The transcriptome of the medullary area postrema: The thirsty rat, the hungry rat and the hypertensive rat
ABSTRACT: The area postrema (AP) is a sensory circumventricular organ characterised by extensive fenestrated vasculature and neurons which are capable of detecting circulating signals of osmotic, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic status. The AP can communicate these messages via efferent projections to brainstem and hypothalamic structures that are able to orchestrate an appropriate response. We have used microarrays to profile the transcriptome of the AP in the Sprague Dawley (SD) and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat and present here a comprehensive catalogue of gene expression, focussing specifically on the population of ion channels, receptors and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) expressed in this sensory tissue; of the GPCRs expressed in the rat AP we identified ~36% that are orphans having no established ligand. We have also looked at the ways in which the AP transcriptome responds to the physiological stressors of 72-hours dehydration (DSD) and 48-hours fasting (FSD) and have performed microarrays under these conditions. Comparison between the DSD and SD or between FSD and SD revealed only a modest number of AP genes that are regulated by these homeostatic challenges. The expression levels of a much larger number of genes are altered in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) AP compared to the normotensive WKY controls however. Finally, analysis of these ‘hypertension-related’ elements revealed genes that are involved in both the regulation of blood pressure and immune function and as such are excellent targets for further study. Overall design: Using Affymetrix microarrays (Rat 230:2.0) we anaysed the transcriptome of the area postrema. Each microarray in the study represents an independent biological replicate of 5 animals.
INSTRUMENT(S): [Rat230_2] Affymetrix Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array
Project description:The area postrema (AP) is a sensory circumventricular organ characterised by extensive fenestrated vasculature and neurons which are capable of detecting circulating signals of osmotic, cardiovascular, immune and metabolic status. The AP can communicate these messages via efferent projections to brainstem and hypothalamic structures that are able to orchestrate an appropriate response. We have used microarrays to profile the transcriptome of the AP in the Sprague Dawley (SD) and Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat and present here a comprehensive catalogue of gene expression, focussing specifically on the population of ion channels, receptors and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) expressed in this sensory tissue; of the GPCRs expressed in the rat AP we identified ~36% that are orphans having no established ligand. We have also looked at the ways in which the AP transcriptome responds to the physiological stressors of 72-hours dehydration (DSD) and 48-hours fasting (FSD) and have performed microarrays under these conditions. Comparison between the DSD and SD or between FSD and SD revealed only a modest number of AP genes that are regulated by these homeostatic challenges. The expression levels of a much larger number of genes are altered in the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) AP compared to the normotensive WKY controls however. Finally, analysis of these ‘hypertension-related’ elements revealed genes that are involved in both the regulation of blood pressure and immune function and as such are excellent targets for further study. Using Affymetrix microarrays (Rat 230:2.0) we anaysed the transcriptome of the area postrema. Each microarray in the study represents an independent biological replicate of 5 animals.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is one of the largest within most mammals. GPCRs are important targets for pharmaceuticals and the rat is one of the most widely used model organisms in biological research. Accurate comparisons of protein families in rat, mice and human are thus important for interpretation of many physiological and pharmacological studies. However, current automated protein predictions and annotations are limited and error prone. RESULTS: We searched the rat genome for GPCRs and obtained 1867 full-length genes and 739 pseudogenes. We identified 1277 new full-length rat GPCRs, whereof 1235 belong to the large group of olfactory receptors. Moreover, we updated the datasets of GPCRs from the human and mouse genomes with 1 and 43 new genes, respectively. The total numbers of full-length genes (and pseudogenes) identified were 799 (583) for human and 1783 (702) for mouse. The rat, human and mouse GPCRs were classified into 7 families named the Glutamate, Rhodopsin, Adhesion, Frizzled, Secretin, Taste2 and Vomeronasal1 families. We performed comprehensive phylogenetic analyses of these families and provide detailed information about orthologues and species-specific receptors. We found that 65 human Rhodopsin family GPCRs are orphans and 56 of these have an orthologue in rat. CONCLUSION: Interestingly, we found that the proportion of one-to-one GPCR orthologues was only 58% between rats and humans and only 70% between the rat and mouse, which is much lower than stated for the entire set of all genes. This is in mainly related to the sensory GPCRs. The average protein sequence identities of the GPCR orthologue pairs is also lower than for the whole genomes. We found these to be 80% for the rat and human pairs and 90% for the rat and mouse pairs. However, the proportions of orthologous and species-specific genes vary significantly between the different GPCR families. The largest diversification is seen for GPCRs that respond to exogenous stimuli indicating that the variation in their repertoires reflects to a large extent the adaptation of the species to their environment. This report provides the first overall roadmap of the GPCR repertoire in rat and detailed comparisons with the mouse and human repertoires.
