[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An animal model of Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON) was produced by introducing the human optic atrophy mtDNA ND6 P25L mutation into the mouse. Mice with this mutation exhibited reduction in retinal function by elecroretinogram (ERG), age-related decline in central smaller caliber optic nerve fibers with sparing of larger peripheral fibers, neuronal accumulation of abnormal mitochondria, axonal swelling, and demyelination. Mitochondrial analysis revealed partial complex I and respiration defects and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, whereas synaptosome analysis revealed decreased complex I activity and increased ROS but no diminution of ATP production. Thus, LHON pathophysiology may result from oxidative stress.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2012; 109(49). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1217113109 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Maternal inheritance of mtDNA is the rule in most animals, but the reasons for this pattern remain unclear. To investigate the consequence of overriding uniparental inheritance, we generated mice containing an admixture (heteroplasmy) of NZB and 129S6 mtDNAs in the presence of a congenic C57BL/6J nuclear background. Analysis of the segregation of the two mtDNAs across subsequent maternal generations revealed that proportion of NZB mtDNA was preferentially reduced. Ultimately, this segregation process produced NZB-129 heteroplasmic mice and their NZB or 129 mtDNA homoplasmic counterparts. Phenotypic comparison of these three mtDNA lines demonstrated that the NZB-129 heteroplasmic mice, but neither homoplasmic counterpart, had reduced activity, food intake, respiratory exchange ratio; accentuated stress response; and cognitive impairment. Therefore, admixture of two normal but different mouse mtDNAs can be genetically unstable and can produce adverse physiological effects, factors that may explain the advantage of uniparental inheritance of mtDNA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify ways to improve the efficiency of generating chimeric mice via microinjection of blastocysts with ES cells, we compared production and performance of ES-cell derived chimeric mice using blastocysts from two closely related and commonly used sub-strains of C57BL/6. Chimeras were produced by injection of the same JM8.N4 (C57BL/6NTac) derived ES cell line into blastocysts of mixed sex from either C57BL/6J (B6J) or C57BL/6NTac (B6NTac) mice. Similar efficiency of production and sex-conversion of chimeric animals was observed with each strain of blastocyst. However, B6J chimeric males had fewer developmental abnormalities involving urogenital and reproductive tissues (1/12, 8 %) compared with B6NTac chimeric males (7/9, 78 %). The low sample size did not permit determination of statistical significance for many parameters. However, in each category analyzed the B6J-derived chimeric males performed as well, or better, than their B6NTac counterparts. Twelve of 14 (86 %) B6J male chimeras were fertile compared with 6 of 11 (55 %) B6NTac male chimeras. Ten of 12 (83 %) B6J chimeric males sired more than 1 litter compared with only 3 of 6 (50 %) B6NTac chimeras. B6J male chimeras produced more litters per productive mating (3.42 ± 1.73, n = 12) compared to B6NTac chimeras (2.17 ± 1.33, n = 6). Finally, a greater ratio of germline transmitting chimeric males was obtained using B6J blastocysts (9/14; 64 %) compared with chimeras produced using B6NTac blastocysts (4/11; 36 %). Use of B6J host blastocysts for microinjection of ES cells may offer improvements over blastocysts from B6NTac and possibly other sub-strains of C57BL/6 mice.
