ResearchPad - regeneration https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Active Notch signaling is required for arm regeneration in a brittle star]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7845 Cell signaling pathways play key roles in coordinating cellular events in development. The Notch signaling pathway is highly conserved across all multicellular animals and is known to coordinate a multitude of diverse cellular events, including proliferation, differentiation, fate specification, and cell death. Specific functions of the pathway are, however, highly context-dependent and are not well characterized in post-traumatic regeneration. Here, we use a small-molecule inhibitor of the pathway (DAPT) to demonstrate that Notch signaling is required for proper arm regeneration in the brittle star Ophioderma brevispina, a highly regenerative member of the phylum Echinodermata. We also employ a transcriptome-wide gene expression analysis (RNA-seq) to characterize the downstream genes controlled by the Notch pathway in the brittle star regeneration. We demonstrate that arm regeneration involves an extensive cross-talk between the Notch pathway and other cell signaling pathways. In the regrowing arm, Notch regulates the composition of the extracellular matrix, cell migration, proliferation, and apoptosis, as well as components of the innate immune response. We also show for the first time that Notch signaling regulates the activity of several transposable elements. Our data also suggests that one of the possible mechanisms through which Notch sustains its activity in the regenerating tissues is via suppression of Neuralized1.

]]>
<![CDATA[Runx1 promotes scar deposition and inhibits myocardial proliferation and survival during zebrafish heart regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_7555 Highlighted Article: The transcription-factor Runx1 orchestrates the injury response of many cardiac cell types, balancing collagen and fibrin deposition and clearance, as well as affecting myocyte proliferation and survival in zebrafish.

]]>
<![CDATA[Metabolism makes and mends the heart]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N8bb10d5b-5bff-4d84-bb72-5dc0b09e0f37

Experiments in zebrafish have shed new light on the relationship between development and regeneration in the heart.

]]>
<![CDATA[Influence of donor liver telomere and G-tail on clinical outcome after living donor liver transplantation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8acccbd5eed0c484990005

It has been reported that donor age affects patient outcomes after liver transplantation, and that telomere length is associated with age. However, to our knowledge, the impact of donor age and donor liver telomere length in liver transplantation has not been well investigated. This study aimed to clarify the influence of the length of telomere and G-tail from donor livers on the outcomes of living donors and recipients after living donor liver transplantation. The length of telomere and G-tail derived from blood samples and liver tissues of 55 living donors, measured using the hybridization protection assay. The length of telomeres from blood samples was inversely correlated with ages, whereas G-tail length from blood samples and telomere and G-tail lengths from liver tissues were not correlated with ages. Age, telomere, and G-tail length from blood did not affect postoperative liver failure and early liver regeneration of donors. On the other hand, the longer the liver telomere, the poorer the liver regeneration tended to be, especially with significant difference in donor who underwent right hemihepatectomy. We found that the survival rate of recipients who received liver graft with longer telomeres was inferior to that of those who received liver graft with shorter ones. An elderly donor, longer liver telomere, and higher Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score were identified as independent risk factors for recipient survival after transplantation. In conclusion, telomere shortening in healthy liver does not correlate with age, whereas longer liver telomeres negatively influence donor liver regeneration and recipient survival after living donor liver transplantation. These results can direct future studies and investigations on telomere shortening in the clinical and experimental transplant setting.

]]>
<![CDATA[Mechanisms underpinning the permanent muscle damage induced by snake venom metalloprotease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59febed5eed0c484135375

