its activity with roscovitine in podocytes increased apoptosis. CDK2 knockdown also reduced expression of PDK1, an activator of the cell survival kinase Akt, and reduced Akt phosphorylation. This suggests that CDK2 regulates the activity of the cell survival pathway via PDK1. Furthermore, PDK1 knockdown reduced the expression of CDK2 suggesting a regulatory loop between CDK2 and PDK1. Collectively, our data show that CDK2 protects podocytes from apoptosis and that reduced expression of CDK2 associates with the development of DN. Preventing downregulation of CDK2 by blocking the TLR pathway with GIT27 may provide a means to prevent podocyte apoptosis and progression of DN.
  • Herranen, Anni; Ikäheimo, Kuu; Lankinen, Tuuli; Pakarinen, Emmi; Fritzsch, Bernd; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria; Pirvola, Ulla (2020)
    The non-conventional neurotrophic factor mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-resident protein that promotes ER homeostasis. MANF has a cytoprotective function, shown in the central nervous system neurons and pancreatic beta cells. Here, we report that MANF is expressed in the hair cells and neurons and in selected non-sensory cells of the cochlea and that Manf inactivation triggers upregulation of the ER chaperones in these cells. However, Manf inactivation resulted in the death of only outer hair cells (OHCs), the cells responsible for sound amplification in the cochlea. All OHCs were formed in Manf-inactivated mice, but progressive OHC death started soon after the onset of hearing function. The robust OHC loss was accompanied by strongly elevated hearing thresholds. Conditional Manf inactivation demonstrated that MANF has a local function in the cochlea. Immunostainings revealed the upregulation of CHOP, the pro-apoptotic component of the unfolded protein response (UPR), in Manf-inactivated OHCs, linking the UPR to the loss of these cells. The phenotype of Manf-inactivated OHCs was distinctly dependent on the mouse strain, such that the strains characterized by early-onset age-related hearing loss (C57BL/6J and CD-1) were affected. These results suggest that Manf deficiency becomes detrimental when accompanied by gene mutations that predispose to hearing loss, by intensifying ER dyshomeostasis. Together, MANF is the first growth factor shown to antagonize ER stress-mediated OHC death. MANF might serve as a therapeutic candidate for protection against hearing loss induced by the ER-machinery-targeting stressors.
  • Kuuluvainen, Emilia; Domenech-Moreno, Eva; Niemela, Elina H.; Makela, Tomi P. (2018)
    In cancer, oncogene activation is partly mediated by acquired superenhancers, which therefore represent potential targets for inhibition. Superenhancers are enriched for BRD4 and Mediator, and both BRD4 and the Mediator MED12 subunit are disproportionally required for expression of superenhancer-associated genes in stem cells. Here we show that depletion of Mediator kinase module subunit MED12 or MED13 together with MED13L can be used to reduce expression of cancer-acquired superenhancer genes, such as the MYC gene, in colon cancer cells, with a concomitant decrease in proliferation. Whereas depletion of MED12 or MED13/MED13L caused a disproportional decrease of superenhancer gene expression, this was not seen with depletion of the kinases cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK8) and CDK19. MED12-MED13/MED13L-dependent superenhancer genes were coregulated by beta-catenin, which has previously been shown to associate with MED12. Importantly, beta-catenin depletion caused reduced binding of MED12 at the MYC superenhancer. The effect of MED12 or MED13/MED13L depletion on cancer-acquired superenhancer gene expression was more specific than and partially distinct from that of BRD4 depletion, with the most efficient inhibition seen with combined targeting. These results identify a requirement of MED12 and MED13/MED13L for expression of acquired superenhancer genes in colon cancer, implicating these Mediator subunits as potential therapeutic targets for colon cancer, alone or together with BRD4.
