Bachelor of Science, Peking University (2006)
Doctor of Philosophy, Johns Hopkins University (2013)
Mark Krasnow, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
How neural circuits associated with sexually dimorphic organs are differentially assembled during development is unclear. Here, we report a sexually dimorphic pattern of mouse mammary gland sensory innervation and the mechanism of its formation. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), emanating from mammary mesenchyme and signaling through its receptor TrkB on sensory axons, is required for establishing mammary gland sensory innervation of both sexes at early developmental stages. Subsequently, in males, androgens promote mammary mesenchymal expression of a truncated form of TrkB, which prevents BDNF-TrkB signaling in sensory axons and leads to a rapid loss of mammary gland innervation independent of neuronal apoptosis. Thus, sex hormone regulation of a neurotrophic factor signal directs sexually dimorphic axonal growth and maintenance, resulting in generation of a sex-specific neural circuit.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1228258
View details for Web of Science ID 000311991200071
View details for PubMedID 23224557
Pressure overload-induced hypertrophy is a key step leading to heart failure. The Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) process that governs cardiac contractility is defective in hypertrophy/heart failure, but the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. To examine the intermolecular aspects of CICR during hypertrophy, we utilized loose-patch confocal imaging to visualize the signaling between a single L-type Ca(2+) channel (LCC) and ryanodine receptors (RyRs) in aortic stenosis rat models of compensated (CHT) and decompensated (DHT) hypertrophy. We found that the LCC-RyR intermolecular coupling showed a 49% prolongation in coupling latency, a 47% decrease in chance of hit, and a 72% increase in chance of miss in DHT, demonstrating a state of "intermolecular failure." Unexpectedly, these modifications also occurred robustly in CHT due at least partially to decreased expression of junctophilin, indicating that intermolecular failure occurs prior to cellular manifestations. As a result, cell-wide Ca(2+) release, visualized as "Ca(2+) spikes," became desynchronized, which contrasted sharply with unaltered spike integrals and whole-cell Ca(2+) transients in CHT. These data suggested that, within a certain limit, termed the "stability margin," mild intermolecular failure does not damage the cellular integrity of excitation-contraction coupling. Only when the modification steps beyond the stability margin does global failure occur. The discovery of "hidden" intermolecular failure in CHT has important clinical implications.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.0050021
View details for Web of Science ID 000245243200009
View details for PubMedID 17214508