Publications by authors named "Rüdiger Wanke"

51 Publications

Unbiased analysis of obesity related, fat depot specific changes of adipocyte volumes and numbers using light sheet fluorescence microscopy.

PLoS One 2021 16;16(3):e0248594. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Research Unit Analytical Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.

In translational obesity research, objective assessment of adipocyte sizes and numbers is essential to characterize histomorphological alterations linked to obesity, and to evaluate the efficacies of experimental medicinal or dietetic interventions. Design-based quantitative stereological techniques based on the analysis of 2D-histological sections provide unbiased estimates of relevant 3D-parameters of adipocyte morphology, but often involve complex and time-consuming tissue processing and analysis steps. Here we report the application of direct 3D light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) for effective and accurate analysis of adipocyte volumes and numbers in optically cleared adipose tissue samples from a porcine model of diet-induced obesity (DIO). Subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue samples from DIO-minipigs and lean controls were systematically randomly sampled, optically cleared with 3DISCO (3-dimensional imaging of solvent cleared organs), stained with eosin, and subjected to LSFM for detection of adipocyte cell membrane autofluorescence. Individual adipocytes were unbiasedly sampled in digital 3D reconstructions of the adipose tissue samples, and their individual cell volumes were directly measured by automated digital image analysis. Adipocyte numbers and mean volumes obtained by LSFM analysis did not significantly differ from the corresponding values obtained by unbiased quantitative stereological analysis techniques performed on the same samples, thus proving the applicability of LSFM for efficient analysis of relevant morphological adipocyte parameters. The results of the present study demonstrate an adipose tissue depot specific plasticity of adipocyte growth responses to nutrient oversupply. This was characterized by an exclusively hypertrophic growth of visceral adipocytes, whereas adipocytes in subcutaneous fat tissue depots also displayed a marked (hyperplastic) increase in cell number. LSFM allows for accurate and efficient determination of relevant quantitative morphological adipocyte parameters. The applied stereological methods and LSFM protocols are described in detail and can serve as a guideline for unbiased quantitative morphological analyses of adipocytes in other studies and species.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0248594PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7963095PMC
March 2021

A practical guide to unbiased quantitative morphological analyses of the gills of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in ecotoxicological studies.

PLoS One 2020 9;15(12):e0243462. Epub 2020 Dec 9.

Research Unit Analytical Pathology, Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.

Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are frequently used as experimental animals in ecotoxicological studies, in which they are experimentally exposed to defined concentrations of test substances, such as heavy metals, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals. Following exposure to a broad variety of aquatic pollutants, early morphologically detectable toxic effects often manifest in alterations of the gills. Suitable methods for an accurate and unbiased quantitative characterization of the type and the extent of morphological gill alterations are therefore essential prerequisites for recognition, objective evaluation and comparison of the severity of gill lesions. The aim of the present guidelines is to provide practicable, standardized and detailed protocols for the application of unbiased quantitative stereological analyses of relevant morphological parameters of the gills of rainbow trout. These gill parameters inter alia include the total volume of the primary and secondary gill lamellae, the surface area of the secondary gill lamellae epithelium (i.e., the respiratory surface) and the thickness of the diffusion barrier. The featured protocols are adapted to fish of frequently used body size classes (300-2000 g). They include well-established, conventional sampling methods, probes and test systems for unbiased quantitative stereological analyses of light- and electron microscopic 2-D gill sections, as well as the application of modern 3-D light sheet fluorescence microscopy (LSFM) of optically cleared gill samples as an innovative, fast and efficient quantitative morphological analysis approach. The methods shown here provide a basis for standardized and representative state-of-the-art quantitative morphological analyses of trout gills, ensuring the unbiasedness and reproducibility, as well as the intra- and inter-study comparability of analyses results. Their broad implementation will therefore significantly contribute to the reliable identification of no observed effect concentration (NOEC) limits in ecotoxicological studies and, moreover, to limit the number of experimental animals by reduction of unnecessary repetition of experiments.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243462PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7725368PMC
January 2021

A decade of experience with genetically tailored pig models for diabetes and metabolic research.

Anim Reprod 2020 Aug 26;17(3):e20200064. Epub 2020 Aug 26.

Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center and Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.

The global prevalence of diabetes mellitus and other metabolic diseases is rapidly increasing. Animal models play pivotal roles in unravelling disease mechanisms and developing and testing therapeutic strategies. Rodents are the most widely used animal models but may have limitations in their resemblance to human disease mechanisms and phenotypes. Findings in rodent models are consequently often difficult to extrapolate to human clinical trials. To overcome this 'translational gap', we and other groups are developing porcine disease models. Pigs share many anatomical and physiological traits with humans and thus hold great promise as translational animal models. Importantly, the toolbox for genetic engineering of pigs is rapidly expanding. Human disease mechanisms and targets can therefore be reproduced in pigs on a molecular level, resulting in precise and predictive porcine (PPP) models. In this short review, we summarize our work on the development of genetically (pre)diabetic pig models and how they have been used to study disease mechanisms and test therapeutic strategies. This includes the generation of reporter pigs for studying beta-cell maturation and physiology. Furthermore, genetically engineered pigs are promising donors of pancreatic islets for xenotransplantation. In summary, genetically tailored pig models have become an important link in the chain of translational diabetes and metabolic research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1984-3143-AR2020-0064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534555PMC
August 2020

Porcine models for studying complications and organ crosstalk in diabetes mellitus.

Cell Tissue Res 2020 May 13;380(2):341-378. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Strasse 25, D-81377, Munich, Germany.

The worldwide prevalence of diabetes mellitus and obesity is rapidly increasing not only in adults but also in children and adolescents. Diabetes is associated with macrovascular complications increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as microvascular complications leading to diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy. Animal models are essential for studying disease mechanisms and for developing and testing diagnostic procedures and therapeutic strategies. Rodent models are most widely used but have limitations in translational research. Porcine models have the potential to bridge the gap between basic studies and clinical trials in human patients. This article provides an overview of concepts for the development of porcine models for diabetes and obesity research, with a focus on genetically engineered models. Diabetes-associated ocular, cardiovascular and renal alterations observed in diabetic pig models are summarized and their similarities with complications in diabetic patients are discussed. Systematic multi-organ biobanking of porcine models of diabetes and obesity and molecular profiling of representative tissue samples on different levels, e.g., on the transcriptome, proteome, or metabolome level, is proposed as a strategy for discovering tissue-specific pathomechanisms and their molecular key drivers using systems biology tools. This is exemplified by a recent study providing multi-omics insights into functional changes of the liver in a transgenic pig model for insulin-deficient diabetes mellitus. Collectively, these approaches will provide a better understanding of organ crosstalk in diabetes mellitus and eventually reveal new molecular targets for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes mellitus and its associated complications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-019-03158-9DOI Listing
May 2020

Mild maternal hyperglycemia in transgenic pigs causes impaired glucose tolerance and metabolic alterations in neonatal offspring.

