Small Molecule Antipsychotic Aripiprazole Potentiates Ozone-Induced Inflammation in Airway Epithelium.
ABSTRACT: Inhaled ground level ozone (O3) has well described adverse health effects, which may be augmented in susceptible populations. While conditions, such as pre-existing respiratory disease, have been identified as factors enhancing susceptibility to O3-induced health effects, the potential for chemical interactions in the lung to sensitize populations to pollutant-induced responses has not yet been studied. In the airways, inhaled O3 reacts with lipids, such as cholesterol, to generate reactive and electrophilic oxysterol species, capable of causing cellular dysfunction and inflammation. The enzyme regulating the final step of cholesterol biosynthesis, 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7), converts 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to cholesterol. Inhibition of DHCR7 increases the levels of 7-DHC, which is much more susceptible to oxidation than cholesterol. Chemical analysis established the capacity for a variety of small molecule antipsychotic drugs, like Aripiprazole (APZ), to inhibit DHCR7 and elevate circulating 7-DHC. Our results show that APZ and the known DHCR7 inhibitor, AY9944, increase 7-DHC levels in airway epithelial cells and potentiate O3-induced IL-6 and IL-8 expression and cytokine release. Targeted immune-related gene array analysis demonstrates that APZ significantly modified O3-induced expression of 16 genes, causing dysregulation in expression of genes associated with leukocyte recruitment and inflammatory response. Additionally, we find that APZ increases O3-induced IL-6 and IL-8 expression in human nasal epithelial cells from male but not female donors. Overall, the evidence we provide describes a novel molecular mechanism by which chemicals, such as APZ, that perturb cholesterol biosynthesis affect O3-induced biological responses.
Project description:Treatment of Sprague-Dawley rats with AY9944, an inhibitor of 3?-hydroxysterol-?(7)-reductase (Dhcr7), leads to elevated levels of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) and reduced levels of cholesterol in all biological tissues, mimicking the key biochemical hallmark of Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS). Fourteen 7-DHC-derived oxysterols previously have been identified as products of free radical oxidation in vitro; one of these oxysterols, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one (DHCEO), was recently identified in Dhcr7-deficient cells and in brain tissues of Dhcr7-null mouse. We report here the isolation and characterization of three novel 7-DHC-derived oxysterols (4?- and 4?-hydroxy-7-DHC and 24-hydroxy-7-DHC) in addition to DHCEO and 7-ketocholesterol (7-kChol) from the brain tissues of AY9944-treated rats. The identities of these five oxysterols were elucidated by HPLC-ultraviolet (UV), HPLC-MS, and 1D- and 2D-NMR. Quantification of 4?- and 4?-hydroxy-7-DHC, DHCEO, and 7-kChol in rat brain, liver, and serum were carried out by HPLC-MS using d(7)-DHCEO as an internal standard. With the exception of 7-kChol, these oxysterols were present only in tissues of AY9944-treated, but not control rats, and 7-kChol levels were markedly (>10-fold) higher in treated versus control rats. These findings are discussed in the context of the potential involvement of 7-DHC-derived oxysterols in the pathogenesis of SLOS.
Project description:While antipsychotic medications provide important relief from debilitating psychotic symptoms, they also have significant adverse side effects, which might have relevant impact on human health. Several research studies, including ours, have shown that commonly used antipsychotics such as haloperidol and aripiprazole affect cholesterol biosynthesis at the conversion of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to cholesterol. This transformation is promoted by the enzyme DHCR7 and its inhibition causes increases in plasma and tissue levels of 7-DHC. The inhibition of this enzymatic step by mutations in the Dhcr7 gene leads to Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a devastating human condition that can be replicated in rats by small molecule inhibitors of DHCR7. The fact that two compounds, brexpiprazole and cariprazine, that were recently approved by the FDA have substructural elements in common with the DHCR7 inhibitor aripiprazole, prompted us to evaluate the effect of brexpiprazole and cariprazine on cholesterol biosynthesis. We report that cariprazine affects levels of 7-DHC and cholesterol in cell culture incubations at concentrations as low as 5?nM. Furthermore, a common metabolite of cariprazine and aripiprazole, 2,3-(dichlorophenyl) piperazine, inhibits DHCR7 activity at concentrations comparable to those of the potent teratogen AY9944. The cell culture experiments were corroborated in mice in studies showing that treatment with cariprazine elevated 7-DHC in brain and serum. The consequences of sterol inhibition by antipsychotics in the developing nervous system and the safety of their use during pregnancy remains to be established.
