Publications by authors named "Anja Schrewe"

23 Publications

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Murine tissue factor disulfide mutation causes a bleeding phenotype with sex specific organ pathology and lethality.

Haematologica 2020 10 1;105(10):2484-2495. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Cardiology, University Heart Center, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

Tissue factor is highly expressed in sub-endothelial tissue. The extracellular allosteric disulfide bond Cys186-Cys209 of human tissue factor shows high evolutionary conservation and in vitro evidence suggests that it significantly contributes to tissue factor procoagulant activity. To investigate the role of this allosteric disulfide bond in vivo, we generated a C213G mutant tissue factor mouse by replacing Cys213 of the corresponding disulfide Cys190-Cys213 in murine tissue factor. A bleeding phenotype was prominent in homozygous C213G tissue factor mice. Pre-natal lethality of 1/3rd of homozygous offspring was observed between E9.5 and E14.5 associated with placental hemorrhages. After birth, homozygous mice suffered from bleedings in different organs and reduced survival. Homozygous C213G tissue factor male mice showed higher incidence of lung bleedings and lower survival rates than females. In both sexes, C213G mutation evoked a reduced protein expression (about 10-fold) and severely reduced pro-coagulant activity (about 1000-fold). Protein glycosylation was impaired and cell membrane exposure decreased in macrophages in vivo. Single housing of homozygous C213G tissue factor males reduced the occurrence of severe bleeding and significantly improved survival, suggesting that inter-male aggressiveness might significantly account for the sex differences. These experiments show that the tissue factor allosteric disulfide bond is of crucial importance for normal in vivo expression, post-translational processing and activity of murine tissue factor. Although C213G tissue factor mice do not display the severe embryonic lethality of tissue factor knock-out mice, their postnatal bleeding phenotype emphasizes the importance of fully functional tissue factor for hemostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2019.218818DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7556672PMC
October 2020

MFAP4 Promotes Vascular Smooth Muscle Migration, Proliferation and Accelerates Neointima Formation.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2016 Jan 12;36(1):122-33. Epub 2015 Nov 12.

From the Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark (A.S., B.P., L.E.H., K.K., G.B.K., H.W.-J., J.B.M., K.K.-M., L.K.D., P.B.L.H., J.S., U.H, G.L.S.); Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark (E.-M.F.); Department of Pathology, Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark (O.N.); Institute of Functional and Applied Anatomy, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany (C.W., J.H., M.O.); Biomedical Research in Endstage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover (BREATH), Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Hannover, Germany (C.W., J.H., M.O.); REBIRTH Cluster of Excellence, Hannover, Germany (C.W., J.H., M.O.); German Mouse Clinic, Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany (B.R., A.S., V.G.-D., H.F., M.H.d.A.); Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-University München, Munich, Germany (B.R, E.W.); Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine III, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany (A.S., R.B.); Chair of Experimental Genetics, Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, Freising-Weihenstephan, Munich, Germany (M.H.d.A.); Cardiovascular Research Unit, Viborg Hospital, Viborg, Denmark (J.S.L.); and Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Center of Individualized Medicine in Arterial Diseases (CIMA), Odense University Hospital, Odense, Denmark (J.S.L.).

Objective: Arterial injury stimulates remodeling responses that, when excessive, lead to stenosis. These responses are influenced by integrin signaling in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Microfibrillar-associated protein 4 (MFAP4) is an integrin ligand localized to extracellular matrix fibers in the vascular wall. The role of MFAP4 in vascular biology is unknown. We aimed to test the hypothesis that MFAP4 would enhance integrin-dependent VSMC activation.

Approach And Results: We produced Mfap4-deficient (Mfap4(-/-)) mice and performed carotid artery ligation to explore the role of MFAP4 in vascular biology in vivo. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of MFAP4 in neointimal formation ex vivo and in primary VSMC and monocyte cultures in vitro. When challenged with carotid artery ligation, Mfap4(-/-) mice exhibited delayed neointimal formation, accompanied by early reduction in the number of proliferating medial and neointimal cells, as well as infiltrating leukocytes. Delayed neointimal formation was associated with decreased cross-sectional area of ligated Mfap4(-/-) carotid arteries resulting in lumen narrowing 28 days after ligation. MFAP4 blockade prohibited the formation of neointimal hyperplasia ex vivo. Moreover, we demonstrated that MFAP4 is a ligand for integrin αVβ3 and mediates VSMC phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase, migration, and proliferation in vitro. MFAP4-dependent VSMC activation was reversible by treatment with MFAP4-blocking antibodies and inhibitors of focal adhesion kinase and downstream kinases. In addition, we showed that MFAP4 promotes monocyte chemotaxis in integrin αVβ3-dependent manner.

