[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Laboratory mice develop naturally occurring lesions that affect biomedical research. Hydronephrosis is a recognized pathologic abnormality of the mouse kidney. Acquired hydronephrosis can affect any mouse, as it is caused by any naturally occurring disease that impairs free urine flow. Many etiologies leading to this condition are of particular significance to aging mice. Non-invasive ultrasound imaging detects renal pelvic dilation, renal enlargement, and parenchymal loss for pre-mortem identification of this condition. High-frequency ultrasound transducers produce high-resolution images of small structures, ideal for detecting organ pathology in mice. Using a 40 MHz linear array transducer, we obtained high-resolution images of a diversity of pathologic lesions occurring within the abdomen of seven geriatric mice with acquired hydronephrosis that enabled a determination of the underlying etiology. Etiologies diagnosed from the imaging results include pyelonephritis, neoplasia, urolithiasis, mouse urologic syndrome, and spontaneous hydronephrosis, and were confirmed at necropsy. A retrospective review of abdominal scans from an additional 149 aging mice shows that the most common etiologies associated with acquired hydronephrosis are mouse urologic syndrome and abdominal neoplasia. This report highlights the utility of high-frequency ultrasound for surveying research mice for age-related pathology, and is the first comprehensive report of multiple cases of acquired hydronephrosis in mice.
Pathobiology of aging & age related diseases. 01/2014; 4.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: KCNA10 is a voltage gated potassium channel that is expressed in the inner ear. The localization and function of KCNA10 was studied in a mutant mouse, B6-Kcna10(TM45), in which the single protein coding exon of Kcna10 was replaced with a beta-galactosidase reporter cassette. Under the regulatory control of the endogenous Kcna10 promoter and enhancers, beta-galactosidase was expressed in hair cells of the vestibular organs and the organ of Corti. KCNA10 expression develops in opposite tonotopic gradients in the inner and outer hair cells. Kcna10(TM45) homozygotes display only a mild elevation in pure tone hearing thresholds as measured by auditory brainstem response (ABR), while heterozygotes are normal. However, Kcna10(TM45)homozygotes have absent vestibular evoked potentials (VsEPs) or elevated VsEP thresholds with prolonged peak latencies, indicating significant vestibular dysfunction despite the lack of any overt imbalance behaviors. Our results suggest that Kcna10 is expressed primarily in hair cells of the inner ear, with little evidence of expression in other organs. The Kcna10(TM45) targeted allele may be a model of human nonsyndromic vestibulopathy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary thromboembolism associated with pancreatic endocrine neoplasia is extremely uncommon in man and animals. Post-mortem examination of an adult owl monkey (Aotus nancymae) revealed extensive pulmonary arterial thromboembolism and a well-demarcated mass attached to the pancreas. Microscopically, the mass consisted of areas of interstitial fibrosis with loss of acini and islets and replacement by nests and sheets of polygonal cells with amphophilic cytoplasm, an eccentric round nucleus with stippled chromatin and, in some cells, with a single prominent eccentric nucleolus. Clusters of these cells were noted within vessels and adjacent lymph nodes. The cells did not express S100 or insulin, but were labelled strongly with SP-1/chromogranin. Rare individual cells expressed glucagon and somatostatin. A few cells in pulmonary thrombi/emboli and the adjacent lymph node also expressed SP-1/chromogranin. Based on cell morphology, location and immunohistochemistry the tumour was classified as pancreatic endocrine (islet cell) carcinoma with metastasis to regional lymph nodes and lung.
