Single prenatal exposure to valproic acid (VPA) in rodents is a widely used preclinical model of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Continuous prenatal VPA exposure has been recently proposed as a new ASD model that closely captures the neuropathological features of ASD, including increases in cerebral cortex volume and the number of cortical upper layer neurons. We investigated the influence of prenatal VPA exposure on the behavior of adult offspring of pregnant dams that received intraperitoneal injections of VPA twice on one day during the genesis of cortical upper layer neurons. Mice exposed to VPA at E14 (E14-VPA) showed typical behavior abnormalities including reduced social interaction, hyperactivity, and poor maze learning due to attention deficit/impulsivity relative to healthy controls. Histological analysis revealed that E14-VPA mice had significantly increased neuronal density and impaired neural activity in the prefrontal cortex, but not the somatosensory area, which is likely linked to the observed abnormalities in social behavior. These results suggest that this VPA exposure method is a good model for gaining new insights into the underlying neuropathology of ASD.
Sphingomyelin is a major lipid of the plasma membrane and is enriched in microdomains of the plasma membrane that are critical for signal transduction. However, the function of sphingomyelin in the cell membrane of osteoblasts has not been clarified. Therefore, we examined how sphingomyelin synthase 2 (SMS2) affects osteoclast differentiation by osteoblasts. We knocked down the expression of SMS2 with siRNA targeting the Sgms2 gene in mouse primary osteoblasts. The effects of SMS2 knockdown in osteoblasts were examined using polymerase chain reaction and western blotting. The knockdown of SMS2 suppressed the formation of TRAP-positive multinucleated cells by co-culture of osteoblasts and bone marrow cells compared to the control. We found that receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) mRNA expression was significantly reduced by 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulation in SMS2 siRNA osteoblasts. The knockdown of SMS2 repressed the expression of retinoid-X-receptor-α (RXRα) regardless of 1,25(OH)2D3 stimulation. TRAP-positive multinucleated cell formation was significantly reduced by RXRα siRNA in osteoblasts in a co-culture system. These results suggest that SMS2 regulates osteoclast differentiation by inducing RANKL expression via RXRα.
We investigated the effects of ibandronate, a bisphosphonate; eldecalcitol, an active vitamin D3 analogue; and combination treatment with both agents on secondary osteoporosis and arthritis using rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis. Arthritis was induced in 8-week-old male Lewis rats. Rats were randomized into four treatment groups and an untreated normal control group: ibandronate, eldecalcitol, ibandronate + eldecalcitol, vehicle, and control. Paw thickness was measured to evaluate arthritis. Joint destruction was evaluated histomorphometrically by the ankle joint stained with Fast Green and safranin O. The femur and lumbar spine were scanned using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the distal femur was scanned using micro-computed tomography for bone mineral density (BMD) and trabecular microstructural evaluations. Ibandronate and/or eldecalcitol increased BMD in both the lumbar vertebrae and femur and improved several microstructural parameters (bone volume/total volume, structure model index, trabecular number, and trabecular separation of the distal femur). In addition, there was an additive effect of combination treatment compared with single treatments for most trabecular parameters, including BMD and bone volume. However, ibandronate and/or eldecalcitol did not inhibit arthritis and joint destruction. Combination treatment with ibandronate and eldecalcitol may be effective for secondary osteoporosis associated with arthritis.
Sensory circumventricular organs contain the subfornical organ, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), and area postrema. Here, immunostaining for GLUT3 in the murine brain selectively labeled the sobfornical organ and OVLT. The immunoreactive neural tract of the subfornical organ formed into thin bundles and extended ventro-rostrally over the anterior commissure. After turning over the commissure, the neural tract passed through the median preoptic nucleus (MnPO) and reached the OVLT; thus, a continuous neural tract expressing GLUT3 connected the subfornical organ, MnPO, and OVLT in the lamina terminalis. In the OVLT, GLUT3-immunoreactive fibers gathered in both the dorsal cap and lateral periventricular zone. Electron microscopically, the immunoreactive structures in the subfornical organ corresponded to nerve fibers or nerve terminals containing many small clear vesicles. The area postrema, another sensory organ, was immunonegative for GLUT3. This study not only presented a useful marker tracing the neural tract in the sensory sites of the lamina terminalis but also suggested a unique system for sensing and determining the metabolism of circulating glucose in the circumventricular organs.