There is evidence of the therapeutic potential of intranasal oxytocin for the treatment of pain and various psychiatric disorders, however, there is scant evidence that oxytocin reaches the brain. We quantified the concentration and distribution pattern of [125I]-radiolabeled oxytocin in the brains and peripheral tissues of rats after intranasal delivery using gamma counting and autoradiography, respectively. Radiolabel was detected in high concentrations in the trigeminal and olfactory nerves as well as in brain regions along their trajectories. Considerable concentrations were observed in the blood, however, relatively low levels of radiolabel were measured in peripheral tissues. The addition of a mucoadhesive did not enhance brain concentrations. These results provide support for intranasal OT reaching the brain via the olfactory and trigeminal neural pathways. These findings will inform the design and interpretation of clinical studies with intranasal oxytocin.
Cisplatin is a well-known cancer chemotherapeutic agent but how extensively long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) expression is modulated by cisplatin is unknown. It is imperative to employ a comprehensive approach to obtain a better account of cisplatin-mediated changes in the expression of lncRNAs. In this study, we used a transcriptomics approach to profile lncRNAs in cisplatin-treated HeLa cells, which resulted in identification of 10,214 differentially expressed lncRNAs, of which 2,500 were antisense lncRNAs. For functional analyses, we knocked down one of the cisplatin inducible lncRNAs, death receptor 5 antisense (DR5-AS) lncRNA, which resulted in a morphological change in HeLa cell shape without inducing any cell death. A second round of transcriptomics-based profiling revealed differential expression of genes associated with immune system, motility and cell cycle in DR5-AS knockdown HeLa cells. Cellular analyses showed that DR5-AS reduced cell proliferation and caused a cell cycle arrest at S and G2/M phases. Moreover, DR5-AS knockdown reduced the invasive capacity of HeLa cells in zebrafish xenograft model. These results suggest that cisplatin-mediated pleiotropic effects, such as reduction in cell proliferation, metastasis and cell cycle arrest, may be mediated by lncRNAs.
The hippocampus has previously been implicated in both cognitive and endocrine functions1–15. We simultaneously measured electrophysiological activity from the hippocampus and interstitial glucose concentrations in the body of freely behaving rats to identify an activity pattern that may link these disparate functions of the hippocampus. Here we report that clusters of sharp wave-ripples recorded from the hippocampus reliably predicted a decrease in peripheral glucose concentrations within about 10 min. This correlation was not dependent on circadian, ultradian or meal-triggered fluctuations, could be mimicked with optogenetically induced ripples in the hippocampus (but not in the parietal cortex) and was attenuated to chance levels by pharmacogenetically suppressing activity of the lateral septum, which is the major conduit between the hippocampus and the hypothalamus. Our findings demonstrate that a function of the sharp wave-ripple is to modulate peripheral glucose homeostasis, and offer a mechanism for the link between sleep disruption and blood glucose dysregulation in type 2 diabetes16–18.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Impaired neuronal bioenergetics and neuroinflammation are thought to play key roles in the progression of AD, but their interplay is not clear. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is an important metabolite in all human cells in which it is pivotal for multiple processes including DNA repair and mitophagy, both of which are impaired in AD neurons. Here, we report that levels of NAD+ are reduced and markers of inflammation increased in the brains of APP/PS1 mutant transgenic mice with beta-amyloid pathology. Treatment of APP/PS1 mutant mice with the NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR) for 5 mo increased brain NAD+ levels, reduced expression of proinflammatory cytokines, and decreased activation of microglia and astrocytes. NR treatment also reduced NLRP3 inflammasome expression, DNA damage, apoptosis, and cellular senescence in the AD mouse brains. Activation of cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING) are associated with DNA damage and senescence. cGAS–STING elevation was observed in the AD mice and normalized by NR treatment. Cell culture experiments using microglia suggested that the beneficial effects of NR are, in part, through a cGAS–STING-dependent pathway. Levels of ectopic (cytoplasmic) DNA were increased in APP/PS1 mutant mice and human AD fibroblasts and down-regulated by NR. NR treatment induced mitophagy and improved cognitive and synaptic functions in APP/PS1 mutant mice. Our findings suggest a role for NAD+ depletion-mediated activation of cGAS–STING in neuroinflammation and cellular senescence in AD.
