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  • Mozhgani, Sayed-Hamidreza; Piran, Mehran; Zarei-Ghobadi, Mohadeseh; Jafari, Mohieddin; Jazayeri, Seyed-Mohammad; Mokhtari-Azad, Talat; Teymoori-Rad, Majid; Valizadeh, Narges; Farajifard, Hamid; Mirzaie, Mehdi; Khamseh, Azam; Rafatpanah, Houshang; Rezaee, Seyed-Abdolrahim; Norouzi, Mehdi (2019)
    Background Human T-lymphotropic virus 1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) is a progressive disease of the central nervous system that significantly affected spinal cord, nevertheless, the pathogenesis pathway and reliable biomarkers have not been well determined. This study aimed to employ high throughput meta-analysis to find major genes that are possibly involved in the pathogenesis of HAM/TSP. Results High-throughput statistical analyses identified 832, 49, and 22 differentially expressed genes for normal vs. ACs, normal vs. HAM/TSP, and ACs vs. HAM/TSP groups, respectively. The protein-protein interactions between DEGs were identified in STRING and further network analyses highlighted 24 and 6 hub genes for normal vs. HAM/TSP and ACs vs. HAM/TSP groups, respectively. Moreover, four biologically meaningful modules including 251 genes were identified for normal vs. ACs. Biological network analyses indicated the involvement of hub genes in many vital pathways like JAK-STAT signaling pathway, interferon, Interleukins, and immune pathways in the normal vs. HAM/TSP group and Metabolism of RNA, Viral mRNA Translation, Human T cell leukemia virus 1 infection, and Cell cycle in the normal vs. ACs group. Moreover, three major genes including STAT1, TAP1, and PSMB8 were identified by network analysis. Real-time PCR revealed the meaningful down-regulation of STAT1 in HAM/TSP samples than AC and normal samples (P = 0.01 and P = 0.02, respectively), up-regulation of PSMB8 in HAM/TSP samples than AC and normal samples (P = 0.04 and P = 0.01, respectively), and down-regulation of TAP1 in HAM/TSP samples than those in AC and normal samples (P = 0.008 and P = 0.02, respectively). No significant difference was found among three groups in terms of the percentage of T helper and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (P = 0.55 and P = 0.12). Conclusions High-throughput data integration disclosed novel hub genes involved in important pathways in virus infection and immune systems. The comprehensive studies are needed to improve our knowledge about the pathogenesis pathways and also biomarkers of complex diseases.
  • Giaretta, Paula R; Rech, Raquel R; Guard, Blake C; Blake, Amanda B; Blick, Anna K; Steiner, Jörg M.; Lidbury, Jonathan A; Cook, Audrey K; Hanifeh, Mohsen; Spillmann, Thomas; Kilpinen, Susanne; Syrjä, Pernilla; Suchodolski, Jan (2018)
    Background Objective Intestinal absorption of bile acids is mediated by the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter (ASBT). Fecal bile acid dysmetabolism has been reported in dogs with chronic inflammatory enteropathy (CIE). Characterization of ASBT distribution along the intestinal tract of control dogs and comparison to dogs with CIE. Animals Methods Twenty-four dogs with CIE and 11 control dogs. The ASBT mRNA and protein expression were assessed using RNA in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, respectively. The concentrations of fecal bile acids were measured by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The fecal microbiota dysbiosis index was assessed with a quantitative polymerase chain reaction panel. Results Conclusions and Clinical Importance In control dogs, ASBT mRNA expression was observed in enterocytes in all analyzed intestinal segments, with highest expression in the ileum. The ASBT protein expression was restricted to enterocytes in the ileum, cecum, and colon. Dogs with CIE had significantly decreased expression of ASBT protein in the ileum (P = .001), which was negatively correlated with histopathological score (rho = -0.40; P-corr = .049). Additionally, dogs with CIE had a significantly increased percentage of primary bile acids in feces compared to controls (P = .04). The fecal dysbiosis index was significantly higher in dogs with CIE than in control dogs (P = .01). These findings indicate that ileal protein expression of ASBT is downregulated in dogs with CIE. This change may be linked to the inflammatory process, intestinal dysbiosis, and fecal bile acid dysmetabolism observed in these patients.
