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R Kofler, S Schmidt, A Kofler, and MJ Ausserlechner

Glucocorticoid (GC) resistance is a phenomenon of major significance in a number of clinical situations, including the therapy of lymphoid malignancies. Resistance may concern all, or just selected, GC effects, it may be absolute or just reflect a state of reduced sensitivity and, clinically relevant, be reversible or irreversible. Numerous molecular mechanisms can be envisaged acting either 'upstream' in the GC-triggered signaling pathway, i.e. at the level of the GC receptor (GR), or 'downstream' at the level of the GC-regulated genes responsible for individual GC effects. In lymphoid malignancies, GCs have anti-leukemic effects through the induction of apoptosis and/or cell cycle arrest. In this condition evidence for only a small number of mechanisms for GC resistance has been provided, mostly at the level of the GR. Herein, we review reports and hypotheses regarding 'upstream' and 'downstream' mechanisms for GC resistance in lymphoblastic leukemia and present an in vitro GC resistance model that might allow identification of resistance mechanisms.

Open access

S Schmidt, A Hommel, V Gawlik, R Augustin, N Junicke, S Florian, M Richter, D J Walther, D Montag, H-G Joost, and A Schürmann

Deletion of glucose transporter gene Slc2a3 (GLUT3) has previously been reported to result in embryonic lethality. Here, we define the exact time point of growth arrest and subsequent death of the embryo. Slc2a3 −/− morulae and blastocysts developed normally, implanted in vivo, and formed egg-cylinder-stage embryos that appeared normal until day 6.0. At day 6.5, apoptosis was detected in the ectodermal cells of Slc2a3 −/− embryos resulting in severe disorganization and growth retardation at day 7.5 and complete loss of embryos at day 12.5. GLUT3 was detected in placental cone, in the visceral ectoderm and in the mesoderm of 7.5-day-old wild-type embryos. Our data indicate that GLUT3 is essential for the development of early post-implanted embryos.

Free access

Manuela S Bartlang, Inga D Neumann, David A Slattery, Nicole Uschold-Schmidt, Dominik Kraus, Charlotte Helfrich-Förster, and Stefan O Reber

Recent findings in rats indicated that the physiological consequences of repeated restraint stress are dependent on the time of day of stressor exposure. To investigate whether this is also true for clinically more relevant psychosocial stressors and whether repeated stressor exposure during the light phase or dark phase is more detrimental for an organism, we exposed male C57BL/6 mice to social defeat (SD) across 19 days either in the light phase between Zeitgeber time (ZT)1 and ZT3 (SDL mice) or in the dark phase between ZT13 and ZT15 (SDD mice). While SDL mice showed a prolonged increase in adrenal weight and an attenuated adrenal responsiveness to ACTH in vitro after stressor termination, SDD mice showed reduced dark phase home-cage activity on observation days 7, 14, and 20, flattening of the diurnal corticosterone rhythm, lack of social preference, and higher in vitro IFNγ secretion from mesenteric lymph node cells on day 20/21. Furthermore, the colitis-aggravating effect of SD was more pronounced in SDD than SDL mice following dextran sulfate sodium treatment. In conclusion, the present findings demonstrate that repeated SD effects on behavior, physiology, and immunology strongly depend on the time of day of stressor exposure. Whereas physiological parameters were more affected by SD during the light/inactive phase of mice, behavioral and immunological parameters were more affected by SD during the dark phase. Our results imply that repeated daily SD exposure has a more negative outcome when applied during the dark/active phase. By contrast, the minor physiological changes seen in SDL mice might represent beneficial adaptations preventing the formation of those maladaptive consequences.