Tensin 2 (TNS2), a focal adhesion protein, is considered to anchor focal adhesion proteins to β integrin as an integrin adaptor protein and/or serve as a scaffold to facilitate the interactions of these proteins. In the kidney, TNS2 localizes to the basolateral surface of glomerular epithelial cells, i.e., podocytes. Loss of TNS2 leads to the development of glomerular basement membrane lesions and abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix in maturing glomeruli during the early postnatal stages. It subsequently results in podocyte foot process effacement, eventually leading to glomerulosclerosis. Histopathological features of the affected glomeruli in the middle stage of the disease include expansion of the mesangial matrix without mesangial cell proliferation. In this review, we provide an overview of TNS2-deficient nephropathy and discuss the potential mechanism underlying this mechanosensitive nephropathy, which may be applicable to other glomerulonephropathies, such as CD151-deficient nephropathy and Alport syndrome. The onset of TNS2-deficient nephropathy strictly depends on the genetic background, indicating the presence of critical modifier genes. A better understanding of molecular mechanisms of mechanosensitive nephropathy may open new avenues for the management of patients with glomerulonephropathies.
Since its development about 40 years ago (1981–2021), Morris water maze has turned into a very popular tool for assessing spatial learning and memory. Its many advantages have ensured its pertinence to date. These include its effectiveness in evaluating hippocampal-dependent learning and memory, exemption from motivational differences across diverse experimental manipulations, reliability in various cross-species studies, and adaptability to many experimental conditions with various test protocols. Nonetheless, throughout its establishment, several experimental and analysis loopholes have galvanized researchers to assess ways in which it could be improved and adapted to fill this gap. Therefore, in this review, we briefly summarize these developments since the early years of its establishment through to the most recent advancements in computerized analysis, offering more comprehensive analysis paradigms. In addition, we discuss the adaptability of the Morris water maze across different test versions and analysis paradigms, providing suggestions with regard to the best paradigms for particular experimental conditions. Hence, the proper selection of the experimental protocols, analysis paradigms, and consideration of the assay’s limitations should be carefully considered. Given that appropriate measures are taken, with various adaptations made, the Morris water maze will likely remain a relevant tool to assess the mechanisms of spatial learning and memory.
Hemorrhagic shock causes vascular endothelial glycocalyx (EGCX) damage and systemic inflammation. Dexmedetomidine (DEX) has anti-inflammatory and EGCX-protective effects, but its effect on hemorrhagic shock has not been investigated. Therefore, we investigated whether DEX reduces inflammation and protects EGCX during hemorrhagic shock. Anesthetized Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly assigned to five groups (n=7 per group): no shock (SHAM), hemorrhagic shock (HS), hemorrhagic shock with DEX (HS+DEX), hemorrhagic shock with DEX and the α7 nicotinic type acetylcholine receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine citrate (HS+DEX/MLA), and hemorrhagic shock with MLA (HS+MLA). HS was induced by shedding blood to a mean blood pressure of 25–30 mmHg, which was maintained for 30 min, after which rats were resuscitated with Ringer’s lactate solution at three times the bleeding volume. The survival rate was assessed up to 3 h after the start of fluid resuscitation. Serum tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and syndecan-1 concentrations, and wet-to-dry ratio of the heart were measured 90 min after the start of fluid resuscitation. The survival rate after 3 h was significantly higher in the HS+DEX group than in the HS group. Serum TNF-α and syndecan-1 concentrations, and the wet-to-dry ratio of heart were elevated by HS, but significantly decreased by DEX. These effects were antagonized by MLA. DEX suppressed the inflammatory response and serum syndecan-1 elevation, and prolonged survival in rats with HS.
Clec1A, a member of C-type lectin receptor family, has a carbohydrate recognition domain in its extracellular region, but no known signaling motif in the cytoplasmic domain. Clec1a is highly expressed in endothelial cells and weakly in dendritic cells. Although this molecule was reported to play an important role in the host defense against Aspergillus fumigatus by recognizing 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene-melanin on the fungal surface, the roles of this molecule in un-infected animals remain to be elucidated. In this study, we found that Clec1a−/− mice develop milder symptoms upon induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model for multiple sclerosis. The maximum disease score was significantly lower, and demyelination and inflammation of the spinal cord were much milder in Clec1a−/− mice compared to wild-type mice. No abnormality was detected in the immune cell composition in the draining lymph nodes and spleen on day 10 and 16 after EAE induction. Recall memory T cell proliferation after restimulation with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein peptide (MOG35–55) in vitro was decreased in Clec1a−/− mice, and antigen presenting ability of Clec1a−/− dendritic cells was impaired. Interestingly, RNA-Seq and RT-qPCR analyses clearly showed that the expression of inflammatory cytokines including Il17a, Il6 and Il1b was greatly decreased in Clec1a−/− mice after induction of EAE, suggesting that this reduced cytokine production is responsible for the amelioration of EAE in Clec1a−/− mice. These observations suggest a novel function of Clec1A in the immune system.
