European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit

Monterotondo, Italy

European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit

Monterotondo, Italy
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Vinciguerra M.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Vinciguerra M.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Genome Biology Unit | Santini M.P.,Imperial College London | Martinez C.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | And 6 more authors.
Aging Cell | Year: 2012

Oxidative stress contributes to the pathogenesis of aging-associated heart failure. Among various signaling pathways mediating oxidative stress, the NAD +-dependent protein deacetylase SirT1 has been implicated in the protection of heart muscle. Expression of a locally acting insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) propeptide (mIGF-1) helps the heart to recover from infarct and enhances SirT1 expression in cardiomyocytes (CM) in vitro, exerting protection from hypertrophic and oxidative stresses. To study the role of mIGF-1/SirT1 signaling in vivo, we generated cardiac-specific mIGF-1 transgenic mice in which SirT1 was depleted from adult CM in a tamoxifen-inducible and conditional fashion. Analysis of these mice confirmed that mIGF-1-induced SirT1 activity is necessary to protect the heart from paraquat (PQ)-induced oxidative stress and lethality. In cultured CM, mIGF-1 increases SirT1 expression through a c-Jun NH(2)-terminal protein kinase 1 (JNK1)-dependent signaling mechanism. Thus, mIGF-1 protects the heart from oxidative stress via SirT1/JNK1 activity, suggesting new avenues for cardiac therapy during aging and heart failure. © 2011 The Authors. Aging Cell © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland.


Carnevali L.,University of Parma | Graiani G.,University of Parma | Rossi S.,University of Parma | Al Banchaabouchi M.,CSF Campus Science Support Facilities GmbH | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

In humans, variants of the fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene have recently been associated with obesity. However, the physiological function of FTO is not well defined. Previous investigations in mice have linked FTO deficiency to growth retardation, loss of white adipose tissue, increased energy metabolism and enhanced systemic sympathetic activation. In this study we investigated for the first time the effects of global knockout of the mouse FTO gene on cardiac function and its autonomic neural regulation. ECG recordings were acquired via radiotelemetry in homozygous knockout (n = 12) and wild-type (n = 8) mice during resting and stress conditions, and analyzed by means of time- and frequency-domain indexes of heart rate variability. In the same animals, cardiac electrophysiological properties (assessed by epicardial mapping) and structural characteristics were investigated. Our data indicate that FTO knockout mice were characterized by (i) higher heart rate values during resting and stress conditions, (ii) heart rate variability changes (increased LF to HF ratio), (iii) larger vulnerability to stress-induced tachyarrhythmias, (iv) altered ventricular repolarization, and (v) cardiac hypertrophy compared to wild-type counterparts. We conclude that FTO deficiency in mice leads to an imbalance of the autonomic neural modulation of cardiac function in the sympathetic direction and to a potentially proarrhythmic remodeling of electrical and structural properties of the heart. Copyright: © 2014 Reekie et al.


Hede M.S.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Salimova E.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Salimova E.,Monash University | Piszczek A.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a potent cytoprotective growth factor that has attracted considerable attention as a promising therapeutic agent. Transgenic over-expression of IGF-1 propeptides facilitates protection and repair in a broad range of tissues, although transgenic mice over-expressing IGF-1 propeptides display little or no increase in IGF-1 serum levels, even with high levels of transgene expression. IGF-1 propeptides are encoded by multiple alternatively spliced transcripts including C-terminal extension (E) peptides, which are highly positively charged. In the present study, we use decellularized mouse tissue to show that the E-peptides facilitate in vitro binding of murine IGF-1 to the extracellular matrix (ECM) with varying affinities. This property is independent of IGF-1, since proteins consisting of the E-peptides fused to relaxin, a related member of the insulin superfamily, bound equally avidly to decellularized ECM. Thus, the E-peptides control IGF-1 bioavailability by preventing systemic circulation, offering a potentially powerful way to tether IGF-1 and other therapeutic proteins to the site of synthesis and/or administration. © 2012 Hede et al.


