Metabolic effects of fasting on human and mouse blood in vivo.
ABSTRACT: Starvation is a strong physiological stimulus of macroautophagy/autophagy. In this study, we addressed the question as to whether it would be possible to measure autophagy in blood cells after nutrient deprivation. Fasting of mice for 48 h (which causes ?20% weight loss) or starvation of human volunteers for up to 4 d (which causes <2% weight loss) provokes major changes in the plasma metabolome, yet induces only relatively minor alterations in the intracellular metabolome of circulating leukocytes. White blood cells from mice and human volunteers responded to fasting with a marked reduction in protein lysine acetylation, affecting both nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments. In circulating leukocytes from mice that underwent 48-h fasting, an increase in LC3B lipidation (as assessed by immunoblotting and immunofluorescence) only became detectable if the protease inhibitor leupeptin was injected 2 h before drawing blood. Consistently, measurement of an enhanced autophagic flux was only possible if white blood cells from starved human volunteers were cultured in the presence or absence of leupeptin. Whereas all murine leukocyte subpopulations significantly increased the number of LC3B+ puncta per cell in response to nutrient deprivation, only neutrophils from starved volunteers showed signs of activated autophagy (as determined by a combination of multi-color immunofluorescence, cytofluorometry and image analysis). Altogether, these results suggest that white blood cells are suitable for monitoring autophagic flux. In addition, we propose that the evaluation of protein acetylation in circulating leukocytes can be adopted as a biochemical marker of organismal energetic status.
Project description:The autophagy-endolysosomal pathway is an evolutionally conserved degradation system that is tightly linked to a wide variety of physiological processes. Dysfunction of this system is associated with many pathological conditions such as cancer, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases. Therefore, monitoring the cellular autophagy-endolysosomal activity is crucial for studies on the pathogenesis as well as therapeutics of such disorders. To this end, we here sought to create a novel means exploiting Keima, an acid-stable fluorescent protein possessing pH-dependent fluorescence excitation spectra, for precisely monitoring the autophagy-endolysosomal system. First, we generated three lines of transgenic (tg) mouse expressing monomeric Keima-fused MAP1LC3B (mKeima-LC3B). Then, these tg mice were subjected to starvation by food-restriction, and also challenged to neurodegeneration by genetically crossing with a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; i.e., SOD1H46R transgenic mouse. Unexpectedly, despite that a lipidated-form of endogenous LC3 (LC3-II) was significantly increased, those of mKeima-LC3B (mKeima-LC3B-II) were not changed under both stressed conditions. It was also noted that mKeima-LC3B-positive aggregates were progressively accumulated in the spinal cord of SOD1H46R;mKeima-LC3B double-tg mice, suggestive of acid-resistance and aggregate-prone natures of long-term overexpressed mKeima-LC3B in vivo. Next, we characterized mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) derived from mKeima-LC3B-tg mice. In contrast with in vivo, levels of mKeima-LC3B-I were decreased under starved conditions. Furthermore, when starved MEFs were treated with chloroquine (CQ), the abundance of mKeima-LC3B-II was significantly increased. Remarkably, when cultured medium was repeatedly changed between DMEM (nutrient-rich) and EBSS (starvation), acidic/neutral signal ratios of mKeima-LC3B-positive compartments were rapidly and reversibly shifted, which were suppressed by the CQ treatment, indicating that intraluminal pH of mKeima-LC3B-positive vesicles was changeable upon nutritional conditions of culture media. Taken together, although mKeima-LC3B-tg mice may not be an appropriate tool to monitor the autophagy-endolysosomal system in vivo, mKeima-LC3B must be one of the most sensitive reporter molecules for monitoring this system under in vitro cultured conditions.