Infection-associated inflammation and coagulation are critical pathologies in sepsis-induced acute lung injury (ALI). This study aimed to investigate the effects of microRNA-363-3p (miR-363-3p) on sepsis-induced ALI and explore the underlying mechanisms. A cecal ligation and puncture-induced septic mouse model was established. The results of this study suggested that miR-363-3p was highly expressed in lung tissues of septic mice. Knockdown of miR-363-3p attenuated sepsis-induced histopathological damage, the inflammation response and oxidative stress in lung tissues. Furthermore, knockdown of miR-363-3p reduced the formation of platelet-derived microparticles and thrombin generation in blood samples of septic mice. Downregulation of miR-363-3p suppressed sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1) expression in lung tissues and subsequently inactivated the nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (NF-κB) signaling. A luciferase reporter assay confirmed that miR-363-3p directly targeted the 3’-untranslated region of the mouse S1pr1 mRNA. Collectively, our study suggests that inactivation of NF-κB signaling is involved in the miR-363-3p/S1PR1 axis-mediated protective effect on septic ALI.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) damages lung epithelial stem/progenitor cells. Ideal anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates should be screened to prevent secondary injury to the lungs. Here, we propose that in vitro three-dimensional organoid and lung injury repair mouse models are powerful models for the screening antiviral drugs. Lung epithelial progenitor cells, including airway club cells and alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells, were co-cultured with supportive fibroblast cells in transwell inserts. The organoid model was used to evaluate the possible effects of hydroxychloroquine, which is administered as a symptomatic therapy to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, on the function of mouse lung stem/progenitor cells. Hydroxychloroquine was observed to promote the self-renewal of club cells and differentiation of ciliated and goblet cells in vitro. Additionally, it inhibited the self-renewal ability of AT2 cells in vitro. Naphthalene- or bleomycin-induced lung injury repair mouse models were used to investigate the in vivo effects of hydroxychloroquine on the regeneration of club and AT2 cells, respectively. The naphthalene model indicated that the proliferative ability and differentiation potential of club cells were unaffected in the presence of hydroxychloroquine. The bleomycin model suggested that hydroxychloroquine had a limited effect on the proliferation and differentiation abilities of AT2 cells. These findings suggest that hydroxychloroquine has limited effects on the regenerative ability of epithelial stem/progenitor cells. Thus, stem/progenitor cell-derived organoid technology and lung epithelial injury repair mouse models provide a powerful platform for drug screening, which could possibly help end the pandemic.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Tools available for diagnosis and therapy are limited. Small extracellular vesicle (sEV) microRNAs (miRNAs) play an important role in TBI disease progression. This study aimed to investigate the alterations in sEV miRNAs expression in the mouse brain extracellular space after TBI. Twenty-four C57BL/6J mice were randomly divided into two groups (12/group). The TBI group was subjected to all surgical procedures and fluid percussion injury (FPI). The sham group only underwent surgery. Brain specimens were collected 3 h after TBI/sham. The brain sEV were isolated. Differentially expressed miRNAs were identified. A total of 50 miRNAs were observed to be differentially expressed (fold change ≥1.5 and P<0.05) after TBI, including 5 upregulated and 45 downregulated. The major enriched Gene Ontology terms were metabolic processes, cell, intracellular, organelle, cytoplasm, axon, binding, protein kinase activity, protein binding, and protein dimerization activity. The KEGG pathway analysis predicted that the pathways affected by the variation of miRNAs in sEVs after TBI included the Wnt signaling pathway and NF-κB signaling pathway. The changes in five miRNAs were confirmed by qRT-PCR. In conclusion, this study demonstrated the differential expression of a series of miRNAs in brain sEV after TBI, which might be correlated with post-TBI physiological and pathological processes. The findings might also provide novel targets for further investigating the molecular mechanisms underlying TBI and potential therapeutic interventions.
