Transcription factors induced by the LH surge play a vital role in reprogramming the gene expression in periovulatory follicles. The present study investigated the role of RUNX2 transcription factor in regulating the expression of Runx1, Ptgs2, and Tnfaip6 using cultured granulosa cells isolated from PMSG-primed immature rats. hCG or forskolin+PMA induced the transient increase in Runx1, Ptgs2, and Tnfaip6 expression, while the expression of Runx2 continued to increase until 48 h. The knockdown of the agonist-stimulated Runx2 expression increased Runx1, Ptgs2, and Tnfaip6 expression and PGE2 levels in luteinizing granulosa cells. Conversely, the over-expression of RUNX2 inhibited the expression of these genes and PGE2 levels. The mutation of RUNX binding motifs in the Runx1 promoter enhanced transcriptional activity of the Runx1 promoter. The knockdown and overexpression of Runx2 increased and decreased Runx1 promoter activity, respectively. ChlP assays revealed the binding of RUNX2 in the Runx1 and Ptgs2 promoters. Together, these novel findings provide support for the role of RUNX2 in down-regulation of Runx1, Ptgs2, and Tnfaip6 during the late ovulatory period to support proper ovulation and/or luteinization.
Runx2; Runx1; Ptgs2; Tnfaip6; Granulosa cells; LH; Ovary
This review focuses on research involving calorie restriction (CR) in humans and the resulting changes observed in endocrine and neuroendocrine systems. Special emphasis is given to the clinical science studies designed to investigate the effects of controlled, high-quality, energy-restricted diets on both biomarkers of longevity and on the development of chronic diseases of human aging.
Prolonged CR has been shown to extend both the median and maximal lifespan in a variety of lower species such as yeast, worms, fish, rats and mice. The biological mechanisms of this lifespan extension via CR are not fully elucidated, but possibly involve significant alterations in energy metabolism, oxidative damage, insulin sensitivity and functional changes in both neuroendocrine and sympathetic nervous systems. Most of the difficulty in characterizing the systemic endocrine and neuroendocrine changes with aging and CR is due to the limited capability to collect large and multiple blood samples from small animals, which are usually shorter lived, and hence the most studied. Ongoing studies of prolonged CR in humans are now making it possible to analyze changes in the “biomarkers of aging” to unravel some of the mechanisms of its anti-aging phenomenon.
With the incremental expansion of research endeavors in the area of energy restriction, data on the effects of CR in non-human primates and human subjects are becoming more accessible. Detailed analyses from controlled human trials involving long-term CR will allow investigators to link observed alterations from body composition and endocrine systems down to changes in molecular pathways and gene expression, with their possible effects on aging.
The enzyme telomerase plays an important role in sustaining the capacity of T lymphocytes for homeostatic replication. Recent data have suggested that gonadal steroids might modulate telomerase expression or activity within these cells. We used quantitative assay techniques for both telomerase mRNA expression and telomerase enzymatic activity to systematically examine the effects of physiologic concentrations of estradiol on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells under basal conditions and under conditions that normally enhance telomerase activity in T lymphocytes. Cells from women tended to exhibit higher responsiveness of telomerase activity to induction by T cell receptor engagement. However, we found no evidence of a direct effect of physiologic concentrations of estradiol on human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) mRNA expression, hTERT protein expression, or telomerase enzymatic activity in cultured PBMCs. While estrogen might exert developmental effects on T cells to alter telomerase responsiveness to T cell receptor engagement, mature peripheral T cells do not respond to estradiol with changes in expression or function of telomerase.
Estrogen; T Lymphocytes; Telomerase
We demonstrated previously that parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) 1-141 mRNA is the least stable of three isoforms and is the only isoform that is stabilized by TGF-β. In order to understand how PTHrP mRNA is stabilized by TGF-β, we first sought to elucidate the mechanism(s) that are responsible for the instability of PTHrP isoform 1-141 mRNA. The 3′-UTR of isoform 1-141 contains four AU-rich elements (AREs), which are known to mediate mRNA degradation. We utilized a luciferase reporter system to test whether these four AREs are responsible for the short half-life of PTHrP 1-141 mRNA. Our results demonstrated that ARE elements in the 3′-UTR of PTHrP 1-141 mRNA play a significant role in regulation of the stability of the mRNA. It is known that AREs mediate their effects on mRNA stability through a number of ARE-binding proteins that recruit the exosome, a complex of exonucleases that degrades the mRNA. We identified tristetraproline (TTP) as an RNA-binding protein that may be involved in ARE-mediated degradation of PTHrP 1-141 mRNA.
