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- ItemRole of Ca2+ stores in metabotropic L-glutamate receptor-mediated supralinear Ca2+ signaling in rat hippocampal neurons(Society for Neuroscience, 2000-12-01) Rae, Mark G.; Martin, Duncan J.; Collingridge, Graham L.; Irving, Andrew J.; Wellcome TrustThe role of metabotropic l-glutamate (mGlu) receptors in supralinear Ca2+ signaling was investigated in cultured hippocampal cells using Ca2+ imaging techniques and whole-cell voltage-clamp recording. In neurons, but not glia, global supralinear Ca2+ release from intracellular stores was observed when the mGlu receptor agonist (RS)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) was combined with elevated extracellular K+ levels (10.8 mm), moderate depolarization (15–30 mV), or NMDA (3 μm). There was a delay (2–8 min) before the stores were fully charged, and the enhancement persisted for a short period (up to 10 min) after removal of the store-loading stimulus. Studies with the mGlu receptor antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine demonstrated that these effects were mediated by activation of the mGlu5 receptor subtype. The L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel antagonist nifedipine (10 μm) substantially reduced responses to DHPG obtained in the presence of elevated extracellular K+ but not NMDA. This suggests that the Ca2+ that is required to load the stores can enter either through L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels or directly through NMDA receptors. The findings that both depolarization and NMDA receptor activation can facilitate mGlu receptor Ca2+ signaling adds considerable flexibility to the processes that underlie activity-dependent changes in synaptic strength. In particular, a temporal separation between the store-loading stimulus and the activation of mGlu receptors could be used as a recency detector in neurons.
- ItemCannabinoids on the brain(Hindawi, 2002-03-09) Irving, Andrew J.; Rae, Mark G.; Coutts, Angela A.Cannabis has a long history of consumption both for recreational and medicinal uses. Recently there have been significant advances in our understanding of how cannabis and related compounds (cannabinoids) affect the brain and this review addresses the current state of knowledge of these effects. Cannabinoids act primarily via two types of receptor, CB1 and CB2, with CB1 receptors mediating most of the central actions of cannabinoids. The presence of a new type of brain cannabinoid receptor is also indicated. Important advances have been made in our understanding of cannabinoid receptor signaling pathways, their modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity, the cellular targets of cannabinoids in different central nervous system (CNS) regions and, in particular, the role of the endogenous brain cannabinoid (endocannabinoid) system. Cannabinoids have widespread actions in the brain: in the hippocampus they influence learning and memory; in the basal ganglia they modulate locomotor activity and reward pathways; in the hypothalamus they have a role in the control of appetite. Cannabinoids may also be protective against neurodegeneration and brain damage and exhibit anticonvulsant activity. Some of the analgesic effects of cannabinoids also appear to involve sites within the brain. These advances in our understanding of the actions of cannabinoids and the brain endocannabinoid system have led to important new insights into neuronal function which are likely to result in the development of new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of a number of key CNS disorders.
- ItemRyanodine receptor expression in trophoblasts(University College Cork, 2013) Zheng, Limian; Mackrill, John; Science Foundation IrelandTrophoblasts of the placenta are the frontline cells involved in communication and exchange of materials between the mother and fetus. Within trophoblasts, calcium signalling proteins are richly expressed. Intracellular free calcium ions are a key second messenger, regulating various cellular activities. Transcellular Ca2+ transport through trophoblasts is essential in fetal skeleton formation. Ryanodine receptors (RyRs) are high conductance cation channels that mediate Ca2+ release from intracellular stores to the cytoplasm. To date, the roles of RyRs in trophoblasts have not been reported. By use of reverse transcription PCR and western blotting, the current study revealed that RyRs are expressed in model trophoblast cell lines (BeWo and JEG-3) and in human first trimester and term placental villi. Immunohistochemistry of human placental sections indicated that both syncytiotrophoblast and cytotrophoblast cell layers were positively stained by antibodies recognising RyRs; likewise, expression of RyR isoforms was also revealed in BeWo and JEG-3 cells by immunofluorescence microscopy. In addition, changes in [Ca2+]i were observed in both BeWo and JEG-3 cells upon application of various RyR agonists and antagonists, using fura-2 fluorescent videomicroscopy. Furthermore, endogenous placental peptide hormones, namely angiotensin II, arginine vasopressin and endothelin 1, were demonstrated to increase [Ca2+]i in BeWo cells, and such increases were suppressed by RyR antagonists and by blockers of the corresponding peptide hormone receptors. These findings indicate that 1) multiple RyR subtypes are expressed in human trophoblasts; 2) functional RyRs in BeWo and JEG-3 cells response to both RyR agonists and antagonists; 3) RyRs in BeWo cells mediate Ca2+ release from intracellular store in response to the indirect stimulation by endogenous peptides. These observations suggest that RyR contributes to trophoblastic cellular Ca2+ homeostasis; trophoblastic RyRs are also involved in the functional regulation of human placenta by coupling to endogenous placental peptide-induced signalling pathways.
