Wildlife response to natural disturbances such as fire is of conservation concern to managers, policy makers, and scientists, yet information is scant beyond a few well-studied groups (e.g., birds, small mammals). We examined the effects of wildfire severity on bats, a taxon of high conservation concern, at both the stand (<1 ha) and landscape scale in response to the 2002 McNally fire in the Sierra Nevada region of California, USA. One year after fire, we conducted surveys of echolocation activity at 14 survey locations, stratified in riparian and upland habitat, in mixed-conifer forest habitats spanning three levels of burn severity: unburned, moderate, and high. Bat activity in burned areas was either equivalent or higher than in unburned stands for all six phonic groups measured, with four groups having significantly greater activity in at least one burn severity level. Evidence of differentiation between fire severities was observed with some Myotis species having higher levels of activity in stands of high-severity burn. Larger-bodied bats, typically adapted to more open habitat, showed no response to fire. We found differential use of riparian and upland habitats among the phonic groups, yet no interaction of habitat type by fire severity was found. Extent of high-severity fire damage in the landscape had no effect on activity of bats in unburned sites suggesting no landscape effect of fire on foraging site selection and emphasizing stand-scale conditions driving bat activity. Results from this fire in mixed-conifer forests of California suggest that bats are resilient to landscape-scale fire and that some species are preferentially selecting burned areas for foraging, perhaps facilitated by reduced clutter and increased post-fire availability of prey and roosts.
Abnormal serum potassium is associated with higher mortality in dialysis patients, but its impact on outcomes in predialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) is less clear. Furthermore, blacks with normal kidney function have lower urinary potassium excretion, but it is unclear if such differences have a bearing on race-associated outcomes in CKD.
We studied predialysis mortality and slopes of estimated glomerular filtration rate, eGFR) associated with serum potassium in 1,227 males with CKD. Mortality was examined in time-dependent Cox models, and slopes of eGFR in linear mixed effects models with adjustments for case mix and laboratory values.
Both hypo- and hyperkalemia were associated with mortality overall and in 933 white patients, but in 294 blacks hypokalemia was a stronger death predictor. Hypokalemia was associated with loss of kidney function independent of race: a 1 mEq/l lower potassium was associated with an adjusted difference in slopes of eGFR of −0.13 ml/min/1.73 m2/year (95% CI: −0.20 to −0.07), p < 0.001.
Hypo- and hyperkalemia are associated with higher mortality in CKD patients. Blacks appear to better tolerate higher potassium than whites. Hypokalemia is associated with faster CKD progression independent of race. Hyperkalemia management may warrant race-specific consideration, and hypokalemia correction may slow CKD progression.
Serum potassium; Chronic kidney disease; Mortality; Race; Glomerular filtration rate
Taste phenotypes have long been studied in relation to alcohol intake, dependence, and family history, with contradictory findings. However, on balance – with appropriate caveats about populations tested, outcomes measured and psychophysical methods used – an association between variation in taste responsiveness and some alcohol behaviors is supported. Recent work suggests super-tasting (operationalized via propylthiouracil (PROP) bitterness) not only associates with heightened response but also with more acute discrimination between stimuli. Here, we explore relationships between food and beverage adventurousness and taste phenotype. A convenience sample of wine drinkers (n=330) were recruited in Ontario and phenotyped for PROP bitterness via filter paper disk. They also filled out a short questionnaire regarding willingness to try new foods, alcoholic beverages and wines as well as level of wine involvement, which was used to classify them as a wine expert (n=110) or wine consumer (n=220). In univariate logisitic models, food adventurousness predicted trying new wines and beverages but not expertise. Likewise, wine expertise predicted willingness to try new wines and beverages but not foods. In separate multivariate logistic models, willingness to try new wines and beverages was predicted by expertise and food adventurousness but not PROP. However, mean PROP bitterness was higher among wine experts than wine consumers, and the conditional distribution functions differed between experts and consumers. In contrast, PROP means and distributions did not differ with food adventurousness. These data suggest individuals may self-select for specific professions based on sensory ability (i.e., an active gene-environment correlation) but phenotype does not explain willingness to try new stimuli.
