Experimental Biology and Medicine

Published by SAGE Publications
Online ISSN: 1535-3699
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Article
The triazole family of compounds has been implicated in modulating various biological processes such as inflammation, tumorigenesis, and infection. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the effects of 1,2,3-triazole substituted biarylacrylonitrile compounds, including KP-A021, on the differentiation and function of osteoclasts. KP-A021 and its triazole derivatives, at a concentration that does not cause a cytotoxic response in bone marrow macrophages (BMMs), significantly inhibited osteoclast differentiation induced by receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) as assessed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining. KP-A021 also dramatically inhibited the expression of marker genes associated with osteoclast differentiation, such as TRAP, cathepsin K (Cat K), dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), and nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1). Furthermore, KP-A021 inhibited actin ring formation in osteoclasts as well as resorption pit formation induced by osteoclasts. Analysis of the signaling pathway for KP-A021 indicated that this triazole compound inhibited the RANKL-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and its upstream signaling molecule, mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase1/2 (MEK1/2). Taken together, these results demonstrate that KP-A021 has an inhibitory effect on the differentiation and function of osteoclasts via modulation of the RANKL-induced activation of the MEK-ERK pathway. © 2015 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
 
Article
Hypertrophy and impaired mineralization are two processes closely associated with osteoarthritis (OA). 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1a,25(OH)(2)D(3)) and inorganic phosphate (Pi) are two important factors that are implicated in calcium and phosphate homeostasis of bone metabolism and both can be regulated by the circulating phosphaturic factor fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23). The objective of this study was to investigate the role of 1a,25(OH)(2)D(3) and Pi and the molecular mechanism through which they contribute to hypertrophy and mineralization in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes. For this purpose, primary human chondrocytes were obtained from articular cartilage which was collected after total knee replacement surgery in OA patients. FGF23, fibroblast growth factor receptor 1c (FGFR1c), vitamin D(3) receptor (VDR), and phosphate inorganic transporter-1 and -2 (PiT-1 and PiT-2) expression levels were evaluated and found to be significantly higher in OA chondrocytes compared with normal. In addition, we observed that the binding of FGF23 to FGFR1c was stronger in OA chondrocytes compared with normal. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay revealed, for the first time, the presence of two vitamin D response elements (VDREs) in the FGF23 promoter. Treatment of normal chondrocytes with 1a,25(OH)(2)D(3) or Pi resulted in significant up-regulation of VDR, FGF23, PiT-1, PiT-2 mRNA and protein levels, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation and induction of hypertrophy markers collagen type X (COL10A1), osteopontin (OPN), osteocalcin (OC), catabolic markers metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) and the apoptotic marker caspase-9. Furthermore, VDR silencing in OA chondrocytes negatively regulated FGF23, COL10A1, OPN, OC, MMP-13 and caspase-9 expressions and ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Finally, combined VDR silencing and PiT-1, PiT-2 inhibition in OA chondrocytes resulted in additive down-regulation of FGF23 expression, ERK1/2 activation and COL10A1, OPN, OC, MMP-13 and caspase-9 expression levels. We propose that 1a,25(OH)(2)D(3) and Pi act synergistically through FGF23 signaling and ERK1/2 phosphorylation contributing to late hypertrophic events and impaired mineralization in osteoarthritic chondrocytes.
 
Article
The expression of the inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R) is upregulated and the function of IP3R also increases during atrial fibrillation (AF). 2-Aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) is a membrane-permeable inhibitor of IP3R. However, the effect of 2-APB on AF is unknown. The aim of the present study is to explore the effects of 2-APB on AF. In vitro rabbit heart models of ischemia-, stretch- and cholinergic agitation-induced AF were developed. Fura-2-acetoxymethyl (Fura-2-AM) and Mg2+-Fura-2-AM were used to monitor alterations of intracellular Ca2+ and ATP, respectively, in HL-1 cells, an atrial muscle cell line, under chemical ischemia or cholinergic agitation. The results showed that inhibition of IP3R significantly reduced the incidence and its probability of being sustained in all three types of AF. IP3R inhibition ameliorated the cytoplasmic Ca2+ overload and energy compromise resulting from chemical ischemia or cholinergic agitation. Thus, IP3R inhibition may be a novel target for AF treatment, and IP3R may be an important molecule in the context of different kinds of AF.
 
Article
Acrolein is an environmental toxicant, mainly found in smoke released from incomplete combustion of organic matter. Several studies showed that exposure to acrolein can lead to liver damage. The mechanisms involved in acrolein-induced hepatocellular toxicity, however, are not completely understood. This study examined the cytotoxic mechanisms of acrolein on HepG2 cells. Acrolein at pathophysiological concentrations was shown to cause apoptotic cell death and an increase in levels of protein carbonyl and thiobarbituric acid reactive acid substances. Acrolein also rapidly depleted intracellular glutathione (GSH), GSH-linked glutathione-S-transferases, and aldose reductase, three critical cellular defenses that detoxify reactive aldehydes. Results further showed that depletion of cellular GSH by acrolein preceded the loss of cell viability. To further determine the role of cellular GSH in acrolein-mediated cytotoxicity, buthionine sulfoximine (BSO) was used to inhibit cellular GSH biosynthesis. It was observed that depletion of cellular GSH by BSO led to a marked potentiation of acrolein-mediated cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. To further assess the contribution of these events to acrolein-induced cytotoxicity, triterpenoid compound 2-cyano-3,12-dioxooleana-1,9-dien-28-imidazolide (CDDO-Im) was used for induction of GSH. Induction of GSH by CDDO-Im afforded cytoprotection against acrolein toxicity in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, BSO significantly inhibited CDDO-Im-mediated induction in cellular GSH levels and also reversed cytoprotective effects of CDDO-Im in HepG2 cells. These results suggest that GSH is a predominant mechanism underlying acrolein-induced cytotoxicity as well as CDDO-Im-mediated cytoprotection. This study may provide understanding on the molecular action of acrolein which may be important to develop novel strategies for the prevention of acrolein-mediated toxicity. © 2014 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
 
Article
Recent advances regarding the biology of adipose tissue have demonstrated that white adipose tissue (WAT) plays a central role in the regulation of energy balance and acts as a secretory/endocrine organ that mediates numerous physiological and pathological processes. Dysregulation of WAT mass causes obesity or lipoatrophy, two disorders associated with life-threatening pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Alterations in WAT mass result from changes in adipocyte size and/or number. Change in adipocyte number is achieved through a complex interplay between proliferation and differentiation of preadipocytes. Adipocyte differentiation or adipogenesis is a highly controlled process that has been extensively studied for the last 25 years. In vitro preadipocyte culture systems that recapitulate most of the critical aspects of fat cell formation in vivo have allowed a meticulous dissection of the cellular and molecular events involved in the adipogenesis process. The adipogenic transcription factors peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma and CCAAT/enhancer binding protein-alpha play a key role in the complex transcriptional cascade that occurs during adipogenesis. Hormonal and nutritional signaling affects adipocyte differentiation in a positive or negative manner, and components involved in cell-cell or cell-matrix interactions are also pivotal in regulating the differentiation process. This knowledge provides a basis for understanding the physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie adipose tissue formation and for the development of novel and sound therapeutic approaches to treat obesity and its related diseases.
 
Article
The physiological decline that occurs in aging is thought to result, in part, from accumulation of oxidative damage generated by reactive oxygen species during normal metabolic processes. Elevated levels of antioxidative enzymes in liver tissues are present in the Ames dwarf, a growth hormone (GH)-deficient mouse that lives more than 1 year longer than wild-type mice from the same line. In contrast, transgenic mice that overexpress GH exhibit depressed hepatic levels of catalase and have significantly shortened life spans. In this study, we evaluated the in vitro effects of GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) on antioxidative enzymes in mouse hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated from wild-type mice following perfusion of livers with a collagenase-based buffer. Dispersed cells were plated on Matrigel and treated with rat GH (0.1, 1.0, or 10 microg/ml) or IGF-1 (0.5, 5.0, or 50 nM) for 24 hr. Hepatocytes were recovered and protein was extracted for immunoblotting and enzyme activity assays of catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPX), and manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD). A 41% and 27% decrease in catalase activity was detected in cells treated with GH, whereas IGF-1 reduced CAT activity levels to a greater extent than GH (P < 0.0001). The activity and protein levels of GPX were also significantly depressed in cells treated with GH, whereas activity alone was decreased in cells treated with IGF-1 (P < 0.04). GH significantly suppressed MnSOD levels by 40% and 66% in 1.0 and 0.1 microg/ml concentrations, respectively. Similarly, IGF-1 decreased MnSOD protein levels (5 nM; P < 0.05). These results suggest that GH and IGF-1 may decrease the ability of hepatocytes to counter oxidative stress. In addition, these experiments provide an explanation for the differing antioxidative defense capacity of GH-deficient versus GH-overexpressing mice, and they suggest that GH is directly involved in antioxidant regulation and the aging process.
 
Article
Endothelin (ET)-1(1-21) is known to play an important role in the pathogenesis of acute ischemic arrhythmia. In the present study, we attempted to determine whether administration of ET-1(1-31) would result in arrhythmia in perfused isolated rat hearts. Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats weighing approximately 250-350 g were randomized into 6 groups. Heart was isolated and perfused in a Langendorff mode. The effects of ET-1(1-31) on arrhythmia, heart rate, coronary flow, and heart function were analyzed. Perfusion with 1 nM ET-1(1-31) resulted in frequent ventricular ectopic beats (VEBs) and ventricular tachycardia (VT). Overall VEB was 128.0 (approximately 66.0-1015.0), and the arrhythmia score (AS) was 2.18 +/- 0.87; both were significantly higher than those of the control group (P < 0.01). Pretreatment with perfusion of 10 nM of the ETA-receptor antagonist BQ(123) markedly attenuated the occurrence of VEB and VT induced by ET-1(1-31). AS in 10 nM BQ123 group was significantly lower than that in 1 nM ET-1(1-31) group (P < 0.01). The arrhythmia induced by 1 nM ET-1(1-31) was partially but significantly reduced by phosphoramidon (1 microM), a neutral endopeptidase/ET-converting enzyme inhibitor. ET-1(1-31) per se caused arrhythmia in perfused isolated rat hearts. This arrhythmogenic action is in part mediated by ET(A) receptor and may be attributed mainly to the conversion of ET-1(1-31) to ET-1(1-21.).
 
