The efficiency of regenerative medicine can be ameliorated by improving the biological performances of stem cells before their transplantation. Several ex-vivo protocols of non-damaging cell hypoxia have been demonstrated to significantly increase survival, proliferation and post-engraftment differentiation potential of stem cells. The best results for priming cultured stem cells against a following, otherwise lethal, ischemic stress have been obtained with brief intermittent episodes of hypoxia, or anoxia, and reoxygenation in accordance with the extraordinary protection afforded by the conventional maneuver of ischemic preconditioning in severely ischemic organs. These protocols of hypoxic preconditioning can be rather easily reproduced in a laboratory; however, more suitable pharmacological interventions inducing stem cell responses similar to those activated in hypoxia are considered among the most promising solutions for future applications in cell therapy. Here we want to offer an up-to-date review of the molecular mechanisms translating hypoxia into beneficial events for regenerative medicine. To this aim the involvement of epigenetic modifications, microRNAs, and oxidative stress, mainly activated by hypoxia inducible factors, will be discussed. Stem cell adaptation to their natural hypoxic microenvironments (niche) in healthy and neoplastic tissues will be also considered.
Hypoxia; Reoxygenation; Preconditioning; Stem cell; Apoptosis; Cell differentiation
Knockout of either toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) or 2 (TLR2) had been reported to delay the Wallerian degeneration after peripheral nerve injury by deterring the recruitment of the macrophages and clearance of myelin debris. However, the impact on the remyelination process is poorly understood. In this study, the effect of TLR2 and TLR4 knockout on the nerve regeneration and on the remyelination process was studied in a mouse model of sciatic nerve crush injury.
A standard sciatic nerve crush injury by a No. 5 Jeweler forcep for consistent 30 seconds was performed in Tlr4−/− (B6.B10ScN-Tlr4lps-del/JthJ), Tlr2−/− (B6.129-Tlr2tm1Kir/J) and C57BL/6 mice. One centimeter of nerve segment distal to the crushed site was harvested for western blot analysis of the myelin structure protein myelin protein zero (Mpz) and the remyelination transcription factors Oct6 and Sox10 at day 0, 3, 7, 10, 14, 17, 21, 28. Nerve segment 5-mm distal to injured site from additional groups of mice at day 10 after crush injury were subjected to semi-thin section and toluidine blue stain for a quantitative histomorphometric analysis. With less remyelinated nerves and more nerve debris, the histomorphometric analysis revealed a worse nerve regeneration following the sciatic nerve crush injury in both Tlr4−/− and Tlr2−/− mice than the C57BL/6 mice. Although there was a delayed expression of Sox10 but not Oct6 during remyelination, with an average 4-day delay in the demyelination process, the subsequent complete formation of Mpz during remyelination was also delayed for 4 days, implying that the impaired nerve regeneration was mainly attributed to the delayed demyelination process.
Both TLR4 and TLR2 are crucial for nerve regeneration after nerve crush injury mainly by delaying the demyelination but not the remyelination process.
Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4); Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2); Peripheral nerve regeneration; Sciatic nerve crush injury
Nephrotoxicity is a dose limiting side effect of tenofovir, a reverse transcriptase inhibitor that is used for the treatment of HIV infection. The mechanism of tenofovir nephrotoxicity is not clear. Tenofovir is specifically toxic to the proximal convoluted tubules and proximal tubular mitochondria are the targets of tenofovir cytotoxicity. Damaged mitochondria are major sources of reactive oxygen species and cellular damage is reported to occur after the antioxidants are depleted. The purpose of the study is to investigate the alterations in cellular antioxidant system in tenofovir induced renal damage using a rat model.
Chronic tenofovir administration to adult Wistar rats resulted in proximal tubular damage (as evidenced by light microscopy), proximal tubular dysfunction (as shown by Fanconi syndrome and tubular proteinuria), and extensive proximal tubular mitochondrial injury (as revealed by electron microscopy). A 50% increase in protein carbonyl content was observed in the kidneys of TDF treated rats as compared with the control. Reduced glutathione was decreased by 50%. The activity of superoxide dismutase was decreased by 57%, glutathione peroxidase by 45%, and glutathione reductase by 150% as compared with control. Carbonic Anhydrase activity was decreased by 45% in the TDF treated rat kidneys as compared with control. Succinate dehydrogenase activity, an indicator of mitochondrial activity was decreased by 29% in the TDF treated rat kidneys as compared with controls, suggesting mitochondrial dysfunction.
