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  • Prognostic Factors and Nomogram for Choroid Plexus Tumors: A Population-Based Retrospective Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Database Analysis
    Bhutada, Abhishek S.; Adhikari, Srijan; Cuoco, Joshua A.; In, Alexander; Rogers, Cara M.; Jane, John A.; Marvin, Eric A. (MDPI, 2024-01-31)
    Background: Choroid plexus tumors (CPTs) are rare neoplasms found in the central nervous system, comprising 1% of all brain tumors. These tumors include choroid plexus papilloma (CPP), atypical choroid plexus papilloma (aCPP), and choroid plexus carcinoma (CPC). Although gross total resection for choroid plexus papillomas (CPPs) is associated with long-term survival, there is a scarcity of prospective data concerning the role and sequence of neoadjuvant therapy in treating aCPP and CPC. Methods: From the years 2000 to 2019, 679 patients with CPT were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Result (SEER) database. Among these patients, 456 patients had CPP, 75 patients had aCPP, and 142 patients had CPC. Univariate and multivariable Cox proportional hazard models were run to identify variables that had a significant impact on the primary endpoint of overall survival (OS). A predictive nomogram was built for patients with CPC to predict 5-year and 10-year survival probability. Results: Histology was a significant predictor of OS, with 5-year OS rates of 90, 79, and 61% for CPP, aCPP, and CPC, respectively. Older age and African American race were prognostic for worse OS for patients with CPP. Older age was also associated with reduced OS for patients with aCPP. American Indian/Alaskan Native race was linked to poorer OS for patients with CPC. Overall, treatment with gross total resection or subtotal resection had no difference in OS in patients with CPP or aCPP. Meanwhile, in patients with CPC, gross total resection (GTR) was associated with significantly better OS than subtotal resection (STR) only. However, there is no difference in OS between patients that receive GTR and patients that receive STR with adjuvant therapy. The nomogram for CPC considers types of treatments received. It demonstrates acceptable accuracy in estimating survival probability at 5-year and 10-year intervals, with a C-index of 0.608 (95% CI of 0.446 to 0.77). Conclusions: This is the largest study on CPT to date and highlights the optimal treatment strategies for these rare tumors. Overall, there is no difference in OS with GTR vs. STR in CPP or aCPP. Furthermore, OS is equivalent for CPC with GTR and STR plus adjuvant therapy.
  • Noninvasive neuromodulation of subregions of the human insula differentially affect pain processing and heart-rate variability: a within-subjects pseudo-randomized trial
    Legon, Wynn; Strohman, Andrew; In, Alexander; Payne, Brighton (Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc., 2024-02-01)
    The insula is an intriguing target for pain modulation. Unfortunately, it lies deep to the cortex making spatially specific noninvasive access difficult. Here, we leverage the high spatial resolution and deep penetration depth of low-intensity focused ultrasound (LIFU) to nonsurgically modulate the anterior insula (AI) or posterior insula (PI) in humans for effect on subjective pain ratings, electroencephalographic (EEG) contact heat–evoked potentials, as well as autonomic measures including heart-rate variability (HRV). In a within-subjects, repeated-measures, pseudo-randomized trial design, 23 healthy volunteers received brief noxious heat pain stimuli to the dorsum of their right hand during continuous heart-rate, electrodermal, electrocardiography and EEG recording. Low-intensity focused ultrasound was delivered to the AI (anterior short gyrus), PI (posterior longus gyrus), or under an inert Sham condition. The primary outcome measure was pain rating. Low-intensity focused ultrasound to both AI and PI similarly reduced pain ratings but had differential effects on EEG activity. Low-intensity focused ultrasound to PI affected earlier EEG amplitudes, whereas LIFU to AI affected later EEG amplitudes. Only LIFU to the AI affected HRV as indexed by an increase in SD of N-N intervals and mean HRV low-frequency power. Taken together, LIFU is an effective noninvasive method to individually target subregions of the insula in humans for site-specific effects on brain biomarkers of pain processing and autonomic reactivity that translates to reduced perceived pain to a transient heat stimulus.