Dis Model Mech 2019 08 12;12(8). Epub 2019 Aug 12.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany.

Alongside the obesity epidemic, the prevalence of maternal diabetes is rising worldwide, and adverse effects on fetal development and metabolic disturbances in the offspring's later life have been described. To clarify whether metabolic programming effects are due to mild maternal hyperglycemia without confounding obesity, we investigated wild-type offspring of transgenic pigs, which are a novel genetically modified large-animal model expressing mutant insulin (INS) C93S in pancreatic β-cells. This mutation results in impaired glucose tolerance, mild fasting hyperglycemia and insulin resistance during late pregnancy. Compared with offspring from wild-type sows, piglets from hyperglycemic mothers showed impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance (homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance: +3-fold in males; +4.4-fold in females) prior to colostrum uptake. Targeted metabolomics in the fasting and insulin-stimulated state revealed distinct alterations in the plasma metabolic profile of piglets from hyperglycemic mothers. They showed increased levels of acylcarnitines, gluconeogenic precursors such as alanine, phospholipids (in particular lyso-phosphatidylcholines) and α-aminoadipic acid, a potential biomarker for type 2 diabetes. These observations indicate that mild gestational hyperglycemia can cause impaired glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and associated metabolic alterations in neonatal offspring of a large-animal model born at a developmental maturation status comparable to human babies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.039156DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6737953PMC
August 2019

Multi-omics insights into functional alterations of the liver in insulin-deficient diabetes mellitus.

Mol Metab 2019 08 4;26:30-44. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), 85764 Neuherberg, Germany; Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center and Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany; Center for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM), LMU Munich, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: The liver regulates the availability of insulin to other tissues and is the first line insulin response organ physiologically exposed to higher insulin concentrations than the periphery. Basal insulin during fasting inhibits hepatic gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis, whereas postprandial insulin peaks stimulate glycogen synthesis. The molecular consequences of chronic insulin deficiency for the liver have not been studied systematically.

Methods: We analyzed liver samples of a genetically diabetic pig model (MIDY) and of wild-type (WT) littermate controls by RNA sequencing, proteomics, and targeted metabolomics/lipidomics.

Results: Cross-omics analyses revealed increased activities in amino acid metabolism, oxidation of fatty acids, ketogenesis, and gluconeogenesis in the MIDY samples. In particular, the concentrations of the ketogenic enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA synthase 2 (HMGCS2) and of retinol dehydrogenase 16 (RDH16), which catalyzes the first step in retinoic acid biogenesis, were highly increased. Accordingly, elevated levels of retinoic acid, which stimulates the expression of the gluconeogenic enzyme phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PCK1), were measured in the MIDY samples. In contrast, pathways related to extracellular matrix and inflammation/pathogen defense response were less active than in the WT samples.

Conclusions: The first multi-omics study of a clinically relevant diabetic large animal model revealed molecular signatures and key drivers of functional alterations of the liver in insulin-deficient diabetes mellitus. The multi-omics data set provides a valuable resource for comparative analyses with other experimental or clinical data sets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2019.05.011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6667734PMC
August 2019

Metabolic syndrome and extensive adipose tissue inflammation in morbidly obese Göttingen minipigs.

Mol Metab 2018 10 28;16:180-190. Epub 2018 Jun 28.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center and Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, 81377, Munich, Germany; Center for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM), Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, Hackerstr. 27, 85764, Oberschleißheim, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764, Neuherberg, Germany; Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Objective: The worldwide prevalence of obesity has increased to 10% in men and 15% in women and is associated with severe comorbidities such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Animal models of obesity are central to experimental studies of disease mechanisms and therapeutic strategies. Diet-induced obesity (DIO) models in rodents have provided important insights into the pathophysiology of obesity and, in most instances, are the first in line for exploratory pharmacology studies. To deepen the relevance towards translation to human patients, we established a corresponding DIO model in Göttingen minipigs (GM).

Methods: Young adult female ovariectomized GM were fed a high-fat/high-energy diet for a period of 70 weeks. The ration was calculated to meet the requirements and maintain body weight (BW) of lean adult minipigs (L-GM group) or increased stepwise to achieve an obese state (DIO-GM group). Body composition, blood parameters and intravenous glucose tolerance were determined at regular intervals. A pilot chronic treatment trial with a GLP1 receptor agonist was conducted in DIO-GM. At the end of the study, the animals were necropsied and a biobank of selected tissues was established.

Results: DIO-GM developed severe subcutaneous and visceral adiposity (body fat >50% of body mass vs. 22% in L-GM), increased plasma cholesterol, triglyceride, and free fatty acid levels, insulin resistance (HOMA-IR >5 vs. 2 in L-GM), impaired glucose tolerance and increased heart rate when resting and active. However, fasting glucose concentrations stayed within normal range throughout the study. Treatment with a long-acting GLP1 receptor agonist revealed substantial reduction of food intake and body weight within four weeks, with increased drug sensitivity relative to observations in other DIO animal models. Extensive adipose tissue inflammation and adipocyte necrosis was observed in visceral, but not subcutaneous, adipose tissue of DIO-GM.

Conclusions: The Munich DIO-GM model resembles hallmarks of the human metabolic syndrome with extensive adipose tissue inflammation and adipocyte necrosis reported for the first time. DIO-GM may be used for evaluating novel treatments of obesity and associated comorbidities. They may help to identify triggers and mechanisms of fat tissue inflammation and mechanisms preventing complete metabolic decompensation despite morbid obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2018.06.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6157610PMC
October 2018

Growth hormone receptor-deficient pigs resemble the pathophysiology of human Laron syndrome and reveal altered activation of signaling cascades in the liver.