taste genetics; PROP; propylthiouracil; super tasters; food adventurousness; wine adventurousness
The transcription factor NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a master regulator of a genetic program, termed the phase 2 response, that controls redox homeostasis and participates in multiple aspects of physiology and pathology. Nrf2 protein stability is regulated by two E3 ubiquitin ligase adaptors, Keap1 and β-TrCP, the latter of which was only recently reported. Here, two-dimensional (2D) gel electrophoresis and site-directed mutagenesis allowed us to identify two serines of Nrf2 that are phosphorylated by glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) in the sequence DSGISL. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies defined key residues of this phosphosequence involved in docking to the WD40 propeller of β-TrCP, through electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. We also identified three arginine residues of β-TrCP that participate in Nrf2 docking. Intraperitoneal injection of the GSK-3 inhibitor SB216763 led to increased Nrf2 and heme oxygenase-1 levels in liver and hippocampus. Moreover, mice with hippocampal absence of GSK-3β exhibited increased levels of Nrf2 and phase 2 gene products, reduced glutathione, and decreased levels of carbonylated proteins and malondialdehyde. This study establishes the structural parameters of the interaction of Nrf2 with the GSK-3/β-TrCP axis and its functional relevance in the regulation of Nrf2 by the signaling pathways that impinge on GSK-3.
Topical microbicides are a promising solution to address the global threat of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. To be successful, a microbicide not only needs to be biologically functional but also highly acceptable to users. User acceptability of microbicides can be incorporated early in the product formulation and design process. Previous qualitative research revealed women had strong preferences regarding product shape, while preferences related to size and firmness were less clear. Here, we explored the effect of size and firmness on the acceptability of semisolid ovoid microbicide prototypes intended for vaginal use. Sexually active women (n = 74) were randomized to one of two conditions: with and without applicator. Nine different prototypes were evaluated; they were formulated to low, medium and high firmness using mixtures of kappa and iota carrageenan and potassium chloride. Three sizes were produced at each firmness level. Women manipulated all nine prototypes, rating them for perceived effectiveness, imagined ease-of-insertion and willingness-to-try on visual analog scales. The influence of size and firmness on these three outcome measures were assessed using ANOVA and response surface models. Results indicated size and firmness both influenced the outcome measures, but firmess was more influential than size. Also, the specific effects of size and firmness depended strongly on presence or absence of an applicator. Generally, women in the without applicator condition wanted a larger, firmer product. Collectively, these data suggest efforts to rationally design of microbicides for enhanced user acceptability must consider factors like size and firmness. Also, the decision to include or forego an applicator should be addressed early in the design process, as it strongly influences other design decisions.
Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is a common, yet devastating complication of type 2 diabetes. At this time, there is no objective test for diagnosing PDN. In the current study, we measured the peptidergic intraepidermal nerve fiber densities (IENFD) from hind paws of the db/db mouse, an animal model for type 2 diabetes, during the period of mechanical allodynia from 6–12 wk of age. Intraepidermal nerve fibers (IENF) of the hind footpads were identified by protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 immunohistochemistry. The peptidergic IENF were determined by double immunofluorescence using anti-PGP9.5 and antibodies against tropomyosin-receptor-kinase (Trk) A. We observed a significant increase in PGP9.5-positive IENFD at 8 and 10 wk of age. Similarly, Trk A-positive peptidergic IENF, which also express substance P and calcitonin gene related peptide in db/db mice, were observed to be elevated from 1.5 to 2 fold over controls. This upregulation ended at 16 wk of age, in accordance with the reduction of mechanical allodynia. Anti-NGF treatment significantly inhibited the upregulation of peptidergic IENFD during the period of mechanical allodynia, suggesting increased neurotrophism may mediate this phenomenon. In addition, SB203580, an inhibitor of p38, blocked the increase in peptidergic IENFD in db/db mice. The current results suggest peptidergic IENFD could be a potential diagnostic indicator for PDN in type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the inhibition of NGF-p38 signaling could be a potential therapeutic strategy for treating this painful condition.
Diabetic pain; intraepidermal nerve fibers; type 2 diabetes; nerve growth factor; peptidergic nerve fibers; mechanical allodynia
Oral chemosensation can vary greatly across individuals, both in terms of the lowest concentration that can be detected (threshold) and in the magnitude of perceived intensity for stimuli at higher concentrations (suprathreshold response). Individuals who experience greater taste intensity are often termed supertasters, and this phenotype has typically been measured via the suprathreshold bitterness of the tastant propylthiouracil (PROP). Notably, supertasting extends beyond bitterness and other tastants to include oral somatosensation and retronasal olfaction, and it may also include finer acuity as well. Here, we describe the evolution of the supertasting concept over the last 20 years, and summarize the current state of the field. Alternative phenotyping approaches that not dependent on PROP are reviewed, and the molecular genetics of broadly tuned heightened taste and orosensory response are discussed. We conclude by initiating a conversation on nomenclature as we look toward the next 20 years of chemosensory research.
