ResearchPad - mouse-models https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Identification of miRNA signatures associated with radiation-induced late lung injury in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7641 Acute radiation exposure of the thorax can lead to late serious, and even life-threatening, pulmonary and cardiac damage. Sporadic in nature, late complications tend to be difficult to predict, which prompted this investigation into identifying non-invasive, tissue-specific biomarkers for the early detection of late radiation injury. Levels of circulating microRNA (miRNA) were measured in C3H and C57Bl/6 mice after whole thorax irradiation at doses yielding approximately 70% mortality in 120 or 180 days, respectively (LD70/120 or 180). Within the first two weeks after exposure, weight gain slowed compared to sham treated mice along with a temporary drop in white blood cell counts. 52% of C3H (33 of 64) and 72% of C57Bl/6 (46 of 64) irradiated mice died due to late radiation injury. Lung and heart damage, as assessed by computed tomography (CT) and histology at 150 (C3H mice) and 180 (C57Bl/6 mice) days, correlated well with the appearance of a local, miRNA signature in the lung and heart tissue of irradiated animals, consistent with inherent differences in the C3H and C57Bl/6 strains in their propensity for developing radiation-induced pneumonitis or fibrosis, respectively. Radiation-induced changes in the circulating miRNA profile were most prominent within the first 30 days after exposure and included miRNA known to regulate inflammation and fibrosis. Importantly, early changes in plasma miRNA expression predicted survival with reasonable accuracy (88–92%). The miRNA signature that predicted survival in C3H mice, including miR-34a-5p, -100-5p, and -150-5p, were associated with pro-inflammatory NF-κB-mediated signaling pathways, whereas the signature identified in C57Bl/6 mice (miR-34b-3p, -96-5p, and -802-5p) was associated with TGF-β/SMAD signaling. This study supports the hypothesis that plasma miRNA profiles could be used to identify individuals at high risk of organ-specific late radiation damage, with applications for radiation oncology clinical practice or in the context of a radiological incident.

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<![CDATA[The natural drug DIAVIT is protective in a type II mouse model of diabetic nephropathy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c92b34ad5eed0c4843a3d15

There is evidence to suggest that abnormal angiogenesis, inflammation, and fibrosis drive diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, there is no specific treatment to counteract these processes. We aimed to determine whether DIAVIT, a natural Vaccinium myrtillus (blueberry) and Hippophae Rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) extract, is protective in a model of type II DN. Diabetic db/db mice were administered DIAVIT in their drinking water for 14 weeks. We assessed the functional, structural, and ultra-structural phenotype of three experimental groups (lean+vehicle, db/db+vehicle, db/db+DIAVIT). We also investigated the angiogenic and fibrotic pathways involved in the mechanism of action of DIAVIT. Diabetic db/db mice developed hyperglycaemia, albuminuria, and an increased glomerular water permeability; the latter two were prevented by DIAVIT. db/db mice developed fibrotic glomeruli, endothelial insult, and glomerular ultra-structural changes, which were not present in DIAVIT-treated mice. Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) splicing was altered in the db/db kidney cortex, increasing the pro-angiogenic VEGF-A165 relative to the anti-angiogenic VEGF-A165b. This was partially prevented with DIAVIT treatment. Delphinidin, an anthocyanin abundant in DIAVIT, increased the VEGF-A165b expression relative to total VEGF-A165 in cultured podocytes through phosphorylation of the splice factor SRSF6. DIAVIT, in particular delphinidin, alters VEGF-A splicing in type II DN, rescuing the DN phenotype. This study highlights the therapeutic potential of natural drugs in DN through the manipulation of gene splicing and expression.

