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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Manufacturing and characterization of a recombinant adeno-associated virus type 8 reference standard material.
Hum. Gene Ther.
PUBLISHED: 10-03-2014
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Abstract Gene therapy approaches using recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 (rAAV2) and serotype 8 (rAAV8) have achieved significant clinical benefits. The generation of rAAV Reference Standard Materials (RSM) is key to providing points of reference for particle titer, vector genome titer, and infectious titer for gene transfer vectors. Following the example of the rAAV2RSM, here we have generated and characterized a novel RSM based on rAAV serotype 8. The rAAV8RSM was produced using transient transfection, and the purification was based on density gradient ultracentrifugation. The rAAV8RSM was distributed for characterization along with standard assay protocols to 16 laboratories worldwide. Mean titers and 95% confidence intervals were determined for capsid particles (mean, 5.50×10(11) pt/ml; CI, 4.26×10(11) to 6.75×10(11) pt/ml), vector genomes (mean, 5.75×10(11) vg/ml; CI, 3.05×10(11) to 1.09×10(12) vg/ml), and infectious units (mean, 1.26×10(9) IU/ml; CI, 6.46×10(8) to 2.51×10(9) IU/ml). Notably, there was a significant degree of variation between institutions for each assay despite the relatively tight correlation of assay results within an institution. This outcome emphasizes the need to use RSMs to calibrate the titers of rAAV vectors in preclinical and clinical studies at a time when the field is maturing rapidly. The rAAV8RSM has been deposited at the American Type Culture Collection (VR-1816) and is available to the scientific community.
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Pancreatic transduction by helper-dependent adenoviral vectors via intraductal delivery.
Hum. Gene Ther.
PUBLISHED: 07-22-2014
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Pancreatic gene transfer could be useful to treat several diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, cystic fibrosis, chronic pancreatitis, or pancreatic cancer. Helper-dependent adenoviral vectors (HDAds) are promising tools for gene therapy because of their large cloning capacity, high levels of transgene expression, and long-term persistence in immunocompetent animals. Nevertheless, the ability of HDAds to transduce the pancreas in vivo has not been investigated yet. Here, we have generated HDAds carrying pancreas-specific expression cassettes, that is, driven either by the elastase or insulin promoter, using a novel and convenient plasmid family and homologous recombination in bacteria. These HDAds were delivered to the pancreas of immunocompetent mice via intrapancreatic duct injection. HDAds, encoding a CMV-GFP reporter cassette, were able to transduce acinar and islet cells, but transgene expression was lost 15 days postinjection in correlation with severe lymphocytic infiltration. When HDAds encoding GFP under the control of the specific elastase promoter were used, expression was detected in acinar cells, but similarly, the expression almost disappeared 30 days postinjection and lymphocytic infiltration was also observed. In contrast, long-term transgene expression (>8 months) was achieved with HDAds carrying the insulin promoter and the secretable alkaline phosphatase as the reporter gene. Notably, transduction of the liver, the preferred target for adenovirus, was minimal by this route of delivery. These data indicate that HDAds could be used for pancreatic gene therapy but that selection of the expression cassette is of critical importance to achieve long-term expression of the transgene in this tissue.
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Whole body correction of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA by intracerebrospinal fluid gene therapy.
J. Clin. Invest.
PUBLISHED: 04-25-2013
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For most lysosomal storage diseases (LSDs) affecting the CNS, there is currently no cure. The BBB, which limits the bioavailability of drugs administered systemically, and the short half-life of lysosomal enzymes, hamper the development of effective therapies. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPS IIIA) is an autosomic recessive LSD caused by a deficiency in sulfamidase, a sulfatase involved in the stepwise degradation of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) heparan sulfate. Here, we demonstrate that intracerebrospinal fluid (intra-CSF) administration of serotype 9 adenoassociated viral vectors (AAV9s) encoding sulfamidase corrects both CNS and somatic pathology in MPS IIIA mice. Following vector administration, enzymatic activity increased throughout the brain and in serum, leading to whole body correction of GAG accumulation and lysosomal pathology, normalization of behavioral deficits, and prolonged survival. To test this strategy in a larger animal, we treated beagle dogs using intracisternal or intracerebroventricular delivery. Administration of sulfamidase-encoding AAV9 resulted in transgenic expression throughout the CNS and liver and increased sulfamidase activity in CSF. High-titer serum antibodies against AAV9 only partially blocked CSF-mediated gene transfer to the brains of dogs. Consistently, anti-AAV antibody titers were lower in CSF than in serum collected from healthy and MPS IIIA-affected children. These results support the clinical translation of this approach for the treatment of MPS IIIA and other LSDs with CNS involvement.
