Normalization of hyperhomocysteinemia improves cognitive deficits and ameliorates brain amyloidosis of a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
ABSTRACT: Hyperhomocysteine (HHcy) is a risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previously, we showed that diet-induced HHcy accelerated the AD-like phenotype of a transgenic mouse model, i.e., Tg2576. In the present work, we tested whether an HHcy-lowering strategy in this model would be beneficial. Tg2576 mice received methionine-rich or regular chow diet for 5 mo. Next, while the chow control group was kept on the same regimen, the other mice were randomized into two groups: one was kept on the methionine-rich diet (Met On), the other switched to chow (Met Off). Compared with controls, 5 mo on the methionine-rich diet resulted in HHcy (plasma Hcy level, treated: 12.7±1.2 ?M vs. control: 3.1±0.4 ?M) and significant behavioral impairments (% freezing, treated: 2.4±1.4% vs. control: 19.9±6.9%). At the end of the study, while the Met On group kept Hcy level elevated, the Met Off group had these values indistinguishable from the controls. The reduction in Hcy levels resulted in a significant improvement of the fear-conditioning performance, and an amelioration of the brain amyloidosis. Our results demonstrate that lowering HHcy in a transgenic AD-mouse model is beneficial since it significantly improves behavior deficits and brain amyloidosis. Our findings provide new biological insights for future clinical trials aimed at lowering this modifiable risk factor in human AD.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is an independent risk factor for liver diseases, such as fatty liver and hepatic fibrosis. However, the mechanisms underlying this pro-oxidative effect of homocysteine (Hcy) in hepatocytes remain largely unknown. Thus, we investigated the effect of Hcy on the gene expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), the primary rate-limiting enzyme in heme catabolism and a key anti-oxidant detoxification enzyme in maintaining cellular redox homeostasis. METHODS:In vivo, twenty male C57BL/6 mice at 8 weeks of age were randomly divided into two groups. One group was fed a chow diet (chow group; n?=?10), the other group of mice was fed a methionine-supplemented diet (Met group, 1 mg kg(-1) day(-1) L-methionine in drinking water; n?=?10) for 4 weeks. In vitro, HepG2 cells were stimulated with different doses of homocysteine (Hcy). RESULTS:Four weeks' methionine supplementation caused a significant increase of plasma Hcy concentration and a decrease of HO-1 expression in the liver of C57BL/6 mice than mice received chow diet. Besides, SOD enzyme activities were impaired and the level of oxidative stress markers, such as malondialdehyde (MDA) were elevated in the liver from mice supplemented with methionine compared with control mice. In cultured hepatocytes, Hcy treatment reduced both the mRNA and protein levels of HO-1 dose-dependently. However, Hcy had no effect on the gene expression of Nrf2, the major transcriptional regulator of HO-1. Instead, Hcy induced the expression of Bach1, a transcriptional repressor of HO-1. In addition, Hcy stimulated the nuclear localization of Bach1 but prevented that of Nrf2. Furthermore, we found that knockdown of Bach1 attenuated the suppression of the HO-1 expression by Hcy. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, our results demonstrated that Bach1 plays an important role in Hcy-triggered ROS generations through inhibiting HO-1 expression, likely, resulting from the disturbed interplay between Bach1 and Nrf2.
Project description:Homocysteine (Hcy) is a sulfhydryl-containing amino acid, and intermediate metabolite formed in metabolising methionine (Met) to cysteine (Cys); defective Met metabolism can increase Hcy. The effect of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) on human health, is well described and associated with multiple clinical conditions. HHcy is considered to be an independent risk factor for common cardiovascular and central nervous disorders, where its role in folate metabolism and choline catabolism is fundamental in many metabolic pathways. HHcy induces inflammatory responses via increasing the pro-inflammatory cytokines and downregulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines which lead to Hcy-induced cell apoptosis. Conflicting evidence indicates that the development of the homocysteine-associated cerebrovascular disease may be prevented by the maintenance of normal Hcy levels. In this review, we discuss common conditions associated with HHcy and biochemical diagnostic workup that may help in reaching diagnosis at early stages. Furthermore, future systematic studies need to prove the exact pathophysiological mechanism of HHcy at the cellular level and the effect of Hcy lowering agents on disease courses.