  • A collection of 157 individual neuromelanin-sensitive images accompanied by non-linear neuromelanin-sensitive atlas and a probabilistic locus coeruleus atlas
    Lee, Tae-Ho; Kim, Sun Hyung; Neal, Joshua; Katz, Benjamin; Kim, Il Hwan (2024-02)
    The current dataset aims to support and enhance the research reliability of neuromelanin regions in the brain- stem, such as locus coeruleus (LC), by offering raw neuromelanin-sensitive images. The dataset includes raw neuromelanin-sensitive images from 157 healthy individuals (8–64 years old). In addition, leveraging individual neuromelanin-sensitive images, a non-linear neuromelanin- sensitive atlas, generated through an iterative warping pro- cess, is included to tackle the common challenge of a limited field of view in neuromelanin-sensitive images. Finally, the dataset encompasses a probabilistic LC atlas generated through a majority voting approach with pre-existing multiple atlas-based segmentations. This process entails warping pre-existing atlases onto individual spaces and identifying voxels with a majority consensus of over 50 % across the atlases. This LC probabilistic atlas can minimize uncertainty variance associated with choosing a specific single atlas.
  • Hedgehog-interacting protein acts in the habenula to regulate nicotine intake
    Caligiuri, Stephanie P. B.; Howe, William M.; Wills, Lauren; Smith, Alexander C. W.; Lei, Ye; Bali, Purva; Heyer, Mary P.; Moen, Janna K.; Ables, Jessica L.; Elayouby, Karim S.; Williams, Maya; Fillinger, Clementine; Oketokoun, Zainab; Lehmann, Vanessa E.; DiFeliceantonio, Alexandra G.; Johnson, Paul M.; Beaumont, Kristin; Sebra, Robert P.; Ibanez-Tallon, Ines; Kenny, Paul J. (National Academy of Sciences, 2022-11-08)
    Hedgehog-interacting protein (HHIP) sequesters Hedgehog ligands to repress Smoothened (SMO)-mediated recruitment of the GLI family of transcription factors. Allelic variation in HHIP confers risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other smoking-related lung diseases, but underlying mechanisms are unclear. Using single-cell and cell-type-specific translational profiling, we show that HHIP expression is highly enriched in medial habenula (MHb) neurons, particularly MHb cholinergic neurons that regulate aversive behavioral responses to nicotine. HHIP deficiency dysregulated the expression of genes involved in cholinergic signaling in the MHb and disrupted the function of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) through a PTCH-1/cholesterol-dependent mechanism. Further, CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genomic cleavage of the Hhip gene in MHb neurons enhanced the motivational properties of nicotine in mice. These findings suggest that HHIP influences vulnerability to smoking-related lung diseases in part by regulating the actions of nicotine on habenular aversion circuits.
  • Immunoregulatory and neutrophil-like monocyte subsets with distinct single-cell transcriptomic signatures emerge following brain injury
    Gudenschwager Basso, Erwin K.; Ju, Jing; Soliman, Eman; de Jager, Caroline; Wei, Xiaoran; Pridham, Kevin J.; Olsen, Michelle L.; Theus, Michelle H. (2024-02-03)
    Monocytes represent key cellular elements that contribute to the neurological sequela following brain injury. The current study reveals that trauma induces the augmented release of a transcriptionally distinct CD115+/Ly6Chi monocyte population into the circulation of mice pre-exposed to clodronate depletion conditions. This phenomenon correlates with tissue protection, blood–brain barrier stability, and cerebral blood flow improvement. Uniquely, this shifted the innate immune cell profile in the cortical milieu and reduced the expression of pro-inflammatory Il6, IL1r1, MCP-1, Cxcl1, and Ccl3 cytokines. Monocytes that emerged under these conditions displayed a morphological and gene profile consistent with a subset commonly seen during emergency monopoiesis. Single-cell RNA sequencing delineated distinct clusters of monocytes and revealed a key transcriptional signature of Ly6Chi monocytes enriched for Apoe and chitinase-like protein 3 (Chil3/Ym1), commonly expressed in pro-resolving immunoregulatory monocytes, as well as granule genes Elane, Prtn3, MPO, and Ctsg unique to neutrophil-like monocytes. The predominate shift in cell clusters included subsets with low expression of transcription factors involved in monocyte conversion, Pou2f2, Na4a1, and a robust enrichment of genes in the oxidative phosphorylation pathway which favors an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Transfer of this monocyte assemblage into brain-injured recipient mice demonstrated their direct role in neuroprotection. These findings reveal a multifaceted innate immune response to brain injury and suggest targeting surrogate monocyte subsets may foster tissue protection in the brain.