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<![CDATA[Comparing in vitro and in vivo virulence phenotypes of Burkholderia pseudomallei type G strains]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc780

Burkholderia pseudomallei (Bpm) is a saprophytic rod-shaped gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of melioidosis. This disease has previously been described as endemic in areas such as northern Australia and Southeast Asia, but, more recently, a better understanding of the epidemiology of melioidosis indicated that the disease is distributed worldwide, including regions of the Americas and Africa. A 16S-23S rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) typing system has been developed for Bpm and has revealed that ITS types C, E, and hybrid CE are mainly associated with Australia and Southeast Asia while type G strains are more associated with cases of melioidosis in the Western Hemisphere. The purpose of the current study was to determine the in vitro and in vivo virulence profiles of the understudied Bpm type G strains Ca2009, Ca2013a, Mx2013, and 724644 and compared such phenotypes to the commonly studied Bpm type C strain K96243. We evaluated virulence by measuring invasion/uptake and survival of these Bpm strains in murine respiratory epithelial LA-4 cells and alveolar macrophage MH-S cells using different multiplicity of infections (MOIs of 1 and 10). We also calculated the lethal dose 50 values (LD50) in BALB/c mice that were inoculated intranasally with either Ca2009, Ca2013a, or Mx2013. Overall, the virulence and lethality phenotypes of Bpm type G strains were similar to the Bpm type C strain K96243. Additional comparative analyses between the Bpm ITS types may lead to a better understanding of the contribution of the ITS type to the epidemiology and ecology of Bpm strains.

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<![CDATA[Dysregulated biodynamics in metabolic attractor systems precede the emergence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd64c8bc4-d849-4cf6-88a9-792b4ee4d346

Evolutionarily conserved mechanisms maintain homeostasis of essential elements, and are believed to be highly time-variant. However, current approaches measure elemental biomarkers at a few discrete time-points, ignoring complex higher-order dynamical features. To study dynamical properties of elemental homeostasis, we apply laser ablation inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) to tooth samples to generate 500 temporally sequential measurements of elemental concentrations from birth to 10 years. We applied dynamical system and Information Theory-based analyses to reveal the longest-known attractor system in mammalian biology underlying the metabolism of nutrient elements, and identify distinct and consistent transitions between stable and unstable states throughout development. Extending these dynamical features to disease prediction, we find that attractor topography of nutrient metabolism is altered in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), as early as childhood, suggesting these pathways are involved in disease risk. Mechanistic analysis was undertaken in a transgenic mouse model of ALS, where we find similar marked disruptions in elemental attractor systems as in humans. Our results demonstrate the application of a phenomological analysis of dynamical systems underlying elemental metabolism, and emphasize the utility of these measures in characterizing risk of disease.

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<![CDATA[The inhibitor of apoptosis proteins antagonist Debio 1143 promotes the PD-1 blockade-mediated HIV load reduction in blood and tissues of humanized mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N65563527-6ce7-4ff1-862d-df2c817374ce

The immune checkpoint programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) plays a major role in T cell exhaustion in cancer and chronic HIV infection. The inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist Debio 1143 (D1143) enhances tumor cell death and synergizes with anti-PD-1 agents to promote tumor immunity and displayed HIV latency reversal activity in vitro. We asked in this study whether D1143 would stimulate the potency of an anti-human PD-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) to reduce HIV loads in humanized mice. Anti-PD-1 mAb treatment decreased PD-1+ CD8+ cell population by 32.3% after interruption of four weeks treatment, and D1143 co-treatment further reduced it from 32.3 to 73%. Anti-PD-1 mAb administration reduced HIV load in blood by 94%, and addition of D1143 further enhanced this reduction from 94 to 97%. D1143 also more profoundly promoted with the anti-PD-1-mediated reduction of HIV loads in all tissues analyzed including spleen (71 to 96.4%), lymph nodes (64.3 to 80%), liver (64.2 to 94.4), lung (64.3 to 80.1%) and thymic organoid (78.2 to 98.2%), achieving a >5 log reduction of HIV loads in CD4+ cells isolated from tissues 2 weeks after drug treatment interruption. Ex vivo anti-CD3/CD28 stimulation increased the ability to activate exhausted CD8+ T cells in infected mice having received in vivo anti-PD-1 treatment by 7.9-fold (5 to 39.6%), and an additional increase by 1.7-fold upon D1143 co-treatment (39.6 to 67.3%). These findings demonstrate for the first time that an inhibitor of apoptosis protein antagonist enhances in a statistically manner the effects of an immune check point inhibitor on antiviral immunity and on HIV load reduction in tissues of humanized mice, suggesting that the combination of two distinct classes of immunomodulatory agents constitutes a promising anti-HIV immunotherapeutic approach.