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Treatment of diabetes and long-term survival after insulin and glucokinase gene therapy.
Diabetes
PUBLISHED: 02-01-2013
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Diabetes is associated with severe secondary complications, largely caused by poor glycemic control. Treatment with exogenous insulin fails to prevent these complications completely, leading to significant morbidity and mortality. We previously demonstrated that it is possible to generate a "glucose sensor" in skeletal muscle through coexpression of glucokinase and insulin, increasing glucose uptake and correcting hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. Here, we demonstrate long-term efficacy of this approach in a large animal model of diabetes. A one-time intramuscular administration of adeno-associated viral vectors of serotype 1 encoding for glucokinase and insulin in diabetic dogs resulted in normalization of fasting glycemia, accelerated disposal of glucose after oral challenge, and no episodes of hypoglycemia during exercise for >4 years after gene transfer. This was associated with recovery of body weight, reduced glycosylated plasma proteins levels, and long-term survival without secondary complications. Conversely, exogenous insulin or gene transfer for insulin or glucokinase alone failed to achieve complete correction of diabetes, indicating that the synergistic action of insulin and glucokinase is needed for full therapeutic effect. This study provides the first proof-of-concept in a large animal model for a gene transfer approach to treat diabetes.
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Intraductal delivery of adenoviruses targets pancreatic tumors in transgenic Ela-myc mice and orthotopic xenografts.
Oncotarget
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2013
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Gene-based anticancer therapies delivered by adenoviruses are limited by the poor viral distribution into the tumor. In the current work we have explored the feasibility of targeting pancreatic tumors through a loco-regional route. We have taken advantage of the ductal network in the pancreas to retrogradelly inject adenoviruses through the common bile duct in two different mouse models of pancreatic carcinogenesis: The transgenic Ela-myc mice that develop mixed neoplasms displaying both acinar-like and duct-like neoplastic cells affecting the whole pancreas; and mice bearing PANC-1 and BxPC-3 orthotopic xenografts that constitute a model of localized human neoplastic tumors. We studied tumor targeting and the anticancer effects of newly thymidine kinase-engineered adenoviruses both in vitro and in vivo, and conducted comparative studies between intraductal or intravenous administration. Our data indicate that the intraductal delivery of adenovirus efficiently targets pancreatic tumors in the two mouse models. The in vivo application of AduPARTKT plus ganciclovir (GCV) treatment induced tumor regression in Ela-myc mice. Moreover, the intraductal injection of ICOVIR15-TKT oncolytic adenoviruses significantly improved mean survival of mice bearing PANC-1 and BxPC-3 pancreatic xenografts from 30 to 52 days and from 20 to 68 days respectively (p less than 0.0001) when combined with GCV. Of notice, both AduPARTKT and ICOVIR15-TKT antitumoral responses were stronger by ductal viral application than intravenously, in line with the 38-fold increase in pancreas transduction observed upon ductal administration. In summary our data show that cytotoxic adenoviruses retrogradelly injected to the pancreas can be a feasible approach to treat localized pancreatic tumors.
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Liver production of sulfamidase reverses peripheral and ameliorates CNS pathology in mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA mice.
Mol. Ther.
PUBLISHED: 10-18-2011
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Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPSIIIA) is an inherited lysosomal storage disease caused by deficiency of sulfamidase, resulting in accumulation of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) heparan sulfate. It is characterized by severe progressive neurodegeneration, together with somatic alterations, which lead to death during adolescence. Here, we tested the ability of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated genetic modification of either skeletal muscle or liver to revert the already established disease phenotype of 2-month-old MPSIIIA males and females. Intramuscular administration of AAV-Sulfamidase failed to achieve significant therapeutic benefit in either gender. In contrast, AAV8-mediated liver-directed gene transfer achieved high and sustained levels of circulating active sulfamidase, which reached normal levels in females and was fourfold higher in males, and completely corrected lysosomal GAG accumulation in most somatic tissues. Remarkably, a 50% reduction of GAG accumulation was achieved throughout the entire brain of males, which correlated with a partial improvement of the pathology of cerebellum and cortex. Liver-directed gene transfer expanded the lifespan of MPSIIIA males, underscoring the importance of reaching supraphysiological plasma levels of enzyme for maximal therapeutic benefit. These results show how liver-directed gene transfer can reverse somatic and ameliorate neurological pathology in MPSIIIA.