Pinto A.R.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Pinto A.R.,Monash University | Paolicelli R.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Salimova E.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Cardiac tissue macrophages (cTMs) are a previously uncharacterised cell type that we have identified and characterise here as an abundant GFP+ population within the adult Cx3cr1GFP/+ knock-in mouse heart. They comprise the predominant myeloid cell population in the myocardium, and are found throughout myocardial interstitial spaces interacting directly with capillary endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. Flow cytometry-based immunophenotyping shows that cTMs exhibit canonical macrophage markers. Gene expression analysis shows that cTMs (CD45+CD11b+GFP+) are distinct from mononuclear CD45+CD11b+GFP+ cells sorted from the spleen and brain of adult Cx3cr1GFP/+ mice. Gene expression profiling reveals that cTMs closely resemble alternatively-activated anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages, expressing a number of M2 markers, including Mrc1, CD163, and Lyve-1. While cTMs perform normal tissue macrophage homeostatic functions, they also exhibit a distinct phenotype, involving secretion of salutary factors (including IGF-1) and immune modulation. In summary, the characterisation of cTMs at the cellular and molecular level defines a potentially important role for these cells in cardiac homeostasis. © 2012 Pinto et al.


Lexow J.,Imperial College London | Poggioli T.,Imperial College London | Sarathchandra P.,Imperial College London | Santini M.P.,Imperial College London | And 3 more authors.
DMM Disease Models and Mechanisms | Year: 2013

Tamoxifen-inducible Cre-mediated manipulation of animal genomes has achieved wide acceptance over the last decade, with numerous important studies heavily relying on this technique. Recently, a number of groups have reported transient complications of using this protocol in the heart. In the present study we observed a previously unreported focal fibrosis and depressed left-ventricular function in tamoxifen-treated αMHC-MerCreMerpositive animals in a Tβ4shRNAflox × αMHC-MerCreMer cross at 6-7 weeks following standard tamoxifen treatment, regardless of the presence of the floxed transgene. The phenotype was reproduced by treating mice from the original αMHC-MerCreMer strain with tamoxifen. In the acute phase after tamoxifen treatment, cell infiltration into the myocardium was accompanied by increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL- 6, TNFα, IFNγ, Ccl2) and markers of hypertrophy (ANF, BNP, Col3a1). These observations highlight the requirement for including tamoxifen-treated MerCreMer littermate controls to avert misinterpretation of conditional mutant phenotypes. A survey of the field as well as the protocols presented here suggests that controlling the parameters of tamoxifen delivery is important in avoiding the chronic MerCreMer-mediated cardiac phenotype reported here. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.


Bolasco G.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Calogero R.,University of Turin | Carrara M.,University of Turin | Al Banchaabouchi M.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | And 4 more authors.
Aging | Year: 2012

Locally acting insulin growth factor isoform (mIGF-1) and the NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase SIRT1 are implicated in life and health span. Heart failure is associated with aging and is a major cause of death. mIGF-1 protects the heart from oxidative stresses via SIRT1. SIRT1 subcellular localization and its genomic regulation by mIGF-1 are unknown. We show here that SIRT1 is located in the nuclei of a significant fraction of cardiomyocytes. Using high throughput sequencing approaches in mIGF-1 transgenic mice, we identified new targets of the mIGF-1/SIRT1 signaling. In addition to its potent cardioprotective properties, cardiac-restricted mIGF-1 transgene induced systemic changes such as high blood pressure, leukocytosis and an enhanced fear response, in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Cardiac mIGF-1/SIRT1 signaling may thus modulate disparate systemic functions. © Bolasco et al.


Temmerman L.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Slonimsky E.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Rosenthal N.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit
Growth Hormone and IGF Research | Year: 2010

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a pleiotropic factor involved in growth, cell survival and cellular differentiation. It exerts its functions through endocrine, paracrine or autocrine mechanisms. Circulating IGF-1 is essential for normal fetal and postnatal growth, although the published phenotypes of IGF-1 null animals have been only partially penetrant, presumably due to mixed genetic backgrounds. Molecular dissection of IGF-1 action is complicated by the existence of at least nine different IGF-1 isoforms, generated in both humans and rodents by usage of alternate promoters, differential splicing and different post-translational modifications. Several lines of evidence suggest that the Class 2 IGF-1 isoform is specifically destined for circulation, supporting an endocrine role of IGF-1 in normal growth processes. Using Cre/LoxP conditional gene targeting of exon 2 of the IGF-1 gene, we have generated a Class 2 IGF-1 knockout mouse line in a pure C57/Bl6 genetic background, where the specific removal of exon 2 ablated Class 2 IGF-1 isoform. Class 2 IGF-1 knockout mice exhibited normal development and postnatal growth patterns and had normal IGF-1 circulating levels, due to compensatory upregulation of Class 1 transcripts. In contrast, progeny of a total IGF-1 knockout line lacking exon 3 in the same genetic background were predictably smaller, displayed dramatically reduced IGF-1 receptor phosphorylation and all died perinatally, apparently due to respiratory failure. These results confirm that Class 2 signal peptide is not necessary for systemic circulation of IGF-1, revealing an internal compensation system for maintaining IGF-1 serum concentrations. We also uncover a vital requirement of IGF-1 for perinatal viability, previously obscured by modifiers in heterogeneous genetic backgrounds. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Vinciguerra M.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit | Vinciguerra M.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Genome Biology Unit | Santini M.P.,Imperial College London | Claycomb W.C.,Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center | And 3 more authors.
Aging | Year: 2010

