Abstract : Autophagy is a highly conserved intracellular degradation and energyrecycling mechanism that contributes to the maintenance of cellular homeostasis. Extensive researches over the past decades have defined the role of autophagy innate immune cells. In this review, we describe the current state of knowledge regarding the role of autophagy in neutrophil biology and a picture of molecular mechanism underlying autophagy in neutrophils. Neutrophils are professional phagocytes that comprise the first line of defense against pathogen. Autophagy machineries are highly conserved in neutrophils. Autophagy is not only involved in generalized function of neutrophils such as differentiation in bone marrow but also plays crucial role effector functions of neutrophils such as granule formation, degranulation, neutrophil extracellular traps release, cytokine production, bactericidal activity and controlling inflammation. This review outlines the current understanding of autophagy in neutrophils and provides insight towards identification of novel therapeutics targeting autophagy in neutrophils.
Abstract : The present study was aimed to explore the neuroprotective role of imatinib in global ischemia-reperfusion-induced cerebral injury along with possible mechanisms. Global ischemia was induced in mice by bilateral carotid artery occlusion for 20 min, which was followed by reperfusion for 24 h by restoring the blood flow to the brain. The extent of cerebral injury was assessed after 24 h of global ischemia by measuring the locomotor activity (actophotometer test), motor coordination (inclined beam walking test), neurological severity score, learning and memory (object recognition test) and cerebral infarction (triphenyl tetrazolium chloride stain). Ischemia-reperfusion injury produced significant cerebral infarction, impaired the behavioral parameters and decreased the expression of connexin 43 and phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (p-STAT3) in the brain. A single dose administration of imatinib (20 and 40 mg/kg) attenuated ischemia-reperfusioninduced behavioral deficits and the extent of cerebral infarction along with the restoration of connexin 43 and p-STAT3 levels. However, administration of AG490, a selective Janus-activated kinase 2 (JAK2)/STAT3 inhibitor, abolished the neuroprotective actions of imatinib and decreased the expression of connexin 43 and p-STAT3. It is concluded that imatinib has the potential of attenuating global ischemia-reperfusion-induced cerebral injury, which may be possibly attributed to activation of JAK2/STAT3 signaling pathway along with the increase in the expression of connexin 43.
Li-yuan Wang, Jing Wu, Ya-fen Gao, Duo-mao Lin, and Jun Ma
Abstract : Medium- and long-chain triglyceride (MCT/LCT) propofol is widely used as an intravenous anesthetic, especially in the intensive care unit. The present study aimed to assess whether MCT/LCT propofol is safe in the hyperlipidemic population for long-term use. Free fatty acids (FFAs) were used to establish high-fat stimulation of HepG2 and Huh7 cells. Subsequently, these cells were treated with propofol at the concentration of 0, 4, or 8 ?g/ml for 24 and 48 h. The results indicated that the cell viability was notably decreased when the cells were stimulated with 2 mmol/L FFAs and treated with 12 ?g/ml MCT/LCT propofol. Accordingly, we chose 2 mmol/L FFAs along with 4 and 8 ?g/ml MCT/LCT propofol for the subsequent experiments. Four and 8 ?g/ml MCT/LCT propofol inhibited FFA-induced lipid accumulation in the cells and significantly reversed acetyl coenzyme A carboxylase (ACC) activity. In addition, MCT/LCT propofol not only significantly promoted the phosphorylation of AMPK and ACC, but also reversed the FFA-induced decreased phosphorylation of AMPK and ACC. In conclusion, MCT/LCT propofol reverses the negative effects caused by FFAs in HepG2 and Huh7 cells, indicating that MCT/LCT propofol might positively regulate lipid metabolism.
Abstract : Neuroinflammation is an important process underlying a wide variety of neurodegenerative diseases. Carvacrol (CAR) is a phenolic monoterpene commonly used as a food additive due to its antibacterial properties, but it has also been shown to exhibit strong antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects. Here, we sought to investigate the effects of CAR on inflammation in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. In our study, lipopolysaccharide was injected into the lateral ventricle of rats to induce memory impairment and neuroinflammation. Daily administration of CAR (25, 50, and 100 mg/kg) for 21 days improved recognition, discrimination, and memory impairments relative to untreated controls. CAR administration significantly attenuated expression of several inflammatory factors in the brain, including interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, and cyclooxygenase-2. In addition, CAR significantly increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) mRNA, and decreased expression of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) mRNA. Taken together, these results show that CAR can improve memory impairment caused by neuroinflammation. This cognitive enhancement is due to the anti-inflammatory effects of CAR medicated by its regulation of BDNF and TLR4. Thus, CAR has significant potential as an inhibitor of memory degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases.