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Characterization of a recombinant adeno-associated virus type 2 Reference Standard Material.
Hum. Gene Ther.
PUBLISHED: 09-16-2010
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A recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 2 Reference Standard Material (rAAV2 RSM) has been produced and characterized with the purpose of providing a reference standard for particle titer, vector genome titer, and infectious titer for AAV2 gene transfer vectors. Production and purification of the reference material were carried out by helper virus-free transient transfection and chromatographic purification. The purified bulk material was vialed, confirmed negative for microbial contamination, and then distributed for characterization along with standard assay protocols and assay reagents to 16 laboratories worldwide. Using statistical transformation and modeling of the raw data, mean titers and confidence intervals were determined for capsid particles ({X}, 9.18?x?10¹¹ particles/ml; 95% confidence interval [CI], 7.89?x?10¹¹ to 1.05?x?10¹² particles/ml), vector genomes ({X}, 3.28?x?10¹? vector genomes/ml; 95% CI, 2.70?x?10¹? to 4.75?x?10¹? vector genomes/ml), transducing units ({X}, 5.09?x?10? transducing units/ml; 95% CI, 2.00?x?10? to 9.60?x?10? transducing units/ml), and infectious units ({X}, 4.37?x?10? TCID?? IU/ml; 95% CI, 2.06?x?10? to 9.26?x?10? TCID?? IU/ml). Further analysis confirmed the identity of the reference material as AAV2 and the purity relative to nonvector proteins as greater than 94%. One obvious trend in the quantitative data was the degree of variation between institutions for each assay despite the relatively tight correlation of assay results within an institution. This relatively poor degree of interlaboratory precision and accuracy was apparent even though attempts were made to standardize the assays by providing detailed protocols and common reagents. This is the first time that such variation between laboratories has been thoroughly documented and the findings emphasize the need in the field for universal reference standards. The rAAV2 RSM has been deposited with the American Type Culture Collection and is available to the scientific community to calibrate laboratory-specific internal titer standards. Anticipated uses of the rAAV2 RSM are discussed.
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Production, purification and characterization of adeno-associated vectors.
Curr Gene Ther
PUBLISHED: 09-10-2010
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The use of recombinant adeno-associated viral vectors (rAAVs) as gene transfer tools has increased dramatically during the past last several years, establishing AAV as the vector of choice for many therapeutic applications. With the steady advance of the field toward clinical studies, and the isolation and engineering of several novel AAV serotypes, efficient, scalable, and versatile production and purification methods are continuously under development. Here, we review the current state of the art in the various production and purification methods for rAAVs. Classical parameters and methodologies to characterize rAAV stocks will be also discussed.
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Hypothalamic-specific manipulation of Fto, the ortholog of the human obesity gene FTO, affects food intake in rats.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-19-2010
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Sequence variants in the first intron of FTO are strongly associated with human obesity and human carriers of the risk alleles show evidence for increased appetite and food intake. Mice globally lacking Fto display a complex phenotype characterised by both increased energy expenditure and increased food intake. The site of action of FTO on energy balance is unclear. Fasting reduces levels of Fto mRNA in the arcuate nucleus (ARC) of the hypothalamus, a site where Fto expression is particularly high. In this study, we have extended this nutritional link by demonstrating that consumption of a high fat diet (45%) results in a 2.5 fold increase in Arc Fto expression. We have further explored the role of hypothalamic Fto in the control of food intake by using stereotactic injections coupled with AAV technology to bi-directionally modulate Fto expression. An over expression of Fto protein by 2.5-fold in the ARC results in a 14% decrease in average daily food intake in the first week. In contrast, knocking down Arc Fto expression by 40% increases food intake by 16%. mRNA levels of Agrp, Pomc and Npy, ARC-expressed genes classically associated with the control of food intake, were not affected by the manipulation of Fto expression. However, over expression of Fto resulted in a 4-fold increase in the mRNA levels of Stat3, a signalling molecule critical for leptin receptor signalling, suggesting a possible candidate for the mediation of Ftos actions. These data provide further support for the notion that FTO itself can influence key components of energy balance, and is therefore a strong candidate for the mediation of the robust association between FTO intronic variants and adiposity. Importantly, this provide the first indication that selective alteration of FTO levels in the hypothalamus can influence food intake, a finding consistent with the reported effects of FTO alleles on appetite and food intake in man.