Conclusions: MFAP4 regulates integrin αVβ3-induced VSMC proliferation and migration, as well as monocyte chemotaxis, and accelerates neointimal hyperplasia after vascular injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.115.306672DOI Listing
January 2016

Analysis of mammalian gene function through broad-based phenotypic screens across a consortium of mouse clinics.

Authors:
Martin Hrabě de Angelis George Nicholson Mohammed Selloum Jacqui White Hugh Morgan Ramiro Ramirez-Solis Tania Sorg Sara Wells Helmut Fuchs Martin Fray David J Adams Niels C Adams Thure Adler Antonio Aguilar-Pimentel Dalila Ali-Hadji Gregory Amann Philippe André Sarah Atkins Aurelie Auburtin Abdel Ayadi Julien Becker Lore Becker Elodie Bedu Raffi Bekeredjian Marie-Christine Birling Andrew Blake Joanna Bottomley Mike Bowl Véronique Brault Dirk H Busch James N Bussell Julia Calzada-Wack Heather Cater Marie-France Champy Philippe Charles Claire Chevalier Francesco Chiani Gemma F Codner Roy Combe Roger Cox Emilie Dalloneau André Dierich Armida Di Fenza Brendan Doe Arnaud Duchon Oliver Eickelberg Chris T Esapa Lahcen El Fertak Tanja Feigel Irina Emelyanova Jeanne Estabel Jack Favor Ann Flenniken Alessia Gambadoro Lilian Garrett Hilary Gates Anna-Karin Gerdin George Gkoutos Simon Greenaway Lisa Glasl Patrice Goetz Isabelle Goncalves Da Cruz Alexander Götz Jochen Graw Alain Guimond Wolfgang Hans Geoff Hicks Sabine M Hölter Heinz Höfler John M Hancock Robert Hoehndorf Tertius Hough Richard Houghton Anja Hurt Boris Ivandic Hughes Jacobs Sylvie Jacquot Nora Jones Natasha A Karp Hugo A Katus Sharon Kitchen Tanja Klein-Rodewald Martin Klingenspor Thomas Klopstock Valerie Lalanne Sophie Leblanc Christoph Lengger Elise le Marchand Tonia Ludwig Aline Lux Colin McKerlie Holger Maier Jean-Louis Mandel Susan Marschall Manuel Mark David G Melvin Hamid Meziane Kateryna Micklich Christophe Mittelhauser Laurent Monassier David Moulaert Stéphanie Muller Beatrix Naton Frauke Neff Patrick M Nolan Lauryl Mj Nutter Markus Ollert Guillaume Pavlovic Natalia S Pellegata Emilie Peter Benoit Petit-Demoulière Amanda Pickard Christine Podrini Paul Potter Laurent Pouilly Oliver Puk David Richardson Stephane Rousseau Leticia Quintanilla-Fend Mohamed M Quwailid Ildiko Racz Birgit Rathkolb Fabrice Riet Janet Rossant Michel Roux Jan Rozman Ed Ryder Jennifer Salisbury Luis Santos Karl-Heinz Schäble Evelyn Schiller Anja Schrewe Holger Schulz Ralf Steinkamp Michelle Simon Michelle Stewart Claudia Stöger Tobias Stöger Minxuan Sun David Sunter Lydia Teboul Isabelle Tilly Glauco P Tocchini-Valentini Monica Tost Irina Treise Laurent Vasseur Emilie Velot Daniela Vogt-Weisenhorn Christelle Wagner Alison Walling Bruno Weber Olivia Wendling Henrik Westerberg Monja Willershäuser Eckhard Wolf Anne Wolter Joe Wood Wolfgang Wurst Ali Önder Yildirim Ramona Zeh Andreas Zimmer Annemarie Zimprich Chris Holmes Karen P Steel Yann Herault Valérie Gailus-Durner Ann-Marie Mallon Steve Dm Brown

Nat Genet 2015 Sep 27;47(9):969-978. Epub 2015 Jul 27.

MRC Harwell, Medical Research Council, Harwell, UK.

The function of the majority of genes in the mouse and human genomes remains unknown. The mouse embryonic stem cell knockout resource provides a basis for the characterization of relationships between genes and phenotypes. The EUMODIC consortium developed and validated robust methodologies for the broad-based phenotyping of knockouts through a pipeline comprising 20 disease-oriented platforms. We developed new statistical methods for pipeline design and data analysis aimed at detecting reproducible phenotypes with high power. We acquired phenotype data from 449 mutant alleles, representing 320 unique genes, of which half had no previous functional annotation. We captured data from over 27,000 mice, finding that 83% of the mutant lines are phenodeviant, with 65% demonstrating pleiotropy. Surprisingly, we found significant differences in phenotype annotation according to zygosity. New phenotypes were uncovered for many genes with previously unknown function, providing a powerful basis for hypothesis generation and further investigation in diverse systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.3360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4564951PMC
September 2015

Heart-Specific Knockout of the Mitochondrial Thioredoxin Reductase (Txnrd2) Induces Metabolic and Contractile Dysfunction in the Aging Myocardium.

