Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), formed at an accelerated rate under diabetes, play a role in inflammation and fibrosis in mesangial areas in diabetic nephropathy (DN). However, the transcriptional modulator that mediates the cellular response to AGEs remains largely obscure. Our goal was to determine whether myocardin-related transcription factor (MRTF)-A, a key protein involved in the transcriptional regulation of smooth muscle cell phenotype, was responsible for the glomerular mesangial cells (GMCs) injury by AGEs, and, if so, how MRTF-A promoted mesangial dysfunction initiated by AGEs. In this study, MRTF-A was activated by AGEs in terms of protein expression and nuclear translocation in rat GMCs. MRTF-A overexpression synergistically enhanced the induction of FN and ICAM-1 by AGEs. In contract, depletion of MRTF-A abrogated the pathogenic program triggered by AGEs. Then, by interfering with MRTF-A, STAT1, STAT3 and STAT5 nuclear translocation were observed and we screened out STAT5, which was decreased obviously when MRTF-A depleted. Further investigation showed that MRTF-A interacted with STAT5 and promoted its nuclear accumulation and transcriptional activity. Therefore, our present findings suggested a role of MRTF-A in AGEs-induced GMCs injury, and further revealed that the underlying molecular mechanism was related to activating the nuclear factor STAT5. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Transcription factors of nuclear receptor 5A (Nr5a) subfamily play pivotal roles in regulation of steroidogenic enzymes in vertebrates including teleosts. In the orange-spotted grouper, the expression of Nr5a1a was only detectable in the ovary, spleen, and head kidney in the female. The immunoreactive Nr5a1a was present in ovarian follicular and germ cells. In the ovarian follicular cells surrounding vitellogenic oocytes, Nr5a1a was detected both in the nucleus and cytoplasm, and co-localized with Cyp19a1a and Nr5a2. In the ovarian follicular cells surrounding fully grown oocytes, Nr5a1a was localized almost exclusively to the cytoplasm together with Nr5a2. Nr5a1a could up-regulate cyp19a1a promoter activities through Nr5a sites, and further increase the responses elicited by Nr5a2 at sub maximal doses. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis showed that Nr5a1a bound to cyp19a1a promoter in the vitellogenic but not fully grown ovary. Taken together, Nr5a1a up-regulates cyp19a1a additively with Nr5a2 during vitellogenesis, and its cytoplasmic sequestration may also contribute to the down-regulation of cyp19a1a in the fully grown ovary. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Silent mating type information regulation 2 homolog 3 (SIRT3) is a major protective mediator that ameliorates oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction, which are associated with the pathogenesis of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). The present study was aimed to investigate the potential role of SIRT3 in renal tubular EMT both in vitro and in vivo. Firstly, we showed that the expression of SIRT3 was repressed in angiotensin II-induced EMT. SIRT3 deficiency triggered EMT response, while over expression of SIRT3 attenuated EMT response. In addition, over-expression of SIRT3 repressed Angll-induced excessive production of mitochondrial superoxide, as well as mitochondrial dysfunction evidenced by the maintenance of mitochondrial number and morphology, and the stabilization of mitochondria! membrane potential. In conclusion, these findings identify a protective role of SIRT3 against angiotensin II-induced EMT in the kidney, and suggest SIRT3 upregulation is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of renal tubulointerstitial fibrosis. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Purpose: Aberrant succinate accumulation emerges as a unifying mechanism for inflammation and oxidative stress. This study aims to investigate whether curcumin ameliorates hepatic fibrosis via blocking succinate signaling. Methods: We investigated the effects of curcumin on hepatic succinate accumulation and liver fibrosis in mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). Meanwhile, we stimulated mouse primary hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) with succinate and observed the inhibitory effects of curcumin on succinate signaling. Results: Oral administration of curcumin and metformin combated mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and reduced hepatic succinate accumulation due to the inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) activity and demonstrated inhibitory effect on hepatic fibrosis. In mouse primary HSCs, curcumin prevented succinate- and CoCl2-induced hypoxia-inducible transcription factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha) induction via suppression of ROS production and effectively reduced gene expressions of Col1 alpha, Col3 alpha, fibronectin and TGF-beta 1 with inflammation inhibition. Knockdown of HIF-1 a with small interfering RNA blocked the action of succinate to induce HSCs activation, indicative of the essential role of HIF-1 a in succinate signaling. Conclusions: Hepatic succinate accumulation served as a metabolic signal to promote liver fibrosis through HIF-1 alpha induction. Curcumin reduced succinate accumulation by combating fatty acid oxidation and prevented HSCs activation by blocking succinate/HIF-1 alpha signaling pathway.