Tenofovir- induced mitochondrial damage and increased oxidative stress in the rat kidneys may be due to depletion of the antioxidant system particularly, the glutathione dependent system and MnSOD.
Tenofovir; Proximal tubular damage; Mitochondrial damage; Mitochondrial antioxidant system
The NKG2D receptor confers important activating signals to NK cells via ligands expressed during cellular stress and viral infection. This receptor has generated great interest because not only is it expressed on NK cells, but it is also seen in virtually all CD8+ cytotoxic T cells and is classically considered absent in CD4+ T cells. However, recent studies have identified a distinctive population of CD4+ T cells that do express NKG2D, which could represent a particular cytotoxic effector population involved in viral infections and chronic diseases. On the other hand, increased incidence of human papillomavirus-associated lesions in CD4+ T cell-immunocompromised individuals suggests that CD4+ T cells play a key role in controlling the viral infection. Therefore, this study was focused on identifying the frequency of NKG2D-expressing CD4+ T cells in patients with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 1. Additionally, factors influencing CD4+NKG2D+ T cell expansion were also measured.
Close to 50% of patients with CIN 1 contained at least one of the 37 HPV types detected by our genotyping system. A tendency for increased CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells and decreased NK cells was found in CIN 1 patients. The percentage of circulating CD4+ T cells co-expressing the NKG2D receptor significantly increased in women with CIN 1 versus control group. Interestingly, the increase of CD4+NKG2D+ T cells was seen in patients with CIN 1, despite the overall levels of CD4+ T cells did not significantly increase. We also found a significant increase of soluble MICB in CIN 1 patients; however, no correlation with the presence of CD4+NKG2D+ T cells was seen. While TGF-beta was significantly decreased in the group of CIN 1 patients, both TNF-alpha and IL-15 showed a tendency to increase in this group.
Taken together, our results suggest that the significant increase within the CD4+NKG2D+ T cell population in CIN 1 patients might be the result of a chronic exposure to viral and/or pro-inflammatory factors, and concomitantly might also influence the clearance of CIN 1-type lesion.
NKG2D; CD4+ T cells; CIN 1; MICA/B
Although donor age-related effects of characteristics of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), such as a decrease in the proliferation and differentiation capacity and an increase of senescence and apoptosis, are evident, such effects are generally less prominent in adipose-derived stem cells (ASC). Using a hormone and growth factor rich medium (KFSM), this study cultured ASC from abdominal subcutaneous fat of 27 adult females in three age groups: 30-39 y, 40-49 y and 50-60 y, and investigated the growth and differentiation characteristics.
The derived ASC had an immunophenotype similar to that of bone marrow derived MSC (BMSC). They could be stably expanded with an average population doubling time of 21.5 ± 2.3 h. Other than a higher pre-adipogenic commitment and a lower adipogenic differentiation capability in ASC derived from the old age group, other characteristics including proliferation rate, doubling time, telomere length, as well as the osteogenic and chondrogenic differentiation capacity were the same regardless of the donor’s age.
The study demonstrates a promising proliferation and differentiation capabilities of ASC regardless of the donor’s age. The compromised adipogenic potential in the older donors could be a benefit for their application in regeneration therapy.
Adipose-derived stem cells; Donor’s age; Proliferation; Differentiation; Telomere length
Brain- derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is linked to neurodegenerative diseases (e.g. Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease) which are often characterized by olfactory impairment. A specific single nucleotide polymorphism of the BDNF gene, the Val66Met, modulates intracellular trafficking and activity-dependent secretion of BDNF protein. The aim of this study was to investigate a possible association between brain- derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism and olfactory function, a well-known biomarker for neurodegeneration, in healthy young adults. A total of 101 subjects (45 males, age 38.7 ± 9.4 years) were assessed using the Sniffin’ Sticks Extended Test, a highly reliable commercial olfactory test composed of three sub-parts, calculating olfactory threshold (sensitivity), odor discrimination and odor identification. The Val66Met polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction -restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) analysis.