  • Jin, Zhe; Bhandage, Amol K.; Bazov, Igor; Kononenko, Olga; Bakalkin, Georgy; Korpi, Esa R.; Birnir, Bryndis (2014)
  • Agarwal, Rahul; Narayan, Jitendra; Bhattacharyya, Amitava; Saraswat, Mayank; Tomar, Anil Kumar (2017)
    A very low 5-year survival rate among hepatocelluHar carcinoma (HCC) patients is mainly due to lack of early stage diagnosis, distant metastasis and high risk of postoperative recurrence. Hence ascertaining novel biomarkers for early diagnosis and patient specific therapeutics is crucial and urgent. Here, we have performed a comprehensive analysis of the expression data of 423 HCC patients (373 tumors and 50 controls) downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TOGA) followed by pathway enrichment by gene ontology annotations, subtype classification and overall survival analysis. The differential gene expression analysis using non-parametric Wilcoxon test revealed a total of 479 up-regulated and 91 down-regulated genes in HCC compared to controls. The list of top differentially expressed genes mainly consists of tumor/cancer associated genes, such as AFP, THBS4, LCN2, GPC3, NUF2, etc. The genes over-expressed in HCC were mainly associated with cell cycle pathways. In total, 59 kinases associated genes were found over expressed in HCC, including TTK, MELK, BUB1, NEK2, BUB1B, AURKB, PLK1, CDK1, PKMYT1, PBK, etc. Overall four distinct HCC subtypes were predicted using consensus clustering method. Each subtype was unique in terms of gene expression, pathway enrichment and median survival. Conclusively, this study has exposed a number of interesting genes which can be exploited in future as potential markers of HCC, diagnostic as well as prognostic and subtype classification may guide for improved and specific therapy.
  • Tsakoumis, Emmanouil; Ahi, Ehsan Pashay; Schmitz, Monika (2022)
    Reproduction is an energetically costly event across vertebrates and tightly linked to nutritional status and en-ergy reserves. In mammals, the hormone leptin is considered as a link between energy homeostasis and repro-duction. However, its role in fish reproduction is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the possible role of leptin in the regulation of reproduction in zebrafish, using a loss of function leptin receptor (lepr) strain. Impaired leptin signaling resulted in severe reproductive deficiencies in female zebrafish. lepr mutant females laid significantly fewer eggs, with low fertilization rates compared to wild-type females. Folliculogenesis was not affected, but oocyte maturation and ovulation were disrupted in lepr mutants. Interestingly, the expression of luteinizing hormone beta (lhb) in the pituitary was significantly lower in mutant females. Analysis of candidate genes in the ovaries and isolated fully grown follicles revealed differential expression of genes involved in ste-roidogenesis, oocyte maturation and ovulation in the mutants, which are known to be regulated by LH signaling. Moreover, subfertility in lepr mutants could be partially restored by administration of human chorionic gonad-otropin. In conclusion, our results show that leptin deficiency does not affect early stages of follicular devel-opment, but leptin might be essential in later steps, such as in oocyte maturation and ovulation. To our knowledge, this is the first time that leptin is associated to reproductive deficiencies in zebrafish.
