Patients with inborn errors of long-chain fatty acid oxidation accumulate disease-specific acylcarnitines and triacylglycerols in various tissues. Some of these patients present significant cardiac diseases such as arrhythmias and cardiomyopathy. The mechanism of how fatty acid accumulation is involved in disease pathogenesis is still unclear but apoptosis of cardiomyocytes has been suggested to be one possible mechanism of cardiomyopathy development. In this study, we measured lipid uptake and intracellular lipid accumulation after incubation of HL1 cardiomyocytes with different saturated and monounsaturated long- and medium-chain fatty acid species for various time periods and at different physiological concentrations. We assessed apoptosis induction by analyzing the mitochondrial membrane potential and TLR-4 expression as well as the composition of the accumulating triacylglycerols. We identified only 14:1 and 16:1 monounsaturated fatty acids potentially leading to an increase in TLR-4 expression and disruption of the mitochondrial membrane potential, resulting in apoptosis and necrosis in cultured cardiomyocytes. This study demonstrates significant toxicity of especially those fatty acid species in vitro that significantly accumulate in fatty acid oxidation defects presenting with cardiac disease such as very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase, carnitine acylcarnitine translocase and carnitine palmitoyl-CoA transferase deficiencies.
Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that women have a significantly better prognosis in chronic renal diseases compared to men. This suggests critical influences of gender hormones on glomerular structure and function. We examined potential direct protective effects of estradiol on podocytes.
A critical point during the course of bacterial meningitis is the excessive influx of polymorphnuclear neutrophils (PMNs) from the blood into the brain. Both paracellular and transcellular routes of leukocyte transmigration through the blood-brain barrier have been described in CNS diseases so far. Thus, we investigated the mechanism of PMN transmigration through the blood-CSF barrier under inflammatory conditions.
Dietary modification with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) supplementation is one crucial way of treating children with long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorders. Recently, supplementation prior to exercise has been reported to prevent muscular pain and rhabdomyolysis. Systematic studies to determine when MCT supplementation is most beneficial have not yet been undertaken. We studied the effects of an MCT-based diet compared with MCT administration only prior to exercise in very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) knockout (KO) mice. VLCAD KO mice were fed an MCT-based diet in same amounts as normal mouse diet containing long-chain triglycerides (LCT) and were exercised on a treadmill. Mice fed a normal LCT diet received MCT only prior to exercise. Acylcarnitine concentration, free carnitine concentration, and acyl-coenzyme A (CoA) oxidation capacity in skeletal muscle as well as hepatic lipid accumulation were determined. Long-chain acylcarnitines significantly increased in VLCAD-deficient skeletal muscle with an MCT diet compared with an LCT diet with MCT bolus prior to exercise, whereas an MCT bolus treatment significantly decreased long-chain acylcarnitines after exercise compared with an LCT diet. C8-carnitine was significantly increased in skeletal muscle after MCT bolus treatment and exercise compared with LCT and long-term MCT treatment. Increased hepatic lipid accumulation was observed in long-term MCT-treated KO mice. MCT seems most beneficial when given in a single dose directly prior to exercise to prevent acylcarnitine accumulation. In contrast, continuous MCT treatment produces a higher skeletal muscle content of long-chain acylcarnitines after exercise and increases hepatic lipid storage in VLCAD KO mice.
The choroid plexus epithelium constitutes the structural basis of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier. Since the cytokine TNFalpha is markedly increased during inflammatory diseases in the blood and the central nervous system, we investigated by which mechanisms TNFalpha induces barrier alteration in porcine choroid plexus epithelial cells. We found a dose-dependent decrease of transepithelial electrical resistance, increase of paracellular inulin-flux, and induction of histone-associated DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation after TNFalpha stimulation. This response was strongly aggravated by the addition of cycloheximide and could partially be inhibited by the NF-kappaB inhibitor CAPE, but most effectively by the pan-caspase-inhibitor zVAD-fmk and not by the JNK inhibitor SP600125. Partial loss of cell viability could also be attenuated by CAPE. Immunostaining showed cell condensation and nuclear binding of high-mobility group box 1 protein as a sign of apoptosis after TNFalpha stimulation. Taken together our findings indicate that TNFalpha compromises PCPEC barrier function by caspase and NF-kappaB dependent mechanisms.
Previous experimental studies in a standard Transwell culture system have shown Streptococcus suis ability to compromise barrier function of porcine choroid plexus epithelial cells (PCPEC). The development of an inverted Transwell filter system of PCPEC enables us now for the first time to investigate bacterial invasion and translocation from the physiologically relevant basolateral (blood) to the apical (cerebrospinal fluid) side. Most importantly, we observed specific invasion and translocation of S. suis across the PCPEC exclusively from the basolateral side. During this process, bacterial viability and the presence of a capsule as well as cytoskeletal regulation of PCPEC seemed to play an important role. No loss of barrier function was observed. Bacterial translocation could be significantly inhibited by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, but not by its inactive analogue Ly303511 or dexamethasone. Apotome imaging as well as electron microscopy revealed intracellular bacteria often in cell vacuoles. Thus, possibly regulated by the presence of a capsule, S. suis induces signals that depend on the lipid kinase phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase pathway, which paves the way for cellular uptake during the bacterial transcellular translocation process. Taken together, our data underline the relevance of the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier as a gate for bacterial entry into the central nervous system.
Very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD)-deficiency is the most common long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorder presenting with heterogeneous phenotypes. Similar to many patients with VLCADD, VLCAD-deficient mice (VLCAD(-/-)) remain asymptomatic over a long period of time. In order to identify the involved compensatory mechanisms, wild-type and VLCAD(-/-) mice were fed one year either with a normal diet or with a diet in which medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) replaced long-chain triglycerides, as approved intervention in VLCADD. The expression of the mitochondrial long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) was quantified at mRNA and protein level in heart, liver and skeletal muscle. The oxidation capacity of the different tissues was measured by LC-MS/MS using acyl-CoA substrates with a chain length of 8 to 20 carbons. Moreover, in white skeletal muscle the role of glycolysis and concomitant muscle fibre adaptation was investigated. In one year old VLCAD(-/-) mice MCAD and LCAD play an important role in order to compensate deficiency of VLCAD especially in the heart and in the liver. However, the white gastrocnemius muscle develops alternative compensatory mechanism based on a different substrate selection and increased glucose oxidation. Finally, the application of an MCT diet over one year has no effects on LCAD or MCAD expression. MCT results in the VLCAD(-/-) mice only in a very modest improvement of medium-chain acyl-CoA oxidation capacity restricted to cardiac tissue. In conclusion, VLCAD(-/-) mice develop tissue-specific strategies to compensate deficiency of VLCAD either by induction of other mitochondrial acyl-CoA dehydrogenases or by enhancement of glucose oxidation. In the muscle, there is evidence of a muscle fibre type adaptation with a predominance of glycolytic muscle fibres. Dietary modification as represented by an MCT-diet does not improve these strategies long-term.
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