Browsing by Subject "MICE LACKING"

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  • Chalazonitis, Alcmène; Li, ZhiShan; Pham, Tuan D.; Chen, Jason; Rao, Meenakshi; Lindholm, Päivi; Saarma, Mart; Lindahl, Maria; Gershon, Michael D. (2020)
    Abstract Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is expressed in the brain and is neuroprotective. We have previously shown that CDNF is also expressed in the bowel and that its absence leads to degeneration and autophagy in the enteric nervous system (ENS), particularly in the submucosal plexus. We now demonstrate that enteric CDNF immunoreactivity is restricted to neurons (submucosal > myenteric) and is not seen in glia, interstitial cells of Cajal, or smooth muscle. Expression of CDNF, moreover, is essential for the normal development and survival of enteric dopaminergic neurons; thus, expression of the dopaminergic neuronal markers, dopamine, tyrosine hydroxylase, and dopamine transporter are deficient in the ileum of Cdnf -/- mice. The normal age-related decline in proportions of submucosal dopaminergic neurons is exacerbated in Cdnf -/- animals. The defect in Cdnf -/- animals is not dopamine-restricted; proportions of other submucosal neurons (NOS-, GABA-, and CGRP-expressing), are also deficient. The deficits in submucosal neurons are reflected functionally in delayed gastric emptying, slowed colonic motility, and prolonged total gastrointestinal transit. CDNF is expressed selectively in isolated enteric neural crest-derived cells (ENCDC), which also express the dopamine-related transcription factor Foxa2. Addition of CDNF to ENCDC promotes development of dopaminergic neurons; moreover, survival or these neurons becomes CDNF-dependent after exposure to bone morphogenetic protein 4. The effects of neither glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) nor serotonin are additive with CDNF. We suggest that CDNF plays a critical role in development and long-term maintenance of dopaminergic and other sets of submucosal neurons. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Sun, Ren X.; Chong, Lauren C.; Simmons, Trent T.; Houlahan, Kathleen E.; Prokopec, Stephenie D.; Watson, John D.; Moffat, Ivy D.; Lensu, Sanna; Lindén, Jere; P'ng, Christine; Okey, Allan B.; Pohjanvirta, Raimo; Boutros, Paul C. (2014)
  • Garcia-Gonzalez, Judit; Brock, Alistair J.; Parker, Matthew O.; Riley, Riva J.; Joliffe, David; Sudwarts, Ari; Teh, Muy-Teck; Busch-Nentwich, Elisabeth M.; Stemple, Derek L.; Martineau, Adrian R.; Kaprio, Jaakko; Palviainen, Teemu; Kuan, Valerie; Walton, Robert T.; Brennan, Caroline H. (2020)
    To facilitate smoking genetics research we determined whether a screen of mutagenized zebrafish for nicotine preference could predict loci affecting smoking behaviour. From 30 screened F-3 sibling groups, where each was derived from an individual ethyl-nitrosurea mutagenized F-0 fish, two showed increased or decreased nicotine preference. Out of 25 inactivating mutations carried by the F-3 fish, one in the slit3 gene segregated with increased nicotine preference in heterozygous individuals. Focussed SNP analysis of the human SLIT3 locus in cohorts from UK (n=863) and Finland (n=1715) identified two variants associated with cigarette consumption and likelihood of cessation. Characterisation of slit3 mutant larvae and adult fish revealed decreased sensitivity to the dopaminergic and serotonergic antagonist amisulpride, known to affect startle reflex that is correlated with addiction in humans, and increased htr1aa mRNA expression in mutant larvae. No effect on neuronal pathfinding was detected. These findings reveal a role for SLIT3 in development of pathways affecting responses to nicotine in zebrafish and smoking in humans.
