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Concept: Degenerative disease


Due to their capacity to self-renew, proliferate and generate multi-lineage cells, adult-derived stem cells offer great potential for use in regenerative therapies to stop and/or reverse degenerative diseases such as diabetes, heart failure, Alzheimer’s disease and others. However, these subsets of cells can be isolated from different niches, each with differing potential for therapeutic applications. The stromal vascular fraction (SVF), a stem cell enriched and adipose-derived cell population, has garnered interest as a therapeutic in regenerative medicine due to its ability to secrete paracrine factors that accelerate endogenous repair, ease of accessibility and lack of identified major adverse effects. Thus, one can easily understand the rush to employ adipose-derived SVF to treat human disease. Perhaps faster than any other cell preparation, SVF is making its way to clinics worldwide, while critical preclinical research needed to establish SVF safety, efficacy and optimal, standardized clinical procedures are underway. Here, we will provide an overview of the current knowledge driving this phenomenon, its regulatory issues and existing studies, and propose potential unmapped applications. Stem Cells Translational Medicine 2017;6:1096-1108.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Medicine, Cell, Disease, Infectious disease, Cell division, Stem cell, Degenerative disease


The aberrant accumulation of toxic protein aggregates is a key feature of many neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. As such, improving normal proteostatic mechanisms is an active target for biomedical research. Although they share common pathological features, protein aggregates form in different subcellular locations. Nε-lysine acetylation in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum has recently emerged as a new mechanism to regulate the induction of autophagy. The endoplasmic reticulum acetylation machinery includes AT-1/SLC33A1, a membrane transporter that translocates acetyl-CoA from the cytosol into the endoplasmic reticulum lumen, and ATase1 and ATase2, two acetyltransferases that acetylate endoplasmic reticulum cargo proteins. Here, we used a mutant form of α-synuclein to show that inhibition of the endoplasmic reticulum acetylation machinery specifically improves autophagy-mediated disposal of toxic protein aggregates that form within the secretory pathway, but not those that form in the cytosol. Consequently, haploinsufficiency of AT-1/SLC33A1 in the mouse rescued Alzheimer’s disease, but not Huntington’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In fact, intracellular toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer’s disease form within the secretory pathway while in Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis they form in different cellular compartments. Furthermore, biochemical inhibition of ATase1 and ATase2 was also able to rescue the Alzheimer’s disease phenotype in a mouse model of the disease. Specifically, we observed reduced levels of soluble amyloid-β aggregates, reduced amyloid-β pathology, reduced phosphorylation of tau, improved synaptic plasticity, and increased lifespan of the animals. In conclusion, our results indicate that Nε-lysine acetylation in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen regulates normal proteostasis of the secretory pathway; they also support therapies targeting endoplasmic reticulum acetyltransferases, ATase1 and ATase2, for a subset of chronic degenerative diseases.

Concepts: Gene, Endoplasmic reticulum, Degenerative disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Neurodegenerative disorders, Dementia, Excitotoxicity, Protein targeting


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and osteoporosis are two closely related multifactorial progressively degenerative diseases that predominantly affect aged people. These two diseases share many common risk factors, including old age, being female, smoking, excessive drinking, low estrogen, and vitamin D3 levels. Additionally, oxidative damage and the dysfunction of the antioxidant system play important roles in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis and AD. Aβ not only leads to impaired memory but also plays a crucial role in the demineralization process of bone tissues of older people and women with menopause. Curculigoside can promote calcium deposition and increase the levels of ALP and Runx2 in osteoblasts under oxidative stress via anti-oxidative character. Therefore, we investigated the effects of CUR on the spatial learning and memory by the Morris water maze and brain immunohistochemistry, and bone microstructure and material properties of femurs by micro-computed tomography and mechanical testing in APP/PS1 mutated transgenic mice. Oral administration of CUR can significantly enhance learning performance and ameliorate bone loss in APP/PS1 mutated transgenic mice, and the mechanism may be related to its antioxidant effect. Based on these results, CUR has real potential as a new natural resource for developing medicines or dietary supplements for the prevention and treatment of the two closely linked multifactorial progressive degenerative disorders, AD and osteoporosis.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Osteoporosis, Bone, Vitamin D, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Oxidative phosphorylation, Degenerative disease


The molecular processes that contribute to degenerative diseases are not well understood. Recent observations suggest that some degenerative diseases are promoted by the accumulation of nuclear or cytoplasmic RNA-protein (RNP) aggregates, which can be related to endogenous RNP granules. RNP aggregates arise commonly in degenerative diseases because RNA-binding proteins commonly self-assemble, in part through prion-like domains, which can form self-propagating amyloids. RNP aggregates may be toxic due to multiple perturbations of posttranscriptional control, thereby disrupting the normal “ribostasis” of the cell. This suggests that understanding and modulating RNP assembly or clearance may be effective approaches to developing therapies for these diseases.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Cell nucleus, Cell, Cytoplasm, Degenerative disease, The Normal, Knowledge


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative disease of articular cartilage and surrounding tissues, and is associated with both advanced age and joint injury. Biomechanical factors play a critical role in the onset and progression of OA, yet the mechanisms through which physiologic or pathologic mechanical signals are transduced into a cellular response are not well understood. Defining the role of mechanosensory pathways in cartilage during OA pathogenesis may yield novel strategies or targets for the treatment of OA. The transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) ion channel transduces mechanical loading of articular cartilage via the generation of intracellular calcium ion transients. Using tissue-specific, inducible Trpv4 gene-targeted mice, we demonstrate that loss of TRPV4-mediated cartilage mechanotransduction in adulthood reduces the severity of aging-associated OA. However, loss of chondrocyte TRPV4 did not prevent OA development following destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM). These results highlight potentially distinct roles of TRPV4-mediated cartilage mechanotransduction in age-related and post-traumatic OA, and point to a novel disease-modifying strategy to therapeutically target the TRPV4-mediated mechanotransduction pathway for the treatment of aging-associated OA.