Rates of smoking in the US population have decreased overall, but rates in some groups, including alcoholic smokers, remain high. Many newly sober alcoholics are concerned about their smoking and some attempt to quit. However, quit rates in this population are low. Prior studies suggest risk for relapse in this population may be genetically influenced and that genetic factors may moderate response to treatment.
In this exploratory study, we had two specific aims: (1) to investigate associations between genetic risk and outcome; (2) to investigate whether genetic risk moderates the efficacy of a medication intervention. Data are from a subsample of 90 participants from a clinical trial of smoking cessation treatment for smokers with between 2 and 12 months of alcohol abstinence. Subjects were randomly assigned to bupropion or placebo. All subjects received counseling and nicotine patches. To examine the possibility that bupropion may have been efficacious in participants with a specific genetic profile (ie, a pharmacogenetic approach), an aggregate genetic risk score was created by combining risk genotypes previously identified in bupropion treatment studies.
Although medication efficacy was not moderated by the aggregate genetic risk score, there was an interaction between nicotine dependence and genetic risk in predicting smoking abstinence rates at the end of treatment (10 weeks).
Results suggest an aggregate genetic risk score approach may have utility in treatment trials of alcoholics who smoke. Additionally, these findings suggest a strategy for understanding and interpreting conflicting results for single genetic markers examined as moderators of smoking cessation treatment.
nicotine dependence; pharmacogenetics; bupropion
A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development and progression of diabetic neuropathy (DN) is essential for the design of mechanism-based therapies. We examined changes in global gene expression to define pathways regulated by diabetes in peripheral nerve.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Microarray data for 24-week-old BKS db/db and db/+ mouse sciatic nerve were analyzed to define significantly differentially expressed genes (DEGs); DEGs were further analyzed to identify regulated biological processes and pathways. Expression profile clustering was performed to identify coexpressed DEGs. A set of coexpressed lipid metabolism genes was used for promoter sequence analysis.
Gene expression changes are consistent with structural changes of axonal degeneration. Pathways regulated in the db/db nerve include lipid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor signaling, apoptosis, and axon guidance. Promoter sequences of lipid metabolism–related genes exhibit evidence of coregulation of lipid metabolism and nervous system development genes.
Our data support existing hypotheses regarding hyperglycemia-mediated nerve damage in DN. Moreover, our analyses revealed a possible coregulation mechanism connecting hyperlipidemia and axonal degeneration.
Breathing, chewing and walking are critical life-sustaining behaviors in mammals that consist essentially of simple rhythmic movements. Breathing movements in particular involve the diaphragm, thorax, and airways but emanate from a network in the lower brain stem. This network can be studied in reduced preparations in vitro and using simplified mathematical models that make testable predictions. An iterative approach that employs both in vitro and in silico models has ruled out canonical mechanisms for respiratory rhythm that involve reciprocal inhibition and pacemaker properties. We present an alternative model in which emergent network properties play the key rhythmogenic role. Specifically, we show evidence that synaptically activated burst-generating conductances – which are only available in the context of network activity – engender robust periodic bursts in respiratory neurons. Because the cellular burst-generating mechanism is linked to network synaptic drive we dub this type of system a group pacemaker.
preBötzinger Complex; pre-Bötzinger Complex; central pattern generator (CPG); metabotropic glutamate receptors; calcium-activated nonspecific cation current; mathematical models; emergent network properties; breathing
The 25 human bitter receptors and their respective genes (TAS2Rs) contain unusually high levels of allelic variation, which may influence response to bitter compounds in the food supply. Phenotypes based on the perceived bitterness of single bitter compounds were first linked to food preference over 50 years ago. The most studied phenotype is propylthiouracil bitterness, which is mediated primarily by the TAS2R38 gene and possibly others. In a laboratory-based study, we tested for associations between TAS2R variants and sensations, liking, or intake of bitter beverages among healthy adults who were primarily of European ancestry. A haploblock across TAS2R3, TAS2R4, and TAS2R5 explained some variability in the bitterness of espresso coffee. For grapefruit juice, variation at a TAS2R19 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) was associated with increased bitterness and decreased liking. An association between a TAS2R16 SNP and alcohol intake was identified, and the putative TAS2R38–alcohol relationship was confirmed, although these polymorphisms did not explain sensory or hedonic responses to sampled scotch whisky. In summary, TAS2R polymorphisms appear to influence the sensations, liking, or intake of common and nutritionally significant beverages. Studying perceptual and behavioral differences in vivo using real foods and beverages may potentially identify polymorphisms related to dietary behavior even in the absence of known ligands.