  • Linking drug and food addiction via compulsive appetite
    Laque, Amanda; Wagner, Grant E.; Matzeu, Alessandra; De Ness, Genna L.; Kerr, Tony M.; Carroll, Ayla M.; de Guglielmo, Giordano; Nedelescu, Hermina; Buczynski, Matthew W.; Gregus, Ann M.; Jhou, Thomas C.; Zorrilla, Eric P.; Martin-Fardon, Remi; Koya, Eisuke; Ritter, Robert C.; Weiss, Friedbert; Suto, Nobuyoshi (Wiley, 2022-06)
    Background and Purpose: ‘Food addiction’ is the subject of intense public and research interest. However, this nosology based on neurobehavioural similarities among obese individuals, patients with eating disorders and those with substance use disorders (drug addiction) remains controversial. We thus sought to determine which aspects of disordered eating are causally linked to preclinical models of drug addiction. We hypothesized that extensive drug histories, known to cause addiction-like brain changes and drug motivation in rats, would also cause addiction-like food motivation. Experimental Approach: Rats underwent extensive cocaine, alcohol, caffeine or obesogenic diet histories and were subsequently tested for punishment-resistant food self-administration or ‘compulsive appetite’, as a measure of addiction-like food motivation. Key Results: Extensive cocaine and alcohol (but not caffeine) histories caused compulsive appetite that persisted long after the last drug exposure. Extensive obesogenic diet histories also caused compulsive appetite, although neither cocaine nor alcohol histories caused excess calorie intake and bodyweight during abstinence. Hence, compulsive appetite and obesity appear to be dissociable, with the former sharing common mechanisms with preclinical drug addiction models. Conclusion and Implications: Compulsive appetite, as seen in subsets of obese individuals and patients with binge-eating disorder and bulimia nervosa (eating disorders that do not necessarily result in obesity), appears to epitomize ‘food addiction’. Because different drug and obesogenic diet histories caused compulsive appetite, overlapping dysregulations in the reward circuits, which control drug and food motivation independently of energy homeostasis, may offer common therapeutic targets for treating addictive behaviours across drug addiction, eating disorders and obesity.
  • Presynaptic inhibition selectively suppresses leg proprioception in behaving Drosophila
    Dallmann, Chris; Agrawal, Sweta; Cook, Andrew; Brunton, Bingni; Tuthill, John (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2023-10-23)
    The sense of proprioception is mediated by internal mechanosensory neurons that detect joint position and movement. To support a diverse range of functions, from stabilizing posture to coordinating movements, proprioceptive feedback to limb motor control circuits must be tuned in a context-dependent manner. How proprioceptive feedback signals are tuned to match behavioral demands remains poorly understood. Using calcium imaging in behaving Drosophila , we find that the axons of position-encoding leg proprioceptors are active across behaviors, whereas the axons of movementencoding leg proprioceptors are suppressed during walking and grooming. Using connectomics, we identify a specific class of interneurons that provide GABAergic presynaptic inhibition to the axons of movement-encoding proprioceptors. These interneurons are active during self-generated but not passive leg movements and receive input from descending neurons, suggesting they are driven by predictions of leg movement originating in the brain. Predictively suppressing expected proprioceptive feedback provides a mechanism to attenuate reflexes that would otherwise interfere with voluntary movement.
  • The two-body problem: Proprioception and motor control across the metamorphic divide
    Agrawal, Sweta; Tuthill, John C. (Elsevier, 2022-05-02)
    Like a rocket being propelled into space, evolution has engineered flies to launch into adulthood via multiple stages. Flies develop and deploy two distinct bodies, linked by the transformative process of metamorphosis. The fly larva is a soft hydraulic tube that can crawl to find food and avoid predators. The adult fly has a stiff exoskeleton with articulated limbs that enable long-distance navigation and rich social interactions. Because the larval and adult forms are so distinct in structure, they require distinct strategies for sensing and moving the body. The metamorphic divide thus presents an opportunity for comparative analysis of neural circuits. Here, we review recent progress toward understanding the neural mechanisms of proprioception and motor control in larval and adult Drosophila. We highlight commonalities that point toward general principles of sensorimotor control and differences that may reflect unique constraints imposed by biomechanics. Finally, we discuss emerging opportunities for comparative analysis of neural circuit architecture in the fly and other animal species.
  • Functional architecture of neural circuits for leg proprioception in Drosophila
    Chen, Chenghao; Agrawal, Sweta; Mark, Brandon; Mamiya, Akira; Sustar, Anne; Phelps, Jasper S.; Lee, Wei-Chung Allen; Dickson, Barry J.; Card, Gwyneth M.; Tuthill, John C. (Cell Press, 2021-10-11)
    To effectively control their bodies, animals rely on feedback from proprioceptive mechanosensory neurons. In the Drosophila leg, different proprioceptor subtypes monitor joint position, movement direction, and vibration. Here, we investigate how these diverse sensory signals are integrated by central proprioceptive circuits. We find that signals for leg joint position and directional movement converge in second-order neurons, revealing pathways for local feedback control of leg posture. Distinct populations of second-order neurons integrate tibia vibration signals across pairs of legs, suggesting a role in detecting external substrate vibration. In each pathway, the flow of sensory information is dynamically gated and sculpted by inhibition. Overall, our results reveal parallel pathways for processing of internal and external mechanosensory signals, which we propose mediate feedback control of leg movement and vibration sensing, respectively. The existence of a functional connectivity map also provides a resource for interpreting connectomic reconstruction of neural circuits for leg proprioception.
  • Phosphorylation of RPT6 Controls Its Ability to Bind DNA and Regulate Gene Expression in the Hippocampus of Male Rats during Memory Formation
    Farrell, Kayla; Auerbach, Aubrey; Musaus, Madeline; Navabpour, Shaghayegh; Liu, Catherine; Lin, Yu; Xie, Hehuang; Jarome, Timothy J. (Society for Neuroscience, 2024-01)
    Memory formation requires coordinated control of gene expression, protein synthesis, and ubiquitin–proteasome system (UPS)-mediated protein degradation. The catalytic component of the UPS, the 26S proteasome, contains a 20S catalytic core surrounded by two 19S regulatory caps, and phosphorylation of the 19S cap regulatory subunit RPT6 at serine 120 (pRPT6-S120) has been widely implicated in controlling activity-dependent increases in proteasome activity. Recently, RPT6 was also shown to act outside the proteasome where it has a transcription factor-like role in the hippocampus during memory formation. However, little is known about the proteasome-independent function of “free” RPT6 in the brain or during memory formation and whether phosphorylation of S120 is required for this transcriptional control function. Here, we used RNA-sequencing along with novel genetic approaches and biochemical, molecular, and behavioral assays to test the hypothesis that pRPT6-S120 functions independently of the proteasome to bind DNA and regulate gene expression during memory formation. RNA-sequencing following siRNA-mediated knockdown of free RPT6 revealed 46 gene targets in the dorsal hippocampus of male rats following fear conditioning, where RPT6 was involved in transcriptional activation and repression. Through CRISPR-dCas9-mediated artificial placement of RPT6 at a target gene, we found that RPT6 DNA binding alone may be important for altering gene expression following learning. Further, CRISPR-dCas13-mediated conversion of S120 to glycine on RPT6 revealed that phosphorylation at S120 is necessary for RPT6 to bind DNA and properly regulate transcription during memory formation. Together, we reveal a novel function for phosphorylation of RPT6 in controlling gene transcription during memory formation.