Project description:Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) has been shown to promote vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. The NLRP3 inflammasome has been identified as the cellular machinery responsible for activation of inflammatory processes. In this study, we hypothesized that the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes contributes to HHcy-induced inflammation and atherosclerosis. ApoE-/- mice were fed regular chow, high-fat (HF) diet, or HF plus high methionine diet to induce HHcy. To assess the role of NLRP3 inflammasomes in HHcy-aggravated atherosclerosis, NLRP3 shRNA viral suspension was injected via tail vein to knock down the NLRP3 gene. Increased plasma levels of IL-1β and IL-18, aggravated macrophage infiltration into atherosclerotic lesions, and accelerated development of atherosclerosis were detected in HHcy mice as compared with control mice, and were associated with the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes. Silencing the NLRP3 gene significantly suppressed NLRP3 inflammasome activation, reduced plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines, attenuated macrophage infiltration and improved HHcy-induced atherosclerosis. We also examined the effect of homocysteine (Hcy) on NLRP3 inflammasome activation in THP-1-differentiated macrophages in the presence or absence of NLRP3 siRNA or the caspase-1 inhibitor Z-WEHD-FMK. We found that Hcy activated NLRP3 inflammasomes and promoted subsequent production of IL-1β and IL-18 in macrophages, which were blocked by NLRP3 gene silencing or Z-WEHD-FMK. As reactive oxygen species (ROS) may have a central role in NLRP3 inflammasome activation, we next investigated whether antioxidant N-acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) prevented Hcy-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation in macrophages. We found Hcy-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation was abolished by NAC. Treatment with NAC in HHcy mice also suppressed NLRP3 inflammasome activation and improved HHcy-induced atherosclerosis. These data suggest that the activation of NLRP3 inflammasomes contributes to HHcy-aggravated inflammation and atherosclerosis in apoE-/- mice. Hcy activates NLRP3 inflammasomes in ROS-dependent pathway in macrophages. These results may have implication for the treatment of HHcy-associated cardiovascular diseases.
Project description:Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) accelerates atherosclerosis and increases inflammatory monocytes (MC) in peripheral tissues. However, its causative role in atherosclerosis is not well established and its effect on vascular inflammation has not been studied. The underlying mechanism is unknown.This study examined the causative role of HHcy in atherogenesis and its effect on inflammatory MC differentiation.We generated a novel HHcy and hyperlipidemia mouse model, in which cystathionine ?-synthase (CBS) and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLr) genes were deficient (Ldlr(-/-) Cbs(-/+)). Severe HHcy (plasma homocysteine (Hcy)=275 ?mol/L) was induced by a high methionine diet containing sufficient basal levels of B vitamins. Plasma Hcy levels were lowered to 46 ?mol/L from 244 ?mol/L by vitamin supplementation, which elevated plasma folate levels. Bone marrow (BM)-derived cells were traced by the transplantation of BM cells from enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) transgenic mice after sublethal irradiation of the recipient. HHcy accelerated atherosclerosis and promoted Ly6C(high) inflammatory MC differentiation of both BM and tissue origins in the aortas and peripheral tissues. It also elevated plasma levels of TNF-?, IL-6, and MCP-1; increased vessel wall MC accumulation; and increased macrophage maturation. Hcy-lowering therapy reversed HHcy-induced lesion formation, plasma cytokine increase, and blood and vessel inflammatory MC (Ly6C(high+middle)) accumulation. Plasma Hcy levels were positively correlated with plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines. In primary mouse splenocytes, L-Hcy promoted rIFN?-induced inflammatory MC differentiation, as well as increased TNF-?, IL-6, and superoxide anion production in inflammatory MC subsets. Antioxidants and folic acid reversed L-Hcy-induced inflammatory MC differentiation and oxidative stress in inflammatory MC subsets.HHcy causes vessel wall inflammatory MC differentiation and macrophage maturation of both BM and tissue origins, leading to atherosclerosis via an oxidative stress-related mechanism.