Snakebite is a major neglected tropical health issue that affects over 5 million people worldwide resulting in around 1.8 million envenomations and 100,000 deaths each year. Snakebite envenomation also causes innumerable morbidities, specifically loss of limbs as a result of excessive tissue/muscle damage. Snake venom metalloproteases (SVMPs) are a predominant component of viper venoms, and are involved in the degradation of basement membrane proteins (particularly collagen) surrounding the tissues around the bite site. Although their collagenolytic properties have been established, the molecular mechanisms through which SVMPs induce permanent muscle damage are poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate the purification and characterisation of an SVMP from a viper (Crotalus atrox) venom. Mass spectrometry analysis confirmed that this protein is most likely to be a group III metalloprotease (showing high similarity to VAP2A) and has been referred to as CAMP (Crotalus atrox metalloprotease). CAMP displays both collagenolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities and inhibits CRP-XL-induced platelet aggregation. To determine its effects on muscle damage, CAMP was administered into the tibialis anterior muscle of mice and its actions were compared with cardiotoxin I (a three-finger toxin) from an elapid snake (Naja pallida) venom. Extensive immunohistochemistry analyses revealed that CAMP significantly damages skeletal muscles by attacking the collagen scaffold and other important basement membrane proteins, and prevents their regeneration through disrupting the functions of satellite cells. In contrast, cardiotoxin I destroys skeletal muscle by damaging the plasma membrane, but does not impact regeneration due to its inability to affect the extracellular matrix. Overall, this study provides novel insights into the mechanisms through which SVMPs induce permanent muscle damage.

]]>
<![CDATA[Regeneration of the zebrafish retinal pigment epithelium after widespread genetic ablation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59fefbd5eed0c484135888

The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a specialized monolayer of pigmented cells within the eye that is critical for maintaining visual system function. Diseases affecting the RPE have dire consequences for vision, and the most prevalent of these is atrophic (dry) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is thought to result from RPE dysfunction and degeneration. An intriguing possibility for treating RPE degenerative diseases like atrophic AMD is the stimulation of endogenous RPE regeneration; however, very little is known about the mechanisms driving successful RPE regeneration in vivo. Here, we developed a zebrafish transgenic model (rpe65a:nfsB-eGFP) that enabled ablation of large swathes of mature RPE. RPE ablation resulted in rapid RPE degeneration, as well as degeneration of Bruch’s membrane and underlying photoreceptors. Using this model, we demonstrate for the first time that zebrafish are capable of regenerating a functional RPE monolayer after RPE ablation. Regenerated RPE cells first appear at the periphery of the RPE, and regeneration proceeds in a peripheral-to-central fashion. RPE ablation elicits a robust proliferative response in the remaining RPE. Subsequently, proliferative cells move into the injury site and differentiate into RPE. BrdU incorporation assays demonstrate that the regenerated RPE is likely derived from remaining peripheral RPE cells. Pharmacological disruption using IWR-1, a Wnt signaling antagonist, significantly reduces cell proliferation in the RPE and impairs overall RPE recovery. These data demonstrate that the zebrafish RPE possesses a robust capacity for regeneration and highlight a potential mechanism through which endogenous RPE regenerate in vivo.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification of qPCR reference genes suitable for normalizing gene expression in the mdx mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525fd5eed0c4842bc6fe

The mdx mouse is the most widely-used animal model of the human disease Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and quantitative PCR analysis of gene expression in the muscles of this animal plays a key role in the study of pathogenesis and disease progression and in evaluation of potential therapeutic interventions. Normalization to appropriate stably-expressed reference genes is essential for accurate quantitative measurement, but determination of such genes is challenging: healthy and dystrophic muscles present very different transcriptional environments, further altering with disease progression and muscle use, raising the possibility that no single gene or combination of genes may be stable under all experimental comparative scenarios. Despite the pedigree of this animal model, this problem remains unaddressed. The aim of this work was therefore to comprehensively assess reference gene suitability in the muscles of healthy and dystrophic mice, identifying reference genes appropriate for specific experimental comparisons, and determining whether an essentially universally-applicable set of genes exists. Using a large sample collection comprising multiple muscles (including the tibialis anterior, diaphragm and heart muscles) taken from healthy and mdx mice at three disease-relevant ages, and a panel of sixteen candidate reference genes (FBXO38, FBXW2, MON2, ZFP91, HTATSF1, GAPDH, ACTB, 18S, CDC40, SDHA, RPL13a, CSNK2A2, AP3D1, PAK1IP1, B2M and HPRT1), we used the geNorm, BestKeeper and Normfinder algorithms to identify genes that were stable under multiple possible comparative scenarios. We reveal that no single gene is stable under all conditions, but a normalization factor derived from multiple genes (RPL13a, CSNK2A2, AP3D1 and the widely-used ACTB) appears suitable for normalizing gene expression in both healthy and dystrophic mouse muscle regardless of muscle type or animal age. We further show that other popular reference genes, including GAPDH, are markedly disease- or muscle-type correlated. This study demonstrates the importance of empirical reference gene identification, and should serve as a valuable resource for investigators wishing to study gene expression in mdx mice.