  • Sex linked behavioral and hippocampal transcriptomic changes in mice with cell-type specific Egr1 loss
    Swilley, Cody; Lin, Yu; Zheng, Yuze; Xu, Xiguang; Liu, Min; Jarome, Timothy J.; Hodes, Georgia E.; Xie, Hehuang (Frontiers, 2023-10-19)
    The transcription factor EGR1 is instrumental in numerous neurological processes, encompassing learning and memory as well as the reaction to stress. Egr1 complete knockout mice demonstrate decreased depressive or anxiety-like behavior and impaired performance in spatial learning and memory. Nevertheless, the specific functions of Egr1 in distinct cell types have been largely underexplored. In this study, we cataloged the behavioral and transcriptomic character of Nestin-Cre mediated Egr1 conditional knockout (Egr1cKO) mice together with their controls. Although the conditional knockout did not change nociceptive or anxiety responses, it triggered changes in female exploratory activity during anxiety testing. Hippocampus-dependent spatial learning in the object location task was unaffected, but female Egr1cKO mice did exhibit poorer retention during testing on a contextual fear conditioning task compared to males. RNA-seq data analyses revealed that the presence of the floxed Egr1 cassette or Nestin-Cre driver alone exerts a subtle influence on hippocampal gene expression. The sex-related differences were amplified in Nestin-Cre mediated Egr1 conditional knockout mice and female mice are more sensitive to the loss of Egr1 gene. Differentially expressed genes resulted from the loss of Egr1 in neuronal cell lineage were significantly associated with the regulation of Wnt signaling pathway, extracellular matrix, and axon guidance. Altogether, our results demonstrate that Nestin-Cre and the loss of Egr1 in neuronal cell lineage have distinct impacts on hippocampal gene expression in a sex-specific manner.
  • Brain Similarity as a Protective Factor in the Longitudinal Pathway Linking Household Chaos, Parenting, and Substance Use
    Kim-Spoon, Jungmeen; Lee, Tae-Ho; Clinchard, Claudia; Lindenmuth, Morgan; Brieant, Alexis; Steinberg, Laurence; Deater-Deckard, Kirby; Casas, Brooks (Elsevier, 2023-04-29)
    Background: Socioecological factors such as family environment and parenting behaviors contribute to the development of substance use. While biobehavioral synchrony has been suggested as the foundation for resilience that can modulate environmental effects on development, the role of brain similarity that attenuates deleterious effects of environmental contexts has not been clearly understood. We tested whether parent-adolescent neural similarity—the level of pattern similarity between parent-adolescent functional brain connectivity representing the level of attunement within each dyad—moderates the longitudinal pathways in which household chaos (a stressor) predicts adolescent substance use directly and indirectly via parental monitoring. Methods: In a sample of 70 parent-adolescent dyads, similarity in resting-state brain activity was identified using multipattern connectivity similarity estimation. Adolescents and parents reported on household chaos and parental monitoring, and adolescent substance use was assessed at a 1-year follow-up. Results: The moderated mediation model indicated that for adolescents with low neural similarity, but not high neural similarity, greater household chaos predicted higher substance use over time directly and indirectly via lower parental monitoring. Our data also indicated differential susceptibility in the overall association between household chaos and substance use: Adolescents with low neural similarity exhibited high substance use under high household chaos but low substance use under low household chaos. Conclusions: Neural similarity acts as a protective factor such that the detrimental effects of suboptimal family environment and parenting behaviors on the development of adolescent health risk behaviors may be attenuated by neural similarity within parent-adolescent bonds.
  • Endovascular treatment of a ruptured pure arterial malformation and associated dysplastic middle cerebral artery dissecting aneurysm: illustrative case
    Marlow, Christine; Cuoco, Joshua A.; Ravina, Kristine; Sloboda, Cole A.; Entwistle, John J. (Journal of Neurosurgery Publishing Group, 2023-05-22)
    BACKGROUND Pure arterial malformations are characterized as unique cerebrovascular lesions with a dilated, coil-like appearance and tortuous arteries without early venous drainage. Historically, these lesions have been described as incidental findings with a benign natural history. However, pure arterial malformations can rarely demonstrate radiographic progression and develop associated focal aneurysms with an unclear risk of rupture. Whether radiographic progression of these lesions or the presence of an associated aneurysm warrants treatment remains controversial. OBSERVATIONS A 58-year-old male presented with sudden-onset left hemiparesis. Computed tomography revealed a large, acute, right frontotemporoparietal intraparenchymal hemorrhage with underlying irregular curvilinear calcifications. Diagnostic cerebral angiography revealed a dysplastic right middle cerebral artery dissecting aneurysm along the M2 segment associated with a pure arterial malformation, which was treated with endovascular flow diversion in a delayed fashion. LESSONS Pure arterial malformations with associated focal aneurysms may not exhibit a benign natural history as once thought. Intervention should be considered for ruptured pure arterial malformations to mitigate the risk of rerupture. Asymptomatic patients with a pure arterial malformation with an associated aneurysm should at least be followed closely with interval radiographic imaging to evaluate for malformation progression or changes in aneurysmal morphology.