An impaired function in Met carriers was found, especially when compared to subjects with Val/Val genotype, in the threshold (5.5 ± 2.0 vs 6.5 ± 1.8, p = 0.009), discrimination (10.3± 2.5 vs 11.9 ± 2.2, p = 0.002), and identification task (13.3 ± 1.6 vs 14.1 ± 1.3, p = 0.007), as well as in the overall TDI Score (29.1 ± 4.5 vs 32.6 ± 3.9, p < 0.001).
These findings appear to have implications for the evaluation of olfactory function and the relation of its impairment to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative disease.
Olfactory function; Brain - derived neurotrophic factor; Val66Met polymorphism
CIP4 is a scaffold protein that regulates membrane deformation and tubulation, organization of the actin cytoskeleton, endocytosis of growth factor receptors, and vesicle trafficking. Although expressed in the heart, CIP4 has not been studied with regards to its potential function in cardiac myocytes.
We now show using RNA interference that CIP4 expression in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes is required for the induction of non-mitotic, hypertrophic growth by the α-adrenergic agonist phenylephrine, the IL-6 cytokine leukemia inhibitor factor, and fetal bovine serum, as assayed using morphometry, immunocytochemistry for the hypertrophic marker atrial natriuretic factor and [3H]leucine incorporation for de novo protein synthesis. This requirement was consistent with the induction of CIP4 expression by hypertrophic stimulation. The inhibition of myocyte hypertrophy by CIP4 small interfering oligonucleotides (siRNA) was rescued by expression of a recombinant CIP4 protein, but not by a mutant lacking the N-terminal FCH domain responsible for CIP4 intracellular localization.
These results imply that CIP4 plays a significant role in the intracellular hypertrophic signal transduction network that controls the growth of cardiac myocytes in heart disease.
CIP4; Heart; Hypertrophy; Myocyte
Microglial inflammation may significantly contribute to the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. To examine the potential of Cudrania cochinchinensis to ameliorate amyloid β protein (Aβ)-induced microglia activation, BV-2 microglial cell line, and the ramified microglia in the primary glial mixed cultured were employed.
Lipopolysaccharide (LPS), Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), fibrillary Aβ (fAβ), or oligomeric Aβ (oAβ) were used to activate microglia. LPS and IFN-γ, but not Aβs, activated BV-2 cells to produce nitric oxide through an increase in inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression without significant effects on cell viability of microglia. fAβ, but not oAβ, enhanced the IFN-γ-stimulated nitric oxide production and iNOS expression.
The ethanol/water extracts of Cudrania cochinchinensis (CC-EW) and the purified isolated components (i.e. CCA to CCF) effectively reduced the nitric oxide production and iNOS expression stimulated by IFN-γ combined with fAβ. On the other hand, oAβ effectively activated the ramified microglia in mixed glial culture by observing the morphological alteration of the microglia from ramified to amoeboid. CC-EW and CCB effectively prohibit the Aβ-mediated morphological change of microglia. Furthermore, CC-EW and CCB effectively decreased Aβ deposition and remained Aβ in the conditioned medium suggesting the effect of CC-EW and CCB on promoting Aβ clearance. Results are expressed as mean ± S.D. and were analyzed by ANOVA with post-hoc multiple comparisons with a Bonferroni test.
The components of Cudrania cochinchinensis including CC-EW and CCB are potential for novel therapeutic intervention for Alzheimer’s disease.
Neuroinflammation; Cudrania cochinchinensis; Microglia; Mixed glial culture; Amyloid β; Alzheimer’s disease
Insufficient clearance of soluble oligomeric amyloid-β peptide (oAβ) in the central nervous system leads to the synaptic and memory deficits in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Previously we have identified scavenger receptor class A (SR-A) of microglia mediates oligomeric amyloid-β peptide (oAβ) internalization by siRNA approach. SR-A is a member of cysteine-rich domain (SRCR) superfamily which contains proteins actively modulating the innate immunity and host defense, however the functions of the SRCR domain remain unclear. Whether the SRCR domain of SR-AI modulates the receptor surface targeting and ligand internalization was investigated by expressing truncated SR-A variants in COS-7 cells. Surface targeting of SR-A variants was examined by live immunostaining and surface biotinylation assays. Transfected COS-7 cells were incubated with fluorescent oAβ and acetylated LDL (AcLDL) to assess their ligand-internalization capabilities.