Project description:In this study, we aim to identify environmental molecules that can inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis, potentially leading to the same biochemical defects as observed in cholesterol biosynthesis disorders, which are often characterized by congenital malformations and developmental delay. Using the Distributed Structure-Searchable Toxicity (DSSTox) Database Network developed by EPA, we first carried out in silico screening of environmental molecules that display structures similar to AY9944, a known potent inhibitor of 3?-hydroxysterol-?(7)-reductase (DHCR7)-the last step of cholesterol biosynthesis. Molecules that display high similarity to AY9944 were subjected to test in mouse and human neuroblastoma cells for their effectiveness in inhibiting cholesterol biosynthesis by analyzing cholesterol and its precursor using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. We found that a common disinfectant mixture, benzalkonium chlorides (BACs), exhibits high potency in inhibiting DHCR7, as suggested by greatly elevated levels of the cholesterol precursor, 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC). Subsequent structure-activity studies suggested that the potency of BACs as Dhcr7 inhibitors decrease with the length of their hydrocarbon chain: C10?>?C12???C14?>?C16. Real-time qPCR analysis revealed upregulation of the genes related to cholesterol biosynthesis and downregulation of the genes related to cholesterol efflux, suggesting a feedback response to the inhibition. Furthermore, an oxidative metabolite of 7-DHC that was previously identified as a biomarker in vivo was also found in cells exposed to BACs by liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Our findings suggest that certain environmental molecules could potently inhibit cholesterol biosynthesis, which could be a new link between environment and developmental disorders.
Project description:Mutations in both copies in the gene encoding 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7) cause Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome (SLOS), which is characterized by a toxic elevation in 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC). Aripiprazole (ARI) exposure, independent of genetic mutations, also leads to elevation of 7-DHC. We investigated the combined effect of a single-copy Dhcr7+/- mutation and maternal ARI exposure on the developing offspring brain. We generated a time-pregnant mouse model where WT and Dhcr7+/- embryos were maternally exposed to ARI or vehicle (VEH) from E12 to E19 (5 mg/kg). Levels of cholesterol, its precursors, ARI and its metabolites were measured at P0. We found that ARI and its metabolites were transported across the placenta and reached the brain of offspring. Maternal ARI exposure led to decreased viability of embryos and increased 7-DHC levels, regardless of maternal or offspring Dhcr7 genotype. In addition, Dhcr7+/- pups were more vulnerable to maternal ARI exposure than their WT littermates, and maternal Dhcr7+/- genotype also exacerbated offspring response to ARI treatment. Finally, both 7-DHC levels and 7-DHC/cholesterol ratio is the highest in Dhcr7+/- pups from Dhcr7+/- mothers exposed to ARI, underscoring a potentially dangerous interaction between maternal genotype×embryonic genotype×treatment. Our findings have important clinical implications. SLOS patients should avoid drugs that increase 7-DHC levels such as ARI, trazodone and haloperidol. In addition, treatment with 7-DHC elevating substances might be potentially unsafe for the 1-1.5% of population with single-allele disruptions of the DHCR7 gene. Finally, prenatal and parental genetic testing for DHCR7 should be considered before prescribing sterol-interfering medications during pregnancy.
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a metabolic and developmental disorder caused by mutations in the gene encoding the enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (Dhcr7). This reductase catalyzes the last step in cholesterol biosynthesis, and levels of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), the substrate for this enzyme, are elevated in SLOS patients as a result of this defect. Our group has previously shown that 7-DHC is extremely prone to free radical autoxidation, and we identified about a dozen different oxysterols formed from oxidation of 7-DHC. We report here that 7-DHC-derived oxysterols reduce cell viability in a dose- and time-dependent manner, some of the compounds showing activity at sub-micromolar concentrations. The reduction of cell survival is caused by a combination of reduced proliferation and induced differentiation of the Neuro2a cells. The complex 7-DHC oxysterol mixture added to control Neuro2a cells also triggers the gene expression changes that were previously identified in Dhcr7-deficient Neuro2a cells. Based on the identification of overlapping gene expression changes in Dhcr7-deficient and 7-DHC oxysterol-treated Neuro2a cells, we hypothesize that some of the pathophysiological findings in the mouse SLOS model and SLOS patients might be due to accumulated 7-DHC oxysterols.
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome is a recessive disorder caused by mutations in 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR)7 with a heterozygous (HET) carrier frequency of 1-3%. A defective DHCR7 causes accumulation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (DHC), which is a highly oxidizable and toxic compound. Recent studies suggest that several antipsychotics, including the highly prescribed pharmaceuticals, aripiprazole (ARI) and trazodone (TRZ), increase 7-DHC levels in vitro and in humans. Our investigation was designed to compare the effects of ARI and TRZ on cholesterol (Chol) synthesis in fibroblasts from DHCR7+/- human carriers and controls (CTRs). Six matched pairs of fibroblasts were treated and their sterol profile analyzed by LC-MS. Significantly, upon treatment with ARI and TRZ, the total accumulation of 7-DHC was higher in DHCR7-HET cells than in CTR fibroblasts. The same set of experiments was repeated in the presence of 13C-lanosterol to determine residual Chol synthesis, revealing that ARI and TRZ strongly inhibit de novo Chol biosynthesis. The results suggest that DHCR7 carriers have increased vulnerability to both ARI and TRZ exposure compared with CTRs. Thus, the 1-3% of the population who are DHCR7 carriers may be more likely to sustain deleterious health consequences on exposure to compounds like ARI and TRZ that increase levels of 7-DHC, especially during brain development.
