Sex differences in gene expression with galactosylceramide treatment in Cln3?ex7/8 mice.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:CLN3 disease is caused by mutations in the CLN3 gene. The purpose of this study is to discern global expression patterns reflecting therapeutic targets in CLN3 disease. METHODS:Differential gene expression in vehicle-exposed mouse brain was determined after intraperitoneal vehicle/Galactosylceramide (GalCer) injections for 40 weeks with GeneChip Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays. RESULTS:Analysis identified 66 genes in male and 30 in female brains differentially expressed in GalCer-treated versus vehicle-exposed Cln3?ex7/8 mice. Gene ontology revealed aberrations of biological function including developmental, cellular, and behavioral processes. GalCer treatment altered pathways of long-term potentiation/depression, estrogen signaling, synaptic vesicle cycle, ErbB signaling, and prion diseases in males, but prolactin signaling, selenium compound metabolism and steroid biosynthesis in females. Gene-gene network analysis highlighted networks functionally pertinent to GalCer treatment encompassing motor dysfunction, neurodegeneration, memory disorder, inflammation and astrogliosis in males, and, cataracts, inflammation, astrogliosis, and anxiety in females. CONCLUSIONS:This study sheds light on global expression patterns following GalCer treatment of Cln3?ex7/8 mice. Understanding molecular effects of GalCer on mouse brain gene expression, paves the way for personalized strategies for treating this debilitating disease in humans.
Project description:CLN3 disease is a neurodevelopmental disease leading to early visual failure, motor decline, and death. CLN3 pathogenesis has been linked to dysregulation of ceramide, a key intracellular messenger impacting various biological functions. Ceramide is upregulated in brains of CLN3 patients and activates apoptosis. Ceramide levels over the lifespan of WT and Cln3 ?ex7/8 mice were measured using the DGK assay. Ceramide subspecies were determined by LC-MS. Ceramide synthesis enzymes and pre- and post-synaptic mRNA expression was measured in Cln3 ?ex7/8 and normal mouse brains. Neuronal cell death was established by PARP cleavage and Caspases 3/6/9 and cytochrome C mRNA expression in Cln3 ?ex7/8 and normal mouse brains. In WT mouse, a ceramide peak was noted at 3 weeks of age. The absence of this peak in Cln3 ?ex7/8 mice might be related to early disease pathogenesis. Increase of ceramide in Cln3 ?ex7/8 mouse brain at 24 weeks of age precedes neuronal apoptosis. The correlation between serum and brain ceramide in WT mice, and dysregulation of ceramide in serum and brain of Cln3 ?ex7/8 mice, and the significant increase in ceramide in Cln3 ?ex7/8 mouse brains and sera argue for use of easily accessible serum ceramide levels to track response to novel therapies in human CLN3 disease.
Project description:Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is a lysosomal storage disease caused by autosomal recessive mutations in ceroid lipofuscinosis 3 (CLN3). Children with JNCL experience progressive visual, cognitive, and motor deterioration with a decreased life expectancy (late teens-early 20s). Neuronal loss is thought to occur, in part, via glutamate excitotoxicity; however, little is known about astrocyte glutamate regulation in JNCL. Spontaneous Ca2+ oscillations were reduced in murine Cln3?ex7/8 astrocytes, which were also observed following glutamate or cytokine exposure. Astrocyte glutamate transport is an energy-demanding process and disruptions in metabolic pathways could influence glutamate homeostasis in Cln3?ex7/8 astrocytes. Indeed, basal mitochondrial respiration and ATP production were significantly reduced in Cln3?ex7/8 astrocytes. These changes were not attributable to reduced mitochondria, since mitochondrial DNA levels were similar between wild type and Cln3?ex7/8 astrocytes. Interestingly, despite these functional deficits in Cln3?ex7/8 astrocytes, glutamate transporter expression and glutamate uptake were not dramatically affected. Concurrent with impaired astrocyte metabolism and Ca2+ signaling, murine Cln3?ex7/8 neurons were hyper-responsive to glutamate, as reflected by heightened and prolonged Ca2+ signals. These findings identify intrinsic metabolic and Ca2+ signaling defects in Cln3?ex7/8 astrocytes that may contribute to neuronal dysfunction in CLN3 disease. This article is part of the Special Issue "Lysosomal Storage Disorders".
Project description:CLN3-Batten disease is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder involving seizures, visual, motor and cognitive decline, and premature death. The Cln3?ex7/8 mouse model recapitulates several phenotypic characteristics of the most common 1.02kb disease-associated deletion. Identification of reproducible biomarker(s) to facilitate longitudinal monitoring of disease progression and provide readouts for therapeutic response has remained elusive. One factor that has complicated the identification of suitable biomarkers in this mouse model has been that variations in animal husbandry appear to significantly influence readouts. In the current study, we cross-compared a number of biological parameters in blood from Cln3?ex7/8 mice and control, non-disease mice on the same genetic background from multiple animal facilities in an attempt to better define a surrogate marker of CLN3-Batten disease. Interestingly, we found that significant differences between Batten and non-disease mice found at one site were generally not maintained across different facilities. Our results suggest that colony variation in the Cln3?ex7/8 mouse model of CLN3-Batten disease can influence potential biomarkers of the disease.