Parathyroid hormone-related protein; mRNA stability; 3′-untranslated region; AU-rich elements; Tristetraproline
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) plays a major role in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, and synthesis and secretion of GnRH are regulated by gonadal steroid hormones. Disruptions in androgen levels are involved in a number of reproductive defects, including hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Androgens down-regulate GnRH mRNA synthesis in vivo and in vitro via an androgen receptor (AR)-dependent mechanism. Methyltrienolone (R1881), a synthetic AR agonist, represses GnRH expression through multiple sites in the proximal promoter. In this study, we show AR also represses GnRH transcription via the major enhancer (GnRH-E1). A multimer of the −1800/−1766 region was repressed by R1881 treatment. Mutation of two bases, −1792 and −1791, resulted in decreased basal activity and a loss of AR-mediated repression. AR bound to the −1796/−1791 sequence in electrophoretic mobility shift assays, indicating a direct interaction with DNA or other transcription factors in this region. We conclude that AR repression of GnRH-E1 acts via multiple AR-responsive regions, including the site at −1792/−1791.
GnRH; androgen receptor; repression; hypothalamus; enhancer
We determined the precise role of Relaxin Family Peptide (RXFP) receptors-1 and -2 in the regulation of MMP-9 and -13 by relaxin, and delineated the signaling cascade that contributes to relaxin’s modulation of MMP-9 in fibrocartilaginous cells. Relaxin treatment of cells in which RXFP1 was silenced resulted in diminished induction of MMP-9 and -13 by relaxin, whereas overexpression of RXFP1 potentiated the relaxin-induced expression of these proteinases. Suppression or overexpression of RXFP2 resulted in no changes in the relaxin-induced MMP-9 and -13. Studies using chemical inhibitors and siRNAs to signaling molecules showed that PI3K, Akt, ERK and PKC-ζ and the transcription factors Elk-1, c-fos and to a lesser extent NF-κB are involved in relaxin’s induction of MMP-9. Our findings provide the first characterization of signaling cascade involved in the regulation of any MMP by relaxin and offer mechanistic insights on how relaxin likely mediates extracellular matrix turnover.
Relaxin receptors; synovial joint fibrochondrocytes; matrix metalloproteinases; ERK; Akt; PKC- ζ; c-fos; Elk-1; NF-κB; transcription factors
We previously established that Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C), a natural hydrolysis product of glucobrassicin in cruciferous vegetables, arrests the proliferation of estrogen-dependent human breast cancer cells and induces protein degradation of estrogen receptor-alpha (ERα). We demonstrate in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells that I3C ablates expression of Insulin-like Growth Factor Receptor-1 (IGF1R) and Insulin Receptor Substrate-1 (IRS1), downstream effectors of the IGF1 signaling pathway. Exogenous ERα reversed the I3C mediated loss of IGF1R and IRS1 gene expression demonstrating that down-regulation of ERα is functionally linked to I3C control of IGF1R and IRS1 expression. I3C disrupted binding of endogenous ERα, but not Sp1, to ERE-Sp1 composite elements within the IGF1R/IRS1 promoters. Exogenous ERα abrogated, and combined expression of IGF1R and IRS1 attenuated, the I3C mediated cell cycle arrest. Therefore, I3C inhibits proliferation of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer cells through disruption of ERα-mediated transcription of cell signaling components within the IGF1 cascade.
I3C; Indole-3-carbinol; ERα; Estrogen receptor-alpha; IRS1; insulin receptor substrate-1; IGF1R; Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 Receptor; hormone sensitive breast cancer
In the brain, a 36-kb distal promoter (I.f) regulates the Cyp19a1 gene that encodes aromatase, the key enzyme for estrogen biosynthesis. Local estrogen production in the brain regulates critical functions such as gonadotropin secretion and sexual behavior. The mechanisms that control brain aromatase production are not well understood. Here we show that the glucocorticoid dexamethasone robustly increases aromatase mRNA and protein by up to 98-fold in mouse hypothalamic cell lines in a dose- and time-dependent fashion. Using deletion mutants of the brain-specific promoter I.f and chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR, we isolated a distinct region (−500/−200bp) which becomes enriched in bound glucocorticoid receptor upon dexamethasone stimulation. A glucocorticoid antagonist or siRNA based knockdown of glucocorticoid receptor ablated dexamethasone stimulation of aromatase expression. Our findings demonstrate how glucocorticoids alter aromatase expression in the hypothalamus and might indicate a mechanism whereby glucocorticoid action modifies gonadotropin pulses and the menstrual cycle.