Project description:Patients with diabetes, a methionine-rich meat diet, or certain genetic polymorphisms show elevated levels of homocysteine (Hcy), which is strongly associated with the development of cardiovascular disease including diabetic cardiomyopathy. However, reducing Hcy levels with folate shows no beneficial cardiac effects. We have previously shown that a hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a by-product of Hcy through transsulfuration by cystathionine beta synthase (CBS), donor mitigates Hcy-induced hypertrophy in cardiomyocytes. However, the in vivo cardiac effects of H2S in the context of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) have not been studied. We tested the hypothesis that HHcy causes cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in vivo, which is ameliorated by H2S. Twelve-week-old male CBS+/- (a model of HHcy) and sibling CBS+/+ (WT) mice were treated with SG1002 (a slow release H2S donor) diet for 4 months. The left ventricle of CBS+/- mice showed increased expression of early remodeling signals c-Jun and c-Fos, increased interstitial collagen deposition, and increased cellular hypertrophy. Notably, SG1002 treatment slightly reduced c-Jun and c-Fos expression, decreased interstitial fibrosis, and reduced cellular hypertrophy. Pressure volume loop analyses in CBS+/- mice revealed increased end systolic pressure with no change in stroke volume (SV) suggesting increased afterload, which was abolished by SG1002 treatment. Additionally, SG1002 treatment increased end-diastolic volume and SV in CBS+/- mice, suggesting increased ventricular filling. These results demonstrate SG1002 treatment alleviates cardiac remodeling and afterload in HHcy mice. H2S may be cardioprotective in conditions where H2S is reduced and Hcy is elevated.
Project description:Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is a key risk factor in hepatic steatosis. In this study, we applied a metabolomic approach to investigate the changes in the metabolite profile due to HHcy-induced hepatic steatosis and the effects of omega-3 PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid) supplementation in mice. HHcy was induced in mice by giving DL-Hcy (1.8 g/L) in drinking water for 6 weeks, then the mice were sacrificed, and the metabolic profiles of the liver and plasma were analyzed through UPLC-ESI-QTOFMS-based lipidomics. Hepatic triglycerides and cholesterol were further assayed. The expression of ceramide metabolism-related genes was measured by quantitative PCR. Compared with control mice, HHcy mice exhibited hepatic steatosis with a notable increase in ceramide-related metabolites and subsequent upregulation of ceramide synthesis genes such as Sptlc3, Degs2, Cer4 and Smpd4. Omega-3 PUFA was simultaneously administered in HHcy mice through chow diet containing 3.3% omega-3 PUFA supplement for 6 weeks, which significantly ameliorated Hcy-induced hepatic steatosis. The decrease in hepatic lipid accumulation was mainly due to reduced hepatic levels of ceramides, which was partly the result of the lower expression of ceramide synthesis genes, Sptlc3 and Degs2. Similar beneficial effects of DHA were observed in Hcy-stimulated primary hepatocytes in vitro. In summary, Hcy-induced ceramide elevation in hepatocytes might contribute to the development of hepatic steatosis. Furthermore, downregulation of ceramide levels through omega-3 PUFA supplementation ameliorates hepatic lipid accumulation. Thus, ceramide is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of hepatic steatosis.
Project description:Homocysteine (Hcy) is an amino acid that requires vitamins B12 and folic acid for its metabolism. Vitamins B12 and folic acid deficiencies lead to hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy, elevated Hcy), which is linked to the development of diabetic retinopathy (DR), age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). The goal of the current study was to explore inflammation as an underlying mechanism of HHcy-induced pathology in age related diseases such as AMD, DR, and AD. Mice with HHcy due to a lack of the enzyme cystathionine-?-synthase (CBS) and wild-type mice were evaluated for microglia activation and inflammatory markers using immuno-fluorescence (IF). Tissue lysates isolated from the brain hippocampal area from mice with HHcy were evaluated for inflammatory cytokines using the multiplex assay. Human retinal endothelial cells, retinal pigment epithelial cells, and monocyte cell lines treated with/without Hcy were evaluated for inflammatory cytokines and NF?B activation using the multiplex assay, western blot analysis, and IF. HHcy induced inflammatory responses in mouse brain, retina, cultured retinal, and microglial cells. NF?B was activated and cytokine array analysis showed marked increase in pro-inflammatory cytokines and downregulation of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, elimination of excess Hcy or reduction of inflammation is a promising intervention for mitigating damage associated with HHcy in aging diseases such as DR, AMD, and AD.