RT-PCR determination of rhIL-11 (A), IL-11R (B), and ß-actin mRNA in pancreatic islets isolated from of C57BL/6 mice of both sexes that had been injected with multiple low doses of streptozotocin (MLD-STZ) or with the solvent of STZ as controls (C). Islets were isolated on either day 1 or day 3 after the fifth STZ injection. MLD-STZ treatment resulted in profound reduction of the mRNA levels of IL-11 and IL-11R in islets of male mice, whereas the levels in islets of female mice remained unaffected. The level of ß-actin mRNA remained unchanged in islets of both sexes. Means 6 SE of the ratio of IL-11 to ß-actin mRNA indicate a reduction (***, P , 0.001) on day 1 after the last STZ injection, which was even more pronounced on day 3 thereafter compared with the ratio of untreated controls. Means 6 SE of the ratio of IL-11R to ß-actin mRNA indicated a reduction (***, P , 0.001) on day 3 after the last STZ injection compared with the ratio of untreated controls. M, marker. bp, base pairs. 
Effect of rhIL-11 on levels of mRNA expression of of IL-11, IL-11R, and TGF-ß1 in islets isolated from male C57BL/6 mice that had been injected with MLD-STZ—either alone or in addition to rhIL- 11—or remained untreated or had received rhIL-11 alone as controls. Islets were isolated on day 3 after the last STZ injection. Streptozotocin profoundly reduced the expression of all three target genes; additional treatment with rhIL-11 exerted a significant change only on the expression of IL-11R. Injections with rhIL-11 alone did not change the expression. Means 6 SE of the ratio of the target gene over ß-actin are given. ns, not significant. *, P , 0.05; **, P , 0.01; ***, P , 0.001. 
Effect of rhIL-11 on NF- j B (A) and AP-1 (B) activity in islets isolated from male C57BL/6 mice that had been injected with MLD-STZ— either alone or in addition to rhIL-11—or with the solvent of STZ or rhIL-11 alone as controls. Islets were isolated on day 3 after the last of five STZ injections. Interleukin-11 reduced ( **, P , 0.01) the MLD-STZ-induced ( ***, P , 0.001) activity of NF- j B and AP-1. Interleukin-11 alone did not affect NF- j B or AP-1 activity. 
Effect of rhIL-11 on cytosolic kinase- a (IKK- a ) activity in islets from male C57BL/6 mice that had been injected with MLD- STZ—either alone or in addition to rhIL-11—or with the solvent of STZ or rhIL-11 alone as controls. Islets were isolated on day 3 after the last of five STZ injections. Cytosolic kinase- a activities were measured by an in vitro kinase assay using I j B- a (1-317) as a substrate. Interleukin-11 reduced (**, P , 0.01) the MLD-STZ- induced (***, P , 0.001) activity of IKK- a . Interleukin-11 alone did not affect IKK- a activity. Means 6 SE of two independent experiments. 
Article
This laboratory has reported that multiple low doses of streptozotocin (MLD-STZ) similarly upregulate the T helper (Th)1-type proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interferon (IFN)-γ in islets of both the diabetes-susceptible male and the diabetes-resistant female C57BL/6 mice and that MLD-STZ downregulates the anti-inflammatory Th2-type cytokines interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10, as well as the anti-inflammatory Th3-type cytokine-transforming growth factor (TGF)β1 in islets of male, but not female, mice. Thus, diabetes is associated with a relative preponderance of local proinflammatory cytokines. Here, we investigated the effects of MLD-STZ on the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-11 and the transcription factors nuclear factor (NF)-κB and activator protein (AP)-1, which are involved in gene activation of proinflammatory cytokines, and on the cytosolic kinase (IKK-α) of NF-κB inhibitor (IκB). Furthermore, the effect of recombinant human (rh)IL-11 on MLD-STZ diabetes, insulitis, cytokines, IKK-α, NF-κB, and AP-1 was analyzed in islets. Interleukin-11 prevented diabetes without affecting insulitis; attenuated TNF-α and IFN-γ response; and stimulated IL-4 production and inhibited activation of IKK-α, NF-κB, and AP-1. The results demonstrated the potential of rhIL-11 in preventing MLD-STZ diabetes through enhancement of anti-inflammatory responses in islets. In this process, the transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 might play a key role.
 
Concentration of PGE 2 (pg/ml) over time in culture supernatants from rat monocytes incubated with LPS (100 ng/ 2 × 10 5 cells; closed circles) and saline as control (open circles). Concentration of PGE 2 was determined by as described in the Methods section. P = 0.001 at 2 hr for supernatants from LPS-treated versus control cells. Results are an average (± SE) of three experiments. Asterisks indicate significant elevation of PGE 2 in supernatants collected already after 1 and 2 hr of incubation of rat monocytes with LPS to that of control (saline). Supernatants collected 4, 8, and 12 h after the start of the incubation of monocytes with LPS also revealed significantly higher PGE 2 levels compared to control (saline), but not to that collected after 2 hr of incubation with LPS.
Effect of 11,12-EET on the SKF-525A-provoked enhancement of PGE 2 levels in supernatants of rat monocytes stimulated 
Effect of SKF-525A and 11,12-EET on expression of 72 kDa COX-2 induced by LPS in rat monocytes. Cells were cultured for 2 hr with agents as shown, and protein expression was determined by a Western blot analysis. Densitometry analysis revealed no difference in LPS-induced COX-2 protein expression regardless of the presence of 11,12-EET and/or SKF-525A. 
Effect of 11,12-EET on COX-2 activity measured as pmol AA converted to product per minute per pmol enzyme. The enzyme was preincubated for 5 min with 11,12-EET (at a concentration of 1, 5, and 10 µM) before initiation of the reaction. The reaction with [ 14 C]AA (final concentration 0.5 µM) was initiated by the addition of the enzyme/EET mixture and terminated after 8 sec. Each data point represents the mean (± SE) of four reactions. The COX activity is expressed as a percentage of the control to which no 11,12-EET was added.
Inhibition of COX-2 by 11,12-EET is time-dependent. The reaction with [ 14 C]AA (final concentration 0.5 µM) was initiated by the addition of the enzyme/EET mixture and terminated after 8 sec. 11,12-EET (final concentration 10 µM) was either added to the [ 14 C]AA (time 0) or preincubated with COX-2 (for the time indicated) prior to initiation of the reaction. Each data point represents the mean of two reactions. The COX activity is expressed as a percentage of the control to which no 11,12-EET was added.
Article
Cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase (epoxygenase)-derived arachidonic acid (AA) metabolites, including 11,12-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid (11,12-EET), possess anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a cyclooxygenase (COX)-derived metabolite of AA, is a well-defined mediator of fever and inflammation. We have tested the hypothesis that 11,12-EET attenuates synthesis of PGE2 in monocytes, which are the cells that are indispensable for induction of fever and initiation of inflammation. Monocytes isolated from freshly collected rat blood were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS; 100 ng/2 x 10(5) cells) to induce COX-2 and stimulate generation of PGE2. SKF-525A, an inhibitor of epoxygenases, significantly augmented the lipopolysaccharide-provoked synthesis of PGE2 in cell culture in a concentration-dependent manner. It did not affect, however, elevation of the expression of COX-2 protein in monocytes stimulated with LPS. 11,12-EET also did not affect the induction of COX-2 in monocytes incubated with lipopolysaccharide. However, 11,12-EET suppressed, in a concentration-dependent fashion, the generation of PGE2 in incubates. Preincubation of a murine COX-2 preparation for 0-5 min with three concentrations of 11,12-EET (1, 5, and 10 microM) inhibited the oxygenation of [14C]-labeled AA by the enzyme. The inhibitory effect of 11,12-EET on COX-2 was time-and-concentration-dependent, suggesting a mechanism-based inhibition. Based on these data, we conclude that 11,12-EET suppresses generation of PGE2 in monocytes via modulating the activity of COX-2. These data support the hypothesis that epoxygenase-derived AA metabolites constitute a negative feedback on the enhanced synthesis of prostaglandins upon inflammation.
 
Article
Nearly 100 proteins are known to be regulated by hsp90. Most of these substrates or "client proteins" are involved in signal transduction, and they are brought into complex with hsp90 by a multiprotein hsp90/hsp70-based chaperone machinery. In addition to binding substrate proteins at the chaperone site(s), hsp90 binds cofactors at other sites that are part of the heterocomplex assembly machinery as well as immunophilins that connect assembled substrate*hsp90 complexes to protein-trafficking systems. In the 5 years since we last reviewed this subject, much has been learned about hsp90 structure, nucleotide-binding, and cochaperone interactions; the most important concept is that ATP hydrolysis by an intrinsic ATPase activity results in a conformational change in hsp90 that is required to induce conformational change in a substrate protein. The conformational change induced in steroid receptors is an opening of the steroid-binding cleft so that it can be accessed by steroid. We have now developed a minimal system of five purified proteins-hsp90, hsp70, Hop, hsp40, and p23- that assembles stable receptor*hsp90 heterocomplexes. An hsp90*Hop*hsp70*hsp40 complex opens the cleft in an ATP-dependent process to produce a receptor*hsp90 heterocomplex with hsp90 in its ATP-bound conformation, and p23 then interacts with the hsp90 to stabilize the complex. Stepwise assembly experiments have shown that hsp70 and hsp40 first interact with the receptor in an ATP-dependent reaction to produce a receptor*hsp70*hsp40 complex that is "primed" to be activated to the steroid-binding state in a second ATP-dependent step with hsp90, Hop, and p23. Successful use of the five-protein system with other substrates indicates that it can assemble signal protein*hsp90 heterocomplexes whether the substrate is a receptor, a protein kinase, or a transcription factor. This purified system should facilitate understanding of how eukaryotic hsp70 and hsp90 work together as essential components of a process that alters the conformations of substrate proteins to states that respond in signal transduction.
 
Article
Complex dietary sphingolipids such as sphingomyelin and glycosphingolipids have been reported to inhibit development of colon cancer. This protective role may be the result of turnover to bioactive metabolites including sphingoid bases (sphingosine and sphinganine) and ceramide, which inhibit proliferation and stimulate apoptosis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of sphingoid bases and ceramides on the growth, death, and cell cycle of HT-29 and HCT-116 human colon cancer cells. The importance of the 4,5-trans double bond present in both sphingosine and C(2)-ceramide (a short chain analog of ceramide) was evaluated by comparing the effects of these lipids with those of sphinganine and C(2)-dihydroceramide (a short chain analog of dihydroceramide), which lack this structural feature. Sphingosine, sphinganine, and C(2)-ceramide inhibited growth and caused death of colon cancer cells in time- and concentration-dependent manners, whereas C(2)-dihydroceramide had no effect. These findings suggest that the 4,5-trans double bond is necessary for the inhibitory effects of C(2)-ceramide, but not for sphingoid bases. Evaluation of cellular morphology via fluorescence microscopy and quantitation of fragmented low-molecular weight DNA using the diphenylamine assay demonstrated that sphingoid bases and C(2)-ceramide cause chromatin and nuclear condensation as well as fragmentation of DNA, suggesting these lipids kill colon cancer cells by inducing apoptosis. Flow cytometric analyses confirmed that sphingoid bases and C(2)-ceramide increased the number of cells in the A(0) peak indicative of apoptosis and demonstrated that sphingoid bases arrest the cell cycle at G(2)/M phase and cause accumulation in the S phase. These findings establish that sphingoid bases and ceramide induce apoptosis in colon cancer cells and implicate them as potential mediators of the protective role of more complex dietary sphingolipids in colon carcinogenesis.
 