  • Sex-differences in proteasome-dependent K48-polyubiquitin signaling in the amygdala are developmentally regulated in rats
    Farrell, Kayla; Auerbach, Aubrey; Liu, Catherine; Martin, Kiley; Pareno, Myasia; Ray, W. Keith; Helm, Richard F.; Biase, Fernando; Jarome, Timothy J. (2023-11-10)
    Background Sex differences have been observed in several brain regions for the molecular mechanisms involved in baseline (resting) and memory-related processes. The ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) is a major protein degradation pathway in cells. Sex differences have been observed in lysine-48 (K48)-polyubiquitination, the canonical degradation mark of the UPS, both at baseline and during fear memory formation within the amygdala. Here, we investigated when, how, and why these baseline sex differences arise and whether both sexes require the K48-polyubiquitin mark for memory formation in the amygdala. Methods We used a combination of molecular, biochemical and proteomic approaches to examine global and protein-specific K48-polyubiquitination and DNA methylation levels at a major ubiquitin coding gene (Uba52) at baseline in the amygdala of male and female rats before and after puberty to determine if sex differences were developmentally regulated. We then used behavioral and genetic approaches to test the necessity of K48-polyubiquitination in the amygdala for fear memory formation. Results We observed developmentally regulated baseline differences in Uba52 methylation and total K48-polyubiquitination, with sexual maturity altering levels specifically in female rats. K48-polyubiquitination at specific proteins changed across development in both male and female rats, but sex differences were present regardless of age. Lastly, we found that genetic inhibition of K48-polyubiquitination in the amygdala of female, but not male, rats impaired fear memory formation. Conclusions These results suggest that K48-polyubiquitination differentially targets proteins in the amygdala in a sex-specific manner regardless of age. However, sexual maturity is important in the developmental regulation of K48-polyubiquitination levels in female rats. Consistent with these data, K48-polyubiquitin signaling in the amygdala is selectively required to form fear memories in female rats. Together, these data indicate that sex-differences in baseline K48-polyubiquitination within the amygdala are developmentally regulated, which could have important implications for better understanding sex-differences in molecular mechanisms involved in processes relevant to anxiety-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Efferocytosis is restricted by axon guidance molecule EphA4 via ERK/Stat6/MERTK signaling following brain injury
    Soliman, Eman; Leonard, John; Basso, Erwin K. G.; Gershenson, Ilana; Ju, Jing; Mills, Jatia; de Jager, Caroline; Kaloss, Alexandra M.; Elhassanny, Mohamed; Pereira, Daniela; Chen, Michael; Wang, Xia; Theus, Michelle H. (2023-11-09)
    Background Efferocytosis is a process that removes apoptotic cells and cellular debris. Clearance of these cells alleviates neuroinflammation, prevents the release of inflammatory molecules, and promotes the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines to help maintain tissue homeostasis. The underlying mechanisms by which this occurs in the brain after injury remain ill-defined. Methods We used GFP bone marrow chimeric knockout (KO) mice to demonstrate that the axon guidance molecule EphA4 receptor tyrosine kinase is involved in suppressing MERTK in the brain to restrict efferocytosis of resident microglia and peripheral-derived monocyte/macrophages. Results Single-cell RNAseq identified MERTK expression, the primary receptor involved in efferocytosis, on monocytes, microglia, and a subset of astrocytes in the damaged cortex following brain injury. Loss of EphA4 on infiltrating GFP-expressing immune cells improved functional outcome concomitant with enhanced efferocytosis and overall protein expression of p-MERTK, p-ERK, and p-Stat6. The percentage of GFP+ monocyte/macrophages and resident microglia engulfing NeuN+ or TUNEL+ cells was significantly higher in KO chimeric mice. Importantly, mRNA expression of Mertk and its cognate ligand Gas6 was significantly elevated in these mice compared to the wild-type. Analysis of cell-specific expression showed that p-ERK and p-Stat6 co-localized with MERTK-expressing GFP + cells in the peri-lesional area of the cortex following brain injury. Using an in vitro efferocytosis assay, co-culturing pHrodo-labeled apoptotic Jurkat cells and bone marrow (BM)-derived macrophages, we demonstrate that efferocytosis efficiency and mRNA expression of Mertk and Gas6 was enhanced in the absence of EphA4. Selective inhibitors of ERK and Stat6 attenuated this effect, confirming that EphA4 suppresses monocyte/macrophage efferocytosis via inhibition of the ERK/Stat6 pathway. Conclusions Our findings implicate the ERK/Stat6/MERTK axis as a novel regulator of apoptotic debris clearance in brain injury that is restricted by peripheral myeloid-derived EphA4 to prevent the resolution of inflammation.
