Sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive lipid involved in various physiological processes, can be irreversibly degraded by the membrane-bound S1P lyase (S1PL) yielding (2E)-hexadecenal and phosphoethanolamine. It is discussed that (2E)-hexadecenal is further oxidized to (2E)-hexadecenoic acid by the long-chain fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase ALDH3A2 (also known as FALDH) prior to activation via coupling to coenzyme A (CoA). Inhibition or defects in these enzymes, S1PL or FALDH, result in severe immunological disorders or the Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, respectively. Hence, it is of enormous importance to simultaneously determine the S1P breakdown product (2E)-hexadecenal and its fatty acid metabolites in biological samples. However, no method is available so far. Here, we present a sensitive and selective isotope-dilution high performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-quadrupole/time-of-flight mass spectrometry method for simultaneous quantification of (2E)-hexadecenal and its fatty acid metabolites following derivatization with 2-diphenylacetyl-1,3-indandione-1-hydrazone and 1-ethyl-3-(3-(dimethylamino)propyl)carbodiimide. Optimized conditions for sample derivatization, chromatographic separation, and MS/MS detection are presented as well as an extensive method validation. Finally, our method was successfully applied to biological samples. We found that (2E)-hexadecenal is almost quantitatively oxidized to (2E)-hexadecenoic acid, that is further activated as verified by cotreatment of HepG2 cell lysates with (2E)-hexadecenal and the acyl-CoA synthetase inhibitor triacsin C. Moreover, incubations of cell lysates with deuterated (2E)-hexadecenal revealed that no hexadecanoic acid is formed from the aldehyde. Thus, our method provides new insights into the sphingolipid metabolism and will be useful to investigate diseases known for abnormalities in long-chain fatty acid metabolism, e.g., the Sjögren-Larsson syndrome, in more detail.
DNA-methylation is a common epigenetic tool which plays a crucial role in gene regulation and is essential for cell differentiation and embryonic development. The placenta is an important organ where gene activity can be regulated by epigenetic DNA modifications, including DNA methylation. This is of interest as, the placenta is the interface between the fetus and its environment, the mother. Exposure to environmental toxins and nutrition during pregnancy may alter DNA methylation of the placenta and subsequently placental function and as a result the phenotype of the offspring. The aim of this study was to develop a reliable method to quantify DNA methylation in large clinical studies. This will be a tool to analyze the degree of DNA methylation in the human placenta in relationship to clinical readouts.
Obesity has reached global epidemic proportions and creating an urgent need to understand mechanisms underlying excessive and uncontrolled food intake. Ghrelin, the only known circulating orexigenic hormone, potently increases food reward behavior. The neurochemical circuitry that links ghrelin to the mesolimbic reward system and to the increased food reward behavior remains unclear. Here we examine whether VTA-NAc dopaminergic signaling is required for the effects of ghrelin on food reward and intake. In addition, we examine the possibility of endogenous ghrelin acting on the VTA-NAc dopamine neurons. A D1-like or a D2 receptor antagonist was injected into the NAc in combination with ghrelin microinjection into the VTA to investigate whether this blockade attenuates ghrelin-induced food reward behavior. VTA injections of ghrelin produced a significant increase in food motivation/reward behavior, as measured by sucrose-induced progressive ratio operant conditioning, and chow intake. Pretreatment with either a D1-like or D2 receptor antagonist into the NAc, completely blocked the reward effect of ghrelin, leaving chow intake intact. We also found that this circuit is potentially relevant for the effects of endogenously released ghrelin as both antagonists reduced fasting (a state of high circulating levels of ghrelin) elevated sucrose-motivated behavior but not chow hyperphagia. Taken together our data identify the VTA to NAc dopaminergic projections, along with D1-like and D2 receptors in the NAc, as essential elements of the ghrelin responsive circuits controlling food reward behavior. Interestingly results also suggest that food reward behavior and simple intake of chow are controlled by divergent circuitry, where NAc dopamine plays an important role in food reward but not in food intake.
Recent discoveries indicate an important role for ghrelin in drug and alcohol reward and an ability of ghrelin to regulate mesolimbic dopamine activity. The role of dopamine in novelty seeking, and the association between this trait and drug and alcohol abuse, led us to hypothesize that ghrelin may influence novelty seeking behavior. To test this possibility we applied several complementary rodent models of novelty seeking behavior, i.e. inescapable novelty-induced locomotor activity (NILA), novelty-induced place preference and novel object exploration, in rats subjected to acute ghrelin receptor (growth hormone secretagogue receptor; GHSR) stimulation or blockade. Furthermore we assessed the possible association between polymorphisms in the genes encoding ghrelin and GHSR and novelty seeking behavior in humans. The rodent studies indicate an important role for ghrelin in a wide range of novelty seeking behaviors. Ghrelin-injected rats exhibited a higher preference for a novel environment and increased novel object exploration. Conversely, those with GHSR blockade drastically reduced their preference for a novel environment and displayed decreased NILA. Importantly, the mesolimbic ventral tegmental area selective GHSR blockade was sufficient to reduce the NILA response indicating that the mesolimbic GHSRs might play an important role in the observed novelty responses. Moreover, in untreated animals, a striking positive correlation between NILA and sucrose reward behavior was detected. Two GHSR single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), rs2948694 and rs495225, were significantly associated with the personality trait novelty seeking, as assessed using the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI), in human subjects. This study provides the first evidence for a role of ghrelin in novelty seeking behavior in animals and humans, and also points to an association between food reward and novelty seeking in rodents.
Sphingosine-1-phosphate lyase (SPL) is the only known enzyme that irreversibly cleaves sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) into phosphoethanolamine and (2E)-hexadecenal during the final step of sphingolipid catabolism. Because S1P is involved in a wide range of physiological and diseased processes, determining the activity of the degrading enzyme is of great interest. Therefore, we developed two procedures based on liquid chromatography (LC) for analysing (2E)-hexadecenal, which is one of the two S1P degradation products. After separation, two different quantification methods were performed, tandem mass spectrometry (MS) and fluorescence detection. However, (2E)-hexadecenal as a long-chain aldehyde is not ionisable by electrospray ionisation (ESI) for MS quantification and has an insufficient number of corresponding double bonds for fluorescence detection. Therefore, we investigated 2-diphenylacetyl-1,3-indandione-1-hydrazone (DAIH) as a derivatisation reagent. DAIH transforms the aldehyde into an ionisable and fluorescent analogue for quantitative analysis. Our conditions were optimised to obtain the outstanding limit of detection (LOD) of 1 fmol per sample (30 ?L) for LC-MS/MS and 0.75 pmol per sample (200 ?L) for LC determination with fluorescence detection. We developed an extraction procedure to separate and concentrate (2E)-hexadecenal from biological samples for these measurements. To confirm our new methods, we analysed the (2E)-hexadecenal level of different cell lines and human plasma for the first time ever. Furthermore, we treated HT-29 cells with different concentrations of 4-deoxypyridoxine (DOP), which competitively inhibits pyridoxal-5-phosphate (P5P), an essential cofactor for SPL activity, and observed a significant decrease in (2E)-hexadecenal relative to the untreated cells.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.