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<![CDATA[Functional dynamics of bacterial species in the mouse gut microbiome revealed by metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N74c1e0c6-8f1d-4282-af8e-273065d64236

Background

Microbial communities of the mouse gut have been extensively studied; however, their functional roles and regulation are yet to be elucidated. Metagenomic and metatranscriptomic analyses may allow us a comprehensive profiling of bacterial composition and functions of the complex gut microbiota. The present study aimed to investigate the active functions of the microbial communities in the murine cecum by analyzing both metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data on specific bacterial species within the microbial communities, in addition to the whole microbiome.

Results

Bacterial composition of the healthy mouse gut microbiome was profiled using the following three different approaches: 16S rRNA-based profiling based on amplicon and shotgun sequencing data, and genome-based profiling based on shotgun sequencing data. Consistently, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Deferribacteres emerged as the major phyla. Based on NCBI taxonomy, Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae were the predominant families identified in each phylum. The genes for carbohydrate metabolism were upregulated in Muribaculaceae, while genes for cofactors and vitamin metabolism and amino acid metabolism were upregulated in Deferribacteraceae. The genes for translation were commonly enhanced in all three families. Notably, combined analysis of metagenomic and metatranscriptomic sequencing data revealed that the functions of translation and metabolism were largely upregulated in all three families in the mouse gut environment. The ratio of the genes in the metagenome and their expression in the metatranscriptome indicated higher expression of carbohydrate metabolism in Muribaculum, Duncaniella, and Mucispirillum.

Conclusions

We demonstrated a fundamental methodology for linking genomic and transcriptomic datasets to examine functional activities of specific bacterial species in a complicated microbial environment. We investigated the normal flora of the mouse gut using three different approaches and identified Muribaculaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Deferribacteraceae as the predominant families. The functional distribution of these families was reflected in the entire microbiome. By comparing the metagenomic and metatranscriptomic data, we found that the expression rates differed for different functional categories in the mouse gut environment. Application of these methods to track microbial transcription in individuals over time, or before and after administration of a specific stimulus will significantly facilitate future development of diagnostics and treatments.

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<![CDATA[Evaluation of liposomal ciprofloxacin formulations in a murine model of anthrax]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Ne17111d7-5152-4c88-81b1-0e84a1b58e42

The in vivo efficacy of liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin in two formulations, lipoquin and apulmiq, were evaluated against the causative agent of anthrax, Bacillus anthracis. Liposomal encapsulated ciprofloxacin is attractive as a therapy since it allows for once daily dosing and achieves higher concentrations of the antibiotic at the site of initial mucosal entry but lower systemic drug concentrations. The in vivo efficacy of lipoquin and apulmiq delivered by intranasal instillation was studied at different doses and schedules in both a post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) therapy model and in a delayed treatment model of murine inhalational anthrax. In the mouse model of infection, the survival curves for all treatment cohorts differed significantly from the vehicle control. Ciprofloxacin, lipoquin and apulmiq provided a high level of protection (87–90%) after 7 days of therapy when administered within 24 hours of exposure. Reducing therapy to only three days still provided protection of 60–87%, if therapy was provided within 24 hours of exposure. If treatment was initiated 48 hours after exposure the survival rate was reduced to 46–65%. These studies suggest that lipoquin and apulmiq may be attractive therapies as PEP and as part of a treatment cocktail for B. anthracis.