  • Remdesivir increases mtDNA copy number causing mild alterations to oxidative phosphorylation
    DeFoor, Nicole; Paul, Swagatika; Li, Shuang; Basso, Erwin K. Gudenschwager; Stevenson, Valentina; Browning, Jack L.; Prater, Anna K.; Brindley, Samantha; Tao, Ge; Pickrell, Alicia M. (Springer, 2023-12-01)
    SARS-CoV-2 causes the severe respiratory disease COVID-19. Remdesivir (RDV) was the first fast-tracked FDA approved treatment drug for COVID-19. RDV acts as an antiviral ribonucleoside (adenosine) analogue that becomes active once it accumulates intracellularly. It then diffuses into the host cell and terminates viral RNA transcription. Previous studies have shown that certain nucleoside analogues unintentionally inhibit mitochondrial RNA or DNA polymerases or cause mutational changes to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). These past findings on the mitochondrial toxicity of ribonucleoside analogues motivated us to investigate what effects RDV may have on mitochondrial function. Using in vitro and in vivo rodent models treated with RDV, we observed increases in mtDNA copy number in Mv1Lu cells (35.26% increase ± 11.33%) and liver (100.27% increase ± 32.73%) upon treatment. However, these increases only resulted in mild changes to mitochondrial function. Surprisingly, skeletal muscle and heart were extremely resistant to RDV treatment, tissues that have preferentially been affected by other nucleoside analogues. Although our data suggest that RDV does not greatly impact mitochondrial function, these data are insightful for the treatment of RDV for individuals with mitochondrial disease.
  • Sex differences in depression: An immunological perspective
    Kropp, Dawson R.; Hodes, Georgia E. (Pergamon-Elsevier, 2023-05)
    Depression is a heterogenous disorder with symptoms that present differently across individuals. In a subset of people depression is associated with alterations of the immune system that may contribute to disorder onset and symptomology. Women are twice as likely to develop depression and on average have a more sensitive adaptive and innate immune system when compared to men. Sex differences in pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), release of damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), cell populations, and circulating cytokines play a critical role in inflammation onset. Sex differences in innate and adaptive immunity change the response of and repair to damage caused by dangerous pathogens or molecules in the body. This article reviews the evidence for sex specific immune responses that contribute to the sex differences in symptoms of depression that may account for the higher rate of depression in women.