Genetic ablation of SR-A attenuated the internalization of oAβ and AcLDL by microglia. Half of oAβ-containing endocytic vesicles was SR-A positive in both microglia and macrophages. Clathrin and dynamin in SR-AI-mediated oAβ internalization were involved. The SRCR domain of SR-AI is encoded by exons 10 and 11. SR-A variants with truncated exon 11 were intracellularly retained, whereas SR-A variants with further truncations into exon 10 were surface-targeted. The fusion of exon 11 to the surface-targeted SR-A variant lacking the SRCR domain resulted in the intracellular retention and the co-immunoprecipitation of Bip chaperon of the endoplasmic reticulum. Surface-targeted variants were N-glycosylated, whereas intracellularly-retained variants retained in high-mannose states. In addition to the collagenous domain, the SRCR domain is a functional binding domain for oAβ and AcLDL. Our data suggest that inefficient folding of SR-AI variants with truncated SRCR domain was recognized by the endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation which leads to the immature N- glycosylation and intracellular retention.
The novel functions of the SRCR domain on regulating the efficacy of receptor trafficking and ligand binding may lead to possible approaches on modulating the innate immunity in Alzheimer’s disease and atherosclerosis.
Scavenger receptor A; SRCR domain; Collagenous domain; Amyloid-β peptide; N- glycosylation
Antioxidants have been shown to enhance the proliferation of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADMSCs) in vitro, although the detailed mechanism(s) and potential side effects are not fully understood.
In this study, human ADMSCs cultured in ImF-A medium supplemented with antioxidants (N-acetyl-l-cysteine and ascorbic acid-2-phosphate) and fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) were compared with ADMSCs cultured with FGF-2 alone (ImF) or with FGF-2 under 5% pO2 conditions (ImF-H).
During log-phase growth, exposure to ImF-A resulted in a higher percentage of ADMSCs in the S phase of the cell cycle and a smaller percentage in G0/G1 phase. This resulted in a significantly reduced cell-doubling time and increased number of cells in the antioxidant-supplemented cultures compared with those supplemented with FGF-2 alone, an approximately 225% higher cell density after 7 days. Western blotting showed that the levels of the CDK inhibitors p21 and p27 decreased after ImF-A treatment, whereas CDK2, CDK4, and CDC2 levels clearly increased. In addition, ImF-A resulted in significant reduction in the expression of CD29, CD90, and CD105, whereas relative telomere length, osteogenesis, adipogenesis, and chondrogenesis were enhanced. The results were similar for ADMSCs treated with antioxidants and those under hypoxic conditions.
Antioxidant treatment promotes entry of ADMSCs into the S phase by suppressing cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors and results in rapid cell proliferation similar to that observed under hypoxic conditions.
Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells; Antioxidant; Fibroblast growth factor-2; Hypoxia
Cancer cell differentiation is an important characteristic of malignant tumor and has a great impact on prognosis and therapeutic decision for patients. The N-myc downstream regulated gene 1 (NDRG1), a putative tumor suppression gene, is involved in the regulation of human cell differentiation and metastasis in various cancers. Changes in the status of methylation of the NDRG1 gene have not been studied in detail in human breast cancer.
The MDA-MB-231 breast tumor cell line could express NDRG1. However, it was only expressed after treatment with 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine (AZA) in T47D cell line, which revealed that NDRG1 expression could modulated by DNA methylation. Therefore, the fragment surrounding the transcript start site of NDRG1 gene promoter was cloned after sodium bisulfite DNA treatment. A high density (66%) of methylation for human NDRG1 gene promoter was detected in T47D; however, there was only 16% of methylated CpG dinucleotides in the NDRG1 gene promoter in MDA-MB-231. DNA methylation in the NDRG1 promoter was detected in 31.1% of primary breast cancer samples. Furthermore, the NDRG1 promoter methylation correlated with the Tumor Node Metastasis (TNM) at stage III/IV, metastasis, lymph invasion, moderate and poor histological grade in the breast cancer patients.
These findings suggest that the DNA methylation status of NDRG1 gene may play an important role in the pathogenesis and/or development of breast cancer, and the expression could be regulated by aberrant DNA methylation.