  • Reinert, Jochim; Richard, Bernhard C.; Klafki, Hans W.; Friedrich, Beate; Bayer, Thomas A.; Wiltfang, Jens; Kovacs, Gabor G.; Ingelsson, Martin; Lannfelt, Lars; Paetau, Anders; Bergquist, Jonas; Wirths, Oliver (2016)
    In Alzheimer's disease (AD) a variety of amyloid beta-peptides (A beta) are deposited in the form of extracellular diffuse and neuritic plaques (NP), as well as within the vasculature. The generation of A beta from its precursor, the amyloid precursor protein (APP), is a highly complex procedure that involves subsequent proteolysis of APP by beta-and gamma-secretases. Brain accumulation of A beta due to impaired A beta degradation and/or altered ratios between the different A beta species produced is believed to play a pivotal role in AD pathogenesis. While the presence of A beta 40 and A beta 42 in vascular and parenchymal amyloid have been subject of extensive studies, the deposition of carboxyterminal truncated A beta peptides in AD has not received comparable attention. In the current study, we for the first time demonstrate the immunohistochemical localization of A beta 37 and A beta 39 in human sporadic AD (SAD). Our study further included the analysis of familial AD (FAD) cases carrying the APP mutations KM670/671NL, E693G and I716F, as well as a case of the PSEN1 Delta Exon9 mutation. A beta 37 and A beta 39 were found to be widely distributed within the vasculature in the brains of the majority of studied SAD and FAD cases, the latter also presenting considerable amounts of A beta 37 containing NPs. In addition, both peptides were found to be present in extracellular plaques but only scarce within the vasculature in brains of a variety of transgenic AD mouse models. Taken together, our study indicates the importance of C-terminally truncated A beta in sporadic and familial AD and raises questions about how these species are generated and regulated.
  • Garcia-Larsen, Vanessa; Thawer, Narjis; Charles, David; Cassidy, Aedin; van Zele, Thibaut; Thilsing, Trine; Ahlström, Matti; Haahtela, Tari; Keil, Thomas; Matricardi, Paolo M.; Brozek, Grzegorz; Kowalski, Marek L.; Makowska, Joanna; Nizankowska-Mogilnicka, Ewa; Rymarczyk, Barbara; Loureiro, Carlos; Bom, Ana Todo; Bachert, Claus; Forsberg, Bertil; Janson, Christer; Toren, Kjell; Potts, James F.; Burney, Peter G. J. (2018)
    Background: Flavonoids exert anti-inflammatory properties and modulate oxidative stress in vitro, suggesting a protective effect on lung function, but epidemiological studies examining this association are scarce. Methods: A stratified random sample was drawn from the GA(2)LEN screening survey, in which 55,000 adults aged 15 to 75 answered a questionnaire on respiratory symptoms. Post-bronchodilator spirometry was obtained from 2850 subjects. Forced vital capacity (FVC), the ratio between the forced exhaled volume in 1 second (FEV1) and FVC (FEV1/FVC), FVC below lower limit of normal (FVC <LLN), and FEV1/FVC <LLN were calculated. Intake of the six main subclasses of flavonoids was estimated using the GA(2)LEN Food Frequency Questionnaire. Adjusted associations between outcomes and each subclass of flavonoids were examined with multivariate regressions. Simes' procedure was used to test for multiple comparisons. Results: A total of 2599 subjects had valid lung function and dietary data. A lower prevalence of FVC <LLN (airway restriction) was observed in those with higher total flavonoid (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), higher vs. lowest quintile intake 0.58; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.36, 0.94), and pro-anthocyanidin intakes (aOR 0.47; 95% CI 0.27, 0.81). A higher FEV1/FVC was associated with higher intakes of total flavonoids and pro-anthocyanidins (adjusted correlation coefficient (a -coeff 0.33; 0.10, 0.57 and a -coeff 0.44; 95% CI 0.19, 0.69, respectively). After Simes' procedure, the statistical significance of each of these associations was attenuated but remained below 0.05, with the exception of total flavonoids and airway restriction. Conclusions: This population-based study in European adults provides cross-sectional evidence of a positive association of total flavonoid intake and pro-anthocyanidins and ventilatory function, and a negative association with spirometric restriction in European adults.
