Differences in longevity between sexes is a mysterious yet general phenomenon across great evolutionary distances. To test the roles of responses to environmental cues and sexual behaviors in longevity regulation, we examined Caenorhabditis male lifespan under solitary, grouped, and mated conditions. We find that neurons and the germline are required for male pheromone-dependent male death. Hermaphrodites with a masculinized nervous system secrete male pheromone and are susceptible to male pheromone killing. Male pheromone-mediated killing is unique to androdioecious Caenorhabditis, and may reduce the number of males in hermaphroditic populations; neither males nor females of gonochoristic species are susceptible to male pheromone killing. By contrast, mating-induced death, which is characterized by germline-dependent shrinking, glycogen loss, and ectopic vitellogenin expression, utilizes distinct molecular pathways and is shared between the sexes and across species. The study of sex- and species-specific regulation of aging reveals deeply conserved mechanisms of longevity and population structure regulation.
- Cheng Shi
- Coleen T Murphy
- Cheng Shi
- Alexi M Runnels
- Coleen T Murphy
- Coleen T Murphy
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Andrew Dillin, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California, Berkeley, United States
© 2017, Shi et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The regeneration potential of the mammalian heart is incredibly limited, as cardiomyocyte proliferation ceases shortly after birth. β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) blockade has been shown to improve heart functions in response to injury; however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we inhibited β-AR signaling in the heart using metoprolol, a cardio-selective β blocker for β1-adrenergic receptor (β1-AR) to examine its role in heart maturation and regeneration in postnatal mice. We found that metoprolol enhanced cardiomyocyte proliferation and promoted cardiac regeneration post myocardial infarction, resulting in reduced scar formation and improved cardiac function. Moreover, the increased cardiomyocyte proliferation was also induced by the genetic deletion of Gnas, the gene encoding G protein alpha subunit (Gαs), a downstream effector of β-AR. Genome wide transcriptome analysis revealed that the Hippo-effector YAP, which is associated with immature cardiomyocyte proliferation, was upregulated in the cardiomyocytes of b-blocker treated and Gnas cKO hearts. Moreover, the increased YAP activity is modulated by RhoA signaling. Our pharmacological and genetic studies reveal that b1-AR-Gas-YAP signaling axis is involved in regulating postnatal cardiomyocyte proliferation. These results suggest that inhibiting b-AR-Gas signaling promotes the regenerative capacity and extends the cardiac regenerative window in juvenile mice by activating YAP-mediated transcriptional programs.
The organization of neural circuits determines nervous system function. Variability can arise during neural circuit development (e.g. neurite morphology, axon/dendrite position). To ensure robust nervous system function, mechanisms must exist to accommodate variation in neurite positioning during circuit formation. Previously, we developed a model system in the Drosophila ventral nerve cord to conditionally induce positional variability of a proprioceptive sensory axon terminal, and used this model to show that when we altered the presynaptic position of the sensory neuron, its major postsynaptic interneuron partner modified its dendritic arbor to match the presynaptic contact, resulting in functional synaptic input (Sales et al., 2019). Here, we investigate the cellular mechanisms by which the interneuron dendrites detect and match variation in presynaptic partner location and input strength. We manipulate the presynaptic sensory neuron by (a) ablation; (b) silencing or activation; or (c) altering its location in the neuropil. From these experiments we conclude that there are two opposing mechanisms used to establish functional connectivity in the face of presynaptic variability: presynaptic contact stimulates dendrite outgrowth locally, whereas presynaptic activity inhibits postsynaptic dendrite outgrowth globally. These mechanisms are only active during an early larval critical period for structural plasticity. Collectively, our data provide new insights into dendrite development, identifying mechanisms that allow dendrites to flexibly respond to developmental variability in presynaptic location and input strength.