Project description:The Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat is stress sensitive and exhibits depressive-like behavior. The locus coeruleus (LC)-norepinephrine and dorsal raphe (DR)-serotonin systems mediate certain aspects of the stress response and have been implicated in depression. Microarray technology was used to identify gene expression differences in the LC and DR between WKY vs Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats that might account for the WKY phenotype. RNA was isolated from microdissected LC and DR, amplified, and hybridized to microarrays (1 array/subject, n = 4/group). Significance of microarray (SAM) analysis revealed increased expression of 66 genes in the LC and 19 genes in the DR and decreased expression of 33 genes in the DR of WKY rats. Hierarchical clustering identified differences in gene expression profiles of WKY vs SD rats that generally concurred with SAM. Notably, genes that encoded for enzymes involved in norepinephrine turnover, amino-acid receptors, and certain G-protein-coupled receptors were elevated in the LC of WKY rats. The DR of WKY rats showed decreased expression of genes encoding several potassium channels and neurofilament genes. The chromosomal locations of 15 genes that were differentially expressed in WKY rats were near loci identified as contributing to depressive-like behaviors in the rat. The specific genes revealed by the present analysis as being differentially expressed in WKY rats may contribute to their unique behavioral profile and suggest targets that confer susceptibility to stress-related psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Acute liver injury (ALI) is a highly destructive and potentially life-threatening condition, exacerbated by physical and psychological stress. The endocannabinoid system plays a key role in modulating stress and hepatic function. The aim of this study was to examine the development of acute liver injury in the genetically susceptible stress-sensitive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat compared with normo-stress-sensitive Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, and associated changes in the endocannabinoid system. Administration of the hepatotoxin lipopolysaccharide/D-Galactosamine (LPS/GalN) resulted in marked liver injury in WKY, but not SD rats, with increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH) plasma levels, significant histopathological changes, increased hepatic pro-inflammatory cytokine expression and caspase-3 activity and expression and reduced Glutathione (GSH) activity. Furthermore, compared to SD controls, WKY rats display increased anandamide and 2-Arachidonoylglycerol levels concurrent with decreased expression of their metabolic enzymes and a decrease in cannabinoid (CB)1 receptor expression following LPS/GalN. CB1 antagonism with AM6545 or CB2 agonism with JWH133 did not alter LPS/GalN-induced liver injury in SD or WKY rats. These findings demonstrate exacerbation of acute liver injury induced by LPS/GalN in a stress-sensitive rat strain, with effects associated with alterations in the hepatic endocannabinoid system. Further studies are required to determine if the endocannabinoid system mediates or modulates the exacerbation of liver injury in this stress-sensitive rat strain.
Project description:Avoidance behaviors, in which a learned response causes omission of an upcoming punisher, are a core feature of many psychiatric disorders. While reinforcement learning (RL) models have been widely used to study the development of appetitive behaviors, less attention has been paid to avoidance. Here, we present a RL model of lever-press avoidance learning in Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats and in the inbred Wistar Kyoto (WKY) rat, which has been proposed as a model of anxiety vulnerability. We focus on "warm-up," transiently decreased avoidance responding at the start of a testing session, which is shown by SD but not WKY rats. We first show that a RL model can correctly simulate key aspects of acquisition, extinction, and warm-up in SD rats; we then show that WKY behavior can be simulated by altering three model parameters, which respectively govern the tendency to explore new behaviors vs. exploit previously reinforced ones, the tendency to repeat previous behaviors regardless of reinforcement, and the learning rate for predicting future outcomes. This suggests that several, dissociable mechanisms may contribute independently to strain differences in behavior. The model predicts that, if the "standard" inter-session interval is shortened from 48 to 24?h, SD rats (but not WKY) will continue to show warm-up; we confirm this prediction in an empirical study with SD and WKY rats. The model further predicts that SD rats will continue to show warm-up with inter-session intervals as short as a few minutes, while WKY rats will not show warm-up, even with inter-session intervals as long as a month. Together, the modeling and empirical data indicate that strain differences in warm-up are qualitative rather than just the result of differential sensitivity to task variables. Understanding the mechanisms that govern expression of warm-up behavior in avoidance may lead to better understanding of pathological avoidance, and potential pathways to modify these processes.