- ItemCystic fibrosis gene repair: correction of ΔF508 using ZFN and CRISPR/Cas9 guide RNA gene editing tools(University College Cork, 2013) Hollywood, Jennifer A.; Harrison, Patrick; Scallan, Martina; Physiology, College of Medicine and Health, University College CorkCystic Fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive monogenic disorder caused by mutations in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) gene with the ΔF508 mutation accounting for approximately 70% of all CF cases worldwide. This thesis investigates whether existing zinc finger nucleases designed in this lab and CRISPR/gRNAs designed in this thesis can mediate efficient homology-directed repair (HDR) with appropriate donor repair plasmids to correct CF-causing mutations in a CF cell line. Firstly, the most common mutation, ΔF508, was corrected using a pair of existing ZFNs, which cleave in intron 9, and the donor repair plasmid pITR-donor-XC, which contains the correct CTT sequence and two unique restriction sites. HDR was initially determined to be <1% but further analysis by next generation sequencing (NGS) revealed HDR occurred at a level of 2%. This relatively low level of repair was determined to be a consequence of distance from the cut site to the mutation and so rather than designing a new pair of ZFNs, the position of the existing intron 9 ZFNs was exploited and attempts made to correct >80% of CF-causing mutations. The ZFN cut site was used as the site for HDR of a mini-gene construct comprising exons 10-24 from CFTR cDNA (with appropriate splice acceptor and poly A sites) to allow production of full length corrected CFTR mRNA. Finally, the ability to cleave closer to the mutation and mediate repair of CFTR using the latest gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9 was explored. Two CRISPR gRNAs were tested; CRISPR ex10 was shown to cleave at an efficiency of 15% and CRISPR in9 cleaved at 3%. Both CRISPR gRNAs mediated HDR with appropriate donor plasmids at a rate of ~1% as determined by NGS. This is the first evidence of CRISPR induced HDR in CF cell lines.
- ItemThe role played by angiotensin (1-7) in the regulation of renal haemodynamics and excretory function in anesthetized rats(University College Cork, 2013) O'Neill, Julie; Johns, Edward J.; Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and TechnologyInitial studies have demonstrated that intra- renal infusion of Ang (1-7) caused a diuresis and natriuresis that was proportional to the degree of activation of the Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone System (RAAS). This raised the question as why the magnitude of this diuresis and natriuresis was compromised in rats receiving a high sodium diet (suppressed RAAS) and enhanced in low sodium fed rats (activated RAAS)? Could the answer lie with changes in intra-renal AT1 or Mas receptor expression? Interestingly, the observed Ang (1-7) induced increases in sodium and water excretion in rats receiving either a low or normal sodium diet were and blocked in the presence of the AT 1 receptor antagonist (Losartan) in the presence of the, 'Mas' receptor antagonist (A-779). These data suggest that both AT1 and 'Mas' receptors need to be functional in order to fully mediate the renal responses to intra-renal Ang (1-7) infusion. Importantly, further experimentation also revealed that there is a proportional relationship between AT 1 receptor expression in the rat renal cortex and the magnitude of the excretory actions of intra renal Ang (1-7) infusion, which is only partially dependent on the level of 'Mas' receptor expression. These observations suggest that although Ang (1-7) induced increases in sodium and water excretion are mediated by the Mas receptor, the magnitude of these excretory responses appear to be dependent upon the level of AT 1 receptor expression and more specifically Ang II/ AT 1 receptor signalling. Thus in rats receiving a low sodium diet, Ang (1-7) acts via the Mas receptor to inhibit Ang II/ AT 1 receptor signalling. In rats receiving a high sodium diet the down regulated AT 1 receptor expression implies a reduction in Ang II/ AT 1 receptor signalling which renders the counter-regulatory effects of intra-renal Ang (1-7) infusion redundant.
- ItemZinc finger nuclease gene repair as a treatment for cystinosis(University College Cork, 2013) Kaschig, Katrin; Harrison, Patrick; Scallan, Martina; Cystinosis Foundation Ireland; Health Research BoardCystinosis is a multi-system autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations and/or deletions in both alleles of CTNS, a gene encoding for the low pH dependent lysosomal cystine exporter cystinosin. Cystinosis occurs in approximately 1:200,000 newborns worldwide and is characterised by an accumulation of cystine in the lysosomes. The most severe form of the disorder is nephropathic cystinosis presenting Fanconi syndrome and leads without treatment to an end-stage renal failure before the age of ten. The only treatment available so far is cysteamine therapy, which delays disease progression by five years, but does not provide a cure for cystinosis patients. Current gene and cell based therapeutic approaches have not yet provided a suitable alternative. A potentially approach for a long-term treatment could be to generate autologous gene–modified stem cells by repairing the gene. Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs) serve as a tool to increase HDR up to a 200,000-fold by introducing a double-stranded break (DSB). Thus, simple mutations in the CTNS gene could be corrected by introduction of a double-stranded break using ZFNs to boost the process of HDR with a suitable donor DNA sequence. A permanent repair of the most common lesion CTNS, a 57 kb deletion, could be achieved by ZFN-mediated HDR using a minigene CTNS promoter/cDNA construct. The thesis describes the design and testing of seven zinc finger nuclease pairs for their cleavage activity in vitro and in cellulo.. A highly sensitive assay to detect even low levels of ZFN-mediated HDR was also developed. Finally, to further investigate the role of autophagy in tissue injury in cystinotic cells an assay to monitor autophagy levels in the cells was successfully developed. This assay provides the opportunity to demonstrate functional restoration of CTNS after successful ZFN-HDR in cystinotic cells.