aromatase; Cy191a; glucocorticoids; hypothalamus; estradiol
•Mitochondrial disorders are common, genetically-heterogeneous diseases characterised by multisystem involvement.•Endocrine dysfunction in mitochondrial disease is not uncommon.•This is predominantly restricted to disease of the endocrine pancreas leading to diabetes mellitus.•We review the common endocrine disorders associated with mitochondrial dysfunction.•Optimal strategies for supporting and managing patients are discussed.
Endocrine dysfunction in mitochondrial disease is commonplace, but predominantly restricted to disease of the endocrine pancreas resulting in diabetes mellitus. Other endocrine manifestations occur, but are relatively rare by comparison. In mitochondrial disease, neuromuscular symptoms often dominate the clinical phenotype, but it is of paramount importance to appreciate the multi-system nature of the disease, of which endocrine dysfunction may be a part. The numerous phenotypes attributable to pathogenic mutations in both the mitochondrial (mtDNA) and nuclear DNA creates a complex and heterogeneous catalogue of disease which can be difficult to navigate for novices and experts alike. In this article we provide an overview of the endocrine disorders associated with mitochondrial disease, the way in which the underlying mitochondrial disorder influences the clinical presentation, and how these factors influence subsequent management.
Mitochondrial disease; Endocrine; mtDNA; Diabetes; m.3243A > G
Berberine (BER), a natural product and active ingredient of genera Berberis and Coptis, has been demonstrated to possess anti-diabetic activities. However, the poor bioavailability of this agent greatly limits its clinical application. In our previous study, we demonstrated that co-administration of sodium caprate, an absorption enhancer, with BER could significantly increase the bioavailability of BER without any serious mucosal damage. Here, we investigated the effects of BER on AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)/gluconeogenesis pathway and the effects of sodium caprate on hypoglycemic action of BER. The ability of BER co-administered with sodium caprate to reduce insulin resistance was investigated in diabetic rat model induced by high-fat diet and low dose STZ. Western blot was performed to evaluate effects of BER on AMPK signaling proteins involved in hepatic gluconeogenesis in diabetic rat and HepG2 hepatocytes. BER reduced body weight and caused a significant improvement in glucose tolerance without altering food intake in diabetic rats. Similarly, BER reduced plasma triglycerides and improved insulin action in diabetic rats. BER down-regulated the elevated expressions of gluconeogenesis key enzymes PEPCK and G6Pase, inhibited the translocation of TORC2 from cytoplasm to nucleus and increased AMPK activity in liver tissues. The effect of BER was higher when co-administered with sodium caprate. BER treatment resulted in reduced glucose production in HepG2 hepatocytes. BER increased AMPK activity, reduced the expression of PEPCK, and the nuclear transcription factors PGC-1, HNF-4α and FOXO1. The effect of BER on gluconeogenesis could be partly blocked by AMPK inhibitor, Compound C. BER could suppress hepatic gluconeogenesis in rat model of diabetes at least in part via stimulation of AMPK activity and this action of BER is augmented by sodium caprate.
Berberine; Sodium caprate; AMP-activated protein kinase; Diabetes; Hepatic gluconeogenesis; Metabolic syndrome
To define the interaction of novel secosteroids produced by the action of cytochrome P450scc with vitamin D receptor (VDR), we used a human melanoma line overexpressing VDR fused with enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and tested the ligand induced translocation of VDR from the cytoplasm to the nucleus. Hydroxyderivatives of vitamin D3 with a full length (D3) side chain and hydroxy-secosteroids with a shortened side chain (pD) stimulated VDR translocation and inhibited proliferation, however, with different potencies. In general the D3 were more potent than pD analogues. Molecular modeling of the binding of the secosteroids to the VDR genomic binding pocket (G-pocket) correlated well with the experimental data for VDR translocation. In contrast, docking scores for the non-genomic binding site of the VDR were poor. In conclusion, both the length of the side chain and the number and position of hydroxyl groups affect the activation of VDR by novel secosteroids.