Jian-Ya Ye, Li Li, Qing-Mao Hao, Yong Qin, and Chang-Sheng Ma
Abstract : Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disorder causing dementia worldwide, and is mainly characterized by aggregated β-amyloid (Aβ). Increasing evidence has shown that plant extracts have the potential to delay AD development. The plant sterol β-Sitosterol has a potential role in inhibiting the production of platelet Aβ, suggesting that it may be useful for AD prevention. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the effect and mechanism of β-Sitosterol on deficits in learning and memory in amyloid protein precursor/presenilin 1 (APP/PS1) double transgenic mice. APP/PS1 mice were treated with β-Sitosterol for four weeks, from the age of seven months. Brain Aβ metabolism was evaluated using ELISA and Western blotting. We found that β-Sitosterol treatment can improve spatial learning and recognition memory ability, and reduce plaque load in APP/PS1 mice. β-Sitosterol treatment helped reverse dendritic spine loss in APP/PS1 mice and reversed the decreased hippocampal neuron miniature excitatory postsynaptic current frequency. Our research helps to explain and support the neuroprotective effect of β-Sitosterol, which may offer a novel pharmaceutical agent for the treatment of AD. Taken together, these findings suggest that β-Sitosterol ameliorates memory and learning impairment in APP/PS1 mice and possibly decreases Aβ deposition.
Abstract : We previously demonstrated that Bordetella bronchiseptica (B. bronchiseptica) antigen (Ag) enhances the Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae Ag-specific immune response. The focus of this study was whether acellular bacterin of B. bronchiseptica could be used as an adjuvant to increase antigen-presenting capability of dendritic cells (DCs) by increasing the level of activation. The metabolic activity of DCs was increased by B. bronchiseptica, similar to lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Flow cytometry analysis revealed that B. bronchiseptica increases the expression of major histocompatibility complex class-2, cluster of differentiation (CD)40, CD54, and CD86 which are closely related to DC-mediated immune responses. B. bronchiseptica enhanced the production of cytokines related to adaptive immune responses. Furthermore, the survival rate of B. bronchiseptica-injected groups was 100% at 15 and 20 mg/kg doses, whereas that of LPS-injected groups was only 20%, 0% at 15 and 20 mg/kg doses respectively, and so B. bronchiseptica is likely to be safer than LPS. Taken together, these results indicate that B. bronchiseptica can be used as an adjuvant to enhance the antigen-presenting capability of DCs. B. bronchiseptica is a candidate for producing vaccines, especially in case of DC-mediating efficacy and safety demands. This study provides researchers and clinicians with valuable information regarding the usage of B. bronchiseptica as a safe bacteria-derived immunostimulating agent for developing efficient vaccines.
Seung Kyum Kim, Joshua J. Avila, and Michael P. Massett
Abstract : The purpose of this study was to characterize the genetic contribution to endothelial adaptation to exercise training. Vasoreactivity was assessed in aortas from four inbred mouse strains (129S1, B6, NON, and SJL) after 4 weeks of moderate intensity continuous exercise training (MOD), high intensity interval training (HIT) or in sedentary controls (SED). Intrinsic variations in endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation (EDR) to acetylcholine (ACh) as well as vasocontractile responses were observed across SED groups. For responses to exercise training, there was a significant interaction between mouse strain and training intensity on EDR. Exercise training had no effect on EDR in aortas from 129S1 and B6 mice. In NON, EDR was improved in aortas from MOD and HIT compared with respective SED, accompanied by diminished responses to PE in those groups. Interestingly, EDR was impaired in aorta from SJL HIT compared with SED. The transcriptional activation of endothelial genes was also influenced by the interaction between mouse strain and training intensity. The number of genes altered by HIT was greater than MOD, and there was little overlap between genes altered by HIT and MOD. HIT was associated with gene pathways for inflammatory responses. NON MOD genes showed enrichment for vessel growth pathways. These findings indicate that exercise training has non-uniform effects on endothelial function and transcriptional activation of endothelial genes depending on the interaction between genetic background and training intensity.