Project description:Mutations in the CLN3 gene cause a fatal neurodegenerative disorder: juvenile CLN3 disease, also known as juvenile Batten disease. The two most commonly utilized mouse models of juvenile CLN3 disease are Cln3-knockout (Cln3(-/-)) and Cln3(?ex7/8)-knock-in mice, the latter mimicking the most frequent disease-causing human mutation. To determine which mouse model has the most pronounced neurological phenotypes that can be used as outcome measures for therapeutic studies, we compared the exploratory activity, motor function and depressive-like behavior of 1-, 3- and 6-month-old Cln3(-/-) and Cln3(?ex7/8)-knock-in mice on two different genetic backgrounds (129S6/SvEv and C57BL/6J). Although, in many cases, the behavior of Cln3(-/-) and Cln3(?ex7/8) mice was similar, we found genetic-background-, gender- and age-dependent differences between the two mouse models. We also observed large differences in the behavior of the 129S6/SvEv and C57BL/6J wild-type strains, which highlights the strong influence that genetic background can have on phenotype. Based on our results, Cln3(-/-) male mice on the 129S6/SvEv genetic background are the most appropriate candidates for therapeutic studies. They exhibit motor deficits at 1 and 6 months of age in the vertical pole test, and they were the only mice to show impaired motor coordination in the rotarod test at both 3 and 6 months. Cln3(-/-) males on the C57BL/6J background and Cln3(?ex7/8) males on the 129S6/SvEv background also provide good outcome measures for therapeutic interventions. Cln3(-/-) (C57BL/6J) males had serious difficulties in climbing down (at 1 and 6 months) and turning downward on (at 1, 3 and 6 months) the vertical pole, whereas Cln3(?ex7/8) (129S6/SvEv) males climbed down the vertical pole drastically slower than wild-type males at 3 and 6 months of age. Our study demonstrates the importance of testing mouse models on different genetic backgrounds and comparing males and females in order to find the most appropriate disease model for therapeutic studies.
Project description:The purpose of this study is to discern global expression programs embodying therapeutic targeting of CLN3 disease. Differential gene expression in Cln3Δex7/8 mouse brains was determined after intraperitoneal vehicle/Galactosylceramide (GalCer) injections, for 40 weeks, using GeneChip Mouse Genome 430 2.0 arrays. Differentially expressed genes among Cln3Δex7/8 mice and profiles modulated by GalCer treatment were functionally analyzed and topologically organized.
Project description:Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL or CLN3 disease) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease resulting from mutations in the CLN3 gene that encodes a lysosomal membrane protein. The disease primarily affects the brain with widespread intralysosomal accumulation of autofluorescent material and fibrillary gliosis, as well as the loss of specific neuronal populations. As an experimental treatment for the CNS manifestations of JNCL, we have developed a serotype rh.10 adeno-associated virus vector expressing the human CLN3 cDNA (AAVrh.10hCLN3). We hypothesized that administration of AAVrh.10hCLN3 to the Cln3(?ex7/8) knock-in mouse model of JNCL would reverse the lysosomal storage defect, as well as have a therapeutic effect on gliosis and neuron loss. Newborn Cln3(?ex7/8) mice were administered 3 × 10(10) genome copies of AAVrh.10hCLN3 to the brain, with control groups including untreated Cln3(?ex7/8) mice and wild-type littermate mice. After 18 months, CLN3 transgene expression was detected in various locations throughout the brain, particularly in the hippocampus and deep anterior cortical regions. Changes in the CNS neuronal lysosomal accumulation of storage material were assessed by immunodetection of subunit C of ATP synthase, luxol fast blue staining, and periodic acid-Schiff staining. For all parameters, Cln3(?ex7/8) mice exhibited abnormal lysosomal accumulation, but AAVrh.10hCLN3 administration resulted in significant reductions in storage material burden. There was also a significant decrease in gliosis in AAVrh.10hCLN3-treated Cln3(?ex7/8) mice, and a trend toward improved neuron counts, compared with their untreated counterparts. These data demonstrate that AAVrh.10 delivery of a wild-type cDNA to the CNS is not harmful and instead provides a partial correction of the neurological lysosomal storage defect of a disease caused by a lysosomal membrane protein, indicating that this may be an effective therapeutic strategy for JNCL and other diseases in this category.
