• Article |

    Antibiotics alter the intestinal microbiota and facilitate colonization of pathogens such as Clostridium difficile. Here, the authors show that antibiotic-induced shifts in the mouse gut microbiome are correlated with changes in levels of certain metabolites that C. difficilecan use for germination and growth.

    • Casey M. Theriot
    • , Mark J. Koenigsknecht
    •  & Vincent B. Young
  • Article |

    Findings from ex vivo studies suggest that gap junctional coupling contributes to hormone release in neuroendocrine/endocrine tissues. Here, the authors provide in vivo evidence that direct communication between adrenal chromaffin cells viagap junctions contributes to catecholamine secretion.

    • Michel G. Desarménien
    • , Carole Jourdan
    •  & Nathalie C. Guérineau
  • Article |

    The calcium-selective Orai1 channel regulates cytosolic calcium levels in a variety of cells. Here the authors use transgenic mice with muscle-specific expression of dysfunctional Orai1 to show that Orai1-mediated store-operated calcium entry promotes growth and limits fatigue of adult skeletal muscle.

    • Lan Wei-LaPierre
    • , Ellie M. Carrell
    •  & Robert T. Dirksen
  • Article |

    Loss-of-function mutations in PKD1, the gene encoding the plasma membrane receptor Polycystin-1, lead to renal cyst formation in polycystic kidney disease. Here, Castelli et al. show that Polycystin-1 interacts with the Par3 polarity complex and has a role in the morphogenesis of kidney tubules during mouse development.

    • Maddalena Castelli
    • , Manila Boca
    •  & Alessandra Boletta
  • Article |

    Current methods to image brown adipose tissue rely on radioactive tracers and specialized imaging equipment. Here Azhdarinia et a peptide-based probe that selectively binds to the vascular endothelium of brown adipose tissue and allows the near-infrared imaging of brown fat in mice.

    • Ali Azhdarinia
    • , Alexes C. Daquinag
    •  & Mikhail G. Kolonin
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The structure of the human gut microbiota has been shown to vary between populations. Tyakht et al.analyse the gut microbiota assembly from Russian individuals living in urban and rural areas, and compare these with previously studied populations.

    • Alexander V. Tyakht
    • , Elena S. Kostryukova
    •  & Vadim M. Govorun
  • Article |

    The nuclear protein HMGB1 is involved in muscle fibre formation. Here, Dormoy-Raclet et al. show that during muscle cell differentiation, the RNA-binding protein HuR promotes HMGB1mRNA translation by preventing its repression by miR-1192.

    • Virginie Dormoy-Raclet
    • , Anne Cammas
    •  & Imed-Eddine Gallouzi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Surface area features of developing visual cortices are implicated in visual perception. Songet al.measure visual discrimination sensitivity in humans and find that an increase in visual cortical surface area activity is associated with improved discrimination sensitivity and degraded contextual illusions.

    • Chen Song
    • , Dietrich S. Schwarzkopf
    •  & Geraint Rees
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Calorie restriction has been shown to extend lifespan in diverse model systems, however, the mechanisms underlying this effect remain unclear. Zhang et that calorie restriction changes the structure of the gut microbiota in mice, enriching for phylotypes positively correlated with lifespan.

    • Chenhong Zhang
    • , Shoufeng Li
    •  & Liping Zhao
  • Article |

    Energy demand in muscle is largely due to maintaining the membrane potential of muscle fibres. Jimenez et the metabolic cost of maintaining the membrane potential of muscle fibres across different species of crustaceans and fishes, and find that larger fibres are metabolically cheaper to maintain.

    • Ana Gabriela Jimenez
    • , Richard M. Dillaman
    •  & Stephen T. Kinsey
  • Article |

    Satellite cells have important roles in homeostasis and regeneration of skeletal muscles. Urciuolo et al. show that the extracellular matrix protein collagen VI is required for preserving satellite cell self-renewal and muscle regeneration in vitro and in vivoby modulating muscle mechanical properties.

    • Anna Urciuolo
    • , Marco Quarta
    •  & Paolo Bonaldo
  • Article |

    The number of primordial follicles, which constitute the ovarian reserve, decreases with age. By overexpressing a constitutively active version of the transcription factor FOXO3, the authors increase the ovarian reserve and fertility in aging female mice.