Project description:ATG4 plays a key role in autophagy induction, but the methods for monitoring ATG4 activity in living cells are limited. Here we designed a novel fluorescent peptide named AU4S for noninvasive detection of ATG4 activity in living cells, which consists of the cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), ATG4-recognized sequence "GTFG," and the fluorophore FITC. Additionally, an ATG4-resistant peptide AG4R was used as a control. CPP can help AU4S or AG4R to penetrate cell membrane efficiently. AU4S but not AG4R can be recognized and cleaved by ATG4, leading to the change of fluorescence intensity. Therefore, the difference between AU4S- and AG4R-measured fluorescence values in the same sample, defined as "F-D value," can reflect ATG4 activity. By detecting the F-D values, we found that ATG4 activity paralleled LC3B-II levels in rapamycin-treated cells, but neither paralleled LC3B-II levels in starved cells nor presented a correlation with LC3B-II accumulation in WBCs from healthy donors or leukemia patients. However, when DTT was added to the system, ATG4 activity not only paralleled LC3B-II levels in starved cells in the presence or absence of autophagy inhibitors, but also presented a positive correlation with LC3B-II accumulation in WBCs from leukemia patients (R(2) = 0.5288). In conclusion, this study provides a convenient, rapid, and quantitative method to monitor ATG4 activity in living cells, which may be beneficial to basic and clinical research on autophagy.
Project description:Macroautophagy is a highly conserved catabolic process that is crucial for organ homeostasis in mammals. However, methods to directly measure macroautophagic activity (or flux) in vivo are limited. In this study we developed a quantitative macroautophagic flux assay based on measuring LC3b protein turnover in vivo after administering the protease inhibitor leupeptin. Using this assay we then characterized basal macroautophagic flux in different mouse organs. We found that the rate of LC3b accumulation after leupeptin treatment was greatest in the liver and lowest in spleen. Interestingly we found that LC3a, an ATG8/LC3b homologue and the LC3b-interacting protein p62 were degraded with similar kinetics to LC3b. However, the LC3b-related proteins GABARAP and GATE-16 were not rapidly turned over in mouse liver, implying that different LC3b homologues may contribute to macroautophagy via distinct mechanisms. Nutrient starvation augmented macroautophagic flux as measured by our assay, while refeeding the animals after a period of starvation significantly suppressed flux. We also confirmed that beclin 1 heterozygous mice had reduced basal macroautophagic flux compared to wild-type littermates. These results illustrate the usefulness of our leupeptin-based assay for studying the dynamics of macroautophagy in mice.
Project description:A pilot clinical trial based on nutritional modulation was designed to assess the efficacy of a one-year low-protein diet in activating autophagy in skeletal muscle of patients affected by COL6/collagen VI-related myopathies. Ullrich congenital muscular dystrophy and Bethlem myopathy are rare inherited muscle disorders caused by mutations of COL6 genes and for which no cure is yet available. Studies in col6 null mice revealed that myofiber degeneration involves autophagy defects and that forced activation of autophagy results in the amelioration of muscle pathology. Seven adult patients affected by COL6 myopathies underwent a controlled low-protein diet for 12 mo and we evaluated the presence of autophagosomes and the mRNA and protein levels for BECN1/Beclin 1 and MAP1LC3B/LC3B in muscle biopsies and blood leukocytes. Safety measures were assessed, including muscle strength, motor and respiratory function, and metabolic parameters. After one y of low-protein diet, autophagic markers were increased in skeletal muscle and blood leukocytes of patients. The treatment was safe as shown by preservation of lean:fat percentage of body composition, muscle strength and function. Moreover, the decreased incidence of myofiber apoptosis indicated benefits in muscle homeostasis, and the metabolic changes pointed at improved mitochondrial function. These data provide evidence that a low-protein diet is able to activate autophagy and is safe and tolerable in patients with COL6 myopathies, pointing at autophagy activation as a potential target for therapeutic applications. In addition, our findings indicate that blood leukocytes are a promising noninvasive tool for monitoring autophagy activation in patients.
Project description:Autophagy is a highly conserved pathway. Impairment of autophagy is implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy. The current study applied a bioinformatics analysis to retrieve promising autophagy biomarker relevant diabetic nephropathy. Urinary expression of Microtubule-associated protein 1 light-chain 3B (LC3B) RNA was assessed. Urine samples of 86 type II diabetic kidney disease Egyptian patients (albuminuria group) were provided to quantify urinary expression of LC3B. A group of 30 healthy volunteers were also enrolled in addition to non-albuminuria group including 44 patients. Our study revealed a cut-off value for urinary LC3B expression level that was calculated by receiver-operating characteristic curve as 0.866. Sensitivity and specificity of LC3B were 83.7 and 78.4% respectively. The positivity rate of urinary LC3B expression level was significantly lower in diabetic nephropathy patients than control group. LC3B has great clinical value as promising biomarker in diabetic nephropathy assessment.