Mol Metab 2018 05 15;11:113-128. Epub 2018 Mar 15.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center and Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, 81377 Munich, Germany; Center for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM), Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, Hackerstr. 27, 85764 Oberschleißheim, Germany; Meiji University International Institute for Bio-Resource Research, 1-1-1 Higashimita, Tama, Kawasaki, 214-8571, Japan; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany; Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, 81377 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: Laron syndrome (LS) is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder in humans caused by loss-of-function mutations of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) gene. To establish a large animal model for LS, pigs with GHR knockout (KO) mutations were generated and characterized.

Methods: CRISPR/Cas9 technology was applied to mutate exon 3 of the GHR gene in porcine zygotes. Two heterozygous founder sows with a 1-bp or 7-bp insertion in GHR exon 3 were obtained, and their heterozygous F1 offspring were intercrossed to produce GHR-KO, heterozygous GHR mutant, and wild-type pigs. Since the latter two groups were not significantly different in any parameter investigated, they were pooled as the GHR expressing control group. The characterization program included body and organ growth, body composition, endocrine and clinical-chemical parameters, as well as signaling studies in liver tissue.

Results: GHR-KO pigs lacked GHR and had markedly reduced serum insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) levels and reduced IGF-binding protein 3 (IGFBP3) activity but increased IGFBP2 levels. Serum GH concentrations were significantly elevated compared with control pigs. GHR-KO pigs had a normal birth weight. Growth retardation became significant at the age of five weeks. At the age of six months, the body weight of GHR-KO pigs was reduced by 60% compared with controls. Most organ weights of GHR-KO pigs were reduced proportionally to body weight. However, the weights of liver, kidneys, and heart were disproportionately reduced, while the relative brain weight was almost doubled. GHR-KO pigs had a markedly increased percentage of total body fat relative to body weight and displayed transient juvenile hypoglycemia along with decreased serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Analysis of insulin receptor related signaling in the liver of adult fasted pigs revealed increased phosphorylation of IRS1 and PI3K. In agreement with the loss of GHR, phosphorylation of STAT5 was significantly reduced. In contrast, phosphorylation of JAK2 was significantly increased, possibly due to the increased serum leptin levels and increased hepatic leptin receptor expression and activation in GHR-KO pigs. In addition, increased mTOR phosphorylation was observed in GHR-KO liver samples, and phosphorylation studies of downstream substrates suggested the activation of mainly mTOR complex 2.

Conclusion: GHR-KO pigs resemble the pathophysiology of LS and are an interesting model for mechanistic studies and treatment trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2018.03.006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6001387PMC
May 2018

Sampling Strategies and Processing of Biobank Tissue Samples from Porcine Biomedical Models.

J Vis Exp 2018 03 6(133). Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology at the Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, LMU Munich.

In translational medical research, porcine models have steadily become more popular. Considering the high value of individual animals, particularly of genetically modified pig models, and the often-limited number of available animals of these models, establishment of (biobank) collections of adequately processed tissue samples suited for a broad spectrum of subsequent analyses methods, including analyses not specified at the time point of sampling, represent meaningful approaches to take full advantage of the translational value of the model. With respect to the peculiarities of porcine anatomy, comprehensive guidelines have recently been established for standardized generation of representative, high-quality samples from different porcine organs and tissues. These guidelines are essential prerequisites for the reproducibility of results and their comparability between different studies and investigators. The recording of basic data, such as organ weights and volumes, the determination of the sampling locations and of the numbers of tissue samples to be generated, as well as their orientation, size, processing and trimming directions, are relevant factors determining the generalizability and usability of the specimen for molecular, qualitative, and quantitative morphological analyses. Here, an illustrative, practical, step-by-step demonstration of the most important techniques for generation of representative, multi-purpose biobank specimen from porcine tissues is presented. The methods described here include determination of organ/tissue volumes and densities, the application of a volume-weighted systematic random sampling procedure for parenchymal organs by point-counting, determination of the extent of tissue shrinkage related to histological embedding of samples, and generation of randomly oriented samples for quantitative stereological analyses, such as isotropic uniform random (IUR) sections generated by the "Orientator" and "Isector" methods, and vertical uniform random (VUR) sections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3791/57276DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5931442PMC
March 2018

Practicable methods for histological section thickness measurement in quantitative stereological analyses.

PLoS One 2018 14;13(2):e0192879. Epub 2018 Feb 14.

Institute for Veterinary Pathology at the Center for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

The accuracy of quantitative stereological analysis tools such as the (physical) disector method substantially depends on the precise determination of the thickness of the analyzed histological sections. One conventional method for measurement of histological section thickness is to re-embed the section of interest vertically to its original section plane. The section thickness is then measured in a subsequently prepared histological section of this orthogonally re-embedded sample. However, the orthogonal re-embedding (ORE) technique is quite work- and time-intensive and may produce inaccurate section thickness measurement values due to unintentional slightly oblique (non-orthogonal) positioning of the re-embedded sample-section. Here, an improved ORE method is presented, allowing for determination of the factual section plane angle of the re-embedded section, and correction of measured section thickness values for oblique (non-orthogonal) sectioning. For this, the analyzed section is mounted flat on a foil of known thickness (calibration foil) and both the section and the calibration foil are then vertically (re-)embedded. The section angle of the re-embedded section is then calculated from the deviation of the measured section thickness of the calibration foil and its factual thickness, using basic geometry. To find a practicable, fast, and accurate alternative to ORE, the suitability of spectral reflectance (SR) measurement for determination of plastic section thicknesses was evaluated. Using a commercially available optical reflectometer (F20, Filmetrics®, USA), the thicknesses of 0.5 μm thick semi-thin Epon (glycid ether)-sections and of 1-3 μm thick plastic sections (glycolmethacrylate/ methylmethacrylate, GMA/MMA), as regularly used in physical disector analyses, could precisely be measured within few seconds. Compared to the measured section thicknesses determined by ORE, SR measures displayed less than 1% deviation. Our results prove the applicability of SR to efficiently provide accurate section thickness measurements as a prerequisite for reliable estimates of dependent quantitative stereological parameters.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0192879PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5812658PMC
April 2018

The Munich MIDY Pig Biobank - A unique resource for studying organ crosstalk in diabetes.