  • Tikker, Laura; Casarotto, Plinio; Singh, Parul; Biojone, Caroline; Piepponen, T. Petteri; Estartus, Nuri; Seelbach, Anna; Sridharan, Ravindran; Laukkanen, Liina; Castren, Eero; Partanen, Juha (2020)
    Serotonergic neurons in the dorsal raphe (DR) nucleus are associated with several psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety disorders, which often have a neurodevelopmental component. During embryonic development, GATA transcription factors GATA2 and GATA3 operate as serotonergic neuron fate selectors and regulate the differentiation of serotonergic neuron subtypes of DR. Here, we analyzed the requirement of GATA cofactor ZFPM1 in the development of serotonergic neurons using Zfpm1 conditional mouse mutants. Our results demonstrated that, unlike the GATA factors, ZFPM1 is not essential for the early differentiation of serotonergic precursors in the embryonic rhombomere 1. In contrast, in perinatal and adult male and female Zfpm1 mutants, a lateral subpopulation of DR neurons (ventrolateral part of the DR) was lost, whereas the number of serotonergic neurons in a medial subpopulation (dorsal region of the medial DR) had increased. Additionally, adult male and female Zfpm1 mutants had reduced serotonin concentration in rostral brain areas and displayed increased anxiety-like behavior. Interestingly, female Zfpm1 mutant mice showed elevated contextual fear memory that was abolished with chronic fluoxetine treatment. Altogether, these results demonstrate the importance of ZFPM1 for the development of DR serotonergic neuron subtypes involved in mood regulation. It also suggests that the neuronal fate selector function of GATAs is modulated by their cofactors to refine the differentiation of neuronal subtypes.
  • Heino, Sarika; Fang, Shentong; Lähde, Marianne; Högström, Jenny; Nassiri, Sina; Campbell, Andrew; Flanagan, Dustin; Raven, Alexander; Hodder, Michael; Nasreddin, Nadia; Xue, Hai-Hui; Delorenzi, Mauro; Leedham, Simon; Petrova, Tatiana; Sansom, Owen; Alitalo, Kari (2021)
    Somatic mutations in APC or CTNNB1 genes lead to aberrant Wnt signaling and colorectal cancer (CRC) initiation and progression via-catenin-T cell factor/lymphoid enhancer binding factor TCF/LEF transcription factors. We found that Lef1 was expressed exclusively in Apc-mutant, Wnt ligand-independent tumors, but not in ligand-dependent, serrated tumors. To analyze Lef1 function in tumor development, we conditionally deleted Lef1 in intestinal stem cells of Apc(fl/fl) mice or broadly from the entire intestinal epithelium of Apc(fl/fl) or Apc(Min/+) mice. Loss of Lef1 markedly increased tumor initiation and tumor cell proliferation, reduced the expression of several Wnt antagonists, and increased Myc proto-oncogene expression and formation of ectopic crypts in Apc-mutant adenomas. Our results uncover a previously unknown negative feedback mechanism in CRC, in which ectopic Lef1 expression suppresses intestinal tumorigenesis by restricting adenoma cell dedifferentiation to a crypt-progenitor phenotype and by reducing the formation of cancer stem cell niches.
  • Kurtzeborn, Kristen; Kwon, Hyuk Nam; Kuure, Satu (2019)
    Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are common birth defects derived from abnormalities in renal differentiation during embryogenesis. CAKUT is the major cause of end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney diseases in children, but its genetic causes remain largely unresolved. Here we discuss advances in the understanding of how mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (MAPK/ERK) activity contributes to the regulation of ureteric bud branching morphogenesis, which dictates the final size, shape, and nephron number of the kidney. Recent studies also demonstrate that the MAPK/ERK pathway is directly involved in nephrogenesis, regulating both the maintenance and differentiation of the nephrogenic mesenchyme. Interestingly, aberrant MAPK/ERK signaling is linked to many cancers, and recent studies suggest it also plays a role in the most common pediatric renal cancer, Wilms' tumor.
