Anatomy

  • Article
    | Open Access

    Skeletal muscle cells have long been considered to be made primarily of many individual, parallel myofibrils. Here, the authors show that the striated muscle contractile machinery forms a highly branched, mesh-like myofibrillar matrix connected across the entire length and width of the muscle cell.

    • T. Bradley Willingham
    • , Yuho Kim
    •  & Brian Glancy
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mutations in human PIEZO2, encoding for a mechanosensitive ion channel, lead to skeletal abnormalities including scoliosis and hip dysplasia. Here, the authors show that deletion of Piezo2 in proprioceptive neurons, but not in skeletal lineages, recapitulated the human phenotype in mice.

    • Eran Assaraf
    • , Ronen Blecher
    •  & Elazar Zelzer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Extravasated erythrocytes in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contribute to the pathogenesis of subarachnoid haemorrhage (SAH). Here, the authors show that meningeal lymphatics drain extravasated erythorcytes and that blockage of this drainage aggravates SAH severity.

    • Jinman Chen
    • , Linmei Wang
    •  & Yongjun Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Bone marrow adipose tissue (BMAT) comprises over 10% of total fat mass but its systemic metabolic role is unclear. Here, the authors show that BMAT glucose uptake is not insulin or cold responsive; however, BMAT basal glucose uptake is higher than in white adipose tissue or skeletal muscle, underscoring BMAT’s potential to influence systemic glucose homeostasis.

    • Karla J. Suchacki
    • , Adriana A. S. Tavares
    •  & William P. Cawthorn
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Nebulin-based nemaline myopathy is a heterogenous disease with unclear pathological mechanisms. Here, the authors generate a mouse model that mimics the most common genetic cause of the disease and demonstrate that muscle weakness in this model is associated with twisted actin filaments and altered tropomyosin and troponin behaviour.

    • Johan Lindqvist
    • , Weikang Ma
    •  & Henk Granzier
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Deriving functional pancreatic cell types from human stem cells may have important clinical applications. Building on previous work, here the authors generate stem cell-derived alpha cells via a polyhormonal intermediate, which have a gene expression pattern similar to human islet alpha cells and behave as such when transplanted into mice.

    • Quinn P. Peterson
    • , Adrian Veres
    •  & Douglas A. Melton
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The origin of the heterogeneity of metabolic and inflammatory profiles exhibited by white adipocytes is little understood. Here, using scRNA-seq and computational methods, the authors show that differentiating preadipocytes exhibit gene expression differences and suggest underlying regulators.

    • Alfred K. Ramirez
    • , Simon N. Dankel
    •  & Simon Kasif
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Glucose metabolism is regulated by hypothalamic brain functions and factors produced by peripheral tissues. Here, the authors show that the regulator of food intake Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is also produced and secreted by muscle and stimulates pancreas insulin release.

    • Gianluca Fulgenzi
    • , Zhenyi Hong
    •  & Lino Tessarollo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1) plays a central role in energy dissipation in brown adipose tissue. Here the authors show that FGF6 and FGF9 induce UCP1 expression in adipocytes and preadipocytes, via modulation of a transcriptional network that is dissociated from brown adipogenesis.

    • Farnaz Shamsi
    • , Ruidan Xue
    •  & Yu-Hua Tseng
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Denervation of muscle fibres induces muscle atrophy, via mechanisms that remain unclear. Here, the authors show that binding of acetylcoline to its receptor at the neuromuscular junction represses the expression of connexins 43 and 45, which promote atrophy, and is sufficient to prevent denervation-induced loss of myofibre mass.

    • Bruno A. Cisterna
    • , Aníbal A. Vargas
    •  & Juan C. Sáez
  • Article
    | Open Access

    An endothelial cell subtype, expressing endomucin and CD31, has been reported to couple angiogenesis with osteogenesis. Here, the authors show that loss of ZEB1 in these cells epigenetically suppresses Notch signaling, leading to impaired angiogenesis and osteogenesis, and that Zeb1 delivery via liposomes ameliorates bone loss in osteoporotic mice

    • Rong Fu
    • , Wen-Cong Lv
    •  & Zhao-Qiu Wu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Multinucleated giant cells (MGCs) are important in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Here, the authors demonstrate that extracellular presence of the amino acid arginine is required for MGC formation and metabolism, suggesting a translational impact for strategies utilizing systemic arginine depletion in MGC-mediated diseases.

    • Julia S. Brunner
    • , Loan Vulliard
    •  & Gernot Schabbauer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Sarcopenia is the loss of muscle mass and strength associated with physical disability during ageing. Here, the authors analyse muscle biopsies from 119 patients with sarcopenia and age-matched controls of different ethnic groups and find transcriptional signatures indicating mitochondrial dysfunction, associated with reduced mitochondria numbers and lower NAD+ levels in older individuals with sarcopenia.

    • Eugenia Migliavacca
    • , Stacey K. H. Tay
    •  & Jerome N. Feige
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Skeletal muscle stem cells express the transcription factor Pax7. Here, the authors isolate, from human muscle, cells that are positive for the endothelial marker CLEC14A and show that despite not expressing pax7, these cells regenerate muscle and contribute to the muscle stem cell niche when transplanted into mice.

