|Differential Effects of Sodium Butyrate and Lithium Chloride on Rhesus Monkey Trophoblast Differentiation. |
Kumar, P; Thirkill, TL; Ji, J; Monte, LH; Douglas, GC
Trophoblast differentiation during early placental development is critical for successful pregnancy and aberrant differentiation causes preeclampsia and early pregnancy loss. During the first trimester, cytotrophoblasts are exposed to low oxygen tension (equivalent to~2%-3% O2) and differentiation proceeds along an extravillous pathway (giving rise to invasive extravillous cytotrophoblasts) and a villous pathway (giving rise to multinucleated syncytiotrophoblast). Interstitial extravillous cytotrophoblasts invade the decidua, while endovascular extravillous cytotrophoblasts are involved in re-modelling uterine spiral arteries. We tested the idea that sodium butyrate (an epigenetic modulator) induces trophoblast differentiation in early gestation rhesus monkey trophoblasts through activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway. The results show that syncytiotrophoblast formation was increased by butyrate, accompanied by nuclear accumulation of β-catenin, and increased expression of EnvV2 and galectin-1 (two factors thought to be involved in trophoblast fusion). Surprisingly, the expression of GCM1 and syncytin-2 was not affected by sodium butyrate. When trophoblasts were incubated with lithium chloride, a GSK3 inhibitor that mimics Wnt activation, nuclear accumulation of β-catenin also occurred but differentiation into syncytiotrophoblast was not observed. Instead the cells differentiated to mononucleated spindle-shaped cells and showed molecular and behavioral characteristics of endovascular trophoblasts. Another highly specific inhibitor of GSK3, CHIR99021, failed to induce endovascular trophoblast characteristics. These observations suggest that activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway correlates with both trophoblast differentiation pathways, but that additional factors determine specific cell fate decisions. Other experiments suggested that the differential effects of sodium butyrate and lithium chloride might be explained by their effects on TNFα production. The results provide valuable tools to manipulate trophoblast differentiation in vitro and to better understand the differentiation pathways that occur during early gestation.
|GDNF family ligands trigger indirect neuroprotective signaling in retinal glial cells. |
Hauck, SM; Kinkl, N; Deeg, CA; Swiatek-de Lange, M; Schöffmann, S; Ueffing, M
Molecular and cellular biology
Apoptotic cell death of photoreceptors is the final event leading to blindness in the heterogeneous group of inherited retinal degenerations. GDNF (glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor) was found to rescue photoreceptor function and survival very effectively in an animal model of retinal degeneration (M. Frasson, S. Picaud, T. Leveillard, M. Simonutti, S. Mohand-Said, H. Dreyfus, D. Hicks, and J. Sahel, Investig. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 40:2724-2734, 1999). However, the cellular mechanism of GDNF action remained unresolved. We show here that in porcine retina, GDNF receptors GFRalpha-1 and RET are expressed on retinal Mueller glial cells (RMG) but not on photoreceptors. Additionally, RMG express the receptors for the GDNF family members artemin and neurturin (GFRalpha-2 and GFRalpha-3). We further investigated GDNF-, artemin-, and neurturin-induced signaling in isolated primary RMG and demonstrate three intracellular cascades, which are activated in vitro: MEK/ERK, stress-activated protein kinase (SAPK), and PKB/AKT pathways with different kinetics in dependence on stimulating GFL. We correlate the findings to intact porcine retina, where GDNF induces phosphorylation of ERK in the perinuclear region of RMG located in the inner nuclear layer. GDNF signaling resulted in transcriptional upregulation of FGF-2, which in turn was found to support photoreceptor survival in an in vitro assay. We provide here a detailed model of GDNF-induced signaling in mammalian retina and propose that the GDNF-induced rescue effect on mutated photoreceptors is an indirect effect mediated by retinal Mueller glial cells.