Article
Stress may cause behavioral and/or psychiatric manifestations such as anxiety and depression and also impact on the function of different visceral organs, namely the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular systems. During the past years substantial progress has been made in the understanding of the underlying mechanisms recruited by stressors. Activation of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) signaling system is recognized to be involved in a large number of stress-related behavioral and somatic disorders. This review will outline the present knowledge on the distribution of the CRF system (ligands and receptors) expressed in the brain and peripheral viscera and its relevance in stress-induced alterations of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular functions and the therapeutic potential of CRF(1) receptor antagonists.
 
Article
Vascular remodeling due to excessive proliferation of endothelial and smooth muscle cells is a hallmark feature of pulmonary hypertension. microRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small, non-coding RNA fragments that have recently been associated with remodeling of pulmonary arteries, in particular by silencing the bone morphogenetic protein receptor type II (BMPR2). Here we identified a novel pathway involving the concerted action of miR-125a, BMPR2 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors (CDKN) that controls a proliferative phenotype of endothelial cells. An in silico approach predicted miR-125a to target BMPR2. Functional inhibition of miR-125a resulted in increased proliferation of these cells, an effect that was found accompanied by upregulation of BMPR2 and reduced expression of the tumor suppressors CDKN1A (p21) and CDKN2A (p16). These data were confirmed in experimental pulmonary hypertension in vivo. Levels of miR-125a were elevated in lung tissue of hypoxic animals that develop pulmonary hypertension. In contrast, circulating levels of miR-125a were found to be lower in mice with pulmonary hypertension as compared to control mice. Similar findings were observed in a small cohort of patients with precapillary pulmonary hypertension. These translational data emphasize the pathogenetic role of miR-125a in pulmonary vascular remodeling. © 2015 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
 
Article
Organic isothiocyanates (ITCs) are dietary components present in cruciferous vegetables. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the cytotoxicity of 1-naphthyl isothiocyanate (NITC), benzyl isothiocyanate (BITC), beta-phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), and sulforaphane in human breast cancer MCF-7 and human mammary epithelium MCF-12A cell lines, as well as in a second human epithelial cell line, human kidney HK-2 cells. The cytotoxicity of NITC, BITC, PEITC, and sulforaphane, as well as the cytotoxicity of the chemotherapeutic agents daunomycin (DNM) and vinblastine (VBL), were examined in MCF-7/sensitive (wt), MCF-7/Adr (which overexpresses P-glycoprotein), MCF-12A, and HK-2 cells. Cell growth was determined by a sulforhodamine B assay. The IC50 values for DNM and VBL in MCF-7/Adr cells were 7.12 +/- 0.42 microM and 0.106 +/- 0.004 microM (mean +/- SE) following a 48-hr exposure; IC50 values for BITC, PEITC, NITC, and sulforaphane were 5.95 +/- 0.10, 7.32 +/- 0.25, 77.9 +/- 8.03, and 13.7 +/- 0.82 microM, respectively, with similar values obtained in MCF-7/wt cells. Corresponding values for BITC, PEITC, NITC, and sulforaphane in MCF-12A cells were 8.07 +/- 0.29, 7.71 +/- 0.07, 33.6 +/- 1.69, and 40.5 +/- 1.25 microM, respectively. BITC and PEITC can inhibit the growth of human breast cancer cells as well as human mammary epithelium cells at concentrations similar to those of the chemotherapeutic drug DNM. Sulforaphane and NITC exhibited higher IC50 values. The effect of these ITCs on cell growth may contribute to the cancer chemopreventive properties of ITCs by suppressing the growth of preclinical tumors, and may indicate a potential use of these compounds as chemotherapeutic agents in cancer treatment.
 
Baseline versus 3 mo mean δ 13 C-retinol values for subjects in the vegetable and reduced calorie and fat g (caloric reduction) groups (n = 20 and 17, respectively). The solid line represents equivalent 0 and 3 mo values, the dashed lines represents ± 1‰ variation in 3 mo δ 13 C values compared to baseline. Average standard deviation for δ 13 C-retinol values was ± 0.197. Delta 13 C-retinol values in the vegetable group decreased from 0 to 3 mo (P = 0.050), but did not change in the caloric reduction group (P = 0.43). The 3 mo change in δ 13 C-retinol values between the vegetable and caloric reduction groups was marginally significant (P = 0.054).  
Dietary Intake and Serum Characteristics of Subjects in the Vegetable and Reduced Calorie and Fat (Caloric Reduction) Groups at 0 and 3 mo after Intervention 1 Vegetable 2 Caloric Reduction
Article
The natural isotopic composition of 13C and 12C in tissues is largely determined by the diet. Sources of provitamin A carotenoids (e.g., vegetables) typically have a lower 13C to 12C ratio (13C:12C) than preformed vitamin A sources (i.e., dairy and meat) from corn-fed animals, which are prevalent in the US. The 13C:12C of serum retinol (13C:12C-retinol) was evaluated as a biomarker for vegetable intake in a 3-mo dietary intervention designed to promote weight-loss by increased vegetable consumption or reduced calorie and fat intake. Subjects were 21-50 y of age with a BMI between 30-40 kg/m2 and were enrolled from one geographic area in the US. The high vegetable group (n=20) was encouraged to increase daily vegetable and fruit consumption to 0.95 liter vegetables and 0.24-0.35 liter fruits. The caloric reduction group (n=17) was encouraged to lower caloric intake by 500 kcal and consume<or=25% kcal from fat daily. Provided meals supplied 75-100% vegetable and fruit goals and 50-67% kcal and fat g per day. Carotenoid supplementation was discontinued by subjects during the study. Serum retinol and provitamin A carotenoid concentrations; intake of preformed vitamin A, provitamin A, and fat; and body weight, fat mass, and lean mass were analyzed for correlations to 13C:12C-retinol. 13C:12C-Retinol decreased in the vegetable group after intervention (P=0.050) and the correlation with provitamin A intake was approaching significance (P=0.079). 13C:12C-Retinol did not change in the caloric reduction group (P=0.43). 13C:12C-Retinol changes with the vitamin A source in the diet and can be used as a biomarker for increases in dietary provitamin A vegetable intake.
 
Effect of 13- cis -RA treatment on intracellular 5-HT and 5HIAA levels in cultured serotonergic cells. Representative HPLC tracing (A) for cell lysate and (B) 1 pmol standard. 5-HT and 5HIAA retention times are indicated. (C and D) Intracellular 5-HT and 5HIAA content. Cells were differentiated for 8 days before treatment with 0, 2.5, or 10 l M 13- cis -RA for 48 or 96 hrs. Before harvesting, cells were incubated with 10 l M tryptophan and 10 l M chlorgyline for 30 mins, then 10 l M fluoxetine was added for another 30 mins. Cells were lysed and 5-HT and 5HIAA content were detected electrochemically via HPLC. Results shown in (C) 5-HT and (D) 5HIAA are mean 6 SEM for four separate experiments. Statistical analysis was performed using t tests comparing each 13- cis -RA concentration to control. 
Effect of 13- cis -RA on 5-HT 1A mRNA and 5-HT 1A protein 
Effect of 13- cis -RA treatment on SERT mRNA and protein levels. Cells were differentiated for 8 days and then cultured with 0, 2.5, or 10 l M 13- cis -RA for 48 or 96 hrs. (A) Total RNA was harvested for northern blot analysis of SERT and GAPDH mRNA (3190 and 1307 bp, respectively) as described in Materials and Methods. GAPDH was used to demonstrate equal loading. (B) Total protein was harvested and subjected to western blot analysis for SERT and b -actin (75 and 42 kDa respectively) as described in Materials and Methods. b -Actin was used to demonstrate equal loading. These experiments were performed three separate times with similar results; representative Western and Northern blots are shown. Results are mean 6 SEM for three separate experiments. Statistical analysis was done using t tests comparing each 13- cis -RA concentration to control. * P , 0.05, ** P , 0.01; significantly different from control. 
Expression of RAR and RXR in RN46A-B14 cells and rat raphe tissue. (A) RN46A-B14 cells were differentiated for 8 days, and total RNA was reverse transcribed. cDNA was then amplified with primers specific for RAR and RXR. (B) Total RNA from rat raphe tissue was reverse-transcribed in a one-step RT-PCR with the same primers for RAR and RXR. All isoforms of RAR and RXR were expressed in RN46A-B14 cells and rat raphe tissue. The RAR a , RAR b , RAR c , PCR amplicons were 54, 178, and 175 bp in length. The RXR a and RXR b / c amplicons were 172 and 102 bp in length. 
Article
In addition to their established role in nervous system development, vitamin A and related retinoids are emerging as regulators of adult brain function. Accutane (13-cis-retinoic acid, isotretinoin) treatment has been reported to increase depression in humans. Recently, we showed that chronic administration of 13-cis-retinoic acid (13-cis-RA) to adolescent male mice increased depression-related behaviors. Here, we have examined whether 13-cis-RA regulates components involved in serotonergic neurotransmission in vitro. We used the RN46A-B14 cell line, derived from rat embryonic raphe nuclei. This cell line synthesizes serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) and expresses the 5-HT(1A) receptor and the serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT). Cells were treated with 0, 2.5, or 10 microM 13-cis-RA for 48 or 96 hrs, and the levels of 5-HT; its metabolite, 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5HIAA); 5-HT(1A) receptor; and SERT were determined. Treatment with 13-cis-RA for 96 hrs increased the intracellular levels of 5-HT and tended to increase intra-cellular 5HIAA levels. Furthermore, 48 hrs of treatment with 2.5 and 10 microM 13-cis-RA significantly increased 5-HT(1A) protein to 168.5 +/- 20.0% and 148.7 +/- 2.2% of control respectively. SERT protein levels were significantly increased to 142.5 +/- 11.1% and 119.2 +/- 3.6% of control by 48 hrs of treatment with 2.5 and 10 microM of 13-cis-RA respectively. Increases in both 5-HT(1A) receptor and SERT proteins may lead to decreased serotonin availability at synapses. Such an effect of 13-cis-RA could contribute to the increased depression-related behaviors we have shown in mice.
 
Article
Replacement of urinary bladder tissue with functional equivalents remains one of the most challenging problems of reconstructive urology over the last several decades. The gold standard treatment for urinary diversion after radical cystectomy is the ileal conduit or neobladder; however, this technique is associated with numerous complications including electrolyte imbalances, mucus production, and the potential for malignant transformation. Tissue engineering techniques provide the impetus to construct functional bladder substitutes de novo. Within this review, we have thoroughly perused the literature utilizing PubMed in order to identify clinical studies involving bladder reconstruction utilizing tissue engineering methodologies. The idea of urinary bladder regeneration through tissue engineering dates back to the 1950s. Many natural and synthetic biomaterials such as plastic mold, gelatin sponge, Japanese paper, preserved dog bladder, lyophilized human dura, bovine pericardium, small intestinal submucosa, bladder acellular matrix, or composite of collagen and polyglycolic acid were used for urinary bladder regeneration with a wide range of outcomes. Recent progress in the tissue engineering field suggest that in vitro engineered bladder wall substitutes may have expanded clinical applicability in near future but preclinical investigations on large animal models with defective bladders are necessary to optimize the methods of bladder reconstruction by tissue engineering in humans.
 