Seul Gi Kim, Jin Young Sung, Jae-Ryong Kim, and Hyoung Chul Choi
Abstract : Aging is one of the risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases. During the progression of cellular senescence, cells enter a state of irreversible growth arrest and display resistance to apoptosis. As a flavonoid, quercetin induces apoptosis in various cells. Accordingly, we investigated the relationship between quercetin-induced apoptosis and the inhibition of cellular senescence, and determined the mechanism of oxidative stress-induced vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) senescence. In cultured VSMCs, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) dose-dependently induced senescence, which was associated with increased numbers of senescence-associated β-galactosidase-positive cells, decreased expression of SMP30, and activation of p53-p21 and p16 pathways. Along with senescence, expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2 was observed to increase and the levels of proteins related to the apoptosis pathway were observed to decrease. Quercetin induced apoptosis through the activation of AMP-activated protein kinase. This action led to the alleviation of oxidative stress-induced VSMC senescence. Furthermore, the inhibition of AMPK activation with compound C and siRNA inhibited apoptosis and aggravated VSMC senescence by reversing p53-p21 and p16 pathways. These results suggest that senescent VSMCs are resistant to apoptosis and quercetin-induced apoptosis attenuated the oxidative stress-induced senescence through activation of AMPK. Therefore, induction of apoptosis by polyphenols such as quercetin may be worthy of attention for its anti-aging effects.
Kyung-Ok Cho, Kyoung Hoon Jeong, Jung-Ho Cha, and Seong Yun Kim
Abstract : Regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) can be induced by an intracellular calcium increase and oxidative stress, which are characteristic features of temporal lobe epilepsy. Thus, we investigated the spatiotemporal expression and cellular localization of RCAN1 protein and mRNA in the mouse hippocampus after pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (SE). Male C57BL/6 mice were given pilocarpine hydrochloride (280 mg/kg, i.p.) and allowed to develop 2 h of SE. Then the animals were given diazepam (10 mg/kg, i.p.) to stop the seizures and sacrificed at 1, 3, 7, 14, or 28 day after SE. Cresyl violet staining showed that pilocarpine-induced SE resulted in cell death in the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus from 3 day after SE. RCAN1 immunoreactivity showed that RCAN1 was mainly expressed in neurons in the sham-manipulated hippocampi. At 1 day after SE, RCAN1 expression became detected in hippocampal neuropils. However, RCAN1 signals were markedly enhanced in cells with stellate morphology at 3 and 7 day after SE, which were confirmed to be reactive astrocytes, but not microglia by double immunofluorescence. In addition, realtime reverse transcriptase?polymerase chain reaction showed a significant upregulation of RCAN1 isoform 4 (RCAN1-4) mRNA in the SE-induced hippocampi. Finally, in situ hybridization with immunohistochemistry revealed astrocytic expression of RCAN1-4 after SE. These results demonstrate astrocytic upregulation of RCAN1 and RCAN1-4 in the mouse hippocampus in the acute and subacute phases of epileptogenesis, providing foundational information for the potential role of RCAN1 in reactive astrocytes during epileptogenesis.
Abstract : Although microscopic analysis of tissue slides has been the basis for disease diagnosis for decades, intra- and inter-observer variabilities remain issues to be resolved. The recent introduction of digital scanners has allowed for using deep learning in the analysis of tissue images because many whole slide images (WSIs) are accessible to researchers. In the present study, we investigated the possibility of a deep learning-based, fully automated, computer-aided diagnosis system with WSIs from a stomach adenocarcinoma dataset. Three different convolutional neural network architectures were tested to determine the better architecture for tissue classifier. Each network was trained to classify small tissue patches into normal or tumor. Based on the patch-level classification, tumor probability heatmaps can be overlaid on tissue images. We observed three different tissue patterns, including clear normal, clear tumor and ambiguous cases. We suggest that longer inspection time can be assigned to ambiguous cases compared to clear normal cases, increasing the accuracy and efficiency of histopathologic diagnosis by pre-evaluating the status of the WSIs. When the classifier was tested with completely different WSI dataset, the performance was not optimal because of the different tissue preparation quality. By including a small amount of data from the new dataset for training, the performance for the new dataset was much enhanced. These results indicated that WSI dataset should include tissues prepared from many different preparation conditions to construct a generalized tissue classifier. Thus, multi-national/multi-center dataset should be built for the application of deep learning in the real world medical practice.