Transgenic Research 03/2012; 21(6). DOI:10.1007/s11248-012-9605-3 · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bcl2l2 encodes BCL-W, an antiapoptotic member of the BCL-2 family of proteins. Intercross of Bcl2l2 +/- mice on a mixed C57BL/6J, 129S5 background produces Bcl2l2 -/- animals with the expected frequency. In contrast, intercross of Bcl2l2 +/- mice on a congenic C57BL/6J background produces relatively few live-born Bcl2l2 -/- animals. Genetic modifiers alter the effect of a mutation. C57BL/6J mice (Mus musculus) have a mutant allele of nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (Nnt) that can act as a modifier. Loss of NNT decreases the concentration of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate within the mitochondrial matrix. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate is a cofactor for glutathione reductase, which regenerates reduced glutathione, an important antioxidant. Thus, loss of NNT activity is associated with increased mitochondrial oxidative damage and cellular stress. To determine whether loss of Bcl2l2 -/- mice on the C57BL/6J background was mediated by the Nnt mutation, we outcrossed Bcl2l2 congenic C57BL/6J (Nnt -/-) mice with the closely related C57BL/6JEiJ (Nnt +/+) strain to produce Bcl2l2 +/- ; Nnt +/+ and Bcl2l2 +/- ; Nnt -/- animals. Intercross of Bcl2l2 +/- ; Nnt +/+ mice produced Bcl2l2 -/- with the expected frequency, whereas intercross of Bcl2l2 +/- ; Nnt -/- animals did not. This finding indicates the C57BL/6J strain background, and possibly the Nnt mutation, modifies the Bcl2l2 mutant phenotype. This and previous reports highlight the importance of knowing the genetic composition of mouse strains used in research studies as well as the accurate reporting of mouse strains in the scientific literature.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: the aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that chronic mitochondrial energy deficiency causes dilated cardiomyopathy, we characterized the hearts of age-matched young and old adenine nucleotide translocator (ANT)1 mutant and control mice.
ANTs export mitochondrial adenosine triphosphate into the cytosol and have a role in the regulation of the intrinsic apoptosis pathway. Mitochondrial energy deficiency has been hypothesized, on the basis of indirect evidence, to be a factor in the pathophysiology of dilated cardiomyopathies. Ant1 inactivation should limit adenosine triphosphate for contraction and calcium transport, thereby resulting in early cardiac dysfunction with later dilation and heart failure.
we conducted a multiyear study of 73 mutant (Ant1-/-) and 57 control (Ant1+/+) mice, between the ages of 2 and 21 months. Hearts were characterized by cardiac anatomy, echocardiographic imaging with velocity vector analysis, histopathology, and apoptosis assays.
the Ant1-/- mice developed a distinctive concentric dilated cardiomyopathy, characterized by substantial myocardial hypertrophy and ventricular dilation, with cardiac function declining earlier in age as compared to control mice. Left ventricular circumferential, radial, and rotational mechanics were reduced even in the younger mutants with preserved systolic function. Histopathologic analysis demonstrated increased myocyte hypertrophy, fibrosis, and calcification in the mutant mice as compared with control mice. Furthermore, increased cytoplasmic cytochrome c levels and caspase 3 activation were observed in the mutant mice.
our results demonstrate that mitochondrial energy deficiency is sufficient to cause dilated cardiomyopathy, confirming that energy defects are a factor in this disease. Energy deficiency initially leads to early mechanical dysfunction before a decline in left ventricular systolic function. Chronic energy deficiency with age then leads to heart failure. Our results now allow us to use the Ant1-/- mouse model for testing new therapies for ANT1 mutant patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The majority of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations that cause human disease are mild to moderately deleterious, yet many random mtDNA mutations would be expected to be severe. To determine the fate of the more severe mtDNA mutations, we introduced mtDNAs containing two mutations that affect oxidative phosphorylation into the female mouse germ line. The severe ND6 mutation was selectively eliminated during oogenesis within four generations, whereas the milder COI mutation was retained throughout multiple generations even though the offspring consistently developed mitochondrial myopathy and cardiomyopathy. Thus, severe mtDNA mutations appear to be selectively eliminated from the female germ line, thereby minimizing their impact on population fitness.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Symplastic spermatids (sys) male mice are sterile due to a recessive mutation that causes defective adhesion between spermatids and Sertoli cells within the seminiferous epithelium. We show that the mutation in sys mice involves a deletion of 1.24 Mb of chromosome 14. Comparative genomic analysis suggests that this region contains only one gene, Fndc3a. A genetic complementation analysis using mice with a specific mutation within Fndc3a verifies that mutation of Fndc3a is the cause of male sterility in sys mice. Fndc3a is a member of a three-gene family in mice. Fndc3a, which is expressed in several tissues including testis, encodes a novel protein composed of a proline-rich amino-terminus, nine fibronectin type-III domains, and a hydrophobic carboxy-terminus. The proline-rich region of each