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<![CDATA[Transient expression of Wnt5a elicits ocular features of pseudoexfoliation syndrome in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c897767d5eed0c4847d2c07

Purpose

Pseudoexfoliation (PEX) syndrome is an age-related systemic disease with ocular manifestations. The development of animal models is critical in order to elucidate the cause of the disease and to test potential treatment regimens. The purpose of this study is to report phenotypes found in mouse eyes injected with Adenovirus coding Wnt5a. Some of the phenotypes resemble those found in PEX patients while others are different.

Methods

Recombinant Adenovirus coding Wnt5a or green fluorescent protein (GFP) were injected into mouse eyes. Two months after the injection, eyes were examined for PEX phenotypes using slit lamp, fluorescence stereomicroscope, histological staining, immunostaining and transmission electron microscope.

Result

Certain ocular features of PEX syndrome were found in mouse eyes injected with recombinant Adenovirus coding Wnt5a. These features include accumulation of exfoliation-like extracellular material on surfaces of anterior segment structures and its dispersion in the anterior chamber, saw-tooth appearance and disrupted basement membrane of the posterior iris pigment epithelium, iris stromal atrophy and disorganized ciliary zonules. Ultrastructure analysis of the exfoliation material revealed that the microfibril structure found in this model was different from those of PEX patients.

Conclusion

These features, resembling signs of ocular PEX syndrome in patients, suggest that new information obtained from this study will be helpful for developing better mouse models for PEX syndrome.

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<![CDATA[FBXO7 sensitivity of phenotypic traits elucidated by a hypomorphic allele]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c89776ad5eed0c4847d2c3f

FBXO7 encodes an F box containing protein that interacts with multiple partners to facilitate numerous cellular processes and has a canonical role as part of an SCF E3 ubiquitin ligase complex. Mutation of FBXO7 is responsible for an early onset Parkinsonian pyramidal syndrome and genome-wide association studies have linked variants in FBXO7 to erythroid traits. A putative orthologue in Drosophila, nutcracker, has been shown to regulate the proteasome, and deficiency of nutcracker results in male infertility. Therefore, we reasoned that modulating Fbxo7 levels in a murine model could provide insights into the role of this protein in mammals. We used a targeted gene trap model which retained 4–16% residual gene expression and assessed the sensitivity of phenotypic traits to gene dosage. Fbxo7 hypomorphs showed regenerative anaemia associated with a shorter erythrocyte half-life, and male mice were infertile. Alterations to T cell phenotypes were also observed, which intriguingly were both T cell intrinsic and extrinsic. Hypomorphic mice were also sensitive to infection with Salmonella, succumbing to a normally sublethal challenge. Despite these phenotypes, Fbxo7 hypomorphs were produced at a normal Mendelian ratio with a normal lifespan and no evidence of neurological symptoms. These data suggest that erythrocyte survival, T cell development and spermatogenesis are particularly sensitive to Fbxo7 gene dosage.

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<![CDATA[Social isolation produces no effect on ultrasonic vocalization production in adult female CBA/CaJ mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823d4d5eed0c4846390e2

Mice produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) in a wide variety of social contexts, including courtship, investigation, and territorial defense. Despite the belief that mouse USVs are innate, social experience may be necessary for mice to learn the appropriate situation to emit USVs. Mouse USVs have been divided into categories based on their spectrotemporal parameters, but it is currently unclear if social experience changes these parameters (e.g., frequency and duration) or the proportion of calls from each category produced. Social isolation has been found to influence USV production in male mice. To investigate the influence of social isolation on vocal behavior in female mice, recordings were made of USVs emitted to unfamiliar male and female mice by subjects with one of three types of social experience. Twenty-four adult female CBA/CaJ mice either lived alone, lived with other females only, or lived with other females and had limited access to a male. Mice were recorded while in isolation, ensuring all recorded USVs were from the female of interest. Vocalizations were separated into nine categories and peak frequency, duration, and bandwidth were measured for every call. Socially isolated mice did not produce significantly more USVs or USV types than socially experienced mice. Social isolation did not have a significant effect on the features of USVs, suggesting production of USVs may not be learned in female mice.