Journal of comparative pathology 02/2013; · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of macaques can result in central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as meningitis and encephalitis. We studied ten animals inoculated with brain-derived virus from animals with SIV-encephalitis. Over half of the macaques developed SIV-induced neurologic disease. Elevated levels of systemic immune activation were observed to correlate with viral RNA in the cerebral spinal fluid but not with plasma viral load, consistent with a role in the pathogenesis of neurologic disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human LMNA gene mutations result in laminopathies that include Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy (AD-EDMD) and Hutchinson-Gilford progeria, the premature aging syndrome (HGPS). The Lmna null (Lmna(-/-)) and progeroid LmnaΔ9 mutant mice are models for AD-EDMD and HGPS, respectively. Both animals develop severe tissue pathologies with abbreviated life spans. Like HGPS cells, Lmna(-/-) and LmnaΔ9 fibroblasts have typically misshapen nuclei. Unexpectedly, Lmna(-/-) or LmnaΔ9 mice that are also deficient for the inner nuclear membrane protein Sun1 show markedly reduced tissue pathologies and enhanced longevity. Concordantly, reduction of SUN1 overaccumulation in LMNA mutant fibroblasts and in cells derived from HGPS patients corrected nuclear defects and cellular senescence. Collectively, these findings implicate Sun1 protein accumulation as a common pathogenic event in Lmna(-/-), LmnaΔ9, and HGPS disorders.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxygen serves as an essential factor for oxidative stress, and it has been shown to be a mutagen in bacteria. While it is well established that ambient oxygen can also cause genomic instability in cultured mammalian cells, its effect on de novo tumorigenesis at the organismal level is unclear. Herein, by decreasing ambient oxygen exposure, we report a ∼50% increase in the median tumor-free survival time of p53-/- mice. In the thymus, reducing oxygen exposure decreased the levels of oxidative DNA damage and RAG recombinase, both of which are known to promote lymphomagenesis in p53-/- mice. Oxygen is further shown to be associated with genomic instability in two additional cancer models involving the APC tumor suppressor gene and chemical carcinogenesis. Together, these observations represent the first report directly testing the effect of ambient oxygen on de novo tumorigenesis and provide important physiologic evidence demonstrating its critical role in increasing genomic instability in vivo.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(5):e19785. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An adult male owl monkey (Aotus nancymae) underwent a splenectomy. When the spleen was removed, a small, nodular mass slightly bulging over the splenic surface was noted.
The mass was examined by light and transmission electron microscopy and by immunohistochemistry.
On light microscopy, the mass was well-circumscribed, non-encapsulated, and composed of haphazardly arranged smooth muscle bundles admixed with numerous small capillary-like structures containing blood. Immunohistochemical (IHC) staining revealed the tumor was strongly positive for smooth muscle actin yielding vascular smooth muscle bundles, and for Factor VIII, staining endothelial cells within the smooth muscle bundles. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) showed a large portion of the cells to be atypical appearing smooth muscle and a few cells had structures resembling Weibel-Palade bodies indicating endothelial cells.
Based on cell morphology, by light and TEM, and IHC a final diagnosis of splenic angioleiomyoma was made. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of an angioleiomyoma in a non-human primate.
Journal of Medical Primatology 12/2010; 39(6):385-8. · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) act in post-transcriptional gene silencing and are proposed to function in a wide spectrum of pathologies, including cancers and viral diseases. Currently, to our knowledge, no detailed mechanistic characterization of small molecules that interrupt miRNA pathways have been reported. In screening a small chemical library, we identified compounds that suppress RNA interference activity in cultured cells. Two compounds were characterized; one impaired Dicer activity while the other blocked small RNA-loading into an Argonaute 2 (AGO2) complex. We developed a cell-based model of miRNA-dependent tumorigenesis, and using this model, we observed that treatment of cells with either of the two compounds effectively neutralized tumor growth. These findings indicate that miRNA pathway-suppressing small molecules could potentially reverse tumorigenesis.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2010; 285(32):24707-16. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A population of stromal cells that retains osteogenic capacity in adult bone (adult bone stromal cells or aBSCs) exists and is under intense investigation. Mice heterozygous for a null allele of prkar1a (Prkar1a(+/-)), the primary receptor for cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) and regulator of protein kinase A (PKA) activity, developed bone lesions that were derived from cAMP-responsive osteogenic cells and resembled fibrous dysplasia (FD). Prkar1a(+/-) mice were crossed with mice that were heterozygous for catalytic subunit Calpha (Prkaca(+/-)), the main PKA activity-mediating molecule, to generate a mouse model with double heterozygosity for prkar1a and prkaca (Prkar1a(+/-)Prkaca(+/-)). Unexpectedly, Prkar1a(+/-)Prkaca(+/-) mice developed a greater number of osseous lesions starting at 3 months of age that varied from the rare chondromas in the long bones and the ubiquitous osteochondrodysplasia