family member contains conserved amino acids that include a PPGY consensus binding site for type I WW domain containing proteins. The hydrophobic carboxy-terminus is similar to that found in 'tail-anchored' proteins, integral membrane proteins that are localized to the cytosolic face of the endoplasmic reticulum. Immunohistochemical staining indicated that FNDC3A localizes to the acrosome of spermatids, as well as to Leydig cells in the mouse testis. Acrosomal localization of FNDC3A is observed in spermatids between step 2 and step 10 inclusive. In step 12 spermatids, FNDC3A is largely absent from the acrosomal region with immunostaining being localized to vesicular structures located within the cytoplasm of elongate spermatids. Models are presented for the function of FNDC3A in mediating spermatid-Sertoli adhesion during mouse spermatogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sudden increase in permeability of the inner mitochondrial membrane, the so-called mitochondrial permeability transition, is a common feature of apoptosis and is mediated by the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mtPTP). It is thought that the mtPTP is a protein complex formed by the voltage-dependent anion channel, members of the pro- and anti-apoptotic BAX-BCL2 protein family, cyclophilin D, and the adenine nucleotide (ADP/ATP) translocators (ANTs). The latter exchange mitochondrial ATP for cytosolic ADP and have been implicated in cell death. To investigate the role of the ANTs in the mtPTP, we genetically inactivated the two isoforms of ANT in mouse liver and analysed mtPTP activation in isolated mitochondria and the induction of cell death in hepatocytes. Mitochondria lacking ANT could still be induced to undergo permeability transition, resulting in release of cytochrome c. However, more Ca2+ than usual was required to activate the mtPTP, and the pore could no longer be regulated by ANT ligands. Moreover, hepatocytes without ANT remained competent to respond to various initiators of cell death. Therefore, ANTs are non-essential structural components of the mtPTP, although they do contribute to its regulation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ROSA22 male mice arc sterile due to a recessive gene-trap mutation that affects development of the spermatid flagellum. The defect involves the flagellar axoneme, which becomes unstable around the time of its assembly. Despite a subsequent complete failure in flagellar assembly, development of the spermatid head appears normal and the spermatid head is released at the correct stage in spermatogenesis. The mutation is pleiotropic. Although ROSA22 homozygote males have normal levels of circulating testosterone and display normal mating behavior, they do not exhibit intermale aggressive behavior and have reduced body fat. The mutated gene (Gtrgeo22) maps to mouse chromosome 10 and is closely flanked by two known genes, Madcam1 and Cdc34. Ribonuclease protection analysis indicates that expression of the flanking genes is unaffected by the mutation. Gtrgeo22 is expressed at low levels in epithelial cells in several tissues, as well as in testis and brain. Analysis of the peptide coding sequence suggests that Gtrgeo22 encodes a novel transmembrane protein, which contains dileucine and tyrosine-based motifs involved in intracellular sorting of transmembrane proteins. Analysis of the Gtrgeo22 gene product should provide novel insight into the molecular basis for intermale aggression and sperm flagellar development.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bclw is a death-protecting member of the Bcl2 family of apoptosis-regulating proteins. Mice that are mutant for Bclw display progressive and nearly complete testicular degeneration. We performed a morphometric evaluation of testicular histopathology in Bclw-deficient male mice between 9 days postnatal (p9) through 1 yr of age. Germ cell loss began by p22, with only few germ cells remaining beyond 7 mo of age. A complete block to elongated spermatid development at step 13 occurred during the first wave of spermatogenesis, whereas other types of germ cells were lost sporadically. Depletion of Sertoli cells commenced between p20 and p23 and continued until 1 yr of age, when few, if any, Sertoli cells remained. Mitochondria appeared to be swollen and the cytoplasm dense by electron microscopy, but degenerating Bclw-deficient Sertoli cells failed to display classical features of apoptosis, such as chromatin condensation and nuclear fragmentation. Macrophages entered seminiferous tubules and formed foreign-body giant cells that engulfed and phagocytosed the degenerated Sertoli cells. Leydig cell hyperplasia was evident between 3 and 5 mo of age. However, beginning at 7 mo of age, Leydig cells underwent apoptosis, with dead cells being phagocytosed by macrophages. The aforementioned cell losses culminated in a testis-containing vasculature, intertubular phagocytic cells, and peritubular cell "ghosts." An RNA in situ hybridization study indicates that Bclw is expressed in Sertoli cells in the adult mouse testis. Consequently, the diploid germ cell death may be an indirect effect of defective Sertoli cell function. Western analysis was used to confirm that Bclw is not expressed in spermatids; thus, loss of this cell type most likely results from defective Sertoli cell function. Because Bclw does not appear to be expressed in Leydig cells, loss of Leydig cells in Bclw-deficient mice may result from depletion of Sertoli cells. Bclw-deficient mice serve as a unique model to study homeostasis of cell populations in the testis.