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<![CDATA[Coincident airway exposure to low-potency allergen and cytomegalovirus sensitizes for allergic airway disease by viral activation of migratory dendritic cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acc7ed5eed0c48498f892

Despite a broad cell-type tropism, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is an evidentially pulmonary pathogen. Predilection for the lungs is of medical relevance in immunocompromised recipients of hematopoietic cell transplantation, in whom interstitial CMV pneumonia is a frequent and, if left untreated, fatal clinical manifestation of human CMV infection. A conceivable contribution of CMV to airway diseases of other etiology is an issue that so far attracted little medical attention. As the route of primary CMV infection upon host-to-host transmission in early childhood involves airway mucosa, coincidence of CMV airway infection and exposure to airborne environmental antigens is almost unavoidable. For investigating possible consequences of such a coincidence, we established a mouse model of airway co-exposure to CMV and ovalbumin (OVA) representing a protein antigen of an inherently low allergenic potential. Accordingly, intratracheal OVA exposure alone failed to sensitize for allergic airway disease (AAD) upon OVA aerosol challenge. In contrast, airway infection at the time of OVA sensitization predisposed for AAD that was characterized by airway inflammation, IgE secretion, thickening of airway epithelia, and goblet cell hyperplasia. This AAD histopathology was associated with a T helper type 2 (Th2) transcription profile in the lungs, including IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL-25, known inducers of Th2-driven AAD. These symptoms were all prevented by a pre-challenge depletion of CD4+ T cells, but not of CD8+ T cells. As to the underlying mechanism, murine CMV activated migratory CD11b+ as well as CD103+ conventional dendritic cells (cDCs), which have been associated with Th2 cytokine-driven AAD and with antigen cross-presentation, respectively. This resulted in an enhanced OVA uptake and recruitment of the OVA-laden cDCs selectively to the draining tracheal lymph nodes for antigen presentation. We thus propose that CMV, through activation of migratory cDCs in the airway mucosa, can enhance the allergenic potential of otherwise poorly allergenic environmental protein antigens.

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<![CDATA[Cardio-Respiratory synchronized bSSFP MRI for high throughput in vivo lung tumour quantification]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c757ed5eed0c4843cfe16

The identification and measurement of tumours is a key requirement in the study of tumour development in mouse models of human cancer. Disease burden in autochthonous tumours, such as those arising in the lung, can be seen with non-invasive imaging, but cannot be accurately measured using standard tools such as callipers. Lung imaging is further complicated in the mouse due to instabilities arising from the rapid but cyclic cardio-respiratory motions, and the desire to use free-breathing animals. Female A/JOlaHsd mice were either injected (i.p.) with PBS 0.1ml/10g body weight (n = 6), or 10% urethane/PBS 0.1ml/10g body weight (n = 12) to induce autochthonous lung tumours. Cardio-respiratory synchronised bSSFP MRI, at 200 μm isotropic resolution was performed at 8, 13 and 18 weeks post induction. Images from the same mouse at different time points were aligned using threshold-based segmented masks of the lungs (ITK-SNAP and MATLAB) and tumour volumes were determined via threshold-based segmentation (ITK-SNAP).Scan times were routinely below 10 minutes and tumours were readily identifiable. Image registration allowed serial measurement of tumour volumes as small as 0.056 mm3. Repetitive imaging did not lead to mouse welfare issues. We have developed a motion desensitised scan that enables high sensitivity MRI to be performed with high throughput capability of greater than 4 mice/hour. Image segmentation and registration allows serial measurement of individual, small tumours. This allows fast and highly efficient volumetric lung tumour monitoring in cohorts of 30 mice per imaging time point. As a result, adaptive trial study designs can be achieved, optimizing experimental and welfare outcomes.