  • Carceller, Hector; Rovira-Esteban, Laura; Nacher, Juan; Castrén, Eero; Guirado, Ramon (2016)
    Reelin, a glycoprotein expressed by Cajal-Retzius neurons throughout the marginal layer of developing neocortex, has been extensively shown to play an important role during brain development, guiding neuronal migration and detachment from radial glia. During the adult life, however, many studies have associated Reelin expression to enhanced neuronal plasticity. Although its mechanism of action in the adult brain remains mostly unknown, Reelin is expressed mainly by a subset of mature interneurons. Here, we confirm the described phenotype of this subpopulation in the adult neocortex. We show that these mature interneurons, although being in close proximity, lack polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) expression, a molecule expressed by a subpopulation of mature interneurons, related to brain development and involved in neuronal plasticity of the adult brain as well. However, in the layer II of Piriform cortex there is a high density of cells expressing Reelin whose neurochemical phenotype and connectivity has not been described before. Interestingly, in close proximity to these Reelin expressing cells there is a numerous subpopulation of immature neurons expressing PSA-NCAM and doublecortin (DCX) in this layer of the Piriform cortex. Here, we show that Reelin cells express the neuronal marker Neuronal Nuclei (NeuN), but however the majority of neurons lack markers of mature excitatory or inhibitory neurons. A detail analysis of its morphology indicates these that some of these cells might correspond to semilunar neurons. Interestingly, we found that the majority of these cells express T-box brain 1 (TBR-1) a transcription factor found not only in post-mitotic neurons that differentiate to glutamatergic excitatory neurons but also in Cajal-Retzius cells. We suggest that the function of these Reelin expressing cells might be similar to that of the Cajal-Retzius cells during development, having a role in the maintenance of the immature phenotype of the PSA-NCAM/DCX neurons through its receptors apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and very low density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR) in the Piriform cortex layer II during adulthood.
  • del Amo, Eva M.; Hammid, Anam; Tausch, Melanie; Toropainen, Elisa; Sadeghi, Amir; Valtari, Annika; Puranen, Jooseppi; Reinisalo, Mika; Ruponen, Marika; Urtti, Arto; Sauer, Achim; Honkakoski, Paavo (2022)
    Quantitation of ocular drug metabolism is important, but only sparse data is currently available. Herein, the pharmacokinetics of four drugs, substrates of metabolizing enzymes, was investigated in albino rabbit eyes after intracameral and intravitreal administrations. Acetaminophen, brimonidine, cefuroxime axetil, and sunitinib and their corresponding metabolites were quantitated in the cornea, iris-ciliary body, aqueous humor, lens, vitreous humor, and neural retina with LC-MS/MS analytics. Non-compartmental analysis was employed to estimate the pharmacokinetic parameters of the parent drugs and metabolites. The area under the curve (AUC) values of metabolites were 12-70 times lower than the AUC values of the parent drugs in the tissues with the highest enzymatic activity. The ester prodrug cefuroxime axetil was an exception because it was efficiently and quantitatively converted to cefuroxime in the ocular tissues. In contrast to the liver, sulfotransferases, aldehyde oxidase, and cytochrome P450 3A activities were low in the eye and they had negligible impact on ocular drug clearance. With the exception of esterase substrates, metabolism seems to be a minor player in ocular pharmacokinetics. However, metabolites might contribute to ocular toxicity, and drug metabolism in various eye tissues should be investigated and understood thoroughly.
  • Chouliaras, Leonidas; Pishva, Ehsan; Haapakoski, Rita; Zsoldos, Eniko; Mahmood, Abda; Filippini, Nicola; Burrage, Joe; Mill, Jonathan; Kivimäki, Mika; Lunnon, Katie; Ebmeier, Klaus P. (2018)
    Aim: The present study investigated the link between peripheral DNA methylation (DNAm), cognitive impairment and brain aging. Methods: We tested the association between blood genome-wide DNAm profiles using the Illumina 450K arrays, cognitive dysfunction and brain MRI measures in selected participants of the Whitehall II imaging sub-study. Results: Eight differentially methylated regions were associated with cognitive impairment. Accelerated aging based on the Hannum epigenetic clock was associated with mean diffusivity and global fractional anisotropy. We also identified modules of co-methylated loci associated with white matter hyperintensities. These co-methylation modules were enriched among pathways relevant to beta-amyloid processing and glutamatergic signaling. Conclusion: Our data support the notion that blood DNAm changes may have utility as a biomarker for cognitive dysfunction and brain aging.