- ItemRenal failure and the neural control of the kidney(University College Cork, 2013) Goulding, Niamh E.; Johns, Edward J.; Health Research BoardRenal failure (RF) is associated with an over activation of the sympathetic nervous system. The aim of this thesis was to investigate the hypothesis that as the kidney progresses into RF there is an inappropriate and sustained activation of renal afferent nerves which results in a dysregulation of basal RSNA and reflexly controlled RSNA by the high and low pressure baroreceptors. Baroreflex gain curves for both RSNA and HR were generated in control and RF rats. This study clearly showed a blunted high-pressure baroreflex in RF rats, an impairment which was almost completely corrected by bilateral renal denervation. The integrity of the low-pressure cardiopulmonary receptors to inhibit RSNA was investigated using acute saline volume. Again, a blunted reflex sympatho-inhibition of RSNA was observed, which was corrected by renal denervation. Finally a functional study to examine how the renal excretory response to volume expansion differed in RF was carried out. This study revealed an impairment of the low-pressure baroreflex control of the sympathetic outflow. The result of these studies suggest that cisplatin induced RF initiates a neural signal from within the kidney, which over rides the normal reflex regulation of RSNA by the high and low – pressure baroreceptors and that this impairment in function can be normalised by renal denervation. This raises further questions as to the mechanisms involved in the afferent over activation arising from the diseased kidneys.
- ItemCaesarean delivery and subsequent pregnancy interval: a systematic review and meta-analysis(BioMed Central Ltd., 2013-08-27) O'Neill, Sinéad M.; Kearney, Patricia M.; Kenny, Louise C.; Henriksen, Tine B.; Lutomski, Jennifer E.; Greene, Richard A.; Khashan, Ali S.; Health Research BoardBackground: Caesarean delivery has increased worldwide, however, the effects on fertility are largely unknown. This systematic review aims to compare subsequent sub-fertility (time to next pregnancy or birth) among women with a Caesarean delivery to women with a vaginal delivery. Methods: Systematic review of the literature including seven databases: CINAHL; the Cochrane Library; Embase; Medline; PubMed; SCOPUS and Web of Knowledge (1945 - October 2012), using detailed search-strategies and reference list cross-checking. Cohort, case–control and cross-sectional studies were included. Two assessors reviewed titles, abstracts, and full articles using standardised data abstraction forms and assessed study quality. Results: 11 articles were eligible for inclusion in the systematic review, of these five articles which adjusted for confounders were combined in a meta-analysis, totalling 750,407 women using fixed-effect models. Previous Caesarean delivery was associated with an increased risk of sub-fertility [pooled odds ratio (OR) 0.90; 95% CI 0.86, 0.93]. Subgroup analyses by parity [primiparous women: OR 0.91; 95% CI 0.87, 0.96; not limited to primiparous women: OR 0.81; 95% CI 0.73, 0.90]; by publication date (pre-2000: OR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68, 0.94; post-2000: OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.86, 0.94); by length of follow-up (<10 years: OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.73, 0.90; >10 years: OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.87, 0.96); by indication for mode of delivery (specified: 0.92, 95% CI 0.88, 0.97; not specified: OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.73, 0.90); by cohort size (<35,000: OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.67, 0.92; >35,000: OR 0.90, 95% CI 0.87, 0.95), by definition of sub-fertility used divided into (birth interval [BI]: OR 0.89, 95% CI 0.84, 0.94; inter-pregnancy interval [IPI]: OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.85, 0.97; and categorical measures: OR 0.81, 95% CI 0.73, 0.90); continuous measures: OR 0.91, 95% CI 0.87, 0.96) were performed. Results of the six studies not included in the meta-analysis (which did not adjust for confounders) are presented individually. Conclusions: The meta-analysis shows an increased waiting time to next pregnancy and risk of sub-fertility among women with a previous Caesarean delivery. However, included studies are limited by poor epidemiological methods such as variations in the definition of time to next pregnancy, lack of confounding adjustment, or details of the indication for Caesarean delivery. Further research of a more robust methodological quality to better explore any underlying causes of sub-fertility and maternal intent to delay childbearing is warranted.