Article
Hairy roots were induced in four genotypes from three kudzu species (Pueraria montana var. lobata, P. lobata and P. phaseoloides) in vitro using Agrobacterium rhizogenes to stimulate rapid secondary metabolite synthesis. Hairy roots from P. montana var. lobata (United States Department of Agriculture no. PI 434246) yielded the highest puerarin and total isoflavone content and the greatest new biomass per growth cycle among the genotypes evaluated. Hairy roots from this genotype were selected for radiolabeling using (14)C-sucrose as a carbon source. Isoflavones from radiolabeled kudzu hairy root cultures were extracted with 80% methanol, partitioned by solvent extraction, and then subfractionated by Sephadex LH-20 gel filtration. Radiolabeled isoflavones were isolated in a highly enriched fraction, which contained predominantly puerarin, daidzin and malonyl-daidzin and had an average radioactivity of 8.614 MBq/g (232.8 μCi/g) dry fraction. The (14)C-radiolabeled, isoflavone-rich fraction was orally administered at a dose of 60 mg/kg body weight to male Sprague-Dawley rats implanted with a jugular catheter, a subcutaneous ultrafiltrate probe and a brain microdialysate probe. Serum, interstitial fluid, brain microdialysate, urine and feces were collected using a Culex(®) Automated Blood Collection System for 24 h. At the end of this period, rats were sacrificed and major tissues were collected. Analysis by a scintillation counter confirmed that a bolus dose of (14)C-radiolabeled, isoflavone-rich kudzu fraction reached bone tissues, which accumulated 0.011%, 0.09% and 0.003% of the administered dose in femur, tibia and vertebrae, respectively. Femurs extracted with 80% methanol were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and were found to contain trace quantities of puerarin, daidzein and puerarin glucuronide. This study demonstrates that kudzu isoflavones and metabolites are capable of reaching bone tissues, where they may contribute to the prevention of osteoporosis and the promotion of bone health.
 
Article
Because gut microbiota has recently attracted much attention as an environmental factor involved in the development of obesity, probiotics may be useful in preventing and/or improving obesity and its related disorders. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of Lactobacillus plantarum strain No. 14 (LP14), a bacterial strain reported to decrease body fat percentage in healthy volunteers, on adipocyte size in mice. Female C57BL/6 mice were fed either normal- or high-fat diet and administered intragastrically with LP14 (1 x 10(8) colony-forming units/mouse) or vehicle daily for 11 weeks. High dietary fat intake increased body weight gain, white adipose tissue weight, mean adipocyte size and serum total cholesterol and leptin concentrations, and decreased serum adiponectin concentration. In mice fed the high-fat diet, LP14 administration significantly reduced the mean adipocyte size and tended to reduce the white adipose tissue weight and serum total cholesterol and leptin concentrations as compared with the vehicle-administered mice. All mice had undetectable serum levels of conjugated linoleic acids that reportedly exert antiobesity action. In a separate experiment, LP14 ingestion had no influence on serum triacylglycerol accumulation following olive oil administration in Triton WR1339-treated mice, suggesting that dietary fat absorption is unaffected by LP14. In conclusion, we propose that LP14 may exert a beneficial effect on the onset of diet-induced obesity by reducing the cell size of white adipose tissues, and it seems unlikely that previously reported mechanisms for other bacterial strains are involved in the action of LP14.
 
Sensory circumventricular organs and their anatomical relation to areas implicated in feeding and energy homeostasis. The center of this diagram shows a schematic representation of a midsagittal cut through a rat brain illustrating the anatomical locations of all three sensory circumventricular organs. The three insets show coronal sections highlighting the positioning of the SFO and OVLT within the hypothalamus, the AP in the medulla, and the relationship of these areas with other regions implicated in regulating energy homeostasis and feeding. Abbreviations: OVLT, organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis; SFO, subfornical organ; AP, area postrema; PVN, paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus; VMN, ventromedial nucleus; DMN, dorsomedial nucleus; ARC, arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus; NTS, nucleus of the solitary tract; DMX: dorsal motor nucleus of the vagus. Color figure is available in the on-line version. 
Circulating signals regulating feeding influence activity of SFO neurons. (Upper left) Schematic representation of coronal section through the region of the subfornical organ demonstrating its location within the third ventricle ( À 0.8 mm from bregma). In our laboratory, we routinely microdissect this CVO and dissociate the neurons to perform patch-clamp recordings. SFO, subfornical organ; CP, choroids plexus; V, third ventricle. (Upper right) photomicrograph showing an example of an SFO neuron that has been maintained in culture and subjected to patch-clamp analysis. (Lower panel) Representative voltage traces (from different cells) from current clamp experiments examining the effects of application of four selected ‘‘ feeding signal ’’ peptides. Although only one response is shown for each peptide, the same peptide may hyperpolarize or depolarize different neurons. The bar above each trace indicates the duration of application for each peptide. (Bottom right) Scale bar represents 50 mV and 50 sec for ghrelin experiment; 30 mV and 20 sec for vasopressin experiment; 60 mV and 50 sec for PYY experiment; 60 mV and 50 sec for amylin experiment. 
Circulating signals regulating feeding influence activity of AP neurons. (Upper left) Schematic representation of coronal section through the region of the brainstem demonstrating its location within the fourth ventricle ( À 13.8 mm from bregma). In our laboratory, we routinely microdissect this CVO and dissociate the neurons to perform patch-clamp recordings. AP, area postrema; 4V, fourth ventricle; NTS, nucleus of the solitary tract; CC, central canal. (Upper right) photomicrograph showing an example of an AP neuron that has been maintained in culture and subjected to patch-clamp analysis. (Lower panel) Representative voltage traces (from different cells) from current clamp experiments examining the effects of application of four selected ‘‘ feeding signal ’’ peptides. Although only one response is shown for each peptide, the same peptide may hyperpolarize or depolarize different neurons. The bar above each trace indicates the duration of application for each peptide. (Bottom right) The scale bar represents 50 mV and 300 sec for ghrelin experiment; 50 mV and 60 sec for PYY experiment; 50 mV and 60 sec for amylin experiment; 50 mV and 75 sec for adiponectin experiment. 
Article
Obesity is associated with significant health risks including stroke and heart disease. The prevalence of obesity has dramatically increased over the past 20 years. Although the development of obesity is clearly related to changing lifestyles, the central nervous system plays a key role in regulation of energy balance. To develop effective strategies for treating obesity, we must gain a clearer understanding of the neuro-circuitry and signaling mechanisms involved. Toward this end, recent progress has been made in the understanding of the roles played by the sensory circumventricular organs (CVOs) of the brain. These areas lack the normal blood-brain barrier and thus act as transducers of signals between the blood, other centers in the brain, and the cerebrospinal fluid. This review focuses on the roles played by the sensory CVOs in detecting and responding to a number of signals that carry information regarding nutritional status, including cholecystokinin, amylin, ghrelin, peptide YY, pancreatic polypeptide, leptin, adiponectin, and glucose.
 
Article
This study investigated the role of miR-143 in the chemoresistance of osteosarcoma tumor cells and the associated mechanisms. Real-time PCR was used to measure miR-143 levels. Western blot was used to detect protein expression. Cell proliferation was analyzed by MTT assay and Matrigel colony formation assay. Forced miR-143 expression was established by adenoviral vector infection. Cell death was detected by Hoechst33342 staining. Loss of miR-143 expression was observed in osteosarcomas, which correlated with shorter survival of patients with osteosarcomas underlying chemotherapy. In chemoresistant SAOS-2 and U2OS osteosarcomas cells, miR-143 levels were significantly downregulated and accompanied by increases in ATG2B, Bcl-2, and/or LC3-II protein levels, high rate of ALDH1(+)CD133(+) cells, and an increase in Matrigel colony formation ability. H2O2 upregulated p53 and miR-143, but downregulated ATG2B, Bcl-2, and LC3-I expression in U2OS cells (wild-type p53) but not in SAOS-2 (p53-null) cells. Forced miR-143 expression significantly reversed chemoresistance as well as downregulation of ATG2B, LC3-I, and Bcl-2 expression in SAOS-2- and U2OS-resistant cells. Forced miR-143 expression significantly inhibited tumor growth in xenograft SAOS-2-Dox and U2OS-Dox animal models. Loss of miR-143 expression is associated with poor prognosis of patients with osteosarcoma underlying chemotherapy. The chemoresistance of osteosarcoma tumor cells to doxorubicin is associated with the downregulation of miR-143 expression, activation of ALDH1(+)CD133(+) cells, activation of autophagy, and inhibition of cell death. miR-143 may play a crucial role in the chemoresistance of osterosarcoma tumors. © 2015 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
 
Article
Lung cancer is the most common malignancy and exhibits significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. Among all lung cancer subtypes, non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) accounts for the majority of all lung cancer cases. Although there have been intensive investigations on the underlying mechanism of NSCLC development and progression, the exact molecular basis is not well understood. Further insights on important molecular regulators of lung cancer are needed for development of novel therapeutics. The heat shock protein (HSP) family is a group of molecular chaperones that assist in protein folding, modification, and transportation. Different HSPs are essential for tumor cell survival by binding diverse client proteins and regulating homeostasis. In the current study, we sought to characterize HSP70 and HSP90 as potent regulators of NSCLC growth. Our results indicate that differential expression of HSP70 is associated with the malignant phenotype of NSCLC cell lines and plays an important regulatory role in NSCLC cell proliferation. Moreover, a specific inhibitor of HSP70, VER-155008 significantly inhibits NSCLC proliferation and cell cycle progression. We showed that this effect is largely abolished by HSP70 overexpression, indicating that the inhibitory effect of VER-155008 on cell growth is specifically through HSP70 inhibition. In addition, 17-AAD, an inhibitor of HSP90, exerts a potent synergistic effect on NSCLC proliferation with VER-155008. We also observed that inhibition of HSP70 by VER-155008 can sensitize A549 cells to ionizing radiation. These data provide proof-of-principle that VER-155008 can be a good candidate for NSCLC treatment and HSP machinery is a good target for developing NSCLC therapeutics.
 