of vertebral bodies to the occasional sarcoma in older animals. Cells from these lesions originated from an area proximal to the growth plate, expressed osteogenic cell markers, and showed higher PKA activity that was mostly type II (PKA-II) mediated by an alternate pattern of catalytic subunit expression. Gene expression profiling confirmed a preosteoblastic nature for these cells but also showed a signature that was indicative of mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition and increased Wnt signaling. These studies show that a specific subpopulation of aBSCs can be stimulated in adult bone by alternate PKA and catalytic subunit activity; abnormal proliferation of these cells leads to skeletal lesions that have similarities to human FD and bone tumors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2010; 107(19):8683-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 3.5-year-old intact male double-transgenic New Zealand white rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), apoA-I and LCAT (apolipoprotein and lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase), was presented with a discrete, raised facial mass (0.5 x 1.0 x 1.0 cm). The mass was surgically excised, with reoccurrence to the same site 88 days later. A second surgical excision was performed, and the rabbit died 3 weeks later from respiratory distress. At necropsy, multiple varying-sized masses were observed in the ventral mandibular region and throughout the lungs, pleura, and diaphragm. On histopathology, the masses were composed of moderately anisocytotic and anisokaryotic polygonal to spindloid cells with moderate finely granular, lightly eosinophilic cytoplasm, having round to oval nuclei with one to several nucleoli and finely stippled chromatin. Mitotic figures were frequent. Lymphatic and venous invasion were noted with neoplastic cells metastasized to the submandibular lymph nodes, lungs, liver, and adventitial surface of the aorta. Fontana-Masson stain was negative for melanin, thereby necessitating immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy. Positive staining with MART-1 (a melanocyte protein marker) combined with transmission electron microscopy revealing type II melanosomes confirmed the diagnosis of an amelanotic melanoma.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: PRKAR1A inactivation leads to dysregulated cAMP signaling and Carney complex (CNC) in humans, a syndrome associated with skin, endocrine and other tumors. The CNC phenotype is not easily explained by the ubiquitous cAMP signaling defect; furthermore, Prkar1a(+/-) mice did not develop skin and other CNC tumors. To identify whether a Prkar1a defect is truly a generic but weak tumorigenic signal that depends on tissue-specific or other factors, we investigated Prkar1a(+/-) mice when bred within the Rb1(+/-) or Trp53(+/-) backgrounds, or treated with a two-step skin carcinogenesis protocol. Prkar1a(+/-) Trp53(+/-) mice developed more sarcomas than Trp53(+/-) mice (P < 0.05) and Prkar1a(+/-) Rb1(+/-) mice grew more (and larger) pituitary and thyroid tumors than Rb1(+/-) mice. All mice with double heterozygosity had significantly reduced life-spans compared with their single-heterozygous counterparts. Prkar1a(+/-) mice also developed more papillomas than wild-type animals. A whole-genome transcriptome profiling of tumors produced by all three models identified Wnt signaling as the main pathway activated by abnormal cAMP signaling, along with cell cycle abnormalities; all changes were confirmed by qRT-PCR array and immunohistochemistry. siRNA down-regulation of Ctnnb1, E2f1 or Cdk4 inhibited proliferation of human adrenal cells bearing a PRKAR1A-inactivating mutation and Prkar1a(+/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts and arrested both cell lines at the G0/G1 phase of the cell cycle. In conclusion, Prkar1a haploinsufficiency is a relatively weak tumorigenic signal that can act synergistically with other tumor suppressor gene defects or chemicals to induce tumors, mostly through Wnt-signaling activation and cell cycle dysregulation, consistent with studies in human neoplasms carrying PRKAR1A defects.
Human Molecular Genetics 04/2010; 19(8):1387-98. · 7.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 9-month-old p53-null female mouse was found dead in its cage. At necropsy, a large thymic mass encompassed the heart. Microscopically, the mass was composed of numerous varying-sized cysts lined with simple squamous epithelial cells to columnar ciliated cells. Also present within this mass was a large aggregate of loosely arranged fusiform-shaped cells. These cells also were found in smaller numbers in the connective tissue surrounding the cysts. The larger aggregate of fusiform cells was positive for desmin and S-100 and negative for smooth muscle actin. Electron microscopy revealed well-formed Z lines and I bands of skeletal muscle phenotype. A diagnosis of rhabdomyoma within a congenital multilocular thymic cyst was made. The thymus contains a small population of myoid cells, which should be taken in consideration when evaluating thymic tumors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 20-year-old female cynomolgus monkey (Macaca fascicularis) was presented for an end-of-study necropsy. At necropsy, a 2 cm x 1.5 cm x 1 cm, butterfly-shaped, multilobulated mass extended off the right uterine tube fimbria. Microscopically, the mass was composed of large, plump, finger-like projections lined primarily by simple columnar ciliated epithelium. The interstitium contained a proliferation of smooth muscle stromal cells admixed with varying amounts of collagen. A diagnosis of adenomyofibroma of the fimbria was made. This benign neoplasm should be considered as a differential diagnosis for masses arising from the fallopian tube in old-world macaques.