secosteroid; melanoma; vitamin D receptor; computer modeling
MAP kinase Phosphatase 3 (MKP-3) was recently identified as an important regulator of glucose homeostasis in the liver and its expression can be repressed by insulin at post transcriptional level. In this study, the mechanism underlying insulin promoted decrease of MKP-3 protein was investigated by studying MKP-3 protein stability via immunoblot analysis in the presence of cycloheximide using cultured liver cells. Several pathways were examined and activation of the MEK/ERK pathway was found to mediate reduction of MKP-3 protein expression in response to insulin. MEK inhibitor markedly slowed down MKP-3 protein degradation. Mutation of two ERK phosphorylation sites on MKP-3 rendered it resistant to insulin and constitutively active MEK-induced MKP-3 protein degradation. To understand the biological effect of MKP-3 protein stability on liver cell glucose output, expression level of G6Pase gene, which encodes the key enzyme controlling the last step of de novo glucose synthesis in liver cells, was examined by real time PCR analysis upon manipulation of MEK signaling. Activation of MEK pathway in Fao cells resulted in decreased expression of G6Pase gene and lowered glucose output. Consistent with this result, MEK inhibitor increased expression of G6Pase gene and glucose output in Fao cells. In conclusion, insulin likely promotes MKP-3 protein degradation through activation of MEK/ERK pathway in liver cells and MKP-3 protein level affects the capability of Fao cells to output glucose.
MAP kinase phosphatase; glucose output; protein degradation
Glucocorticoid (GC) hormones are used in the treatment of hematopoietic malignancies. When the GC binds to the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) protein, c-Myb and GR are recruited at the Glucocorticoid Response Unit in the DNA. Here we demonstrate that c-Myb interacts with the GR and that decreasing c-Myb amounts reduces the levels of GR transcripts and protein in 697 pre-B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells. Furthermore, the auto-upregulation of GR promoter 1C and promoter 1D is blunted at reduced c-Myb levels. Taken together, these data show that c-Myb is a direct, key regulator of the GR. Unexpectedly, the reduction in c-Myb levels increased the sensitivity of the cells to steroid-mediated apoptosis. This was because the reduction in c-Myb itself decreases cell viability, and the residual GR remained above the threshold needed to trigger apoptosis. These studies show the mutual importance of c-Myb and the GR in controlling survival of pre-B ALL cells.
c-Myb; glucocorticoid receptor; acute lymphoblastic leukemia; auto-upregulation
Functions of adrenal medulla, particularly synthesis of catecholamine, are under the control of glucocorticoids. To further investigate whether development/differentiation of the adrenal medulla is associated with proper organization of the adrenal cortex, we examined development of the medulla in four different mouse models with various defects in the adrenal cortex. By using the Sf1/Cre mouse line that inactivates/activates genes in Steroidogenic factor 1 (SF1)-positive cells of the fetal adrenal cortex, we produced mice that exhibit either 1) cortex hypoplasia, 2) progressive degeneration of fetal adrenal cortex, 3) cortex dysgenesis, or 4) cortex-medulla disorganization. The formation of phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT)-positive medulla in all models indicating that differentiation of adrenal medulla is independent of the growth of adrenal cortex. However, the misplaced/dysgenic medulla which is outside of adrenal proper, indicating that the beta-catenin pathway in the adrenal cortical cells plays an indirect role in controlling proper organization of the adrenal medulla.
adrenal cortex; adrenal medulla; beta-catenin; Sonic hedgehog; Dicer1
Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) increased 1,25(OH)2D3-induced human 25 hydroxyvitamin D-24 hydroxylase (hCYP24A1) gene expression and vitamin D receptor (VDR) binding to the hCYP24A1 promoter. It did not alter transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily V, member 6 (TRPV6) expression, VDR binding to the TRPV6 promoter, or VDR binding to a crude chromatin preparation. PMA activated Extracellular signal-Regulated Kinases (ERK) 1/2 and p38 mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) and inhibiting these kinases reduced 1,25(OH)2D3-induced and PMA-enhanced hCYP24A1 promoter activity. Mithramycin A inhibits Specific Protein (Sp) family member binding to DNA and reduced 1,25(OH)2D3-induced and PMA-enhanced hCYP24A1 promoter activity. Sp1 or Sp3 siRNA knockdown reduced 1,25(OH)2D3-regulated hCYP24A1 promoter activity but only Sp3 siRNA reduced PMA-enhanced hCYP24A1 promoter activity. PMA increased MAPK-dependent Sp3 phosphorylation, Sp3-VDR interactions, and Sp3 binding to the hCYP24A1 promoter. These data suggest that MAPK signaling contributes to 1,25(OH)2D3-induced and PMA-enhanced CYP24A1 gene transcription by modulating Sp3 function.