Article
Endothelin (ET)-B receptors are expressed in human breast carcinoma. We previously demonstrated that intravenous administration of the ET(B) receptor agonist, IRL-1620, to tumor-bearing rats, increased blood perfusion and enhanced delivery of paclitaxel to breast tumor tissue. The present study was conducted to determine whether IRL-1620 alters the pharmacokinetics of paclitaxel. Breast tumor-bearing rats were given 0.3 ml/kg saline or 3 nmol/kg IRL-1620 by intravenous (iv) administration. Fifteen minutes after saline or IRL-1620, 40 microCi/rat 3H-Paclitaxel was administered iv and serial plasma samples were collected until 24 hrs. 3H-Paclitaxel radioactivity in the plasma samples was measured by liquid scintillation counting. Data were fit to a three-compartment model and pharmacokinetic parameters were generated using WinNonlin software. IRL-1620 did not produce any change in the plasma paclitaxel pharmacokinetics of tumor-bearing rats. The AUC(0-infinity) (9.43 +/- 3.18 microg-hr/ml), clearance (0.69 +/- 0.17 l/hr/kg), volume of distribution (10.31 +/- 4.54 l/kg), and half-life (1.0 +/- 0.32 hrs) of paclitaxel were similar between rats treated with saline or IRL-1620. In conclusion, the ET(B) receptor agonist, IRL-1620, does not alter paclitaxel plasma pharmacokinetics and, therefore, could be used to augment the delivery of paclitaxel to the tumor tissue.
 
Article
Hypoxic response element (HRE) offers satisfactory control over expression of hVEGF(165) in cell levels. However, the characteristics of regenerated blood vessels induced by long-term expression of transferred hVEGF(165) under control of HRE in vivo remain unknown. This study aims to investigate the effect of HRE on control of long-term expression of rAAV-delivered hVEGF(165) gene to ischemic myocardium and evaluate characteristics of angiogenesis induced by hVEGF(165) in vivo. Rabbit ischemic heart models were established surgically, rAAV-9HRE-hVEGF(165) was transfected to ischemia hearts subjected to 12 week ischemia. Molecular biological and immunohistochemistry were employed to determine expressions of HIF-1alpha and hVEGF(165). Microvessel densities of CD31(+) and alpha-SMA(+) regenerated vessels were also evaluated. Expressions of both hVEGF(165) mRNA and protein were upregulated following over-expression of endogenous HIF-1alpha early after ischemia, peaked at 4-6 weeks post-MI, declined, and approached pre-ischemia level at the end of 12 weeks of ischemia (P < 0.01). The significantly upregulated CD31 in hVEGF(165)-treated hearts presented from 8 to 12 weeks of ischemia compared with the control (P < 0.01). However, alpha-SMA expression was rapidly downregulated after ischemia and remained lower than the control level by the end of 12 weeks post-MI (P < 0.01). Overexpression of hVEGF(165) controlled by HIF-1alpha-HRE system shows a stably regional angiogenic efficacy in vivo. But, VEGF, as an early angiogenic cytokine, is inadequate for mediating histologically mature vessels in ischemia myocardium.
 
Article
The rapid identification of bacteria in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is very important for patient management and antimicrobial therapies. We developed a 16S DNA microarray-based method that targets 16S rDNA and can directly detect bacteria from CSF without cultivation. Universal primers and specific probes were designed from the 16S rDNA sequence data retrieved directly from the GenBank database. The specificity of the assay is obtained through a combination of microarray hybridization and enzymatic labeling of the constructed specific probes. Cultivation-dependent assays were used as reference methods in the development and evaluation of the method. With the exception of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Proteus mirabilis, forty-five positive blood culture media were successfully differentiated. When this procedure was applied directly to 100 CSF specimens, 29 specimens from 16 patients were positive by bacterial culture and 3 culture-positive CSF specimens produced no hybridized signals. The remaining 26 specimens were correctly identified, including one with mixed infection. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity of the assay can be increased further by designing more oligonucleotides for the microarray. This method is versatile and makes it possible to detect more bacteria in a single assay and discriminate different bacterial genera.
 
Article
Bone-protective effects of combined treatment with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) and estrogenic compounds following ovariectomy have previously been reported. Recent evidence suggests the n-3 LCPUFA docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, 22:6n-3) is particularly bone-protective. The aim of this study was to determine whether combined treatment with DHA and estrogenic compounds has a beneficial effect on bone mass in ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Rats were randomized into 9 groups and either ovariectomized (8 groups) or sham-operated (1 group). Using a 2 x 4 factorial design approach, OVX animals received either no estrogenic compound, genistein (20 mg/kg body weight/day), daidzein, (20 mg/kg body weight/day) or 17 beta-estradiol (1 microg/day) with or without DHA (0.5 g/kg body weight/day) for 18 weeks. Bone mineral content (BMC), area (BA), and density (BMD), plasma osteocalcin and IL-6 concentrations, and red blood cell (RBC) fatty acid composition were measured. Femur BMC was significantly greater in animals treated with DHA or 17 beta-estradiol than in ovariectomized controls. Plasma carboxylated osteocalcin was significantly higher in DHA-treated animals and total osteocalcin significantly lower in 17 beta-estradiol-treated animals compared with ovariectomized controls. There were significant interactions between treatment with estrogenic compounds and DHA for femur BMC, plasma IL-6 concentration, and RBC fatty acid composition. Combined treatment with 17beta-estradiol+DHA was more effective than either treatment alone at preserving femur BMC and lowering circulating concentrations of pro-inflammatory IL-6. The percentage of n-3 LCPUFAs in RBCs was significantly greater in animals receiving 17 beta-estradiol+DHA compared with either treatment alone. There was no beneficial effect of combined DHA and phytoestrogen treatment on bone. Results from this study raise the possibility that co-treatment with 17 beta-estradiol and DHA may allow a lower dose of 17 beta-estradiol to be used to provide the same bone-protective effects as when 17 beta-estradiol is administered alone.
 
Article
In the present investigation, 17beta-estradiol (E(2)) and tamoxifen, an antiestrogen, were evaluated for their effects on the release of ascorbic acid (AA) and luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH). Medial basal hypothalami (MBH) from adult male rats were incubated with graded concentrations of E(2) (10 (-9) to 10(-6) M) or a combination of E(2) (10(-7) M) and tamoxifen (10(-7) and 10(-6) M ) in 0.5 ml of Krebs Ringer bicarbonate buffer for 1 hr. AA and LHRH in the incubation medium were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography and radioimmunoassay, respectively. E(2) significantly elevated both AA and LHRH release and the minimal effective dose was 10(-7) M. A combination of E(2) (10(-7) M) and tamoxifen (10(-6) M) totally blocked E(2)-induced AA and LHRH release. The stimulatory effect of E(2) was also suppressed in the presence of N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine, a competitive inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), illustrating that the release is mediated by nitric oxide (NO). To further characterize the role of NO, the tissues were incubated with E(2) or a combination of E(2) + (6 anilino-5, 8-quinolinedione) LY 83583 (10(-6) and 10(-5) M), an inhibitor of NOS. LY 83583 was effective in suppressing E(2)-induced AA and LHRH release, demonstrating that the effect was mediated by cyclic GMP. Incubation of the tissues with E(2) or a combination of E(2) + 1H-[1,2,4] oxadiazolo [4,3-a] quinoxalin-1-one (O.D.Q.) (10(-5) and 10(-4) M), a specific inhibitor of soluble guanylyl cyclase failed to alter AA release but significantly suppressed LHRH release. The role of a prostaglandin synthesis blocker in E(2)-induced AA and LHRH release was tested by incubating the tissues with E(2) or a combination of E(2) + indomethacin (1.8 x 10 (-7) or 1.8 x 10(-6) M). Indomethacin produced a significant decrease in E(2)-induced AA and LHRH release, suggesting that the release process required prostaglandins as an intracellular mediator. In conclusion, E(2) stimulated both AA and LHRH release and the effect was mediated by NO and prostaglandins.
 
Plasma 17b-estradiol levels in ovariectomized rats (V [black bars]) and estradiol-treated (E [white bars] and Ex100 [gray bars]) rats at 6, 11, and 16 days of the experiment. Results are expressed as means 6 SEM for six animals. Only significant differences are shown. (*, 16 vs. 6 and 11; þ , 11 vs. 16.) 
Body weight (A), plasma leptin level (B), and relative plasma leptin levels (C) in ovariectomized rats (V [black bars]) and estradioltreated (E [white bars] and Ex100 [gray bars]) rats at 6, 11, and 16 days of the experiment. Results are expressed as means 6 SEM for six animals. Only significant differences are shown. ( o , 6 vs. 11 and 16; þ , 11 vs. 16; *, 16 vs. 6 and 11; , 6 vs. 16.) 
Article
It has been widely shown that there is a complex interaction between sex steroids and leptin effects on body weight. In this sense, the absence of female sex steroids is linked to a significant increase in body weight, which seems to be related to an impairment of the central actions of leptin. The present study was designed to elucidate the effects of two different treatments with 17beta-estradiol on leptin receptor and serum leptin levels in ovariectomized rats, a model of postmenopausal condition. Our results have shown that plasma leptin levels in ovariectomized rats were lower than in estradiol-treated animals, thereby supporting a positive effect of this steroid. Recent information has extended leptin actions to peripheral tissues, mainly to insulin-dependent tissues, this effect being related to metabolic actions. To better understand the peripheral effects of leptin and their possible regulation by estradiol treatment, we have analyzed leptin receptor expression in the skeletal muscle and the adipose tissue. Our results showed a tissue-specific regulation of this protein: Ob-Rb expression in the adipose tissue decreased when the time of treatment or the dose of estradiol administered increased, suggesting less sensitivity to leptin in this tissue, whereas in the skeletal muscle the changes in this protein followed the same profile as the plasma leptin levels. We think that this specific regulation could ensure a different response of each tissue toward the same serum leptin level. Further studies to clarify this situation are ongoing.
 
Article
The biological actions of estrogen are mostly conveyed through interaction with the nuclear estrogen receptor (ER). Previous evidence indicated that estrogen participates in self-regulation through the modulation of the expression of its own receptors. However, the self-regulation of estrogen against ER in the mammary gland during established lactation has not yet been investigated. The present study evaluated ER gene expression in the lactating gland activated by large doses of 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). Repeated E(2) treatments dose-dependently decreased the gene expression of ER, especially its subtype ER-alpha mRNA, which was decreased to 10% of the vehicle-injected control by 1 mug E(2) injection, whereas it was decreased by 73% for another subtype, ER-beta. A single injection of 5 mug of E(2) drastically downregulated both ER genes within 12 hrs of injection, and they did not recover to pretreatment level within 48 hrs. Western blot analysis verified that E(2) treatment inhibited the phosphorylation of Stat5, which is a potent transcriptional regulator for ER mRNA. The present findings demonstrate that E(2) treatment decreases the gene expression of its own receptor in the mammary gland during galactopoesis and induces an apparent transition of the ER profile in the mammary gland during lactation into postlactation.
 