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<![CDATA[Increased arterial pressure in mice with overexpression of the ADHD candidate gene calcyon in forebrain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7585d5eed0c4843cfe50

The link between blood pressure (BP) and cerebral function is well established. However, it is not clear whether a common mechanism could underlie the relationship between elevated BP and cognitive deficits. The expression of calcyon, a gene abundant in catecholaminergic and hypothalamic nuclei along with other forebrain regions, is increased in the brain of the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) which is a widely accepted animal model of essential hypertension and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Previous studies demonstrated that mice with up-regulation of calcyon in forebrain (CalOE) exhibit deficits in working memory. To date, there is no evidence directly connecting calcyon to BP regulation. Here, we investigated whether forebrain up-regulation of calcyon alters BP using radiotelemetry. We found that CalOE mice exhibited higher mean arterial pressure (MAP) compared to tTA controls. Plasma norepinephrine levels were significantly higher in CalOE mice compared to tTA controls. Silencing the transgene with doxycycline normalized BP in CalOE mice, whereas challenging the mice with 4% high salt diet for 12 days exacerbated the MAP differences between CalOE and tTA mice. High salt diet challenge also increased proteinuria and urinary thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) in tTA and CalOE; and the increases were more prominent in CalOE mice. Taken together, our data suggest that upregulation of calcyon in forebrain could increase BP via alterations in noradrenergic transmission and increased oxidative stress during high salt challenge. Overall, this study reveals that calcyon could be a novel neural regulator of BP raising the possibility that it could play a role in the development of vascular abnormalities.

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<![CDATA[Serum amyloid A and Janus kinase 2 in a mouse model of diabetic kidney disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f149fd5eed0c48467a449

Background

Serum amyloid A (SAA), a potent inflammatory mediator, and Janus kinase 2 (JAK2), an intracellular signaling kinase, are increased by diabetes. The aims were to elucidate: 1) a JAK2-mediated pathway for increased SAA in the kidneys of diabetic mice; 2) a JAK2-SAA pathway for inflammation in podocytes.

Methods

Akita diabetic mice (129S6) with podocyte JAK2 overexpression and angiotensin II infusion (4 weeks) were given a JAK1,2 inhibitor (LY03103801, 3 mg/kg/day orally for the last two weeks). Kidneys were immunostained for SAA isoform 3 (SAA3). SAA3 knockout and control mouse podocytes were exposed to advanced glycation end products (AGE) or exogenous SAA with JAK2 inhibition (Tyrphostin AG 490, 50μM). JAK2 activity (phosphorylation, Western blot, 1 hour) and mRNA for SAA3 and associated inflammatory genes (Cxcl5, Ccl2, and Ccl5) were measured by RT-PCR (20 hours).

Results

SAA3 protein was present throughout the diabetic kidney, and podocyte JAK2 overexpression increased tubulointerstitial SAA3 compared to wild type diabetic controls, 43% versus 14% (p = 0.007); JAK1,2 inhibition attenuated the increase in SAA3 to 15% (p = 0.003). Urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (r = 0.49, p = 0.03), mesangial index (r = 0.64, p = 0.001), and glomerulosclerosis score (r = 0.51, p = 0.02) were associated with SAA3 immunostaining scores across mouse groups. Exposing podocytes to AGE or exogenous SAA increased JAK2 activity within one hour and mRNA for associated inflammatory genes after 20 hours. JAK2 inhibition reduced SAA3 mRNA expression in podocytes exposed to AGE or SAA. SAA3 knockout podocytes had >85% lower AGE-induced inflammatory genes.

