Kristina Rutkute

University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, United States

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Publications (4)17.77 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Aging is characterized by changes in the organism’s immune functions and stress response, which in the elderly leads to increased incidence of complications and mortality following inflammatory stress. Alterations in the neuro-endocrine axes and overall decline in the immune system play an essential role in this process. Overwhelming evidence however suggests that many cellular cytokine signaling pathways are also affected, thus underscoring the idea that both, “cellular” and “systemic” changes contribute to aging. IL-1β for example, induces more potent cellular responses in hepatocytes isolated from aged animals then in hepatocytes from young rats. This phenomenon is referred to as IL-1b hyperresponsiveness and is linked to abnormal regulation of various acute phase proteins during aging. Evidence has consistently indicated that activation of neutral sphingomyelinase and the resulting accumulation of ceramide mediate cellular responses to LPS, IL-1β, and TNFα in young animals. More recent studies identified the cytokine-inducible neutral sphingomyelinase with nSMase2 (smpd3) that is localized in the plasma membrane and mediates cellular responses to IL-1β and TNFα. Intriguingly, constitutive up-regulation of nSMase2 occurs in aging and it underlies the hepatic IL-1b hyperresponsiveness. The increased activity of nSMases2 in aging is caused by a substantial decline in hepatic GSH content linking thereby oxidative stress to the onset of pro-inflammatory state in liver. nSMase2 apparently follows a pattern of regulation consisting with “developmental-aging” continuum, since in animal models of delayed aging, like calorie-restricted animals, the aging-associated changes in NSMase activity and function are reversed.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2008 · Sub-cellular biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative stress and inflammation are fundamental for the onset of aging and appear to be causatively linked. Previously, we reported that hepatocytes from aged rats, compared with young rats, are hyperresponsive to interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) stimulation and exhibit more potent c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activation and attenuated interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-1 (IRAK-1) degradation. An age-related increase in the activity of neutral sphingomyelinase-2 (NSMase-2), a plasma membrane enzyme, was found to be responsible for the IL-1beta hyperresponsiveness. The results reported here show that increased NSMase activity during aging is caused by a 60-70% decrease in hepatocyte GSH levels. GSH, at concentrations typically found in hepatocytes from young animals, inhibits NSMase activity in a biphasic dose-dependent manner. Inhibition of GSH synthesis in young hepatocytes activates NSMase, causing increased JNK activation and IRAK-1 stabilization in response to IL-1beta, mimicking the hyperresponsiveness typical for aged hepatocytes. Vice versa, increased GSH content in hepatocytes from aged animals by treatment with N-acetylcysteine inhibits NSMase activity and restores normal IL-1beta response. Importantly, the GSH decline, NSMase activation, and IL-1beta hyperresponsiveness are not observed in aged, calorie-restricted rats. In summary, this report demonstrates that depletion of cellular GSH during aging plays an important role in regulating the hepatic response to IL-1beta by inducing NSMase-2 activity.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2007 · The Journal of Lipid Research
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    ABSTRACT: The process of aging has recently been shown to substantially affect the ability of cells to respond to inflammatory challenges. We demonstrate that aging leads to hepatic hyperresponsiveness to interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta), and we examine the factors that could be responsible for this phenomenon. IL-1beta-induced phosphorylation of c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in hepatocytes isolated from aged rats was 3 times more potent than that in hepatocytes from young rats. Moreover, JNK was activated by substantially lower doses of IL-1beta. These age-related changes in JNK phosphorylation correlated with diminished IL-1beta-induced degradation of interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase-1 (IRAK-1). Expression levels of IL1beta receptor I, total JNK, IRAK-1, and transforming growth factor-beta-activated kinase-1 (TAK-1) were not affected by aging. However, increased neutral sphingomyelinase activity was observed in hepatocytes from old animals, which we show is caused by induction of the plasma membrane localized neutral sphingomyelinase-2 (NSMase-2). We provide evidence that NSMase-2 is both required and sufficient for the onset of IL-1beta hyperresponsiveness during aging. Overexpression of NSMase-2 in hepatocytes from young rats leads both to a reduction in IRAK-1 degradation and potentiation of JNK phosphorylation, mimicking that seen in hepatocytes from old animals. More importantly, inhibition of NSMase activity in hepatocytes from aged rats using either scyphostatin or short interfering ribonucleic acid (siRNA) leads to reversion to the "young" phenotype of IL-1beta response. CONCLUSION: These results show that the process of aging causes increased basal NSMase-2 activity in hepatocytes, which in turn leads to IRAK-1 stabilization, JNK potentiation, and ultimately IL-1beta hyperresponsiveness.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Hepatology
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    Kristina Rutkute · Mariana N Nikolova-Karakashian
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    ABSTRACT: Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) binding protein-1 (IGFBP-1) is primarily produced in the liver during inflammation and regulates biological activities of IGF-I. Here we demonstrate that interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) stimulates IGFBP-1 mRNA production in a dose-dependent manner in hepatocytes from Fisher 344 rats. Employment of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 resulted in 3-fold reduction of IGFBP-1 mRNA and protein levels, indicating that IL-1beta-induced IGFBP-1 production is mediated through JNK activation. We further show that hepatocytes from aged rats (20-22 mo), as compared to young (3-4 mo), exhibit up to 2-fold higher levels of IGFBP-1 in response to IL-1beta. IL-1beta-induced phosphorylation of JNK was also significantly higher in aged hepatocytes, and SP600125 treatment eliminated age-related differences in IGFBP-1 mRNA production. Moreover, glutathione depletion in hepatocytes from young rats potently activated JNK, as well as increased IL-1beta-induced IGFBP-1 mRNA levels, suggesting that age-related oxidative stress underlies the upregulated JNK activation and IGFBP-1 expression.
    Preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications