[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filamentous inclusions of the microtubule-associated protein, tau, define a variety of neurodegenerative diseases known as tauopathies, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). To better understand the role of tau-mediated effects on pathophysiology and global central nervous system function, we extensively characterized gene expression, pathology and behavior of the rTg4510 mouse model, which overexpresses a mutant form of human tau that causes Frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17). We found that the most predominantly altered gene expression pathways in rTg4510 mice were in inflammatory processes. These results closely matched the causal immune function and microglial gene-regulatory network recently identified in AD. We identified additional gene expression changes by laser microdissecting specific regions of the hippocampus, which highlighted alterations in neuronal network activity. Expression of inflammatory genes and markers of neuronal activity changed as a function of age in rTg4510 mice and coincided with behavioral deficits. Inflammatory changes were tau-dependent, as they were reversed by suppression of the tau transgene. Our results suggest that the alterations in microglial phenotypes that appear to contribute to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease may be driven by tau dysfunction, in addition to the direct effects of beta-amyloid.
PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e106050. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106050 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic glucocorticoid excess has been linked to increased atherosclerosis and general cardiovascular risk in humans. The enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11βHSD1) increases active glucocorticoid levels within tissues by catalyzing the conversion of cortisone to cortisol. Pharmacological inhibition of 11βHSD1 has been shown to reduce atherosclerosis in murine models. However, the cellular and molecular details for this effect have not been elucidated.
To examine the role of 11βHSD1 in atherogenesis, 11βHSD1 knockout mice were created on the pro-atherogenic apoE(-/-) background. Following 14 weeks of Western diet, aortic cholesterol levels were reduced 50% in 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice vs. 11βHSD1(+/+)/apoE(-/-) mice without changes in plasma cholesterol. Aortic 7-ketocholesterol content was reduced 40% in 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice vs. control. In the aortic root, plaque size, necrotic core area and macrophage content were reduced ∼30% in 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice. Bone marrow transplantation from 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice into apoE(-/-) recipients reduced plaque area 39-46% in the thoracic aorta. In vivo foam cell formation was evaluated in thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages from 11βHSD1(+/+)/apoE(-/-) and 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice fed a Western diet for ∼5 weeks. Foam cell cholesterol levels were reduced 48% in 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice vs. control. Microarray profiling of peritoneal macrophages revealed differential expression of genes involved in inflammation, stress response and energy metabolism. Several toll-like receptors (TLRs) were downregulated in 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-) mice including TLR 1, 3 and 4. Cytokine release from 11βHSD1(-/-)/apoE(-/-)-derived peritoneal foam cells was attenuated following challenge with oxidized LDL.
These findings suggest that 11βHSD1 inhibition may have the potential to limit plaque development at the vessel wall and regulate foam cell formation independent of changes in plasma lipids. The diminished cytokine response to oxidized LDL stimulation is consistent with the reduction in TLR expression and suggests involvement of 11βHSD1 in modulating binding of pro-atherogenic TLR ligands.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e53192. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0053192 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutic development of a targeted agent involves a series of decisions over additional activities that may be ignored, eliminated or pursued. This paper details the concurrent application of two methods that provide a spectrum of information about the biological activity of a compound: biochemical profiling on a large panel of kinase assays and transcriptional profiling of mRNA responses. Our mRNA profiling studies used a full dose range, identifying subsets of transcriptional responses with differing EC(50)s which may reflect distinct targets. Profiling data allowed prioritization for validation in xenograft models, generated testable hypotheses for active compounds, and informed decisions on the general utility of the series.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Systems genetics relies on common genetic variants to elucidate biologic networks contributing to complex disease-related phenotypes. Mice are ideal model organisms for such approaches, but linkage analysis has been only modestly successful due to low mapping resolution. Association analysis in mice has the potential of much better resolution, but it is confounded by population structure and inadequate power to map traits that explain less than 10% of the variance, typical of mouse quantitative trait loci (QTL). We report a novel strategy for association mapping that combines classic inbred strains for mapping resolution and recombinant inbred strains for mapping power. Using a mixed model algorithm to correct for population structure, we validate the approach by mapping over 2500 cis-expression QTL with a resolution an order of magnitude narrower than traditional QTL analysis. We also report the fine mapping of metabolic traits such as plasma lipids. This resource, termed the Hybrid Mouse Diversity Panel, makes possible the integration of multiple data sets and should prove useful for systems-based approaches to complex traits and studies of gene-by-environment interactions.
