Fatty Acid Binding Protein 11a Is Required for Brain Vessel Integrity in Zebrafish.
ABSTRACT: The monolayer of endothelial cells (ECs) lining the intima of all blood vessel wall forms a semipermeable barrier that regulates tissue-fluid homeostasis, transport of nutrients, and migration of blood cells across the barrier. A number of signaling pathways and molecules mediate endothelial permeability, which plays important roles in a variety of the physiological and pathological conditions. Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are able to bind various hydrophobic molecules, such as long-chain fatty acids, prostaglandins and eicosanoids. FABP4, a member of the family of FABPs, plays an important role in maintenance of glucose and lipid homeostasis as well as angiogenesis. In the present study, we found that fabp11a, the ortholog of mammalian FABP4, was highly expressed in developing brain vessels of zebrafish. Knockout of fabp11a gene caused hemorrhage in zebrafish brain. Morpholino mediated fabp11a gene knockdown phenocopied the hemorrhage in mutants. Furthermore, we demonstrated permeability of brain vessels in fabp11a mutant is significantly higher than that of control. In addition, COX and LOX inhibition partially rescued the brain vessel integrity defects caused by fabp11a loss-of-function, suggesting the integrity defect was relevant to the Fatty Acid function.
Project description:Inflammation plays a key role in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) 4 and 5 regulate the inflammatory activity of macrophages. Whether FABPs 4 and 5 could play a role in the pathogenesis of BPD via the promotion of macrophage inflammatory activity is unknown. This study sought to examine whether the expression levels of FABP4 and FABP5 were altered in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissue in a baboon model of BPD. This study also sought to characterize the cell types that express these proteins. Real-time PCR, immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and double immunofluorescence were used to examine the expression of FABPs in samples of BPD. Morphometric analysis was used to quantify FABP4-positive peribronchial blood vessels in lung sections. FABP4 was primarily expressed in macrophages in samples of BPD. In addition, FABP4 was expressed in the endothelial cells of blood vessels in peribronchial areas and the vasa vasorum, but not in the alveolar vasculature in samples of BPD. FABP4 concentrations were significantly increased in lungs and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples with BPD. An increased density of FABP4-positive peribronchial blood vessels was evident in both baboon and human BPD sections. FABP5 was expressed in several cell types, including alveolar epithelial cells and macrophages. FABP5 concentrations did not show any significant alterations in BPD. In conclusion, FABP4 but not FABP5 levels are increased in BPD. FABP4 is differentially expressed in endothelial cells of the bronchial microvasculature, which demonstrates a previously unrecognized expansion in BPD.
Project description:Fatty-acid-binding proteins (FABPs) are small intracellular proteins that coordinate lipid-mediated processes by targeting metabolic and immune response pathways. The aim of the study was to investigate plasma FABPs levels and their relationship with clinical outcomes in cirrhosis. Plasma levels of L-FABP1(liver and kidney), I-FABP2(intestine), and A-FABP4(adipocyte and macrophages) were measured in 274 patients with decompensated cirrhosis. Hepatic gene expression of FABPs was assessed in liver biopsies from patients with decompensated cirrhosis and in liver cell types from mice with cirrhosis. Immunohistochemistry of A-FABP4 in human liver biopsy was also performed. Plasma levels of FABPs were increased in patients with decompensated cirrhosis compared to those of healthy subjects (L-FABP1: 25 (17-39) vs 10 (9-17)?ng/mL p?=?0.001, I-FABP2: 1.1 (0.5-2.1) vs 0.6 (0.4-1)?ng/mL p?=?0.04 and A-FABP4: 37 (20-68) vs 16 (11-33)?ng/mL p?=?0.002), respectively. Increased A-FABP4 levels were associated with complications of cirrhosis, acute-on-chronic liver failure and poor survival. Hepatic A-FABP4 gene expression was upregulated in decompensated cirrhosis. Macrophages were the main liver cell that over-expressed A-FABP4 in experimental cirrhosis and increased A-FABP4 was found in macrophages of human biopsies by immunohistochemistry. A-FABP4 levels are increased in decompensated cirrhosis and correlate with poor outcomes. Liver macrophages appear to be the main source of A-FABP4 in decompensated cirrhosis.
Project description:Hemorrhagic stroke accounts for 10-15% of all strokes and is strongly associated with mortality and morbidity worldwide, but its prevention and therapeutic interventions remain a major challenge. Here, we report the identification of miconazole as a hemorrhagic suppressor by a small-molecule screen in zebrafish. We found that a hypomorphic mutant fn40a, one of several known ?-pix mutant alleles in zebrafish, had the major symptoms of brain hemorrhage, vessel rupture and inflammation as those in hemorrhagic stroke patients. A small-molecule screen with mutant embryos identified the anti-fungal drug miconazole as a potent hemorrhagic suppressor. Miconazole inhibited both brain hemorrhages in zebrafish and mesenteric hemorrhages in rats by decreasing matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9)-dependent vessel rupture. Mechanistically, miconazole downregulated the levels of pErk and Mmp9 to protect vascular integrity in fn40a mutants. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that miconazole protects blood vessels from hemorrhages by downregulating the pERK-MMP9 axis from zebrafish to mammals and shed light on the potential of phenotype-based screens in zebrafish for the discovery of new drug candidates and chemical probes for hemorrhagic stroke.