Breast cancer; DNA methylation; Gene expression; N-myc downstream regulated gene
Wound healing is a complex biologic process that involves the integration of inflammation, mitosis, angiogenesis, synthesis, and remodeling of the extracellular matrix. However, some wounds fail to heal properly and become chronic. Although some simulated chronic wound models have been established, an efficient approach to treat chronic wounds in animal models has not been determined. The aim of this study was to develop a modified rat model simulating the chronic wounds caused by clinical radiation ulcers and examine the treatment of chronic wounds with adipose-derived stem cells.
Sprague–Dawley rats were irradiated with an electron beam, and wounds were created. The rats received treatment with adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), and a wound-healing assay was performed. The wound sizes after ASC treatment for 3 weeks were significantly smaller compared with the control condition (p < 0.01). Histological observations of the wound edge and immunoblot analysis of the re-epithelialization region both indicated that the treatment with ASCs was associated with the development of new blood vessels. Cell-tracking experiments showed that ASCs were colocalized with endothelial cell markers in ulcerated tissues.
We established a modified rat model of radiation-induced wounds and demonstrated that ASCs accelerate wound-healing.
Adipose-derived stem cells; Mesenchymal stem cells; Radiation ulcer; Wound model
The expression of myocardin, a cardiac-restricted gene, increases during environmental stress. How mechanical stretch affects the regulation of myocardin in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is not fully understood. We identify the mechanisms and pathways through which mechanical stretch induces myocardin expression in VSMCs.
Rat VSMCs grown on a flexible membrane base were stretched to 20% of maximum elongation, at 60 cycles per min. An in vivo model of aorta-caval shunt in adult rats was also used to investigate myocardin expression. Cyclic stretch significantly increased myocardin and angiotensin II (AngII) expression after 18 and 6 h of stretch. Addition of extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK) pathway inhibitor (PD98059), ERK small interfering RNA (siRNA), and AngII receptor blocker (ARB; losartan) before stretch inhibited the expression of myocardin protein. Gel shift assay showed that myocardin-DNA binding activity increased after stretch. PD98059, ERK siRNA and ARB abolished the binding activity induced by stretch. Stretch increased while myocardin-mutant plasmid, PD98059, and ARB abolished the promoter activity. Protein synthesis by measuring [3H]proline incorporation into the cells increased after cyclic stretch, which represented hypertrophic change of VSMCs. An in vivo model of aorta-caval shunt also demonstrated increased myocardin protein expression in the aorta. Confocal microscopy showed increased VSMC size 24 h after cyclic stretch and VSMC hypertrophy after creation of aorta-caval shunt for 3 days.
Cyclic stretch enhanced myocardin expression mediated by AngII through the ERK pathway in cultured rat VSMCs. These findings suggest that myocardin plays a role in stretch-induced VSMC hypertrophy.
Myocardin; Stretch; Vascular smooth muscle cells; ERK pathway
Oxidative stress increases the cytosolic content of calcium in the cytoplasm through a combination of effects on calcium pumps, exchangers, channels and binding proteins. In this study, oxidative stress was produced by exposure to tert-butyl hydroperoxide (tBHP); cell viability was assessed using a dye reduction assay; receptor binding was characterized using [3H]N-methylscopolamine ([3H]MS); and cytosolic and luminal endoplasmic reticulum (ER) calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i and [Ca2+]L, respectively) were measured by fluorescent imaging.
Activation of M3 muscarinic receptors induced a biphasic increase in [Ca2+]i: an initial, inositol trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated release of Ca2+ from endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stores followed by a sustained phase of Ca2+ entry (i.e., store-operated calcium entry; SOCE). Under non-cytotoxic conditions, tBHP increased resting [Ca2+]i; a 90 minute exposure to tBHP (0.5-10 mM ) increased [Ca2+]i from 26 to up to 127 nM and decreased [Ca2+]L by 55%. The initial response to 10 μM carbamylcholine was depressed by tBHP in the absence, but not the presence, of extracellular calcium. SOCE, however, was depressed in both the presence and absence of extracellular calcium. Acute exposure to tBHP did not block calcium influx through open SOCE channels. Activation of SOCE following thapsigargin-induced depletion of ER calcium was depressed by tBHP exposure. In calcium-free media, tBHP depressed both SOCE and the extent of thapsigargin-induced release of Ca2+ from the ER. M3 receptor binding parameters (ligand affinity, guanine nucleotide sensitivity, allosteric modulation) were not affected by exposure to tBHP.
