Nicotinamide riboside, a form of vitamin B3 and NAD+ precursor, relieves the nociceptive and aversive dimensions of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy in female rats.

Hamity MV, et al. Pain. 2017.

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Injury to sensory afferents may contribute to the peripheral neuropathies that develop after administration of chemotherapeutic agents. Manipulations that increase levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) can protect against neuronal injury. This study examined whether nicotinamide riboside (NR), a third form of vitamin B3 and precursor of NAD, diminishes tactile hypersensitivity and place escape-avoidance behaviors in a rodent model of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy. Female Sprague-Dawley rats received 3 intravenous injections of 6.6 mg/kg paclitaxel over 5 days.

Daily oral administration of 200 mg/kg NR beginning 7 days before paclitaxel treatment and continuing for another 24 days prevented the development of tactile hypersensitivity and blunted place escape-avoidance behaviors. These effects were sustained after a 2-week washout period. This dose of NR increased blood levels of NAD by 50%, did not interfere with the myelosuppressive effects of paclitaxel, and did not produce adverse locomotor effects. Treatment with 200 mg/kg NR for 3 weeks after paclitaxel reversed the well-established tactile hypersensitivity in a subset of rats and blunted escape-avoidance behaviors. Pretreatment with 100 mg/kg oral acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR) did not prevent paclitaxel-induced tactile hypersensitivity or blunt escape-avoidance behaviors. ALCAR by itself produced tactile hypersensitivity. These findings suggest that agents that increase NAD, a critical cofactor for mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation systems and cellular redox systems involved with fuel utilization and energy metabolism, represent a novel therapeutic approach for relief of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathies. Because NR is a vitamin B3 precursor of NAD and a nutritional supplement, clinical tests of this hypothesis may be accelerated.

Nicotinamide Phosphoribosyltransferase in Smooth Muscle Cells Maintains Genome Integrity, Resists Aortic Medial Degeneration and Is Suppressed in Human Thoracic Aortic Aneurysm Disease.

Watson A, et al. Circ Res. 2017.

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Rationale: The thoracic aortic wall can degenerate over time with catastrophic consequences. Vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs) can resist and repair artery damage but their capacities decline with age and stress. Recently, cellular production of NAD(+) via nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (Nampt) has emerged as a mediator of cell vitality. However, a role for Nampt in aortic SMCs in vivo is unknown.

Objective: To determine if a Nampt-NAD(+) control system exists within the aortic media and is required for aortic health. Methods and Results: Ascending aortas from patients with dilated aortopathy were immunostained for NAMPT, revealing an inverse relationship between SMC NAMPT content and aortic diameter. To determine if a Nampt-NAD(+)control system in SMCs impacts aortic integrity, mice with Nampt-deficient SMCs were generated. SMC-Nampt knockout mice were viable but with mildly dilated aortas that had a 43% reduction in NAD(+) in the media. Infusion of angiotensin II led to aortic medial hemorrhage and dissection. SMCs were not apoptotic but displayed SA-ß-galactosidase activity and upregulated p16, indicating premature senescence. Furthermore, there was evidence for oxidized DNA lesions, double-strand DNA strand breaks and pronounced susceptibility to single-strand breakage. This was linked to suppressed poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 activity and was reversible upon re-supplying NAD(+) with nicotinamide riboside. Remarkably, we discovered unrepaired DNA strand breaks in SMCs within the human ascending aorta, which were specifically enriched in SMCs with low NAMPT. NAMPT promoter analysis revealed CpG hypermethylation within the dilated human thoracic aorta and in SMCs cultured from these tissues, which inversely correlated with NAMPT expression. Conclusions: The aortic media depends on an intrinsic NAD(+) fueling system to protect against DNA damage and premature SMC senescence, with relevance to human thoracic aortopathy.

Effects of a wide range of dietary nicotinamide riboside (NR) concentrations on metabolic flexibility and white adipose tissue (WAT) of mice fed a mildly obesogenic diet.

Shi W, et al. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2017.

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SCOPE: Metabolic flexibility is the ability to switch metabolism between carbohydrate oxidation (CHO) and fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and is a biomarker for metabolic health. The effect on metabolic health of nicotinamide riboside (NR) as an exclusive source of vitamin B3 is unknown and is examined here for a wide range of NR.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Nine-week-old male C57BL/6JRcc mice received a semi-purified mildly obesogenic (40 en% fat) diet containing 0.14% L-tryptophan and either 5, 15, 30, 180 or 900 mg NR per kg diet for 15 weeks. Body composition and metabolic parameters were analysed. Metabolic flexibility was measured using indirect calorimetry. Gene expression in epididymal white adipose tissue (eWAT) was measured using qRT-PCR .

RESULTS: The maximum delta respiratory exchange ratio when switching from CHO to FAO (maxΔRERCHO1→FAO ) and when switching from FAO to CHO (maxΔRERFAO→CHO2 ) were largest in 30 mg NR per kg diet (30NR). In eWAT, the gene expression of Pparγ, a master regulator of adipogenesis, and of Sod2 and Prdx3, two antioxidant genes, were significantly upregulated in 30NR compared to 5NR.

CONCLUSION: 30NR is most beneficial for metabolic health, in terms of metabolic flexibility and eWAT gene expression, of mice on an obesogenic diet.