Sp3; CYP24A1; transcription; vitamin D
We have previously established that human adipose cells and the human adipose cell line LS14 express the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) and that its expression is elevated upon exposure to inflammatory cytokines that are typically elevated in obese humans. Research in recent years has established that an important part of the adverse metabolic and cardiovascular consequences of obesity derive from a dysfunction of the tissue, one of the mechanisms being a disordered secretion pattern leading to an excess of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Given the reported association of the CaSR to inflammatory processes in other tissues, we sought to evaluate its role elevating the adipose expression of inflammatory factors. We exposed adipose tissue and in-vitro cultured LS14 preadipocytes and differentiated adipocytes to the calcimimetic cinacalcet and evaluated the expression or production of the proinflammatory cytokines IL6, IL1β and TNFα as well as the chemoattractant factor CCL2. CaSR activation elicited an elevation in the expression of the inflammatory factors, which was in part reverted by SN50, an inhibitor of the inflammatory mediator NFκB. Our observations suggest that CaSR activation elevates cytokine and chemokine production through a signaling pathway involving activation of NFκB nuclear translocation. These findings confirm the relevance of the CaSR in the pathophysiology of obesity-induced adipose tissue dysfunction, with an interesting potential for pharmacological manipulation in the fight against obesity- associated diseases.
calcium sensing receptor; obesity; cytokines; inflammation
GNRH1, the human gene that gives rise to GnRH, has long been an obvious candidate gene for idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, particularly because the hpg mouse, a mouse model of isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, carries a deletion that disrupts Gnrh1. In 2009, 25 years after the sequence of human GNRH1 was initially determined, two groups independently reported homozygous frameshift mutations in GNRH1 in patients with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. In two additional families, heterozygous GNRH1 mutations segregated with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. In the first family, the mutation occurred alone in four female subjects, whereas in the second it co-existed with a mutation in NR0B1/DAX1 to cause delayed puberty in two female subjects. While hemizygous mutations the X-linked NR0B1 are a well-known cause of hypogonadotropic hypogonadism and adrenal hypoplasia in male patients, heterozygous female carriers are generally asymptomatic. Thus, mutations in GNRH1 have been associated with both mild and severe forms of GnRH deficiency, and may work in combination with other gene mutations to produce GnRH-deficient phenotypes.
Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH); luteinizing-hormone releasing hormone (LHRH, LRH); human genetics; gonadotropin-releasing hormone; hypogonadal (hpg) mouse; hypogonadotropic hypogonadism
Angiotensin II (Ang II) is the key peptide hormone in the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). Its ability to regulate levels of circulating aldosterone relies on actions on adrenal glomerulosa cells. Many of the Ang II effects on glomerulosa cells involve a precisely coordinated regulation of signaling cascades and gene expression. The development of genome-wide gene arrays has allowed the definition of transcriptome-wide effects of Ang II in adrenocortical cells. Analysis of the Ang II gene targets reveals broad effects on cellular gene expression, particularly the rapid induction of numerous transcription factors that may regulate long-term steroid metabolism and cell growth/proliferation. Herein we discuss the Ang II-induced genes in adrenocortical cells and review the progress in defining the role of these genes in zona glomerulosa function.
angiotensin; microarray; aldosterone; signaling; transcription factors; adrenal
•In-utero exposure to environmental chemicals disturbs ovary development.•We investigated differential effects of exposure before or after conception.•The fetal ovary is most affected by exposure after conception.•Unexpectedly, response to continuous exposure was less severe than previously.•Alterations in profiles of in utero exposure to chemicals may be most damaging.
