Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(4), 6657-6673; doi:10.3390/ijms15046657 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Objective: Survivin is a member of the inhibitor of apoptosis protein family, which uniquely promotes mitosis and regulates apoptosis in cancer cells. Recent studies have demonstrated that survivin also expresses in several normal adult cells. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the function of survivin in the terminally differentiated epithelial cells, podocytes. Methods: Survivin expression and location were detected by Quantitative Real-Time PCR, western blot and fluorescence confocal microscopy methods in normal and injured mouse podocytes. Cyto-protection function of survivin was also studied in cultured podocyte injured by puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN), transfected with survivin siRNA to down-regulate survivin expression, or with survivin plasmid to transiently over-express survivin. Results: In podocytes, PAN stimulated expressions of survivin and the apoptosis related molecule caspase 3. Knockdown of survivin expression by siRNA increased the activation of caspase 3, induced podocyte apoptosis and remarkable rearrangement of actin cytoskeleton. Moreover, over-expression of survivin inhibited PAN-induced podocyte apoptosis and cytoskeleton rearrangement. Conclusion: Our data provides the evidence that survivin plays an important role in protecting podocytes from apoptosis induced by PAN. The mechanism of survivin related anti-apoptosis may, at least partially, be through the activation of caspase 3.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(4), 6641-6656; doi:10.3390/ijms15046641 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Farrerol, isolated from Rhododendron dauricum L., has been proven to be an important multifunctional physiologically active component, but its vasoactive mechanism is not clear. The present study was performed to observe the vasoactive effects of farrerol on rat aorta and to investigate the possible underlying mechanisms. Isolated aortic rings of rat were mounted in an organ bath system and the myogenic effects stimulated by farrerol were studied. Intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]in) was measured by molecular probe fluo-4-AM and the activities of L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (LVGC) were studied with whole-cell patch clamp in cultured vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). The results showed that farrerol significantly induced dose-dependent relaxation on aortic rings, while this vasorelaxation was not affected by NG-nitro-l-arginine methylester ester or endothelium denudation. In endothelium-denuded aortas, farrerol also reduced Ca2+-induced contraction on the basis of the stable contraction induced by KCl or phenylephrine (PE) in Ca2+-free solution. Moreover, after incubation with verapamil, farrerol can induce relaxation in endothelium-denuded aortas precontracted by PE, and this effect can be enhanced by ruthenium red, but not by heparin. With laser scanning confocal microscopy method, the farrerol-induced decline of [Ca2+]in in cultured VSMCs was observed. Furthermore, we found that farrerol could suppress Ca2+ influx via LVGC by patch clamp technology. These findings suggested that farrerol can regulate the vascular tension and could be developed as a practicable vasorelaxation drug.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(4), 6625-6640; doi:10.3390/ijms15046625 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Melatonin (MEL), a methoxyindole synthesized by the pineal gland, is a powerful antioxidant in tissues as well as within cells, with a fundamental role in ameliorating homeostasis in a number of specific pathologies. It acts both as a direct radical scavenger and by stimulating production/activity of intracellular antioxidant enzymes. In this work, some chemical triggers, with different mechanisms of action, have been chosen to induce cell death in U937 hematopoietic cell line. Cells were pre-treated with 100 µM MEL and then exposed to hydrogen peroxide or staurosporine. Morphological analyses, TUNEL reaction and Orange/PI double staining have been used to recognize ultrastructural apoptotic patterns and to evaluate DNA behavior. Chemical damage and potential MEL anti-apoptotic effects were quantified by means of Tali® Image-Based Cytometer, able to monitor cell viability and apoptotic events. After trigger exposure, chromatin condensation, micronuclei formation and DNA fragmentation have been observed, all suggesting apoptotic cell death. These events underwent a statistically significant decrease in samples pre-treated with MEL. After caspase inhibition and subsequent assessment of cell viability, we demonstrated that apoptosis occurs, at least in part, through the mitochondrial pathway and that MEL interacts at this level to rescue U937 cells from death.