  • Tsai, Pei-Chien; Glastonbury, Craig A.; Eliot, Melissa N.; Bollepalli, Sailalitha; Yet, Idil; Castillo-Fernandez, Juan E.; Carnero-Montoro, Elena; Hardiman, Thomas; Martin, Tiphaine C.; Vickers, Alice; Mangino, Massimo; Ward, Kirsten; Pietilaeinen, Kirsi H.; Deloukas, Panos; Spector, Tim D.; Vinuela, Ana; Loucks, Eric B.; Ollikainen, Miina; Kelsey, Karl T.; Small, Kerrin S.; Bell, Jordana T. (2018)
    Background: Tobacco smoking is a risk factor for multiple diseases, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Many smoking-associated signals have been detected in the blood methylome, but the extent to which these changes are widespread to metabolically relevant tissues, and impact gene expression or metabolic health, remains unclear. Methods: We investigated smoking-associated DNA methylation and gene expression variation in adipose tissue biopsies from 542 healthy female twins. Replication, tissue specificity, and longitudinal stability of the smoking-associated effects were explored in additional adipose, blood, skin, and lung samples. We characterized the impact of adipose tissue smoking methylation and expression signals on metabolic disease risk phenotypes, including visceral fat. Results: We identified 42 smoking-methylation and 42 smoking-expression signals, where five genes (AHRR, CYP1A1, CYP1B1, CYTL1, F2RL3) were both hypo-methylated and upregulated in current smokers. CYP1A1 gene expression achieved 95% prediction performance of current smoking status. We validated and replicated a proportion of the signals in additional primary tissue samples, identifying tissue-shared effects. Smoking leaves systemic imprints on DNA methylation after smoking cessation, with stronger but shorter-lived effects on gene expression. Metabolic disease risk traits such as visceral fat and android-to-gynoid ratio showed association with methylation at smoking markers with functional impacts on expression, such as CYP1A1, and at tissue-shared smoking signals, such as NOTCH1. At smoking-signals, BHLHE40 and AHRR DNA methylation and gene expression levels in current smokers were predictive of future gain in visceral fat upon smoking cessation. Conclusions: Our results provide the first comprehensive characterization of coordinated DNA methylation arid gene expression markers of smoking in adipose tissue. The findings relate to human metabolic health and give insights into understanding the widespread health consequence of smoking outside of the lung.
  • Watson, John D.; Prokopec, Stephenie D.; Smith, Ashley B.; Okey, Allan B.; Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Boutros, Paul C. (2014)
  • Palada, Vinko; Gilron, Ian; Canlon, Barbara; Svensson, Camilla; Kalso, Eija (2020)
  • Mahiout, Selma; Linden, Jere; Esteban, Javier; Sanchez-Perez, Ismael; Sankari, Satu; Pettersson, Lars; Håkansson, Helen; Pohjanvirta, Raimo (2017)
    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) mediates the toxicity of dioxins, but also plays important physiological roles. Selective AHR modulators, which elicit some effects imparted by this receptor without causing the marked toxicity of dioxins, are presently under intense scrutiny. Two novel such compounds are IMA-08401 (N-acetyl-N-phenyl-4-acetoxy-5-chloro-1,2-dihydro-1-methyl-2-oxo-quinoline-3-carboxamide) and IMA-07101 (N-acetyl-N-(4-trifluoromethylphenyl)-4-acetoxy-1,2-dihydro-5-methoxy-1-methyl-2-oxo-quinoline-3-carboxamide). They represent, as diacetyl prodrugs, AHR-active metabolites of the drug compounds laquinimod and tasquinimod, respectively, which are intended for the treatment of autoimmune diseases and cancer. Here, we toxicologically assessed the novel compounds in Sprague-Dawley rats, after a single dose (8.75-92.5 mg/kg) and 5-day repeated dosing at the highest doses achievable (IMA-08401: 100 mg/kg/day; and IMA-07101: 75 mg/kg/day). There were no overt clinical signs of toxicity, but body weight gain was marginally retarded, and the treatments induced minimal hepatic extramedullary haematopoiesis. Further, both the absolute and relative weights of the thymus were significantly decreased. Cyp1a1 gene expression was substantially increased in all tissues examined. The hepatic induction profile of other AHR battery genes was distinct from that caused by 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The only marked alterations in serum clinical chemistry variables were a reduction in triglycerides and an increase in 3-hydroxybutyrate. Liver and kidney retinol and retinyl palmitate concentrations were affected largely in the same manner as reported for TCDD. In vitro, the novel compounds activated CYP1A1 effectively in H4IIE cells. Altogether, these novel compounds appear to act as potent activators of the AHR, but lack some major characteristic toxicities of dioxins. They therefore represent promising new selective AHR modulators. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Houlahan, Kathleen E.; Prokopec, Stephenie D.; Moffat, Ivy D.; Lindén, Jere; Lensu, Sanna; Okey, Allan B.; Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Boutros, Paul C. (2015)
    In some mammals, halogenated aromatic hydrocarbon (HAH) exposure causes wasting syndrome, defined as significant weight loss associated with lethal outcomes. The most potent HAH in causing wasting is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-rho-dioxin (TCDD), which exerts its toxic effects through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Since TCDD toxicity is thought to predominantly arise from dysregulation of AHR-transcribed genes, it was hypothesized that wasting syndrome is a result of to TCDD-induced dysregulation of genes involved in regulation of food-intake. As the hypothalamus is the central nervous systems' regulatory center for food-intake and energy balance. Therefore, mRNA abundances in hypothalamic tissue from two rat strains with widely differing sensitivities to TCDD-induced wasting syndrome: TCDD-sensitive Long-Evans rats and TCDD-resistant Han/Wistar rats, 23 h after exposure to TCDD (100 mu g/kg) or corn oil vehicle. TCDD exposure caused minimal transcriptional dysregulation in the hypothalamus, with only 6 genes significantly altered in Long-Evans rats and 15 genes in Han/Wistar rats. Two of the most dysregulated genes were Cyp1a1 and Nqo1, which are induced by TCDD across a wide range of tissues and are considered sensitive markers of TCDD exposure. The minimal response of the hypothalamic transcriptome to a lethal dose of TCDD at an early time-point suggests that the hypothalamus is not the predominant site of initial events leading to hypophagia and associated wasting. TCDD may affect feeding behaviour via events upstream or downstream of the hypothalamus, and further work is required to evaluate this at the level of individual hypothalamic nuclei and subregions. (C) 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
  • Ahi, Ehsan Pashay; Tsakoumis, Emmanouil; Brunel, Mathilde; Schmitz, Monika (2021)
    The signal mediated by leptin hormone and its receptor is a major regulator of body weight, food intake and metabolism. In mammals and many teleost fish species, leptin has an anorexigenic role and inhibits food intake by influencing the appetite centres in the hypothalamus. However, the regulatory connections between leptin and downstream genes mediating its appetite-regulating effects are still not fully explored in teleost fish. In this study, we used a loss of function leptin receptor zebrafish mutant and real-time quantitative PCR to assess brain expression patterns of several previously identified anorexigenic genes downstream of leptin signal under different feeding conditions (normal feeding, 7-day fasting, 2 and 6-h refeeding). These downstream factors include members of cart genes, crhb and gnrh2, as well as selected genes co-expressed with them based on a zebrafish co-expression database. Here, we found a potential gene expression network (GRN) comprising the abovementioned genes by a stepwise approach of identifying co-expression modules and predicting their upstream regulators. Among the transcription factors (TFs) predicted as potential upstream regulators of this GRN, we found expression pattern of sp3a to be correlated with transcriptional changes of the downstream gene network. Interestingly, the expression and transcriptional activity of Sp3 orthologous gene in mammals have already been implicated to be under the influence of leptin signal. These findings suggest a potentially conserved regulatory connection between leptin and sp3a, which is predicted to act as a transcriptional driver of a downstream gene network in the zebrafish brain.