Oxidative stress induced by tBHP affected several aspects of M3 receptor signaling pathway in CHO cells, including resting [Ca2+]i, [Ca2+]L, IP3 receptor mediated release of calcium from the ER, and calcium entry through the SOCE. tBHP had little effect on M3 receptor binding or G protein coupling. Thus, oxidative stress affects multiple aspects of calcium homeostasis and calcium dependent signaling.
Calcium signaling; Inositol trisphosphate (IP3); Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor; Oxidative stress; Phospholipase Cβ; Store-operated calcium entry (SOCE)
The apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) genotype is a major risk factor for developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Inheritance of apoE4 is also associated with impairments in olfactory function in early stages of AD. In this project we examined the effects of the three common isoforms of human apoE (apoE2, apoE3, and apoE4) on neuronal differentiation and neurite outgrowth in explant cultures of mouse olfactory epithelium (OE).
The OE cultures derived from apoE-deficient/knockout (KO) mice have significantly fewer neurons with shorter neurite outgrowth than cultures from wild-type (WT) mice. Treatment of the apoE KO culture with either purified human apoE2 or with human apoE3 significantly increased neurite outgrowth. In contrast, treatment with apoE4 did not have an effect on neurite outgrowth. The differential effects of human apoE isoforms on neurite outgrowth were abolished by blocking the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) with lactoferrin and receptor-associated protein (RAP).
ApoE2 and apoE3 stimulate neurite outgrowth in OE cultures by interacting with the lipoprotein receptor, LRP. ApoE4, the isoform associated with AD, failed to promote neurite outgrowth, suggesting a potential mechanism whereby apoE4 may lead to olfactory dysfunction in AD patients.
ApoE; Neurite outgrowth; Neuronal differentiation; Olfaction; Olfactory neurons; Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein; Receptor-associated protein; Alzheimer’s disease
The coupling between neuronal activity and vascular responses is controlled by the neurovascular unit (NVU), which comprises multiple cell types. Many different types of dysfunction in these cells may impair the proper control of vascular responses by the NVU. Magnetic resonance imaging, which is the most powerful tool available to investigate neurovascular structures or functions, will be discussed in the present article in relation to its applications and discoveries. Because aberrant angiogenesis and vascular remodeling have been increasingly reported as being implicated in brain pathogenesis, this review article will refer to this hallmark event when suitable.
Prostate smooth muscle tone is regulated by α1-adrenoceptor-induced contraction and cAMP-mediated relaxation. EPAC is an effector of cAMP, being involved in smooth muscle relaxation and cell cycle control outside the lower urinary tract. Here, we investigated the expression and function of EPAC in human prostate tissues from patients undergoing radical prostatectomy.
mRNA and protein expression of EPAC was detected in all prostate tissues by RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Immunoreactivity was observed in stromal cells, and colocalized with immunofluorescence for α-smooth muscle actin and calponin. Under normal conditions, noradrenaline- or phenylephrine-induced contraction of prostate strips in the organ bath was not affected by the EPAC activator pCPT (SP-8-pCPT-2′-O-Me-cAMPS.NA) (30 μM). However, when the cyclooxygenase inhibitor indomethacin (50 μM) was added, EPAC activators pCPT and OME (8-CPT-2′-O-Me-cAMP.Na) (30 μM) significantly reduced contractions by low concentrations of phenylephrine. These effects were not observed on noradrenaline-induced contraction. OME and pCPT caused phosphorylation of the transcription factor Elk1 in prostate tissues. Elk1 activation was confirmed by EMSA (electrophoretic mobility shift assay), where OME and pCPT incresed Elk1 binding to a specific DNA probe.
EPAC activation may reduce α1-adrenergic prostate contraction in the human prostate, although this effect is masked by cyclooxygenases and β-adrenoceptors. A main EPAC function in the human prostate may be the regulation of the transcription factor Elk1.
α1-adrenoceptor; Smooth muscle contraction; Smooth muscle relaxation; Cyclic adenosin-3′,5′-monophosphate; EPAC; Elk1; Benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH); Benign prostate obstruction (BPO); Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO); Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS)
Increased lipid accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction within skeletal muscle have been shown to be strongly associated with insulin resistance. However, the role of mitofusion-2 (MFN2), a key factor in mitochondrial function and energy metabolism, in skeletal muscle lipid intermediate accumulation remains to be elucidated.