  • Tani, Haruna; Mito, Takayuki; Velagapudi, Vidya; Ishikawa, Kaori; Umehara, Moe; Nakada, Kazuto; Suomalainen, Anu; Hayashi, Jun-Ichi (2019)
    In a previous study, we proposed that age-related mitochondrial respiration defects observed in elderly subjects are partially due to age-associated downregulation of nuclear-encoded genes, including serine hydroxymethyltransferase 2 (SHMT2), which is involved in mitochondrial one-carbon (1C) metabolism. This assertion is supported by evidence that the disruption of mouse Shmt2 induces mitochondrial respiration defects in mouse embryonic fibroblasts generated from Shmt2-knockout E13.5 embryos experiencing anaemia and lethality. Here, we elucidated the potential mechanisms by which the disruption of this gene induces mitochondrial respiration defects and embryonic anaemia using Shmt2-knockout E13.5 embryos. The livers but not the brains of Shmt2-knockout E13.5 embryos presented mitochondrial respiration defects and growth retardation. Metabolomic profiling revealed that Shmt2 deficiency induced foetal liver-specific downregulation of 1C-metabolic pathways that create taurine and nucleotides required for mitochondrial respiratory function and cell division, respectively, resulting in the manifestation of mitochondrial respiration defects and growth retardation. Given that foetal livers function to produce erythroblasts in mouse embryos, growth retardation in foetal livers directly induced depletion of erythroblasts. By contrast, mitochondrial respiration defects in foetal livers also induced depletion of erythroblasts as a consequence of the inhibition of erythroblast differentiation, resulting in the manifestation of anaemia in Shmt2-knockout E13.5 embryos.
  • Marjonen, Heidi; Sierra, Alejandra; Nyman, Anna; Rogojin, Vladimir; Grohn, Olli; Linden, Anni-Maija; Hautaniemi, Sampsa; Kaminen-Ahola, Nina (2015)
    The adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy are known, but the molecular events that lead to the phenotypic characteristics are unclear. To unravel the molecular mechanisms, we have used a mouse model of gestational ethanol exposure, which is based on maternal ad libitum ingestion of 10% (v/v) ethanol for the first 8 days of gestation (GD 0.5-8.5). Early neurulation takes place by the end of this period, which is equivalent to the developmental stage early in the fourth week post-fertilization in human. During this exposure period, dynamic epigenetic reprogramming takes place and the embryo is vulnerable to the effects of environmental factors. Thus, we hypothesize that early ethanol exposure disrupts the epigenetic reprogramming of the embryo, which leads to alterations in gene regulation and life-long changes in brain structure and function. Genome-wide analysis of gene expression in the mouse hippocampus revealed altered expression of 23 genes and three miRNAs in ethanol-exposed, adolescent offspring at postnatal day (P) 28. We confirmed this result by using two other tissues, where three candidate genes are known to express actively. Interestingly, we found a similar trend of upregulated gene expression in bone marrow and main olfactory epithelium. In addition, we observed altered DNA methylation in the CpG islands upstream of the candidate genes in the hippocampus. Our MRI study revealed asymmetry of brain structures in ethanol-exposed adult offspring (P60): we detected ethanol-induced enlargement of the left hippocampus and decreased volume of the left olfactory bulb. Our study indicates that ethanol exposure in early gestation can cause changes in DNA methylation, gene expression, and brain structure of offspring. Furthermore, the results support our hypothesis of early epigenetic origin of alcohol-induced disorders: changes in gene regulation may have already taken place in embryonic stem cells and therefore can be seen in different tissue types later in life.
  • Marjonen, Heidi; Toivonen, Mia; Lahti, Laura; Kaminen-Ahola, Nina (2018)
    Prenatal alcohol exposure (PAE) can harm the embryonic development and cause life-long consequences in offspring's health. To clarify the molecular mechanisms of PAE we have used a mouse model of early alcohol exposure, which is based on maternal ad libitum ingestion of 10% (v/v) ethanol for the first eight days of gestation (GD 0.5-8.5). Owing to the detected postnatal growth-restricted phenotype in the offspring of this mouse model and both prenatal and postnatal growth restriction in alcohol-exposed humans, we focused on imprinted genes Insulin-like growth factor 2 (Igf2), H19, Small Nuclear Ribonucleoprotein Polypeptide N (Snrpn) and Paternally expressed gene 3 (Peg3), which all are known to be involved in embryonic and placental growth and development. We studied the effects of alcohol on DNA methylation level at the Igf2/H19 imprinting control region (ICR), Igf2 differentially methylated region 1, Snrpn ICR and Peg3 ICR in 9.5 embryonic days old (E9.5) embryos and placentas by using MassARRAY EpiTYPER. To determine alcohol-induced alterations globally, we also examined methylation in long interspersed nuclear elements (Line-1) in E9.5 placentas. We did not observe any significant alcohol-induced changes in DNA methylation levels. We explored effects of PAE on gene expression of E9.5 embryos as well as E9.5 and E16.5 placentas by using quantitative PCR. The expression of growth promoter gene Igf2 was decreased in the alcohol-exposed E9.5 and E16.5 placentas. The expression of negative growth controller H19 was significantly increased in the alcohol exposed E9.5 embryos compared to controls, and conversely, a trend of decreased expression in alcohol-exposed E9.5 and E16.5 placentas were observed. Furthermore, increased Snrpn expression in alcohol-exposed E9.5 embryos was also detected. Our study indicates that albeit no alterations in the DNA methylation levels of studied sequences were detected by EpiTYPER, early PAE can affect the expression of imprinted genes in both developing embryo and placenta.
  • Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Karppinen, Ira; Galban-Velazquez, Suylen; Esteban, Javier; Håkansson, Helen; Sankari, Satu; Linden, Jere (2021)
    The physiological functions of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) are only beginning to unfold. Studies in wildtype and AHR knockout (AHRKO) mice have recently disclosed that AHR activity is required for obesity and steatohepatitis to develop when mice are fed with a high-fat diet (HFD). In addition, a line of AHRKO mouse has been reported to accumulate retinoids in the liver. Whether these are universal manifestations across species related to AHR activity level is not known yet. Therefore, we here subjected wildtype and AHRKO male rats (on Sprague-Dawley background) to HFD feeding coupled with free access to 10% sucrose solution and water; controls received a standard diet and water. Although the HFD-fed rats consumed more energy throughout the 24-week feeding regimen, they did not get overweight. However, relative weights of the brown and epididymal adipose tissues were elevated in HFDfed rats, while that of the liver was lower in AHRKO than wildtype rats. Moreover, the four groups exhibited diet-or genotype-dependent differences in biochemical variables, some of which suggested marked dissimilarities from AHRKO mice. Expression of pro-and anti-inflammatory genes was induced in livers of HFD-fed AHRKO rats, but histologically they did not differ from others. HFD reduced the hepatic concentrations of retinyl palmitate, 9-cis-4oxo-13,14-dihydroretinoic acid and (suggestively) retinol, whereas AHR status had no effect. Hence, the background strain/line of AHRKO rat is resistant to diet-induced obesity, and AHR does not modulate this or liver retinoid concentrations. Yet, subtle AHR-dependent differences in energy balance-related factors exist despite similar weight development. (c) 2021 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ )
  • Honkanen, Hanne-Kaisa; Izzi, Valerio; Petaisto, Tiina; Holopainen, Tanja; Harjunen, Vanessa; Pihlajaniemi, Taina; Alitalo, Kari; Heljasvaara, Ritva (2016)
    Vascular endothelial growth factor D (VEGF-D) promotes the lymph node metastasis of cancer by inducing the growth of lymphatic vasculature, but its specific roles in tumorigenesis have not been elucidated. We monitored the effects of VEGF-D in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) by subjecting transgenic mice overexpressing VEGF-D in the skin (K14-mVEGF-D) and VEGF-D knockout mice to a chemical skin carcinogenesis protocol involving 7,12-dimethylbenz[a] anthracene and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate treatments. In K14-mVEGF-Dmice, tumor lymphangiogenesis was significantly increased and the frequency of lymph node metastasis was elevated in comparison with controls. Most notably, the papillomas regressed more often in K14-mVEGF-D mice than in littermate controls, resulting in a delay in tumor incidence and a remarkable reduction in the total tumor number. Skin tumor growth and metastasis were not obviously affected in the absence of VEGF-D; however, the knockout mice showed a trend for reduced lymphangiogenesis in skin tumors and in the untreated skin. Interestingly, K14-mVEGF-D mice showed an altered immune response in skin tumors. This consisted of the reduced accumulation of macrophages, mast cells, and CD4(+) T-cells and an increase of cytotoxic CD8(+) T-cells. Cytokine profiling by flow cytometry and quantitative real time PCR revealed that elevated VEGF-D expression results in an attenuated Th2 response and promotes M1/Th1 and Th17 polarization in the early stage of skin carcinogenesis, leading to an anti-tumoral immune environment and the regression of primary tumors. Our data suggest that VEGF-D may be beneficial in early-stage tumors since it suppresses the pro-tumorigenic inflammation, while at later stages VEGF-D-induced tumor lymphatics provide a route for metastasis.