Project description:Altered gastric accommodation and intestinal morphology suggest impaired gastrointestinal (GI) transit may occur in the Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat strain, as common in stress-associated functional GI disorders. Because changes in GI transit can alter microbiota composition, we investigated whether these are altered in WKY rats compared with the resilient Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats under basal conditions and characterized plasma lipid and metabolite differences. Bead transit was tracked by X-ray imaging to monitor gastric emptying (4 h), small intestine (SI) transit (9 h), and large intestine transit (12 h). Plasma extracts were analyzed by lipid and hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography (HILIC) and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Cecal microbial composition was determined by Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and analysis using the QIIME pipeline. Stomach retention of beads was 77% for WKY compared with 35% for SD rats. GI transit was decreased by 34% (9 h) and 21% (12 h) in WKY compared with SD rats. Excluding stomach retention, transiting beads moved 29% further along the SI over 4-9 h for WKY compared with SD rats. Cecal Ruminococcus, Roseburia, and unclassified Lachnospiraceae genera were less abundant in WKY rats, whereas the minor taxa Dorea, Turicibacter, and Lactobacillus were higher. Diglycerides, triglycerides, phosphatidyl-ethanolamines, and phosphatidylserine were lower in WKY rats, whereas cholesterol esters and taurocholic acids were higher. The unexpected WKY rat phenotype of delayed gastric emptying, yet rapid SI transit, was associated with altered lipid and metabolite profiles. The delayed gastric emptying of the WKY phenotype suggests this rat strain may be useful as a model for gastroparesis.NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study reveals that the stress-prone Wistar-Kyoto rat strain has a baseline physiology of gastroparesis and rapid small intestine transit, together with metabolic changes consistent with lipid metabolism-associated dysbiosis, compared with nonstress-prone rats. This suggests that the Wistar-Kyoto rat strain may be an appropriate animal model for gastroparesis.
Project description:The spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) has been widely used as a model for studies of hypertension and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. The inbred Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rat, derived from the same ancestral outbred Wistar rat as the SHR, are normotensive and have been used as the closest genetic control for the SHR, although the WKY has also been used as a model for depression. Notably, however, substantial behavioral and genetic differences among the WKY substrains, usually from the different vendors and breeders, have been observed. These differences have often been overlooked in prior studies, leading to inconsistent and even contradictory findings. The complicated breeding history of the SHR and WKY rats and the lack of a comprehensive understanding of the genetic background of different commercial substrains make the selection of control rats a daunting task, even for researchers who are mindful of their genetic heterogeneity. In this study, we examined the genetic relationship of 16 commonly used WKY and SHR rat substrains using genome-wide SNP genotyping data. Our results confirmed a large genetic divergence and complex relationships among the SHR and WKY substrains. This understanding, although incomplete without the genome sequence, provides useful guidance in selecting substrains and helps to interpret previous reports when the source of the animals was known. Moreover, we found two closely related, yet distinct WKY substrains that may provide novel opportunities in modeling psychiatric disorders.
Project description:Activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and c-Jun amino terminal kinase (JNK) is prominent in human crescentic glomerulonephritis. p38 and JNK inhibitors suppress crescentic disease in animal models; however, the upstream mechanisms inducing activation of these kinases in crescentic glomerulonephritis are unknown. We investigated the hypothesis that apoptosis signal-regulating kinase 1 (ASK1/MAP3K5) promote p38/JNK activation and renal injury in models of nephrotoxic serum nephritis (NTN); acute glomerular injury in SD rats, and crescentic disease in WKY rats. Treatment with the selective ASK1 inhibitor, GS-444217 or vehicle began 1 hour before nephrotoxic serum injection and continued until animals were killed on day 1 (SD rats) or 14 (WKY rats). NTN resulted in phosphorylation (activation) of p38 and c-Jun in both models which was substantially reduced by ASK1 inhibitor treatment. In SD rats, GS-444217 prevented proteinuria and glomerular thrombosis with suppression of macrophage activation on day 1 NTN. In WKY rats, GS-444217 reduced crescent formation, prevented renal impairment and reduced proteinuria on day 14 NTN. Macrophage activation, T-cell infiltration and renal fibrosis were also reduced by GS-444217. In conclusion, GS-444217 treatment inhibited p38/JNK activation and development of renal injury in rat NTN. ASK1 inhibitors may have therapeutic potential in rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis.