  • Prokopec, Stephenie D.; Viluksela, Matti; Miettinen, Hanna M.; Boutros, Paul C.; Pohjanvirta, Raimo (2020)
    In rats, direct exposure to TCDD causes myriad toxicities. Exposed rats experience hepatotoxicity, wasting syndrome and immune suppression, amongst others. "Inherited exposure", as occurs in the F3 generation of directly exposed F0 animals, has also been shown to cause toxicity: both male and female F3 rats demonstrate an increased incidence of adult onset disease, females also display reproductive abnormalities and increased incidence of ovarian diseases while males show increased incidence of kidney disease and an altered sperm epigenome. Here, we explore the hepatic transcriptomic profile of male and female F3 Sprague-Dawley rats bred through the paternal germ line from F0 dams exposed to a single dose of TCDD (0, 30, 100, 300 or 1000 ng/kg body weight) by oral gavage. We hypothesize that RNA transcripts with altered abundance in livers of unexposed F3 progeny of treated F0 Sprague-Dawley rats may result from epigenetic modifications to the genome. We further survey patterns of differential methylation within male F3 rat testis. Female F3 rats demonstrated more TCDD-mediated hepatic transcriptomic changes than males, with differences primarily in the lowest dose group. In testis from male F3 rats, multiple olfactory receptors displayed patterns of differential methylation. Hypermethylation of Egfr and Mc5r among testes from TCDD lineage rats was observed, but without corresponding changes in hepatic mRNA abundance. Further studies examining these differences in other tissue types are warranted.
  • Rantamaki, Tomi (2019)
    The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its receptor TrkB has been studied in the context of mood disorders and their treatments for a couple of decades. Pharmacologically diverse antidepressant drugs increase the synthesis of BDNF in the cortex (and some subcortical structures) and this effect accounts for their ability to facilitate neurotrophic processes eventually leading into heightened plasticity within the cortex. Induction of BDNF-TrkB signaling has also been associated with the mechanism of action of ketamine and more recently with some other anesthetics, even with ones not thought to possess antidepressant potential. Notably, both ketamine and conventional antidepressants activate TrkB receptor and its downstream signaling rapidly within the same time scale in the brain while electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), among the most potent inducers of BDNF, has not been unequivocally shown to produce such acute effects on TrkB. The ability of antidepressants to regulate TrkB signaling is developmentally regulated and requires an intact central nervous system. The purpose of this review is to highlight and discuss some of these peculiarities associated with the effects of ketamine and classical antidepressants and BDNF on TrkB signaling.
  • Davegardh, C; Sall, J; Benrick, A; Broholm, C; Volkov, P; Perfilyev, A; Henriksen, TI; Wu, Y; Hjort, L; Brons, C; Hansson, O; Pedersen, M; Wurthner, JU; Pfeffer, K; Nilsson, E; Vaag, A; Stener-Victorin, E; Pircs, K; Scheele, C; Ling, C (2021)
    Insulin resistance and lower muscle quality (strength divided by mass) are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Here, we explore whether alterations in muscle stem cells (myoblasts) from individuals with T2D contribute to these phenotypes. We identify VPS39 as an important regulator of myoblast differentiation and muscle glucose uptake, and VPS39 is downregulated in myoblasts and myotubes from individuals with T2D. We discover a pathway connecting VPS39-deficiency in human myoblasts to impaired autophagy, abnormal epigenetic reprogramming, dysregulation of myogenic regulators, and perturbed differentiation. VPS39 knockdown in human myoblasts has profound effects on autophagic flux, insulin signaling, epigenetic enzymes, DNA methylation and expression of myogenic regulators, and gene sets related to the cell cycle, muscle structure and apoptosis. These data mimic what is observed in myoblasts from individuals with T2D. Furthermore, the muscle of Vps39(+/-) mice display reduced glucose uptake and altered expression of genes regulating autophagy, epigenetic programming, and myogenesis. Overall, VPS39-deficiency contributes to impaired muscle differentiation and reduced glucose uptake. VPS39 thereby offers a therapeutic target for T2D. Insulin resistance and lower muscle strength in relation to mass are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes. Here, the authors report alterations in muscle stem cells from individuals with type 2 diabetes that may contribute to these phenotypes through VPS39 mediated effects on autophagy and epigenetics.