  • Frei, Remo; Ferstl, Ruth; Roduit, Caroline; Ziegler, Mario; Schiavi, Elisa; Barcik, Weronika; Rodriguez-Perez, Noelia; Wirz, Oliver F.; Wawrzyniak, Marcin; Pugin, Benoit; Nehrbass, Dirk; Jutel, Marek; Smolinska, Sylwia; Konieczna, Patrycja; Bieli, Christian; Loeliger, Susanne; Waser, Marco; Pershagen, Goeran; Riedler, Josef; Depner, Martin; Schaub, Bianca; Genuneit, Jon; Renz, Harald; Pekkanen, Juha; Karvonen, Anne M.; Dalphin, Jean-Charles; van Hage, Marianne; Doekes, Gert; Akdis, Mubeccel; Braun-Fahrlander, Charlotte; Akdis, Cezmi A.; von Mutius, Erika; O'Mahony, Liam; Lauener, Roger P.; Prevention Allergy Risk Factors Se; Protection Against Allergy Study R (2018)
    Background: Childhood exposure to a farm environment has been shown to protect against the development of inflammatory diseases, such as allergy, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. Objective: We sought to investigate whether both exposure to microbes and exposure to structures of nonmicrobial origin, such as the sialic acid N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), might play a significant role. Methods: Exposure to Neu5Gc was evaluated by quantifying anti-Neu5Gc antibody levels in sera of children enrolled in 2 farm studies: the Prevention of Allergy Risk factors for Sensitization in Children Related to Farming and Anthroposophic Lifestyle (PARSIFAL) study (n = 299) and the Protection Against Allergy Study in Rural Environments (PASTURE) birth cohort (cord blood [n = 836], 1 year [n = 734], 4.5 years [n = 700], and 6 years [n = 728]), and we associated them with asthma and wheeze. The effect of Neu5Gc was examined in murine airway inflammation and colitis models, and the role of Neu5Gc in regulating immune activation was assessed based on helper T-cell and regulatory T-cell activation in mice. Results: In children anti-Neu5Gc IgG levels correlated positively with living on a farm and increased peripheral blood forkhead box protein 3 expression and correlated inversely with wheezing and asthma in nonatopic subjects. Exposure to Neu5Gc in mice resulted in reduced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammatory cell recruitment to the lung. Furthermore, Neu5Gc administration to mice reduced the severity of a colitis model. Mechanistically, we found that Neu5Gc exposure reduced IL-17(+) T-cell numbers and supported differentiation of regulatory T cells. Conclusions: In addition to microbial exposure, increased exposure to non microbial-derived Neu5Gc might contribute to the protective effects associated with the farm environment.
  • Hoppela, Erika; Grönroos, Tove J.; Saarikko, Anne M.; Tervala, Tomi V.; Kauhanen, Susanna; Nuutila, Pirjo; Kivinen, Katri; Hartiala, Pauliina (2018)
    Background: Fat grafting is commonly used when treating soft-tissue defects. However, much of the basic biology behind fat transfer is still uncovered. Adipocytes can be divided into energy storing white and energy burning brown adipose cells. It is now well known, that also adult humans have metabolically active brown adipose tissue (BAT) within white adipose tissue (WAT). Previously our group showed that transfer of metabolically inactive WAT into a new environment increased the metabolic activity of the fat grafts to resemble the activity in the recipient site and that different WAT depots have variation in the metabolic activity. This led us to speculate, whether the metabolic increase of the graft is a result of browning of the transferred WAT toward beige adipose tissue. Methods: We investigated the metabolic and histological characteristics and BAT marker Ucp1 gene expression in different types of WAT grafts placed either in subcutaneous or muscle tissue in mice. Metabolic activity of the grafts was investigated by FDG-PET/CT at 4- and 12-week time-points. Results: The glucose uptake of all transferred fat types was increased when compared with respective control WAT regardless of transfer location. Ucp1 gene and protein expression was increased in 4 of 15 intramuscularly placed fat graft samples and showed histological resemblance to BAT with multilocular cells. Conclusions: Grafting of metabolically inactive fat intramuscularly may induce browning of fat grafts toward more active beige adipose tissue. This opens up new research areas in exploiting fat grafting in metabolic diseases.