]]>
<![CDATA[Characterization of a novel microRNA, miR-188, elevated in serum of muscular dystrophy dog model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b525dd5eed0c4842bc6ee

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding small RNAs that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. Several miRNAs are exclusively expressed in skeletal muscle and participate in the regulation of muscle differentiation by interacting with myogenic factors. These miRNAs can be found at high levels in the serum of patients and animal models for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is expected to be useful as biomarkers for their clinical conditions. By miRNA microarray analysis, we identified miR-188 as a novel miRNA that is elevated in the serum of the muscular dystrophy dog model, CXMDJ. miR-188 was not muscle-specific miRNA, but its expression was up-regulated in skeletal muscles associated with muscle regeneration induced by cardiotoxin-injection in normal dogs and mice. Manipulation of miR-188 expression using antisense oligo and mimic oligo RNAs alters the mRNA expression of the myogenic regulatory factors, MRF4 and MEF2C. Our results suggest that miR-188 is a new player that participates in the gene regulation process of muscle differentiation and that it may serve as a serum biomarker reflecting skeletal muscle regeneration.

]]>
<![CDATA[Ask1 and Akt act synergistically to promote ROS-dependent regeneration in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536ae2d5eed0c484a47ab5

How cells communicate to initiate a regenerative response after damage has captivated scientists during the last few decades. It is known that one of the main signals emanating from injured cells is the Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), which propagate to the surrounding tissue to trigger the replacement of the missing cells. However, the link between ROS production and the activation of regenerative signaling pathways is not yet fully understood. We describe here the non-autonomous ROS sensing mechanism by which living cells launch their regenerative program. To this aim, we used Drosophila imaginal discs as a model system due to its well-characterized regenerative ability after injury or cell death. We genetically-induced cell death and found that the Apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (Ask1) is essential for regenerative growth. Ask1 senses ROS both in dying and living cells, but its activation is selectively attenuated in living cells by Akt1, the core kinase component of the insulin/insulin-like growth factor pathway. Akt1 phosphorylates Ask1 in a secondary site outside the kinase domain, which attenuates its activity. This modulation of Ask1 activity results in moderate levels of JNK signaling in the living tissue, as well as in activation of p38 signaling, both pathways required to turn on the regenerative response. Our findings demonstrate a non-autonomous activation of a ROS sensing mechanism by Ask1 and Akt1 to replace the missing tissue after damage. Collectively, these results provide the basis for understanding the molecular mechanism of communication between dying and living cells that triggers regeneration.

]]>
<![CDATA[Regenerative capacity in the lamprey spinal cord is not altered after a repeated transection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52bbd5eed0c4842bcf38

The resilience of regeneration in vertebrates is not very well understood. Yet understanding if tissues can regenerate after repeated insults, and identifying limitations, is important for elucidating the underlying mechanisms of tissue plasticity. This is particularly challenging in tissues, such as the nervous system, which possess a large number of terminally differentiated cells and often exhibit limited regeneration in the first place. However, unlike mammals, which exhibit very limited regeneration of spinal cord tissues, many non-mammalian vertebrates, including lampreys, bony fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, regenerate their spinal cords and functionally recover even after a complete spinal cord transection. It is well established that lampreys undergo full functional recovery of swimming behaviors after a single spinal cord transection, which is accompanied by tissue repair at the lesion site, as well as axon and synapse regeneration. Here we begin to explore the resilience of spinal cord regeneration in lampreys after a second spinal transection (re-transection). We report that by all functional and anatomical measures tested, lampreys regenerate after spinal re-transection just as robustly as after single transections. Recovery of swimming, synapse and cytoskeletal distributions, axon regeneration, and neuronal survival were nearly identical after spinal transection or re-transection. Only minor differences in tissue repair at the lesion site were observed in re-transected spinal cords. Thus, regenerative potential in the lamprey spinal cord is largely unaffected by spinal re-transection, indicating a greater persistent regenerative potential than exists in some other highly regenerative models. These findings establish a new path for uncovering pro-regenerative targets that could be deployed in non-regenerative conditions.

