Purpose: The vertebrate retina contains a circadian clock participating in adaptations to day and night vision. This peripheral clock is independent of the master clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). The retinal clock is located in several cell types, including the photoreceptors. To investigate the role of the circadian clock of the photoreceptor cells in regulation of retinal protein rhythms, we analysed diurnal protein expression in the photoreceptor-deficient cone-rod homeobox knockout mouse (Crx(-/-)) and the 129/Sv mouse. Methods: 2D gels were made from retinal homogenates of 129/Sv and Crx(-/-) mice killed at midday and midnight. Stained gels were analysed by use of PDQuest 2D gel analysis software. After trypsin digestion of differential expressed spots, the proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS using a nano-liquid chromatograph connected to a Q-TOF Premier mass spectrometer. These data were used to search the SWISS-PROT database. Results: Both the retinae of the control and the Crx(-/-) mice exhibited diurnal proteins rhythms. As expected, proteins involved in phototransduction were not detected in the Crx(-/-) mouse; in this phenotype, however, proteins from spots showing diurnal rhythms were specifically identified as enzymes involved in glucose metabolism, Krebs cycle, and mitochondrial enzymes. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD005556. Conclusion: We show diurnal protein rhythms in the retina of a mouse lacking the rods and cones. The diurnal protein rhythms in this genotype, lacking the circadian clock of the photoreceptors, might be caused by a circadian clock in other retinal cell types or a direct light input to the retina.
The Mouse Genome Database (MGD) forms the core of the Mouse Genome Informatics (MGI) system (http://www.informatics.jax.org), a model organism database resource for the laboratory mouse. MGD provides essential integration of experimental knowledge for the mouse system with information annotated from both literature and online sources. MGD curates and presents consensus and experimental data representations of genotype (sequence) through phenotype information, including highly detailed reports about genes and gene products. Primary foci of integration are through representations of relationships among genes, sequences and phenotypes. MGD collaborates with other bioinformatics groups to curate a definitive set of information about the laboratory mouse and to build and implement the data and semantic standards that are essential for comparative genome analysis. Recent improvements in MGD discussed here include the enhancement of phenotype resources, the re-development of the International MouseStrain Resource, IMSR, the update of mammalian orthology datasets and the electronic publication of classic books in mouse genetics.
Gene therapy using adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for the treatment of retinal degenerations has shown safety and efficacy in clinical trials. However, very high levels of vector expression may be necessary for the treatment of conditions such as Stargardt disease where a dual vector approach is potentially needed, or in optogenetic strategies for end-stage degeneration in order to achieve maximal light sensitivity. In this study, we assessed two vectors with single capsid mutations, rAAV2/2(Y444F) and rAAV2/8 (Y733F) in their ability to transduce retina in the Abca4(-/-) and rd1 mouse models of retinal degeneration. We noted significantly increased photoreceptor transduction using rAAV2/8(Y733F) in the Abca4(-/-) mouse, in contrast to previous work where vectors tested in this model have shown low levels of photoreceptor transduction. Bipolar cell transduction was achieved following subretinal delivery of both vectors in the rd1 mouse, and via intravitreal delivery of rAAV2/2(Y444F). The successful use of rAAV2/8 (Y733F) to target bipolar cells was further validated on human tissue using an ex vivo culture system of retinal explants. Capsid mutant AAV vectors transduce human retinal cells and may be particularly suited to treat retinal degenerations in which high levels of transgene expression are required.
Transplantation of human hematopoietic stem cells into severely immunocompromised newborn mice allows the development of a human hematopoietic and immune system in vivo. NOD/scid/γc−/− (NSG) and BALB/c Rag2−/−γc−/− mice are the most commonly used mouse strains for this purpose and a number of studies have demonstrated the high value of these model systems in areas spanning from basic to translational research. However, limited cross-reactivity of many murine cytokines on human cells and residual host immune function against the xenogeneic grafts results in defective development and maintenance of human cells in vivo. Whereas NSG mice have higher levels of absolute human engraftment than similar mice on a BALB/c background, they have a shorter lifespan and NOD ES cells are unsuitable for the complex genetic engineering that is required to improve human hematopoiesis and immune responses by transgenesis or knockin of human genes. We have generated mice that faithfully express a transgene of human signal regulatory protein alpha (SIRPa), a receptor that negatively regulates phagocytosis, in Rag2−/−γc−/− mice on a mixed 129/BALB/c background, which can easily be genetically engineered. These mice allow significantly increased engraftment and maintenance of human hematopoietic cells reaching levels comparable to NSG mice. Furthermore, we found improved functionality of the human immune system in these mice. In summary, hSIRPa-transgenic Rag2−/−γc−/− mice represent a unique mouse strain supporting high levels of human cell engraftment, which can easily be genetically manipulated.