alcohol drinking; alleles; bitter taste receptors; food choice; genetics
Medullary interneurons of the preBötzinger Complex (preBötC) assemble excitatory networks that produce inspiratory related neural rhythms, but the importance of somatodendritic conductances in rhythm generation is still incompletely understood. Synaptic input may cause Ca2+ accumulation post-synaptically to evoke a Ca2+-activated inward current that contributes to inspiratory burst generation. We measured Ca2+ transients by two-photon imaging dendrites while recording neuronal somata electrophysiologically. Dendritic Ca2+ accumulation frequently precedes inspiratory bursts, particularly at recording sites 50–300 μm distal from the soma. Pre-inspiratory Ca2+ transients occur in ‘hotspots’, not ubiquitously, in dendrites. Ca2+ activity propagates orthodromically toward the soma (and antidromically to more distal regions of the dendrite), at rapid rates (300–700 μm/s). These high propagation rates suggest that dendritic Ca2+ activates an inward current to electrotonically depolarize the soma, rather than propagate as a regenerative Ca2+ wave. These data provide new evidence that respiratory rhythmogenesis may depend on dendritic burst-generating conductances activated in the context of network activity.
Taste and oral sensations vary in humans. Some of this variation has a genetic basis, and two commonly measured phenotypes are the bitterness of propylthiouracil (PROP) and the number of fungiform papillae on the anterior tongue. While the genetic control of fungiform papilla is unclear, PROP bitterness associates with allelic variation in the taste receptor gene, TAS2R38. The two common alleles are AVI and PAV (proline, alanine, valine, and isoleucine); AVI/AVI homozygotes taste PROP as less bitter than heterozygous or homozygous PAV carriers. In this laboratory-based study, we determined whether taste of a bitter probe (quinine) and vegetable intake varied by taste phenotypes and TAS2R38 genotype in healthy adults (mean age=26 years). Vegetable intake was assessed via two validated, complementary methods: food records (Food Pyramid servings standardized to energy intake) and food frequency questionnaire (general intake question and composite vegetable groups). Quinine bitterness varied with phenotypes but not TAS2R38; quinine was more bitter to those who tasted PROP as more bitter or had more papillae. Nontasters by phenotype or genotype reported greater consumption of vegetables, regardless of type (i.e., the effect generalized to all vegetables and was not restricted to those typically thought of as being bitter). Furthermore, nontasters with more papillae reported greater vegetable consumption than nontasters with fewer papillae, suggesting that when bitterness does not predominate, more papillae enhance vegetable liking. These findings suggest that genetic variation in taste, measured by multiple phenotypes or TAS2R38 genotype, can explain differences in overall consumption of vegetables, and this was not restricted to vegetables that are predominantly bitter.
Taste; Genetics; Food preferences; Vegetables; Propylthiouracil; Fungiform papillae
Although aging is a ubiquitous process that prevails in all organisms, the mechanisms governing both the rate of decline in functionality and the age of onset remain elusive. A profound constitutively upregulated cytoprotective response is commonly observed in naturally long-lived species and experimental models of extensions to lifespan (e.g., genetically-altered and/or experimentally manipulated organisms), as indicated by enhanced resistance to stress and upregulated downstream components of the cytoprotective nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-signaling pathway. The transcription factor Nrf2 is constitutively expressed in all tissues, although levels may vary among organs, with the key detoxification organs (kidney and liver) exhibiting highest levels. Nrf2 may be further induced by cellular stressors including endogenous reactive-oxygen species or exogenous electrophiles. The Nrf2-signaling pathway mediates multiple avenues of cytoprotection by activating the transcription of more than 200 genes that are crucial in the metabolism of drugs and toxins, protection against oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as playing an integral role in stability of proteins and in the removal of damaged proteins via proteasomal degradation or autophagy. Nrf2 interacts with other important cell regulators such as tumor suppressor protein 53 (p53) and nuclear factor-kappa beta (NF-κB) and through their combined interactions is the guardian of healthspan, protecting against many age-related diseases including cancer and neurodegeneration. We hypothesize that this signaling pathway plays a critical role in the determination of species longevity and that this pathway may indeed be the master regulator of the aging process.