- ItemImmune and stress factors in the pathophysiology of the mdx mouse model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy(University College Cork, 2014) Manning, Jennifer; O'Malley, Dervla; Muscular Dystrophy Ireland; Physiology, College of Medicine and Health, University College CorkDuchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is a fatal multi-system neuromuscular disease caused by loss of dystrophin. The loss of dystrophin from membranes of contractile muscle cells and the dysregulation of the DAPC, induces chronic inflammation due to tissue necrosis and eventual replacement with collagen which weakens muscular force and strength. Dystrophin deficiency may cause under-diagnosed features of DMD include mood disorders such as depression and anxiety and dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract. The first study in the thesis examined mood in the dystrophin-deficient mdx mouse model of DMD and examined the effects of the tri-cyclic antidepressant, amitriptyline on behaviours. Amitriptyline had anti-depressant and anxiolytic effects in the mdx mice possibly through effects on stress factors such as corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). This antidepressant also reduced skeletal muscle inflammation and caused a reduction in circulating interleukin (IL)-6 levels. In the second and third studies, we specifically blocked IL-6 signalling and used Urocortin 2, CRFR2 agonist to investigate their potential as therapeutic targets in mdx mice pathophysiology. Isometric and isotonic contractile properties of the diaphragm, were compared in mdx mice treated with anti IL-6 receptor antibodies (anti IL-6R) and/or Urocortin 2. Deficits in force production, work and power detected in mdx mice were improved with treatment. In study three I investigated contractile properties in gastrointestinal smooth muscle. As compared to wild type mice, mdx mice had slower faecal transit times, shorter colons with thickened muscle layers and increased contractile activity in response to recombinant IL-6. Blocking IL-6 signalling resulted in an increase in colon length, normalised faecal output times and a reduction in IL-6-evoked contractile activity. The findings from these studies indicate that for both diaphragm and gastrointestinal function in a dystrophin-deficient model, targeting of IL-6 and CRFR2 signalling has beneficial therapeutic effects.
- ItemRedox remodelling in diaphragm muscle adaptation to chronic sustained hypoxia(University College Cork, 2014) Lewis, Philip; O'Halloran, Ken D.Chronic sustained hypoxia (CH) induces functional weakness, atrophy, and mitochondrial remodelling in the diaphragm muscle. Animal models of CH present with changes similar to patients with respiratory-related disease, thus, elucidating the molecular mechanisms driving these adaptations is clinically important. We hypothesize that ROS are pivotal in diaphragm muscle adaptation to CH. C57BL6/J mice were exposed to CH (FiO2=0.1) for one, three, and six weeks. Sternohyoid (upper airway dilator), extensor digitorum longus (EDL), and soleus were studied as reference muscles as well as the diaphragm. The diaphragm was profiled using a redox proteomics approach followed by mass spectrometry. Following this, redox-modified metabolic enzyme activities and atrophy signalling were assessed using spectrophotometric assays and ELISA. Diaphragm isotonic performance was assessed after six weeks of CH ± chronic antioxidant supplementation. Protein carbonyl and free thiol content in the diaphragm were increased and decreased respectively after six weeks of CH – indicative of protein oxidation. These changes were temporally modulated and muscle specific. Extensive remodelling of metabolic proteins occurred and the stress reached the cross-bridge. Metabolic enzyme activities in the diaphragm were, for the most part, decreased by CH and differential muscle responses were observed. Redox sensitive chymotrypsin-like proteasome activity of the diaphragm was increased and atrophy signalling was observed through decreased phospho-FOXO3a and phospho-mTOR. Phospho-p38 MAPK content was increased and this was attenuated by antioxidant treatment. Hypoxia decreased power generating capacity of the diaphragm and this was restored by N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) but not by tempol. Redox remodelling is pivotal for diaphragm adaptation to chronic sustained hypoxia. Muscle changes are dependent on duration of the hypoxia stimulus, activity profile of the muscle, and molecular composition of the muscle. The working respiratory muscles and slow oxidative fibres are particularly susceptible. NAC (antioxidant) may be useful as an adjunct therapy in respiratory-related diseases characterised by hypoxic stress.
- ItemThe balance between the pro-inflammatory effect of plasma noradrenaline and the anti-inflammatory effect of neuronal noradrenaline determines the peripheral effect of noradrenaline(Elsevier, 2014-09-06) Crotty, Tom P.Perfusion experiments on an isolated, canine lateral saphenous vein segment preparation have shown that noradrenaline causes potent, flow dependent effects, at a threshold concentration comparable to that of plasma noradrenaline, when it stimulates the segment by diffusion from its microcirculation (vasa vasorum). The effects caused are opposite to those neuronal noradrenaline causes in vivo and that, in the light of the principle that all information is transmitted in patterns that need contrast to be detected – star patterns need darkness, sound patterns, quietness – has generated the hypothesis that plasma noradrenaline provides the obligatory contrast tissues need to detect and respond to the regulatory information encrypted in the diffusion pattern of neuronal noradrenaline. Based on the implications of that hypothesis, the controlled variable of the peripheral noradrenergic system is believed to be the maintenance of a set point balance between the contrasting effects of plasma and neuronal noradrenaline on a tissue. The hypothalamic sympathetic centres are believed to monitor that balance through the level of afferent sympathetic traffic they receive from a tissue and to correct any deviation it detects in the balance by adjusting the level of efferent sympathetic input it projects to the tissue. The failure of the centres to maintain the correct balance, for reasons intrinsic or extrinsic to themselves, is believed to be responsible for degenerative and genetic disorders. When the failure causes the balance to be polarised in favour of the effect of plasma noradrenaline that is believed to cause inflammatory diseases like dilator cardiac failure, renal hypertension, varicose veins and aneurysms; when it causes it to be polarised in favour of the effect of neuronal noradrenaline that is believed to cause genetic diseases like hypertrophic cardiopathy, pulmonary hypertension and stenoses and when, in pregnancy, a factor causes the polarity to favour plasma noradrenaline in all the maternal tissues except the uterus and conceptus, where it favours neuronal noradrenaline, that is believed to cause preeclampsia.
