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  • Author: Ming Wu x
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Hui Wang, Wenjing Wu, Jun Duan, Ming Ma, Wei Kong, Yuannan Ke, Gang Li and Jingang Zheng

It has been reported that ischemic preconditioning (IPC) and adiponectin (APN) are cardioprotective in many cardiovascular disorders. However, whether APN mediates the effect of IPC on myocardial injury has not been elucidated. This study was conducted to investigate whether IPC affects myocardial ischemic injury by increasing APN expression. Male adult rats with cardiac knockdowns of APN and its receptors via intramyocardial small-interfering RNA injection were subjected to IPC and then myocardial infarction (MI) at 24 h after IPC. Globular APN (gAd) was injected at 10 min before MI. APN mRNA and protein levels in myocardium as well as the plasma APN concentration were markedly high at 6 and 12 h after IPC. IPC ameliorated myocardial injury as evidenced by improved cardiac functions and a reduced infarct size. Compared with the control MI group, rats in the IPC + MI group had elevated levels of left ventricular ejection fraction and fractional shortening and a smaller MI size (P < 0.05). However, the aforementioned protective effects were ameliorated in the absence of APN and APN receptors, followed by the inhibition of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation, but reversed by gAd treatment in wild-type rats, and AMPK phosphorylation increased (P < 0.05). Overall, our results suggest that the cardioprotective effects of IPC are partially due to upregulation of APN and provide a further insight into IPC-mediated signaling effects.

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Hong-Wei Chang, Chao-Yuan Huang, Shao-Yu Yang, Vin-Cent Wu, Tzong-Shinn Chu, Yung-Ming Chen, Bor-Shen Hsieh and Kwan-Dun Wu

Aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) and bilateral adrenal hyperplasia are the two characteristic types of primary aldosteronism. Dysregulation of adrenal cortical cell proliferation contributes to both diseases. We previously demonstrated that APA expressed less dopamine D2 receptor than the respective non-tumor tissue and might contribute to the overproduction of aldosterone. As activation of D2 receptor inhibits the proliferation of various cells, downregulation of D2 receptor in APA may play a role in the tumorigenesis of APA. In this study, we demonstrate that D2 receptor plays a role in angiotensin II (AII)-stimulated adrenal cortical cell proliferation. The D2 receptor agonist, bromocriptine, inhibited AII-stimulated cell proliferation in primary cultures of the normal human adrenal cortex and APA through attenuating AII-induced phosphorylation of PK-stimulated cyclin D1 protein expression and cell proliferation. D2 receptor also inhibited AII-induced ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Our results demonstrate that, in addition to inhibiting aldosterone synthesis/production, D2 receptor exerts an anti-proliferative effect in adrenal cortical and APA cells by attenuating PKCμ and ERK phosphorylation. The lower level of expression of D2 receptor in APA may augment cell proliferation and plays a crucial role in the tumorigenesis of APA. Our novel finding suggests a new therapeutic target for primary aldosteronism.

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Shan Song, Duojun Qiu, Fengwei Luo, Jinying Wei, Ming Wu, Haijiang Wu, Chunyang Du, Yunxia Du, Yunzhuo Ren, Nan Chen, Huijun Duan and Yonghong Shi

Tubular injury is one of the crucial determinants of progressive renal failure in diabetic nephropathy (DN), while epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of tubular cells contributes to the accumulation of matrix protein in the diabetic kidney. Activation of the nucleotide binding and oligomerization domain-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome leads to the maturation of interleukin (IL)-1B and is involved in the pathogenic mechanisms of diabetes. In this study, we explored the role of NLRP3 inflammasome on high glucose (HG) or transforming growth factor-B1 (TGFB1)-induced EMT in HK-2 cells. We evaluated EMT through the expression of α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and E-cadherin as well as the induction of a myofibroblastic phenotype. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) was observed using the confocal microscopy. HG was shown to induce EMT at 48 h, which was blocked by NLRP3 silencing or antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC). We found that NLRP3 interference could inhibit HG-induced ROS. Knockdown of NLRP3 could prevent HG-induced EMT by inhibiting the phosphorylation of SMAD3, P38 MAPK and ERK1/2. In addition, P38 MAPK and ERK1/2 might be involved in HG-induced NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Besides, TGFB1 induced the activation of NLRP3 inflammasome and the generation of ROS, which were blocked by NLRP3 interference or NAC. Tubular cells exposed to TGFB1 also underwent EMT, and this could be inhibited by NLRP3 shRNA or NAC. These results indicated that knockdown of NLRP3 antagonized HG-induced EMT by inhibiting ROS production, phosphorylation of SMAD3, P38MAPK and ERK1/2, highlighting NLRP3 as a potential therapy target for diabetic nephropathy.