A high-fat diet resulted in insulin resistance as well as accumulation of cytosolic lipid intermediates and down-regulation of MFN2 and CPT1 in skeletal muscle in rats, while MFN2 overexpression improved insulin sensitivity and reduced lipid intermediates in muscle, possibly by upregulation of CPT1 expression.
MFN2 overexpression can rescue insulin resistance, possibly by upregulating CPT1 expression leading to reduction in the accumulation of lipid intermediates in skeletal muscle. These observations contribute to the investigations of new diabetes therapies.
Mitofusion2; Insulin resistance; Skeletal musle; Lipid intermediates; CPT1; CD36
gp340, a member of scavenger receptor cysteine rich family encoded by Deleted in Malignant Brain Tumors 1 (DMBT1), is an important component in innate immune defense. The first scavenger receptor cysteine rich domain (SRCR1) of gp340 has been shown to inhibit HIV-1 infection through binding to the N-terminal flank of the V3 loop of HIV-1 gp120.
Through homology modeling and docking analysis of SRCR1 to a gp120-CD4-X5 antibody complex, we identified three loop regions containing polar or acidic residues that directly interacted with gp120. To confirm the docking prediction, a series of over-lapping peptides covering the SRCR1 sequence were synthesized and analyzed by gp120-peptide binding assay. Five peptides coincide with three loop regions showed the relative high binding index. An alanine substitution scan revealed that Asp34, Asp35, Asn96 and Glu101 in two peptides with the highest binding index are the critical residues in SRCR1 interaction with gp120.
We pinpointed the vital gp120-binding regions in SRCR1 and narrowed down the amino acids which play critical roles in contacting with gp120.
SRCR1; DMBT1; HIV-1 gp120; Automated docking
Dengue virus (DENV) infection can cause life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Vascular leakage and abnormal hemorrhage are the two major pathogenic changes found in these patients. From previous studies, it is known that both antibodies and cytokines induced in response to DENV infection are involved in the immunopathogenesis of DHF/DSS. However, the role of viral factors during DENV infection remains unclear. Nonstructural protein 1 (NS1), which is secreted in the sera of patients, is a useful diagnostic marker for acute DENV infection. Nevertheless, the roles of NS1 and its antibodies in the pathogenesis of DHF/DSS are unclear. The focus of this review is to evaluate the possible contributions of NS1 and the antibodies it induces to vascular leakage and abnormal hemorrhage during DENV infection, which may provide clues to better understanding the pathogenesis of DHF/DSS.
Endothelium; Permeability; Hemorrhage; Pathogenesis
Dysregulated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)-AKT signaling is considered pivotal for oral cancer, and the pathway is a potential candidate for therapeutic targeting.
A total of 108 archival samples which were from surgically resected oral cancer were examined. Immunohistochemical staining showed the protein expression of membranous wild-type EGFR and cytoplasmic phosphorylated AKT was detected in 63.9% and 86.9% of the specimens, respectively. In 49.1% of the samples, no phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) expression was detected. With regard to the EGFR variant III (EGFRvIII), 75.0% of the samples showed positive expression for moderate to severe staining, 31.5% of which had high expression levels. Real-time polymerase chain reaction assays for gene copy number assessment of PIK3CA revealed that 24.8% of the samples had alterations, and of EGFR showed that 49.0% had amplification. Direct sequencing of PIK3CA gene showed 2.3% of the samples had a hotspot point mutation. Statistical assessment showed the expression of the EGFRvIII correlated with the T classification and TNM stage. The Kaplan-Meier analyses for patient survival showed that the individual status of phosphorylated AKT and EGFRvIII led to significant differences in survival outcome. The multivariate analysis indicated that phosphorylated AKT, EGFRvIII expression and disease stage were patient survival determinants.
Aberrations in the EGFR-PI3K-AKT pathway were frequently found in oral cancers. EGFRvIII and phosphorylated AKT were predictors for the patient survival and clinical outcome.