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(4), 6609-6624; doi:10.3390/ijms15046609 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cancer radiotherapy (RT) induces response of the whole patient’s body that could be detected at the blood level. We aimed to identify changes induced in serum lipidome during RT and characterize their association with doses and volumes of irradiated tissue. Sixty-six patients treated with conformal RT because of head and neck cancer were enrolled in the study. Blood samples were collected before, during and about one month after the end of RT. Lipid extracts were analyzed using MALDI-oa-ToF mass spectrometry in positive ionization mode. The major changes were observed when pre-treatment and within-treatment samples were compared. Levels of several identified phosphatidylcholines, including (PC34), (PC36) and (PC38) variants, and lysophosphatidylcholines, including (LPC16) and (LPC18) variants, were first significantly decreased and then increased in post-treatment samples. Intensities of changes were correlated with doses of radiation received by patients. Of note, such correlations were more frequent when low-to-medium doses of radiation delivered during conformal RT to large volumes of normal tissues were analyzed. Additionally, some radiation-induced changes in serum lipidome were associated with toxicity of the treatment. Obtained results indicated the involvement of choline-related signaling and potential biological importance of exposure to clinically low/medium doses of radiation in patient’s body response to radiation.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(4), 6592-6608; doi:10.3390/ijms15046592 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Zinc finger proteinA20 is a key negative regulator of inflammation. However, whether A20may affect inflammation during peritoneal dialysis (PD)-associated peritonitis is still unclear. This study was aimed to investigate the effect of A20 overexpression on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammatory response in rat peritoneal mesothelial cells (RPMCs). Isolated and cultured RPMCs in vitro. Plasmid pGEM-T easy-A20 was transfected into RPMCs by Lipofectamine™2000. The protein expression of A20, phospho-IκBα, IκBα, TNF receptor-associated factor (TRAF) 6 and CD40 were analyzed by Western blot. The mRNA expression of TRAF6, CD40, interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were determined by real time-PCR. NF-κB p65 DNA binding activity, IL-6 and TNF-α levels in cells culture supernatant were determined by ELISA. Our results revealed that RPMCs overexpression of A20 lead to significant decrease of LPS-induced IκBα phosphorylation and NF-κB DNA binding activity (all p < 0.01). In addition, A20 also attenuated the expression of TRAF6, CD40, IL-6 and TNF-α as well as levels of IL-6 and TNF-α in cells culture supernatant (all p < 0.05). However, A20 only partly inhibited CD40 expression. Our study indicated that A20 overexpression may depress the inflammatory response induced by LPS in cultured RPMCs through negatively regulated the relevant function of adaptors in LPS signaling pathway.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(4), 6569-6591; doi:10.3390/ijms15046569 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Vitamin D (1,25(OH)2D3) is a steroid hormone that has a range of physiological functions in skeletal and nonskeletal tissues, and can contribute to prevent and/or treat osteoporosis, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In bone metabolism, vitamin D increases the plasma levels of calcium and phosphorus, regulates osteoblast and osteoclast the activity, and combats PTH hypersecretion, promoting bone formation and preventing/treating osteoporosis. This evidence is supported by most clinical studies, especially those that have included calcium and assessed the effects of vitamin D doses (≥800 IU/day) on bone mineral density. However, annual megadoses should be avoided as they impair bone health. Recent findings suggest that low serum vitamin D is the consequence (not the cause) of obesity and the results from randomized double-blind clinical trials are still scarce and inconclusive to establish the relationship between vitamin D, obesity, and T2DM. Nevertheless, there is evidence that vitamin D inhibits fat accumulation, increases insulin synthesis and preserves pancreatic islet cells, decreases insulin resistance and reduces hunger, favoring obesity and T2DM control. To date, there is not enough scientific evidence to support the use of vitamin D as a pathway to prevent and/or treat obesity and T2DM.