The theca cell layer of the ovarian follicle secretes growth factors that impact the function of granulosa cells. One such factor is fibroblast growth factor 18 (FGF18) that causes apoptosis of granulosa cells, however it is not known if FGF18 induces apoptosis also in theca cells. Addition of recombinant FGF18 to bovine theca cells in vitro inhibited steroidogenesis but, in contrast to previous data in granulosa cells, decreased the incidence of apoptosis. FGF18 activated typical FGF signaling pathways in theca cells, which was not previously observed in granulosa cells. The transcription factor Early Growth Response-1 (EGR1) was a target of FGF18 action; overexpression and knock-down experiments demonstrated that EGR1 is a major upstream component of FGF signaling in theca cells and that it directs cell fate toward proliferation. These data suggest that FGF18 is mitogenic for theca cells while being pro-apoptotic in granulosa cells.
The cytochrome P450 family 19 subfamily A member 1 (CYP19A1) gene, encodes aromatase, a key enzyme in estradiol (E2) synthesis, and is down-regulated during porcine follicular atresia. However, its role in and the mechanism of transcriptional repression in follicular atresia is largely unknown. In the present study, we show that the CYP19A1 gene stimulates E2 release and inhibits cell apoptosis in porcine granulosa cells (GCs). SMAD4, an anti-apoptotic moderator, was identified as a transcription factor of the porcine CYP19A1 gene and enhanced the expression and function of CYP19A1 in porcine GCs through direct binding to a SMAD4-binding element (SBE) within the promoter region of CYP19A1 gene. Moreover, we found that miR-10b, a pro-apoptotic factor, directly interacted with 3'-UTR of the porcine CYP19A1 mRNA, inhibiting its expression and function in porcine GCs. Collectively, we demonstrated that CYP19A1 is an inhibitor of follicular atresia and is regulated by both SMAD4 and miR-10b. These findings provide further insight into the mechanisms of CYP19A1 in steroid hormone synthesis and GC apoptosis and provide molecular targets for exploring methods of treatment for steroid-dependent reproductive disorders.
The inability of cultured primary Leydig cells to maintain luteinizing hormone (LH)-responsive testosterone formation in vitro for more than 3-5 days has presented a major challenge in testing trophic effects of regulatory factors or environmental toxicants. Our primary objective was to establish culture conditions sufficient to maintain LH-responsive testosterone formation by Leydig cells for at least a month. When isolated rat adult Leydig cells were cultured in DMEM/F12 and M199 culture medium containing insulin (10 mu g/ml), PDGFAA (10 ng/ml), lipoprotein (0.25 mg/ml), horse serum (1%) and a submaximal concentration of LH (0.2 ng/ml), the cells retained the ability to produce testosterone in vitro for at least 4 weeks. By using the longer-term culture conditions of this system, we were able to detect suppressive effects on testosterone production by low levels of the toxicant MEHP (mono-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate), an active metabolite of the plasticizer DEHP, that were not detected by short-term culture.
C1q/tumor necrosis factor-related protein-3 (CTRP3) shows striking homologies of genomic structure to the adiponectin. In this study, we aimed to investigate the protective role of CTRP3 against sepsis-induced cardiomyopathy. Here, we overexpressed CTRP3 in myocardium by direct intramyocardial injection and constructed a model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced sepsis in mice. Our results demonstrated that cardiac-specific overexpression of CTRP3 remarkably attenuated myocardial dysfunction and increased the phosphorylation level of AMPK alpha during LPS-induced sepsis. The anti-inflammatory effects of CTRP3, as determined by decreased mRNA levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and a lower protein expression of phosphorylated NF-kappa B p65 and I kappa B alpha, was detected in mice following LPS treatment. Additionally, CTRP3 suppressed cardiac apoptosis induced by LPS in mice as indicated by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining and western blot for Cleaved-caspase3, Box and Bcl-2. In conclusion, CTRP3 could protect against sepsis-induced myocardial dysfunction in mice. The cardioprotective effects of CTRP3 might be mediated by activating AMPK alpha signaling pathway and blunting inflammatory response and apoptosis.