Bar graph showing the effects of E2 on cerebral vasospasm in cross-sectional areas. The average luminal area (mean 6 SEM) of cross sections of basilar arteries is demonstrated for each group of animals. The cross-sectional areas of E2-treated animals did not differ significantly from those of controls. The protective effect of E2 was significant when compared with SAH only or SAH plus vehicle (P , 0.01 and P , 0.005, respectively). 
Concentrations of ET-1 were higher in the SAH only and SAH plus vehicle groups than in controls (P , 0.001). Serum levels of ET-1 were significantly lower in the SAH plus E2 and E2 only groups than in the SAH only and SAH plus vehicle groups (P , 0.001). No significant difference in ET-1 levels was found between the healthy control and SAH plus E2 groups. 
Article
Though cerebral vasospasm after aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) has been recognized for over half a century, it remains a major complication in patients with SAH. Clinical studies have shown that elevated levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1) are present in the cerebrospinal fluid of patients with SAH, suggesting that ET-1-mediated vasoconstriction contributes to vascular constriction after SAH. Administration of estrogen promotes vasodilation in humans and in experimental animals, in part by decreasing the production of ET-1. This study evaluated the influence of 17beta-estradiol (E2) on the production of ET-1 and cerebrovasospasm in an experimental SAH 2-hemorrhage model in rat. A 30-mm Silastic tube filled with E2 in corn oil (0.3 mg/ml) was subcutaneously implanted in male rats just before SAH induction. The degree of vasospasm was determined by averaging the cross-sectional areas of basilar artery 7 days after first SAH. Plasma samples collected before death were assayed for ET-1. The protective effect of E2 in attenuating vasospasm achieved statistical significance when compared with the SAH only or SAH plus vehicle groups (P < 0.01). Concentrations of ET-1 were higher in the SAH only and SAH plus vehicle groups than in controls (P < 0.001). Serum levels of ET-1 in the SAH plus E2 and E2 only groups were significantly lower than those in the SAH only and SAH plus vehicle groups (P < 0.001). There was no significant difference between ET-1 levels in the healthy control and SAH plus E2 groups. A significant correlation was found between the cross-sectional areas of basilar artery and ET-1 levels (P < 0.001). The beneficial effect of E2 in attenuating SAH-induced vasospasm may be due in part to decreasing ET-1 production after SAH. The role of E2 in the treatment of cerebral vasospasm after SAH is promising and is worthy of further investigation.
 
Article
Inhibition of translocator protein (18 kDa) (TSPO) can effectively prevent reperfusion-induced arrhythmias and improve postischemic contractile performance. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening, mediated mainly through oxidative stress during ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), is a key event in reperfusion injury. 4'-Chlorodiazepam is a widely used TSPO antagonist. However, whether 4'-chlorodiazepam can improve cardiac functional recovery during postischemia reperfusion by affecting oxidative enzymes, reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) and thereby inhibiting mPTP opening is still unknown. Cardiac function including heart rate, coronary flow rate, left ventricular developed pressure (LVDP), left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (LVEDP), maximal time derivatives of pressure (+/-dP/dt max) and the severity of ventricular arrhythmias were analyzed in isolated rat hearts during I/R. mPTP opening, ROS and oxidative enzyme activities were measured with fluorometric or spectrophotometric techniques. 4'-Chlorodiazepam did not affect heart rate and coronary flow rate, but abolished the increase in LVEDP, accelerated the recovery of LVDP and +/-dP/dt max, and reduced the severity of ventricular arrhythmias. The mPTP opening probability was reduced by 4'-chlorodiazepam, accompanied by a reduction in ROS level. In addition, the activities of mitochondrial electron transport chain complex I and complex III were increased, while those of xanthine oxidase and NADPH oxidase were reduced. Therefore, 4'-chlorodiazepam may improve cardiac functional recovery during reperfusion, potentially by affecting the activities of oxidative enzymes, reducing ROS and thereby inhibiting mPTP opening. The present study presents evidence that 4'-chlorodiazepam could be a novel adjunct to reperfusion.
 
Article
The continuous changes in pulmonary hemodynamic properties and right ventricular (RV) function in pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have not been fully characterized in large animal model of PAH induced by a carotid artery-jugular vein shunt. A minipig model of PAH was induced by a surgical anastomosis between the left common carotid artery and the left jugular vein. The model was validated by catheter examination and pathologic analyses, and the hemodynamic features and right-ventricle functional characteristics of the model were continuously observed by Doppler echocardiography. Of the 45 minipigs who received the surgery, 27 survived and were validated as models of PAH, reflected by mean pulmonary artery pressure ≥25 mmHg, and typical pathologic changes of pulmonary arterial remodeling and RV fibrosis. Non-invasive indices of pulmonary hemodynamics (pulmonary artery accelerating time and its ratio to RV ventricular ejection time) were temporarily increased, then reduced later, similar to changes in tricuspid annular displacement. The Tei index of the RV was elevated, indicating a progressive impairment in RV function. Surgical anastomosis between carotid artery and jugular vein in a minipig is effective to establish PAH, and non-invasive hemodynamic and right-ventricle functional indices measured by Doppler echocardiography may be used as early indicators of PAH. © 2015 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.
 
Article
There is little published evidence concerning home enteral nutrition therapy in children. The present work attempts to analyze the profile of pediatric patients undergoing this therapy in the Federal District, Brazil. This is a retrospective study of data of all patients younger than 18 y old enrolled in the Home Enteral Nutrition Therapy Program of the Brazilian Public Health Department, Federal District, from January to December 2005. The study covered 184 children and adolescents. The patients' median age at the beginning of treatment was 2.00 y (Q1-Q3: 1.00-7.00). Pathologies leading to home enteral nutrition therapy were digestive disorders (54.9%), neuromuscular disorders (21.2%), epidermolysis bullosa congenital (7.1%), congenital malformation (5.0%), cardiac disorders (4.3%), malignancies (0.5%) and miscellaneous causes (7.0%). The prevalence of the therapy was 81.23. The oral route was used in 70.7% of cases. Enteral feeding comprised mainly industrial pediatric formulas (44.9%) and hydrolyzed-protein formulas (20%). This study supports the fact that home enteral nutrition is necessary in special pediatric conditions, favoring a precocious hospital discharge and then lowering the risk of infectious processes, and stimulating the reinsertion of children in their homes, their safe environment. The need for further studies still remain, especially ones in national basis, so as to reinforce the importance of a national regulation which would benefit all Brazilian pediatric patients in need of such therapy.
 
In vitro autoradiography showing (A) total and (B) nonspecific binding of [ 18 F]-BQ3020 in transverse sections of atherosclerotic coronary arteries. Images are color-coded to express 
MicroPET images showing in vivo biodistribution of [ 18 F]- 
Article
The endothelin (ET) receptor system has been shown to play a role in a number of vascular diseases. We have synthesized 18F-and 11C-labeled radioligands to enable in vivo imaging of the fundamental processes involved in ET receptor pharmacology in normal and diseased tissue using positron emission tomography (PET). One aim is to elucidate the proposed role of the ET(B) subtype as clearing receptor, removing ET-1 from the circulation, and whether this is an important mechanism to limit the detrimental effects caused by upregulated ET-1 in disease. To image ET(B) receptors we have labeled the selective agonist BQ3020 with 18F. In vitro characterization verified that [18F]-BQ3020 bound with a single subnanomolar affinity (K(D) = 0.34 +/- 0.10 nM, B(max) = 9.23 +/- 3.70 fmol/mg protein) to human left ventricle. Binding of [18F]-BQ3020 to human kidney was inhibited by ET-1 and unlabeled BQ3020 but not by the ET(A) selective antagonist FR139317, confirming that selectivity for the ET(B) receptor was retained. In vitro autoradiography revealed, as expected, high levels of ET(B) receptor densities in lung and kidney medulla, whereas kidney cortex and heart showed lower levels of ET(B) receptor densities. Furthermore, a high level of [18F]-BQ3020 binding was found to colocalize to macrophages in atherosclerotic coronary arteries. MicroPET studies demonstrated high uptake of [18F]-BQ3020 in ET(B) receptor-rich tissue, including lung, liver and kidney. The in vivo biodistribution of [18F]-BQ3020 was comparable to that previously obtained for [18F]-ET-1, supporting our hypothesis that the ET(B) receptor plays a significant role in the uptake of ET-1. In conclusion, [18F]-BQ3020 has retained high affinity and selectivity, allowing imaging of ET(B) receptor distributions in vitro and in vivo in human and animal tissue. Furthermore, in vitro data suggest that [18F]-BQ3020 potentially can be used to image atherosclerotic lesions in vivo using PET.
 
Article
Previous gene array data from our laboratory identified the retinoic acid (RA) biosynthesis enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A3 (ALDH1A3) as a putative androgen-responsive gene in human prostate cancer epithelial (LNCaP) cells. In the present study, we attempted to identify if any of the three ALDH1A/RA synthesis enzymes are androgen responsive and how this may affect retinoid-mediated effects in LNCaP cells. We demonstrated that exposure of LNCaP cells to the androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) results in a 4-fold increase in ALDH1A3 mRNA levels compared with the untreated control. The mRNA for two other ALDH1A family members, ALDH1A1 and ALDH1A2, were not detected and not induced by DHT in LNCaP cells. Inhibition of androgen receptor (AR) with both the antiandrogen bicalutamide and small interfering RNA for AR support that ALDH1A3 regulation by DHT is mediated by AR. Furthermore, specific inhibition of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase and Src family of kinases with PD98059 and PP1 supports that AR's regulation of ALDH1A3 occurs by the typical AR nuclear-translocation cascade. Consistent with an increase in ALDH1A3 mRNA, DHT-treated LNCaP cells showed an 8-fold increase in retinaldehyde-dependent NAD(+) reduction compared with control. Lastly, treatment of LNCaP with all-trans retinal (RAL) in the presence of DHT resulted in significant up-regulation of the RA-inducible, RA-metabolizing enzyme CYP26A1 mRNA compared with RAL treatment alone. Taken together, these data suggest that (i) the RA biosynthesis enzyme ALDH1A3 is androgen responsive and (ii) DHT up-regulation of ALDH1A3 can increase the oxidation of retinal to RA and indirectly affect RA bioactivity and metabolism.
 
Article
We investigated the effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a member of the proinflammatory cytokine family, on steatosis of the mouse liver by analyzing morphological changes and hepatic triglyceride content in response to TNF-alpha. We also examined expression of the sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c gene. Intraperitoneal injection of TNF-alpha acutely and dramatically accelerated the accumulation of fat in the liver, as evidenced by histological analysis and hepatic triglyceride content. This treatment increased liver weight, increased serum levels of free fatty acids, and increased fatty acid synthase and sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c mRNA expression. Furthermore, intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccaride (LPS) to induce TNF-alpha expression also accelerated hepatic fat accumulation. Pretreatment with anti-TNF-alpha antibody attenuated the development of LPS-induced fatty change in the liver. Antibody pretreatment not only decreased sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c expression in LPS-treated mice but also attenuated the expression of suppressors of cytokine signaling-3 mRNA. This study suggests that TNF-alpha, acting downstream of LPS, increases intrahepatic fat deposition by affecting hepatic lipogenetic metabolism involving sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c.
 