J Am Heart Assoc 2015 Jul 21;4(7). Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Research Unit Comparative Medicine, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany (C.Kiermayer, E.N., M.B.).

Background: Ubiquitous deletion of thioredoxin reductase 2 (Txnrd2) in mice is embryonically lethal and associated with abnormal heart development, while constitutive, heart-specific Txnrd2 inactivation leads to dilated cardiomyopathy and perinatal death. The significance of Txnrd2 in aging cardiomyocytes, however, has not yet been examined.

Methods And Results: The tamoxifen-inducible heart-specific αMHC-MerCreMer transgene was used to inactivate loxP-flanked Txnrd2 alleles in adult mice. Hearts and isolated mitochondria from aged knockout mice were morphologically and functionally analyzed. Echocardiography revealed a significant increase in left ventricular end-systolic diameters in knockouts. Fractional shortening and ejection fraction were decreased compared with controls. Ultrastructural analysis of cardiomyocytes of aged mice showed mitochondrial degeneration and accumulation of autophagic bodies. A dysregulated autophagic activity was supported by higher levels of lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1), microtubule-associated protein 1A/1B-light chain 3-I (LC3-I), and p62 in knockout hearts. Isolated Txnrd2-deficient mitochondria used less oxygen and tended to produce more reactive oxygen species. Chronic hypoxia inducible factor 1, α subunit stabilization and altered transcriptional and metabolic signatures indicated that energy metabolism is deregulated.

Conclusions: These results imply a novel role of Txnrd2 in sustaining heart function during aging and suggest that Txnrd2 may be a modifier of heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.115.002153DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4608093PMC
July 2015

MTO1-deficient mouse model mirrors the human phenotype showing complex I defect and cardiomyopathy.

PLoS One 2014 15;9(12):e114918. Epub 2014 Dec 15.

Department of Neurology, Friedrich-Baur-Institute, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany; German Mouse Clinic, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environment and Health, Neuherberg, Germany; German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Munich, Germany; German Center for Vertigo and Balance Disorders, Munich, Germany; German Network for Mitochondrial Disorders (mitoNET), Munich, Germany.

Recently, mutations in the mitochondrial translation optimization factor 1 gene (MTO1) were identified as causative in children with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, lactic acidosis and respiratory chain defect. Here, we describe an MTO1-deficient mouse model generated by gene trap mutagenesis that mirrors the human phenotype remarkably well. As in patients, the most prominent signs and symptoms were cardiovascular and included bradycardia and cardiomyopathy. In addition, the mutant mice showed a marked worsening of arrhythmias during induction and reversal of anaesthesia. The detailed morphological and biochemical workup of murine hearts indicated that the myocardial damage was due to complex I deficiency and mitochondrial dysfunction. In contrast, neurological examination was largely normal in Mto1-deficient mice. A translational consequence of this mouse model may be to caution against anaesthesia-related cardiac arrhythmias which may be fatal in patients.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0114918PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266617PMC
November 2015

Standardized, systemic phenotypic analysis of Slc12a1I299F mutant mice.

J Biomed Sci 2014 Aug 2;21:68. Epub 2014 Aug 2.

Background: Type I Bartter syndrome is a recessive human nephropathy caused by loss-of-function mutations in the SLC12A1 gene coding for the Na+-K+-2Cl- cotransporter NKCC2. We recently established the mutant mouse line Slc12a1I299F exhibiting kidney defects highly similar to the late-onset manifestation of this hereditary human disease. Besides the kidney defects, low blood pressure and osteopenia were revealed in the homozygous mutant mice which were also described in humans. Beside its strong expression in the kidney, NKCC2 has been also shown to be expressed in other tissues in rodents i.e. the gastrointestinal tract, pancreatic beta cells, and specific compartments of the ear, nasal tissue and eye.

Results: To examine if, besides kidney defects, further organ systems and/or metabolic pathways are affected by the Slc12a1I299F mutation as primary or secondary effects, we describe a standardized, systemic phenotypic analysis of the mutant mouse line Slc12a1I299F in the German Mouse Clinic. Slc12a1I299F homozygous mutant mice and Slc12a1I299F heterozygous mutant littermates as controls were tested at the age of 4-6 months. Beside the already published changes in blood pressure and bone metabolism, a significantly lower body weight and fat content were found as new phenotypes for Slc12a1I299F homozygous mutant mice. Small additional effects included a mild erythropenic anemia in homozygous mutant males as well as a slight hyperalgesia in homozygous mutant females. For other functions, such as immunology, lung function and neurology, no distinct alterations were observed.