Concepts: Bone, Chondroitin sulfate, Cartilage, Degenerative disease, Knee, Biomechanics, Autologous chondrocyte implantation, TRPV


Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative disease that affects the articular cartilage. Recent studies have demonstrated that lithium chloride exhibits significant efficacy as a chondroprotective agent, blocking cartilage degradation in response to inflammatory cytokines. However, conflicting literature suggests lithium may affect the physicochemical properties of articular cartilage and thus long- term exposure may negatively affect the mechanical functionality of this tissue. This study aims to investigate the effect of lithium chloride on the biomechanical properties of healthy and interleukin-1β treated cartilage in vitro and examines the consequences of long-term exposure to lithium on cartilage health in vivo. Bovine cartilage explants were treated with lithium chloride for 12 days. Chondrocyte viability, matrix catabolism and the biomechanical properties of bovine cartilage explants were not significantly altered following treatment. Consistent with these findings, long term-exposure (9 months) to dietary lithium did not induce osteoarthritis in rats, as determined by histological staining. Moreover, lithium chloride did not induce the expression of catabolic enzymes in human articular chondrocytes. In an inflammatory model of cartilage destruction, lithium chloride blocked interleukin-1β signalling in the form of nitric oxide and prostaglandin E2 release and prevented matrix catabolism such that the loss of mechanical integrity observed with interleukin-1β alone was inhibited. This study provides further support for lithium chloride as a novel compound for the treatment of osteoarthritis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: In vivo, Cartilage, Degenerative disease, In vitro, Biomechanics, Autologous chondrocyte implantation, Chondrocyte, Copyright


Amyloid fibril formation by proteins leads to variety of degenerative disorders called amyloidosis. While these disorders are topic of extensive research, effective treatments are still unavailable. Thus in present study, two anti-tuberculosis drugs, i.e., pyrazinamide (PYZ) and D-cycloserine (DCS), also known for treatment for Alzheimer’s dementia, were checked for the anti-aggregation and anti-amyloidogenic ability on Aβ-42 peptide and hen egg white lysozyme. Results demonstrated that both drugs inhibit the heat induced aggregation; however, PYZ was more potent and decelerated the nucleation phase as observed from various spectroscopic and microscopic techniques. Furthermore, pre-formed amyloid fibrils incubated with these drugs also increased the PC12/SH-SY5Y cell viability as compare to the amyloid fibrils alone; however, the increase was more pronounced for PYZ as confirmed by MTT assay. Additionally, molecular docking study suggested that the greater inhibitory potential of PYZ as compare to DCS may be due to strong binding affinity and more occupancy of hydrophobic patches of HEWL, which is known to form the core of the protein fibrils.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Protein, Protein structure, Molecular biology, Degenerative disease, Peptide, Amyloid, Neurology


Exercise is the greatest physiological stress that our bodies experience. For example, during maximal endurance exercise in elite athlete’s cardiac output can increase up to 8-fold and the working muscles receive 21-times more blood each minute than at rest. Given the physiological stress associated with exercise and the adaptations that occur to handle this stress, it is not surprising that exercise training is known to prevent or effectively treat a multitude of degenerative conditions including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. Many of the health benefits of exercise are mediated by the mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR), either in complex 1 or 2, not only within the working muscle, but also in distant tissues such as fat, liver, and brain. This review will discuss how exercise activates mTOR in diverse tissues and the ways that mTOR is important in the adaptive response that makes us bigger, stronger, and healthier as a result of exercise.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Medicine, Health insurance, Heart, Muscle, Degenerative disease, Parkinson's disease, Dementia


Cancer and degenerative diseases share some pathogenic mechanisms which act in opposition to one another to produce either uncontrolled cell proliferation or cell death. According to several studies, patients with Alzheimer disease have a lower risk of neoplasia, and vice versa. This study describes the prevalence of tumours (active or successfully treated) in a series of patients with and without a dementing degenerative disease treated at a cognitive neurology unit.

Concepts: Alzheimer's disease, Epidemiology, Cancer, Disease, Degenerative disease, Neurology, Parkinson's disease, Dementia


Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative condition associated with repetitive mild traumatic brain injury. In recent years, attention has focused on emerging evidence linking the development of CTE to concussive injuries in athletes and military personnel; however, the underlying molecular pathobiology of CTE remains unclear. Here, we provide evidence that the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is disrupted in regions of dense perivascular p-Tau accumulation in a case of CTE. Immunoreactivity patterns of the BBB-associated tight junction components claudin-5 and zonula occludens-1 were markedly discontinuous or absent in regions of perivascular p-Tau deposition; there was also immunohistochemical evidence of a BBB in these foci. Because the patient was diagnosed premortem clinically as having progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), we also compromised that the CTE alterations appear to be distinct from those in the brain of a patient with PSP. This report represents the first description of BBB dysfunction in a pathologically proven CTE case and suggests a vascular component in the postconcussion cascade of events that may ultimately lead to development of a progressive degenerative disorder. BBB dysfunction may represent a correlate of neural dysfunction in live subjects suspected of being at risk for development of CTE.

Concepts: Brain, Pathology, Traumatic brain injury, Degenerative disease, Neurology, Dementia, Progressive supranuclear palsy, Concussion