sciatic nerve; sural nerve; isoflurane; 2-2-2 tribromoethanol; surface temperature
Regulation of transcription factor Nrf2 (NF-E2-related factor 2) involves redox-sensitive proteasomal degradation via the E3 ubiquitin ligase Keap1/Cul3. However, Nrf2 is controlled by other mechanisms that have not yet been elucidated. We now show that glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK-3) phosphorylates a group of Ser residues in the Neh6 domain of mouse Nrf2 that overlap with an SCF/β-TrCP destruction motif (DSGIS, residues 334 to 338) and promotes its degradation in a Keap1-independent manner. Nrf2 was stabilized by GSK-3 inhibitors in Keap1-null mouse embryo fibroblasts. Similarly, an Nrf2ΔETGE mutant, which cannot be degraded via Keap1, accumulated when GSK-3 activity was blocked. Phosphorylation of a Ser cluster in the Neh6 domain of Nrf2 stimulated its degradation because a mutant Nrf2ΔETGE 6S/6A protein, lacking these Ser residues, exhibited a longer half-life than Nrf2ΔETGE. Moreover, Nrf2ΔETGE 6S/6A was insensitive to β-TrCP regulation and exhibited lower levels of ubiquitination than Nrf2ΔETGE. GSK-3β enhanced ubiquitination of Nrf2ΔETGE but not that of Nrf2ΔETGE 6S/6A. The Nrf2ΔETGE protein but not Nrf2ΔETGE 6S/6A coimmunoprecipitated with β-TrCP, and this association was enhanced by GSK-3β. Our results show for the first time that Nrf2 is targeted by GSK-3 for SCF/β-TrCP-dependent degradation. We propose a “dual degradation” model to describe the regulation of Nrf2 under different pathophysiological conditions.
We reported previously that the C57BLKS db/db (db/db) mouse develops the neuropathy of type 2 diabetes. In the current study, we demonstrate that the db/db mouse develops transient mechanical allodynia at the early stage of diabetes. We hypothesize that nerve growth factor (NGF) mediates the development of mechanical allodynia in the db/db mouse. NGF, substance P (SP), and calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) gene expression was upregulated in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) of db/db mice prior or during the period of mechanical allodynia. In parallel, there were increased numbers of small- to medium-sized NGF-immunopositive DRG neurons in db/db mice in comparison with the control db+ mice. These neurons also expressed SP, suggesting that they mediated nociception. The NGF expression in the hind paw skin was also increased in a variety of dermal cells and nerve fibers, suggesting the contribution of a peripheral source of NGF to mechanical allodynia. This upregulation of NGF coincided with enhanced tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) A receptor phosphorylation in DRG. Finally, an antibody against NGF significantly inhibited mechanical allodynia and the numbers of SP-positive DRG neurons in db/db mice. The current findings provide evidence that inhibition of NGF action is a potential strategy for treating painful diabetic neuropathy.
Diabetes; Neuropathy; Nerve Growth Factor; Pain; Substance P; Dorsal Root Ganglion; Db/db mice
Hormesis occurs when a low level stress elicits adaptive beneficial responses that protect against subsequent exposure to severe stress. Recent findings suggest that mild oxidative and thermal stress can extend lifespan by hormetic mechanisms. Here we show that the botanical pesticide plumbagin, while toxic to C. elegans nematodes at high doses, extends lifespan at low doses. Because plumbagin is a naphthoquinone that can generate free radicals in vivo, we investigated whether it extends lifespan by activating an adaptive cellular stress response pathway. The C. elegans cap‘n’collar (CNC) transcription factor, SKN-1, mediates protective responses to oxidative stress. Genetic analysis showed that skn-1 activity is required for lifespan extension by low-dose plumbagin in C. elegans. Further screening of a series of plumbagin analogs identified three additional naphthoquinones that could induce SKN-1 targets in C. elegans. Naphthazarin showed skn-1dependent lifespan extension, over an extended dose range compared to plumbagin, while the other naphthoquinones, oxoline and menadione, had differing effects on C. elegans survival and failed to activate ARE reporter expression in cultured mammalian cells. Our findings reveal the potential for low doses of naturally occurring naphthoquinones to extend lifespan by engaging a specific adaptive cellular stress response pathway.
