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Collier AD, Min SS, Campbell SD, Roberts MY, Camidge K, Leibowitz SF
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Maternal ethanol consumption before paternal fertilization: Stimulation of hypocretin neurogenesis and ethanol intake in zebrafish offspring

PROGRESS IN NEURO-PSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY & BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY 2020 JAN 10; 96(?):? Article UNSP 109728
There are numerous clinical and pre-clinical studies showing that exposure of the embryo to ethanol markedly affects neuronal development and stimulates alcohol drinking and related behaviors. In rodents and zebrafish, our studies show that embryonic exposure to low-dose ethanol, in addition to increasing voluntary ethanol intake during adolescence, increases the density of hypothalamic hypocretin (hcrt) neurons, a neuropeptide known to regulate reward-related behaviors. The question addressed here in zebrafish is whether maternal ethanol intake before conception also affects neuronal and behavioral development, phenomena suggested by clinical reports but seldom investigated. To determine if preconception maternal ethanol consumption also affects these hcrt neurons and behavior in the offspring, we first standardized a method of measuring voluntary ethanol consumption in strain adult and larval zebrafish given gelatin meals containing 10% or 0.1% ethanol, respectively. We found the number of bites of gelatin to be an accurate measure of intake in adults and a strong predictor of blood ethanol levels, and also to be a reliable indicator of intake in larval zebrafish. We then used this feeding paradigm and live imaging to examine the effects of preconception maternal intake of 10% ethanol-gelatin compared to plain-gelatin for 14 days on neuronal development in the offspring. Whereas ethanol consumption by adult female HuC:GFP transgenic zebrafish had no impact on the number of differentiated HuC(+) neurons at 28 h post-fertilization (hpf), preconception ethanol consumption by adult female hcrt:EGFP zebrafish significantly increased the number of hcrt neurons in the offspring, an effect observed at 28 hpf and confirmed at 6 and 12 days post-fertilization (dpf). This increase in hcrt neurons was primarily present on the left side of the brain, indicating asymmetry in ethanol's actions, and it was accompanied by behavioral changes in the offspring, including a significant increase in novelty-induced locomotor activity but not thigmotaxis measured at 6 dpf and also in voluntary consumption of 0.1% ethanol-gelatin at 12 dpf. Notably, these measures of ethanol intake and locomotor activity stimulated by preconception ethanol were strongly, positively correlated with the number of hcrt neurons. These findings demonstrate that preconception maternal ethanol consumption affects the brain and behavior of the offspring, producing effects similar to those caused by embryonic ethanol exposure, and they provide further evidence that the ethanol-induced increase in hcrt neurogenesis contributes to the behavioral disturbances caused by ethanol.
Zhang ZJ, Pedicord VA, Peng T, Hang HC
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Site-specific acylation of a bacterial virulence regulator attenuates infection

NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY 2020 JAN; 16(1):95-103
Microbiota generates millimolar concentrations of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that can modulate host metabolism, immunity and susceptibility to infection. Butyrate in particular can function as a carbon source and anti-inflammatory metabolite, but the mechanism by which it inhibits pathogen virulence has been elusive. Using chemical proteomics, we found that several virulence factors encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island-1 (SPI-1) are acylated by SCFAs. Notably, a transcriptional regulator of SPI-1, HiIA, was acylated on several key lysine residues. Subsequent incorporation of stable butyryl-lysine analogs using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing and unnatural amino acid mutagenesis revealed that site-specific modification of HilA impacts its genomic occupancy, expression of SPI-1 genes and attenuates Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium invasion of epithelial cells, as well as dissemination in vivo. Moreover, a multiple-site HiIA lysine acylation mutant strain of S. Typhimurium was resistant to butyrate inhibition ex vivo and microbiota attenuation in vivo. Our results suggest that prominent microbiota-derived metabolites may directly acylate virulence factors to inhibit microbial pathogenesis in vivo.
Ali AA, Seng EK, Alavi A, Lowes MA
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Exploring changes in placebo treatment arms in hidradenitis suppurativa randomized clinical trials: A systematic review

JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY 2020 JAN; 82(1):45-53
Background: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is characterized by recurrent, painful nodules in flexural areas. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore the placebo response in HS randomized clinical trials and to compare it briefly with the placebo response in psoriasis and atopic dermatitis. Methods: A Cochrane Review on interventions in HS was used as a starting point, and a systematic review was then undertaken by using the PubMed database, yielding 7 HS randomized clinical trials for inclusion in this study. Results: This review demonstrates that there is a robust placebo response in HS that is most marked in physical signs but also marked in pain responses. Limitations: Multiple outcome measures utilized in these studies and reporting bias limited this review. Conclusion: This large placebo response has implications for clinical trial design. This knowledge can also help deliver improved clinical care by forming the basis of nonpharmacologic treatments and help optimize current medication use to maximize the placebo effect.
Bohn JA, DaSilva J, Kharytonchyk S, Mercedes M, Vosters J, Telesnitsky A, Hatziioannou T, Smith JL
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Flexibility in Nucleic Acid Binding Is Central to APOBEC3H Antiviral Activity

JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY 2019 DEC; 93(24):? Article e01275-19
APOBEC3 proteins APOBEC3F (A3F), APOBEC3G (A3G), and APOBEC3H (A3H) are host restriction factors that inhibit HIV-1 through DNA cytidine deaminasedependent and -independent mechanisms and have either one (A3H) or two (A3F and A3G) zinc-binding domains. A3H antiviral activity encompasses multiple molecular functions, all of which depend on recognition of RNA or DNA. A3H crystal structures revealed an unusual interaction with RNA wherein an RNA duplex mediates dimerization of two A3H proteins. In this study, we sought to determine the importance of RNAbinding amino acids in the antiviral and biochemical properties of A3H. We show that the wild-type A3H-RNA interaction is essential for A3H antiviral activity and for two deaminase-independent processes: encapsidation into viral particles and inhibition of reverse transcription. Furthermore, an extensive mutagenesis campaign revealed distinct roles for two groups of amino acids at the RNA binding interface. C-terminal helix residues exclusively bind RNA, and loop 1 residues play a dual role in recognition of DNA substrates and in RNA binding. Weakening the interface between A3H and RNA allows DNA substrates to bind with greater affinity and enhances deamination rates, suggesting that RNA binding must be disrupted to accommodate DNA. Intriguingly, we demonstrate that A3H can deaminate overhanging DNA strands of RNA/DNA heteroduplexes, which are early intermediates during reverse transcription and may represent natural A3H substrates. Overall, we present a mechanistic model of A3H restriction and a step-by-step elucidation of the roles of RNA-binding residues in A3H activity, particle incorporation, inhibition of reverse transcriptase inhibition, and DNA cytidine deamination. IMPORTANCE APOBEC3 proteins are host factors that protect the integrity of the host genome by inhibiting retroelements as well as retroviruses, such as HIV-1. To do this, the APOBEC3H protein has evolved unique interactions with structured RNAs. Here, we studied the importance of these interactions in driving antiviral activity of APOBEC3H. Our results provide a clear picture of how RNA binding drives the ability of APOBEC3H to infiltrate new viruses and prevent synthesis of viral DNA. We also explore how RNA binding by APOBEC3H influences recognition and deamination of viral DNA and describe two possible routes by which APOBEC3H might hypermutate the HIV-1 genome. These results highlight how one protein can sense many nucleic acid species for a variety of antiviral activities.
Minis A, Rodriguez JA, Levin A, Liu K, Govek EE, Hatten ME, Steller H
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The proteasome regulator PI31 is required for protein homeostasis, synapse maintenance, and neuronal survival in mice

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 2019 DEC 3; 116(49):24639-24650
Proteasome-mediated degradation of intracellular proteins is essential for cell function and survival. The proteasome-binding protein PI31 (Proteasomal Inhibitor of 31kD) promotes 265 assembly and functions as an adapter for proteasome transport in axons. As localized protein synthesis and degradation is especially critical in neurons, we generated a conditional loss of PI31 in spinal motor neurons (MNs) and cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). A cKO of PI31 in these neurons caused axon degeneration, neuronal loss, and progressive spinal and cerebellar neurological dysfunction. For both MNs and PCs, markers of proteotoxic stress preceded axonal degeneration and motor dysfunction, indicating a critical role for PI31 in neuronal homeostasis. The time course of the loss of MN and PC function in developing mouse central nervous system suggests a key role for PI31 in human neurodegenerative diseases.
Ahrends T, Busselaar J, Severson TM, Babala N, de Vries E, Bovens A, Wessels L, van Leeuwen F, Borst J
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CD4(+) T cell help creates memory CD8(+) T cells with innate and help-independent recall capacities

NATURE COMMUNICATIONS 2019 DEC 4; 10(?):? Article 5531
CD4(+) T cell help is required for the generation of CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) memory. Here, we use genome-wide analyses to show how CD4(+) T cell help delivered during priming promotes memory differentiation of CTLs. Help signals enhance IL-15-dependent maintenance of central memory T (T-CM) cells. More importantly, help signals regulate the size and function of the effector memory T (T-EM ) cell pool. Helped T-EM cells produce Granzyme B and IFN gamma upon antigen-independent, innate-like recall by IL-12 and IL-18. In addition, helped memory CTLs express the effector program characteristic of helped primary CTLs upon recall with MHC class I-restricted antigens, likely due to epigenetic imprinting and sustained mRNA expression of effector genes. Our data thus indicate that during priming, CD4(+) T cell help optimizes CTL memory by creating T-EM cells with innate and helpindependent antigen-specific recall capacities.
Herre M, Korb E
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The chromatin landscape of neuronal plasticity