- ItemType 1 ryanodine receptor interactions(University College Cork, 2015) English, Kathleen Kelly; Mackrill, John; Physiology, College of Medicine and Health, University College CorkExcitation-contraction coupling is an essential part of skeletal muscle contraction. It encompasses the sensing of depolarisation of the plasma membrane coupled with the release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. The channel responsible for this release is called the Ryanodine receptor (RyR), and forms a hub of interacting proteins which work in concert to regulate the release of Ca2+ through this channel. The aim of this work was to characterise possible novel interactions with a proline-rich region of the RyR1, to characterise a monoclonal antibody (mAb VF1c) raised against a junctional sarcoplasmic reticulum protein postulated to interact with RyR1, and to characterise the protein recognised by this antibody in models of skeletal muscle disease such as Duchenne Muscular dystrophy (DMD) and sarcopenia. These experiments were performed using cell culture, protein purification via immunoprecipitation, affinity purification, low pressure chromatography and western blotting techniques. It was found that the RyR1 complex isolated from rat skeletal muscle co-purifies with the Growth factor receptor bound protein 2 (GRB2), very possibly via an interaction between the proline rich region of RyR1 and one of the SH3 domains located on the GRB2 protein. It was also found that Pleiotrophin and Phospholipase Cγ1, suggested interactors of the proline rich region of RyR1, did not co-purify with the RyR1 complex. Characterisation of mAb VF1c determined that this monoclonal antibody interacts with junctophilin 1, and binds to this protein between the region of 369-460, as determined by western blotting of JPH1 fragments expressed in yeast. It was also found that JPH1 and JPH2 are differentially regulated in different muscles of rabbit, where the highest amount of both proteins was found in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscle. JPH1 and 2 levels were also examined in three rodent models of disease: the mdx mouse (a model of DMD), chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH)-treated rat, and aged and adult mice, a model of sarcopenia. In the EDL and soleus muscle of CIH treated rats, no difference in either JPH1 or JPH2 abundance was detected in either muscle. An examination of JPH1 and 2 expression in mdx and wild type controls diaphragm, vastus lateralis, soleus and gastrocnemius muscle found no major differences in JPH1 abundance, while JPH2 was decreased in mdx gastrocnemius compared to wild type. In a mouse model of sarcopenia, JPH1 abundance was found to be increased in aged soleus but not in aged quadriceps, while in exercised quadriceps, JPH2 abundance was decreased compared to unexercised controls. Taken together, these results have implications for the regulation of RyR1 and JPH1 and 2 in skeletal muscle in both physiological and pathological states, and provide a newly characterised antibody to expand the field of JPH1 research.
- ItemChronic intermittent hypoxia increases rat sternohyoid muscle NADPH oxidase expression with attendant modest oxidative stress(Frontiers Media, 2015-01-30) Williams, Robert; Lemaire, Paul; Lewis, Philip; McDonald, Fiona B.; Lucking, Eric; Hogan, Sean; Sheehan, David; Healy, Vincent; O'Halloran, Ken D.; Health Research Board; University College CorkChronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) causes upper airway muscle dysfunction. We hypothesized that the superoxide generating NADPH oxidase (NOX) is upregulated in CIH-exposed muscle causing oxidative stress. Adult male Wistar rats were exposed to intermittent hypoxia (5% O2 at the nadir for 90 s followed by 210 s of normoxia), for 8 h per day for 14 days. The effect of CIH exposure on the expression of NOX subunits, total myosin and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) protein adducts in sternohyoid muscle was determined by western blotting and densitometry. Sternohyoid protein free thiol and carbonyl group contents were determined by 1D electrophoresis using specific fluorophore probes. Aconitase and glutathione reductase activities were measured as indices of oxidative stress. HIF-1α content and key oxidative and glycolytic enzyme activities were determined. Contractile properties of sternohyoid muscle were determined ex vivo in the absence and presence of apocynin (putative NOX inhibitor). We observed an increase in NOX 2 and p47 phox expression in CIH-exposed sternohyoid muscle with decreased aconitase and glutathione reductase activities. There was no evidence, however, of increased lipid peroxidation or protein oxidation in CIH-exposed muscle. CIH exposure did not affect sternohyoid HIF-1α content or aldolase, lactate dehydrogenase, or glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase activities. Citrate synthase activity was also unaffected by CIH exposure. Apocynin significantly increased sternohyoid force and power. We conclude that CIH exposure upregulates NOX expression in rat sternohyoid muscle with concomitant modest oxidative stress but it does not result in a HIF-1α-dependent increase in glycolytic enzyme activity. Constitutive NOX activity decreases sternohyoid force and power. Our results implicate NOX-dependent reactive oxygen species in CIH-induced upper airway muscle dysfunction which likely relates to redox modulation of key regulatory proteins in excitation-contraction coupling.