Conclusion

JAK1,2 inhibition reduced SAA and histological features of DKD in podocyte JAK2-overexpressing mice. In podocytes exposed to a diabetes-like condition, JAK2 inhibition reduced expression of SAA, while SAA knockout blocked expression of associated pro-inflammatory mediators. SAA may promote JAK2-dependent inflammation in the diabetic kidney.

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<![CDATA[Sexual dimorphism of acute doxorubicin-induced nephrotoxicity in C57Bl/6 mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c76fe23d5eed0c484e5b5ad

Doxorubicin (DOX) is a chemotherapeutic agent that has been reported to cause nephrotoxicity in rodent models and to a lesser degree in cancer patients. Female rodents have been shown to be protected against several features of DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. Nevertheless, the underlying mechanisms of this sexual dimorphism are not fully elucidated. Therefore, in the current study, we investigated the sex and time-dependent changes in pathological lesions as well as apoptotic and fibrotic markers in response to acute DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. We also determined the effect of acute DOX treatment on the renal expression of the sexually dimorphic enzyme, soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), since inhibition of sEH has been shown to protect against DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. Acute DOX-induced nephrotoxicity was induced by a single intra-peritoneal injection of 20 mg/kg DOX to male and female adult C57Bl/6 mice. The kidneys were isolated 1, 3 and 6 days after DOX administration. Histopathology assessment, gene expression of the apoptotic marker, BAX, protein expression of the fibrotic marker, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and gene and protein expression of sEH were assessed. DOX administration caused more severe pathological lesions as well as higher induction of the apoptotic and fibrotic markers in kidneys of male than in female mice. Intriguingly, DOX inhibited sEH protein expression in kidneys of male mice sacrificed at 3 and 6 days following administration, suggesting that induction of sEH is not necessary for acute DOX-induced nephrotoxicity. However, DOX-induced inhibition of renal sEH in male mice may protect the kidney from further DOX-induced injury in a negative feedback mechanism. We also observed lower constitutive expressions of TGF-β and sEH in the kidney of female mice which may contribute, at least in part, to sexual dimorphism of DOX-induced nephrotoxicity.

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<![CDATA[Haralick texture feature analysis for quantifying radiation response heterogeneity in murine models observed using Raman spectroscopic mapping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c706766d5eed0c4847c6fbd

Tumour heterogeneity plays a large role in the response of tumour tissues to radiation therapy. Inherent biological, physical, and even dose deposition heterogeneity all play a role in the resultant observed response. We here implement the use of Haralick textural analysis to quantify the observed glycogen production response, as observed via Raman spectroscopic mapping, of tumours irradiated within a murine model. While an array of over 20 Haralick features have been proposed, we here concentrate on five of the most prominent features: homogeneity, local homogeneity, contrast, entropy, and correlation. We show that these Haralick features can be used to quantify the inherent heterogeneity of the Raman spectroscopic maps of tumour response to radiation. Furthermore, our results indicate that Haralick-calculated textural features show a statistically significant dose dependent variation in response heterogeneity, specifically, in glycogen production in tumours irradiated with clinically relevant doses of ionizing radiation. These results indicate that Haralick textural analysis provides a quantitative methodology for understanding the response of murine tumours to radiation therapy. Future work in this area can, for example, utilize the Haralick textural features for understanding the heterogeneity of radiation response as measured by biopsied patient tumour samples, which remains the standard of patient tumour investigation.

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<![CDATA[Yellow fever virus is susceptible to sofosbuvir both in vitro and in vivo]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52b6d5eed0c4842bcec1