Background We have shown previously that low‐density lipoprotein (LDL) can be oxidized in the lysosomes of macrophages, that this oxidation can be inhibited by cysteamine, an antioxidant that accumulates in lysosomes, and that this drug decreases atherosclerosis in LDL receptor–deficient mice fed a high‐fat diet. We have now performed a regression study with cysteamine, which is of more relevance to the treatment of human disease. Methods and Results LDL receptor–deficient mice were fed a high‐fat diet to induce atherosclerotic lesions. They were then reared on chow diet and drinking water containing cysteamine or plain drinking water. Aortic atherosclerosis was assessed, and samples of liver and skeletal muscle were analyzed. There was no regression of atherosclerosis in the control mice, but cysteamine caused regression of between 32% and 56% compared with the control group, depending on the site of the lesions. Cysteamine substantially increased markers of lesion stability, decreased ceroid, and greatly decreased oxidized phospholipids in the lesions. The liver lipid levels and expression of cluster of differentiation 68, acetyl–coenzyme A acetyltransferase 2, cytochromes P450 (CYP)27, and proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines were decreased by cysteamine. Skeletal muscle function and oxidative fibers were increased by cysteamine. There were no changes in the plasma total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, high‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, or triacylglycerol concentrations attributable to cysteamine. Conclusions Inhibiting the lysosomal oxidation of LDL in atherosclerotic lesions by antioxidants targeted at lysosomes causes the regression of atherosclerosis and improves liver and muscle characteristics in mice and might be a promising novel therapy for atherosclerosis in patients.
BACKGROUND Thrombosis and inflammation may contribute to the risk of death and complications among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). We hypothesized that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation may improve outcomes in noncritically ill patients who are hospitalized with Covid-19. METHODS In this open-label, adaptive, multiplatform, controlled trial, we randomly assigned patients who were hospitalized with Covid-19 and who were not critically ill (which was defined as an absence of critical care–level organ support at enrollment) to receive pragmatically defined regimens of either therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin or usual-care pharmacologic thromboprophylaxis. The primary outcome was organ support–free days, evaluated on an ordinal scale that combined in-hospital death (assigned a value of −1) and the number of days free of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support up to day 21 among patients who survived to hospital discharge. This outcome was evaluated with the use of a Bayesian statistical model for all patients and according to the baseline d-dimer level. RESULTS The trial was stopped when prespecified criteria for the superiority of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation were met. Among 2219 patients in the final analysis, the probability that therapeutic-dose anticoagulation increased organ support–free days as compared with usual-care thromboprophylaxis was 98.6% (adjusted odds ratio, 1.27; 95% credible interval, 1.03 to 1.58). The adjusted absolute between-group difference in survival until hospital discharge without organ support favoring therapeutic-dose anticoagulation was 4.0 percentage points (95% credible interval, 0.5 to 7.2). The final probability of the superiority of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation over usual-care thromboprophylaxis was 97.3% in the high d-dimer cohort, 92.9% in the low d-dimer cohort, and 97.3% in the unknown d-dimer cohort. Major bleeding occurred in 1.9% of the patients receiving therapeutic-dose anticoagulation and in 0.9% of those receiving thromboprophylaxis. CONCLUSIONS In noncritically ill patients with Covid-19, an initial strategy of therapeutic-dose anticoagulation with heparin increased the probability of survival to hospital discharge with reduced use of cardiovascular or respiratory organ support as compared with usual-care thromboprophylaxis. (ATTACC, ACTIV-4a, and REMAP-CAP ClinicalTrials.gov numbers, NCT04372589. opens in new tab, NCT04505774. opens in new tab, NCT02735707. opens in new tab, and NCT04359277. opens in new tab.)
Despite the high prevalence of obesity, little is known about its potential impact on the pharmacokinetics of psychotropic drugs. In the course of investigating the role of the microRNA system on neuronal signaling, we found that mice lacking the translin/trax microRNA-degrading enzyme display an exaggerated locomotor response to amphetamine. As these mice display robust adiposity in the context of normal body weight, we checked whether this phenotype might reflect elevated brain levels of amphetamine. To assess this hypothesis, we compared plasma and brain amphetamine levels of wild type and Tsn KO mice. Furthermore, we checked the effect of diet-induced increases in adiposity on plasma and brain amphetamine levels in wild type mice. Brain amphetamine levels were higher in Tsn KO mice than in wild type littermates and correlated with adiposity. Analysis of the effect of diet-induced increases in adiposity in wild type mice on brain amphetamine levels also demonstrated that brain amphetamine levels correlate with adiposity. Increased adiposity displayed by Tsn KO mice or by wild type mice fed a high-fat diet correlates with elevated brain amphetamine levels. As amphetamine and its analogues are widely used to treat attention deficit disorder, which is associated with obesity, further studies are warranted to assess the impact of adiposity on amphetamine levels in these patients.