]]>
<![CDATA[Pulp-dentin regeneration: current approaches and challenges]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c69eff8d5eed0c4841513f8

Regenerative endodontic procedures for immature permanent teeth with apical periodontitis confer biological advantages such as tooth homeostasis, enhanced immune defense system, and a functional pulp-dentin complex, in addition to clinical advantages such as the facilitation of root development. Currently, this procedure is recognized as a paradigm shift from restoration using materials to regenerate pulp-dentin tissues. Many studies have been conducted with regard to stem/progenitor cells, scaffolds, and biomolecules, associated with pulp tissue engineering. However, preclinical and clinical studies have evidently revealed several drawbacks in the current clinical approach to revascularization that may lead to unfavorable outcomes. Therefore, our review examines the challenges encountered under clinical conditions and summarizes current research findings in an attempt to provide direction for transition from basic research to clinical practice.

]]>
<![CDATA[Growth factors expression and ultrastructural morphology after application of low-level laser and natural latex protein on a sciatic nerve crush-type injury]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa5aad5eed0c484ca713c

The effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and natural latex protein (F1, Hevea brasiliensis) were evaluated on crush-type injuries (15kg) to the sciatic nerve in the expressions of nerve growth factor (NGF) and vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) and ultrastructural morphology to associate with previous morphometric data using the same protocol of injury and treatment. Thirty-six male rats were allocated into six experimental groups (n = 6): 1-Control; 2-Exposed nerve; 3-Injured nerve; 4-LLLT (15J/cm2, 780nm, 30mW, Continuous Wave) treated injured nerve; 5-F1 (0,1mg) treated injured nerve; and 6-LLLT&F1 treated injured nerve. Four or eight weeks after, sciatic nerve samples were processed for analysis. NGF expression were higher (p<0.05) four weeks after in all injured groups in comparison to Control (Med:0.8; Q1:0; Q3:55.5%area). Among them, the Injured (Med:70.7; Q1:64.4; Q3:77.5%area) showed the highest expression, and F1 (Med:17.3; Q1:14.1; Q3:21.7%area) had the lowest. At week 8, NGF expressions decreased in the injured groups. VEGF was expressed in all groups; its higher expression was observed in the injured groups 4 weeks after (Injured. Med:29.5; F1. Med:17.7 and LLLT&F1. Med:19.4%area). At week 8, a general reduction of VEGF expression was noted, remaining higher in F1 (Med:35.1; Q1.30.6; Q3.39.6%area) and LLLT&F1 (Med:18.5; Q1:16; Q3:25%area). Ultrastructural morphology revealed improvements in the treated groups; 4 weeks after, the F1 group presented greater quantity and diameter of the nerve fibers uniformly distributed. Eight weeks after, the F1 and LLLT&F1 showed similar characteristics to the non-injured groups. In summary, these results and our previous studies indicated that F1 and LLLT may favorably influence the healing of nerve crush injury. Four weeks after nerve injury F1 group showed the best results suggesting recovery acceleration; at 8th week F1 and LLLT&F1 groups presented better features and higher vascularization that could be associated with VEGF maintenance.

