Indianapolis, IN, United States
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Nucleotide duplications in exon 4 of the ferritin light chain (FTL) gene cause the autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease neuroferritinopathy or hereditary ferritinopathy (HF). The clinical phenotype of HF is characterized by a movement disorder, behavioral abnormalities and cognitive impairment. Magnetic resonance imaging shows abnormal signals in the globus pallidus and putamen, as well as cavitation of the putamen. Mild cerebral and cerebellar atrophy may be observed. Neuropathologically, HF is characterized by a severe neuronal loss in the basal ganglia, atrophy of cerebellum and cerebral cortex, abnormal iron accumulation, and the presence of ferritin inclusion bodies (IBs) in neurons and glia. Ferritin IBs are also found in cells of other organ systems, including the skin, kidneys, liver, and muscle. Serum ferritin levels may be normal or abnormally low in the presence of normal levels of iron. Thus far, all mutations in the FTL gene generate FTL polypeptides with abnormal C-termini that alter iron incorporation and promote iron-mediated aggregation of ferritin. Transgenic expression of mutant FTL in mice recapitulate several features of the disease, including formation of ferritin IBs in neurons and glia, dysregulation of iron homeostasis and oxidative damage of proteins in the brain, similarly to what has been observed in individuals with HF.

Resendiz M.,Stark Neuroscience Research Institute | Resendiz M.,Indiana University | Mason S.,Indiana University | Lo C.-L.,Indiana University | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Genetics | Year: 2014

Alcohol intoxicated cells broadly alter their metabolites-- among them methyl and acetic acid can alter the DNA and histone epigenetic codes. Together with the promiscuous effect of alcohol on enzyme activities (including DNA methyltransferases) and the downstream effect on microRNA and transposable elements, alcohol is well placed to affect intrinsic transcriptional programs of developing cells. Considering that the developmental consequences of early alcohol exposure so profoundly affect neural systems, it is not unfounded to reason that alcohol exploits transcriptional regulators to challenge canonical gene expression and in effect, intrinsic developmental pathways to achieve widespread damage in the developing nervous system. To fully evaluate the role of epigenetic regulation in alcohol-related developmental disease, it is important to first gather the targets of epigenetic players in neurodevelopmental models. Here, we attempt to review the cellular and genomic windows of opportunity for alcohol to act on intrinsic neurodevelopmental programs. We also discuss some established targets of fetal alcohol exposure and propose pathways for future study. Overall, this review hopes to illustrate the known epigenetic program and its alterations in normal neural stem cell development and further, aims to depict how alcohol, through neuroepigenetics, may lead to neurodevelopmental deficits observed in fetal alcohol spectrum disorders. © 2014 Resendiz, Mason, Zhou and Lo.

Zhou F.C.,Stark Neuroscience Research Institute | Balaraman Y.,Indiana University | Teng M.,Center for Computational Biology and Bioinformatics | Teng M.,Harbin Institute of Technology | And 3 more authors.
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research | Year: 2011

Background: Potential epigenetic mechanisms underlying fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) include alcohol-induced alterations of methyl metabolism, resulting in aberrant patterns of DNA methylation and gene expression during development. Having previously demonstrated an essential role for epigenetics in neural stem cell (NSC) development and that inhibiting DNA methylation prevents NSC differentiation, here we investigated the effect of alcohol exposure on genome-wide DNA methylation patterns and NSC differentiation. Methods: Neural stem cells in culture were treated with or without a 6-hour 88mM ("binge-like") alcohol exposure and examined at 48hours, for migration, growth, and genome-wide DNA methylation. The DNA methylation was examined using DNA-methylation immunoprecipitation followed by microarray analysis. Further validation was performed using Independent Sequenom analysis. Results: Neural stem cell differentiated in 24 to 48hours with migration, neuronal expression, and morphological transformation. Alcohol exposure retarded the migration, neuronal formation, and growth processes of NSC, similar to treatment with the methylation inhibitor 5-aza-cytidine. When NSC departed from the quiescent state, a genome-wide diversification of DNA methylation was observed-that is, many moderately methylated genes altered methylation levels and became hyper- and hypomethylated. Alcohol prevented many genes from such diversification, including genes related to neural development, neuronal receptors, and olfaction, while retarding differentiation. Validation of specific genes by Sequenom analysis demonstrated that alcohol exposure prevented methylation of specific genes associated with neural development [cut-like 2 (cutl2), insulin-like growth factor 1 (Igf1), epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1 (Efemp1), and SRY-box-containing gene 7 (Sox 7)]; eye development, lens intrinsic membrane protein 2 (Lim 2); the epigenetic mark Smarca2 (SWI/SNF related, matrix associated, actin dependent regulator of chromatin, subfamily a, member 2); and developmental disorder [DiGeorge syndrome critical region gene 2 (Dgcr2)]. Specific sites altered by DNA methylation also correlated with transcription factor binding sites known to be critical for regulating neural development. Conclusion: The data indicate that alcohol prevents normal DNA methylation programming of key neural stem cell genes and retards NSC differentiation. Thus, the role of DNA methylation in FAS warrants further investigation. © 2011 by the Research Society on Alcoholism.

Anthony B.,Indiana University | Vinci-Booher S.,Indiana University | Wetherill L.,Indiana University | Ward R.,Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis | And 5 more authors.
Alcohol | Year: 2010

Alcohol consumption during pregnancy causes fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), which includes a range of developmental deficits. Fetal alcohol syndrome is the most severe form of FASD and can be diagnosed with pathognomonic facial features such as a smooth philtrum, short palpebral fissure, and thin upper vermilion. However, many children with developmental damage because of prenatal alcohol exposure exhibit none, or only a subset, of the above features, making diagnosis difficult. This study explored novel analyses to quantify the effect of a known dose of alcohol on specific facial measurements in substrains C57BL/B6J (B6J) and C57BL/6NHsd (B6N) mice. Mouse dams were provided alcohol (Alc) consisting of 4.8% (vol/vol) alcohol in a liquid diet for 16 days prepregnancy and chow and water diet during mating, and then the alcohol liquid diet was reinstated on gestational days 7 (E7) to gestational day 17 (E17). Treatment controls included a pair-fed (PF) group given matched volumes of an alcohol-free liquid diet made isocalorically and a group given ad lib access to lab chow and water (Chow). Maternal diet intake (Alc and PF), blood alcohol concentrations (BACs), embryo weights, and 15 morphometric facial measurements for E17 embryos were analyzed. B6N dams drank more alcohol during pregnancy and generated higher BAC than B6J dams. Both the Alc and PF treatments induced significant reductions in embryo weights relative to Chow in both substrains. Alcohol treatments produced significant changes, relative to controls, in 4 of the 15 facial measures for the B6N substrain but only in two measures for the B6J substrain. Discriminant analysis demonstrated successful classification of the alcohol-exposed versus nonalcohol-exposed B6N embryos, with a high sensitivity of 86%, specificity 80%, and overall classification (total correct 83%), whereas B6J mice yielded sensitivity of 80%, specificity 78%, and overall correct classification in 79%. In addition, B6N mice showed significantly more effects of pair feeding on these facial measures than did B6J mice, suggesting that the B6N substrain may be more vulnerable to nutritional stress during pregnancy. Overall, these data indicate that both B6N and B6J mice were vulnerable to alcohol but show differences in the severity and location of alcohol-induced dysmorphic facial features and may parallel findings from human studies comparing different ethnic groups. Furthermore, these findings suggest that discriminant analysis may be useful in predicting alcohol exposure in either mouse substrains. © 2010 Elsevier Inc.

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