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Increased intraocular insulin-like growth factor-I triggers blood-retinal barrier breakdown.
J. Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 05-27-2009
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Blood-retinal barrier (BRB) breakdown is a key event in diabetic retinopathy and other ocular disorders that leads to increased retinal vascular permeability. This causes edema and tissue damage resulting in visual impairment. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is involved in these processes, although the relative contribution of increased systemic versus intraocular IGF-I remains controversial. Here, to elucidate the role of this factor in BRB breakdown, transgenic mice with either local or systemic elevations of IGF-I have been examined. High intraocular IGF-I, resulting from overexpression of IGF-I in the retina, increased IGF-I receptor content and signaling and led to accumulation of vascular endothelial growth factor. This was parallel to up-regulation of vascular Intercellular adhesion molecule I and retinal infiltration by bone marrow-derived microglial cells. These alterations resulted in increased vessel paracellular permeability to both low and high molecular weight compounds in IGF-I-overexpressing retinas and agreed with the loss of vascular tight junction integrity observed by electron microscopy and the altered junctional protein content. In contrast, mice with chronically elevated serum IGF-I did not show alterations in the retinal vasculature structure and permeability, indicating that circulating IGF-I cannot initiate BRB breakdown. Consistent with a key role of IGF-I signaling in retinal diseases, a strong up-regulation of the IGF-I receptor in human retinas with marked gliosis was also observed. Thus, this study demonstrates that intraocular IGF-I, but not systemic IGF-I, is sufficient to trigger processes leading to BRB breakdown and increased retinal vascular permeability. Therefore, therapeutic interventions designed to counteract local IGF-I effects may prove successful to prevent BRB disruption.
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Inducible adeno-associated virus vectors promote functional angiogenesis in adult organisms via regulated vascular endothelial growth factor expression.
Cardiovasc. Res.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2009
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Members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family are among the most promising cytokines to induce neovascularization of ischaemic tissues; however, their unregulated expression often results in major undesired effects. Here, we describe the properties of inducible vectors based on the adeno-associated virus (AAV), allowing precise control of VEGF expression, and exploit these vectors to define the kinetics of the angiogenic response elicited by the factor.
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Endothelial cell transduction in primary cultures from regressing mesonephros.
Cells Tissues Organs (Print)
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2009
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Loss of renal function during normal aging is associated with vascular alterations. Consequently, new therapeutic approaches, including gene therapy, to protect renal endothelial cells are expected to be greatly beneficial. Quail mesonephros is a transitory embryonic kidney that has been used for the study of vascular development and involution. Vascular alterations in regressing mesonephros are similar to those observed in aging kidney. In the present study, we examined adenovirus-mediated gene transfer to endothelial cells in primary cultures from developing and regressing quail mesonephros. Quail embryos with developing and regressing mesonephros were examined on day 6 (30HH) and day 11 (40HH) of incubation, respectively. The senescence markers, associated beta-galactosidase activity and p16(INK4a), were examined in whole mesonephros. Quail embryos were injected intracardiacally with adenoviral vectors (rAd-CMV-LacZ) and endothelial cell transduction examined. In addition, primary cell cultures from mesonephros were exposed to adenoviral vectors. Endothelial cells in primary cultures were identified as QH1(+), LEP100(-) and acidic phosphatase(-) cells and adenovirus-transduced cells were those positive for bacterial-associated beta-galactosidase activity. We report that endothelial cells in the whole regressing mesonephros and primary cell cultures expressed senescence markers. In addition, we observed that adenoviral vectors were able to transduce endothelial cells in the whole regressing mesonephros, and that cultured endothelial and macrophagic cells from the regressing mesonephros were more efficiently transduced than those derived from the developing mesonephros. Our results suggest that quail mesonephros provides a practical model to assay gene transfer to endothelial cells in regressing/senescent vessels.