- ItemChronic sustained hypoxia-induced redox remodeling causes contractile dysfunction in mouse sternohyoid muscle(Frontiers Media, 2015-04) Lewis, Philip; Sheehan, David; Soares, Renata; Coelho, Ana Varela; O'Halloran, Ken D.; Health Research Board; University College CorkChronic sustained hypoxia (CH) induces structural and functional adaptations in respiratory muscles of animal models, however the underlying molecular mechanisms are unclear. This study explores the putative role of CH-induced redox remodeling in a translational mouse model, with a focus on the sternohyoid—a representative upper airway dilator muscle involved in the control of pharyngeal airway caliber. We hypothesized that exposure to CH induces redox disturbance in mouse sternohyoid muscle in a time-dependent manner affecting metabolic capacity and contractile performance. C57Bl6/J mice were exposed to normoxia or normobaric CH (FiO2 = 0.1) for 1, 3, or 6 weeks. A second cohort of animals was exposed to CH for 6 weeks with and without antioxidant supplementation (tempol or N-acetyl cysteine in the drinking water). Following CH exposure, we performed 2D redox proteomics with mass spectrometry, metabolic enzyme activity assays, and cell-signaling assays. Additionally, we assessed isotonic contractile and endurance properties ex vivo. Temporal changes in protein oxidation and glycolytic enzyme activities were observed. Redox modulation of sternohyoid muscle proteins key to contraction, metabolism and cellular homeostasis was identified. There was no change in redox-sensitive proteasome activity or HIF-1α content, but CH decreased phospho-JNK content independent of antioxidant supplementation. CH was detrimental to sternohyoid force- and power-generating capacity and this was prevented by chronic antioxidant supplementation. We conclude that CH causes upper airway dilator muscle dysfunction due to redox modulation of proteins key to function and homeostasis. Such changes could serve to further disrupt respiratory homeostasis in diseases characterized by CH such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Antioxidants may have potential use as an adjunctive therapy in hypoxic respiratory disease.
- ItemAcute hypoxia-induced diaphragm dysfunction is prevented by antioxidant pre-treatment(University College Cork, 2016) O'Leary, Andrew J.; O'Halloran, Ken D.; Mackrill, John; Physiology, College of Medicine and Health, University College Cork; Strategic Research Fund, University College CorkDiaphragm weakness is a strong predictor of poor outcome in patients. Acute hypoxia is a feature of respiratory conditions such as acute respiratory distress syndrome and ventilator-associated lung injury. However, the effects of acute hypoxia on the diaphragm are largely unknown despite the potential clinical relevance. C57BL6/J mice were exposed to 8hr of hypoxia (FiO2 = 0.10) or normoxia. A separate group of mice were administered N-acetyl cysteine (NAC; 200mg/kg, I.P.) immediately prior to acute hypoxia exposure. Ventilation was assessed using whole-body plethysmography. O2 consumption and CO2 production were measured as indices of metabolism. Diaphragm muscle contractile performance was determined ex-vivo. Gene expression was examined at 1, 4, and 8 hrs using qRT-PCR. Protein/phosphoprotein content was assessed using a sandwich immunoassay. Proteasome activity was measured using a spectrophotometric assay. Acute hypoxia decreased diaphragm force and fatigue. Ventilation during acute hypoxia was initially increased during the first 10 minutes, but quickly returned to normoxic levels for the duration of gas exposure. Metabolism was reduced by acute hypoxia, and gene expression driving mitochondrial uncoupling was increased. Acute hypoxia increased atrophic signalling, but not proteasome activity. Acute hypoxia increased hypertrophic and hypoxia protein signalling. NAC pre-treatment prevented the acute hypoxia-induced diaphragm weakness. Diaphragm weakness is reported in mechanically ventilated patients, which is primarily attributed to inactivity of the muscle, although this is controversial. The potential role of hypoxia in the development and/or exacerbation of ICU-related weakness is unclear. These data reveals that acute hypoxia is sufficient to cause diaphragm muscle weakness, likely relates to hypoxic stress. Muscle weakness was prevented by antioxidant supplementation, independent of the hypoxia-induced hypometabolic state. These findings highlight a potentially critical role for hypoxia in diaphragm muscle dysfunction observed in patients with acute respiratory diseases, and the potential benefits of NAC in preventing acute hypoxia-induced diaphragm dysfunction.