AKT; EGFR; EGFRvIII; Oral cancer; PI3K; PTEN
In non-excitable cells, one major route for calcium entry is through store-operated calcium (SOC) channels in the plasma membrane. These channels are activated by the emptying of intracellular Ca2+ store. STIM1 and Orai1 are major regulators of SOC channels. In this study, we explored the functions of STIM1 and Orai1 in epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced cell proliferation and migration in retinal pigment epithelial cells (ARPE-19 cell line).
EGF triggers cell proliferation and migration in ARPE-19 cells. Cell proliferation and migration involve STIM1 and Orai1, as well as phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) 1/2, and Akt. Pharmacological inhibitors of SOC channels and siRNA of Orai1 and STIM1 suppress cell proliferation and migration. Pre-treatment of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors and a phosphatidylinositol 3 kinases (PI3K) inhibitor attenuated cell proliferation and migration. However, inhibition of the SOC channels failed to prevent EGF-mediated ERK 1/2 and Akt phosphorylation.
Our results showed that STIM1, Orai1, ERK 1/2, and Akt are key determinants of EGF-mediated cell growth in ARPE-19 cells. EGF is a potent growth molecule that has been linked to the development of PVR, and therefore, STIM1, Orai1, as well as the MEK/ERK 1/2 and PI3K/Akt pathways, might be potential therapeutic targets for drugs aimed at treating such disorders.
STIM1; Orai1; Store-operated calcium channel; Retinal pigment epithelial cell; Proliferative vitreoretinopathy
Infection with dengue virus (DENV) causes both mild dengue fever and severe dengue diseases, such as dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. The pathogenic mechanisms for DENV are complicated, involving viral cytotoxicity, immunopathogenesis, autoimmunity, and underlying host diseases. Viral load correlates with disease severity, while the antibody-dependent enhancement of infection largely determines the secondary effects of DENV infection. Epidemiological and experimental studies have revealed an association between the plasma levels of interleukin (IL)-10, which is the master anti-inflammatory cytokine, and disease severity in patients with DENV infection. Based on current knowledge of IL-10-mediated immune regulation during infection, researchers speculate an emerging role for IL-10 in clinical disease prognosis and dengue pathogenesis. However, the regulation of dengue pathogenesis has not been fully elucidated. This review article discusses the regulation and implications of IL-10 in DENV infection. For future strategies against DENV infection, manipulating IL-10 may be an effective antiviral treatment in addition to the development of a safe dengue vaccine.
DENV; Antibody-dependent enhancement; Infection; IL-10; Immunopathogenesis
Placenta growth factor (PlGF), a dimeric glycoprotein with 53% homology to VEGF, binds to VEGF receptor-1 (Flt-1), but not to VEGF receptor-2 (Flk-1), and may function by modulating VEGF activity. We previously have showed that PlGF displays prognostic value in colorectal cancer (CRC) but the mechanism remains elucidated.
Overexpression of PlGF increased the invasive/migration ability and decreased apoptosis in CRC cells showing Flt-1 expression. Increased migration was associated with increasing MMP9 via p38 MAPK activation. Tumors grew faster, larger; with higher vascularity from PlGF over-expression cells in xenograft assay. In two independent human CRC tissue cohorts, PlGF, MMP9, and Flt-1 expressions were higher in the advanced than the localized disease group. PlGF expression correlated with MMP9, and Flt-1 expression. CRC patients with high PlGF and high Flt-1 expression in tissue had poor prognosis.
PlGF/Flt-1 signaling plays an important role in CRC progression, blocking PlGF/Flt-1 signaling maybe an alternative therapy for CRC.
Colorectal cancer; Flt-1; PlGF; Invasion; Migration; MMP9
Effective and validated animal models are valuable to investigate the pathogenesis and potential therapeutics for human diseases. There is much concern for diabetic retinopathy (DR) in that it affects substantial number of working population all around the world, resulting in visual deterioration and social deprivation. In this review, we discuss animal models of DR based on different species of animals from zebrafish to monkeys and prerequisites for animal models. Despite criticisms on imprudent use of laboratory animals, we hope that animal models of DR will be appropriately utilized to deepen our understanding on the pathogenesis of DR and to support our struggle to find novel therapeutics against catastrophic visual loss from DR.
Animal model; Diabetic retinopathy; Macular edema; Pathologic angiogenesis; Vascular permeabilit