]]>
<![CDATA[Dental pulp-derived stem cell conditioned medium to regenerate peripheral nerves in a novel animal model of dysphagia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c196696d5eed0c484b52502

In nerve regeneration studies, various animal models are used to assess nerve regeneration. However, because of the difficulties in functional nerve assessment, a visceral nerve injury model is yet to be established. The superior laryngeal nerve (SLN) plays an essential role in swallowing. Although a treatment for SLN injury following trauma and surgery is desirable, no such treatment is reported in the literature. We recently reported that stem cells derived from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SHED) have a therapeutic effect on various tissues via macrophage polarization. Here, we established a novel animal model of SLN injury. Our model was characterized as having weight loss and drinking behavior changes. In addition, the SLN lesion caused a delay in the onset of the swallowing reflex and gain of laryngeal residue in the pharynx. Systemic administration of SHED-conditioned media (SHED-CM) promoted functional recovery of the SLN and significantly promoted axonal regeneration by converting of macrophages to the anti-inflammatory M2 phenotype. In addition, SHED-CM enhanced new blood vessel formation at the injury site. Our data suggest that the administration of SHED-CM may provide therapeutic benefits for SLN injury.

]]>
<![CDATA[Regeneration-associated cells improve recovery from myocardial infarction through enhanced vasculogenesis, anti-inflammation, and cardiomyogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084183d5eed0c484fc9d3e

Background

Considering the impaired function of regenerative cells in myocardial infarction (MI) patients with comorbidities and associated risk factors, cell therapy to enhance the regenerative microenvironment was designed using regeneration-associated cells (RACs), including endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and anti-inflammatory cells.

Methods

RACs were prepared by quality and quantity control culture of blood mononuclear cells (QQMNCs). Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNCs) were isolated from Lewis rats and conditioned for 5 days using a medium containing stem cell factors, thrombopoietin, Flt-3 ligand, vascular endothelial growth factor, and interleukin-6 to generate QQMNCs.

Results

A 5.3-fold increase in the definitive colony-forming EPCs and vasculogenic EPCs was observed, in comparison to naïve PBMNCs. QQMNCs were enriched with EPCs (28.9-fold, P<0.0019) and M2 macrophages (160.3-fold, P<0.0002). Genes involved in angiogenesis (angpt1, angpt2, and vegfb), stem/progenitors (c-kit and sca-1), and anti-inflammation (arg-1, erg-2, tgfb, and foxp3) were upregulated in QQMNCs. For in vivo experiments, cells were administered into syngeneic rat models of MI. QQMNC-transplanted group (QQ-Tx) preserved cardiac function and fraction shortening 28 days post-MI in comparison with PBMNCs-transplanted (PB-Tx) (P<0.0001) and Control (P<0.0008) groups. QQ-Tx showed enhanced angiogenesis and reduced interstitial left ventricular fibrosis, along with a decrease in neutrophils and an increase in M2 macrophages in the acute phase of MI. Cell tracing studies revealed that intravenously administered QQMNCs preferentially homed to ischemic tissues via blood circulation. QQ-Tx showed markedly upregulated early cardiac transcriptional cofactors (Nkx2-5, 29.8-fold, and Gata-4, 5.2-fold) as well as c-kit (4.5-fold) while these markers were downregulated in PB-Tx. In QQ-Tx animals, de novo blood vessels formed a “Biological Bypass”, observed macroscopically and microscopically, while PB-Tx and Control-Tx groups showed severe fibrotic adhesion to the surrounding tissues, but no epicardial blood vessels.

Conclusion

QQMNCs conferred potent angiogenic and anti-inflammatory properties to the regenerative microenvironment, enhancing myocardiogenesis and functional recovery of rat MI hearts.