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Proinsulin slows retinal degeneration and vision loss in the P23H rat model of retinitis pigmentosa.
Hum. Gene Ther.
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Proinsulin has been characterized as a neuroprotective molecule. In this work we assess the therapeutic potential of proinsulin on photoreceptor degeneration, synaptic connectivity, and functional activity of the retina in the transgenic P23H rat, an animal model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP). P23H homozygous rats received an intramuscular injection of an adeno-associated viral vector serotype 1 (AAV1) expressing human proinsulin (hPi+) or AAV1-null vector (hPi-) at P20. Levels of hPi in serum were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and visual function was evaluated by electroretinographic (ERG) recording at P30, P60, P90, and P120. Preservation of retinal structure was assessed by immunohistochemistry at P120. Human proinsulin was detected in serum from rats injected with hPi+ at all times tested, with average hPi levels ranging from 1.1?nM (P30) to 1.4?nM (P120). ERG recordings showed an amelioration of vision loss in hPi+ animals. The scotopic b-waves were significantly higher in hPi+ animals than in control rats at P90 and P120. This attenuation of visual deterioration correlated with a delay in photoreceptor degeneration and the preservation of retinal cytoarchitecture. hPi+ animals had 48.7% more photoreceptors than control animals. Presynaptic and postsynaptic elements, as well as the synaptic contacts between photoreceptors and bipolar or horizontal cells, were preserved in hPi+ P23H rats. Furthermore, in hPi+ rat retinas the number of rod bipolar cell bodies was greater than in control rats. Our data demonstrate that hPi expression preserves cone and rod structure and function, together with their contacts with postsynaptic neurons, in the P23H rat. These data strongly support the further development of proinsulin-based therapy to counteract retinitis pigmentosa.
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Vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated islet hypervascularization and inflammation contribute to progressive reduction of ?-cell mass.
Diabetes
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Type 2 diabetes (T2D) results from insulin resistance and inadequate insulin secretion. Insulin resistance initially causes compensatory islet hyperplasia that progresses to islet disorganization and altered vascularization, inflammation, and, finally, decreased functional ?-cell mass and hyperglycemia. The precise mechanism(s) underlying ?-cell failure remain to be elucidated. In this study, we show that in insulin-resistant high-fat diet-fed mice, the enhanced islet vascularization and inflammation was parallel to an increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF). To elucidate the role of VEGF in these processes, we have genetically engineered ?-cells to overexpress VEGF (in transgenic mice or after adeno-associated viral vector-mediated gene transfer). We found that sustained increases in ?-cell VEGF levels led to disorganized, hypervascularized, and fibrotic islets, progressive macrophage infiltration, and proinflammatory cytokine production, including tumor necrosis factor-? and interleukin-1?. This resulted in impaired insulin secretion, decreased ?-cell mass, and hyperglycemia with age. These results indicate that sustained VEGF upregulation may participate in the initiation of a process leading to ?-cell failure and further suggest that compensatory islet hyperplasia and hypervascularization may contribute to progressive inflammation and ?-cell mass loss during T2D.
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Correction of pathological accumulation of glycosaminoglycans in central nervous system and peripheral tissues of MPSIIIA mice through systemic AAV9 gene transfer.
Hum. Gene Ther.
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Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (MPSIIIA) is a rare lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the sulfamidase gene. Accumulation of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) inside the lysosomes is associated with severe neurodegeneration as well as peripheral organ pathological changes leading to death of affected individuals during adolescence. There is no cure for MPSIIIA. Due to the limitation of the blood-brain barrier, enzyme replacement therapy and gene therapy strategies attempted thus far have not achieved whole-body correction of the disease. After the systemic administration of an adeno-associated virus 9 (AAV9) vector encoding for sulfamidase under the control of a ubiquitous promoter, we were able to obtain widespread expression of the therapeutic transgene in brain and in peripheral organs, and sulfamidase activity in serum of both male and female MPSIIIA mice. This was accompanied by the normalization of GAG storage levels in most peripheral organs. In brain, decrease in GAG tissue content following AAV9 gene transfer of sulfamidase was associated with the resolution of neuroinflammation. Finally, correction of disease phenotype resulted in a remarkable prolongation of survival of both male and female AAV-treated MPSIIIA mice. This proof-of-concept study will be relevant to the future development of therapies for MPSIIIA.