  • Helle, Emmi; Ampuja, Minna; Antola, Laura; Kivelä, Riikka (2020)
    The vascular system is essential for the development and function of all organs and tissues in our body. The molecular signature and phenotype of endothelial cells (EC) are greatly affected by blood flow-induced shear stress, which is a vital component of vascular development and homeostasis. Recent advances in differentiation of ECs from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) have enabled development of in vitro experimental models of the vasculature containing cells from healthy individuals or from patients harboring genetic variants or diseases of interest. Here we have used hiPSC-derived ECs and bulk- and single-cell RNA sequencing to study the effect of flow on the transcriptomic landscape of hiPSC-ECs and their heterogeneity. We demonstrate that hiPS-ECs are plastic and they adapt to flow by expressing known flow-induced genes. Single-cell RNA sequencing showed that flow induced a more homogenous and homeostatically more stable EC population compared to static cultures, as genes related to cell polarization, barrier formation and glucose and fatty acid transport were induced. The hiPS-ECs increased both arterial and venous markers when exposed to flow. Interestingly, while in general there was a greater increase in the venous markers, one cluster with more arterial-like hiPS-ECs was detected. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that not all hiPS-ECs are similar even after sorting, but exposing them to flow increases their homogeneity. Since hiPS-ECs resemble immature ECs and demonstrate high plasticity in response to flow, they provide an excellent model to study vascular development.
  • Gusarova, Viktoria; O'Dushlaine, Colm; Teslovich, Tanya M.; Benotti, Peter N.; Mirshahi, Tooraj; Gottesman, Omri; Van Hout, Cristopher V.; Murray, Michael F.; Mahajan, Anubha; Nielsen, Jonas B.; Fritsche, Lars; Wulff, Anders Berg; Gudbjartsson, Daniel F.; Sjogren, Marketa; Emdin, Connor A.; Scott, Robert A.; Lee, Wen-Jane; Small, Aeron; Kwee, Lydia C.; Dwivedi, Om Prakash; Prasad, Rashmi B.; Bruse, Shannon; Lopez, Alexander E.; Penn, John; Marcketta, Anthony; Leader, Joseph B.; Still, Christopher D.; Kirchner, H. Lester; Mirshahi, Uyenlinh L.; Wardeh, Amr H.; Hartle, Cassandra M.; Habegger, Lukas; Fetterolf, Samantha N.; Tusie-Luna, Teresa; Morris, Andrew P.; Holm, Hilma; Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur; Sulem, Patrick; Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur; Rotter, Jerome I.; Chuang, Lee-Ming; Damrauer, Scott; Birtwell, David; Brummett, Chad M.; Khera, Amit V.; Natarajan, Pradeep; Orho-Melander, Marju; Flannick, Jason; Lotta, Luca A.; Hansson, Ola; Groop, Leif (2018)
    Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) is an endogenous inhibitor of lipoprotein lipase that modulates lipid levels, coronary atherosclerosis risk, and nutrient partitioning. We hypothesize that loss of ANGPTL4 function might improve glucose homeostasis and decrease risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). We investigate protein-altering variants in ANGPTL4 among 58,124 participants in the DiscovEHR human genetics study, with follow-up studies in 82,766 T2D cases and 498,761 controls. Carriers of p.E40K, a variant that abolishes ANGPTL4 ability to inhibit lipoprotein lipase, have lower odds of T2D (odds ratio 0.89, 95% confidence interval 0.85-0.92, p = 6.3 x 10(-10)), lower fasting glucose, and greater insulin sensitivity. Predicted loss-of-function variants are associated with lower odds of T2D among 32,015 cases and 84,006 controls (odds ratio 0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.49-0.99, p = 0.041). Functional studies in Angptl4-deficient mice confirm improved insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis. In conclusion, genetic inactivation of ANGPTL4 is associated with improved glucose homeostasis and reduced risk of T2D.
  • Koski, Sini K.; Leino, Sakari; Panula, Pertti; Rannanpää, Saara; Salminen, Outi (2020)
    The brain histaminergic and dopaminergic systems closely interact, and some evidence also suggests significant involvement of histamine in Parkinson’s disease (PD), where dopaminergic neurons degenerate. To further investigate histamine-dopamine interactions, particularly in the context of PD, a genetic lack of histamine and a mouse model of PD and levodopa-induced dyskinesia were here combined. Dopaminergic lesions were induced in histidine decarboxylase knockout and wildtype mice by 6-hydroxydopamine injections into the medial forebrain bundle. Post-lesion motor dysfunction was studied by measuring drug-induced rotational behavior and dyskinesia. Striatal tissue from both lesioned and naïve animals was used to investigate dopaminergic, serotonergic and histaminergic biomarkers. Histamine deficiency increased amphetamine-induced rotation but did not affect levodopa-induced dyskinesia. qPCR measurements revealed increased striatal expression of D1 and D2 receptor, DARPP-32, and H3 receptor mRNA, and synaptosomal release experiments in naïve mice indicated increased dopamine release. A lack of histamine thus causes pre- and postsynaptic upregulation of striatal dopaminergic neurotransmission which may be reflected in post-lesion motor behavior. Disturbances or manipulations of the histaminergic system may thus have significant consequences for dopaminergic neurotransmission and motor behavior in both healthy and disease conditions. The findings also represent new evidence for the complex interplay between dopamine and histamine within the nigrostriatal pathway.
