379 research outputs found

    Cardiac investigations in sudden unexpected death in DEPDC5-related epilepsy

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    Objective: Germline loss-of-function mutations in DEPDC5, and in its binding partners (NPRL2/3) of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) repressor GATOR1 complex, cause focal epilepsies and increase the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). Here, we asked whether DEPDC5 haploinsufficiency predisposes to primary cardiac defects that could contribute to SUDEP and therefore impact the clinical management of patients at high risk of SUDEP. Methods: Clinical cardiac investigations were performed in 16 patients with pathogenic variants in DEPDC5, NPRL2, or NPRL3. Two novel Depdc5 mouse strains, a human HA-tagged Depdc5 strain and a Depdc5 heterozygous knockout with a neuron-specific deletion of the second allele (Depdc5c/−), were generated to investigate the role of Depdc5 in SUDEP and cardiac activity during seizures. Results: Holter, echocardiographic, and electrocardiographic (ECG) examinations provided no evidence for altered clinical cardiac function in the patient cohort, of whom 3 DEPDC5 patients succumbed to SUDEP and 6 had a family history of SUDEP. There was no cardiac injury at autopsy in a postmortem DEPDC5 SUDEP case. The HA-tagged Depdc5 mouse revealed expression of Depdc5 in the brain, heart, and lungs. Simultaneous electroencephalographic–ECG records on Depdc5c/− mice showed that spontaneous epileptic seizures resulting in a SUDEP-like event are not preceded by cardiac arrhythmia. Interpretation: Mouse and human data show neither structural nor functional cardiac damage that might underlie a primary contribution to SUDEP in the spectrum of DEPDC5-related epilepsies. ANN NEUROL 2022;91:101–11

    Microinjection Manipulation Resulted in the Increased Apoptosis of Spermatocytes in Testes from Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI) Derived Mice

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    The invention of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has possibly been the most important development in reproductive medicine, one that has given hope to thousands of infertile couples worldwide. However, concerns remain regarding the safety of this method since it is a more invasive procedure than in vitro fertilization (IVF), since a spermatozoon is injected into the oocyte cytoplasm. Using mice derived from IVF technology as a control, we assessed the influence of invasive microinjection in the process of transferring sperm into oocyte cytoplasm in ICSI procedure on the development and physiologic function of resultant offspring. Our results demonstrated that mice produced from ICSI and IVF had no significant difference in phenotypic indices including body weight, forelimb physiology, and learning and memory ability. However, increased spermatocyte apoptosis was observed in the testis of adult ICSI mice, when compared with IVF mice. And, decreased testis weight and marked damage of spermatogenic epithelia were found in aged ICSI mice. Furthermore, proteomic analysis verified that most of the differentiated proteins in testes between adult ICSI and IVF mice were those involved in regulation of apoptosis pathways. Our results demonstrated that the microinjection manipulation used in the ICSI procedure might pose potential risks to the fertility of male offspring. The changed expression of a series of proteins relating to apoptosis or proliferation might contribute to it. Further studies are necessary to better understand all the risks of ICSI

    PEG–Polypeptide Block Copolymers as pH-Responsive Endosome-Solubilizing Drug Nanocarriers

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    Herein we report the potential of click chemistry-modified polypeptide-based block copolymers for the facile fabrication of pH-sensitive nanoscale drug delivery systems. PEG–polypeptide copolymers with pendant amine chains were synthesized by combining N-carboxyanhydride-based ring-opening polymerization with post-functionalization using azide–alkyne cycloaddition. The synthesized block copolymers contain a polypeptide block with amine-functional side groups and were found to self-assemble into stable polymersomes and disassemble in a pH-responsive manner under a range of biologically relevant conditions. The self-assembly of these block copolymers yields nanometer-scale vesicular structures that are able to encapsulate hydrophilic cytotoxic agents like doxorubicin at physiological pH but that fall apart spontaneously at endosomal pH levels after cellular uptake. When drug-encapsulated copolymer assemblies were delivered systemically, significant levels of tumor accumulation were achieved, with efficacy against the triple-negative breast cancer cell line, MDA-MB-468, and suppression of tumor growth in an in vivo mouse model.Novartis Institutes of Biomedical ResearchNational Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Centers for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Grant P30 CA14051)National Institutes of Health (U.S.) (Centers for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence Grant 5 U54 CA151884-02)National Science Foundation (U.S.). Graduate Research FellowshipNatural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Postdoctoral Fellowship
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