Oxidative and hypertrophic stresses contribute to the pathogenesis of heart failure. Insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) is a peptide hormone with a complex post-transcriptional regulation, generating distinct isoforms. Locally acting IGF-1 isoform (mIGF-1) helps the heart to recover from toxic injury and from infarct. In the murine heart, moderate overexpression of the NAD + -dependent deacetylase SirT1 was reported to mitigate oxidative stress. SirT1 is known to promote lifespan extension and to protect from metabolic challenges. Circulating IGF-1 and SirT1 play antagonizing biological roles and share molecular targets in the heart, in turn affecting cardiomyocyte physiology. However, how different IGF-1 isoforms may impact SirT1 and affect cardiomyocyte function is unknown. Here we show that locally acting mIGF-1 increases SirT1 expression/activity, whereas circulating IGF-1 isoform does not affect it, in cultured HL-1 and neonatal cardiomyocytes. mIGF-1-induced SirT1 activity exerts protection against angiotensin II (Ang II)-triggered hypertrophy and against paraquat (PQ) and Ang II-induced oxidative stress. Conversely, circulating IGF-1 triggered itself oxidative stress and cardiomyocyte hypertrophy. Interestingly, potent cardio-protective genes (adiponectin, UCP-1 and MT- 2) were increased specifically in mIGF-1-overexpressing cardiomyocytes, in a SirT1-dependent fashion. Thus, mIGF-1 protects cardiomyocytes from oxidative and hypertrophic stresses via SirT1 activity, and may represent a promising cardiac therapeutic. © Vinciguerra et al.


PubMed | European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Aging | Year: 2012

Locally acting insulin growth factor isoform (mIGF-1) and the NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase SIRT1 are implicated in life and health span. Heart failure is associated with aging and is a major cause of death. mIGF-1 protects the heart from oxidative stresses via SIRT1. SIRT1 subcellular localization and its genomic regulation by mIGF-1 are unknown. We show here that SIRT1 is located in the nuclei of a significant fraction of cardiomyocytes. Using high throughput sequencing approaches in mIGF-1 transgenic mice, we identified new targets of the mIGF-1/SIRT1 signaling. In addition to its potent cardioprotective properties, cardiac-restricted mIGF-1 transgene induced systemic changes such as high blood pressure, leukocytosis and an enhanced fear response, in a SIRT1-dependent manner. Cardiac mIGF-1/ SIRT1 signaling may thus modulate disparate systemic functions.


PubMed | European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL Mouse Biology Unit
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2012

Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is a potent cytoprotective growth factor that has attracted considerable attention as a promising therapeutic agent. Transgenic over-expression of IGF-1 propeptides facilitates protection and repair in a broad range of tissues, although transgenic mice over-expressing IGF-1 propeptides display little or no increase in IGF-1 serum levels, even with high levels of transgene expression. IGF-1 propeptides are encoded by multiple alternatively spliced transcripts including C-terminal extension (E) peptides, which are highly positively charged. In the present study, we use decellularized mouse tissue to show that the E-peptides facilitate in vitro binding of murine IGF-1 to the extracellular matrix (ECM) with varying affinities. This property is independent of IGF-1, since proteins consisting of the E-peptides fused to relaxin, a related member of the insulin superfamily, bound equally avidly to decellularized ECM. Thus, the E-peptides control IGF-1 bioavailability by preventing systemic circulation, offering a potentially powerful way to tether IGF-1 and other therapeutic proteins to the site of synthesis and/or administration.

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