Individuals with Parkinson’s disease (PD) experience a progressive decline in motor function as a result of selective loss of dopaminergic (DA) neurons in the substantia nigra. The mechanism(s) underlying the loss of DA neurons is not known. Here, we show that a neurotoxin that causes a disease that mimics PD upon administration to mice, because it induces the selective loss of DA neurons in the substantia nigra, alters Ca2+ homeostasis and induces ER stress. In a human neuroblastoma cell line, we found that endogenous store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE), which is critical for maintaining ER Ca2+ levels, is dependent on transient receptor potential channel 1 (TRPC1) activity. Neurotoxin treatment decreased TRPC1 expression, TRPC1 interaction with the SOCE modulator stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1), and Ca2+ entry into the cells. Overexpression of functional TRPC1 protected against neurotoxin-induced loss of SOCE, the associated decrease in ER Ca2+ levels, and the resultant unfolded protein response (UPR). In contrast, silencing of TRPC1 or STIM1 increased the UPR. Furthermore, Ca2+ entry via TRPC1 activated the AKT pathway, which has a known role in neuroprotection. Consistent with these in vitro data, Trpc1–/– mice had an increased UPR and a reduced number of DA neurons. Brain lysates of patients with PD also showed an increased UPR and decreased TRPC1 levels. Importantly, overexpression of TRPC1 in mice restored AKT/mTOR signaling and increased DA neuron survival following neurotoxin administration. Overall, these results suggest that TRPC1 is involved in regulating Ca2+ homeostasis and inhibiting the UPR and thus contributes to neuronal survival.
Senthil Selvaraj, Yuyang Sun, John A Watt, Shouping Wang, Saobo Lei, Lutz Birnbaumer, Brij B Singh
Defective brain insulin signaling has been suggested to contribute to the cognitive deficits in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Although a connection between AD and diabetes has been suggested, a major unknown is the mechanism(s) by which insulin resistance in the brain arises in individuals with AD. Here, we show that serine phosphorylation of IRS-1 (IRS-1pSer) is common to both diseases. Brain tissue from humans with AD had elevated levels of IRS-1pSer and activated JNK, analogous to what occurs in peripheral tissue in patients with diabetes. We found that amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) oligomers, synaptotoxins that accumulate in the brains of AD patients, activated the JNK/TNF-α pathway, induced IRS-1 phosphorylation at multiple serine residues, and inhibited physiological IRS-1pTyr in mature cultured hippocampal neurons. Impaired IRS-1 signaling was also present in the hippocampi of Tg mice with a brain condition that models AD. Importantly, intracerebroventricular injection of Aβ oligomers triggered hippocampal IRS-1pSer and JNK activation in cynomolgus monkeys. The oligomer-induced neuronal pathologies observed in vitro, including impaired axonal transport, were prevented by exposure to exendin-4 (exenatide), an anti-diabetes agent. In Tg mice, exendin-4 decreased levels of hippocampal IRS-1pSer and activated JNK and improved behavioral measures of cognition. By establishing molecular links between the dysregulated insulin signaling in AD and diabetes, our results open avenues for the investigation of new therapeutics in AD.
Theresa R. Bomfim, Leticia Forny-Germano, Luciana B. Sathler, Jordano Brito-Moreira, Jean-Christophe Houzel, Helena Decker, Michael A. Silverman, Hala Kazi, Helen M. Melo, Paula L. McClean, Christian Holscher, Steven E. Arnold, Konrad Talbot, William L. Klein, Douglas P. Munoz, Sergio T. Ferreira, Fernanda G. De Felice
While a potential causal factor in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), brain insulin resistance has not been demonstrated directly in that disorder. We provide such a demonstration here by showing that the hippocampal formation (HF) and, to a lesser degree, the cerebellar cortex in AD cases without diabetes exhibit markedly reduced responses to insulin signaling in the IR→IRS-1→PI3K signaling pathway with greatly reduced responses to IGF-1 in the IGF-1R→IRS-2→PI3K signaling pathway. Reduced insulin responses were maximal at the level of IRS-1 and were consistently associated with basal elevations in IRS-1 phosphorylated at serine 616 (IRS-1 pS616) and IRS-1 pS636/639. In the HF, these candidate biomarkers of brain insulin resistance increased commonly and progressively from normal cases to mild cognitively impaired cases to AD cases regardless of diabetes or APOE ε4 status. Levels of IRS-1 pS616 and IRS-1 pS636/639 and their activated kinases correlated positively with those of oligomeric Aβ plaques and were negatively associated with episodic and working memory, even after adjusting for Aβ plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and APOE ε4. Brain insulin resistance thus appears to be an early and common feature of AD, a phenomenon accompanied by IGF-1 resistance and closely associated with IRS-1 dysfunction potentially triggered by Aβ oligomers and yet promoting cognitive decline independent of classic AD pathology.