Jinsung Kim, Sang Hui Moon, Taewook Kim, Juyeon Ko, Young Keul Jeon, Young-Cheul Shin, Ju-Hong Jeon, and Insuk So
Abstract : Transient receptor potential canonical 4 (TRPC4) channel is a nonselective calcium-permeable cation channels. In intestinal smooth muscle cells, TRPC4 currents contribute more than 80% to muscarinic cationic current (mIcat). With its inward-rectifying current-voltage relationship and high calcium permeability, TRPC4 channels permit calcium influx once the channel is opened by muscarinic receptor stimulation. Polyamines are known to inhibit nonselective cation channels that mediate the generation of mIcat. Moreover, it is reported that TRPC4 channels are blocked by the intracellular spermine through electrostatic interaction with glutamate residues (E728, E729). Here, we investigated the correlation between the magnitude of channel inactivation by spermine and the magnitude of channel conductance. We also found additional spermine binding sites in TRPC4. We evaluated channel activity with electrophysiological recordings and revalidated structural significance based on Cryo-EM structure, which was resolved recently. We found that there is no correlation between magnitude of inhibitory action of spermine and magnitude of maximum current of the channel. In intracellular region, TRPC4 attracts spermine at channel periphery by reducing access resistance, and acidic residues contribute to blocking action of intracellular spermine; channel periphery, E649; cytosolic space, D629, D649, and E687.
Sung Eun Kim, Ming Zhe Yin, Hae Jin Kim, Rany Vorn, Hae Young Yoo, and Sung Joon Kim
Abstract : In vascular smooth muscle, K+ channels, such as voltage-gated K+ channels (Kv), inward-rectifier K+ channels (Kir), and big-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels (BKCa), establish a hyperpolarized membrane potential and counterbalance the depolarizing vasoactive stimuli. Additionally, Kir mediates endothelium-dependent hyperpolarization and the active hyperemia response in various vessels, including the coronary artery. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) induces right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH), thereby elevating the risk of ischemia and right heart failure. Here, using the whole-cell patch-clamp technique, we compared Kv and Kir current densities (IKv and IKir) in the left (LCSMCs), right (RCSMCs), and septal branches of coronary smooth muscle cells (SCSMCs) from control and monocrotaline (MCT)-induced PAH rats exhibiting RVH. In control rats, (1) IKv was larger in RCSMCs than that in SCSMCs and LCSMCs, (2) IKv inactivation occurred at more negative voltages in SCSMCs than those in RCSMCs and LCSMCs, (3) IKir was smaller in SCSMCs than that in RCSMCs and LCSMCs, and (4) IBKCa did not differ between branches. Moreover, in PAH rats, IKir and IKv decreased in SCSMCs, but not in RCSMCs or LCSMCs, and IBKCa did not change in any of the branches. These results demonstrated that SCSMC-specific decreases in IKv and IKir occur in an MCT-induced PAH model, thereby offering insights into the potential pathophysiological implications of coronary blood flow regulation in right heart disease. Furthermore, the relatively smaller IKir in SCSMCs suggested a less effective vasodilatory response in the septal region to the moderate increase in extracellular K+ concentration under increased activity of the myocardium.
Wha Young Kim, Wen Ting Cai, Ju Kyong Jang, and Jeong-Hoon Kim
Abstract : The ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) proteins are a family of membrane-associated proteins known to play roles in cell-shape determination as well as in signaling pathways. We have previously shown that amphetamine decreases phosphorylation levels of these proteins in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), an important neuronal substrate mediating rewarding effects of drugs of abuse. In the present study, we further examined what molecular pathways may be involved in this process. By direct microinjection of LY294002, a PI3 kinase inhibitor, or of S9 peptide, a proposed GSK3β activator, into the NAcc core, we found that phosphorylation levels of ERM as well as of GSK3β in this site are simultaneously decreased. These results indicate that ERM proteins are under the regulation of Akt-GSK3β signaling pathway in the NAcc core. The present findings have a significant implication to a novel signal pathway possibly leading to structural plasticity in relation with drug addiction.