Mol Metab 2017 08 13;6(8):931-940. Epub 2017 Jun 13.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center and Department of Veterinary Sciences, and Center for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM), LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, D-81377 Munich, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, D-85764 Neuherberg, Germany; Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, D-81377 Munich, Germany. Electronic address:

Objective: The prevalence of diabetes mellitus and associated complications is steadily increasing. As a resource for studying systemic consequences of chronic insulin insufficiency and hyperglycemia, we established a comprehensive biobank of long-term diabetic transgenic pigs, a model of mutant gene-induced diabetes of youth (MIDY), and of wild-type (WT) littermates.

Methods: Female MIDY pigs (n = 4) were maintained with suboptimal insulin treatment for 2 years, together with female WT littermates (n = 5). Plasma insulin, C-peptide and glucagon levels were regularly determined using specific immunoassays. In addition, clinical chemical, targeted metabolomics, and lipidomics analyses were performed. At age 2 years, all pigs were euthanized, necropsied, and a broad spectrum of tissues was taken by systematic uniform random sampling procedures. Total beta cell volume was determined by stereological methods. A pilot proteome analysis of pancreas, liver, and kidney cortex was performed by label free proteomics.

Results: MIDY pigs had elevated fasting plasma glucose and fructosamine concentrations, C-peptide levels that decreased with age and were undetectable at 2 years, and an 82% reduced total beta cell volume compared to WT. Plasma glucagon and beta hydroxybutyrate levels of MIDY pigs were chronically elevated, reflecting hallmarks of poorly controlled diabetes in humans. In total, ∼1900 samples of different body fluids (blood, serum, plasma, urine, cerebrospinal fluid, and synovial fluid) as well as ∼17,000 samples from ∼50 different tissues and organs were preserved to facilitate a plethora of morphological and molecular analyses. Principal component analyses of plasma targeted metabolomics and lipidomics data and of proteome profiles from pancreas, liver, and kidney cortex clearly separated MIDY and WT samples.

Conclusions: The broad spectrum of well-defined biosamples in the Munich MIDY Pig Biobank that will be available to the scientific community provides a unique resource for systematic studies of organ crosstalk in diabetes in a multi-organ, multi-omics dimension.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2017.06.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518720PMC
August 2017

Mitochondrial Dysregulation Secondary to Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in Autosomal Dominant Tubulointerstitial Kidney Disease - UMOD (ADTKD-UMOD).

Sci Rep 2017 02 21;7:42970. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Center for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, D-80539 Munich, Germany.

'Autosomal dominant tubulointerstitial kidney disease - UMOD' (ADTKD-UMOD) is caused by impaired maturation and secretion of mutant uromodulin (UMOD) in thick ascending limb of Henle loop (TAL) cells, resulting in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and unfolded protein response (UPR). To gain insight into pathophysiology, we analysed proteome profiles of TAL-enriched outer renal medulla samples from ADTKD-UMOD and control mice by quantitative LC-MS/MS. In total, 212 differentially abundant proteins were identified. Numerous ER proteins, including BiP (HSPA5), phosphorylated eIF2α (EIF2S1), ATF4, ATF6 and CHOP (DDIT3), were increased abundant, consistent with UPR. The abundance of hypoxia-inducible proteins with stress survival functions, i.e. HYOU1, TXNDC5 and ERO1L, was also increased. TAL cells in ADTKD-UMOD showed a decreased proportion of mitochondria and reduced abundance of multiple mitochondrial proteins, associated with disturbed post-translational processing and activation of the mitochondrial transcription factor NRF1. Impaired fission of organelles, as suggested by reduced abundance of FIS1, may be another reason for disturbed biogenesis of mitochondria and peroxisomes. Reduced amounts of numerous proteins of the OXPHOS and citrate cycle pathways, and activation of the LKB1-AMPK-pathway, a sensor pathway of cellular energy deficits, suggest impaired energy homeostasis. In conclusion, our study revealed secondary mitochondrial dysfunction in ADTKD-UMOD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep42970DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318959PMC
February 2017

Progressive muscle proteome changes in a clinically relevant pig model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Sci Rep 2016 09 16;6:33362. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis (LAFUGA), Gene Center, LMU Munich, Feodor-Lynen-Str. 25, D-81377 Munich, Germany.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by genetic deficiency of dystrophin and characterized by massive structural and functional changes of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to terminal muscle failure. We recently generated a novel genetically engineered pig model reflecting pathological hallmarks of human DMD better than the widely used mdx mouse. To get insight into the hierarchy of molecular derangements during DMD progression, we performed a proteome analysis of biceps femoris muscle samples from 2-day-old and 3-month-old DMD and wild-type (WT) pigs. The extent of proteome changes in DMD vs. WT muscle increased markedly with age, reflecting progression of the pathological changes. In 3-month-old DMD muscle, proteins related to muscle repair such as vimentin, nestin, desmin and tenascin C were found to be increased, whereas a large number of respiratory chain proteins were decreased in abundance in DMD muscle, indicating serious disturbances in aerobic energy production and a reduction of functional muscle tissue. The combination of proteome data for fiber type specific myosin heavy chain proteins and immunohistochemistry showed preferential degeneration of fast-twitch fiber types in DMD muscle. The stage-specific proteome changes detected in this large animal model of clinically severe muscular dystrophy provide novel molecular readouts for future treatment trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep33362DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5025886PMC
September 2016

Missense Mutation of POU Domain Class 3 Transcription Factor 3 in Pou3f3L423P Mice Causes Reduced Nephron Number and Impaired Development of the Thick Ascending Limb of the Loop of Henle.

PLoS One 2016 15;11(7):e0158977. Epub 2016 Jul 15.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology at the Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany.

During nephrogenesis, POU domain class 3 transcription factor 3 (POU3F3 aka BRN1) is critically involved in development of distinct nephron segments, including the thick ascending limb of the loop of Henle (TAL). Deficiency of POU3F3 in knock-out mice leads to underdevelopment of the TAL, lack of differentiation of TAL cells, and perinatal death due to renal failure. Pou3f3L423P mutant mice, which were established in the Munich ENU Mouse Mutagenesis Project, carry a recessive point mutation in the homeobox domain of POU3F3. Homozygous Pou3f3L423P mutants are viable and fertile. The present study used functional, as well as qualitative and quantitative morphological analyses to characterize the renal phenotype of juvenile (12 days) and aged (60 weeks) homo- and heterozygous Pou3f3L423P mutant mice and age-matched wild-type controls. In both age groups, homozygous mutants vs. control mice displayed significantly smaller kidney volumes, decreased nephron numbers and mean glomerular volumes, smaller TAL volumes, as well as lower volume densities of the TAL in the kidney. No histological or ultrastructural lesions of TAL cells or glomerular cells were observed in homozygous mutant mice. Aged homozygous mutants displayed increased serum urea concentrations and reduced specific urine gravity, but no evidence of glomerular dysfunction. These results confirm the role of POU3F3 in development and function of the TAL and provide new evidence for its involvement in regulation of the nephron number in the kidney. Therefore, Pou3f3L423P mutant mice represent a valuable research model for further analyses of POU3F3 functions, or for nephrological studies examining the role of congenital low nephron numbers.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0158977PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4946790PMC
July 2017

Comparative aspects of rodent and nonrodent animal models for mechanistic and translational diabetes research.