Konrad Talbot, Hoau-Yan Wang, Hala Kazi, Li-Ying Han, Kalindi P. Bakshi, Andres Stucky, Robert L. Fuino, Krista R. Kawaguchi, Andrew J. Samoyedny, Robert S. Wilson, Zoe Arvanitakis, Julie A. Schneider, Bryan A. Wolf, David A. Bennett, John Q. Trojanowski, Steven E. Arnold
Glaucoma is a common ocular disorder that is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is characterized by the dysfunction and loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Although many studies have implicated various molecules in glaucoma, no mechanism has been shown to be responsible for the earliest detectable damage to RGCs and their axons in the optic nerve. Here, we show that the leukocyte transendothelial migration pathway is activated in the optic nerve head at the earliest stages of disease in an inherited mouse model of glaucoma. This resulted in proinflammatory monocytes entering the optic nerve prior to detectable neuronal damage. A 1-time x-ray treatment prevented monocyte entry and subsequent glaucomatous damage. A single x-ray treatment of an individual eye in young mice provided that eye with long-term protection from glaucoma but had no effect on the contralateral eye. Localized radiation treatment prevented detectable neuronal damage and dysfunction in treated eyes, despite the continued presence of other glaucomatous stresses and signaling pathways. Injection of endothelin-2, a damaging mediator produced by the monocytes, into irradiated eyes, combined with the other glaucomatous stresses, restored neural damage with a topography characteristic of glaucoma. Together, these data support a model of glaucomatous damage involving monocyte entry into the optic nerve.
Gareth R. Howell, Ileana Soto, Xianjun Zhu, Margaret Ryan, Danilo G. Macalinao, Gregory L. Sousa, Lura B. Caddle, Katharine H. MacNicoll, Jessica M. Barbay, Vittorio Porciatti, Michael G. Anderson, Richard S. Smith, Abbot F. Clark, Richard T. Libby, Simon W.M. John
Mechanical hyperalgesia is a common and potentially disabling complication of many inflammatory and neuropathic conditions. Activation of the enzyme PKCε in primary afferent nociceptors is a major mechanism that underlies mechanical hyperalgesia, but the PKCε substrates involved downstream are not known. Here, we report that in a proteomic screen we identified the NaV1.8 sodium channel, which is selectively expressed in nociceptors, as a PKCε substrate. PKCε-mediated phosphorylation increased NaV1.8 currents, lowered the threshold voltage for activation, and produced a depolarizing shift in inactivation in wild-type — but not in PKCε-null — sensory neurons. PKCε phosphorylated NaV1.8 at S1452, and alanine substitution at this site blocked PKCε modulation of channel properties. Moreover, a specific PKCε activator peptide, ψεRACK, produced mechanical hyperalgesia in wild-type mice but not in Scn10a–/– mice, which lack NaV1.8 channels. These studies demonstrate that NaV1.8 is an important, direct substrate of PKCε that mediates PKCε-dependent mechanical hyperalgesia.