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LRH-1-dependent glucose sensing determines intermediary metabolism in liver.
J. Clin. Invest.
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Liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1), an established regulator of cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis, has recently emerged as a potential drug target for liver disease. Although LRH-1 activation may protect the liver against diet-induced steatosis and insulin resistance, little is known about how LRH-1 controls hepatic glucose and fatty acid metabolism under physiological conditions. We therefore assessed the role of LRH-1 in hepatic intermediary metabolism. In mice with conditional deletion of Lrh1 in liver, analysis of hepatic glucose fluxes revealed reduced glucokinase (GCK) and glycogen synthase fluxes as compared with those of wild-type littermates. These changes were attributed to direct transcriptional regulation of Gck by LRH-1. Impaired glucokinase-mediated glucose phosphorylation in LRH-1-deficient livers was also associated with reduced glycogen synthesis, glycolysis, and de novo lipogenesis in response to acute and prolonged glucose exposure. Accordingly, hepatic carbohydrate response element-binding protein activity was reduced in these animals. Cumulatively, these data identify LRH-1 as a key regulatory component of the hepatic glucose-sensing system required for proper integration of postprandial glucose and lipid metabolism.
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Operant behavior to obtain palatable food modifies neuronal plasticity in the brain reward circuit.
Eur Neuropsychopharmacol
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Palatability enhances food intake by hedonic mechanisms that prevail over caloric necessities. Different studies have demonstrated the role of endogenous cannabinoids in the mesocorticolimbic system in controlling food hedonic value and consumption. We hypothesize that the endogenous cannabinoid system could also be involved in the development of food-induced behavioral alterations, such as food-seeking and binge-eating, by a mechanism that requires neuroplastic changes in the brain reward pathway. For this purpose, we evaluated the role of the CB1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1-R) in the behavioral and neuroplastic changes induced by operant training for standard, highly caloric or highly palatable isocaloric food using different genetics, viral and pharmacological approaches. Neuroplasticity was evaluated by measuring changes in dendritic spine density in neurons previously labeled with the dye DiI. Only operant training to obtain highly palatable isocaloric food induced neuroplastic changes in neurons of the nucleus accumbens shell and prefrontal cortex that were associated to changes in food-seeking behavior. These behavioral and neuroplastic modifications induced by highly palatable isocaloric food were dependent on the activity of the CB1-R. Neuroplastic changes induced by highly palatable isocaloric food are similar to those produced by some drugs of abuse and may be crucial in the alteration of food-seeking behavior leading to overweight and obesity.
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Telomerase gene therapy in adult and old mice delays aging and increases longevity without increasing cancer.
EMBO Mol Med
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A major goal in aging research is to improve health during aging. In the case of mice, genetic manipulations that shorten or lengthen telomeres result, respectively, in decreased or increased longevity. Based on this, we have tested the effects of a telomerase gene therapy in adult (1 year of age) and old (2 years of age) mice. Treatment of 1- and 2-year old mice with an adeno associated virus (AAV) of wide tropism expressing mouse TERT had remarkable beneficial effects on health and fitness, including insulin sensitivity, osteoporosis, neuromuscular coordination and several molecular biomarkers of aging. Importantly, telomerase-treated mice did not develop more cancer than their control littermates, suggesting that the known tumorigenic activity of telomerase is severely decreased when expressed in adult or old organisms using AAV vectors. Finally, telomerase-treated mice, both at 1-year and at 2-year of age, had an increase in median lifespan of 24 and 13%, respectively. These beneficial effects were not observed with a catalytically inactive TERT, demonstrating that they require telomerase activity. Together, these results constitute a proof-of-principle of a role of TERT in delaying physiological aging and extending longevity in normal mice through a telomerase-based treatment, and demonstrate the feasibility of anti-aging gene therapy.
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