- ItemAcetylated microtubules are essential for touch sensation in mice(University College Cork, 2016) Morley, Shane J.; Heppenstall, Paul; Rae, MarkThe sense of touch depends upon the transformation of mechanical energy into electrical signals by peripheral sensory neurons and associated cells in the skin. This conversion is thought to be mediated by a complex of proteins in which ion channels such as Piezo2 function as mechanotransducers. However, how mechanical energy is transmitted into mechanosensitive ion channel opening, and how cellular components such as the cytoskeleton influence this process, is largely unknown. Here we show that mice lacking the tubulin acetyltransferase, Atat1, in sensory neurons display profound deficits in their ability to detect mechanical touch and pain. In the absence of Atat1, behavioural responses to innocuous and noxious mechanical stimuli are strongly reduced in multiple assays while sensitivity of mice to thermal stimuli is unaltered. In ex vivo skin-nerve preparations, the mechanosensitivity of all low- and high- threshold mechanoreceptor subtypes innervating the skin is substantially decreased in Atat1 conditional knockout mice. In cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, both slowly- and rapidly- adapting mechanically- activated currents are absent or reduced upon Atat1 deletion with no effect on other neuronal functions. We establish that this broad loss of mechanosensitivity is dependent upon the acetyltransferase activity of Atat1, and that by mimicking α-tubulin acetylation genetically by substituting the lysine amino acid for a structurally similar glutamine, mechanosensitivity can be restored in Atat1- deficient sensory neurons. Finally, we demonstrate that acetylated microtubules localize to a prominent band under the membrane of sensory neuron cell bodies and axons, and in the absence of Atat1 and acetylated α-tubulin, cultured sensory neurons display significant reductions in their membrane elasticity. Our results indicate that the microtubule cytoskeleton is an essential component of the mammalian mechanotransduction complex and that by influencing cellular stiffness, α-tubulin acetylation can tune mechanical sensitivity across the full range of mechanoreceptor subtypes.
- ItemEarly life exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia primes increased susceptibility to hypoxia-induced weakness in rat sternohyoid muscle during adulthood(Frontiers Media, 2016-03-04) McDonald, Fiona B.; Dempsey, Eugene M.; O'Halloran, Ken D.; Health Research Board; University College DublinIntermittent hypoxia is a feature of apnea of prematurity (AOP), chronic lung disease, and sleep apnea. Despite the clinical relevance, the long-term effects of hypoxic exposure in early life on respiratory control are not well defined. We recently reported that exposure to chronic intermittent hypoxia (CIH) during postnatal development (pCIH) causes upper airway muscle weakness in both sexes, which persists for several weeks. We sought to examine if there are persistent sex-dependent effects of pCIH on respiratory muscle function into adulthood and/or increased susceptibility to re-exposure to CIH in adulthood in animals previously exposed to CIH during postnatal development. We hypothesized that pCIH would cause long-lasting muscle impairment and increased susceptibility to subsequent hypoxia. Within 24 h of delivery, pups and their respective dams were exposed to CIH: 90 s of hypoxia reaching 5% O2 at nadir; once every 5 min, 8 h per day for 3 weeks. Sham groups were exposed to normoxia in parallel. Three groups were studied: sham; pCIH; and pCIH combined with adult CIH (p+aCIH), where a subset of the pCIH-exposed pups were re-exposed to the same CIH paradigm beginning at 13 weeks. Following gas exposures, sternohyoid and diaphragm muscle isometric contractile and endurance properties were examined ex vivo. There was no apparent lasting effect of pCIH on respiratory muscle function in adults. However, in both males and females, re-exposure to CIH in adulthood in pCIH-exposed animals caused sternohyoid (but not diaphragm) weakness. Exposure to this paradigm of CIH in adulthood alone had no effect on muscle function. Persistent susceptibility in pCIH-exposed airway dilator muscle to subsequent hypoxic insult may have implications for the control of airway patency in adult humans exposed to intermittent hypoxic stress during early life.