Oxymorphone, one of oxycodone’s metabolic products, is a potent opioid receptor agonist which is thought to contribute to the analgesic effect of its parent compound and may have high potential abuse liability. Nonetheless, the pharmacological binding profile of this drug is still unclear. This study uses mice lacking mu (MOP), kappa (KOP) or delta (DOP) opioid receptors as well as mice lacking all three opioid receptors to provide full characterisation of oxymorphone binding sites in the brain. Saturation binding studies using [ H]oxymorphone revealed high affinity binding sites in mouse brain displaying K of 1.7 nM and B of 147 fmol/mg. Furthermore, we performed quantitative autoradiography binding studies using [ H]oxymorphone in mouse brain. The distribution of [ H]oxymorphone binding sites was found to be similar to the selective MOP agonist [ H]DAMGO in the mouse brain. [ H]Oxymorphone binding was completely abolished across the majority of the brain regions in mice lacking MOP as well as in mice lacking all three opioid receptors. DOP and KOP knockout mice retained [ H]oxymorphone binding sites suggesting oxymorphone may not target DOP or KOP. These results confirm that the MOP, and not the DOP or the KOP is the main high affinity binding target for oxymorphone.
The adult brain contains niches of neural stem cells that continuously add new neurons to selected circuits throughout life. Two niches have been extensively studied in various mammalian species including humans, the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles and the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Recently, studies conducted mainly in rodents have identified a third neurogenic niche in the adult hypothalamus. In order to evaluate whether a neural stem cell niche also exists in the adult hypothalamus in humans, we performed multiple immunofluorescence labeling to assess the expression of a panel of neural stem/progenitor cell (NPC) markers (Sox2, nestin, vimentin, GLAST, GFAP) in the human hypothalamus and compared them with the mouse, rat and a non‐human primate species, the gray mouse lemur ( Microcebus murinus ). Our results show that the adult human hypothalamus contains four distinct populations of cells that express the five NPC markers: (a) a ribbon of small stellate cells that lines the third ventricular wall behind a hypocellular gap, similar to that found along the lateral ventricles, (b) ependymal cells, (c) tanycytes, which line the floor of the third ventricle in the tuberal region, and (d) a population of small stellate cells in the suprachiasmatic nucleus. In the mouse, rat and mouse lemur hypothalamus, co‐expression of NPC markers is primarily restricted to tanycytes, and these species lack a ventricular ribbon. Our work thus identifies four cell populations with the antigenic profile of NPCs in the adult human hypothalamus, of which three appear specific to humans. The adult human hypothalamus contains four populations of cells harboring an antigenic profile of neural stem cells: ependymal cells, a ventricular ribbon of cells lying behind a hypocellular gap, tanycytes and a population of suprachiasmatic cells. In the mouse, rat and gray mouse lemur hypothalamus, a similar antigenic profile is essentially restricted to tanycytes.
Tuberous sclerosis is a single-gene disorder caused by heterozygous mutations in the TSC1 (9q34) or TSC2 (16p13.3) gene and is frequently associated with mental retardation, autism and epilepsy. Even individuals with tuberous sclerosis and a normal intelligence quotient (approximately 50%) are commonly affected with specific neuropsychological problems, including long-term and working memory deficits. Here we report that mice with a heterozygous, inactivating mutation in the Tsc2 gene (Tsc2+/− mice) show deficits in learning and memory. Cognitive deficits in Tsc2+/− mice emerged in the absence of neuropathology and seizures, demonstrating that other disease mechanisms are involved. We show that hyperactive hippocampal mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signaling led to abnormal long-term potentiation in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and consequently to deficits in hippocampal-dependent learning. These deficits included impairments in two spatial learning tasks and in contextual discrimination. Notably, we show that a brief treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin in adult mice rescues not only the synaptic plasticity, but also the behavioral deficits in this animal model of tuberous sclerosis. The results presented here reveal a biological basis for some of the cognitive deficits associated with tuberous sclerosis, and they show that treatment with mTOR antagonists ameliorates cognitive dysfunction in a mouse model of this disorder.