- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Previous studies showed that placental extracts (PE) alleviates arthritic symptoms in animal models of arthritis. METHODS: To evaluate whether murine PEs obtained at embryonic days 7.5 (PE7) and 17.5 (PE18) regulate RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation, RAW 264.7 cells were cultured with RANKL and MCSF in presence or not of PEs. Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) was stained and multinucleated TRAP positive cells were visualized under a light microscope. Cathepsin K and metalloprotease expression was assessed by RT-PCR and gelatin zymography respectively. NFATc1 expression was determined by immunoblot. To analyze NFAT-dependent transcription, macrophages were transfected with a luciferase reporter plasmid. Cytokines were determined in PEs by ELISA and immunoblot. Transforming growth factor (TGF)- beta and Interleukin (IL)-10 receptor were inhibited in cell cultures with specific antibodies. RESULTS: PE7 and PE18 inhibited RANKL-induced multinucleated TRAP positive cells, Cathepsin K expression and metalloprotease activity, as well as NFATc1 expression and activity, thereby inhibiting osteoclast differentiation of RAW cells. Inflammatory/Regulatory cytokine ratio was higher in PE7 than in PE18. Blocking TGF-beta abolished the effect of both, PE7 and PE18, on multinucleated TRAP positive cells and metalloprotease expression, whereas blocking IL-10 receptor reverted the effect of PE18 but not of PE7. DISCUSSION: Inhibition of osteoclast differentiation by PEs was not unexpected, since cytokines detected in extracts were previously found to regulate osteoclast differentiation. CONCLUSIONS: PEs inhibited osteoclast differentiation of macrophages in vitro. Downregulation of NFATc1 might be involved in this effect. Regulatory/Th2 cytokines play a role in the effect of PEs on osteoclast differentiation.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, the inducible isoform of cyclooxygenase, plays a role in the process of uterine decidualization and blastocyst attachment. On the other hand, overexpression of COX-2 is involved in the proliferation of the endometrial tissue during endometriosis. Deregulation of the renin-angiotensin-system plays a role in the pathophysiology of endometriosis and pre-eclampsia. Angiotensin II increases intracellular Ca(2+) concentration by targeting phospholypase C-gamma in endometrial stromal cells (ESC). A key element of the cellular response to Ca(2+) signals is the activity of the Ca(2+)- and calmodulin-dependent phosphatase calcineurin. Our first aim was to study whether angiotensin II stimulated Cox-2 gene expression in rat ESC and to analyze whether calcineurin activity was involved. In cells isolated from non-pregnant uteri, COX-2 expression--both mRNA and protein--was induced by co-stimulation with phorbol ester and calcium ionophore (PIo), as well as by angiotensin II. Pretreatment with the calcineurin inhibitor cyclosporin A inhibited this induction. We further analyzed the role of the calcineurin/NFAT signaling pathway in the induction of Cox-2 gene expression in non-pregnant rat ESC. Cyclosporin A abolished NFATc1 dephosphorylation and translocation to the nucleus. Cyclosporin A also inhibited the transcriptional activity driven by the Cox-2 promoter. Exogenous expression of the peptide VIVIT -specific inhibitor of calcineurin/NFAT binding- blocked the activation of Cox-2 promoter and the up-regulation of COX-2 protein in these cells. Finally we analyzed Cox-2 gene expression in ESC of early-pregnant rats. COX-2 expression--both mRNA and protein--was induced by stimulation with PIo as well as by angiotensin II. This induction appears to be calcineurin independent, since it was not abrogated by cyclosporin A. In conclusion, angiotensin II induced Cox-2 gene expression by activating the calcineurin/NFAT signaling pathway in endometrial stromal cells of non-pregnant but not of early-pregnant rats. These results might be related to differential roles that COX-2 plays in the endometrium.