34 research outputs found

    Mapping Transgene Insertion Sites Reveals Complex Interactions Between Mouse Transgenes And Neighboring Endogenous Genes

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    Transgenic mouse lines are routinely employed to label and manipulate distinct cell types. The transgene generally comprises cell-type specific regulatory elements linked to a cDNA encoding a reporter or other protein. However, off-target expression seemingly unrelated to the regulatory elements in the transgene is often observed, it is sometimes suspected to reflect influences related to the site of transgene integration in the genome. To test this hypothesis, we used a proximity ligation-based method, Targeted Locus Amplification (TLA), to map the insertion sites of three well-characterized transgenes that appeared to exhibit insertion site-dependent expression in retina. The nearest endogenous genes to transgenes HB9-GFP, Mito-P, and TYW3 are Cdh6, Fat4 and Khdrbs2, respectively. For two lines, we demonstrate that expression reflects that of the closest endogenous gene (Fat4 and Cdh6), even though the distance between transgene and endogenous gene is 550 and 680 kb, respectively. In all three lines, the transgenes decrease expression of the neighboring endogenous genes. In each case, the affected endogenous gene was expressed in at least some of the cell types that the transgenic line has been used to mark and study. These results provide insights into the effects of transgenes and endogenous genes on each other’s expression, demonstrate that mapping insertion site is valuable for interpreting results obtained with transgenic lines, and indicate that TLA is a reliable method for integration site discovery

    Xkr8 Modulates Bipolar Cell Number in the Mouse Retina

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    The present study interrogated a quantitative trait locus (QTL) on Chr 4 associated with the population sizes of two types of bipolar cell in the mouse retina. This locus was identified by quantifying the number of rod bipolar cells and Type 2 cone bipolar cells across a panel of recombinant inbred (RI) strains of mice derived from two inbred laboratory strains, C57BL/6J (B6/J) and A/J, and mapping a proportion of that variation in cell number, for each cell type, to this shared locus. There, we identified the candidate gene X Kell blood group precursor related family member 8 homolog (Xkr8). While Xkr8 has no documented role in the retina, we localize robust expression in the mature retina via in situ hybridization, confirm its developmental presence via immunolabeling, and show that it is differentially regulated during the postnatal period between the B6/J and A/J strains using qPCR. Microarray analysis, derived from whole eye mRNA from the entire RI strain set, demonstrates significant negative correlation of Xkr8 expression with the number of each of these two types of bipolar cells, and the variation in Xkr8 expression across the strains maps a cis-eQTL, implicating a regulatory variant discriminating the parental genomes. Xkr8 plasmid electroporation during development yielded a reduction in the number of bipolar cells in the retina, while sequence analysis of Xkr8 in the two parental strain genomes identified a structural variant in the 3′ UTR that may disrupt mRNA stability, and two SNPs in the promoter that create transcription factor binding sites. We propose that Xkr8, via its participation in mediating cell death, plays a role in the specification of bipolar cell number in the retina

    Comprehensive Classification of Retinal Bipolar Neurons by Single-Cell Transcriptomics

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    Patterns of gene expression can be used to characterize and classify neuronal types. It is challenging, however, to generate taxonomies that fulfill the essential criteria of being comprehensive, harmonizing with conventional classification schemes, and lacking superfluous subdivisions of genuine types. To address these challenges, we used massively parallel single-cell RNA profiling and optimized computational methods on a heterogeneous class of neurons, mouse retinal bipolar cells (BCs). From a population of ‚ąľ25,000 BCs, we derived a molecular classification that identified 15 types, including all types observed previously and two novel types, one of which has a¬†non-canonical morphology and position. We validated the classification scheme and identified dozens of novel markers using methods that match molecular expression to cell morphology. This work provides a systematic methodology for achieving comprehensive molecular classification of neurons, identifies novel neuronal types, and uncovers transcriptional differences that distinguish types within a class

    Multiorgan MRI findings after hospitalisation with COVID-19 in the UK (C-MORE): a prospective, multicentre, observational cohort study