Stereotypical depictions of speech in cannabis users often suggest slow, laboured output, yet objective evidence supporting this assumption is extremely limited. We know that depressants or hallucinogenic drugs such as cannabis can cause acute changes in communication and speech rate, but the long-lasting effects of cannabis use on speech are not well described. The aim of this study was to investigate speech in individuals with a history of recreational cannabis use compared to non-drug-using healthy controls. Speech samples were collected from a carefully described cohort of 31 adults with a history of cannabis use (but not use of illicit stimulant drugs) and 40 non-drug-using controls. Subjects completed simple and complex speech tasks including a monologue, a sustained vowel, saying the days of the week, and reading a phonetically balanced passage. Audio samples were analysed objectively using acoustic analysis for measures of timing, vocal control, and quality. Subtle differences in speech timing, vocal effort, and voice quality may exist between cannabis and control groups, however data remain equivocal. After controlling for lifetime alcohol and tobacco use and applying a false discovery rate, only spectral tilt (vocal effort and intensity) differed between groups and appeared to change in line with duration of abstinence from cannabis use. Differences between groups may reflect longer term changes to the underlying neural control of speech. Our digital analysis of speech shows there may be a signal differentiating individuals with a history of recreational cannabis use from healthy controls, in line with similar findings from gait and hand function studies.
Ketamine produces a rapid antidepressant response in patients with major depressive disorder (MDD), but the underlying mechanisms appear multifaceted. One hypothesis, proposes that by antagonizing NMDA receptors on GABAergic interneurons, ketamine disinhibits afferens to glutamatergic principal neurons and increases extracellular glutamate levels. However, ketamine seems also to reduce rapid glutamate release at some synapses. Therefore, clinical studies in MDD patients have stressed the need to identify mechanisms whereby ketamine decreases presynaptic activity and glutamate release. In the present study, the effect of ketamine and its antidepressant metabolite, (2R,6R)-HNK, on neuronally derived glutamate release was examined in rodents. We used FAST methodology to measure depolarization-evoked extracellular glutamate levels in vivo in freely moving or anesthetized animals, synaptosomes to detect synaptic recycling ex vivo and primary cortical neurons to perform functional imaging and to examine intracellular signaling in vitro. In all these versatile approaches, ketamine and (2R,6R)-HNK reduced glutamate release in a manner which could be blocked by AMPA receptor antagonism. Antagonism of adenosine A1 receptors, which are almost exclusively expressed at nerve terminals, also counteracted ketamine’s effect on glutamate release and presynaptic activity. Signal transduction studies in primary neuronal cultures demonstrated that ketamine reduced P-T286-CamKII and P-S9-Synapsin, which correlated with decreased synaptic vesicle recycling. Moreover, systemic administration of A1R antagonist counteracted the antidepressant-like actions of ketamine and (2R,6R)-HNK in the forced swim test. To conclude, by studying neuronally released glutamate, we identified a novel retrograde adenosinergic feedback mechanism that mediate inhibitory actions of ketamine on glutamate release that may contribute to its rapid antidepressant action.
Antimicrobial resistance has emerged as a global threat to human health. Natural transformation is an important pathway for horizontal gene transfer, which facilitates the dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) among bacteria. Although it is suspected that artificial sweeteners could exert antimicrobial effects, little is known whether artificial sweeteners would also affect horizontal transfer of ARGs via transformation. Here we demonstrate that four commonly used artificial sweeteners (saccharin, sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium) promote transfer of ARGs via natural transformation in Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1, a model organism for studying competence and transformation. Such phenomenon was also found in a Gram-positive human pathogen Bacillus subtilis and mice faecal microbiome. We reveal that exposure to these sweeteners increases cell envelope permeability and results in an upregulation of genes encoding DNA uptake and translocation (Com) machinery. In addition, we find that artificial sweeteners induce an increase in plasmid persistence in transformants. We propose a mathematical model established to predict the long-term effects on transformation dynamics under exposure to these sweeteners. Collectively, our findings offer insights into natural transformation promoted by artificial sweeteners and highlight the need to evaluate these environmental contaminants for their antibiotic-like side effects.