[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acetaminophen (APAP) toxicity is the most common drug-induced cause of acute liver failure in the United States. The only available treatment, N-acetylcysteine (NAC), has a limited time window of efficacy, indicating a need for additional therapeutic options. Zebrafish have emerged as a powerful tool for drug discovery. Here, we developed a clinically relevant zebrafish model of APAP toxicity. APAP depleted glutathione stores, elevated aminotransferase levels, increased apoptosis, and caused dose-dependent hepatocyte necrosis. These outcomes were limited by NAC and conserved in zebrafish embryos. In a targeted embryonic chemical screen, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) was identified as a potential therapeutic agent; in the adult, PGE2 similarly decreased APAP-associated toxicity. Significantly, when combined with NAC, PGE2 extended the time window for a successful intervention, synergistically reducing apoptosis, improving liver enzymes, and preventing death. Use of a wnt reporter zebrafish line and chemical genetic epistasis showed that the effects of PGE2 are mediated through the wnt signaling pathway. Zebrafish can be used as a clinically relevant toxicological model amenable to the identification of additional therapeutics and biomarkers of APAP injury; our data suggest combinatorial PGE2 and NAC treatment would be beneficial for patients with APAP-induced liver damage.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2010; 107(40):17315-20. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a Jak2V617F knockin mouse myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) model resembling human polycythemia vera (PV). The MPN is serially transplantable and we demonstrate that the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) compartment has the unique capacity for disease initiation but does not have a significant selective competitive advantage over wild-type HSCs. In contrast, myeloid progenitor populations are expanded and skewed toward the erythroid lineage, but cannot transplant the disease. Treatment with a JAK2 kinase inhibitor ameliorated the MPN phenotype, but did not eliminate the disease-initiating population. These findings provide insights into the consequences of JAK2 activation on HSC differentiation and function and have the potential to inform therapeutic approaches to JAK2V617F-positive MPN.
Cancer cell 06/2010; 17(6):584-96. · 25.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During vertebrate embryogenesis, hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) arise in the aorta-gonads-mesonephros (AGM) region. We report here that blood flow is a conserved regulator of HSC formation. In zebrafish, chemical blood flow modulators regulated HSC development, and silent heart (sih) embryos, lacking a heartbeat and blood circulation, exhibited severely reduced HSCs. Flow-modifying compounds primarily affected HSC induction after the onset of heartbeat; however, nitric oxide (NO) donors regulated HSC number even when treatment occurred before the initiation of circulation, and rescued HSCs in sih mutants. Morpholino knockdown of nos1 (nnos/enos) blocked HSC development, and its requirement was shown to be cell autonomous. In the mouse, Nos3 (eNos) was expressed in HSCs in the AGM. Intrauterine Nos inhibition or embryonic Nos3 deficiency resulted in a reduction of hematopoietic clusters and transplantable murine HSCs. This work links blood flow to AGM hematopoiesis and identifies NO as a conserved downstream regulator of HSC development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interactions between developmental signaling pathways govern the formation and function of stem cells. Prostaglandin (PG) E2 regulates vertebrate hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Similarly, the Wnt signaling pathway controls HSC self-renewal and bone marrow repopulation. Here, we show that wnt reporter activity in zebrafish HSCs is responsive to PGE2 modulation, demonstrating a direct interaction in vivo. Inhibition of PGE2 synthesis blocked wnt-induced alterations in HSC formation. PGE2 modified the wnt signaling cascade at the level of beta-catenin degradation through cAMP/PKA-mediated stabilizing phosphorylation events. The PGE2/Wnt interaction regulated murine stem and progenitor populations in vitro in hematopoietic ES cell assays and in vivo following transplantation. The relationship between PGE2 and Wnt was also conserved during regeneration of other organ systems. Our work provides in vivo evidence that Wnt activation in stem cells requires PGE2, and suggests the PGE2/Wnt interaction is a master regulator of vertebrate regeneration and recovery.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Developmental signaling pathways hold the keys to unlocking the promise of adult tissue regeneration, and to inhibiting carcinogenesis. Patients with mutations in the Adenomatous Polyposis Coli (APC) gene are at increased risk of developing hepatoblastoma, an embryonal form of liver cancer, suggesting that Wnt affects hepatic progenitor cells. To elucidate the role of APC loss and enhanced Wnt activity in liver development, we examined APC mutant and wnt inducible transgenic zebrafish. APC(+/-) embryos developed enlarged livers through biased induction of hepatic gene programs and increased proliferation. Conversely, APC(-/-) embryos formed no livers. Blastula transplantations determined that the effects of APC loss were cell autonomous. Induction of wnt modulators confirmed biphasic consequences of wnt activation: endodermal pattern formation and gene expression required suppression of wnt signaling in early somitogenesis; later, increased wnt activity altered endodermal fate by enhancing liver growth at the expense of pancreas formation; these effects persisted into the larval stage. In adult APC(+/-) zebrafish, increased wnt activity significantly accelerated liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. Similarly, liver regeneration was significantly enhanced in APC(Min/+) mice, indicating the conserved effect of Wnt pathway activation in liver regeneration across vertebrate species. These studies reveal an important and time-dependent role for wnt signaling during liver development and regeneration.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have recently demonstrated through a chemical screen in the zebrafish embryo that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is an evolutionarily conserved regulator of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) number. These results have further been confirmed by in vitro and in vivo studies in the murine model. Bioactive PGE2 derivatives have potential clinical application to accelerate recovery of the hematopoietic system following chemotherapy or irradiation. Ex vivo expansion of HSCs prior to stem cell transplantation may improve reconstitution of hematopoiesis and immune function. This article aims to summarize current knowledge of PGE2-mediated regulation of blood cell homeostasis as well as to discuss the proposed use of PGE2 to expand hematopoietic stem cells for transplantation in the clinical setting.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) homeostasis is tightly controlled by growth factors, signalling molecules and transcription factors. Definitive HSCs derived during embryogenesis in the aorta-gonad-mesonephros region subsequently colonize fetal and adult haematopoietic organs. To identify new modulators of HSC formation and homeostasis, a panel of biologically active compounds was screened for effects on stem cell induction in the zebrafish aorta-gonad-mesonephros region. Here, we show that chemicals that enhance prostaglandin (PG) E2 synthesis increased HSC numbers, and those that block prostaglandin synthesis decreased stem cell numbers. The cyclooxygenases responsible for PGE2 synthesis were required for HSC formation. A stable derivative of PGE2 improved kidney marrow recovery following irradiation injury in the adult zebrafish. In murine embryonic stem cell differentiation assays, PGE2 caused amplification of multipotent progenitors. Furthermore, ex vivo exposure to stabilized PGE2 enhanced spleen colony forming units at day 12 post transplant and increased the frequency of long-term repopulating HSCs present in murine bone marrow after limiting dilution competitive transplantation. The conserved role for PGE2 in the regulation of vertebrate HSC homeostasis indicates that modulation of the prostaglandin pathway may facilitate expansion of HSC number for therapeutic purposes.