Article
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) is often upregulated in tumour tissues and endows tumour cells with cytoprotection and antiapoptosis. It is worthy of note that some people show higher activity of HO-1 and some anti-cancer therapies could induce HO-1 expression in normal tissues, but the effect of HO-1 of normal tissues on tumours among these people remains unknown. To assess the effect of HO-1 of normal tissues on tumour progressiveness, we investigated the growth, metastasis and angiogenic potential of murine melanoma B16F10 cells in transgenic mice overexpressing HO-1 and its negative dominant mutant HO-1G143H, respectively. The results demonstrated that neither overexpression of HO-1 nor overexpression of HO-1G143H in normal tissues could significantly change the survival rate of tumour-bearing mice, but HO-1 overexpression could inhibit lung metastases and HO-1G143H could significantly promote lung metastases. Meanwhile, the leukocytes infiltration was reduced and angiogenesis was promoted in tumours in mice overexpressing HO-1, but the opposite was true in mice overexpressing HO-1G143H. Our findings suggested that overexpression of HO-1 might be conducive to patients bearing melanoma metastasis.
 
(A) Representative images taken from left ventricle biopsies during the hypoxia reoxygenation protocol. The left and right columns show HIF-1 a immunoperoxidase staining, with HIF-1 a giving brown spots, and HIF-1 a immunofluorescence staining, with HIF-1 a giving a green signal, respectively. The horizontal bars in the fluorescence column mark 20 l m, with the pictures in the peroxidase column at the same magnification. (B) Quantification of the immunofluorescence staining, expressed as the increase of the intensity of green pixels over the value 
Relationship between the cytosolic and nuclear abundance of (from top to bottom) Phospho-ERK1/2, Phospho-p38, and JNK activities. Each panel reports the blots showing the respective protein abundance in the cytosolic and nuclear extracts after 1-hr hypoxia (left and right, respectively) in a representative sample. The linear regression obtained using all the available pairs is reported, along with the 95% confidence bands. The insets in the bottom report the equation of the best fit, with the value of the correlation coefficient (r 2 ) and P . Each point represents mean 6 SE. Population ( n ) is the same as in Figure 1. 
(A) Representative Western blot analysis of total ERK1/2, Phospho-ERK1/2, total p38, Phospho-p38, and Phospho-c-Jun, a marker of JNK activity. Each marker was measured in normoxia, during hypoxia (1 and 23 hrs) and after reoxygenation. (B) Average densitometric analysis (mean 6 SE) of the blots obtained for all animals is expressed as fold increase over normoxia for the expression level of Phospho-ERK1/2, Phospho-p38 and Phospho- c-Jun, or JNK activity. One-way ANOVA P was NS, 0.0009, 0.02, and 0.0001, respectively. When ANOVA P , 0.05, the Dunnett test was performed versus normoxia (*). Population ( n ) is the same as in Figure 1. 
Selective inhibition of p38 action with SB202190 given prior to hypoxia. (A) Representative Western blots of a known target of p38 (i.e., phospho-HSP27). (B) Representative images taken from left ventricle biopsies before and after 1-hr hypoxia, with and without added SB202190, with HIF-1 a giving a green signal. The horizontal bars mark 20 l m. (C) Quantitative analysis of Phospho-HSP27 and HIF-1 a at the end of 1-hr hypoxia with and without SB202190 ( n 1⁄4 6, 6, and 4 for normoxia, 1-hr hypoxia and 1-hr hypoxia with SB202190, respectively). One- way ANOVA P 1⁄4 0.001 and P , 0.0001, respectively. * P , 0.05 versus normoxia; # P , 0.05 versus 1-hr hypoxia without SB202190. Color figure available in the online version of the journal. 
Article
To study the in vivo dynamics of hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha), master regulator of O(2)-dependent gene expression, and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) in the hypoxic myocardium, Sprague-Dawley rats (n = 4 to 6 per group) were exposed to 1-hr hypoxia (10% O(2)), 23-hr hypoxia, and 23-hr hypoxia, followed by reoxygenation. HIF-1alpha increased 15-fold after 1-hr hypoxia, remained constant for 23 hrs, and returned to baseline on reoxygenation. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1/2) were unchanged throughout. Phosphorylated p38 increased 4-fold after 1-hr hypoxia and returned to baseline within 23-hr hypoxia. The activity of stress-activated protein kinases/c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinases (JNKs), measured as phosphorylated c-Jun, increased 3-fold after 1-hr hypoxia and remained sustained afterward. Furthermore, HIF-1alpha was halved in rats that were administered with the p38 inhibitor SB202190 and made hypoxic for 1 hr. In conclusion, although very sensitive to the reoxygenation, HIF-1alpha is overexpressed in vivo in the hypoxic myocardium, and its acute induction by hypoxia is correlated with that of p38.
 
Article
This study examined the effects of chondroitin sulfate (CS) alone and CS plus glucosamine sulfate (GS) in a dietary bar formulation on inflammatory parameters of adjuvant-induced arthritis and on the synthesis of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and matrix metalloprotease-9 (MMP-9). Following 25 days pretreatment with dietary bars containing either CS alone, CS plus GS, or neither CS nor GS, rats were either sham injected or injected with Freund's complete adjuvant into the tail vein. Rats were fed their respective bars for another 17 days after inoculation. Parameters of disease examined included clinical score (combination of joint temperature, edema, hyperalgesia, and standing and walking limb function), incidence of disease, levels of IL-1beta in the serum and paw joints, levels of MMP-9 in the paw joints, paw joint histology, and joint cartilage thickness. Treatment with CS plus GS, but not CS alone, significantly reduced clinical scores, incidences of disease, joint temperatures, and joint and serum IL-1beta levels. Treatment with CS alone and CS plus GS inhibited the production of edema and prevented raised levels of joint MMP-9 associated with arthritis. Similarly, CS alone and CS plus GS treatment also prevented the development of cartilage damage associated with arthritis. Combination CS plus GS treatment in a dietary bar formulation ameliorates clinical, inflammatory, and histologic parameters of adjuvant-induced arthritis. The benefits of CS and GS in combination are more pronounced than those of CS alone. The reduction of arthritic disease by CS plus GS is associated with a reduction of IL-1beta and MMP-9 synthesis.
 
Article
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants that have promoting activity in the liver. PCBs induce oxidative stress, which may influence carcinogenesis. Epidemiological studies strongly suggest an inverse relationship between dietary selenium (Se) and cancer. Despite evidence linking Se deficiency to hepatocellular carcinoma and liver necrosis, the underlying mechanisms for Se cancer protection in the liver remain to be determined. We examined the effect of dietary Se on the tumor promoting activities of two PCBs congeners, 3,3', 4,4'-tetrachlorobiphenyl (PCB-77) and 2,2', 4,4', 5,5'-hexachlorobiphenyl (PCB-153) using a 2-stage carcinogenesis model. An AIN-93 torula yeast-based purified diet containing 0.02 (deficient), 0.2 (adequate), or 2.0 mg (supplemental) selenium/kg diet was fed to Sprague-Dawley female rats starting ten days after administering a single dose of diethylnitrosamine (150 mg/kg). After being fed the selenium diets for 3 weeks, rats received four i.p. injections of either PCB-77 or PCB-153 (150 micromol/kg) administered every 14 days. The number of placental glutathione S-transferase (PGST)-positive foci per cm(3) and per liver among the PCB-77-treated rats was increased as the Se dietary level increased. Unlike PCB-77, rats receiving PCB-153 did not show the same Se dose-response effect; nevertheless, Se supplementation did not confer protection against foci development. However, the 2.0 ppm Se diet reduced the mean focal volume, indicating a possible protective effect by inhibiting progression of preneoplastic lesions into larger foci. Cell proliferation was not inhibited by Se in the liver of the PCB-treated groups. Se did not prevent the PCB-77-induced decrease of hepatic Se and associated reduction in glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity. In contrast, thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) activity was not affected by the PCBs treatment or by Se supplementation. These findings indicate that Se does not inhibit the number of PGST-positive foci induced during promotion by PCBs, but that the size of the lesions may be inhibited. The effects of Se on altered hepatic foci do not correlate with its effects on GPx and TrxR.
 
Article
Limitation in copper (Cu) leads to pathophysiology in developing brain. Cu deficiency impairs brain mitochondria and results in high brain lactate suggesting augmented anaerobic glycolysis. AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) is a cellular energy "master-switch" that is thought to augment glycolysis through phosphorylation and activation phosphofructokinase 2 (PFK2) resulting in increases of the glycolytic stimulator fructose-2,6-bisphosphate (F2,6BP). Previously, Cu deficiency has been shown to augment cerebellar AMPK activation. Cerebella of Cu-adequate (Cu+) and Cu-deficient (Cu-) rat pups were assessed to evaluate if AMPK activation in Cu- cerebella functioned to enhance PFK2 activation and increase F2,BP concentration. Higher levels of pAMPK were detected in Cu- cerebella. However, PFK2 activity, mRNA, and protein abundance were not affected by Cu deficiency. Surprisingly, F2,6BP levels were markedly lower in Cu- cerebella. Lower F2,6BP may be due to inhibition of PFK2 by citrate, as citrate concentration was significantly higher in Cu- cerebella. Data suggest AMPK activation in Cu- cerebellum does not augment glycolysis through a PFK2 mechanism. Furthermore, other metabolite data suggest that glycolysis may actually be blunted, since levels of glucose and glucose-6-phosphate were higher in Cu- cerebella than controls.
 
Article
Although the majority of infections by the pandemic influenza H1N1 (2009) virus is mild, a higher mortality occurs in young adults with no risk factors for complications. Some of these severe cases were infected by the virus with an aspartate to glycine substitution at 225 position (D225G, H3 numbering) in the hemagglutinin (HA). Previous studies with the highly virulent 1918 pandemic H1N1 virus suggested that such substitution was associated with a dual binding specificity of the virus for both alpha2,3- and alpha2,6-linked sialic acid receptors on host cells. Thus, the D225G mutant may cause more severe disease with its increased predilection for the lower respiratory tract, where the alpha2,3 sialic acid receptor is more prevalent, but this hypothesis has not been investigated. We obtained a mutant virus after four sequential passages in lungs of BALB/c mice with a wild-type pandemic influenza A H1N1 (2009) virus. One plaque purified mutant virus had a single non-synonymous D225G mutation in the HA gene. This mutant was more lethal to chick embryo and produced a viral load of about two log higher than that of the wild-type parental virus during the first 24 h. A pathogenicity test showed that the 50% lethal dose in mice (LD50) was reduced from over 2 x 10(6) plaque-forming units (PFU) with the parental virus to just 150 PFU with the mutant virus. The survival of mice challenged with the mutant virus was significantly decreased when compared with the parental virus (P < 0.0001). Significantly higher viral titers and elevated proinflammatory cytokines in lung homogenates of mice infected with the mutant virus were found, which were compatible with severe histopathological changes of pneumonitis. The only consistent mutation in the genomes of viral clones obtained from dying mice was D225G substitution.
 