Exposure of female fetuses to environmental chemicals (ECs) during pregnancy results in a disturbed ovarian adult phenotype. We investigated the influence of pre- and/or post-conception exposure to low-level mixtures of ECs on the structure and function of the fetal ovine ovary. We examined ovarian morphology, expression of oocyte and granulosa cell-specific genes and proteome. Female fetuses were collected at day 110 of gestation, from dams exposed continuously until, and after mating, by grazing in pastures treated with sewage sludge as a fertiliser (TT) or in control fields treated with inorganic fertiliser (CC). In addition, in a cross-over design, fetal ovaries were collected from dams maintained on sludge pastures up to the time of mating but then transferred to control pastures (TC) and, reciprocally, those transferred from control to treated pastures at mating (CT). On examination, the proportion of type 1a follicles (activating primordial follicles) was significantly lower in animals from the CT groups compared with CC and TT groups (P < 0.05). Of the 23 ovarian gene transcripts studied, 14 were altered in the ovaries of exposed fetuses (CT, TC, and TT) relative to controls, with the largest number of changes observed in cross-exposure pattern groups (CT or TC). Continuous EC exposure (TT) produced fewer transcript alterations and only two genes (INHBA and GSN) presented differential profiles between CC and TT. Fetal ovarian proteome analysis (2-DE gels) showed, across all exposure groups, 86 differentially expressed protein spots compared to controls. Animals in the CT group exhibited the highest number (53) while TC and TT presented the same number of affected protein spots (42). Fetal ovarian proteins with altered expression included MVP (major vault protein) and several members of the heat-shock family (HSPA4L, HSP90AA1 and HSF1). The present findings indicate that continuous maternal EC exposure before and during gestation, are less deleterious for fetal ovarian development than a change in maternal EC exposure between pre and post-conception. The pathways by which the ovary responds to this chemical stress were common in TT, CT, TC exposed foetuses. In addition to the period of pregnancy, the pre-conception period appears also as crucial for conditioning long-term effects of EC exposure on ovarian development and primordial follicle reserve and hence future fertility.
Anti-ACTB, anti-β actin; DEHP, diethylhexylphthalate; ECs, environmental chemicals; EDCs, endocrine disrupting chemicals; FSH, follicle stimulating hormone; LH, luteinising hormone; WB, Western blot; Ovary; Development; In utero exposure; Environmental chemicals; Mixtures; EDCs
Activins are multifunctional proteins and members of the TGF-β superfamily. Activins are expressed locally in most tissues and, analogous to the actions of other members of this large family of pleiotropic factors, play prominent roles in the regulation of diverse biological processes in both differentiated and embryonic stem cells. They have an essential role in maintaining tissue homeostasis in the adult and are known to contribute to the developmental programs in the embryo. Activins are further implicated in the growth and metastasis of tumor cells. Through distinct modes of action, inhibins and follistatins function as antagonists of activin and several other TGF-β family members, including a subset of BMPs/GDFs, and modulate cellular responses and the signaling cascades downstream of these ligands. In the pituitary, the activin pathway is known to regulate key aspects of gonadotrope functions and also exert effects on other pituitary cell types. As in other tissues, activin is produced locally by pituitary cells and acts locally by exerting cell-type specific actions on gonadotropes. These local actions of activin on gonadotropes are modulated by the autocrine/paracrine actions of locally secreted follistatin and by the feedback actions of gonadal inhibin. Knowledge about the mechanism of activin, inhibin and follistatin actions is providing information about their importance for pituitary function as well as their contribution to the pathophysiology of pituitary adenomas. The aim of this review is to highlight recent findings and summarize the evidence that supports the important functions of activin, inhibin and follistatin in the pituitary.