  • 3D electron microscopy and volume-based bouton sorting reveal the selectivity of inputs onto geniculate relay cell and interneuron dendrite segments
    Maher, Erin E.; Briegel, Alex C.; Imtiaz, Shahrozia; Fox, Michael A.; Golino, Hudson; Erisir, Alev (Frontiers, 2023-03)
    IntroductionThe visual signals evoked at the retinal ganglion cells are modified and modulated by various synaptic inputs that impinge on lateral geniculate nucleus cells before they are sent to the cortex. The selectivity of geniculate inputs for clustering or forming microcircuits on discrete dendritic segments of geniculate cell types may provide the structural basis for network properties of the geniculate circuitry and differential signal processing through the parallel pathways of vision. In our study, we aimed to reveal the patterns of input selectivity on morphologically discernable relay cell types and interneurons in the mouse lateral geniculate nucleus. MethodsWe used two sets of Scanning Blockface Electron Microscopy (SBEM) image stacks and Reconstruct software to manually reconstruct of terminal boutons and dendrite segments. First, using an unbiased terminal sampling (UTS) approach and statistical modeling, we identified the criteria for volume-based sorting of geniculate boutons into their putative origins. Geniculate terminal boutons that were sorted in retinal and non-retinal categories based on previously described mitochondrial morphology, could further be sorted into multiple subpopulations based on their bouton volume distributions. Terminals deemed non-retinal based on the morphological criteria consisted of five distinct subpopulations, including small-sized putative corticothalamic and cholinergic boutons, two medium-sized putative GABAergic inputs, and a large-sized bouton type that contains dark mitochondria. Retinal terminals also consisted of four distinct subpopulations. The cutoff criteria for these subpopulations were then applied to datasets of terminals that synapse on reconstructed dendrite segments of relay cells or interneurons. ResultsUsing a network analysis approach, we found an almost complete segregation of retinal and cortical terminals on putative X-type cell dendrite segments characterized by grape-like appendages and triads. On these cells, interneuron appendages intermingle with retinal and other medium size terminals to form triads within glomeruli. In contrast, a second, presumed Y-type cell displayed dendrodendritic puncta adherentia and received all terminal types without a selectivity for synapse location; these were not engaged in triads. Furthermore, the contribution of retinal and cortical synapses received by X-, Y- and interneuron dendrites differed such that over 60% of inputs to interneuron dendrites were from the retina, as opposed to 20% and 7% to X- and Y-type cells, respectively. ConclusionThe results underlie differences in network properties of synaptic inputs from distinct origins on geniculate cell types.
  • Pediatric diffuse hemispheric glioma H3 G34-mutant with gains of the BRAF locus: An illustrative case
    Marlow, Christine; Cuoco, Joshua A.; Hoggarth, Austin R.; Stump, Michael S.; Apfel, Lisa S.; Rogers, Cara M. (SAGE, 2023-03)
    Diffuse hemispheric glioma, H3 G34-mutant, is a recently recognized distinct high-grade glioma with a dismal prognosis. In addition to the H3 G34 missense mutation, numerous genetic events have been identified in these malignant tumors, including ATRX, TP53, and, rarely, BRAF genes. There are only a few reports to date that have identified BRAF mutations in diffuse hemispheric glioma, H3 G34-mutant. Moreover, to our knowledge, gains of the BRAF locus have yet to be described. Here, we present a case of an 11-year-old male with a diffuse hemispheric glioma, H3 G34-mutant, found to have novel gains of the BRAF locus. Furthermore, we emphasize the current genetic landscape of diffuse hemispheric glioma, H3 G34-mutant, and implications of an aberrant BRAF signaling pathway.
  • Unsupervised Multitaper Spectral Method for Identifying REM Sleep in Intracranial EEG Recordings Lacking EOG/EMG Data
    Lepage, Kyle Q.; Jain, Sparsh; Kvavilashvili, Andrew; Witcher, Mark; Vijayan, Sujith (MDPI, 2023-08-25)
    A large number of human intracranial EEG (iEEG) recordings have been collected for clinical purposes, in institutions all over the world, but the vast majority of these are unaccompanied by EOG and EMG recordings which are required to separate Wake episodes from REM sleep using accepted methods. In order to make full use of this extremely valuable data, an accurate method of classifying sleep from iEEG recordings alone is required. Existing methods of sleep scoring using only iEEG recordings accurately classify all stages of sleep, with the exception that wake (W) and rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep are not well distinguished. A novel multitaper (Wake vs. REM) alpha-rhythm classifier is developed by generalizing K-means clustering for use with multitaper spectral eigencoefficients. The performance of this unsupervised method is assessed on eight subjects exhibiting normal sleep architecture in a hold-out analysis and is compared against a classical power detector. The proposed multitaper classifier correctly identifies 36±6 min of REM in one night of recorded sleep, while incorrectly labeling less than 10% of all labeled 30 s epochs for all but one subject (human rater reliability is estimated to be near 80%), and outperforms the equivalent statistical-power classical test. Hold-out analysis indicates that when using one night’s worth of data, an accurate generalization of the method on new data is likely. For the purpose of studying sleep, the introduced multitaper alpha-rhythm classifier further paves the way to making available a large quantity of otherwise unusable IEEG data.