Dai-Fei Wu, Dave Chandra, Thomas McMahon, Dan Wang, Jahan Dadgar, Viktor N. Kharazia, Ying-Jian Liang, Stephen G. Waxman, Sulayman D. Dib-Hajj, Robert O. Messing
In Alzheimer disease (AD), amyloid β peptide (Aβ) accumulates in plaques in the brain. Receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) mediates Aβ-induced perturbations in cerebral vessels, neurons, and microglia in AD. Here, we identified a high-affinity RAGE-specific inhibitor (FPS-ZM1) that blocked Aβ binding to the V domain of RAGE and inhibited Aβ40- and Aβ42-induced cellular stress in RAGE-expressing cells in vitro and in the mouse brain in vivo. FPS-ZM1 was nontoxic to mice and readily crossed the blood-brain barrier (BBB). In aged APPsw/0 mice overexpressing human Aβ-precursor protein, a transgenic mouse model of AD with established Aβ pathology, FPS-ZM1 inhibited RAGE-mediated influx of circulating Aβ40 and Aβ42 into the brain. In brain, FPS-ZM1 bound exclusively to RAGE, which inhibited β-secretase activity and Aβ production and suppressed microglia activation and the neuroinflammatory response. Blockade of RAGE actions at the BBB and in the brain reduced Aβ40 and Aβ42 levels in brain markedly and normalized cognitive performance and cerebral blood flow responses in aged APPsw/0 mice. Our data suggest that FPS-ZM1 is a potent multimodal RAGE blocker that effectively controls progression of Aβ-mediated brain disorder and that it may have the potential to be a disease-modifying agent for AD.
Rashid Deane, Itender Singh, Abhay P. Sagare, Robert D. Bell, Nathan T. Ross, Barbra LaRue, Rachal Love, Sheldon Perry, Nicole Paquette, Richard J. Deane, Thiyagarajan Meenakshisundaram, Troy Zarcone, Gunter Fritz, Alan E. Friedman, Benjamin L. Miller, Berislav V. Zlokovic
Leptin action on its receptor (LEPR) stimulates energy expenditure and reduces food intake, thereby lowering body weight. One leptin-sensitive target cell mediating these effects on energy balance is the proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neuron. Recent evidence suggests that the action of leptin on POMC neurons regulates glucose homeostasis independently of its effects on energy balance. Here, we have dissected the physiological impact of direct leptin action on POMC neurons using a mouse model in which endogenous LEPR expression was prevented by a LoxP-flanked transcription blocker (loxTB), but could be reactivated by Cre recombinase. Mice homozygous for the LeprloxTB allele were obese and exhibited defects characteristic of LEPR deficiency. Reexpression of LEPR only in POMC neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus did not reduce food intake, but partially normalized energy expenditure and modestly reduced body weight. Despite the moderate effects on energy balance and independent of changes in body weight, restoring LEPR in POMC neurons normalized blood glucose and ameliorated hepatic insulin resistance, hyperglucagonemia, and dyslipidemia. Collectively, these results demonstrate that direct leptin action on POMC neurons does not reduce food intake, but is sufficient to normalize glucose and glucagon levels in mice otherwise lacking LEPR.
Eric D. Berglund, Claudia R. Vianna, Jose Donato Jr., Mi Hwa Kim, Jen-Chieh Chuang, Charlotte E. Lee, Danielle A. Lauzon, Peagan Lin, Laura J. Brule, Michael M. Scott, Roberto Coppari, Joel K. Elmquist
In the Guillain-Barré syndrome subform acute motor axonal neuropathy (AMAN), Campylobacter jejuni enteritis triggers the production of anti-ganglioside Abs (AGAbs), leading to immune-mediated injury of distal motor nerves. An important question has been whether injury to the presynaptic neuron at the neuromuscular junction is a major factor in AMAN. Although disease modeling in mice exposed to AGAbs indicates that complement-mediated necrosis occurs extensively in the presynaptic axons, evidence in humans is more limited, in comparison to the extensive injury seen at nodes of Ranvier. We considered that rapid AGAb uptake at the motor nerve terminal membrane might attenuate complement-mediated injury. We found that PC12 rat neuronal cells rapidly internalized AGAb, which were trafficked to recycling endosomes and lysosomes. Consequently, complement-mediated cytotoxicity was attenuated. Importantly, we observed the same AGAb endocytosis and protection from cytotoxicity in live mouse nerve terminals. AGAb uptake was attenuated following membrane cholesterol depletion in vitro and ex vivo, indicating that this process may be dependent upon cholesterol-enriched microdomains. In contrast, we observed minimal AGAb uptake at nodes of Ranvier, and this structure thus remained vulnerable to complement-mediated injury. These results indicate that differential endocytic processing of AGAbs by different neuronal and glial membranes might be an important modulator of site-specific injury in acute AGAb-mediated Guillain-Barré syndrome subforms and their chronic counterparts.