  • Kuure, Satu; Sariola, Hannu (SPRINGER-VERLAG SINGAPORE PTE LTD, 2020)
    Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
  • Sewry, Caroline A.; Laitila, Jenni M.; Wallgren-Pettersson, Carina (2019)
    Nemaline myopathies are a heterogenous group of congenital myopathies caused by de novo, dominantly or recessively inherited mutations in at least twelve genes. The genes encoding skeletal α-actin (ACTA1) and nebulin (NEB) are the commonest genetic cause. Most patients have congenital onset characterized by muscle weakness and hypotonia, but the spectrum of clinical phenotypes is broad, ranging from severe neonatal presentations to onset of a milder disorder in childhood. Most patients with adult onset have an autoimmune-related myopathy with a progressive course. The wide application of massively parallel sequencing methods is increasing the number of known causative genes and broadening the range of clinical phenotypes. Nemaline myopathies are identified by the presence of structures that are rod-like or ovoid in shape with electron microscopy, and with light microscopy stain red with the modified Gömöri trichrome technique. These rods or nemaline bodies are derived from Z lines (also known as Z discs or Z disks) and have a similar lattice structure and protein content. Their shape in patients with mutations in KLHL40 and LMOD3 is distinctive and can be useful for diagnosis. The number and distribution of nemaline bodies varies between fibres and different muscles but does not correlate with severity or prognosis. Additional pathological features such as caps, cores and fibre type disproportion are associated with the same genes as those known to cause the presence of rods. Animal models are advancing the understanding of the effects of various mutations in different genes and paving the way for the development of therapies, which at present only manage symptoms and are aimed at maintaining muscle strength, joint mobility, ambulation, respiration and independence in the activities of daily living.
  • Sainio, Markus T.; Rasila, Tiina; Molchanova, Svetlana M.; Järvilehto, Julius; Torregrosa-Munumer, Ruben; Harjuhaahto, Sandra; Pennonen, Jana; Huber, Nadine; Herukka, Sanna-Kaisa; Haapasalo, Annakaisa; Zetterberg, Henrik; Taira, Tomi; Palmio, Johanna; Ylikallio, Emil; Tyynismaa, Henna (2022)
    Neurofilament light (NFL) is one of the proteins forming multimeric neuron-specific intermediate filaments, neurofilaments, which fill the axonal cytoplasm, establish caliber growth, and provide structural support. Dominant missense mutations and recessive nonsense mutations in the neurofilament light gene (NEFL) are among the causes of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy, which affects the peripheral nerves with the longest axons. We previously demonstrated that a neuropathy-causing homozygous nonsense mutation in NEFL led to the absence of NFL in patient-specific neurons. To understand the disease-causing mechanisms, we investigate here the functional effects of NFL loss in human motor neurons differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). We used genome editing to generate NEFL knockouts and compared them to patient-specific nonsense mutants and isogenic controls. iPSC lacking NFL differentiated efficiently into motor neurons with normal axon growth and regrowth after mechanical axotomy and contained neurofilaments. Electrophysiological analysis revealed that motor neurons without NFL fired spontaneous and evoked action potentials with similar characteristics as controls. However, we found that, in the absence of NFL, human motor neurons 1) had reduced axonal caliber, 2) the amplitude of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSC) was decreased, 3) neurofilament heavy (NFH) levels were reduced and no compensatory increases in other filament subunits were observed, and 4) the movement of mitochondria and to a lesser extent lysosomes was increased. Our findings elaborate the functional roles of NFL in human motor neurons. NFL is not only a structural protein forming neurofilaments and filling the axonal cytoplasm, but our study supports the role of NFL in the regulation of synaptic transmission and organelle trafficking. To rescue the NFL deficiency in the patient-specific nonsense mutant motor neurons, we used three drugs, amlexanox, ataluren (PTC-124), and gentamicin to induce translational read-through or inhibit nonsense-mediated decay. However, the drugs failed to increase the amount of NFL protein to detectable levels and were toxic to iPSC-derived motor neurons.