To examine the effects of oxygen tension and humidity on early embryonic development, the preimplantation development of mouse embryos produced by in vitro fertilization was assessed by time-lapse cinematography to evaluate morphokinetic development with higher precision. Zygotes were produced from spermatozoa and oocytes from ICR mice and cultured in KSOM under low or high oxygen tension in a non-humidified incubator with time-lapse cinematography (CCM-iBIS). The developmental rates of embryos to the 4-cell and blastocyst stages under lower oxygen tension in CCM-iBIS were significantly higher than those under higher oxygen tension in CCM-iBIS. Ninety-six hours after insemination, a large number of embryos cultured under low oxygen tension developed to the hatching blastocyst stage. Embryonic development was more synchronized under lower oxygen tension. Non-humidified cultures did not affect embryonic development. On average, mouse embryos cultured at lower oxygen tension reached 2-cell at 18 h, 3-cell at 39 h, 4-cell at 40 h, initiation of compaction at 58 h, morula at 69 h, and blastocyst at 82 h after insemination. In conclusion, lower oxygen tension better supports preimplantation development of mouse embryos fertilized in vitro, and non-humidified culture conditions do not influence the embryonic development in vitro.
Hydrogen-rich water (HW) has been suggested to possess antioxidant properties of value in treatments of lifestyle diseases and for prevention of latent pathologies. To date, the potential benefits of HW against the deleterious effects of excessive salt intake and hypertension have not been investigated. Here, we first examined the effects of HW or HW supplemented with 0.1% ascorbic acid (HWA) on spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) that had been fed a normal diet. In comparison to control rats given distilled water (DW), we found that HW did not significantly influence systolic blood pressure (SBP) or diastolic blood pressure (DBP) in SHR; however, the increase in SBP and DBP were inhibited in the HWA group. Next, four groups of SHR were given DW, 0.1% ascorbic acid-added DW (DWA), HW, or HWA in combination with a 4% NaCl-added diet. SHR fed the 4% NaCl-added diet showed increased hypertension; HWA treatment resulted in a significant reduction in blood pressure. The HWA group tended to have lower plasma angiotensin II levels than the DW group. In addition, urinary volumes and urinary sodium levels were significantly lower in the HWA group than the DW group. Urinary isoprostane, an oxidative stress marker, was also significantly lower in the HWA group, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of HWA on blood pressure elevation was caused by a reduction in oxidative stress. These findings suggest a synergistic interaction between HW and ascorbic acid, and also suggest that HWA ingestion has potential for prevention of hypertension.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease, which can lead to joint inflammation and progressive joint destruction. Kruppel-like factor 7 (KLF7) is the member of KLF family and plays an important role in multiple biological progresses. However, its precise roles in RA have not been described. Present study aimed to investigate the role of KLF7 in RA-fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs). Data showed that KLF7 expression was obviously upregulated in synovial tissues of rats with adjuvant-induced arthritis. Functional studies demonstrated that the loss of KLF7 may suppress cell proliferation and the expression of pro-inflammatory factors (IL-6, IL-1β, IL-17A) and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-1, MMP-3, MMP-13) in FLSs through the inhibition of phosphorylation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) p65 and JNK. We further showed that miR-9a-5p specifically interacts with KLF7 to negatively regulate the expression of KLF7 in RA-FLSs. Taken together, our results demonstrated that KLF7 which targeted by miR-9a-5p might participate in the pathogenesis of RA by promoting cell proliferation, pro-inflammatory cytokine release and MMP expression through the activation of NF-κB and JNK pathways in RA-FLSs. Hence, KLF7 could be a novel target for RA therapy.
We have previously reported that a major quantitative trait locus (QTL) responsible for susceptibility to salt-induced stroke in the stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHRSP) is located in a 3-Mbp region on chromosome 1 covered by SHRSP.SHR-(D1Rat23-D1Rat213)/Izm (termed Pr1.31), a congenic strain with segments from SHRSP/Izm introduced into the stroke-resistant SHR/Izm. Here, we attempted to narrow down the candidate region on chromosome 1 further through analyses of subcongenic strains constructed for the target region. Simultaneously, salt-induced kidney injury was evaluated through the measurement of urinary albumin and the gene expression of renal tubular injury markers (Kim-1 and Clu) to explore a possible mechanism leading to the onset of stroke. All subcongenic strains examined in this study showed lower susceptibility to salt-induced stroke than SHRSP. Interestingly, Pr1.31 had the lowest stroke susceptibility when compared with newly constructed subcongenic strains harboring fragments of the congenic sequence in Pr1.31. Although Kim-1 and Clu expression after 1 week of salt loading in Pr1.31 did not differ significantly from those in SHRSP, the urinary albumin level of Pr1.31 was significantly lower than those of the other subcongenic strains and that of SHRSP. The present results indicated that, although the congenic fragment in Pr1.31 harbored the gene(s) related to salt-induced organ damages, further genetic dissection of the candidate region was difficult due to multiple QTLs suggested in this region. Further analysis using Pr1.31 will unveil genetic and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying salt-induced end organ damages in SHRSP.