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc 11/2009; 21(6):892-4. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A gene causing autosomal-recessive, nonsyndromic hearing loss, DFNB39, was previously mapped to an 18 Mb interval on chromosome 7q11.22-q21.12. We mapped an additional 40 consanguineous families segregating nonsyndromic hearing loss to the DFNB39 locus and refined the obligate interval to 1.2 Mb. The coding regions of all genes in this interval were sequenced, and no missense, nonsense, or frameshift mutations were found. We sequenced the noncoding sequences of genes, as well as noncoding genes, and found three mutations clustered in intron 4 and exon 5 in the hepatocyte growth factor gene (HGF). Two intron 4 deletions occur in a highly conserved sequence that is part of the 3' untranslated region of a previously undescribed short isoform of HGF. The third mutation is a silent substitution, and we demonstrate that it affects splicing in vitro. HGF is involved in a wide variety of signaling pathways in many different tissues, yet these putative regulatory mutations cause a surprisingly specific phenotype, which is nonsydromic hearing loss. Two mouse models of Hgf dysregulation, one in which an Hgf transgene is ubiquitously overexpressed and the other a conditional knockout that deletes Hgf from a limited number of tissues, including the cochlea, result in deafness. Overexpression of HGF is associated with progressive degeneration of outer hair cells in the cochlea, whereas cochlear deletion of Hgf is associated with more general dysplasia.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2009; 85(1):25-39. · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The molecular pathways that promote the proliferation and maintenance of pituitary somatotrophs and other cell types of the anterior pituitary gland are not well understood at present. However, such knowledge is likely to lead to the development of novel drugs useful for the treatment of various human growth disorders. Although muscarinic cholinergic pathways have been implicated in regulating somatotroph function, the physiological relevance of this effect and the localization and nature of the receptor subtypes involved in this activity remain unclear. We report the surprising observation that mutant mice that selectively lack the M(3) muscarinic acetylcholine receptor subtype in the brain (neurons and glial cells; Br-M3-KO mice) showed a dwarf phenotype associated with a pronounced hypoplasia of the anterior pituitary gland and a marked decrease in pituitary and serum growth hormone (GH) and prolactin. Remarkably, treatment of Br-M3-KO mice with CJC-1295, a synthetic GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) analog, rescued the growth deficit displayed by Br-M3-KO mice by restoring normal pituitary size and normal serum GH and IGF-1 levels. These findings, together with results from M(3) receptor/GHRH colocalization studies and hypothalamic hormone measurements, support a model in which central (hypothalamic) M(3) receptors are required for the proper function of hypothalamic GHRH neurons. Our data reveal an unexpected and critical role for central M(3) receptors in regulating longitudinal growth by promoting the proliferation of pituitary somatotroph cells.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2009; 106(15):6398-403. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogen storage disease type Ib (GSD-Ib) patients deficient in a glucose-6-phosphate transporter (G6PT) manifest disturbed glucose homeostasis, myeloid dysfunctions, and hepatocellular adenoma (HCA). This study was conducted to evaluate whether maintaining normoglycemia in GSD-Ib could prevent HCA.
We infused neonatal GSD-Ib mice with adeno-associated virus (AAV) carrying G6PT and examined their metabolic and myeloid phenotypes for the 72-week study.
The AAV vector delivered the G6PT transgene to the liver and bone marrow. Long-term metabolic correction was achieved alongside a transient myeloid correction. Hepatic G6PT activity was 50% of wild-type levels at 2 weeks post-infusion but declined rapidly thereafter to reach 3% of wild-type levels by age 6 to 72 weeks. Despite this, the infused mice maintained normoglycemia throughout the study, exhibited near normal growth and normalized serum metabolite profiles. However, all five AAV-treated GSD-Ib mice that lived over 50 weeks accumulated excessive hepatic glycogen and fat. Two mice developed steatohepatitis and multiple HCAs with one undergoing malignant transformation.
Normoglycemia alone cannot prevent hepatic steatosis and glycogen accumulation or the development of HCAs in GSD-Ib, providing one explanation why GSD-Ib patients maintaining normoglycemia under intense dietary therapy continue at risk for this long-term complication.