Theriogenology 2016 Jul 21;86(1):406-21. Epub 2016 Apr 21.

Gene Center and Center for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany; German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Helmholtz Zentrum München, Neuherberg, Germany.

The prevalence of diabetes mellitus, which currently affects 387 million people worldwide, is permanently rising in both adults and adolescents. Despite numerous treatment options, diabetes mellitus is a progressive disease with severe comorbidities, such as nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy, as well as cardiovascular disease. Therefore, animal models predictive of the efficacy and safety of novel compounds in humans are of great value to address the unmet need for improved therapeutics. Although rodent models provide important mechanistic insights, their predictive value for therapeutic outcomes in humans is limited. In recent years, the pig has gained importance for biomedical research because of its close similarity to human anatomy, physiology, size, and, in contrast to non-human primates, better ethical acceptance. In this review, anatomic, biochemical, physiological, and morphologic aspects relevant to diabetes research will be compared between different animal species, that is, mouse, rat, rabbit, pig, and non-human primates. The value of the pig as a model organism for diabetes research will be highlighted, and (dis)advantages of the currently available approaches for the generation of pig models exhibiting characteristics of metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes mellitus will be discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.theriogenology.2016.04.055DOI Listing
July 2016

Growth hormone (GH)-transgenic insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1)-deficient mice allow dissociation of excess GH and IGF1 effects on glomerular and tubular growth.

Physiol Rep 2016 Mar;4(5)

Institute of Veterinary Pathology at the Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Muenchen, Munich, Germany.

Growth hormone (GH)-transgenic mice with permanently elevated systemic levels of GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF1) reproducibly develop renal and glomerular hypertrophy and subsequent progressive glomerulosclerosis, finally leading to terminal renal failure. To dissociate IGF1-dependent and -independent effects of GH excess on renal growth and lesion development in vivo, the kidneys of 75 days old IGF1-deficient (I(-/-)) and of IGF1-deficient GH-transgenic mice (I(-/-)/G), as well as of GH-transgenic (G) and nontransgenic wild-type control mice (I(+/+)) were examined by quantitative stereological and functional analyses. Both G and I(-/-)/G mice developed glomerular hypertrophy, hyperplasia of glomerular mesangial and endothelial cells, podocyte hypertrophy and foot process effacement, albuminuria, and glomerulosclerosis. However, I(-/-)/G mice exhibited less severe glomerular alterations, as compared to G mice. Compared to I(+/+) mice, G mice exhibited renal hypertrophy with a significant increase in the number without a change in the size of proximal tubular epithelial (PTE) cells. In contrast, I(-/-)/G mice did not display significant PTE cell hyperplasia, as compared to I(-/-) mice. These findings indicate that GH excess stimulates glomerular growth and induces lesions progressing to glomerulosclerosis in the absence of IGF1. In contrast, IGF1 represents an important mediator of GH-dependent proximal tubular growth in GH-transgenic mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14814/phy2.12709DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4823598PMC
March 2016

Tissue Sampling Guides for Porcine Biomedical Models.

Toxicol Pathol 2016 Apr 16;44(3):414-20. Epub 2016 Feb 16.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Center for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Munich, Germany

This article provides guidelines for organ and tissue sampling adapted to porcine animal models in translational medical research. Detailed protocols for the determination of sampling locations and numbers as well as recommendations on the orientation, size, and trimming direction of samples from ∼50 different porcine organs and tissues are provided in the Supplementary Material. The proposed sampling protocols include the generation of samples suitable for subsequent qualitative and quantitative analyses, including cryohistology, paraffin, and plastic histology; immunohistochemistry;in situhybridization; electron microscopy; and quantitative stereology as well as molecular analyses of DNA, RNA, proteins, metabolites, and electrolytes. With regard to the planned extent of sampling efforts, time, and personnel expenses, and dependent upon the scheduled analyses, different protocols are provided. These protocols are adjusted for (I) routine screenings, as used in general toxicity studies or in analyses of gene expression patterns or histopathological organ alterations, (II) advanced analyses of single organs/tissues, and (III) large-scale sampling procedures to be applied in biobank projects. Providing a robust reference for studies of porcine models, the described protocols will ensure the efficiency of sampling, the systematic recovery of high-quality samples representing the entire organ or tissue as well as the intra-/interstudy comparability and reproducibility of results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0192623316631023DOI Listing
April 2016

Dissociation of somatic growth, time of sexual maturity, and life expectancy by overexpression of an RGD-deficient IGFBP-2 variant in female transgenic mice.

Aging Cell 2016 Feb 28;15(1):111-7. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich, 81377, Munich, Germany.

Impaired growth is often associated with an extension of lifespan. However, the negative correlation between somatic growth and life expectancy is only true within, but not between, species. This can be observed because smaller species have, as a rule, a shorter lifespan than larger species. In insects and worms, reduced reproductive development and increased fat storage are associated with prolonged lifespan. However, in mammals the relationship between the dynamics of reproductive development, fat metabolism, growth rate, and lifespan are less clear. To address this point, female transgenic mice that were overexpressing similar levels of either intact (D-mice) or mutant insulin-like growth factor-binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) lacking the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif (E- mice) were investigated. Both lines of transgenic mice exhibited a similar degree of growth impairment (-9% and -10%) in comparison with wild-type controls (C-mice). While in D-mice, sexual maturation was found to be delayed and life expectancy was significantly increased in comparison with C-mice, these parameters were unaltered in E-mice in spite of their reduced growth rate. These observations indicate that the RGD-domain has a major influence on the pleiotropic effects of IGFBP-2 and suggest that somatic growth and time of sexual maturity or somatic growth and life expectancy are less closely related than thought previously.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/acel.12413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4717279PMC
February 2016

Incretin actions and consequences of incretin-based therapies: lessons from complementary animal models.