Our sodium-rich food supply compels investigation of how variation in salt sensation influences liking and intake of high-sodium foods. While supertasters (those with heightened propylthiouracil (PROP) bitterness or taste papillae number) report greater saltiness from concentrated salt solutions, the non-taster/supertaster effect on sodium intake is unclear. We assessed taster effects on salt sensation, liking and intake among 87 healthy adults (45 men). PROP bitterness showed stronger associations with perceived saltiness in foods than did papillae number. Supertasters reported: greater saltiness in chips/pretzels and broth at levels comparable to regular-sodium products; greater sensory and/or liking changes to growing sodium concentration in cheeses (where sodium ions mask bitterness) and broths; and less frequently salting foods. PROP effects were attenuated in women. Compared with men, women reported more saltiness from high-sodium foods and greater liking for broth at salt levels comparable to regular-sodium products. Across men and women, Structural Equation Models showed PROP and papillae number independently explained variability in consuming high-sodium foods by impacting salt sensation and/or liking. PROP supertasters reported greater changes in sensation when more salt was added to broth, which then associated with greater changes in broth liking, and finally with more frequent high-sodium food intake. Greater papillae number was associated with less frequent high-sodium food intake via reduced liking for high-fat/high-sodium foods. In summary, variation in sensations from salt was associated with differences in hedonic responses to high-sodium foods and thus sodium intake. Despite adding less salt, PROP supertasters consumed more sodium through food, as salt was more important to preference, both for its salty taste and masking of bitterness.
Taste; genetics; sodium chloride; food preferences; hedonics; sex differences; dietary sodium; propylthiouracil; fungiform papillae; Structural Equation Modeling
A subset of preBötzinger Complex (preBötC) neurokinin 1 receptor (NK1R) and somatostatin peptide (SST) expressing neurons are necessary for breathing in adult rats, in vivo. Their developmental origins and relationship to other preBötC glutamatergic neurons are unknown. Here we show, in mice, that the “core” of preBötC SST+/NK1R+/SST 2a receptor+ (SST2aR) neurons, are derived from Dbx1 expressing progenitors. We also show Dbx1 derived neurons heterogeneously co-express NK1R and SST2aR within and beyond the borders of preBötC. More striking, we find that nearly all non-catecholaminergic glutamatergic neurons of the ventrolateral medulla (VLM) are also Dbx1 derived. PreBötC SST+ neurons are born between E9.5 and E11.5 in the same proportion as non-SST expressing neurons. Additionally, preBötC Dbx1 neurons are respiratory-modulated and show an early inspiratory phase of firing in rhythmically active slice preparations. Loss of Dbx1 eliminates all glutamatergic neurons from the respiratory VLM including preBötC NK1R+/SST+ neurons. Dbx1 mutant mice do not express any spontaneous respiratory behaviors in vivo. Moreover, they do not generate rhythmic inspiratory activity in isolated en bloc preparations even after acidic or serotonergic stimulation. These data indicate preBötC core neurons represent a subset of a larger, more heterogeneous population of VLM Dbx1 derived neurons. These data indicate Dbx1 derived neurons are essential for the expression and, we hypothesize, are responsible for the generation of respiratory behavior both in vitro and in vivo.
preBötzinger Complex; transcription factor; development; rhythm generation; central pattern generator; breathing; glutamatergic
Neuropathy is a frequent and severe complication of diabetes. Multiple metabolic defects in type 2 diabetic patients result in oxidative injury of dorsal root ganglia (DRG) neurons. Our previous work focused on hyperglycemia clearly demonstrates induction of mitochondrial oxidative stress and acute injury in DRG neurons; however, this mechanism is not the only factor that produces neuropathy in vivo. Dyslipidemia also correlates with the development of neuropathy, even in pre-diabetic patients. This study was designed to explore the contribution of dyslipidemia in neuropathy.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Mice (n = 10) were fed a control (10% kcal %fat) or high-fat (45% kcal %fat) diet to explore the impact of plasma lipids on the development of neuropathy. We also examined oxidized lipid–mediated injury in cultured DRG neurons from adult rat using oxidized LDLs (oxLDLs).