    • Emanuele Pelosi
    • , Shakib Omari
    •  & Chris Ottolenghi
  • Article
    | Open Access

    The gut microbiota produces metabolites such as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which can influence the development of obesity. Here Kimura et that SCFAs act via the receptor GPR43, which acts as a sensor for excessive dietary energy and controls body energy utilization as well as metabolic homoeostasis.

    • Ikuo Kimura
    • , Kentaro Ozawa
    •  & Gozoh Tsujimoto
  • Article |

    The brains of rock- and sand-dwelling Lake Malawi cichlid fishes differ in telencephalon partitioning. Sylvester et al. show that these differences can be attributed to divergence in Hedgehog and Wingless signalling during development.

    • J B. Sylvester
    • , C A. Rich
    •  & J T. Streelman
  • Article |

    Epithelial cells in the colon mainly use microbial fermentation products as energy sources. Here Okada et al. find that lactate produced by commensal Lactobacillus murinusregulates colonic epithelial cell proliferation and show that mice are more susceptible to carcinogens when refed after a period of starvation.

    • Toshihiko Okada
    • , Shinji Fukuda
    •  & Taeko Dohi
  • Article |

    Changes in the biosynthesis of fatty acids can influence tissue insulin sensitivity and the development of metabolic diseases. Eissing and colleagues show that de novolipogenesis in liver and adipose tissue is linked to metabolic health in humans and can be modulated by bariatric surgery.

    • Leah Eissing
    • , Thomas Scherer
    •  & Ludger Scheja
  • Article |

    Humans tend to adopt one of a limited number of different bacterial community structures in the gut, known as enterotypes. Moeller et show that these microbial fingerprints are conserved in chimpanzees, and that individuals can switch between enterotypes over periods of several years.

    • Andrew H. Moeller
    • , Patrick H. Degnan
    •  & Howard Ochman
  • Article |

    The temporal opening and closing of cell–cell junctions at the blood–testis barrier allows the passage of immature germ cells during spermatogenesis. Su and colleagues identify a peptide fragment of the laminin-γ3 chain that disrupts the blood–testis barrier and reversibly impairs spermatogenesis in rats.

    • Linlin Su
    • , Dolores D. Mruk
    •  & C. Yan Cheng
  • Article |

    Vascular calcification is commonly associated with advanced stages of atherosclerosis. Woldtet al. show that the nuclear hormone receptor PPARγ in vascular smooth muscle cells protects mice from vascular calcification by inhibiting Wnt5a signalling triggered by activation of the cell-surface receptor LRP1.

    • Estelle Woldt
    • , Jérome Terrand
    •  & Philippe Boucher
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Monarch Butterflies (Danaus plexippus) use their antennae for orientation during their autumnal migration. Guerra and colleagues differentially disrupt clock gene expression in each antenna and find that the individual outputs are integrated and processed to allow precise control of orientation behaviour.

    • Patrick A. Guerra
    • , Christine Merlin
    •  & Steven M. Reppert
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Some animal populations are able to shift their birth sex ratio from the expected unity. This study shows, using fluorescencein situhybridization, that in a captive population of pygmy hippopotamus the males appear to be able to adjust the ratio of X- and Y-chromosome-bearing spermatozoa in their ejaculates.

    • Joseph Saragusty
    • , Robert Hermes
    •  & Thomas B. Hildebrandt
  • Article |

    Osteoblast maturation is regulated by c-Src and IL-6, but how these signalling pathways are integrated is not known. Here c-Src is shown to induce 1GFBP5 in immature osteoblasts in a STAT3 and IL-6-dependent manner, in mature osteoblasts, which express lower levels of c-Src, this signalling is lost.

    • Barbara Peruzzi
    • , Alfredo Cappariello
    •  & Anna Teti
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Membrane repair of myocytes is important to prevent such disease as muscular dystrophy but the properties of this repair are not well characterised. In this study, vitamin E is shown to be important in the repair of myocyte cell membranes in cultured cells and in intact muscle.

    • Amber C. Howard
    • , Anna K. McNeil
    •  & Paul L. McNeil
  • Article |

    Encephalization—increase of brain size relative to body size—has occurred in two distinct evolutionary lineages; Neanderthals and modern humans. However, the 3D endocranial surface shape analysis reported here reveals unique structures at the base of the brain inHomo sapiens, which may have contributed to learning and social capacities.