]]>
<![CDATA[LGI2 Truncation Causes a Remitting Focal Epilepsy in Dogs]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da66ab0ee8fa60b91f01

One quadrillion synapses are laid in the first two years of postnatal construction of the human brain, which are then pruned until age 10 to 500 trillion synapses composing the final network. Genetic epilepsies are the most common neurological diseases with onset during pruning, affecting 0.5% of 2–10-year-old children, and these epilepsies are often characterized by spontaneous remission. We previously described a remitting epilepsy in the Lagotto romagnolo canine breed. Here, we identify the gene defect and affected neurochemical pathway. We reconstructed a large Lagotto pedigree of around 34 affected animals. Using genome-wide association in 11 discordant sib-pairs from this pedigree, we mapped the disease locus to a 1.7 Mb region of homozygosity in chromosome 3 where we identified a protein-truncating mutation in the Lgi2 gene, a homologue of the human epilepsy gene LGI1. We show that LGI2, like LGI1, is neuronally secreted and acts on metalloproteinase-lacking members of the ADAM family of neuronal receptors, which function in synapse remodeling, and that LGI2 truncation, like LGI1 truncations, prevents secretion and ADAM interaction. The resulting epilepsy onsets at around seven weeks (equivalent to human two years), and remits by four months (human eight years), versus onset after age eight in the majority of human patients with LGI1 mutations. Finally, we show that Lgi2 is expressed highly in the immediate post-natal period until halfway through pruning, unlike Lgi1, which is expressed in the latter part of pruning and beyond. LGI2 acts at least in part through the same ADAM receptors as LGI1, but earlier, ensuring electrical stability (absence of epilepsy) during pruning years, preceding this same function performed by LGI1 in later years. LGI2 should be considered a candidate gene for common remitting childhood epilepsies, and LGI2-to-LGI1 transition for mechanisms of childhood epilepsy remission.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Genome-Scale RNA&#8211;Interference Screen Identifies RRAS Signaling as a Pathologic Feature of Huntington's Disease]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da53ab0ee8fa60b8e6b5

A genome-scale RNAi screen was performed in a mammalian cell-based assay to identify modifiers of mutant huntingtin toxicity. Ontology analysis of suppressor data identified processes previously implicated in Huntington's disease, including proteolysis, glutamate excitotoxicity, and mitochondrial dysfunction. In addition to established mechanisms, the screen identified multiple components of the RRAS signaling pathway as loss-of-function suppressors of mutant huntingtin toxicity in human and mouse cell models. Loss-of-function in orthologous RRAS pathway members also suppressed motor dysfunction in a Drosophila model of Huntington's disease. Abnormal activation of RRAS and a down-stream effector, RAF1, was observed in cellular models and a mouse model of Huntington's disease. We also observe co-localization of RRAS and mutant huntingtin in cells and in mouse striatum, suggesting that activation of R-Ras may occur through protein interaction. These data indicate that mutant huntingtin exerts a pathogenic effect on this pathway that can be corrected at multiple intervention points including RRAS, FNTA/B, PIN1, and PLK1. Consistent with these results, chemical inhibition of farnesyltransferase can also suppress mutant huntingtin toxicity. These data suggest that pharmacological inhibition of RRAS signaling may confer therapeutic benefit in Huntington's disease.

]]>
<![CDATA[Healing Spinal Cord Injuries]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da02ab0ee8fa60b746db ]]> <![CDATA[Functional EF-Hands in Neuronal Calcium Sensor GCAP2 Determine Its Phosphorylation State and Subcellular Distribution In Vivo, and Are Essential for Photoreceptor Cell Integrity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9fbab0ee8fa60b722a1

The neuronal calcium sensor proteins GCAPs (guanylate cyclase activating proteins) switch between Ca2+-free and Ca2+-bound conformational states and confer calcium sensitivity to guanylate cyclase at retinal photoreceptor cells. They play a fundamental role in light adaptation by coupling the rate of cGMP synthesis to the intracellular concentration of calcium. Mutations in GCAPs lead to blindness. The importance of functional EF-hands in GCAP1 for photoreceptor cell integrity has been well established. Mutations in GCAP1 that diminish its Ca2+ binding affinity lead to cell damage by causing unabated cGMP synthesis and accumulation of toxic levels of free cGMP and Ca2+. We here investigate the relevance of GCAP2 functional EF-hands for photoreceptor cell integrity. By characterizing transgenic mice expressing a mutant form of GCAP2 with all EF-hands inactivated (EFGCAP2), we show that GCAP2 locked in its Ca2+-free conformation leads to a rapid retinal degeneration that is not due to unabated cGMP synthesis. We unveil that when locked in its Ca2+-free conformation in vivo, GCAP2 is phosphorylated at Ser201 and results in phospho-dependent binding to the chaperone 14-3-3 and retention at the inner segment and proximal cell compartments. Accumulation of phosphorylated EFGCAP2 at the inner segment results in severe toxicity. We show that in wildtype mice under physiological conditions, 50% of GCAP2 is phosphorylated correlating with the 50% of the protein being retained at the inner segment. Raising mice under constant light exposure, however, drastically increases the retention of GCAP2 in its Ca2+-free form at the inner segment. This study identifies a new mechanism governing GCAP2 subcellular distribution in vivo, closely related to disease. It also identifies a pathway by which a sustained reduction in intracellular free Ca2+ could result in photoreceptor damage, relevant for light damage and for those genetic disorders resulting in “equivalent-light” scenarios.