  • Vuckovic, Dragana; Dawson, Sally; Scheffer, Deborah I.; Rantanen, Taina; Morgan, Anna; Di Stazio, Mariateresa; Vozzi, Diego; Nutile, Teresa; Concas, Maria P.; Biino, Ginevra; Nolan, Lisa; Bahl, Aileen; Loukola, Anu; Viljanen, Anne; Davis, Adrian; Ciullo, Marina; Corey, David P.; Pirastu, Mario; Gasparini, Paolo; Girotto, Giorgia (2015)
    Hearing loss and individual differences in normal hearing both have a substantial genetic basis. Although many new genes contributing to deafness have been identified, very little is known about genes/variants modulating the normal range of hearing ability. To fill this gap, we performed a two-stage meta-analysis on hearing thresholds (tested at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 kHz) and on pure-tone averages (low-, medium-and high-frequency thresholds grouped) in several isolated populations from Italy and Central Asia (total N = 2636). Here, we detected two genome-wide significant loci close to PCDH20 and SLC28A3 (top hits: rs78043697, P = 4.71E-10 and rs7032430, P = 2.39E-09, respectively). For both loci, we sought replication in two independent cohorts: B58C from the UK (N = 5892) and FITSA from Finland (N = 270). Both loci were successfully replicated at a nominal level of significance (P <0.05). In order to confirm our quantitative findings, we carried out RT-PCR and reported RNA-Seq data, which showed that both genes are expressed in mouse inner ear, especially in hair cells, further suggesting them as good candidates for modulatory genes in the auditory system. Sequencing data revealed no functional variants in the coding region of PCDH20 or SLC28A3, suggesting that variation in regulatory sequences may affect expression. Overall, these results contribute to a better understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying human hearing function.
  • Vuckovic, Dragana; Dawson, Sally; Scheffer, Deborah I.; Rantanen, Taina; Morgan, Anna; Di Stazio, Mariateresa; Vozzi, Diego; Nutile, Teresa; Concas, Maria P.; Biino, Ginevra; Nolan, Lisa; Bahl, Aileen; Loukola, Anu; Viljanen, Anne; Davis, Adrian; Ciullo, Marina; Corey, David P.; Pirastu, Mario; Gasparini, Paolo; Girotto, Giorgia (Oxford University Press, 2015)
    Hearing loss and individual differences in normal hearing both have a substantial genetic basis. Although many new genes contributing to deafness have been identified, very little is known about genes/variants modulating the normal range of hearing ability. To fill this gap, we performed a two-stage meta-analysis on hearing thresholds (tested at 0.25, 0.5, 1, 2, 4, 8 kHz) and on pure-tone averages (low-, medium-and high-frequency thresholds grouped) in several isolated populations from Italy and Central Asia (total N = 2636). Here, we detected two genome-wide significant loci close to PCDH20 and SLC28A3 (top hits: rs78043697, P = 4.71E-10 and rs7032430, P = 2.39E-09, respectively). For both loci, we sought replication in two independent cohorts: B58C from the UK (N = 5892) and FITSA from Finland (N = 270). Both loci were successfully replicated at a nominal level of significance (P <0.05). In order to confirm our quantitative findings, we carried out RT-PCR and reported RNA-Seq data, which showed that both genes are expressed in mouse inner ear, especially in hair cells, further suggesting them as good candidates for modulatory genes in the auditory system. Sequencing data revealed no functional variants in the coding region of PCDH20 or SLC28A3, suggesting that variation in regulatory sequences may affect expression. Overall, these results contribute to a better understanding of the complex mechanisms underlying human hearing function.