Simon N. Fewou, Angie Rupp, Lauren E. Nickolay, Kathryn Carrick, Kay N. Greenshields, John Pediani, Jaap J. Plomp, Hugh J. Willison
Glioblastoma (GBM), a uniformly lethal brain cancer, is characterized by diffuse invasion and abnormal activation of multiple receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) signaling pathways, presenting a major challenge to effective therapy. The activation of many RTK pathways is regulated by extracellular heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG), suggesting these molecules may be effective targets in the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we demonstrated that the extracellular sulfatase, SULF2, an enzyme that regulates multiple HSPG-dependent RTK signaling pathways, was expressed in primary human GBM tumors and cell lines. Knockdown of SULF2 in human GBM cell lines and generation of gliomas from Sulf2–/– tumorigenic neurospheres resulted in decreased growth in vivo in mice. We found a striking SULF2 dependence in activity of PDGFRα, a major signaling pathway in GBM. Ablation of SULF2 resulted in decreased PDGFRα phosphorylation and decreased downstream MAPK signaling activity. Interestingly, in a survey of SULF2 levels in different subtypes of GBM, the proneural subtype, characterized by aberrations in PDGFRα, demonstrated the strongest SULF2 expression. Therefore, in addition to its potential as an upstream target for therapy of GBM, SULF2 may help identify a subset of GBMs that are more dependent on exogenous growth factor–mediated signaling. Our results suggest the bioavailability of growth factors from the microenvironment is a significant contributor to tumor growth in a major subset of human GBM.
Joanna J. Phillips, Emmanuelle Huillard, Aaron E. Robinson, Anna Ward, David H. Lum, Mei-Yin Polley, Steven D. Rosen, David H. Rowitch, Zena Werb
Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a group of genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative conditions. They are characterized by progressive spastic paralysis of the legs as a result of selective, length-dependent degeneration of the axons of the corticospinal tract. Mutations in 3 genes encoding proteins that work together to shape the ER into sheets and tubules — receptor accessory protein 1 (REEP1), atlastin-1 (ATL1), and spastin (SPAST) — have been found to underlie many cases of HSP in Northern Europe and North America. Applying Sanger and exome sequencing, we have now identified 3 mutations in reticulon 2 (RTN2), which encodes a member of the reticulon family of prototypic ER-shaping proteins, in families with spastic paraplegia 12 (SPG12). These autosomal dominant mutations included a complete deletion of RTN2 and a frameshift mutation predicted to produce a highly truncated protein. Wild-type reticulon 2, but not the truncated protein potentially encoded by the frameshift allele, localized to the ER. RTN2 interacted with spastin, and this interaction required a hydrophobic region in spastin that is involved in ER localization and that is predicted to form a curvature-inducing/sensing hairpin loop domain. Our results directly implicate a reticulon protein in axonopathy, show that this protein participates in a network of interactions among HSP proteins involved in ER shaping, and further support the hypothesis that abnormal ER morphogenesis is a pathogenic mechanism in HSP.
Gladys Montenegro, Adriana P. Rebelo, James Connell, Rachel Allison, Carla Babalini, Michela D’Aloia, Pasqua Montieri, Rebecca Schüle, Hiroyuki Ishiura, Justin Price, Alleene Strickland, Michael A. Gonzalez, Lisa Baumbach-Reardon, Tine Deconinck, Jia Huang, Giorgio Bernardi, Jeffery M. Vance, Mark T. Rogers, Shoji Tsuji, Peter De Jonghe, Margaret A. Pericak-Vance, Ludger Schöls, Antonio Orlacchio, Evan Reid, Stephan Züchner