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the prevalent microvascular complication of diabetes mellitus (DM), and it may lead to permanent blindness. The previous publication has indicated that both inflammatory response and oxidative stress are critical factors involved in DR progression, however, the accurate regulatory mechanism remains to be revealed. Src homology region 2 (SH2)-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase 2 (SHP2), a member of the protein tyrosine phosphatase family, was reported to play a role in diabetic nephropathy, whereas its function in DR was unknown and required further exploration. The level of phosphorylated, not the total, SHP2 increased in the retinas of rats with streptozotocin injection-induced DM. Further, the intravitreal injection of SHP2 shRNA lentivirus alleviated retinal pathological changes, and inhibited inflammatory response and oxidative stress, which were accompanied with Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1) deactivation in DR rats. Additional co-immunoprecipitation results confirmed the interaction of SHP2 and YAP1. Collectively, our data preliminarily show that DR amelioration-induced by SHP2 inhibition in rats may attribute to the deactivation of YAP1 pathway.
Cell labeling technologies, including the Cre/loxP system, are powerful tools in developmental biology. Although the conventional Cre/loxP system has been extensively used to label the expression of specific genes, it is less frequently used for labeling protein-protein interactions owing to technical difficulties. In the present study, we generated a new Gal4-dependent transgenic reporter mouse line that expressed Cre recombinase and a near-infrared fluorescent protein, miRFP670. To examine whether this newly generated transgenic mouse line is applicable in labeling of protein-protein interaction, we used a previously reported transgenic mouse lines that express Notch1 receptor with its intracellular domain replaced with a yeast transcription factor, Gal4. Upon the binding of this artificial Notch1 receptor and endogenous Notch1 ligands, Gal4 would be cleaved from the cell membrane to induce expression of Cre recombinase and miRFP670. Indeed, we observed miRFP670 signal in the mouse embryos (embryonic day 14.5). In addition, we examined whether our Cre recombinase was functional by using another transgenic mouse line that express dsRed after Cre-mediated recombination. We observed dsRed signal in small intestine epithelial cells where Notch1 signal was suggested to be involved in the crypt stem cell maintenance, suggesting that our Cre recombinase was functional. As our newly generated mouse line required only the functioning of Gal4, it could be useful for labeling several types of molecular activities in vivo.
Cerebral artery structure has not been extensively studied in primates. The aim of this study was to examine the cerebrovascular anatomy of cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), which are one of the most commonly used primates in medical research on human diseases, such as cerebral infarction and subarachnoid hemorrhage. In this study, we investigated the anatomy and diameter of cerebral arteries from 48 cynomolgus monkey brain specimens. We found three anatomical differences in the vascular structure of this species compared to that in humans. First, the distal anterior cerebral artery is single. Second, the pattern in which both the anterior inferior cerebellar artery and posterior inferior cerebellar artery branch from the basilar artery is the most common. Third, the basilar artery has the largest diameter among the major arteries. We expect that this anatomical information will aid in furthering research on cerebrovascular disease using cynomolgus monkeys.
We previously showed that a diet containing calcium carbonate causes impairments in spatial and recognition memory in mice. In this study, we investigated the effects of calcium carbonate supplementation on motor function. Motor function was determined using different tests that have been used to analyze different aspects of Parkinsonism. A catalepsy test for akinesia; a muscular strength assessment, pole test, beam-walking test, and gait analysis for motor coordination and balance assessment; and an open-field test for locomotor activity assessment were performed. The mice were fed diets containing 0.6% or 1.0% calcium carbonate for eight weeks, after which they were evaluated for motor functions. The diets containing calcium carbonate caused significant motor dysfunction, as revealed by the different tests, although the spontaneous locomotor activity did not change. Calcium carbonate supplementation decreased the dopamine content in the basal ganglia, including the striatum and substantia nigra, and the number of tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra. In addition, administration of L-dopa led to at least a partial recovery of motor dysfunction, suggesting that calcium carbonate supplementation causes motor dysfunction by decreasing the dopamine content in the basal ganglia. These results suggest that mice with calcium carbonate-induced motor dysfunction may be useful as a new animal model for Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.