Biology of Reproduction 08/2001; 65(1):318-32. DOI:10.1095/biolreprod65.1.318 · 3.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report a method for introducing mtDNA mutations into the mouse female germ line by means of embryonic stem (ES) cell cybrids. Mitochondria were recovered from the brain of a NZB mouse by fusion of synaptosomes to a mtDNA-deficient (rho degrees ) cell line. These cybrids were enucleated and the cytoplasts were electrofused to rhodamine-6G (R-6G)-treated female ES cells. The resulting ES cell cybrids permitted transmission of the NZB mtDNAs through the mouse maternal lineage for three generations. Similarly, mtDNAs from a partially respiratory-deficient chloramphenicol-resistant (CAP(R)) cell line also were introduced into female chimeric mice and were transmitted to the progeny. CAP(R) chimeric mice developed a variety of ocular abnormalities, including congenital cataracts, decreased retinal function, and hamaratomas of the optic nerve. The germ-line transmission of the CAP(R) mutation resulted in animals with growth retardation, myopathy, dilated cardiomyopathy, and perinatal or in utero lethality. Skeletal and heart muscle mitochondria of the CAP(R) mice were enlarged and atypical with inclusions. This mouse ES cell-cybrid approach now provides the means to generate a wide variety of mouse models of mitochondrial disease.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 01/2001; 97(26):14461-6. DOI:10.1073/pnas.250491597 · 9.67 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proapoptotic Bcl-2 family members have been proposed to play a central role in regulating apoptosis. However, mice lacking bax display limited phenotypic abnormalities. As presented here, bak(-/-) mice were found to be developmentally normal and reproductively fit and failed to develop any age-related disorders. However, when Bak-deficient mice were mated to Bax-deficient mice to create mice lacking both genes, the majority of bax(-/-)bak(-/-) animals died perinatally with fewer than 10% surviving into adulthood. bax(-/-)bak(-/-) mice displayed multiple developmental defects, including persistence of interdigital webs, an imperforate vaginal canal, and accumulation of excess cells within both the central nervous and hematopoietic systems. Thus, Bax and Bak have overlapping roles in the regulation of apoptosis during mammalian development and tissue homeostasis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress resulting from mitochondrially derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) has been hypothesized to damage mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and to be a factor in aging and degenerative disease. If this hypothesis is correct, then genetically inactivating potential mitochondrial antioxidant enzymes such as glutathione peroxidase-1 (Gpx1; EC 184.108.40.206) should increase mitochondrial ROS production and decrease OXPHOS function. To determine the expression pattern of Gpx1, isoform-specific antibodies were generated and mutant mice were prepared in which the Gpx1 protein was substituted for by beta-galactosidase, driven by the Gpx1 promoter. These experiments revealed that Gpx1 is highly expressed in both the mitochondria and the cytosol of the liver and kidney, but poorly expressed in heart and muscle. To determine the physiological importance of Gpx1, mice lacking Gpx1 were generated by targeted mutagenesis in mouse ES cells. Homozygous mutant Gpx1(tm1Mgr) mice have 20% less body weight than normal animals and increased levels of lipid peroxides in the liver. Moreover, the liver mitochondria were found to release markedly increased hydrogen peroxide, a Gpx1 substrate, and have decreased mitochondrial respiratory control ratio and power output index. Hence, genetic inactivation of Gpx1 resulted in growth retardation, presumably due in part to reduced mitochondrial energy production as a product of increased oxidative stress.