J Pathol 2016 Jan 30;238(2):345-58. Epub 2015 Nov 30.

Gene Centre, Centre for Innovative Medical Models (CiMM) and German Centre for Diabetes Research (DZD), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Germany.

The two incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1), were discovered 45 and 30 years ago. Initially, only their insulinotropic effect on pancreatic β cells was known. Over the years, physiological and pharmacological effects of GIP and GLP1 in numerous extrapancreatic tissues were discovered which partially overlap, but may also be specific for GIP or GLP1 in certain target tissues. While the insulinotropic effect of GIP was found to be blunted in patients with type 2 diabetes, the function of GLP1 is preserved and GLP1 receptor agonists and dipeptidyl-peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors, which prolong the half-life of incretins, are widely used in diabetes therapy. Wild-type and genetically modified rodent models have provided important mechanistic insights into the incretin system, but may have limitations in predicting the clinical efficacy and safety of incretin-based therapies. This review summarizes insights from rodent and non-rodent models (pig, non-human primate) into physiological and pharmacological incretin effects, with a focus on the pancreas. Similarities and differences between species are discussed and the increasing potential of genetically engineered pig models for translational incretin research is highlighted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.4655DOI Listing
January 2016

Effects of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist liraglutide in juvenile transgenic pigs modeling a pre-diabetic condition.

J Transl Med 2015 Feb 25;13:73. Epub 2015 Feb 25.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, Gene Center, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany.

Background: The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R) agonist liraglutide improves glycemic control and reduces body weight of adult type 2 diabetic patients. However, efficacy and safety of liraglutide in adolescents has not been systematically investigated. Furthermore, possible pro-proliferative effects of GLP1R agonists on the endocrine and exocrine pancreas need to be further evaluated. We studied effects of liraglutide in adolescent pigs expressing a dominant-negative glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPR(dn)) in the beta-cells, leading to a pre-diabetic condition including disturbed glucose tolerance, reduced insulin secretion and progressive reduction of functional beta-cell mass.

Methods: Two-month-old GIPR(dn) transgenic pigs were treated daily with liraglutide (0.6-1.2 mg per day) or placebo for 90 days. Glucose homeostasis was evaluated prior to and at the end of the treatment period by performing mixed meal and intravenous glucose tolerance tests (MMGTT and IVGTT). Finally animals were subjected to necropsy and quantitative-stereological analyses were performed for evaluation of alpha- and beta-cell mass, beta-cell proliferation as well as acinus-cell proliferation.

Results: MMGTT at the end of the study revealed 23% smaller area under the curve (AUC) for glucose, a 36% smaller AUC insulin, and improved insulin sensitivity, while IVGTT showed a 15% smaller AUC glucose but unchanged AUC insulin in liraglutide- vs. placebo-treated animals. Liraglutide led to marked reductions in body weight gain (-31%) and food intake (-30%) compared to placebo treatment, associated with reduced phosphorylation of insulin receptor beta (INSRB)/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor beta (IGF1RB) and protein kinase B (AKT) in skeletal muscle. Absolute alpha- and beta-cell mass was reduced in liraglutide-treated animals, but alpha- and beta-cell mass-to-body weight ratios were unchanged. Liraglutide neither stimulated beta-cell proliferation in the endocrine pancreas nor acinus-cell proliferation in the exocrine pancreas, excluding both beneficial and detrimental effects on the pig pancreas.

Conclusions: Although plasma liraglutide levels of adolescent transgenic pigs treated in our study were higher compared to human trials, pro-proliferative effects on the endocrine or exocrine pancreas or other liraglutide-related side-effects were not observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-015-0431-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4362632PMC
February 2015

Short-term inhibition of DPP-4 enhances endothelial regeneration after acute arterial injury via enhanced recruitment of circulating progenitor cells.

Int J Cardiol 2014 Nov 22;177(1):266-75. Epub 2014 Sep 22.

Department of Internal Medicine I, Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Campus Grosshadern, Munich, Germany; Department of Internal Medicine III, Medical University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. Electronic address:

Background: Endothelial injuries regularly occur in atherosclerosis and during interventional therapies of the arterial occlusive disease. Disturbances in the endothelial integrity can lead to insufficient blood supply and bear the risk of thrombus formation and acute vascular occlusion. At present, effective therapeutics to restore endothelial integrity are barely available. We analyzed the effect of pharmacological DPP-4-inhibition by Sitagliptin on endogenous progenitor cell-based endothelial regeneration via the SDF-1α/CXCR4-axis after acute endothelial damage in a mouse model of carotid injury.

Methods And Results: Induction of a defined endothelial injury was performed in the carotid artery of C57Bl/6 mice which led to a local upregulation of SDF-1α expression. Animals were treated with placebo, Sitagliptin or Sitagliptin+AMD3100. Using mass spectrometry we could prove that Sitagliptin prevented cleavage of the chemokine SDF-1α. Accordingly, increased SDF-1α concentrations enhanced recruitment of systemically applied and endogenous circulating CXCR4+ progenitor cells to the site of vascular injury followed by a significantly accelerated reendothelialization as compared to placebo-treated animals. Improved endothelial recovery, as well as recruitment of circulating CXCR4+ progenitor cells (CD133+, Flk1+), was reversed by CXCR4-antagonization through AMD3100. In addition, short-term Sitagliptin treatment did not significantly promote neointimal or medial hyperplasia.

Conclusion: Sitagliptin can accelerate endothelial regeneration after acute endothelial injury. DPP-4 inhibitors prevent degradation of the chemokine SDF-1α and thus improve the recruitment of regenerative circulating CXCR4+ progenitor cells which mediate local endothelial cell proliferation without adversely affecting vessel wall architecture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2014.09.016DOI Listing
November 2014

Inactivation of the ferroptosis regulator Gpx4 triggers acute renal failure in mice.

Nat Cell Biol 2014 Dec 17;16(12):1180-91. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Helmholtz Zentrum München, Institute of Developmental Genetics, Ingolstädter Landstr. 1 85764 Neuherberg, Germany.