Conclusions: In this systemic analysis no clear primary effects of the Slc12a1I299F mutation appeared for the organs other than the kidneys where Slc12a1 expression has been described. On the other hand, long-term effects additional and/or secondary to the kidney lesions might also appear in humans harboring SLC12A1 mutations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12929-014-0068-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4237776PMC
August 2014

Standardized, systemic phenotypic analysis of Umod(C93F) and Umod(A227T) mutant mice.

PLoS One 2013 24;8(10):e78337. Epub 2013 Oct 24.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, and Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU, Munich, Munich, Germany.

Uromodulin-associated kidney disease (UAKD) summarizes different clinical features of an autosomal dominant heritable disease syndrome in humans with a proven uromodulin (UMOD) mutation involved. It is often characterized by hyperuricemia, gout, alteration of urine concentrating ability, as well as a variable rate of disease progression inconstantly leading to renal failure and histological alterations of the kidneys. We recently established the two Umod mutant mouse lines Umod(C93F) and Umod(A227T) on the C3H inbred genetic background both showing kidney defects analogous to those found in human UAKD patients. In addition, disease symptoms were revealed that were not yet described in other published mouse models of UAKD. To examine if further organ systems and/or metabolic pathways are affected by Umod mutations as primary or secondary effects, we describe a standardized, systemic phenotypic analysis of the two mutant mouse lines Umod(A227T) and Umod(C93F) in the German Mouse Clinic. Different genotypes as well as different ages were tested. Beside the already published changes in body weight, body composition and bone metabolism, the influence of the Umod mutation on energy metabolism was confirmed. Hematological analysis revealed a moderate microcytic and erythropenic anemia in older Umod mutant mice. Data of the other analyses in 7-10 month-old mutant mice showed single small additional effects.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078337PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3813435PMC
February 2015

Innovations in phenotyping of mouse models in the German Mouse Clinic.

Mamm Genome 2012 Oct 29;23(9-10):611-22. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

German Mouse Clinic, Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Ingolstädter Landstrasse 1, 85764 Neuherberg/Munich, Germany.

Under the label of the German Mouse Clinic (GMC), a concept has been developed and implemented that allows the better understanding of human diseases on the pathophysiological and molecular level. This includes better understanding of the crosstalk between different organs, pleiotropy of genes, and the systemic impact of envirotypes and drugs. In the GMC, experts from various fields of mouse genetics and physiology, in close collaboration with clinicians, work side by side under one roof. The GMC is an open-access platform for the scientific community by providing phenotypic analysis in bilateral collaborations ("bottom-up projects") and as a partner and driver in international large-scale biology projects ("top-down projects"). Furthermore, technology development is a major topic in the GMC. Innovative techniques for primary and secondary screens are developed and implemented into the phenotyping pipelines (e.g., detection of volatile organic compounds, VOCs).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00335-012-9415-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3463795PMC
October 2012

Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 isoform 2-knockout mice show reduced enzyme activity, airway hyporeactivity, and lung pathology.

FASEB J 2012 Sep 22;26(9):3916-30. Epub 2012 Jun 22.

Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA.

Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) is the terminal enzyme of the mitochondrial electron transport chain. The purpose of this study was to analyze the function of lung-specific cytochrome c oxidase subunit 4 isoform 2 (COX4i2) in vitro and in COX4i2-knockout mice in vivo. COX was isolated from cow lung and liver as control and functionally analyzed. COX4i2-knockout mice were generated and the effect of the gene knockout was determined, including COX activity, tissue energy levels, noninvasive and invasive lung function, and lung pathology. These studies were complemented by a comprehensive functional screen performed at the German Mouse Clinic (Neuherberg, Germany). We show that isolated cow lung COX containing COX4i2 is about twice as active (88 and 102% increased activity in the presence of allosteric activator ADP and inhibitor ATP, respectively) as liver COX, which lacks COX4i2. In COX4i2-knockout mice, lung COX activity and cellular ATP levels were significantly reduced (-50 and -29%, respectively). Knockout mice showed decreased airway responsiveness (60% reduced P(enh) and 58% reduced airway resistance upon challenge with 25 and 100 mg methacholine, respectively), and they developed a lung pathology deteriorating with age that included the appearance of Charcot-Leyden crystals. In addition, there was an interesting sex-specific phenotype, in which the knockout females showed reduced lean mass (-12%), reduced total oxygen consumption rate (-8%), improved glucose tolerance, and reduced grip force (-14%) compared to wild-type females. Our data suggest that high activity lung COX is a central determinant of airway function and is required for maximal airway responsiveness and healthy lung function. Since airway constriction requires energy, we propose a model in which reduced tissue ATP levels explain protection from airway hyperresponsiveness, i.e., absence of COX4i2 leads to reduced lung COX activity and ATP levels, which results in impaired airway constriction and thus reduced airway responsiveness; long-term lung pathology develops in the knockout mice due to impairment of energy-costly lung maintenance processes; and therefore, we propose mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation as a novel target for the treatment of respiratory diseases, such as asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.11-203273DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3425824PMC
September 2012

Large-scale phenotyping of an accurate genetic mouse model of JNCL identifies novel early pathology outside the central nervous system.