]]>
<![CDATA[zic-1 Expression in Planarian Neoblasts after Injury Controls Anterior Pole Regeneration]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db34ab0ee8fa60bd27df

Mechanisms that enable injury responses to prompt regenerative outgrowth are not well understood. Planarians can regenerate essentially any tissue removed by wounding, even after decapitation, due to robust regulation of adult pluripotent stem cells of the neoblast population. Formation of pole signaling centers involving Wnt inhibitors or Wnt ligands promotes head or tail regeneration, respectively, and this process requires the use of neoblasts early after injury. We used expression profiling of purified neoblasts to identify factors needed for anterior pole formation. Using this approach, we identified zic-1, a Zic-family transcription factor, as transcriptionally activated in a subpopulation of neoblasts near wound sites early in head regeneration. As head regeneration proceeds, the Wnt inhibitor notum becomes expressed in the newly forming anterior pole in zic-1-expressing cells descended from neoblasts. Inhibition of zic-1 by RNAi resulted in a failure to express notum at the anterior pole and to regenerate a head, but did not affect tail regeneration. Both injury and canonical Wnt signaling inhibition are required for zic-1 expression, and double-RNAi experiments suggest zic-1 inhibits Wnt signaling to allow head regeneration. Analysis of neoblast fate determinants revealed that zic-1 controls specification of notum-expressing cells from foxD-expressing neoblasts to form the anterior pole, which organizes subsequent outgrowth. Specialized differentiation programs may in general underlie injury-dependent formation of tissue organizing centers used for regenerative outgrowth.

]]>
<![CDATA[Acute Chagas Disease Induces Cerebral Microvasculopathy in Mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba42c9

Cardiomyopathy is the main clinical form of Chagas disease (CD); however, cerebral manifestations, such as meningoencephalitis, ischemic stroke and cognitive impairment, can also occur. The aim of the present study was to investigate functional microvascular alterations and oxidative stress in the brain of mice in acute CD. Acute CD was induced in Swiss Webster mice (SWM) with the Y strain of Trypanosoma cruzi (T. cruzi). Cerebral functional capillary density (the number of spontaneously perfused capillaries), leukocyte rolling and adhesion and the microvascular endothelial-dependent response were analyzed over a period of fifteen days using intravital video-microscopy. We also evaluated cerebral oxidative stress with the thiobarbituric acid reactive species TBARS method. Compared with the non-infected group, acute CD significantly induced cerebral functional microvascular alterations, including (i) functional capillary rarefaction, (ii) increased leukocyte rolling and adhesion, (iii) the formation of microvascular platelet-leukocyte aggregates, and (iv) alteration of the endothelial response to acetylcholine. Moreover, cerebral oxidative stress increased in infected animals. We concluded that acute CD in mice induced cerebral microvasculopathy, characterized by a reduced incidence of perfused capillaries, a high number of microvascular platelet-leukocyte aggregates, a marked increase in leukocyte-endothelium interactions and brain arteriolar endothelial dysfunction associated with oxidative stress. These results suggest the involvement of cerebral microcirculation alterations in the neurological manifestations of CD.

]]>