Project description:Hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) is related to liver diseases, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL). Although the precise pathogenesis of NAFL is still largely unknown, the links between organs seem to play a vital role. The current study aimed to explore the role of white adipose tissue in homocysteine (Hcy)-induced NAFL. Blood samples from nonhyperhomocysteinemia or hyperhomocysteinemia individuals were collected to assess correlation between Hcy and triglyceride (TG) or free fatty acids (FFAs) levels. C57BL/6 mice were maintained on a high-methionine diet or administered with Hcy (1.8 g/L) in the drinking water to establish an HHcy mouse model. We demonstrated that Hcy activated adipocyte lipolysis and that this change was accompanied by an increased release of FFAs and glycerol. Excessive FFAs were taken up by hepatocyte, which resulted in lipid accumulation in the liver. Treatment with acipimox (0.08 g kg -1 day -1), a potent chemical inhibitor of lipolysis, markedly decreased Hcy-induced NAFL. Mechanistically, hypoxia-inducible factor 1? (HIF1?)-endoplasmic reticulum oxidoreductin 1? (ERO1?) mediated pathway promoted H2O2 accumulation and induced endoplasmic reticulum (ER) overoxidation, ER stress and more closed ER-lipid droplet interactions, which were responsible for activating the lipolytic response. In conclusion, this study reveals that Hcy activates adipocyte lipolysis and suggests the potential utility of targeted ER redox homeostasis for treating Hcy-induced NAFL.
Project description:Previously, we have shown hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) to have a detrimental effect on bone remodeling, which is associated with osteoporosis. During transsulfuration, Hcy is metabolized into hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gasotransmitter molecule known to regulate bone formation. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether H2S ameliorates HHcy induced epigenetic and molecular alterations leading to osteoporotic bone loss. To test this mechanism, we employed cystathionine-beta-synthase heterozygote knockout mice, fed with a methionine rich diet (CBS+/- +Met), supplemented with H2S-donor NaHS for 8 weeks. Treatment with NaHS, normalizes plasma H2S, and completely prevents trabecular bone loss in CBS+/- mice. Our data showed that HHcy caused inhibition of HDAC3 activity and subsequent inflammation by imbalancing redox homeostasis. The mechanistic study revealed that inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-?) are transcriptionally activated by an acetylated lysine residue in histone (H3K27ac) of chromatin by binding to its promoter and subsequently regulating gene expression. A blockade of HDAC3 inhibition in CBS+/- mice by HDAC activator ITSA-1, led to the remodeling of histone landscapes in the genome and thereby attenuated histone acetylation-dependent inflammatory signaling. We also confirmed that RUNX2 was sulfhydrated by administration of NaHS. Collectively, restoration of H2S may provide a novel treatment for CBS-deficiency induced metabolic osteoporosis.
Project description:Homocysteine (Hcy) is a thiol-containing amino acid formed during methionine metabolism. Elevated level of Hcy is known as hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy). HHcy is an independent risk factor for cerebrovascular diseases such as stroke, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, etc. Stroke, which is caused by interruption of blood supply to the brain, is one of the leading causes of death and disability in a number of people worldwide. The HHcy causes an increased carotid artery plaque that may lead to ischemic stroke but the mechanism is currently not well understood. Though mutations or polymorphisms in the key genes of Hcy metabolism pathway have been well elucidated in stroke, emerging evidences suggested epigenetic mechanisms equally play an important role in stroke development such as DNA methylation, chromatin remodeling, RNA editing, noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs), and microRNAs (miRNAs). However, there is no review available yet that describes the role of genetics and epigenetics during HHcy in stroke. The current review highlights the role of genetics and epigenetics in stroke during HHcy and the role of epigenetics in its therapeutics. The review also highlights possible epigenetic mechanisms, potential therapeutic molecules, putative challenges, and approaches to deal with stroke during HHcy.