Free Radical Biology and Medicine 04/2000; 28(5):754-66. DOI:10.1016/S0891-5849(00)00161-1 · 5.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypophosphatasia is an inborn error of metabolism characterized by deficient activity of the tissue-nonspecific isoenzyme of alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP) and skeletal disease due to impaired mineralization of cartilage and bone matrix. We investigated two independently generated TNSALP gene knock-out mouse strains as potential models for hypophosphatasia. Homozygous mice (-/-) had < 1% of wild-type plasma TNSALP activity; heterozygotes had the predicted mean of approximately 50%. Phosphoethanolamine, inorganic pyrophosphate, and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate are putative natural substrates for TNSALP and all were increased endogenously in the knock-out mice. Skeletal disease first appeared radiographically at approximately 10 days of age and featured worsening rachitic changes, osteopenia, and fracture. Histologic studies revealed developmental arrest of chondrocyte differentiation in epiphyses and in growth plates with diminished or absent hypertrophic zones. Progressive osteoidosis from defective skeletal matrix mineralization was noted but not associated with features of secondary hyperparathyroidism. Plasma and urine calcium and phosphate levels were unremarkable. Our findings demonstrate that TNSALP knock-out mice are a good model for the infantile form of hypophosphatasia and provide compelling evidence for an important role for TNSALP in postnatal development and mineralization of the murine skeleton.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 12/1999; 14(12):2015-26. DOI:10.1359/jbmr.19220.127.116.115 · 6.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arginine vasopressin influences male reproductive and social behaviours in several vertebrate taxa through its actions at the V1a receptor in the brain. The neuroanatomical distribution of vasopressin V1a receptors varies greatly between species with different forms of social organization. Here we show that centrally administered arginine vasopressin increases affiliative behaviour in the highly social, monogamous prairie vole, but not in the relatively asocial, promiscuous montane vole. Molecular analyses indicate that gene duplication and/or changes in promoter structure of the prairie vole receptor gene may contribute to the species differences in vasopressin-receptor expression. We further show that mice that are transgenic for the prairie vole receptor gene have a neuroanatomical pattern of receptor binding that is similar to that of the prairie vole, and exhibit increased affiliative behaviour after injection with arginine vasopressin. These data indicate that the pattern of V1a-receptor gene expression in the brain may be functionally associated with species-typical social behaviours in male vertebrates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) chloramphenicol (CAP)-resistance (CAPR) mutation has been introduced into the tissues of adult mice via female embryonic stem (ES) cells. The endogenous CAP-sensitive (CAPS) mtDNAs were eliminated by treatment of the ES cells with the lipophilic dye Rhodamine-6-G (R-6-G). The ES cells were then fused to enucleated cell cytoplasts prepared from the CAPR mouse cell line 501-1. This procedure converted the ES cell mtDNA from 100% wild-type to 100% mutant. The CAPR ES cells were then injected into blastocysts and viable chimeric mice were isolated. Molecular testing for the CAPR mutant mtDNAs revealed that the percentage of mutant mtDNAs varied from zero to approximately 50% in the tissues analyzed. The highest percentage of mutant mtDNA was found in the kidney in three of the chimeric animals tested. These data suggest that, with improved efficiency, it may be possible to transmit exogenous mtDNA mutants through the mouse germ-line.
Transgenic Research 05/1999; 8(2):137-45. DOI:10.1023/A:1008967412955 · 2.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify genes required for mammalian spermatogenesis, we screened lines of mutant mice created using a retroviral gene-trap system for male infertility. Homozygous ROSA41 male mice exhibit sterility associated with progressive testicular degeneration. Germ-cell defects are first observed at 19 days post-natal (p19). Spermatogenesis is blocked during late spermiogenesis in young adults. Gradual depletion of all stages of germ cells results in a Sertoli-cell-only phenotype by approximately six months of age. Subsequently, almost all Sertoli cells are lost from the seminiferous tubules and the Leydig cell population is reduced. Molecular analysis indicates that the gene mutated is Bclw, a death-protecting member of the Bcl2 family. The mutant allele of Bclw in ROSA41 does not produce a Bclw polypeptide. Expression of Bclw in the testis appears to be restricted to elongating spermatids and Sertoli cells. Potential roles for Bclw in testicular function are discussed.