Project description:Previous studies have shown that long-term light or moderate fasting such as intermittent fasting can improve health and prolong lifespan. However, in humans short-term intensive fasting, a complete water-only fasting has little been studied. Here, we used multi-omics tools to evaluate the impact of short-term intensive fasting on immune function by comparison of the CD45<sup>+</sup> leukocytes from the fasting subjects before and after 72-h fasting. Transcriptomic and proteomic profiling of CD45<sup>+</sup> leukocytes revealed extensive expression changes, marked by higher gene upregulation than downregulation after fasting. Functional enrichment of differentially expressed genes and proteins exposed several pathways critical to metabolic and immune cell functions. Specifically, short-term intensive fasting enhanced autophagy levels through upregulation of key members involved in the upstream signals and within the autophagy machinery, whereas apoptosis was reduced by down-turning of apoptotic gene expression, thereby increasing the leukocyte viability. When focusing on specific leukocyte populations, peripheral neutrophils are noticeably increased by short-term intensive fasting. Finally, proteomic analysis of leukocytes showed that short-term intensive fasting not only increased neutrophil degranulation, but also increased cytokine secretion. Our results suggest that short-term intensive fasting boost immune function, in particular innate immune function, at least in part by remodeling leukocytes expression profile.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In two recent randomized controlled trials, withholding parenteral nutrition early in critical illness improved outcome as compared to early up-to-calculated-target nutrition, which may be explained by beneficial effects of fasting. Outside critical care, fasting-mimicking diets were found to maintain fasting-induced benefits while avoiding prolonged starvation. It is unclear whether critically ill patients can develop a fasting response after a short-term nutrient interruption. In this randomized crossover pilot study, we investigated whether 12-h nutrient interruption initiates a metabolic fasting response in prolonged critically ill patients. As a secondary objective, we studied the feasibility of monitoring autophagy in blood samples. METHODS:In a single-center study in 70 prolonged critically ill patients, 12-h up-to-calculated-target feeding was alternated with 12-h fasting on day 8?±?1 in ICU, in random order. Blood samples were obtained at the start of the study, at the crossover point, and at the end of the 24-h study period. Primary endpoints were a fasting-induced increase in serum bilirubin and decrease in insulin requirements to maintain normoglycemia. Secondary outcomes included serum insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I), serum urea, plasma beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOH), and mRNA and protein markers of autophagy in whole blood and isolated white blood cells. To obtain a healthy reference, mRNA and protein markers of autophagy were assessed in whole blood and isolated white blood cells of 23 matched healthy subjects in fed and fasted conditions. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA, Fisher's exact test, or Mann-Whitney U test, as appropriate. RESULTS:A 12-h nutrient interruption significantly increased serum bilirubin and BOH and decreased insulin requirements and serum IGF-I (all p???0.001). Urea was not affected. BOH was already increased from 4?h fasting onwards. Autophagic markers in blood samples were largely unaffected by fasting in patients and healthy subjects. CONCLUSIONS:A 12-h nutrient interruption initiated a metabolic fasting response in prolonged critically ill patients, which opens perspectives for the development of a fasting-mimicking diet. Blood samples may not be a good readout of autophagy at the tissue level. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ISRCTN, ISRCTN98404761. Registered 3 May 2017.