Project description:Hypothalamic inflammation contributes to metabolic dysregulation and the onset of obesity. Dietary saturated fats activate microglia via a nuclear factor-kappa B (NF?B) mediated pathway to release pro-inflammatory cytokines resulting in dysfunction or death of surrounding neurons. Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) are lipid chaperones regulating metabolic and inflammatory pathways in response to fatty acids. Loss of FABP4 in peripheral macrophages via either molecular or pharmacologic mechanisms results in reduced obesity-induced inflammation via a UCP2-redox based mechanism. Despite the widespread appreciation for the role of FABP4 in mediating peripheral inflammation, the expression of FABP4 and a potential FABP4-UCP2 axis regulating microglial inflammatory capacity is largely uncharacterized. To that end, we hypothesized that microglial cells express FABP4 and that inhibition would upregulate UCP2 and attenuate palmitic acid (PA)-induced pro-inflammatory response. Gene expression confirmed expression of FABP4 in brain tissue lysate from C57Bl/6J mice and BV2 microglia. Treatment of microglial cells with an FABP inhibitor (HTS01037) increased expression of Ucp2 and arginase in the presence or absence of PA. Moreover, cells exposed to HTS01037 exhibited attenuated expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) compared to PA alone indicating reduced NF?B signaling. Hypothalamic tissue from mice lacking FABP4 exhibit increased UCP2 expression and reduced iNOS, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-?), and ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1 (Iba1; microglial activation marker) expression compared to wild type mice. Further, this effect is negated in microglia lacking UCP2, indicating the FABP4-UCP2 axis is pivotal in obesity induced neuroinflammation. To our knowledge, this is the first report demonstrating a FABP4-UCP2 axis with the potential to modulate the microglial inflammatory response.
Project description:Intracellular and extracellular interactions with proteins enables the functional and mechanistic diversity of lipids. Fatty acid-binding proteins (FABPs) were originally described as intracellular proteins that can affect lipid fluxes, metabolism and signalling within cells. As the functions of this protein family have been further elucidated, it has become evident that they are critical mediators of metabolism and inflammatory processes, both locally and systemically, and therefore are potential therapeutic targets for immunometabolic diseases. In particular, genetic deficiency and small molecule-mediated inhibition of FABP4 (also known as aP2) and FABP5 can potently improve glucose homeostasis and reduce atherosclerosis in mouse models. Further research has shown that in addition to their intracellular roles, some FABPs are found outside the cells, and FABP4 undergoes regulated, vesicular secretion. The circulating form of FABP4 has crucial hormonal functions in systemic metabolism. In this Review we discuss the roles and regulation of both intracellular and extracellular FABP actions, highlighting new insights that might direct drug discovery efforts and opportunities for management of chronic metabolic diseases.
Project description:Phylogenetic analysis of avian and other vertebrate fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) supported the hypothesis that several gene duplications within this family occurred prior to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of tetrapods and bony fishes. The chicken genome encodes two liver-expressed FABPs: (1) L-FABP or FABP1; and (2) Lb-FABP. We propose that the latter be designated FABP10, because in our phylogenetic analysis it clustered with zebrafish FABP10. Bioinformatic analysis of across-tissue gene expression patterns in the chicken showed some congruence with phylogenetic relationships. On the basis of expression, chicken FABP genes seemed to form two major groups: (1) a cluster of genes many of which showed predominant expression in the digestive system (FABP1, FABP2, FABP6, FABP10, RBP1, and CRABP1); and (2) a cluster of genes most of which had predominant expression in tissues other than those of the digestive system, including muscle and the central nervous system (FABP3, FABP4, FABP5, FABP7, and PMP2). Since these clusters corresponded to major clusters in the phylogenetic tree as well, it seems a plausible hypothesis that the earliest duplication in the vertebrate FABP family led to the divergence of a gut-specialized gene from a gene expressed mainly in nervous and muscular systems. Data on gene expression in livers of two lines of chickens selected for high growth and low growth showed differences between FABP1 and FABP10 expressions in the liver, supporting the hypothesis of functional divergence between the two chicken liver-expressed FABPs related to food intake.
