Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is an important pathogen which is often the cause of major morbidity and mortality in both hospital and community settings. For this reason, we investigated the host cell early immune resoponse to S. aureus infection using genome-wide analysis. To do this, we infected Mus musculus RAW264.7 cells with S. aureus alone or in the presence of free peptidoglycan (PG), which appears in the S. aureus cell wall. Post infection, we performed a genome-wide analysis of RAW246.7 cells to identify significant changes in the gene expression profile. Further, we analyzed the infected RAW246.7 cells with transmission electron microscopy looking for the presence of bacterial cells inside the host cell. We also used flow cytometry to determine whether cells had induced apoptosis. The results showed that S. aureus induced apoptosis in the RAW246.7 cells but did not effectively clear away intracellular bacteria cells. However, S. aureus + PG treatment inhibited the apoptosis and activated the host cell inflammation response, possibly involving NF-?B and JAK-STAT pathways, as identified by genome-wide analysis, in RAW246.7 cells. Our study demonstrated for the first time that an independent application of free PG was capable of activating immune responses the host cells.
Project description:Copy number variation is an important dimension of genetic diversity and has implications in development and disease. As an important model organism, the mouse is a prime candidate for copy number variant (CNV) characterization, but this has yet to be completed for a large sample size. Here we report CNV analysis of publicly available, high-density microarray data files for 351 mouse tail samples, including 290 mice that had not been characterized for CNVs previously.We found 9634 putative autosomal CNVs across the samples affecting 6.87% of the mouse reference genome. We find significant differences in the degree of CNV uniqueness (single sample occurrence) and the nature of CNV-gene overlap between wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains. CNV-gene overlap was associated with lipid metabolism, pheromone response and olfaction compared to immunity, carbohydrate metabolism and amino-acid metabolism for wild-caught mice and classical laboratory strains, respectively. Using two subspecies of wild-caught Mus musculus, we identified putative CNVs unique to those subspecies and show this diversity is better captured by wild-derived laboratory strains than by the classical laboratory strains. A total of 9 genic copy number variable regions (CNVRs) were selected for experimental confirmation by droplet digital PCR (ddPCR).The analysis we present is a comprehensive, genome-wide analysis of CNVs in Mus musculus, which increases the number of known variants in the species and will accelerate the identification of novel variants in future studies.
Project description:Epidemiological and animal studies have shown that maternal diet can influence metabolism in adult offspring. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying these changes remain poorly understood. Here, we characterize the phenotypes induced by maternal obesity in a mouse model and examine gene expression and epigenetic changes induced by maternal diet in adult offspring.We analyzed genetically identical male mice born from dams fed a high- or low-fat diet throughout pregnancy and until day 21 postpartum. After weaning, half of the males of each group were fed a high-fat diet, the other half a low-fat diet. We first characterized the genome-wide gene expression patterns of six tissues of adult offspring - liver, pancreas, white adipose, brain, muscle and heart. We then measured DNA methylation patterns in liver at selected loci and throughout the genome.Maternal diet had a significant effect on the body weight of the offspring when they were fed an obesogenic diet after weaning. Our analyses showed that maternal diet had a pervasive effect on gene expression, with a pronounced effect in liver where it affected many genes involved in inflammation, cholesterol synthesis and RXR activation. We did not detect any effect of the maternal diet on DNA methylation in the liver.Overall, our findings highlighted the persistent influence of maternal diet on adult tissue regulation and suggested that the transcriptional changes were unlikely to be caused by DNA methylation differences in adult liver.
Project description:Maternal obesity is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in children, including autism spectrum disorders, developmental delay, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. The underlying mechanisms remain unclear. We previously identified second-trimester amniotic fluid and term cord blood gene expression patterns suggesting dysregulated brain development in fetuses of obese compared with lean women.We sought to investigate the biological significance of these findings in a mouse model of maternal diet-induced obesity. We evaluated sex-specific differences in fetal growth, brain gene expression signatures, and associated pathways.Female C57BL/6J mice were fed a 60% high-fat diet or 10% fat control diet for 12-14 weeks prior to mating. During pregnancy, obese dams continued on the high-fat diet or transitioned to the control diet. Lean dams stayed on the control diet. On embryonic day 17.5, embryos were weighed and fetal brains were snap frozen. RNA was extracted from male and female forebrains (10 per diet group per sex) and hybridized to whole-genome expression arrays. Significantly differentially expressed genes were identified using a Welch's t test with the Benjamini-Hochberg correction. Functional analyses were performed using ingenuity pathways analysis and gene set enrichment analysis.Embryos of dams on the high-fat diet were significantly smaller than controls, with males more severely affected than females (P = .01). Maternal obesity and maternal obesity with dietary change in pregnancy resulted in significantly more dysregulated genes in male vs female fetal brains (386 vs 66, P < .001). Maternal obesity with and without dietary change in pregnancy was associated with unique brain gene expression signatures for each sex, with an overlap of only 1 gene. Changing obese dams to a control diet in pregnancy resulted in more differentially expressed genes in the fetal brain than maternal obesity alone. Functional analyses identified common dysregulated pathways in both sexes, but maternal obesity and maternal dietary change affected different aspects of brain development in males compared with females.Maternal obesity is associated with sex-specific differences in fetal size and fetal brain gene expression signatures. Male fetal growth and brain gene expression may be more sensitive to environmental influences during pregnancy. Maternal diet during pregnancy has a significant impact on the embryonic brain transcriptome. It is important to consider both fetal sex and maternal diet when evaluating the effects of maternal obesity on fetal neurodevelopment.
Project description:The development of the brain is sex-dimorphic, and as a result so are many neurological disorders. One approach for studying sex-dimorphic brain development is to measure gene expression in biological samples using RT-qPCR. However, the accuracy and consistency of this technique relies on the reference gene(s) selected. We analyzed the expression of ten reference genes in male and female samples over three stages of brain development, using popular algorithms NormFinder, GeNorm and Bestkeeper. The top ranked reference genes at each time point were further used to quantify gene expression of three sex-dimorphic genes (Wnt10b, Xist and CYP7B1). When comparing gene expression between the sexes expression at specific time points the best reference gene combinations are: Sdha/Pgk1 at E11.5, RpL38/Sdha E12.5, and Actb/RpL37 at E15.5. When studying expression across time, the ideal reference gene(s) differs with sex. For XY samples a combination of Actb/Sdha. In contrast, when studying gene expression across developmental stage with XX samples, Sdha/Gapdh were the top reference genes. Our results identify the best combination of two reference genes when studying male and female brain development, and emphasize the importance of selecting the correct reference genes for comparisons between developmental stages.