Genome Research 02/2010; 20(2):281-90. DOI:10.1101/gr.099234.109 · 14.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It has been proposed that ligation of CD80 and CD86 induces reverse signaling into antigen-presenting cells. In this study, we tested the ability of abatacept, a soluble human fusion protein comprising the extracellular domain of cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 and a fragment of the Fc domain of IgG(1), to activate antigen-presenting cells by measuring changes in global transcriptional responses.
Affymetrix chips were used to measure gene expression levels using mRNA isolated from immature and mature human dendritic cells and a B cell line following 6 h of treatment with abatacept.
In contrast to robust transcriptional responses induced by the control treatment phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate, abatacept induced minimal gene changes in three different populations of antigen-presenting cells. Furthermore, no gene changes were observed in response to belatacept, a modified version of abatacept that binds with higher avidity to CD80 and CD86.
We conclude that reverse signaling in antigen-presenting cells is unlikely to occur in response to either abatacept or belatacept, thereby supporting the modulation of CD28 signaling on T cells as the main mechanism of action for these therapeutics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Toxicogenomics is considered a valuable tool for reducing pharmaceutical candidate attrition by facilitating earlier identification, prediction and understanding of toxicities. A retrospective evaluation of 3 years of routine transcriptional profiling in non-clinical safety studies was undertaken to assess the utility of toxicogenomics in drug safety assessment. Based on the analysis of studies with 33 compounds, marked global transcriptional changes (> 4% transcripts at p < 0.01) were shown to be a robust biomarker for dosages considered to be toxic . In general, there was an inconsistent correlation between transcription and histopathology, most likely due to differences in sensitivity to focal microscopic lesions, to secondary effects, and to events that precede structural tissue changes. For 60% of toxicities investigated with multiple time-point data, transcriptional changes were observed prior to changes in traditional study endpoints. Candidate transcriptional markers of pharmacologic effects were detected in 40% of targets profiled. Mechanistic classification of toxicity was obtained for 30% of targets. Furthermore, data comparison to compendia of transcriptional changes provided assessments of the specificity of transcriptional responses. Overall, our experience suggests that toxicogenomics has contributed to a greater understanding of mechanisms of toxicity and to reducing drug attrition by empiric analysis where safety assessment combines toxicogenomic and traditional evaluations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidized 1-palmitoyl-2-arachidonyl-sn-3-glycero-phosphorylcholine (oxPAPC) accumulates in atherosclerotic lesions and in vitro studies suggest that it mediates chronic inflammatory response in endothelial cells (ECs). The goal of our studies was to identify pathways mediating the induction of inflammatory genes by oxPAPC.
Using expression arrays, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and immunoblotting we demonstrate that oxPAPC leads to endoplasmic reticulum stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR) in human aortic ECs. Immunohistochemistry analysis of human atherosclerotic lesions indicated that UPR is induced in areas containing oxidized phospholipids. Using the UPR inducing agent tunicamycin and selective siRNA targeting of the ATF4 and XBP1 branches of the UPR, we demonstrate that these transcription factors are essential mediators of IL8, IL6, and MCP1 expression in human aortic ECs required for maximal inflammatory gene expression in the basal state and after oxPAPC treatment. We also identify a novel oxPAPC-induced chemokine, the CXC motif ligand 3 (CXCL3), and show that its expression requires XBP1.
These data suggest that the UPR pathway is a general mediator of vascular inflammation and EC dysfunction in atherosclerosis, and, likely, other inflammatory disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidized phospholipids are thought to promote atherogenesis by stimulating endothelial cells (ECs) to produce inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-8. In studies with mouse models, we previously demonstrated that genetic variation in inflammatory responses of endothelial cells to oxidized lipids contributes importantly to atherosclerosis susceptibility. We now show that similar variations occur in cultured aortic ECs derived from multiple heart transplant donors. These variations were stably maintained between passages and, thus, reflect either genetic or epigenetic regulatory differences. Expression array analysis of aortic EC cultures derived from 12 individuals revealed that >1,000 genes were regulated by oxidized phospholipids. We have used the observed variations in the sampled population to construct a gene coexpression network comprised of 15 modules of highly connected genes. We show that several identified modules are significantly enriched in genes for known pathways and confirm a module enriched for unfolded protein response (UPR) genes using siRNA and the UPR inducer tunicamycin. On the basis of the constructed network, we predicted that a gene of unknown function (MGC4504) present in the UPR module is a target for UPR transcriptional activator ATF4. Our data also indicate that IL-8 is present in the UPR module and is regulated, in part, by the UPR. We validate these by using siRNA. In conclusion, we show that interindividual variability can be used to group genes into pathways and predict gene-gene regulatory relationships, thus identifying targets potentially involved in susceptibility to common diseases such as atherosclerosis.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2006; 103(34):12741-6. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0605457103 · 9.67 Impact Factor