  • Lesnikova, Angelina; Casarotto, Plinio; Moliner, Rafael; Fred, Senem Merve; Biojone, Caroline; Castren, Eero (2021)
    Perineuronal nets (PNNs) have an important physiological role in the retention of learning by restricting cognitive flexibility. Their deposition peaks after developmental periods of intensive learning, usually in late childhood, and they help in long-term preservation of newly acquired skills and information. Modulation of PNN function by various techniques enhances plasticity and regulates the retention of memories, which may be beneficial when memory persistence entails negative symptoms such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this study, we investigated the role of PTP sigma [receptor-type tyrosine-protein phosphatase S, a phosphatase that is activated by binding of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) from PNNs] in retention of memories using Novel Object Recognition and Fear Conditioning models. We observed that mice haploinsufficient for PTPRS gene (PTP sigma(+/-)), although having improved short-term object recognition memory, display impaired long-term memory in both Novel Object Recognition and Fear Conditioning paradigm, as compared to WT littermates. However, PTP sigma(+/-) mice did not show any differences in behavioral tests that do not heavily rely on cognitive flexibility, such as Elevated Plus Maze, Open Field, Marble Burying, and Forced Swimming Test. Since PTP sigma has been shown to interact with and dephosphorylate TRKB, we investigated activation of this receptor and its downstream pathways in limbic areas known to be associated with memory. We found that phosphorylation of TRKB and PLC gamma are increased in the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and amygdaloid complex of PTP sigma(+/-) mice, but other TRKB-mediated signaling pathways are not affected. Our data suggest that PTP sigma downregulation promotes TRKB phosphorylation in different brain areas, improves short-term memory performance but disrupts long-term memory retention in the tested animal models. Inhibition of PTP sigma or disruption of PNN-PTP sigma-TRKB complex might be a potential target for disorders where negative modulation of the acquired memories can be beneficial.
  • Li, Hao; Kurtzeborn, Kristen; Kupari, Jussi; Gui, Yujuan; Siefker, Edward; Lu, Benson; Mätlik, Kärt; Olfat, Soophie; Montano-Rodriguez, Ana R.; Huh, Sung-Ho; Costantini, Franklin; Andressoo, Jaan-Olle; Kuure, Satu (2021)
    Nephron endowment, defined during the fetal period, dictates renal and related cardiovascular health throughout life. We show here that, despite its negative effects on kidney growth, genetic increase of GDNF prolongs the nephrogenic program beyond its normal cessation. Multi-stage mechanistic analysis revealed that excess GDNF maintains nephron progenitors and nephrogenesis through increased expression of its secreted targets and augmented WNT signaling, leading to a two-part effect on nephron progenitor maintenance. Abnormally high GDNF in embryonic kidneys upregulates its known targets but also Wnt9b and Axin2, with concomitant deceleration of nephron progenitor proliferation. Decline of GDNF levels in postnatal kidneys normalizes the ureteric bud and creates a permissive environment for continuation of the nephrogenic program, as demonstrated by morphologically and molecularly normal postnatal nephron progenitor self-renewal and differentiation. These results establish that excess GDNF has a bi-phasic effect on nephron progenitors in mice, which can faithfully respond to GDNF dosage manipulation during the fetal and postnatal period. Our results suggest that sensing the signaling activity level is an important mechanism through which GDNF and other molecules contribute to nephron progenitor lifespan specification.