    • Markus Bastir
    • , Antonio Rosas
    •  & Jean-Jacques Hublin
  • Article |

    The fusion of satellite cells to muscle fibres during adult life is required for both muscle growth and regeneration but it is unknown whether non-muscle cells contribute to this process. Now, Dellavalle and colleagues show that pericytes, cells associated with the vasculature can contribute to both growth and regeneration of muscle fibres.

    • A. Dellavalle
    • , G. Maroli
    •  & G. Cossu
  • Article |

    The generation of human cell lines using somatic cell nuclear transfer has been difficult to achieve. In this study, Egliet al. show that while mouse eggs reprogram somatic cells within hours, human eggs arrest after nuclear transfer which may be due to a lack of genome transcription.

    • Dieter Egli
    • , Alice E. Chen
    •  & Kevin Eggan
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Many mammals are born with an immature intestinal epithelium, which adapts to a changing diet during the weaning period. Muncanet al. show that the transcriptional repressor Blimp1is expressed in the intestine of mice at birth, and that expression is lost at the transition to the weaning stage.

    • Vanesa Muncan
    • , Jarom Heijmans
    •  & Gijs R. van den Brink
  • Article |

    Vocal communication is relatively common among fish: the midshipman being an example with a particularly wide dynamic range. In this paper, the authors demonstrate that different populations of hindbrain neurons are responsible for the frequency and duration of these calls.

    • Boris P. Chagnaud
    • , Robert Baker
    •  & Andrew H. Bass
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Circadian rhythm is controlled by the suprachiasmatic nucleus and the mechanisms that control the rhythm are largely undiscovered. In this study, a G protein regulator, RGS16, is shown to be involved in the production of cyclic AMP that is required for the suprachiasmatic nucleus to maintain rhythm

    • Masao Doi
    • , Atsushi Ishida
    •  & Hitoshi Okamura
  • Article |

    Calorie restriction has been associated with increased life span and delayed decline of memory in animals, suggesting a role in neuronal plasticity. In this study, food restriction is demonstrated to enhance plasticity in the central nervous system and trigger the recovery from ocular deprivation in adulthood.

    • Maria Spolidoro
    • , Laura Baroncelli
    •  & Lamberto Maffei
  • Article |

    Pair-wise electrophysiology is difficult inCaenorhabditis elegansbecause the recordings are relatively short-lived. In this study, the authors investigate the synaptic currents associated with escape responses by immobilizing worms on a micropatterned agar substrate and stimulating neurons using channelrhodopsin-2.

    • Theodore H. Lindsay
    • , Tod R. Thiele
    •  & Shawn R. Lockery
  • Article
    | Open Access

    Exosomes released from cells can transfer RNA to recipient cells. In this study, the authors demonstrate that microRNAs in exosomes from T cells can be transferred to antigen-presenting cells during immune synapsis, and that this can alter gene expression, suggesting a new form of cellular communication.

    • María Mittelbrunn
    • , Cristina Gutiérrez-Vázquez
    •  & Francisco Sánchez-Madrid
  • Article |

    The spinal V2a interneurons control left–right limb alternation during mouse locomotion, but only at high frequencies. In this study, the authors show that only half of these neurons are active during locomotion, and that they receive increasing synaptic drive to increase their activity as locomotion accelerates.

    • Guisheng Zhong
    • , Kamal Sharma
    •  & Ronald M. Harris-Warrick
  • Article
    | Open Access

    In the developing eye, the lens and retina are derived from different embryonic tissues, and how these two structures develop next to each other is of interest. In this study, the authors show that transforming growth factor-β secreted by neural crest cells is critical for the positioning of the lens next to the retina.

    • Timothy Grocott
    • , Samuel Johnson
    •  & Andrea Streit
  • Article |

    Pronucleus DNA becomes demethylated during zygotic development. Here, the authors demonstrate that the reduction in 5-methylcytosine levels is accompanied by an increase in the presence of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, and suggest that this has a role in developmental reprogramming.

    • Mark Wossidlo
    • , Toshinobu Nakamura
    •  & Jörn Walter