CURRENT OPINION IN NEUROBIOLOGY 2019 DEC; 59(?):79-86
Examining the links between neuronal activity, transcriptional output, and synaptic function offers unique insights into how neurons adapt to changing environments and form memories. Epigenetic markers, such as DNA methylation and histone modifications, have been implicated in the formation of not only cellular memories such as cell fate, but also memories of experience at the organismal level. Here, we review recent advances in chromatin regulation that contribute to synaptic plasticity and drive adaptive behaviors through dynamic and precise regulation of transcription output in neurons. We discuss chromatin-associated proteins, histone variant proteins, the contribution of cis-regulatory elements and their interaction with histone modifications, and how these mechanisms are integrated into distinct behavior and environmental response paradigms.
Galea S, Vaughan RD
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The Future of a Public Health of Consequence: A Public Health of Consequence, December 2019

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH 2019 DEC; 109(12):1628-1629
Alcohol relapse is a treatment goal for alcohol dependence and the target for medications' development. Clinically utilized nalfurafine (NFF) is a potent and selective kappa- opioid receptor (KOP-r) agonist, with fewer side effects (e.g., sedation or anhedonia) than classic KOP-r full agonists. We have recently found that NFF reduces excessive alcohol drinking in mice via a KOP-r-mediated mechanism. Here, we further investigated whether NFF alone (1-10 mu g/kg) or in combination with naltrexone (NTX, mu-opioid receptor [MOP-r] antagonist) altered alcohol relapse-like drinking using a mouse alcohol deprivation effect (ADE) paradigm to mimic the relapse episodes in human alcoholics. Nalmefene (NMF, clinically utilized KOP-r partial agonist with MOP-r antagonism) was used as a reference compound for the effects on mouse ADE of new NFF + NTX combination. After exposed to 3-week intermittent- access alcohol drinking (two-bottle choice, 24-h access every other day), both male and female mice displayed excessive alcohol intake and then pronounced ADE after 1-week abstinence. NFF prevented the ADE in a dose-dependent manner in both male and female mice. A combination of NFF with NTX reduced the ADE without sex differences at doses lower than those individual effective ones, suggesting synergistic effects between the two compounds. NMF prevented the ADE in both sexes, while selective KOP-r antagonist nor-BNI had no effect. Our new study suggests that a combination of clinically-utilized, potent KOP-r agonist NFF with low-dose NTX has therapeutic potential in alcohol "relapse" treatment.
Ovalles AC, Contoregoi NH, Marques-Lopes J, Van Kempen TA, Iadecola C, Waters EM, Glass MJ, Milner TA
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Plasma Membrane Affiliated AMPA GluA1 in Estrogen Receptor beta-containing Paraventricular Hypothalamic Neurons Increases Following Hypertension in a Mouse Model of Post-menopause

NEUROSCIENCE 2019 DEC 15; 423(?):192-205
Sex and ovarian function contribute to hypertension susceptibility, however, the mechanisms are not well understood. Prior studies show that estrogens and neurogenic factors, including hypothalamic glutamatergic NMDA receptor plasticity, play significant roles in rodent hypertension. Here, we investigated the role of sex and ovarian failure on AMPA receptor plasticity in estrogen-sensitive paraventricular nucleus (PVN) neurons in naive and angiotensin II (AngII) infused male and female mice and female mice at early and late stages of accelerated ovarian failure (AOF). High-resolution electron microscopy was used to assess the subcellular distribution of AMPA GluA1 in age-matched male and female estrogen receptor beta (ER beta) enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) reporter mice as well as female ER beta-EGFP mice treated with 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide. In the absence of AngII, female mice at a late stage of AOF displayed higher levels of GluA1 on the plasma membrane, indicative of functional protein, in ER beta-expressing PVN dendrites when compared to male, naive female and early stage AOF mice. Following slow-pressor AngII infusion, males, as well as early and late stage AOF females had elevated blood pressure. Significantly, only late stage-AOF female mice infused with AngII had an increase in GluA1 near the plasma membrane in dendrites of ER beta-expressing PVN neurons. In contrast, prior studies reported that plasmalemmal NMDA GluN1 increased in ER beta-expressing PVN dendrites in males and early, but not late stage AOF females. Together, these findings reveal that early and late stage AOF female mice display unique molecular signatures of long-lasting synaptic strength prior to, and following hypertension. (C) 2019 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.