Article
Severe pandemic influenza A H1N1 (2009) infection, especially in the lower respiratory tract, is often associated with the virus carrying a D222G substitution in the hemagglutinin (HA) protein of the virus. The mechanism for this association has not been fully explored. In the in vitro binding assay, it was found that clinical isolates carrying D222G substitution exhibit higher binding avidity to 2,3-linked sialic acids than the wild-type virus. The receptor binding pocket of the pandemic influenza (H1N1) HA was found to be smaller than those of other influenza A strains, allowing tighter binding of the virus with the receptor, yet also inducing steric stress for the binding. Our homology modeling and molecular docking calculations implicated that residue 222 may affect the positioning of the conserved Q223 residue, hence modulating flexibility of the binding pocket and steric hindrance during receptor binding. The molecular property of residue 222 can also directly influence the 'lysine fence' via the polarity of the amino acid residue where D222G substitution will enhance the electrostatic interactions between the receptor and the protein. The potential importance of residue 222 was illustrated by evolutionary analysis, which showed that this site is under intense selection pressure during adaptation of the virus to human host. Our findings provide a useful reference for follow-up studies in monitoring the ongoing evolution of the pandemic influenza A H1N1 (2009) virus.
 
Article
The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether functional 20S and/or 26S proteasomes are present within mature human red blood cells (RBCs; depleted of reticulocytes and leukocytes). Double-immunofluorescence confocal microscopy showed the presence of immunoreactive 20S and 19S proteasomal subunit proteins and their partial co-localization within mature RBCs. Proteasomes isolated from mature RBCs displayed 20S activity in vitro; atomic-force and transmission electron microscopy of isolated proteasomes revealed abundant 20S core particles and very few 26S particles. A two-dimensional differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) approach was used to determine if proteasome-dependent protein degradation occurs within mature RBCs. Twenty-eight proteins were identified with altered protein content in response to lactacystin. Seven cytosolic proteins showed an increase and 16 showed a decrease; five membrane proteins showed a decrease. We conclude that the proteins showing increased abundance are either primary or secondary targets of the 20S proteasome and that putatively degraded proteins are secondary targets. Therefore, functional 20S proteasomes exist within mature RBCs. Our study did not detect 26S proteasome activity using the 2D-DIGE approach.
 
Article
Interleukin-21 (IL-21) is produced primarily by CD4+ T cells and regulates immunity against human/simian immunodeficiency virus (HIV/SIV) infection. Activated CD8+ cells and their secreted interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) are crucial for the control of acute HIV/SIV infection. However, whether IL-21 can regulate IFN-γ production by CD8+ cells remains controversial. Rhesus macaques (RMs, n = 8) were infected with SHIV and the levels of plasma IL-21, IFN-γ and the frequency of peripheral blood activated T cells were measured longitudinally. Following infection with SHIV, the levels of plasma IL-21 and IFN-γ increased, peaked at 17 days postinfection and declined later. Furthermore, IL-21 induced IL-21 receptor (IL-21R) and IFN-γ, perforin, but not granmyze B, expression in CD8+ cells from four selected SHIV-infected RMs. The regulatory effect of IL-21 on CD8+ cell function appeared to be associated with increased levels of STAT3, but not STAT5, phosphorylation in CD8+ cells from SHIV-infected RMs. In parallel, treatment with soluble IL-21R/Fc, an inhibitor of IL-21-induced activation of JAK1/3 and STAT3, abrogated IL-21-induced STAT3 activation and IFN-γ production in CD8+ cells from SHIV-infected RMs in vitro. Our data indicated that IL-21 was a positive regulator of IFN-γ-secreting CD8+ cells and increased the STAT3 phosphorylation, regulating T-cell immunity against acute SHIV infection in RMs. Our findings may provide a new basis for the development of immunotherapies for the control of SHIV/HIV infection.
 
Novel nonpeptide analogs with selectivity for the Y1 receptor.  
Novel nonpeptide analogs with selectivity for the Y2 receptor.
Novel nonpeptide analogs with selectivity for the Y5 receptor.  
Summary of structural and mutagenesis studies performed on the mammalian Y1 receptor. Amino acids were mutated to alanine except in three positions. Those are indicated by a shaded amino acid next to the original sequence. Red indicates a loss in affinity >2.5-fold. Upper left: effects on NPY/PYY binding, lower right: antagonist. White: no effect. Black: not done. Special cases: (a) Mutation affects binding of BIBP3226 but not 1229U91 and J-104870, (b) an increase in affinity was detected, (c) when Gln 120 was mutated to tyrosine, no binding of NPY was detected while mutation to glutamine abolished BIBP3226 binding, (d) triple mutant [N2Q, N11Q, N17Q] could not be expressed whereas the double mutant [N2Q, N17Q] bound 3 H-NPY with the same affinity as the wild-type receptor. Deletion of the carboxy-terminus did not affect binding (black scissor) whereas deletion of the amino-terminus abolished binding of NPY (red scissor). A star (*) indicates that there are differences between the data from different mutagenesis studies at that particular amino acid.  
Article
The three peptides pancreatic polypeptide (PP), peptide YY (PYY), and neuropeptide Y (NPY) share a similar structure known as the PP-fold. There are four known human G-protein coupled receptors for the PP-fold peptides, namely Y1, Y2, Y4, and Y5, each of them being able to bind at least two of the three endogenous ligands. All three peptides are found in the circulation acting as hormones. Although NPY is only released from neurons, PYY and PP are primarily found in endocrine cells in the gut, where they exert such effects as inhibition of gall bladder secretion, gut motility, and pancreatic secretion. However, when PYY is administered in an experimental setting to animals, cloned receptors, or tissue preparations, it can mimic the effects of NPY in essentially all studies, making it difficult to study the effects of PP-fold peptides and to delineate what receptor and peptide accounts for a particular effect. Initial studies with transgenic animals confirmed the well-established action of NPY on metabolism, food-intake, vascular systems, memory, mood, neuronal excitability, and reproduction. More recently, using transgenic techniques and novel antagonists for the Y1, Y2, and Y5 receptors, NPY has been found to be a key player in the regulation of ethanol consumption and neuronal development.
 
Article
Sperm protein 22 (SP22) is correlated with fertility in rats. It has been identified in testis and implicated in sperm-egg interaction, protection against oxidative stress, and androgen receptor function. SP22 is widespread in rat and human tissues but has not yet been reported in the ovary. Using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, we identified the presence of SP22 transcripts in the rat ovary. We assessed the cellular distribution of the SP22 protein by collecting ovaries from rats in each of the following groups: 30, 60, and 90 days old; Days 9.5, 14.5, 16.5, 18.5, and 20.5 of pregnancy; and Days 1, 2, 8, and 19 of lactation. Tissue sections were stained immunohistochemically for SP22, and some serial sections were stained for relaxin or cytochrome P450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (SCC). Weak staining for SP22 was evident in some corpora lutea (CL) and some interstitial gland cells in nonpregnant adult rats. At Day 9.5 of pregnancy, SP22 was detected in all CL, but staining intensity was weak. Staining intensity for SP22 in CL increased from Day 9.5 to 20.5 of pregnancy but was low on postpartum Day 1 and thereafter. A similar temporal pattern of staining intensity in CL was observed for relaxin. Strong immunoreactivity for SCC was present in the CL throughout pregnancy, and the spatial distribution of staining for SP22 in CL and in some areas of ovarian stroma was similar to that for SCC. There was weak staining of some theca cells in some antral follicles of pregnant and early postpartum rats when heat-induced antigen retrieval was used. There was inconsistent staining of oocytes for SP22, particularly in 30-day-old rats. In summary, the expression of SP22 was most prevalent in the CL and increased during pregnancy.
 
Article
Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a regulator of autoimmune diseases. However, the role of IL-22(+)CD4(+) T-cells in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) remains unclear. This study is aimed at elucidating the potential role of IL-22 and IL-22(+)CD4(+) T-cells in patients with SLE. A total of 22 patients with freshly diagnosed SLE and 18 age-/gender-matched healthy controls (n = 18) were evaluated for the frequency of different types of IL-22-producing CD4(+) T-cells by flow cytometry analysis following in vitro stimulation. The concentrations of plasma IL-22, IL-17A, IFNγ, serum complement factors (C3, C4), C-reactive protein (CRP), antidouble-stranded (ds) DNA and anti-Smith (Sm) antibodies were measured. The potential association among these measures was analyzed. The percentages of IL-22(+)IL-17(-)IFNγ(-), IL-22(+)IL-17A(-)IFN-γ(+), IL-22(-)IL-17(+)IFN-γ(-) and IL-22(+)IL-17(+)IFN-γ(-) CD4(+) T-cells and the levels of plasma IL-22 and IL-17A in the patients were significantly higher than that in the healthy controls (P < 0.01). The frequency of Th22 cells was correlated positively with that of Th17 and IL-22(+)IL-17(+) CD4(+) T-cells, and the frequency of Th17 and IL-22(+)CD4(+) T-cells was correlated positively with the values of SLE disease activity index (SLEDAI), but not with the values of CRP, ERS and C3 in SLE patients. Our data suggest that both Th17 and IL-22(+)CD4(+) T-cells may participate in the pathogenesis of SLE.
 
Article
Multidrug resistance (MDR) has become a major impediment to a successful treatment for liver cancer patients, and one of the common reasons for MDR is the activation of ABCB1 gene, leading to the over-expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp), which conferred cancer cells be resistant to a broad range of anticancer drugs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of short, non-coding RNA moleculars that can regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. In the current study, the aim is to explore whether miRNA participates in the regulation of MDR mediated by ABCB1. We found that the expression of ABCB1 was correlated with the doxorubicin IC50 dose in eight hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines: Hep3B, HCC3, LM-6, SMMC7721, Huh-7, SK-Hep-1, HepG2 and BEL-7402. Using the bioinformatics, we discovered that there were several miRNAs that can bind to the 3'UTR of ABCB1 gene. Among these candidate miRNAs, miR-223 was chosen for further study. Then, EGFP reporter assay, real-time PCR and Western blot were performed to verify that miR-223 targeted ABCB1 3'UTR directly, and miR-223 downregulated ABCB1 at both mRNA and protein levels. Finally, we found that the over-expression of miR-223 increased the HCC cell sensitivity to anticancer drugs, and the inhibition of miR-223 had the opposite effect. Importantly, the over-expression or silencing of ABCB1 can rescue the cell response to the anticancer drugs mediated by miR-223 over-expression or inhibition, respectively. In conclusion, our findings indicated that miR-223 played an important role in the regulation of MDR mediated by ABCB1, and it suggests that miR-223 may be considered as a therapeutic biomarker for HCC patients who had MDR problems induced by high expression of ABCB1.
 
Top-cited authors
Yau-Huei Wei
  • Changhua Christian Hospital
Hsin-Chen Lee
  • National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University
Patrick Cy Woo
  • The University of Hong Kong
Susanna Kp Lau
  • The University of Hong Kong
Boon-Huat Bay
  • National University of Singapore