Ferroptosis is a non-apoptotic form of cell death induced by small molecules in specific tumour types, and in engineered cells overexpressing oncogenic RAS. Yet, its relevance in non-transformed cells and tissues is unexplored and remains enigmatic. Here, we provide direct genetic evidence that the knockout of glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) causes cell death in a pathologically relevant form of ferroptosis. Using inducible Gpx4(-/-) mice, we elucidate an essential role for the glutathione/Gpx4 axis in preventing lipid-oxidation-induced acute renal failure and associated death. We furthermore systematically evaluated a library of small molecules for possible ferroptosis inhibitors, leading to the discovery of a potent spiroquinoxalinamine derivative called Liproxstatin-1, which is able to suppress ferroptosis in cells, in Gpx4(-/-) mice, and in a pre-clinical model of ischaemia/reperfusion-induced hepatic damage. In sum, we demonstrate that ferroptosis is a pervasive and dynamic form of cell death, which, when impeded, promises substantial cytoprotection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncb3064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4894846PMC
December 2014

Location-specific expression of chemokines, TNF-α and S100 proteins in a teat explant model.

Innate Immun 2015 Apr 17;21(3):322-31. Epub 2014 Aug 17.

Clinic for Ruminants with Ambulatory and Herd Health Services at the Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians University Munich, Oberschleissheim, Germany

The distal compartments of the udder are the first to interact with invading pathogens. The regulatory and effector functions of two major teat regions [Fürstenberg's rosette (FR); teat cistern (TC)] are largely unknown. The objective of this study was to establish an in vitro model with explants of the FR and the TC to analyse their response towards Escherichia coli LPS and Staphylococcus aureus lipoteichoic acid (LTA). Quantitative stereological analysis confirmed differences in the cellular composition of FR and TC explants. Chemokine (CXCL8, CCL5, CCL20) and TNF-α mRNA were expressed at low levels in both locations. Explant stimulation with LPS increased the mRNA abundance of all tested chemokines and TNF-α. Stimulation with LTA only induced CCL20 and CXCL8. LPS- and LTA-stimulated explant supernatants contained CXCL8 and CXCL3. Supernatants significantly attracted neutrophils in vitro. Compared with TC, the FR showed high constitutive mRNA expression of S100 proteins (A8, A9, A12). In the TC, both LPS and LTA significantly induced S100A8, whereas S100A9 and S100A12 expression was only induced by LPS. The novel model system underpins the role of the teat for recognising pathogens and shaping a pathogen- and location-specific immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1753425914539820DOI Listing
April 2015

Impaired glucose tolerance in rats fed low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets.

Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab 2013 Nov 27;305(9):E1059-70. Epub 2013 Aug 27.

Endocrine Research Unit, Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik IV, Klinikum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU Munich, Germany;

Moderate low-carbohydrate/high-fat (LC-HF) diets are widely used to induce weight loss in overweight subjects, whereas extreme ketogenic LC-HF diets are used to treat neurological disorders like pediatric epilepsy. Usage of LC-HF diets for improvement of glucose metabolism is highly controversial; some studies suggest that LC-HF diets ameliorate glucose tolerance, whereas other investigations could not identify positive effects of these diets or reported impaired insulin sensitivity. Here, we investigate the effects of LC-HF diets on glucose and insulin metabolism in a well-characterized animal model. Male rats were fed isoenergetic or hypocaloric amounts of standard control diet, a high-protein "Atkins-style" LC-HF diet, or a low-protein, ketogenic, LC-HF diet. Both LC-HF diets induced lower fasting glucose and insulin levels associated with lower pancreatic β-cell volumes. However, dynamic challenge tests (oral and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests, insulin-tolerance tests, and hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps) revealed that LC-HF pair-fed rats exhibited impaired glucose tolerance and impaired hepatic and peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity, the latter potentially being mediated by elevated intramyocellular lipids. Adjusting visceral fat mass in LC-HF groups to that of controls by reducing the intake of LC-HF diets to 80% of the pair-fed groups did not prevent glucose intolerance. Taken together, these data show that lack of dietary carbohydrates leads to glucose intolerance and insulin resistance in rats despite causing a reduction in fasting glucose and insulin concentrations. Our results argue against a beneficial effect of LC-HF diets on glucose and insulin metabolism, at least under physiological conditions. Therefore, use of LC-HF diets for weight loss or other therapeutic purposes should be balanced against potentially harmful metabolic side effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajpendo.00208.2013DOI Listing
November 2013

Polycystic kidney disease in a European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus).

J Zoo Wildl Med 2013 Jun;44(2):487-90

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Centre for Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet München, 80530 Munich, Germany.

A severe case of polycystic nephropathy was seen in an adult European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), culled in a German hunting district. The doe had bilaterally drastically enlarged kidneys, completely riddled with variably sized, fluid-filled cysts of up to 4 cm in diameter. Histopathologic and ultrastructural examination revealed disseminated formation of cysts with flattened epithelial cell linings in the entire renal parenchyma, as well as severe dilations of renal tubules, marked interstitial fibrosis, nephron atrophy, and chronic interstitial lymphoplasmacytic infiltrations in the intercystic kidney tissue. These morphologic findings most likely resemble the hallmarks of autosomal dominant polycystic disease in humans, and present the first detailed description of a case of polycystic kidney disease in a roe deer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1638/2012-0131R.1DOI Listing
June 2013

Dystrophin-deficient pigs provide new insights into the hierarchy of physiological derangements of dystrophic muscle.

Hum Mol Genet 2013 Nov 19;22(21):4368-82. Epub 2013 Jun 19.

Chair for Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology.

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is caused by mutations in the X-linked dystrophin (DMD) gene. The absence of dystrophin protein leads to progressive muscle weakness and wasting, disability and death. To establish a tailored large animal model of DMD, we deleted DMD exon 52 in male pig cells by gene targeting and generated offspring by nuclear transfer. DMD pigs exhibit absence of dystrophin in skeletal muscles, increased serum creatine kinase levels, progressive dystrophic changes of skeletal muscles, impaired mobility, muscle weakness and a maximum life span of 3 months due to respiratory impairment. Unlike human DMD patients, some DMD pigs die shortly after birth. To address the accelerated development of muscular dystrophy in DMD pigs when compared with human patients, we performed a genome-wide transcriptome study of biceps femoris muscle specimens from 2-day-old and 3-month-old DMD and age-matched wild-type pigs. The transcriptome changes in 3-month-old DMD pigs were in good concordance with gene expression profiles in human DMD, reflecting the processes of degeneration, regeneration, inflammation, fibrosis and impaired metabolic activity. In contrast, the transcriptome profile of 2-day-old DMD pigs showed similarities with transcriptome changes induced by acute exercise muscle injury. Our studies provide new insights into early changes associated with dystrophin deficiency in a clinically severe animal model of DMD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddt287DOI Listing
November 2013

Exploration of global gene expression changes during the estrous cycle in equine endometrium.