Journal of Hepatology 03/2009; 51(5):909-17. · 9.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A series of ring expanded nucleoside (REN) analogues were synthesized and screened for inhibition of cellular RNA helicase activity and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. We identified two compounds, 1 and 2, that inhibited the ATP dependent activity of human RNA helicase DDX3. Compounds 1 and 2 also suppressed HIV-1 replication in T cells and monocyte-derived macrophages. Neither compound at therapeutic doses was significantly toxic in ex vivo cell culture or in vivo in mice. Our findings provide proof-of-concept that a cellular factor, an RNA helicase, could be targeted for inhibiting HIV-1 replication.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2008; 51(16):5043-51. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 21-month-old domestic Hanford pig (Sus scrofa domestica) in a 1-year study for experimental myocardial infarction was euthanized at the end of the study. One week earlier, the animal had symptoms and elevated clinical chemistry results suggestive of hepatobiliary disease, which resolved after medical therapy. At necropsy, the gallbladder was markedly enlarged, discolored, and had a thickened wall. Within the gallbladder, there was abundant friable green-brown material. A culture of the gallbladder luminal material yielded Clostridium perfringens type A. Histopathology of the gallbladder demonstrated multifocal areas of necrosis of varying depths, admixed with an inflammatory infiltrate that was also observed on the serosa and within the associated adipose tissue. Luminal material was composed of cellular debris and bile sludge admixed with numerous bacterial rods. Smooth-muscle hypertrophy of numerous small arterioles with narrowed lumina was observed in the gallbladder. A diagnosis of acalculous cholecystitis presumably because of ischemia of the gallbladder with secondary clostridial infection was made. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of acalculous cholecystitis with evidence of vascular compromise in a pig, as well as cholecystitis secondarily attributed to Clostridium perfringens type A.
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc 08/2008; 20(4):527-30. · 1.18 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSD-Ia) develop renal disease of unknown etiology despite intensive dietary therapies. This renal disease shares many clinical and pathological similarities to diabetic nephropathy. We studied the expression of angiotensinogen, angiotensin type 1 receptor, transforming growth factor-beta1, and connective tissue growth factor in mice with GSD-Ia and found them to be elevated compared to controls. While increased renal expression of angiotensinogen was evident in 2-week-old mice with GSD-Ia, the renal expression of transforming growth factor-beta and connective tissue growth factor did not increase for another week; consistent with upregulation of these factors by angiotensin II. The expression of fibronectin and collagens I, III, and IV was also elevated in the kidneys of mice with GSD-Ia, compared to controls. Renal fibrosis was characterized by a marked increase in the synthesis and deposition of extracellular matrix proteins in the renal cortex and histological abnormalities including tubular basement membrane thickening, tubular atrophy, tubular dilation, and multifocal interstitial fibrosis. Our results suggest that activation of the angiotensin system has an important role in the pathophysiology of renal disease in patients with GSD-Ia.
Kidney International 04/2008; 73(6):716-23. · 8.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glycogen storage disease type Ia (GSD-Ia) patients manifest the long-term complication of hepatocellular adenoma (HCA) of unknown etiology. We showed previously that GSD-Ia mice exhibit neutrophilia and elevated serum cytokine levels. This study was conducted to evaluate whether human GSD-Ia patients exhibit analogous increases and whether in GSD-Ia mice a correlation exists between immune abnormalities and, biochemical and histological alterations in the liver.
Differential leukocyte counts and cytokine levels were investigated in GSD-Ia patients. Hepatic chemokine production, neutrophil infiltration, and histological abnormalities were investigated in GSD-Ia mice.
We show that GSD-Ia patients exhibit increased peripheral neutrophil counts and serum interleukin-8 (IL-8). Compared to normal subjects, HCA-bearing GSD-Ia patients have a 2.8-fold higher serum IL-8 concentration, while GSD-Ia patients without HCA have a 1.4-fold higher concentration. Hepatic injury in GSD-Ia mice is evidenced by necrotic foci, markedly elevated infiltrating neutrophils, and increased hepatic production of chemokines.
Peripheral neutrophilia and elevated serum chemokines are characteristic of GSD-Ia with HCA-bearing GSD-Ia patients having the highest serum IL-8. In GSD-Ia mice these elevations correlate with elevated hepatic chemokine levels, neutrophil infiltration, and necrosis. Taken together, peripheral neutrophilia and increased serum chemokines may indicate hepatic injuries in GSD-Ia.
Journal of Hepatology 04/2008; 48(3):479-85. · 9.86 Impact Factor