  • Liu, Li; Rippe, Catarina; Hansson, Ola; Kryvokhyzha, Dmytro; Fisher, Steven; Ekman, Mari; Sward, Karl (2021)
    Myocardin-related transcription factors (MRTFs: myocardin/MYOCD, MRTF-A/MRTFA, and MRTF-B/MRTFB) are co-factors of serum response factor (SRF) that activate the smooth muscle cell (SMC) gene program and that play roles in cardiovascular development and mechanobiology. Gain and loss of function experiments have defined the SMC gene program under control of MRTFs, yet full understanding of their impact is lacking. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that the muscarinic M-3 receptor (CHRM3) is regulated by MRTFs together with SRF. Forced expression of MYOCD (8d) in human coronary artery (SMC) followed by RNA-sequencing showed increased levels of M-2, M-3, and M-5 receptors (CHRM2: 2-fold, CHRM3: 16-fold, and CHRM5: 2-fold). The effect of MYOCD on M-3 was confirmed by RT-qPCR using both coronary artery and urinary bladder SMCs, and correlation analyses using human transcriptomic datasets suggested that M-3 may also be regulated by MRTF-B. Head-to-head comparisons of MYOCD, MRTF-A and MRTF-B, argued that while all MRTFs are effective, MRTF-B is the most powerful transactivator of CHRM3, causing a 600-fold increase at 120h. Accordingly, MRTF-B conferred responsiveness to the muscarinic agonist carbachol in Ca2+ imaging experiments. M-3 was suppressed on treatment with the MRTF-SRF inhibitor CCG-1423 using SMCs transduced with either MRTF-A or MRTF-B and using intact mouse esophagus in culture (by 92 +/- 2%). Moreover, silencing of SRF with a short hairpin reduced CHRM3 (by >60%) in parallel with alpha-actin (ACTA2). Tamoxifen inducible knockout of Srf in smooth muscle reduced Srf (by 54 +/- 4%) and Chrm3 (by 41 +/- 6%) in the urinary bladder at 10days, but Srf was much less reduced or unchanged in aorta, ileum, colon, trachea, and esophagus. Longer induction (21d) further accentuated the reduction of Chrm3 in the bladder and ileum, but no change was seen in the aorta. Single cell RNA-sequencing revealed that Mrtfb dominates in ECs, while Myocd dominates in SMCs, raising the possibility that Chrm3 may be driven by Mrtfb-Srf in the endothelium and by Myocd-Srf in SMCs. These findings define a novel transcriptional control mechanism for muscarinic M-3 receptors in human cells, and in mice, that could be targeted for therapy.
  • Greenough, Mark A.; Lane, Darius J. R.; Balez, Rachelle; Anastacio, Helena Targa Dias; Zeng, Zhiwen; Ganio, Katherine; McDevitt, Christopher A.; Acevedo, Karla; Belaidi, Abdel Ali; Koistinaho, Jari; Ooi, Lezanne; Ayton, Scott; Bush, Ashley (2022)
    Mutations in presenilin 1 and 2 (PS1 and PS2) cause autosomal dominant familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). Ferroptosis has been implicated as a mechanism of neurodegeneration in AD since neocortical iron burden predicts Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression. We found that loss of the presenilins dramatically sensitizes multiple cell types to ferroptosis, but not apoptosis. FAD causal mutations of presenilins similarly sensitizes cells to ferroptosis. The presenilins promote the expression of GPX4, the selenoprotein checkpoint enzyme that blocks ferroptosis by quenching the membrane propagation of lethal hydroperoxyl radicals. Presenilin gamma-secretase activity cleaves Notch-1 to signal LRP8 expression, which then controls GPX4 expression by regulating the supply of selenium into the cell since LRP8 is the uptake receptor for selenoprotein P. Selenium uptake is thus disrupted by presenilin FAD mutations, suppressing GPX4 expression. Therefore, presenilin mutations may promote neurodegeneration by derepressing ferroptosis, which has implications for disease-modifying therapeutics.
  • Glerup, Simon; Lume, Maria; Olsen, Ditte; Nyengaard, Jens R.; Vaegter, Christian B.; Gustafsen, Camilla; Christensen, Erik I.; Kjolby, Mads; Hay-Schmidt, Anders; Bender, Dirk; Madsen, Peder; Saarma, Mart; Nykjaer, Anders; Petersen, Claus M. (2013)