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is a severe autosomal recessive disorder resulting from defects in the cholesterol synthesising enzyme 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (?7-sterol reductase, DHCR7, EC 126.96.36.199) leading to a build-up of the cholesterol precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) in tissues and blood plasma. Although the underling enzyme deficiency associated with SLOS is clear there are likely to be multiple mechanisms responsible for SLOS pathology. In an effort to learn more of the aetiology of SLOS we have analysed plasma from SLOS patients to search for metabolites derived from 7-DHC which may be responsible for some of the pathology. We have identified a novel hydroxy-8-dehydrocholesterol, which is either 24- or 25-hydroxy-8-dehydrocholesterol and also the known metabolites 26-hydroxy-8-dehydrocholesterol, 4-hydroxy-7-dehydrocholesterol, 3?,5?-dihydroxycholest-7-en-6-one and 7?,8?-epoxycholesterol. None of these metabolites are detected in control plasma at quantifiable levels (0.5ng/mL).
Project description:We describe a highly sensitive method for the detection of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), the biosynthetic precursor of cholesterol, based on its reactivity with 4-phenyl-1,2,4-triazoline-3,5-dione (PTAD) in a Diels-Alder cycloaddition reaction. Samples of biological tissues and fluids with added deuterium-labeled internal standards were derivatized with PTAD and analyzed by LC-MS. This protocol permits fast processing of samples, short chromatography times, and high sensitivity. We applied this method to the analysis of cells, blood, and tissues from several sources, including human plasma. Another innovative aspect of this study is that it provides a reliable and highly reproducible measurement of 7-DHC in 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (Dhcr7)-HET mouse (a model for Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome) samples, showing regional differences in the brain tissue. We found that the levels of 7-DHC are consistently higher in Dhcr7-HET mice than in controls, with the spinal cord and peripheral nerve showing the biggest differences. In addition to 7-DHC, sensitive analysis of desmosterol in tissues and blood was also accomplished with this PTAD method by assaying adducts formed from the PTAD "ene" reaction. The method reported here may provide a highly sensitive and high throughput way to identify at-risk populations having errors in cholesterol biosynthesis.
Project description:Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an autosomal recessive metabolic disorder caused by variants in the DHCR7 gene. In cholesterol biosynthesis, 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) is converted to cholesterol by the enzyme 7-DHC reductase, which is encoded by the gene DHCR7. Thus, an elevated 7-DHC is indicative of SLOS. Characteristically SLOS is usually associated with congenital anomalies, dysmorphisms, and moderate to severe neurodevelopmental delay. However, there are rare descriptions of individuals with milder phenotypes. We report a mild case of SLOS presenting with short stature, cleft palate, imperforate anus, and mild language delay with subtle dysmorphic features. 7-DHC was not elevated at 1 year of age and SLOS considered excluded at this time. The parents had two pregnancies with holoprosencephaly. Whole exome sequencing of one of the fetuses identified compound heterozygous pathogenic variants in the DHCR7 gene (c.964-1G>C (p.?) and c.1039G>A (p.Gly347Ser) causative of SLOS. The proband with a mild form of SLOS was also found to have the same DHCR7 variants as the fetus and repeat testing of 7-DHC at 4?years of age was elevated, in keeping with SLOS. This case is the first to describe a wide intrafamilial phenotypic spectrum of SLOS as a result of the same DHCR7 genotype. This case also supports the findings of others that a normal or near normal development should not exclude SLOS. As demonstrated in this case exclusion of a metabolic diagnosis because of a negative biochemical marker such as 7-DHC is not absolute and if clinical suspicion remains genomic sequencing is warranted.
Project description:A small library of pharmacologically active compounds (the NIH Clinical Collection) was assayed in Neuro2a cells to determine their effect on the last step in the biosynthesis of cholesterol, the transformation of 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC) to cholesterol promoted by 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase, DHCR7. Of some 727 compounds in the NIH Clinical Collection, over 30 compounds significantly increased 7-DHC in Neuro2a cells when assayed at 1 ?M. Active compounds that increased 7-DHC with a Z-score of +3 or greater generally gave rise to modest decreases in desmosterol and increases in lanosterol levels. Among the most active compounds identified in the library were the antipsychotic, antidepressant, and anxiolytic compounds that included perospirone, nefazodone, haloperidol, aripiprazole, trazodone, and buspirone. Fluoxetine and risperidone were also active at 1 ?M, and another 10 compounds in this class of pharmaceuticals were identified in the screen at concentrations of 10 ?M. Increased levels of 7-DHC are associated with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS), a human condition that results from a mutation in the gene that encodes DHCR7. The SLOS phenotype includes neurological deficits and congenital malformations, and it is linked to a higher incidence of autism spectrum disorder. The significance of the current study is that it identifies common pharmacological compounds that may induce a biochemical presentation similar to SLOS. Little is known about the side effects of elevated 7-DHC postdevelopmentally, and the elevated 7-DHC that results from exposure to these compounds may also be a confounder in the diagnosis of SLOS.