Project description:Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is caused by mutations in the CLN3 gene, which encodes for a putative lysosomal transmembrane protein with thus far undescribed structure and function. Here we investigate the membrane topology of human CLN3 protein with a combination of advanced molecular cloning, spectroscopy, and in silico computation. Using the transposomics cloning method we first created a library of human CLN3 cDNA clones either with a randomly inserted eGFP, a myc-tag, or both. The functionality of the clones was evaluated by assessing their ability to revert a previously reported lysosomal phenotype in immortalized cerebellar granular cells derived from Cln3?ex7/8 mice (CbCln3?ex7/8). The double-tagged clones were expressed in HeLa cells, and FRET was measured between the donor eGFP and an acceptor DyLight547 coupled to a monoclonal ?-myc antibody to assess their relative membrane orientation. The data were used together with previously reported experimental data to compile a constrained membrane topology model for hCLN3 using TOPCONS consensus membrane prediction algorithm. Our model with six transmembrane domains and cytosolic N- and C-termini largely agrees with those previously suggested but differs in terms of the transmembrane domain positions as well as in the size of the luminal loops. This finding improves understanding the function of the native hCLN3 protein.
Project description:Juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL, aka. juvenile Batten disease or CLN3 disease), a lethal pediatric neurodegenerative disease without cure, often presents with vision impairment and characteristic ophthalmoscopic features including focal areas of hyper-autofluorescence. In the associated research article "Loss of CLN3, the gene mutated in juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, leads to metabolic impairment and autophagy induction in retinal pigment epithelium" (Zhong et al., 2020) , we reported ophthalmoscopic observations of focal autofluorescent lesions or puncta in the Cln3?ex7/8 mouse retina at as young as 8 month old. In this data article, we performed differential interference contrast and confocal imaging analyses in all retinal layers to localize and characterize these autofluorescent lesions, including their spectral characteristics and morphology. We further studied colocalization of these autofluorescent lesions with the JNCL marker mitochondrial ATP synthase F0 sub-complex subunit C and various established retinal cell type markers.
Project description:Sphingolipids (SLs) act as signaling molecules and as structural components in both neuronal cells and myelin. We now characterize the biochemical, histological, and behavioral abnormalities in the brain of a mouse lacking very long acyl (C22-C24) chain SLs. This mouse, which is defective in the ability to synthesize C22-C24-SLs due to ablation of ceramide synthase 2, has reduced levels of galactosylceramide (GalCer), a major component of myelin, and in particular reduced levels of non-hydroxy-C22-C24-GalCer and 2-hydroxy-C22-C24- GalCer. Noteworthy brain lesions develop with a time course consistent with a vital role for C22-C24-GalCer in myelin stability. Myelin degeneration and detachment was observed as was abnormal motor behavior originating from a subcortical region. Additional abnormalities included bilateral and symmetrical vacuolization and gliosis in specific brain areas, which corresponded to some extent to the pattern of ceramide synthase 2 expression, with astrogliosis considerably more pronounced than microglial activation. Unexpectedly, unidentified storage materials were detected in lysosomes of astrocytes, reminiscent of the accumulation that occurs in lysosomal storage disorders. Together, our data demonstrate a key role in the brain for SLs containing very long acyl chains and in particular GalCer with a reduction in their levels leading to distinctive morphological abnormalities in defined brain regions.
Project description:Cln3(?ex7/8) mice harbor the most common genetic defect causing juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), an autosomal recessive disease involving seizures, visual, motor and cognitive decline, and premature death. Here, to more thoroughly investigate the manifestations of the common JNCL mutation, we performed a broad phenotyping study of Cln3(?ex7/8) mice. Homozygous Cln3(?ex7/8) mice, congenic on a C57BL/6N background, displayed subtle deficits in sensory and motor tasks at 10-14 weeks of age. Homozygous Cln3(?ex7/8) mice also displayed electroretinographic changes reflecting cone function deficits past 5 months of age and a progressive decline of retinal post-receptoral function. Metabolic analysis revealed increases in rectal body temperature and minimum oxygen consumption in 12-13 week old homozygous Cln3(?ex7/8) mice, which were also seen to a lesser extent in heterozygous Cln3(?ex7/8) mice. Heart weight was slightly increased at 20 weeks of age, but no significant differences were observed in cardiac function in young adults. In a comprehensive blood analysis at 15-16 weeks of age, serum ferritin concentrations, mean corpuscular volume of red blood cells (MCV), and reticulocyte counts were reproducibly increased in homozygous Cln3(?) (ex7/8) mice, and male homozygotes had a relative T-cell deficiency, suggesting alterations in hematopoiesis. Finally, consistent with findings in JNCL patients, vacuolated peripheral blood lymphocytes were observed in homozygous Cln3(?) (ex7/8) neonates, and to a greater extent in older animals. Early onset, severe vacuolation in clear cells of the epididymis of male homozygous Cln3(?) (ex7/8) mice was also observed. These data highlight additional organ systems in which to study CLN3 function, and early phenotypes have been established in homozygous Cln3(?) (ex7/8) mice that merit further study for JNCL biomarker development.