Project description:The circumventricular organs (CVOs) in the central nervous system (CNS) lack a vascular blood-brain barrier (BBB), creating communication sites for sensory or secretory neurons, involved in body homeostasis. Wnt/?-catenin signaling is essential for BBB development and maintenance in endothelial cells (ECs) in most CNS vessels. Here we show that in mouse development, as well as in adult mouse and zebrafish, CVO ECs rendered Wnt-reporter negative, suggesting low level pathway activity. Characterization of the subfornical organ (SFO) vasculature revealed heterogenous claudin-5 (Cldn5) and Plvap/Meca32 expression indicative for tight and leaky vessels, respectively. Dominant, EC-specific ?-catenin transcription in mice, converted phenotypically leaky into BBB-like vessels, by augmenting Cldn5+vessels, stabilizing junctions and by reducing Plvap/Meca32+ and fenestrated vessels, resulting in decreased tracer permeability. Endothelial tightening augmented neuronal activity in the SFO of water restricted mice. Hence, regulating the SFO vessel barrier may influence neuronal function in the context of water homeostasis.
Project description:Mutations in the human NOTCH3 gene cause CADASIL syndrome (cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy with subcortical infarcts and leukoencephalopathy). CADASIL is an inherited small vessel disease characterized by diverse clinical manifestations including vasculopathy, neurodegeneration and dementia. Here we report two mutations in the zebrafish notch3 gene, one identified in a previous screen for mutations with reduced expression of myelin basic protein (mbp) and another caused by a retroviral insertion. Reduced mbp expression in notch3 mutant embryos is associated with fewer oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). Despite an early neurogenic phenotype, mbp expression recovered at later developmental stages and some notch3 homozygous mutants survived to adulthood. These mutants, as well as adult zebrafish carrying both mutant alleles together, displayed a striking stress-associated accumulation of blood in the head and fins. Histological analysis of mutant vessels revealed vasculopathy, including: an enlargement (dilation) of vessels in the telencephalon and fin, disorganization of the normal stereotyped arrangement of vessels in the fin, and an apparent loss of arterial morphological structure. Expression of hey1, a well-known transcriptional target of Notch signaling, was greatly reduced in notch3 mutant fins, suggesting that Notch3 acts via a canonical Notch signaling pathway to promote normal vessel structure. Ultrastructural analysis confirmed the presence of dilated vessels in notch3 mutant fins and revealed that the vessel walls of presumed arteries showed signs of deterioration. Gaps in the arterial wall and the presence of blood cells outside of vessels in mutants indicated that compromised vessel structure led to hemorrhage. In notch3 heterozygotes, we found elevated expression of both notch3 itself and target genes, indicating that specific alterations in gene expression due to partial loss of Notch3 function might contribute to the abnormalities observed in heterozygous larvae and adults. Our analysis of zebrafish notch3 mutants indicates that Notch3 regulates OPC development and mbp gene expression in larvae, and maintains vascular integrity in adults.
Project description:Talin (tln) binds and activates integrins to couple extracellular matrix-bound integrins to the cytoskeleton; however, its role in heart development is not well characterized. We identified the defective gene and the resulting cardiovascular phenotypes in zebrafish tln1(fl02k) mutants. The ethylnitrosourea-induced fl02k mutant showed heart failure, brain hemorrhage, and diminished cardiac and vessel lumens at 52 h post fertilization. Positional cloning revealed a nonsense mutation of tln1 in this mutant. tln1, but neither tln2 nor -2a, was dominantly expressed in the heart and vessels. Unlike tln1 and -2 in the mouse heart, the unique tln1 expression in the heart enabled us, for the first time, to determine the critical roles of Tln1 in the maintenance of cardiac sarcomeric Z-disks and endothelial/endocardial cell integrity, partly through regulating F-actin networks in zebrafish. The similar expression profiles of tln1 and integrin ?1b (itgb1b) and synergistic function of the 2 genes revealed that itgb1b is a potential partner for tln1 in the stabilization of cardiac Z-disks and vessel lumens. Taken together, the results of this work suggest that Tln1-mediated Itg?1b plays a crucial role in maintaining cardiac sarcomeric Z-disks and endothelial/endocardial cell integrity in zebrafish and may also help to gain molecular insights into congenital heart diseases.
Project description:Fatty acid binding proteins (FABPs) bind long-chain fatty acids and are involved in their intracellular transport. Of the known bovine FABP genes, FABP4 has been mapped to a region on chromosome 14 that contains quantitative trait loci for milk traits. This study investigated the association of FABP4 haplotypes with milk production traits in 719 Holstein-Friesian?×?Jersey cows. Polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis of a variable region of the gene revealed three haplotypes (A, B and C). Five single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified: two in exon 3 and three in intron 3. A was associated (P=0.032) with increased milk protein percentage (present: 4.00 ± 0.02%; absent: 3.95 ± 0.02%) and B was associated (P=0.009) with increased milk yield (present: 23.81 ± 0.23 kg/d; absent: 23.06 ± 0.21 kg/d), but tended to be associated with a decrease in protein percentage and an increase in protein yield. Cows with genotypes AA, AB and AC produced less milk, but with a higher protein percentage than BC cows. This suggest that FABP4 affects milk yield and milk protein content, both economically important traits, and that further study of this gene is warranted.