PLoS One 2012 6;7(6):e38310. Epub 2012 Jun 6.

Molecular Neurogenetics Unit, Center for Human Genetic Research, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.

Cln3(Δex7/8) 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(Δex7/8) mice. Homozygous Cln3(Δex7/8) mice, congenic on a C57BL/6N background, displayed subtle deficits in sensory and motor tasks at 10-14 weeks of age. Homozygous Cln3(Δex7/8) 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(Δex7/8) mice, which were also seen to a lesser extent in heterozygous Cln3(Δex7/8) 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(Δ) (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(Δ) (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(Δ) (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(Δ) (ex7/8) mice that merit further study for JNCL biomarker development.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0038310PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3368842PMC
November 2012

Cardiopulmonary dysfunction in the Osteogenesis imperfecta mouse model Aga2 and human patients are caused by bone-independent mechanisms.

Hum Mol Genet 2012 Aug 15;21(16):3535-45. Epub 2012 May 15.

Institute of Virology, Klinikum Rechts der Isar, Munich, Germany.

Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is an inherited connective tissue disorder with skeletal dysplasia of varying severity, predominantly caused by mutations in the collagen I genes (COL1A1/COL1A2). Extraskeletal findings such as cardiac and pulmonary complications are generally considered to be significant secondary features. Aga2, a murine model for human OI, was systemically analyzed in the German Mouse Clinic by means of in vivo and in vitro examinations of the cardiopulmonary system, to identify novel mechanisms accounting for perinatal lethality. Pulmonary and, especially, cardiac fibroblast of perinatal lethal Aga2/+ animals display a strong down-regulation of Col1a1 transcripts in vivo and in vitro, resulting in a loss of extracellular matrix integrity. In addition, dysregulated gene expression of Nppa, different types of collagen and Agt in heart and lung tissue support a bone-independent vicious cycle of heart dysfunction, including hypertrophy, loss of myocardial matrix integrity, pulmonary hypertension, pneumonia and hypoxia leading to death in Aga2. These murine findings are corroborated by a pediatric OI cohort study, displaying significant progressive decline in pulmonary function and restrictive pulmonary disease independent of scoliosis. Most participants show mild cardiac valvular regurgitation, independent of pulmonary and skeletal findings. Data obtained from human OI patients and the mouse model Aga2 provide novel evidence for primary effects of type I collagen mutations on the heart and lung. The findings will have potential benefits of anticipatory clinical exams and early intervention in OI patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/dds183DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3406754PMC
August 2012

Requirement of the RNA-editing enzyme ADAR2 for normal physiology in mice.

J Biol Chem 2011 May 5;286(21):18614-22. Epub 2011 Apr 5.

Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München GmbH, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstaedter Landstrasse 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

ADAR2, an RNA editing enzyme that converts specific adenosines to inosines in certain pre-mRNAs, often leading to amino acid substitutions in the encoded proteins, is mainly expressed in brain. Of all ADAR2-mediated edits, a single one in the pre-mRNA of the AMPA receptor subunit GluA2 is essential for survival. Hence, early postnatal death of mice lacking ADAR2 is averted when the critical edit is engineered into both GluA2 encoding Gria2 alleles. Adar2(-/-)/Gria2(R/R) mice display normal appearance and life span, but the general phenotypic effects of global lack of ADAR2 have remained unexplored. Here we have employed the Adar2(-/-)/Gria2(R/R) mouse line, and Gria2(R/R) mice as controls, to study the phenotypic consequences of loss of all ADAR2-mediated edits except the critical one in GluA2. Our extended phenotypic analysis covering ∼320 parameters identified significant changes related to absence of ADAR2 in behavior, hearing ability, allergy parameters and transcript profiles of brain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M110.200881DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099677PMC
May 2011

Post-stroke inhibition of induced NADPH oxidase type 4 prevents oxidative stress and neurodegeneration.

PLoS Biol 2010 Sep 21;8(9). Epub 2010 Sep 21.

Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, Universität Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany.