Obesity is reported to be a chronic low-grade inflammatory state. Adipose tissue macrophages play a key role in obesity-related inflammation. Metformin, the most widely used anti-diabetic drug, has recently been reported to have an effect on inflammation, but the mechanism is poorly understood. This study aims to investigate how metformin works on chronic low-grade inflammation in obesity and whether the mechanism underlying it is associated with macrophage polarization. Metformin was administered for 7 weeks to high fat-fed C57/6J male mice in vivo. Metformin, compound C (an AMPK inhibitor) and AICAR (an AMPK activator) were used for the in vitro intervention. The gene expression of macrophages markers was examined. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha were tested by ELISA. The macrophage subsets were analyzed by flow cytometry. In vivo, we discovered that metformin not only decreased the serum level of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6 and TNF-alpha but also lowered the expression of the M1 macrophage markers CD11c and MCP-1 in adipose tissue. In vitro, metformin reduced the secretion of IL-6 and TNF-alpha, in palmitate-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages, while compound C treatment blocked the effect of metformin. Moreover, treatment with metformin and AICAR decreased the proportion of M1 macrophages and increased the proportion of M2 macrophages, as analyzed by flow cytometry, in palmitate-stimulated BMDMs. In addition, the effect of AICAR on macrophage polarization was stronger than that of metformin. These results suggest that metformin improves low-grade inflammation in obesity and modulates macrophage polarization to an anti-inflammatory, M2 phenotype partly via the activation of AMPK. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Preeclampsia causes gestational failure in a significant number of women annually. Insufficient trophoblast cell invasion plays an essential role in preeclampsia pathogenesis. Matrix-remodeling associated 5 (MXRA5) is a proteoglycan involved in adhesion and matrix remodeling. This study sought to explore the role of MXRA5 in trophoblast cell invasion. Preeclamptic villi were obtained for the delineation of MXRA5 expression. Specific MXRA5 siRNA and pcDNA3.1/MXRA5 were used to manipulate MXRA5 expression in HTR-8/SVneo. Cell viability was determined by MTT and apoptosis by flow cytometry. Cell invasion was evaluated using Matrigel invasion assay. MXRA5 expression was lower in preeclamptic villi and cytotrophoblasts. Silencing MXRA5 expression in HTR-8/SVneo decreased cell viability and invasion, which were augmented by MXRA5 overexpression. Furthermore, MXRA5 modulated N-cadherin, E-cadherin, MMP-2, and MMP-9 expression through p38 MAPK and ERK1/2 signaling transduction. In addition, the expression of MXRA5 was influenced by exogenous TNF-alpha but not by IFN-gamma. Overexpression of MXRA5 attenuated HTR-8/SVneo apoptosis induced by INF-alpha. MXRA5 is down regulated in preeclamptic cytotrophoblasts and can regulate trophoblast cell invasion via the MAPK pathway. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) is a member of the fatty acid binding protein family which involved in a variety of biological cellular processes, including tumorigenesis. However, the role of this key adipokine in cervical cancer is still unclear. In this study, we explored the function of FABP4 in cervical cancer and the underlying molecular mechanisms. FABP4 was specifically elevated in tissue samples from patients with cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) but not with cervical adenocarcinoma, and the level of FABP4 was correlated with E-cadherin and Vimentin expression. In vitro, exogenous FABP4 promoted the migration and invasion of CSCC cells in a dose-dependent manner, and reorganized the actin cytoskeletons in F-Actin staining and TGF-beta induced EMT assays. Importantly, the AKT/GSK3 beta/Snail pathway appears to be involved in FABP4-induced EMT in CSCC cells. In conclusion, our research demonstrated elevated FABP4 promoted EMT via the activation of AKT/GSK3 beta/Snail pathway in CSCC. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Lithium chloride (LiCl) is a widely-used medication to treat neurological disorders that has undesirable side effects on the female reproductive system. It has been show that LiCl can inhibit ovarian folliculogenesis, promote follicle atresia and suppress steroid hormone production in rodents. However, the effects of LiCl on human ovarian steroidogenesis remain completely unknown. In this study, both primary and immortalized human granulosa-lutein (hGL) cells were used to investigate the effects of LiCl on progesterone production and its related enzyme expression as well as the underlying mechanisms. Our results showed that LiCl significantly down-regulated the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) expression and subsequent progesterone production in hGL cells. Additionally, LiCl induced the phosphorylation of GSK-3 beta and ERK1/2 but not AKT or CREB. Knockdown of endogenous GSK-3 beta or inhibition of ERK1/2 partially reversed LiCl-induced down-regulation of StAR. Furthermore, by using dual inhibition approaches, the results showed that both GSK-3 beta and ERK1/2 signaling mediated the regulatory effect of LiCl on StAR expression. Our findings deepen our understanding of the pathological effects and the underlying molecular mechanisms of how lithium might affect the female reproductive system. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Zearalenone (ZEA) is one of the most popular endocrine-disrupting chemicals and is mainly produced by fungi of the genus Fusarium. The excessive intake of ZEA severely disrupts human and animal fertility by affecting the reproductive axis. However, most studies on the effects of ZEA and its metabolite alpha-zearalenol (alpha-ZOL) on reproductive systems have focused on gonads. Few studies have investigated the endocrine-disrupting effects of ZEA and alpha-ZOL on pituitary gonadotropins, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). The present study was designed to investigate the effects of ZEA and alpha-ZOL on the synthesis and secretion of FSH and LH and related mechanisms in female pig pituitary. Our in vivo and in vitro results demonstrated that ZEA significantly inhibited the synthesis and secretion of FSH in the pig pituitary gland, but ZEA and alpha-ZOL had no effects on LH. Our study also showed that ZEA and alpha-ZOL decreased FSH synthesis and secretion through non-classical estrogen membrane receptor GPR30, which subsequently induced protein kinase cascades and the phosphorylation of PKC, ERK and p38MAPK signaling pathways in pig pituitary cells. Furthermore, our study showed that the LIM homeodomain transcription factor LHX3 was involved in the mechanisms of ZEA and alpha-ZOL actions on gonadotropes in the female pig pituitary. These findings elucidate the mechanisms behind the physiological alterations resulting from endocrine-disrupting chemicals and further show that the proposed key molecules of the alpha-ZOL signaling pathway could be potential pharmacological targets. (C) 2017 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
The LHb expression is up-regulated during puberty in female zebrafish. However, the molecular mechanism underlying how LHb expression is regulated during puberty remains largely unknown. In this study, we found that the mRNA expression levels of lhb, fshb and cyp19a1b were up-regulated along with the puberty onset in zebrafish. Among the three nuclear estrogen receptors (nERs), the esr2b is the only type whose expression is significantly up-regulated during puberty onset in the pituitary. However, in situ hybridization results revealed that lhb mRNA was colocalized with esr1 and esr2a but not esr2b. Exposure to estradiol (E-2) significantly stimulates LHb expression in both wild-type and kiss1(-/-);kiss2(-/-);gnrh3(-/-) triple knockout pubertal zebrafish. Moreover, exposure of cultured pituitary cells to E-2 increased the LHb expression, indicating that the estrogenic effect on LHb expression could be acted at the pituitary level. Finally, we cloned and analyzed the promoter of lhb by luciferase assay. Our results indicated that the E-2 responsive regions of lhb promoter for ER alpha and ER beta 2 are identical, suggesting that ER alpha and ER beta 2 could bind to the same half ERE region of the promoter of lhb, exhibiting a classical ERE-dependent pathway. In summary, we demonstrate that E-2 could directly act on the pituitary level to stimulate LHb transcription during puberty in zebrafish. (C) 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) is down-regulated in Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) thyrocytes and mediates IgG endocytosis in thyrocytes. The serum distribution of IgG subclasses (of TgAb and TPOAb) differs between HT patients and normal individuals. We aimed to explore the direction and regulation of FcRn-mediated IgG transport in thyrocyte monolayers and the difference between various IgG subclass transport. IgG was transported by FcRn from the basolateral to apical side in the thyrocyte monolayers grown on Transwell filters and the transport was inhibited by IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Stimulation by T3 and TSH down-regulated FcRn expression in thyrocytes. IgG1 was transported preferentially over IgG2 and IgG4, which might be related to the differences in FcRn-binding affinities as shown by SPR. FcRn mediates unidirectional IgG transport in thyrocytes in a tissuespecific manner. Down-regulation of FcRn is speculated to play a protective role in HT pathogenesis by mainly reducing IgG1 transport in thyrocytes.