Mice on a high-fat diet have increased oxLDLs and systemic and nerve oxidative stress. They develop nerve conduction velocity (NCV) and sensory deficits prior to impaired glucose tolerance. In vitro, oxLDLs lead to severe DRG neuron oxidative stress via interaction with the receptor lectin-like oxLDL receptor (LOX)-1 and subsequent NAD(P)H oxidase activity. Oxidative stress resulting from oxLDLs and high glucose is additive.
Multiple metabolic defects in type 2 diabetes directly injure DRG neurons through different mechanisms that all result in oxidative stress. Dyslipidemia leads to high levels of oxLDLs that may injure DRG neurons via LOX-1 and contribute to the development of diabetic neuropathy.
The transcription factor Nrf2 regulates expression of multiple cellular defence proteins through the antioxidant response element (ARE). Nrf2-deficient mice (Nrf2−/−) are highly susceptible to xenobiotic-mediated toxicity, but the precise molecular basis of enhanced toxicity is unknown. Oligonucleotide array studies suggest that a wide range of gene products is altered constitutively, however no equivalent proteomics analyses have been conducted. To define the range of Nrf2-regulated proteins at the constitutive level, protein expression profiling of livers from Nrf2−/− and wild type mice was conducted using both stable isotope labelling (iTRAQ) and gel electrophoresis methods. To establish a robust reproducible list of Nrf2-dependent proteins, three independent groups of mice were analysed. Correlative network analysis (MetaCore) identified two predominant groups of Nrf2-regulated proteins. As expected, one group comprised proteins involved in phase II drug metabolism, which were down-regulated in the absence of Nrf2. Surprisingly, the most profound changes were observed amongst proteins involved in the synthesis and metabolism of fatty acids and other lipids. Importantly, we show here for the first time, that the enzyme ATP-citrate lyase, responsible for acetyl-CoA production, is negatively regulated by Nrf2. This latter finding suggests that Nrf2 is a major regulator of cellular lipid disposition in the liver.
Nrf2; Transgenic; Liver; Protein expression; iTRAQ; Lipid metabolism
Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN) affects more than 25% of patients with type 2 diabetes; however, the pathogenesis remains unclear due to lack of knowledge of the molecular mechanisms leading to PDN. In our current study, we use an animal model of type 2 diabetes in order to understand the roles of p38 in PDN. Previously, we have demonstrated that the C57BLK db/db (db/db) mouse, a model of type 2 diabetes that carries the loss-of-function leptin receptor mutant, develops mechanical allodynia in the hind paws during the early stage (6-12 wk of age) of diabetes. Using this timeline of PDN, we can investigate the signaling mechanisms underlying mechanical allodynia in the db/db mouse.
We studied the role of p38 in lumbar dorsal root ganglia (LDRG) during the development of mechanical allodynia in db/db mice. p38 phosphorylation was detected by immunoblots at the early stage of mechanical allodynia in LDRG of diabetic mice. Phosphorylated p38 (pp38) immunoreactivity was detected mostly in the small- to medium-sized LDRG neurons during the time period of mechanical allodynia. Treatment with an antibody against nerve growth factor (NGF) significantly inhibited p38 phosphorylation in LDRG of diabetic mice. In addition, we detected higher levels of inflammatory mediators, including cyclooxygenase (COX) 2, inducible nitric oxide synthases (iNOS), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in LDRG neurons of db/db mice compared to non-diabetic db+ mice. Intrathecal delivery of SB203580, a p38 inhibitor, significantly inhibited the development of mechanical allodynia and the upregulation of COX2, iNOS and TNF-α.
Our findings suggest that NGF activated-p38 phosphorylation mediates mechanical allodynia in the db/db mouse by upregulation of multiple inflammatory mediators in LDRG.