Ischemic stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide. Only one moderately effective therapy exists, albeit with contraindications that exclude 90% of the patients. This medical need contrasts with a high failure rate of more than 1,000 pre-clinical drug candidates for stroke therapies. Thus, there is a need for translatable mechanisms of neuroprotection and more rigid thresholds of relevance in pre-clinical stroke models. One such candidate mechanism is oxidative stress. However, antioxidant approaches have failed in clinical trials, and the significant sources of oxidative stress in stroke are unknown. We here identify NADPH oxidase type 4 (NOX4) as a major source of oxidative stress and an effective therapeutic target in acute stroke. Upon ischemia, NOX4 was induced in human and mouse brain. Mice deficient in NOX4 (Nox4(-/-)) of either sex, but not those deficient for NOX1 or NOX2, were largely protected from oxidative stress, blood-brain-barrier leakage, and neuronal apoptosis, after both transient and permanent cerebral ischemia. This effect was independent of age, as elderly mice were equally protected. Restoration of oxidative stress reversed the stroke-protective phenotype in Nox4(-/-) mice. Application of the only validated low-molecular-weight pharmacological NADPH oxidase inhibitor, VAS2870, several hours after ischemia was as protective as deleting NOX4. The extent of neuroprotection was exceptional, resulting in significantly improved long-term neurological functions and reduced mortality. NOX4 therefore represents a major source of oxidative stress and novel class of drug target for stroke therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.1000479DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2943442PMC
September 2010

Mouse phenotyping.

Methods 2011 Feb 12;53(2):120-35. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Ingolstädter Landstraße 1, 85764 München/Neuherberg, Germany.

Model organisms like the mouse are important tools to learn more about gene function in man. Within the last 20 years many mutant mouse lines have been generated by different methods such as ENU mutagenesis, constitutive and conditional knock-out approaches, knock-down, introduction of human genes, and knock-in techniques, thus creating models which mimic human conditions. Due to pleiotropic effects, one gene may have different functions in different organ systems or time points during development. Therefore mutant mouse lines have to be phenotyped comprehensively in a highly standardized manner to enable the detection of phenotypes which might otherwise remain hidden. The German Mouse Clinic (GMC) has been established at the Helmholtz Zentrum München as a phenotyping platform with open access to the scientific community (www.mousclinic.de; [1]). The GMC is a member of the EUMODIC consortium which created the European standard workflow EMPReSSslim for the systemic phenotyping of mouse models (http://www.eumodic.org/[2]).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymeth.2010.08.006DOI Listing
February 2011

Mutation of the Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter NKCC2 in mice is associated with severe polyuria and a urea-selective concentrating defect without hyperreninemia.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2010 Jun 10;298(6):F1405-15. Epub 2010 Mar 10.

Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, and Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.

The bumetanide-sensitive Na(+)-K(+)-2Cl(-) cotransporter NKCC2, located in the thick ascending limb of Henle's loop, plays a critical role in the kidney's ability to concentrate urine. In humans, loss-of-function mutations of the solute carrier family 12 member 1 gene (SLC12A1), coding for NKCC2, cause type I Bartter syndrome, which is characterized by prenatal onset of a severe polyuria, salt-wasting tubulopathy, and hyperreninemia. In this study, we describe a novel chemically induced, recessive mutant mouse line termed Slc12a1(I299F) exhibiting late-onset manifestation of type I Bartter syndrome. Homozygous mutant mice are viable and exhibit severe polyuria, metabolic alkalosis, marked increase in plasma urea but close to normal creatininemia, hypermagnesemia, hyperprostaglandinuria, hypotension,, and osteopenia. Fractional excretion of urea is markedly decreased. In addition, calcium and magnesium excretions are more than doubled compared with wild-type mice, while uric acid excretion is twofold lower. In contrast to hyperreninemia present in human disease, plasma renin concentration in homozygotes is not increased. The polyuria observed in homozygotes may be due to the combination of two additive factors, a decrease in activity of mutant NKCC2 and an increase in medullary blood flow, due to prostaglandin-induced vasodilation, that impairs countercurrent exchange of urea in the medulla. In conclusion, this novel viable mouse line with a missense Slc12a1 mutation exhibits most of the features of type I Bartter syndrome and may represent a new model for the study of this human disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00522.2009DOI Listing
June 2010

Novel missense mutation of uromodulin in mice causes renal dysfunction with alterations in urea handling, energy, and bone metabolism.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2009 Nov 19;297(5):F1391-8. Epub 2009 Aug 19.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology and Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis, Gene Center, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Munich, Germany.