activin; follistatin; inhibin; foxl2; fsh; pituitary; reproduction; gonadotrope
Abnormal hepatic gluconeogenesis contributes significantly to both fasting and non-fasting hyperglycemia of patients with type 2 diabetes. 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) regulates the key hepatic gluconeogenic enzymes including phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) through the amplification of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) – mediated tissue glucocorticoid action, and is crucially dependent on hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (H6PDH) – generating NADPH system. Here, we observed that compared with fasting state, H6PDH and 11β-HSD1 expression in livers were all increased under non-fasting state in both normal and diabetic rats, and the non-fasting diabetic group was the highest among the four experimental groups. Moreover, incubation of primary hepatocytes with increasing glucose caused dose-dependent increases in H6PDH, 11β-HSD1, GR, PEPCK and G6Pase expression. Also, glucose-6-phosphate (G6P) had a positive regulation on H6PDH and 11β-HSD1 in hepatocytes. In addition, primary hepatocytes treated with different doses of insulin in high glucose induced alteration of H6PDH and 11β-HSD1 while in low glucose there was no significant effect. These findings suggest that glucose instead of insulin directly regulates H6PDH and 11β-HSD1 and suppression of the two enzymes could be considered as an effective target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Hexose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1; Glucose; Type 2 diabetes
Amplification of the neurosecretory activity of the GnRH system is the defining neuroendocrine even for sexual maturation. The physiological mechanisms that drive GnRH secretion at puberty have been difficult to identify but the discovery in 2003 that the G protein coupled receptor KISS1R is a key regulator of pubertal development in mice and men has ushered in a new chapter in reproductive neuroendocrinology. KISS1R is activated by endogenous peptides derived from a precursor protein, kisspeptin. Despite kisspeptin's importance in driving the reproductive cascade, relatively few patients with GnRH deficient states and mutations in the kisspeptin pathway have been described. Yet, these cases, coupled with loss-of-function mouse models, provide unique and complementary information into the biological role of this signaling system in the control of GnRH secretion. This article will examine some of the subtleties in genotype-phenotype correlations in both mice and men carrying disabling mutations in the kisspeptin pathway.
Increasing interest is focusing on the role of the FGF-23/Klotho axis in mediating vascular calcification. However, the underpinning mechanisms have yet to be fully elucidated. Murine VSMCs were cultured in calcifying medium for a 21d period. FGF-23 mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated by 7d (1.63 fold; P<0.001), with a concomitant increase in protein expression. mRNA and protein expression of both FGFR1 and Klotho were confirmed. Increased FGF-23 and Klotho protein expression was also observed in the calcified media of Enpp1−/− mouse aortic tissue. Reduced calcium deposition was observed in calcifying VSMCs cultured with recombinant FGF-23 (10ng/ml; 28.1% decrease; P<0.01). Calcifying VSMCs treated with PD173074, an inhibitor of FGFR1 and FGFR3, showed significantly increased calcification (50nM; 87.8% increase; P<0.001). FGF-23 exposure induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2. Treatment with FGF-23 in combination with PD98059, an ERK1/2 inhibitor, significantly increased VSMC calcification (10μM; 41.3% increase; P<0.01). Use of FGF-23 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for inhibiting vascular calcification.
vascular calcification; vascular smooth muscle cells; Enpp1; FGF-23
Uterine leiomyomas are benign tumors that originate from the myometrium. Evidence points to ovarian steroid hormones, in particular, progesterone as major promoters of leiomyoma development and growth. While progesterone action in leiomyomas involves the classical nuclear receptor effects on gene regulation, there is growing evidence that signaling pathways are directly activated by the progesterone receptor (PR) and that PR can interact with growth factor signaling systems to promote proliferation and survival of leiomyomas. Studies investigating the genomic and non-genomic actions of PR and its role in leiomyoma growth are summarized here. Studies testing various selective progesterone receptor modulators for the treatment of leiomyomas are also highlighted. An increased understanding of the mechanisms associated with progesterone-driven growth of leiomyomas is critical in order to develop more efficient and targeted therapies for this prevalent disease.
Progesterone receptor; uterine leiomyoma; leiomyoma; progesterone
During the early stages of pregnancy, fertilized embryos must attach to the uterine epithelium, invade into the underlying uterine stroma, and the stroma must then differentiate in a process termed decidualization in order for a successful pregnancy to be initiated. The steroid hormone progesterone (P4) is an integral mediator of these early pregnancy events, exerting its effects via the progesterone receptor (PR). Insights gained from the use of mouse models and genomic profiling has identified many of the key molecules enlisted by PR to execute the paradigm of early pregnancy. This review describes several of the molecules through which the PR exerts its pleiotropic effects including ligands, receptors, chaperones, signaling proteins and transcription factors. Understanding these molecules and their concatenation is of vital importance to our ability to clinically treat reproductive health problems like infertility and endometriosis.
Progesterone; Progesterone Receptor; Attachment; Implantation; Decidualization; Mouse Models