    • Andreas Marg
    • , Helena Escobar
    •  & Simone Spuler
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The visual word form area (VWFA) is a brain region associated with written language, but it has also been linked to visuospatial attention. Here, the authors reveal distinct structural and functional circuits linking VWFA with language and attention networks, and demonstrate that these circuits separately predict language and attention abilities.

    • Lang Chen
    • , Demian Wassermann
    •  & Vinod Menon
  • Article
    | Open Access

    During high-intensity exercise, muscles convert glucose to lactate, in a process that is energetically less efficient than respiration. Here the authors develop a computational model based on muscle proteomic data showing that bypassing mitochondrial complex I increases ATP production rates, and validate these model predictions in an exercise test on 5 subjects.

    • Avlant Nilsson
    • , Elias Björnson
    •  & Jens Nielsen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) stimulate GLUT4-mediated glucose transport following contraction of isolated muscle, but it is not clear if this occurs in vivo. Here, the authors show in human volunteers that exercise induces ROS increase in muscle and, using loss of-function animal models, they demonstrate that NOX2 is a major ROS source required to stimulate glucose uptake during exercise.

    • Carlos Henríquez-Olguin
    • , Jonas R. Knudsen
    •  & Thomas E. Jensen
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Leflunomide is used for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Here, the authors show that effectiveness is limited in patients with higher levels of serum c-reactive protein (CRP). Using animal models, they show that higher CRP induces HIF1a expression, which in turn interferes with Leflunomide signalling, and that effectiveness of the drug is restored when HIF1a is pharmacologically inhibited.

    • Chao Liang
    • , Jie Li
    •  & Aiping Lu
  • Article
    | Open Access

    MR-focused ultrasound can be used to transiently open the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Here, the authors report the results of a first-in-human trial on four patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), showing that the procedure reversibly permeabilised the BBB in the motor cortex without complications, and suggest that the procedure could in the future be used to increase drug delivery in ALS patients.

    • Agessandro Abrahao
    • , Ying Meng
    •  & Lorne Zinman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Enamel is the hardest tissue in the body and has been widely studied, yet aspects of its structure remain unclear. Here, the authors report on a study of the orientation and alignment of enamel crystals and challenge previous assumptions.

    • Elia Beniash
    • , Cayla A. Stifler
    •  & Pupa U. P. A. Gilbert
  • Article
    | Open Access

    HuR is an RNA-binding protein that regulates myotube differentiation in vitro. Here, the authors show that the muscle-specific ablation of HuR in mice leads to enhanced endurance capacity and an increase in oxidative fibres by destabilising PGC1α-mRNA, and show that the mice are protected against cancer cachexia

    • Brenda Janice Sánchez
    • , Anne-Marie K. Tremblay
    •  & Imed-Eddine Gallouzi
  • Perspective
    | Open Access

    No effective therapies exist for dry age-related macular degeneration. In this perspective, the authors propose that research should emphasize system biology approaches that integrate various ‘omics’ data into mathematical models to establish pathogenic mechanisms on which to design novel treatments, and identify biomarkers that predict disease progression and therapeutic response.

    • James T. Handa
    • , Cathy Bowes Rickman
    •  & Lindsay A. Farrer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Denervation leads to muscle atrophy and neuromuscular endplate remodeling. Here, the authors show that a balanced activation of mTORC1 contributes to the dynamic regulation of autophagic flux in denervated muscle and that activation of PKB/Akt promotes the nuclear import of HDAC4, which is essential for endplate maintenance upon nerve injury

    • Perrine Castets
    • , Nathalie Rion
    •  & Markus A. Rüegg
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Iatrogenic injury of the ureters is a feared complication of laparoscopic abdominal surgery. Here the authors present the NIR fluorophore ZW800-1 as an intraoperative imaging agent for ureter mapping, showing its safety, pharmacokinetic properties, and efficacy in healthy volunteers and patients undergoing abdominopelvic surgery.

    • Kim S. de Valk
    • , Henricus J. Handgraaf
    •  & Alexander L. Vahrmeijer
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Fibrosis is a hallmark of several cardiac pathologies and its underlying mechanisms are still poorly defined. Here the authors show that macrophage hypoxia signaling following transverse aortic constriction in mice suppresses the activation of cardiac fibroblasts by secreting oncostatin M.

    • Hajime Abe
    • , Norihiko Takeda
    •  & Issei Komuro
  • Article
    | Open Access

    A number of therapeutic agents aimed at reducing pathology in Duchenne muscular dystrophy have been developed, but may have off-target effects when delivered systemically. Here, the authors express the therapeutic LIF transgene in leukocytes, and show this results in targeting to inflamed dystrophic muscle and reduced fibrosis by suppressing type 2 immunity.

    • Steven S. Welc
    • , Ivan Flores
    •  & James G. Tidball
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In vivo decorporation of U(VI) from bones is an unsolved challenge because of the formation of stable uranium phosphate complexes. Here, the authors develop a hydroxypyridonone-based ligand with strong uranium complexation and low cytotoxicity. They find this ligand effectively removes uranium from kidney and bones in mice, and is suitable for oral administration.