Uromodulin-associated kidney disease is a heritable renal disease in humans caused by mutations in the uromodulin (UMOD) gene. The pathogenesis of the disease is mostly unknown. In this study, we describe a novel chemically induced mutant mouse line termed Umod(A227T) exhibiting impaired renal function. The A227T amino acid exchange may impair uromodulin trafficking, leading to dysfunction of thick ascending limb cells of Henle's loop of the kidney. As a consequence, homozygous mutant mice display azotemia, impaired urine concentration ability, reduced fractional excretion of uric acid, and a selective defect in concentrating urea. Osteopenia in mutant mice is presumably a result of chronic hypercalciuria. In addition, body composition, lipid, and energy metabolism are indirectly affected in heterozygous and homozygous mutant Umod(A227T) mice, manifesting in reduced body weight, fat mass, and metabolic rate as well as reduced blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and nonesterified fatty acids. In conclusion, Umod(A227T) might act as a gain-of-toxic-function mutation. Therefore, the Umod(A227T) mouse line provides novel insights into consequences of disturbed uromodulin excretion regarding renal dysfunction as well as bone, energy, and lipid metabolism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00261.2009DOI Listing
November 2009

Dll1 haploinsufficiency in adult mice leads to a complex phenotype affecting metabolic and immunological processes.

PLoS One 2009 Jun 29;4(6):e6054. Epub 2009 Jun 29.

Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Neuherberg, Germany.

Background: The Notch signaling pathway is an evolutionary conserved signal transduction pathway involved in embryonic patterning and regulation of cell fates during development and self-renewal. Recent studies have demonstrated that this pathway is integral to a complex system of interactions, involving as well other signal transduction pathways, and implicated in distinct human diseases. Delta-like 1 (Dll1) is one of the known ligands of the Notch receptors. The role of the Notch ligands is less well understood. Loss-of-function of Dll1 leads to embryonic lethality, but reduction of Delta-like 1 protein levels has not been studied in adult stage.

Methodology/principal Findings: Here we present the haploinsufficient phenotype of Dll1 and a missense mutant Dll1 allele (Dll1(C413Y)). Haploinsufficiency leads to a complex phenotype with several biological processes altered. These alterations reveal the importance of Dll1 mainly in metabolism, energy balance and in immunology. The animals are smaller, lighter, with altered fat to lean ratio and have increased blood pressure and a slight bradycardia. The animals have reduced cholesterol and triglyceride levels in blood. At the immunological level a subtle phenotype is observed due to the effect and fine-tuning of the signaling network at the different levels of differentiation, proliferation and function of lymphocytes. Moreover, the importance of the proteolytic regulation of the Notch signaling network emphasized.

Conclusions/significance: In conclusion, slight alterations in one player of Notch signaling alter the entire organism, emphasizing the fine-tuning character of this pathway in a high number of processes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0006054PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699037PMC
June 2009

A humanized version of Foxp2 affects cortico-basal ganglia circuits in mice.

Cell 2009 May;137(5):961-71

Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Deutscher Platz 6, D-04103 Leipzig, Germany.

It has been proposed that two amino acid substitutions in the transcription factor FOXP2 have been positively selected during human evolution due to effects on aspects of speech and language. Here, we introduce these substitutions into the endogenous Foxp2 gene of mice. Although these mice are generally healthy, they have qualitatively different ultrasonic vocalizations, decreased exploratory behavior and decreased dopamine concentrations in the brain suggesting that the humanized Foxp2 allele affects basal ganglia. In the striatum, a part of the basal ganglia affected in humans with a speech deficit due to a nonfunctional FOXP2 allele, we find that medium spiny neurons have increased dendrite lengths and increased synaptic plasticity. Since mice carrying one nonfunctional Foxp2 allele show opposite effects, this suggests that alterations in cortico-basal ganglia circuits might have been important for the evolution of speech and language in humans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2009.03.041DOI Listing
May 2009

Systemic first-line phenotyping.

Methods Mol Biol 2009 ;530:463-509

Institute of Experimental Genetics, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.

With the completion of the mouse genome sequence an essential task for biomedical sciences in the twenty-first century will be the generation and functional analysis of mouse models for every gene in the mammalian genome. More than 30,000 mutations in ES cells will be engineered and thousands of mouse disease models will become available over the coming years by the collaborative effort of the International Mouse Knockout Consortium. In order to realize the full value of the mouse models proper characterization, archiving and dissemination of mouse disease models to the research community have to be performed. Phenotyping centers (mouse clinics) provide the necessary capacity, broad expertise, equipment, and infrastructure to carry out large-scale systemic first-line phenotyping. Using the example of the German Mouse Clinic (GMC) we will introduce the reader to the different aspects of the organization of a mouse clinic and present selected methods used in first-line phenotyping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-1-59745-471-1_25DOI Listing
May 2009

Pleiotropic effects in Eya3 knockout mice.

BMC Dev Biol 2008 Dec 22;8:118. Epub 2008 Dec 22.

Helmholtz Center Munich, German Research Center for Environmental Health, Institute of Developmental Genetics, Neuherberg, Germany.

Background: In Drosophila, mutations in the gene eyes absent (eya) lead to severe defects in eye development. The functions of its mammalian orthologs Eya1-4 are only partially understood and no mouse model exists for Eya3. Therefore, we characterized the phenotype of a new Eya3 knockout mouse mutant.