Biol Reprod 2012 Jun 13;87(6):136. Epub 2012 Dec 13.

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

The equine endometrium exhibits characteristic morphological and functional changes during the estrous cycle controlled by the interplay of progesterone and estradiol. A microarray analysis of endometrial tissue samples derived from five time points of the estrous cycle (Day [D] 0, D3, D8, D12, and D16) was performed to study the dynamics of equine endometrial gene expression. Statistical analysis revealed 4996 genes differentially expressed during the estrous cycle. Clustering of similar expression profiles was performed to find groups of coregulated genes. This revealed eight major profiles: highest mRNA concentrations on D0, from D0 to D3, on D3, from D3 to D8, on D8, from D8 to D12, from D12 to D16, and on D16. Bioinformatics analysis revealed distinct molecular functions and biological processes for the individual expression profiles characterizing the different phases of the estrous cycle (e.g., extracellular matrix and inflammatory response during the estrus phase, cell division and cell cycle during early luteal phase, and endoplasmic reticulum, protein transport, and lipid metabolism in the luteal phase). A comparison to dynamic gene expression changes in bovine endometrium identified common and species-specific gene regulations in cyclic endometrium. Analysis of expression changes during the estrous cycle for genes previously found to be differentially expressed on D12 of pregnancy provided new evidence for possible regulation of these genes. This study provides new insights regarding global changes of equine endometrial gene expression as molecular reflections of physiological changes in the cyclic equine endometrium with regard to the crucial role of this tissue for successful reproduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1095/biolreprod.112.103226DOI Listing
June 2012

Induction of oxazolone-mediated features of atopic dermatitis in NOD-scid IL2Rγ(null) mice engrafted with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells.

Dis Model Mech 2013 Jan 19;6(1):125-34. Epub 2012 Jul 19.

Institute of Molecular Animal Breeding and Biotechnology, and Laboratory for Functional Genome Analysis, Gene Center, LMU Munich, 81377 Munich, Germany.

Animal models mimicking human diseases have been used extensively to study the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and the efficacy of potential therapeutics. They are, however, limited with regard to their similarity to the human disease and cannot be used if the antagonist and its cognate receptor require high similarity in structure or binding. Here, we examine the induction of oxazolone-mediated features of atopic dermatitis (AD) in NOD-scid IL2Rγ(null) mice engrafted with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The mice developed the same symptoms as immunocompetent BALB/c mice. Histological alterations induced by oxazolone were characterized by keratosis, epithelial hyperplasia and influx of inflammatory cells into the dermis and epidermis. The cellular infiltrate was identified as human leukocytes, with T cells being the major constituent. In addition, oxazolone increased human serum IgE levels. The response, however, required the engraftment of PBMC derived from patients suffering from AD, which suggests that this model reflects the immunological status of the donor. Taken together, the model described here has the potential to evaluate the efficacy of therapeutics targeting human lymphocytes in vivo and, in addition, might be developed further to elucidate molecular mechanisms inducing and sustaining flares of the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.009167DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3529345PMC
January 2013

Xenografted islet cell clusters from INSLEA29Y transgenic pigs rescue diabetes and prevent immune rejection in humanized mice.

Diabetes 2012 Jun 20;61(6):1527-32. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

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

Islet transplantation is a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes, but the shortage of donor organs limits its routine application. As potential donor animals, we generated transgenic pigs expressing LEA29Y, a high-affinity variant of the T-cell costimulation inhibitor CTLA-4Ig, under the control of the porcine insulin gene promoter. Neonatal islet cell clusters (ICCs) from INSLEA29Y transgenic (LEA-tg) pigs and wild-type controls were transplanted into streptozotocin-induced hyperglycemic NOD-scid IL2Rγ(null) mice. Cloned LEA-tg pigs are healthy and exhibit a strong β-cell-specific transgene expression. LEA-tg ICCs displayed the same potential to normalize glucose homeostasis as wild-type ICCs after transplantation. After adoptive transfer of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, transplanted LEA-tg ICCs were completely protected from rejection, whereas reoccurrence of hyperglycemia was observed in 80% of mice transplanted with wild-type ICCs. In the current study, we provide the first proof-of-principle report on transgenic pigs with β-cell-specific expression of LEA29Y and their successful application as donors in a xenotransplantation model. This approach may represent a major step toward the development of a novel strategy for pig-to-human islet transplantation without side effects of systemic immunosuppression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db11-1325DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3357306PMC
June 2012

First inducible transgene expression in porcine large animal models.

FASEB J 2012 Mar 1;26(3):1086-99. Epub 2011 Dec 1.

Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany.

The purpose of this study was to establish inducible transgene expression in pigs, a model organism with great promise for experimental physiology and translational medicine, using the binary tet-on system. This expression system is activated by doxycycline (dox) via the tet-controlled transactivator (TA). Binding of TA to the transactivator response element (TRE) results in transcription of downstream genes. First, we cloned transgenic founder pigs expressing TA under the control of the CMV enhancer/chicken β-actin promoter (CAG). Then, cells from CAG-TA transgenic founders were nucleofected with TRE-controlled expression vectors for either porcine cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated antigen 4-Fc domain of immunoglobulin G1 (CTLA-4Ig) or soluble receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), and double-transgenic offspring were cloned. Dox administration resulted in a dose-dependent increase in expression of CTLA-4Ig or RANKL, in nucleofected cells and in transgenic pigs, while in the absence of dox, the levels of both proteins were below the detection limit. Inducible transgene expression was reproduced in double-transgenic offspring generated by cloning or breeding. Our strategy revealed the first two examples of inducible transgene expression in pigs. The CAG-TA transgenic pigs generated in this study constitute an interesting basis for future pig models with inducible transgene expression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.11-185041DOI Listing
March 2012