Originally, leptin was described as a product of adipocytes that acts on the hypothalamus to regulate appetite. However, subsequently, it has been shown that leptin receptors are distributed widely and that leptin has diverse functions, including promotion of hemopoietic and osteoblastic differentiation. It has been recognized for some time that both serum leptin and bone mass are correlated positively to body fat mass and, recently, we have shown a direct positive relationship between serum leptin and bone mass in nonobese women. We now report that leptin inhibits osteoclast generation in cultures of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells
The modern environment is associated with an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Mounting evidence implicates environmental exposures, experienced early in life (including in utero), in the aetiology of many NCDs, though the cellular/molecular mechanism(s) underlying this elevated risk across the life course remain unclear. Epigenetic variation has emerged as a candidate mediator of such effects. The Barwon Infant Study (BIS) is a population-derived birth cohort study (n = 1074 infants) with antenatal recruitment, conducted in the south-east of Australia (Victoria). BIS has been designed to facilitate a detailed mechanistic investigation of development within an epidemiological framework. The broad objectives are to investigate the role of specific environmental factors, gut microbiota and epigenetic variation in early-life development, and subsequent immune, allergic, cardiovascular, respiratory and neurodevelopmental outcomes. Participants have been reviewed at birth and at 1, 6, 9 and 12 months, with 2- and 4-year reviews under way. Biological samples and measures include: maternal blood, faeces and urine during pregnancy; infant urine, faeces and blood at regular intervals during the first 4 years; lung function at 1 month and 4 years; cardiovascular assessment at 1 month and 4 years; skin-prick allergy testing and food challenge at 1 year; and neurodevelopmental assessment at 9 months, 2 and 4 years. Data access enquiries can be made at [www.barwoninfantstudy.org.au] or via [email@example.com].
Background: Skeletal muscle fiber formation requires myoblast cell-cell membrane contact and fusion. Results: A versican-rich pericellular matrix surrounding myoblasts is proteolytically cleared by ADAMTS versicanases facilitating myoblast contact and fusion. Conclusion: Versican processing by ADAMTS versicanases contribute to muscle fiber formation. Significance: Targeting versican remodeling could enhance the regenerative capacity of muscle by improving muscle fiber fusion during regeneration.
Osteoclasts are bone-resorbing cells that are derived from haemopoietic precursors, including cells present in peripheral blood. The recent identification of RANKL [receptor activator of nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB ligand], a new member of the tumour necrosis factor ligand superfamily that has a key role in osteoclastogenesis, has allowed the in vitro generation of osteoclasts in the absence of cells of the stromal/osteoblast lineage. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) cultured in vitro with soluble RANKL and human macrophage colony-stimulating factor form osteoclasts. However, PBMC are heterogeneous, consisting of subsets of monocytes and lymphocytes as well as other blood cells. As the CD14 marker is strongly expressed on monocytes, the putative osteoclast precursor in peripheral blood, we have selected CD14(+) cells from PBMC to examine their osteoclastogenic potential and their expression of novel members of the tumour necrosis factor superfamily involved in osteoclastogenesis. Highly purified CD14(+) cells demonstrated mRNA expression of receptor activator of NF-kappaB, but no expression of RANKL or osteoprotegerin, whereas PBMC expressed mRNAs for all three factors. CD14(+) (but not CD14(-)) cells cultured on bone slices for 21 days with human macrophage colony-stimulating factor and soluble RANKL generated osteoclasts and showed extensive bone resorption. Similar numbers of osteoclasts were generated by 10(5) CD14(+) cells and 10(6) PBMC, but there was significantly less intra-assay variability with CD14(+) cells, suggesting the absence of stimulatory/inhibitory factors from these cultures. The ability of highly purified CD14(+) cells to generate osteoclasts will facilitate further characterization of the phenotype of circulating osteoclast precursors and cell interactions in osteoclastogenesis.
We present an optimised metagenomics method for detection and characterisation of all virus types including single and double stranded DNA/RNA and enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. Initial evaluation included both spiked and non-spiked bird faecal samples as well as non-spiked human faecal samples. From the non-spiked bird samples (Australian Muscovy duck and Pacific black ducks) we detected 21 viruses, and we also present a summary of a few viruses detected in human faecal samples. We then present a detailed analysis of selected virus sequences in the avian samples that were somewhat similar to known viruses, and had good quality (Q20 or higher) and quantity of next-generation sequencing reads, and was of interest from a virological point of view, for example, avian coronavirus and avian paramyxovirus 6. Some of these viruses were closely related to known viruses while others were more distantly related with 70% or less identity to currently known/sequenced viruses. Besides detecting viruses, the technique also allowed the characterisation of host mitochondrial DNA present and thus identifying host species, while ribosomal RNA sequences provided insight into the “ribosomal activity microbiome”; of gut parasites; and of food eaten such as plants or insects, which we correlated to non-avian host associated viruses.
Food allergy is a major health burden in early childhood. Infants who develop food allergy display a proinflammatory immune profile in cord blood, but how this is related to interleukin-4 (IL-4)/T helper 2 (T(H)2)-type immunity characteristic of allergy is unknown. In a general population-derived birth cohort, we found that in infants who developed food allergy, cord blood displayed a higher monocyte to CD4(+) T cell ratio and a lower proportion of natural regulatory T cell (nT(reg)) in relation to duration of labor. CD14(+) monocytes of food-allergic infants secreted higher amounts of inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α) in response to lipopolysaccharide. In the presence of the mucosal cytokine transforming growth factor-β, these inflammatory cytokines suppressed IL-2 expression by CD4(+) T cells. In the absence of IL-2, inflammatory cytokines decreased the number of activated nT(reg) and diverted the differentiation of both nT(reg) and naïve CD4(+) T cells toward an IL-4-expressing nonclassical TH2 phenotype. These findings provide a mechanistic explanation for susceptibility to food allergy in infants and suggest anti-inflammatory approaches to its prevention.
There is substantial epidemiological and mechanistic evidence that the increase in allergic disease and asthma in many parts of the world in part relates to changes in microbial exposures and diet acting via the composition and metabolic products of the intestinal microbiome. The majority of research in this field has focused on the gut microbiome during infancy, but it is increasingly clear that the maternal microbiome during pregnancy also has a key role in preventing an allergy-prone immune phenotype in the offspring. The mechanisms by which the maternal microbiome influences the developing fetal immune system include alignment between the maternal and infant regulatory immune status and transplacental passage of microbial metabolites and IgG. Interplay between microbial stimulatory factors such as lipopolysaccharides and regulatory factors such as short-chain fatty acids may also influence on fetal immune development. However, our understanding of these pathways is at an early stage and further mechanistic studies are needed. There are also no data from human studies relating the composition and metabolic activity of the maternal microbiome during pregnancy to the offspring’s immune status at birth and risk of allergic disease. Improved knowledge of these pathways may inform novel strategies for tackling the increase in allergic disorders in the modern world.
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