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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. Source

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. Source

Hasemann M.S.,Copenhagen University | Schuster M.B.,Copenhagen University | Frank A.-K.,Copenhagen University | Theilgaard-Monch K.,Copenhagen University | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Background: Transcription factors play a key role in lineage commitment and differentiation of stem cells into distinct mature cells. In hematopoiesis, they regulate lineage-specific gene expression in a stage-specific manner through various physical and functional interactions with regulatory proteins that are simultanously recruited and activated to ensure timely gene expression. The transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein α (C/EBPα) is such a factor and is essential for the development of granulocytic/monocytic cells. The activity of C/EBPα is regulated on several levels including gene expression, alternative translation, protein interactions and posttranslational modifications, such as phosphorylation. In particular, the phosphorylation of serine 248 of the transactivation domain has been shown to be of crucial importance for granulocytic differentiation of 32Dcl3 cells in vitro. Methodology/Principal Findings: Here, we use mouse genetics to investigate the significance of C/EBPα serine 248 in vivo through the construction and analysis of Cebpa S248A/S248A knock-in mice. Surprisingly, 8-week old Cebpa S248A/S248A mice display normal steady-state hematopoiesis including unaltered development of mature myeloid cells. However, over time some of the animals develop a hematopoietic disorder with accumulation of multipotent, megakaryocytic and erythroid progenitor cells and a mild impairment of differentiation along the granulocytic-monocytic lineage. Furthermore, BM cells from Cebpa S248A/S248A animals display a competitive advantage compared to wild type cells in a transplantation assay. Conclusions/Significance: Taken together, our data shows that the substitution of C/EBPα serine 248 to alanine favors the selection of the megakaryocytic/erythroid lineage over the monocytic/granulocytic compartment in old mice and suggests that S248 phosphorylation may be required to maintain proper hematopoietic homeostasis in response to changes in the wiring of cellular signalling networks. More broadly, the marked differences between the phenotype of the S248A variant in vivo and in vitro highlight the need to exert caution when extending in vitro phenotypes to the more appropriate in vivo context. © 2012 Hasemann et al. Source

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. Source

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. Source

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