Yellow fever virus (YFV) is a member of the Flaviviridae family. In Brazil, yellow fever (YF) cases have increased dramatically in sylvatic areas neighboring urban zones in the last few years. Because of the high lethality rates associated with infection and absence of any antiviral treatments, it is essential to identify therapeutic options to respond to YFV outbreaks. Repurposing of clinically approved drugs represents the fastest alternative to discover antivirals for public health emergencies. Other Flaviviruses, such as Zika (ZIKV) and dengue (DENV) viruses, are susceptible to sofosbuvir, a clinically approved drug against hepatitis C virus (HCV). Our data showed that sofosbuvir docks onto YFV RNA polymerase using conserved amino acid residues for nucleotide binding. This drug inhibited the replication of both vaccine and wild-type strains of YFV on human hepatoma cells, with EC50 values around 5 μM. Sofosbuvir protected YFV-infected neonatal Swiss mice and adult type I interferon receptor knockout mice (A129-/-) from mortality and weight loss. Because of its safety profile in humans and significant antiviral effects in vitro and in mice, Sofosbuvir may represent a novel therapeutic option for the treatment of YF. Key-words: Yellow fever virus; Yellow fever, antiviral; sofosbuvir

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<![CDATA[The complexities and challenges of preventing and treating nontuberculous mycobacterial diseases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f148dd5eed0c48467a2ac

Seemingly innocuous nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) species, classified by their slow or rapid growth rates, can cause a wide range of illnesses, from skin ulceration to severe pulmonary and disseminated disease. Despite their worldwide prevalence and significant disease burden, NTM do not garner the same financial or research focus as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In this review, we outline the most abundant of over 170 NTM species and inadequacies of diagnostics and treatments and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of currently available in vivo animal models of NTM. In order to effectively combat this group of mycobacteria, more research focused on appropriate animal models of infection, screening of chemotherapeutic compounds, and development of anti-NTM vaccines and diagnostics is urgently needed.

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<![CDATA[SIRT5 deficiency suppresses mitochondrial ATP production and promotes AMPK activation in response to energy stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc99ed5eed0c484529ee3

Sirtuin 5 (SIRT5) is a member of the NAD+-dependent sirtuin family of protein deacylase that catalyzes removal of post-translational modifications, such as succinylation, malonylation, and glutarylation on lysine residues. In light of the SIRT5's roles in regulating mitochondrion function, we show here that SIRT5 deficiency leads to suppression of mitochondrial NADH oxidation and inhibition of ATP synthase activity. As a result, SIRT5 deficiency decreases mitochondrial ATP production, increases AMP/ATP ratio, and subsequently activates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) in cultured cells and mouse hearts under energy stress conditions. Moreover, Sirt5 knockout attenuates transverse aortic constriction (TAC)-induced cardiac hypertrophy and cardiac dysfunction in mice, which is associated with decreased ATP level, increased AMP/ATP ratio and enhanced AMPK activation. Our study thus uncovers an important role of SIRT5 in regulating cellular energy metabolism and AMPK activation in response to energy stress.

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<![CDATA[Protective immunity by an engineered DNA vaccine for Mayaro virus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c65dce4d5eed0c484dec4a2

Mayaro virus (MAYV) of the genus alphavirus is a mosquito-transmitted emerging infectious disease that causes an acute febrile illness, rash, headaches, and nausea that may turn into incapacitating, persistent arthralgias in some victims. Since its discovery in Trinidad in 1954, cases of MAYV infection have largely been confined there and to the northern countries of South America, but recently, MAYV cases have been reported in some island nations in the Caribbean Sea. Accompanying these reports is evidence that new vectors, including Aedes spp. mosquitos, recently implicated in the global spread of Zika and chikungunya viruses, are competent for MAYV transmission, which, if true, could facilitate the spread of MAYV beyond its current range. Despite its status as an emerging virus, there are no licensed vaccines to prevent MAYV infection nor therapeutics to treat it. Here, we describe the development and testing of a novel DNA vaccine, scMAYV-E, that encodes a synthetically-designed consensus MAYV envelope sequence. In vivo electroporation-enhanced immunization of mice with this vaccine induced potent humoral responses including neutralizing antibodies as well as robust T-cell responses to multiple epitopes in the MAYV envelope. Importantly, these scMAYV-E-induced immune responses protected susceptible mice from morbidity and mortality following a MAYV challenge.

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