Project description:Autophagy is regulated by nutrient and energy status and plays an adaptive role during nutrient deprivation and ischemic stress. Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a hypernutritive state characterized by obesity, dyslipidemia, elevated fasting blood glucose levels, and insulin resistance. It has also been associated with impaired autophagic flux and larger-sized infarcts. We hypothesized that diet-induced obesity (DIO) affects nutrient sensing, explaining the observed cardiac impaired autophagy. We subjected male friend virus B NIH (FVBN) mice to a high-fat diet, which resulted in increased weight gain, fat deposition, hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and larger infarcts after myocardial ischemia-reperfusion. Autophagic flux was impaired after 4 wk on a high-fat diet. To interrogate nutrient-sensing pathways, DIO mice were subjected to overnight fasting, and hearts were processed for biochemical and proteomic analysis. Obese mice failed to upregulate LC3-II or to clear p62/SQSTM1 after fasting, although mRNA for LC3B and p62/SQSTM1 were appropriately upregulated in both groups, demonstrating an intact transcriptional response to fasting. Energy- and nutrient-sensing signal transduction pathways [AMPK and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)] also responded appropriately to fasting, although mTOR was more profoundly suppressed in obese mice. Proteomic quantitative analysis of the hearts under fed and fasted conditions revealed broad changes in protein networks involved in oxidative phosphorylation, autophagy, oxidative stress, protein homeostasis, and contractile machinery. In many instances, the fasting response was quite discordant between lean and DIO mice. Network analysis implicated the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor and mTOR regulatory nodes. Hearts of obese mice exhibited impaired autophagy, altered proteome, and discordant response to nutrient deprivation.
Project description:Kawasaki disease (KD) is the most common cause of heart disease acquired in childhood. Even if treated with high-dose intravenous immunoglobulin G (IVIG) at the early stage; children are still at risk of developing coronary artery lesions. Accumulating evidence suggests that autophagy is enhanced in various heart diseases. Evaluating the pathogenic role of autophagy in KD and coronary artery lesions (CAL) may aid in identifying a potential therapeutic target for the treatment or prevention of the disease. Blood samples were obtained from 20 children with KD at the onset of disease and 21 days after IVIG therapy. Twenty children with other causes of febrile disease and 20 healthy children were included as controls. Total RNA was extracted from white blood cells; and autophagy-related gene mRNA expression levels were measured using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The patients with KD had downregulated levels of LC3B mRNA (0.50 ± 0.06 vs. 1.67 ± 0.15; p < 0.001), BECN1 mRNA (0.70 ± 0.08 vs. 1.43 ± 0.23; p < 0.05), and ATG16L1 mRNA (0.28 ± 0.04 vs. 0.96 ± 0.16; p < 0.01) compared to the febrile control group. The values of these parameters all increased significantly 21 days after the IVIG therapy as follows: LC3B mRNA (1.77 ± 0.29 vs. 0.50 ± 0.06; p < 0.001), BECN1 mRNA (1.67 ± 0.36 vs. 0.70 ± 0.08; p < 0.05), and ATG16L1 mRNA (2.96 ± 0.43 vs. 0.28 ± 0.04; p < 0.001), while the level of ATG16L1 mRNA persists low in KD patients with CAL. Our results showed the autophagy-related genes expressions in KD and their change after IVIG administration. This suggests that autophagy may have a protective effect on KD.
Project description:Developmental and homeostatic remodeling of cellular organelles is mediated by a complex process termed autophagy. The cohort of proteins that constitute the autophagy machinery function in a multistep biochemical pathway. Though components of the autophagy machinery are broadly expressed, autophagy can occur in specialized cellular contexts, and mechanisms underlying cell type-specific autophagy are poorly understood. We demonstrate that the master regulator of hematopoiesis GATA-1 directly activates transcription of genes encoding the essential autophagy component Microtubule Associated Protein 1 Light Chain 3B (LC3B) and its homologs (MAP1LC3A, GABARAP, GABARAPL1, GATE-16). In addition, GATA-1 directly activates genes involved in the biogenesis/function of lysosomes, which mediate autophagic protein turnover. We demonstrate that GATA-1 utilizes the forkhead protein FoxO3 to activate select autophagy genes. GATA-1-dependent LC3B induction is tightly coupled to accumulation of the active form of LC3B and autophagosomes, which mediate mitochondrial clearance as a critical step in erythropoiesis. These results illustrate a novel mechanism by which a master regulator of development establishes a genetic network to instigate cell type-specific autophagy. Genome-wide maps of GATA1 factor occupancy in primary human PBMC derived erythroblasts