- ItemUp regulation of cystathione ? lyase and Hydrogen sulphide in the myocardium inhibits the progression of isoproterenol-caffeine induced left ventricular hypertrophy in wistar kyoto rats(PLoS, 2016-03-10) Ahmad, Ashfaq; Sattar, Munavvar A.; Rathore, Hassaan A.; Abdulla, Mohammed H.; Khan, Safia A.; Azam, Maleeha; Abdullah, Nor A.; Johns, Edward J.; Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia; Universiti Sains MalaysiaHydrogen sulphide (H2S) is an emerging molecule in many cardiovascular complications but its role in left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is unknown. The present study explored the effect of exogenous H2S administration in the regression of LVH by modulating oxidative stress, arterial stiffness and expression of cystathione ? lyase (CSE) in the myocardium. Animals were divided into four groups: Control, LVH, Control-H2S and LVH-H2S. LVH was induced by administering isoprenaline (5mg/kg, every 72 hours, S/C) and caffeine in drinking water (62mg/L) for 2 weeks. Intraperitoneal NaHS, 56?M/kg/day for 5 weeks, was given as an H2S donor. Myocardial expression of Cystathione ? lyase (CSE) mRNA was quantified using real time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).There was a 3 fold reduction in the expression of myocardial CSE mRNA in LVH but it was up regulated by 7 and 4 fold in the Control-H2S and LVH-H2S myocardium, respectively. Systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, pulse wave velocity were reduced (all P<0.05) in LVH-H2S when compared to the LVH group. Heart, LV weight, myocardial thickness were reduced while LV internal diameter was increased (all P<0.05) in the LVH-H2S when compared to the LVH group. Exogenous administration of H2S in LVH increased superoxide dismutase, glutathione and total antioxidant capacity but significantly reduced (all P<0.05) plasma malanodialdehyde in the LVH-H2S compared to the LVH group. The renal cortical blood perfusion increased by 40% in LVH-H2S as compared to the LVH group. Exogenous administration of H2S suppressed the progression of LVH which was associated with an up regulation of myocardial CSE mRNA/ H2S and a reduction in pulse wave velocity with a blunting of systemic hemodynamic. This CSE/H2S pathway exhibits an antihypertrophic role by antagonizing the hypertrophic actions of angiotensin II(Ang II) and noradrenaline (NA) but attenuates oxidative stress and improves pulse wave velocity which helps to suppress LVH. Exogenous administration of H2S augmented the reduced renal cortical blood perfusion in the LVH state.
- ItemCalcium signaling in oomycetes: an evolutionary perspective(Frontiers Media, 2016-04-05) Zheng, Limian; Mackrill, John J.Oomycetes are a family of eukaryotic microbes that superficially resemble fungi, but which are phylogenetically distinct from them. These organisms cause major global economic losses to agriculture and fisheries, with representative pathogens being Phytophthora infestans, the cause of late potato blight and Saprolegnia diclina, the instigator of “cotton molds” in fish. As in all eukaryotes, cytoplasmic Ca2+ is a key second messenger in oomycetes, regulating life-cycle transitions, controlling motility and chemotaxis and, in excess, leading to cell-death. Despite this, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentrations in these organisms. Consequently, this review analyzed the presence of candidate calcium channels encoded within the nine oomycete genomes that are currently available. This revealed key differences between oomycetes and other eukaryotes, in particular the expansion and loss of different channel families, and the presence of a phylum-specific group of proteins, termed the polycystic kidney disease tandem ryanodine receptor domain (PKDRR) channels.
- ItemCystathione gamma lyase/hydrogen sulphide pathway up regulation enhances the responsiveness of ?1A and ?1B-adrenoreceptors in the kidney of rats with left ventricular hypertrophy(PLoS, 2016-05-18) Ahmad, Ashfaq; Sattar, Munavvar A.; Azam, Maleeha; Abdulla, Mohammed H.; Khan, Safia A.; Hashmi, Fayyaz; Abdullah, Nor A.; Johns, Edward J.; Institute of Postgraduate Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia; Universiti Sains MalaysiaThe purpose of the present study was to investigate the interaction between H2S and NO (nitric oxide) in the kidney and to evaluate its impact on the functional contribution of ?1A and ?1B-adrenoreceptors subtypes mediating the renal vasoconstriction in the kidney of rats with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH). In rats the LVH induction was by isoprenaline administration and caffeine in the drinking water together with intraperitoneal administration of H2S. The responsiveness of ?1A and ?1B to exogenous noradrenaline, phenylephrine and methoxaminein the absence and presence of 5-methylurapidil (5-MeU) and chloroethylclonidine (CEC) was studied. Cystathione gamma lyase (CSE), cystathione ? synthase (CBS), 3-mercaptopyruvate sulphar transferase (3-MST) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) were quantified. There was significant up regulation of CSE and eNOS in the LVH-H2S compared to the LVH group (P<0.05). Baseline renal cortical blood perfusion (RCBP) was increased (P<0.05) in the LVH-H2S compared to the LVH group. The responsiveness of ?1A-adrenergic receptors to adrenergic agonists was increased (P<0.05) after administration of low dose 5-Methylurapidil in the LVH-H2S group while ?1B-adrenergic receptors responsiveness to adrenergic agonists were increased (P<0.05) by both low and high dose chloroethylclonidine in the LVH-H2S group. Treatment of LVH with H2S resulted in up-regulation of CSE/H2S, CBS, and 3-MST and eNOS/NO/cGMP pathways in the kidney. These up regulation of CSE/H2S, CBS, and 3-MST and eNOS/NO/cGMP pathways enhanced the responsiveness of ?1A and ?1B-adrenoreceptors subtypes to adrenergic agonists in LVH-H2S. These findings indicate an important role for H2S in modulating deranged signalling in the renal vasculature resulting from LVH development.