Results: Expression analysis of Eya3 by in-situ hybridizations and beta-Gal-staining of Eya3 mutant mice revealed abundant expression of the gene throughout development, e.g. in brain, eyes, heart, somites and limbs suggesting pleiotropic effects of the mutated gene. A similar complex expression pattern was observed also in zebrafish embryos. The phenotype of young adult Eya3 mouse mutants was systematically analyzed within the German Mouse Clinic. There was no obvious defect in the eyes, ears and kidneys of Eya3 mutant mice. Homozygous mutants displayed decreased bone mineral content and shorter body length. In the lung, the tidal volume at rest was decreased, and electrocardiography showed increased JT- and PQ intervals as well as decreased QRS amplitude. Behavioral analysis of the mutants demonstrated a mild increase in exploratory behavior, but decreased locomotor activity and reduced muscle strength. Analysis of differential gene expression revealed 110 regulated genes in heart and brain. Using real-time PCR, we confirmed Nup155 being down regulated in both organs.

Conclusion: The loss of Eya3 in the mouse has no apparent effect on eye development. The wide-spread expression of Eya3 in mouse and zebrafish embryos is in contrast to the restricted expression pattern in Xenopus embryos. The loss of Eya3 in mice leads to a broad spectrum of minor physiological changes. Among them, the mutant mice move less than the wild-type mice and, together with the effects on respiratory, muscle and heart function, the mutation might lead to more severe effects when the mice become older. Therefore, future investigations of Eya3 function should focus on aging mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-213X-8-118DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2653502PMC
December 2008

"Sighted C3H" mice--a tool for analysing the influence of vision on mouse behaviour?

Front Biosci 2008 May 1;13:5810-23. Epub 2008 May 1.

Institute of Developmental Genetics, Helmholtz Center Munich-German Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

It is unclear what role vision plays in guiding mouse behaviour, since the mouse eye is of comparably low optical quality, and mice are considered to rely primarily on other senses. All C3H substrains are homozygous for the Pde6b(rd1) mutation and get blind by weaning age. To study the impact of the Pde6b(rd1) mutation on mouse behaviour and physiology, sighted C3H (C3H.Pde6b+) and normal C3H/HeH mice were phenotyped for different aspects. We confirmed retinal degeneration 1 in C3H/HeH mice, and the presence of a morphologically normal retina as well as visual ability in C3H.Pde6b+ mice. However, C3H.Pde6b+ mice showed an abnormal retinal function in the electroretinogram response, indicating that their vision was not normal as expected. C3H.Pde6b+ mice showed reduced latencies for several behaviours without any further alterations in these behaviours in comparison to C3H/HeH mice, suggesting that visual ability, although impaired, enables earlier usage of the behavioural repertoire in a novel environment, but does not lead to increased activity levels. These results emphasize the importance of comprehensive behavioural and physiological phenotyping.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2741/3118DOI Listing
May 2008

Atrial natriuretic peptide and osteopontin are useful markers of cardiac disorders in mice.

Comp Med 2007 Dec;57(6):546-53

Department of Medicine III, Otto-Meyerhof-Zentrum, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.

Biomarkers are not established for cardiovascular phenotyping in mice. We compared the use of echocardiography with the determination of N-terminal propeptide of the atrial natriuretic peptide (Nt-proANP) and osteopontin (Opn). We measured plasma Nt-proANP and Opn levels in (1) the inbred strains C57BL/6, BALB/c, C3H/He, DBA/2, FVB/N, 129S1/Sv; (2) a surgical model of nonischemic myocardial infarction; and (3) delta-sarcoglycan (Sgcd) and calsarcin 1 [also known as myozenin 2 (Myoz2)] knockout models of cardiomyopathy. Left ventricular function was assessed as fractional shortening (FS) by echocardiography in conscious mice. Plasma Nt-proANP exhibited marked variability and ranged from 0.31 +/- 0.19 (C57BL/6 male mice) to 1.34 +/- 0.43 nmol/l (DBA/2 female mice), depending on sex, age, and genetic background. Opn was less variable than Nt-proANP and was decreased significantly in C3H/He and DBA/2 throughout the 16 wk of study. Nt-proANP increased temporarily in mice with myocardial injury. In contrast, Opn increased in both operated and sham-treated mice. Nt-proANP was inversely correlated with FS and distinguished controls from Sgcd and Myoz2 mutants with 100% sensitivity and 71% specificity. Opn was increased in Sgcd mutants, which exhibited only mildly reduced FS but marked myocardial degeneration and fibrosis. Both of these histologic features were absent in Myoz2 mutants. Nt-proANP is an early marker of cardiac disease and is suitable for age- and sex-matched comparisons between groups of transgenic and matched control mice. Opn is useful to detect inflammatory and degenerative myocardial disorders that may be missed by echocardiography.
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December 2007