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    Introduction: The multiorgan impact of moderate to severe coronavirus infections in the post-acute phase is still poorly understood. We aimed to evaluate the excess burden of multiorgan abnormalities after hospitalisation with COVID-19, evaluate their determinants, and explore associations with patient-related outcome measures. Methods: In a prospective, UK-wide, multicentre MRI follow-up study (C-MORE), adults (aged ‚Č•18 years) discharged from hospital following COVID-19 who were included in Tier 2 of the Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study (PHOSP-COVID) and contemporary controls with no evidence of previous COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antibody negative) underwent multiorgan MRI (lungs, heart, brain, liver, and kidneys) with quantitative and qualitative assessment of images and clinical adjudication when relevant. Individuals with end-stage renal failure or contraindications to MRI were excluded. Participants also underwent detailed recording of symptoms, and physiological and biochemical tests. The primary outcome was the excess burden of multiorgan abnormalities (two or more organs) relative to controls, with further adjustments for potential confounders. The C-MORE study is ongoing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04510025. Findings: Of 2710 participants in Tier 2 of PHOSP-COVID, 531 were recruited across 13 UK-wide C-MORE sites. After exclusions, 259 C-MORE patients (mean age 57 years [SD 12]; 158 [61%] male and 101 [39%] female) who were discharged from hospital with PCR-confirmed or clinically diagnosed COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and Nov 1, 2021, and 52 non-COVID-19 controls from the community (mean age 49 years [SD 14]; 30 [58%] male and 22 [42%] female) were included in the analysis. Patients were assessed at a median of 5¬∑0 months (IQR 4¬∑2‚Äď6¬∑3) after hospital discharge. Compared with non-COVID-19 controls, patients were older, living with more obesity, and had more comorbidities. Multiorgan abnormalities on MRI were more frequent in patients than in controls (157 [61%] of 259 vs 14 [27%] of 52; p<0¬∑0001) and independently associated with COVID-19 status (odds ratio [OR] 2¬∑9 [95% CI 1¬∑5‚Äď5¬∑8]; padjusted=0¬∑0023) after adjusting for relevant confounders. Compared with controls, patients were more likely to have MRI evidence of lung abnormalities (p=0¬∑0001; parenchymal abnormalities), brain abnormalities (p<0¬∑0001; more white matter hyperintensities and regional brain volume reduction), and kidney abnormalities (p=0¬∑014; lower medullary T1 and loss of corticomedullary differentiation), whereas cardiac and liver MRI abnormalities were similar between patients and controls. Patients with multiorgan abnormalities were older (difference in mean age 7 years [95% CI 4‚Äď10]; mean age of 59¬∑8 years [SD 11¬∑7] with multiorgan abnormalities vs mean age of 52¬∑8 years [11¬∑9] without multiorgan abnormalities; p<0¬∑0001), more likely to have three or more comorbidities (OR 2¬∑47 [1¬∑32‚Äď4¬∑82]; padjusted=0¬∑0059), and more likely to have a more severe acute infection (acute CRP >5mg/L, OR 3¬∑55 [1¬∑23‚Äď11¬∑88]; padjusted=0¬∑025) than those without multiorgan abnormalities. Presence of lung MRI abnormalities was associated with a two-fold higher risk of chest tightness, and multiorgan MRI abnormalities were associated with severe and very severe persistent physical and mental health impairment (PHOSP-COVID symptom clusters) after hospitalisation. Interpretation: After hospitalisation for COVID-19, people are at risk of multiorgan abnormalities in the medium term. Our findings emphasise the need for proactive multidisciplinary care pathways, with the potential for imaging to guide surveillance frequency and therapeutic stratification

    Multiple Genes on Chromosome 7 Regulate Dopaminergic Amacrine Cell Number in the Mouse Retina

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    Purpose‚ÄĒThe size of neuronal populations is modulated by gene variants that influence cell production and survival, in turn influencing neuronal connectivity, function, and disease risk. The size of the dopaminergic amacrine (DA) cell population is a highly heritable trait exhibiting six-fold variation among inbred strains of mice, and is used here to identify genes that modulate the number of DA cells. Methods‚ÄĒThe entire population was counted in retinal wholemounts from 37 genetically defined lines of mice, including six standard inbred strains, 25 recombinant inbred strains (AXB/BXA), reciprocal F1 hybrids, a chromosome (Chr) 7 consomic line, and three additional genetically modified lines. Results‚ÄĒWe mapped much of this variation to a broad locus on Chr 7 (Dopaminergic amacrine cell number control, Chr 7). The Dacnc7 locus is flanked by two candidate genes known to modulate the number of other types of retinal neuron‚ÄĒthe pro-apoptotic gene, Bax, and tyrosinase. The Tyr mutation was shown to modulate DA cell number modestly, although in the direction opposite that predicted. In contrast, Bax deficiency increased the population four-fold. Bax expression was significantly greater in the A/J strain relative to C57BL/6J, an effect that may be due to an SNP in a p53 consensus binding site known to modulate transcription. Finally, we note a strong candidate situated at the peak of the Dacnc7 locus, Lrrk1, a Parkinson‚Äôs disease gene exhibiting mis-sense mutations segregating within the AXB/BXA cross. Conclusions‚ÄĒMultiple polymorphic genes on Chr. 7 modulate the size of the population of DA cells

    Diversification of multipotential postmitotic mouse retinal ganglion cell precursors into discrete types.

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    The genesis of broad neuronal classes from multipotential neural progenitor cells has been extensively studied, but less is known about the diversification of a single neuronal class into multiple types. We used single-cell RNA-seq to study how newly born (postmitotic) mouse retinal ganglion cell (RGC) precursors diversify into ~45 discrete types. Computational analysis provides evidence that RGC transcriptomic type identity is not specified at mitotic exit, but acquired by gradual, asynchronous restriction of postmitotic multipotential precursors. Some types are not identifiable until a week after they are generated. Immature RGCs may be specified to project ipsilaterally or contralaterally to the rest of the brain before their type identity emerges. Optimal transport inference identifies groups of RGC precursors with largely nonoverlapping fates, distinguished by selectively expressed transcription factors that could act as fate determinants. Our study provides a framework for investigating the molecular diversification of discrete types within a neuronal class

    A QTL on Chromosome 10 Modulates Cone Photoreceptor Number in the Mouse Retina

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    This study combines classical QTL mapping with tissue-specific microarray analysis to identify novel genes potentially involved in the establishment of the cone photoreceptor population of the mouse retina
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