Project description:Metabolic disease is accompanied by a range of cellular defects ("comorbidities") whose origin is uncertain. To investigate this pathophysiological phenomenon we used the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (SHR), which besides an elevated arterial blood pressure also has many other comorbidities, including a defective glucose and lipid metabolism. We have shown that this model of metabolic disease has elevated plasma matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, which cleaves the extracellular domain of membrane receptors. We hypothesize here that the increased MMP activity also leads to abnormal cleavage of the scavenger receptor and fatty acid transporter CD36. To test this idea, chronic pharmaceutical MMP inhibition (CGS27023A) of the SHR and its normotensive control, the Wistar Kyoto Rat (WKY), was used to determine if inhibition of MMP activity serves to maintain CD36 receptor density and function. Surface density of CD36 on macrophages from the heart, spleen, and liver was determined in WKY, SHR, CGS-treated WKY (CGS WKY), and CGS-treated SHR (CGS SHR) by immunohistochemistry with an antibody against the CD36 ectodomain. The extracellular CD36 density was lower in SHR heart and spleen macrophages compared to that in the WKY. MMP inhibition by CGS served to restore the reduced CD36 density on SHR cardiac and splanchnic macrophages to levels of the WKY. To examine CD36 function, culture assays with murine macrophages (RAW 264.7) after incubation in fresh WKY or SHR plasma were used to test for adhesion of light-weight donor red blood cell (RBC) by CD36. This form of RBC adhesion to macrophages was reduced after incubation in SHR compared WKY plasma. Analysis of the supernatant macrophage media by Western blot shows a higher level of CD36 extracellular protein fragments following exposure to SHR plasma compared to WKY. MMP inhibition in the SHR plasma compared to untreated plasma, served to increase the RBC adhesion to macrophages and decrease the number of receptor fragments in the macrophage media. In conclusion, these studies bring to light that plasma in the SHR model of metabolic disease has an unchecked MMP degrading activity which causes cleavage of a variety of membrane receptors, including CD36, which attenuates several cellular functions typical for the metabolic disease, including RBC adhesion to the scavenger receptor CD36. In addition to other cell dysfunctions chronic MMP inhibition restores CD36 in the SHR.
Project description:This study evaluated the response of the Na(+)/H(+) exchanger (NHE) to dopamine D(1)- and D(2)-like receptor stimulation in immortalized renal proximal tubular epithelial cells and freshly isolated renal proximal tubules from the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and their normotensive controls (Wistar Kyoto rats; WKY). Stimulation of D(1)-like receptors with SKF 38393 attenuated NHE activity in WKY cells (IC(50)=151 nM), but not in SHR cells. Stimulation of D(2)-like receptors with quinerolane (IC(50)=120 nM) attenuated NHE activity in SHR cells, but not in WKY cells. Forskolin was equipotent in SHR and WKY cells in inhibiting NHE activity. The effect of SKF 38393 was abolished by overnight treatment of WKY cells with cholera toxin (CTX, 500 ng ml(-1)), but not with pertussis toxin (PTX, 100 ng ml(-1)). The effect of quinerolane (1 microm) was abolished by overnight treatment of SHR cells with PTX, but not with CTX. The D(3) receptor agonist 7-OH-DPAT (IC(50)=0.8 microM) attenuated NHE activity in SHR cells only. This effect was abolished by S-sulpiride and by overnight treatment with PTX. The D(4) receptor agonist RBI 257 did not affect NHE activity. The 7-OH-DPAT inhibited NHE activity in freshly isolated renal proximal tubules from 4- and 12-week-old SHR and 12-week-old WKY, but not in freshly isolated renal proximal tubules from 4-week-old WKY. It is concluded that D(3) receptors coupled to a G(i/o) protein play a role in the handling of tubular Na(+), namely through inhibition of the NHE activity, this being of particular relevance in the SHR, which fail to respond to D(1)-like dopamine receptor stimulation.