A half-century ago, Fischer and colleagues found correlations between food preference and genetic markers of taste [propylthiouracil (PROP), quinine]. Recently, a number of studies report differences in sweet liking/disliking with taste phenotype or genotype. Here we modeled optimal liking for milk/sugar mixtures using the response surface method among 79 mostly normal weight adults (36 women) who reported low dietary restraint. Two non-overlapping phenotype analyses were performed: a) discordance in PROP versus quinine bitterness and b) number of fungiform papillae (FP, taste papillae on the tongue tip). Although all phenotype groups liked highly sweet and creamy sensations (in liking by sensation models), the fat and sugar levels for hedonic optima varied (in liking by concentration models). Males generally liked higher fat (20 to 40%) and sugar levels, with females disliking unsweetened cream. In quinine/PROP groups, liking peaked at 30% fat/15% sucrose for men and women who tasted 0.32mM quinine more bitter than 3.2mM PROP (n=15); a group previously shown to have highest sugar intakes (Duffy et al, 2003). Those tasting PROP more bitter than quinine (n=14) reported greater creamy/sweet sensations, with peak liking at lower fat and sweet levels (3.3% fat/10% sucrose). Generally, those in the high FP group perceived more creamy/sweet sensations with level of liking more influenced by sugar level, especially among high FP females. At high sugar/high fat levels low-FP males and females retained this liking while liking fell off for those in the high FP group. In summary, although most liked sweet/creamy sensations, perceptual differences in these sensations varied with oral phenotype, explaining some of the differences in the amount of sugar and fat required to reach hedonic optima. A high affinity for high sugar/high fat mixtures among oral phenotype subgroups has relevance for energy consumption and could explain the link previously observed between oral sensation and body weight.
A half-century ago, Fischer and colleagues found correlations between food preference and genetic markers of taste [6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP), quinine]. Recently, a number of studies report differences in sweet liking/disliking with taste phenotype or emerging genes. Here we modeled optimal liking for milk/sugar mixtures using the response surface method among 79 mostly normal weight adults (36 women) who reported low dietary restraint. Two non-overlapping phenotype analyses were performed: a) discordance in PROP versus quinine bitterness and b) number of fungiform papillae (FP, taste papillae on the tongue tip). Although all phenotype groups liked highly sweet and creamy sensations (in liking by sensation models), the fat and sugar levels for hedonic optima varied (in liking by concentration models). Males generally liked higher fat (20 to 40%) and sugar levels, with females disliking unsweetened cream. In quinine/PROP groups, liking peaked at 30% fat/15% sucrose for men and women who tasted 0.32mM quinine more bitter than 3.2mM PROP (n=15); a group previously shown to have highest sugar intakes (Duffy et al, 2003). Those tasting PROP more bitter than quinine (n=14) reported greater creamy/sweet sensations, with peak liking at lower fat and sweet levels (3.3% fat/10% sucrose). Generally, those in the high FP group perceived more creamy/sweet sensations with level of liking more influenced by sugar level, especially among high FP females. At high sugar/high fat levels low-FP males and females retained this liking while liking fell off for those in the high FP group. In summary, although most liked sweet/creamy sensations, perceptual differences in these sensations varied with oral phenotype, explaining some of the differences in the amount of sugar and fat required to reach hedonic optima. A high affinity for high sugar/high fat mixtures among oral phenotype subgroups has relevance for energy consumption and could explain the link previously observed between oral sensation and body weight.
sweet; creamy; taste; genetics; response surface model; hedonics; food preferences; dietary fats; dietary carbohydrates; fungiform papillae; propylthiouracil; quinine; bitter
Peroxiredoxins are an important family of cysteine-based antioxidant enzymes that exert a neuroprotective effect in several models of neurodegeneration. However, under oxidative stress they are vulnerable to inactivation through hyperoxidation of their active site cysteine residues. We show that in cortical neurons, the chemopreventive inducer 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T), that activates the transcription factor Nrf2, inhibits the formation of inactivated, hyperoxidized peroxiredoxins following oxidative trauma, and protects neurons against oxidative stress. In both neurons and glia, Nrf2 expression and treatment with chemopreventive Nrf2 activators, including D3T and sulforaphane, up-regulates sulfiredoxin, an enzyme responsible for reducing hyperoxidized peroxiredoxins. Induction of sulfiredoxin expression is mediated by Nrf2, acting via a cis-acting antioxidant response element (ARE) in its promoter. The ARE element in Srxn1 contains an embedded AP-1 site which directs induction of Srxn1 by synaptic activity. Thus, raising Nrf2 activity in neurons prevents peroxiredoxin hyperoxidation and induces a new member of the ARE-gene family, whose enzymatic function of reducing hyperoxidized peroxiredoxins may contribute to the neuroprotective effects of Nrf2 activators.
oxidative stress; neurodegeneration; phase II enzymes; chemoprevention; neuroprotection; thioredoxin