    • Xiaomei Wang
    • , Xing Dai
    •  & Shuao Wang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Muscle loss is associated with altered expression of proteins involved in mitochondrial homeostasis, but whether this is causative remains unclear. Here, the authors show that genetic ablation of the pro-fission protein DRP1 leads to accumulation of abnormal mitochondria that induce muscle atrophy by altering Ca2+ homeostasis and cellular stress responses.

    • Giulia Favaro
    • , Vanina Romanello
    •  & Marco Sandri
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Arthroplasty is the main clinical option for the treatment of osteoarticular lesions, but has limited efficacy. Here, the authors use a wound dressing with autologous mesenchymal stromal cells, functionalised for local BMP2 delivery, and show feasibility and safety in standardised preclinical tests in animal models, suggesting suitability for use in clinical trials.

    • Laetitia Keller
    • , Luc Pijnenburg
    •  & Nadia Benkirane-Jessel
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Berberine has lipid-lowering effects and other metabolic benefits, but it presents with poor bioavailability. Here the authors conjugate berberine to liver-targeting nanoparticles, and show increased accumulation of berberine in the liver, improved metabolic profiles and reduced atherosclerotic plaques in mice.

    • Hui-Hui Guo
    • , Chen-Lin Feng
    •  & Jian-Dong Jiang
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Following muscle damage, an inflammatory response is associated to activation of satellite cells, which drive muscle repair. Here, the authors show that upregulation of Zeb1 in macrophages and muscle fibres regulates inflammation, and also show a role for Zeb1 in maintenance of satellite cell quiescence.

    • Laura Siles
    • , Chiara Ninfali
    •  & Antonio Postigo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Stimulation of peripheral nerve activity may be used to treat metabolic and inflammatory disorders, but current approaches need implanted devices. Here, the authors present a non-invasive approach, and show that ultrasound-mediated stimulation can be targeted to specific sub-organ locations in preclinical models and alter the response of metabolic and inflammatory neural pathways.

    • Victoria Cotero
    • , Ying Fan
    •  & Christopher Puleo
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Mammalian joints have poor regenerative capacity following amputation. Here, the authors show that in mice, stimulation of the amputation wound with BMP2 and BMP9 stimulates regeneration of a synovial joint that includes bone, cartilage and a synovial cavity.

    • Ling Yu
    • , Lindsay A. Dawson
    •  & Ken Muneoka
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Insulin resistance is associated with development of type 2 diabetes. Here the authors show that TAZ interacts with c-Jun and Tead4, inducing expression of the insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) leading to increased glucose uptake in muscle, and that its activity is counteracted by statin administration.

    • Jun-Ha Hwang
    • , A Rum Kim
    •  & Jeong-Ho Hong
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Osteoarthritis is characterised by degeneration of joint cartilage. Here the authors show that the RNA-binding protein ZFP36L1 is upregulated in chondrocytes of humans and mice with osteoarthritis, and that its knockdown in mouse joints protects chondrocytes against apoptosis by modulating the function of heat shock proteins.

    • Young-Ok Son
    • , Hyo-Eun Kim
    •  & Jang-Soo Chun
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The human stomach is divided into seven anatomically distinct regions but their protein composition is largely unknown. Here, the authors present a region-resolved map of the healthy human stomach mucosa as well as mucosa proteomes of tumor and tumor nearby tissue from gastric cancer patients.

    • Xiaotian Ni
    • , Zhaoli Tan
    •  & Jun Qin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Optogenetics is a promising alternative approach for restoration of neuromuscular function. Here the authors establish a closed-loop functional optogenetic stimulation for the control of limb joint angle in murine models, which demonstrates improved control and less fatigue than electrical stimulation systems.

    • Shriya S. Srinivasan
    • , Benjamin E. Maimon
    •  & Hugh M. Herr
  • Article
    | Open Access

    SLIT-ROBO alterations arise in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), but their role in the pancreas is unclear. Here, the authors use mouse models to show that loss of epithelial Robo2 activates the neighbouring stroma via TGF-β signalling; findings  are relevant to PDAC patients, where ROBO expression correlates with survival outcomes.

    • Andreia V. Pinho
    • , Mathias Van Bulck
    •  & Ilse Rooman
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Myoblast fusion in skeletal muscle is a complex process but how this is regulated is unclear. Here, the authors identify Ash1L, a histone methyltransferase, as modulating myoblast fusion via activation of the myogenesis gene Cdon, and observe decreased Ash1L expression in Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

    • Ilaria Castiglioni
    • , Roberta Caccia
    •  & Davide Gabellini
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) accumulation is associated with cardiovascular disease. Here, the authors combine single-cell RNA sequencing with lineage labelling to profile VSMC heterogeneity in healthy mice. They show that upregulation of Sca1 in a rare VSMC subpopulation marks a cell phenotype that is prevalent in disease.

    • Lina Dobnikar
    • , Annabel L. Taylor
    •  & Helle F. Jørgensen