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Ray-Jade Chen, His-Chin Wu, Mu-Hsin Chang, Chao-Hung Lai, Yun-Chen Tien, Jin-Ming Hwang, Wu-Hsien Kuo, Fuu-Jen Tsai, Chang-Hai Tsai, Li-Mien Chen, Chih-Yang Huang and Chun-Hsien Chu

This study examines the role of IGF2/mannose 6-phosphate receptor (IGF2R) signaling in the signaling transduction regulation and cell apoptosis in H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells. However, it is difficult to recognize the distinct activation of IGF2 signaling without interfacing with IGFI receptor (IGF1R) after exposure to IGF2. Leu27IGF2, an analog of IGF2 that interacts selectively with the IGF2R, was used to specifically activate IGF2R signaling in this study. DNA fragmentation and TUNEL assay revealed that in contrast to IGF1 treatment preventing angiotensin II and AG1024-induced cell apoptosis, Leu27IGF2 appears to synergistically increase apoptosis in those cells. We further found cell apoptosis induction and an increase in the active form of caspase 3 in the treatment of cells with Leu27IGF2, but not IGF1. To detect the interaction between IGF2R and Gαq using the immunoprecipitation assay, we found that IGF2R could directly interact with Gαq and after treatment with Leu27IGF2 the binding ability of Gαq to IGF2R had increased. This sequentially resulted in the phosphorylation of phospholipase C-β, a key downstream modulator of Gαq, on serine 537. Moreover, disruption of the Gαq protein by small interferon RNA reduced the cell apoptosis induced by Leu27IGF2. Our findings demonstrate that IGF2R activation appears to induce cell apoptosis via Gαq-deriving signaling cascades and its effect is completely different from IGF1R survival signaling.

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Mu-Hsin Chang, Wei-Wen Kuo, Ray-Jade Chen, Ming-Chin Lu, Fuu-Jen Tsai, Wu-Hsien Kuo, Ling-Yun Chen, Wen-Jun Wu, Chih-Yang Huang and Chun-Hsien Chu

The IGF-II/mannose 6-phosphate receptor (IGF2R) function in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling is known to occur as a result of transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) activation and plasmin in the proteolytic cleavage level caused by the interaction between latent TGF-β and urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) respectively. In one of our previous studies, we found IGF-II and IGF2R dose-dependently correlated with the progression of pathological hypertrophy remodeling following complete abdominal aorta ligation. However, how this IGF2R signaling pathway responds specifically to IGF-II and regulates the myocardial ECM remodeling process is unclear. We found that IGF2R was aberrantly expressed in myocardial infarction scars. The matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) zymographic activity was elevated in H9c2 cardiomyoblast cells treated with IGF-II, but not IGF-I. Treatment with Leu27IGF-II, an IGF2R specifically binding IGF-II analog, resulted in significant time-dependent increases in the MMP-9, tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA), and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA); and a reduction in the tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases-2 (TIMP-2) protein expression. Furthermore, IGF2R expression inhibition by siRNA blocked the IGF-II-induced MMP-9 activity. We hypothesize that after IGF-II is bound with IGF2R, the resulting signal disrupts the balance in the MMP-9/TIMP-2 expression level and increases plasminogen activator (PAs) expression involved in the development of myocardial remodeling. If so, IGF2R signaling inhibition may have potential use in the development of therapies preventing heart fibrosis progression.

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Rong-Ying Li, Xue-Song Li, Li Shao, Zhi-yuan Wu, Wen-Hua Du, Sheng-Xian Li, Shuang-xia Zhao, Ke-min Chen, Ming-Dao Chen and Huai-Dong Song

Although circulating ghrelin levels correlate inversely with adiposity at baseline, little is known about the effect of percent visceral adipose tissue value (PVATV) on ghrelin expression and secretion in response to fasting. Our study demonstrated that ghrelin increased with 24-h fasting in rats with the lowest PVATV (less than 6%), after 3 days in rats with intermediate PVATV (6–9%) and 5 days in rats with the highest PVATV (greater than 9%). Ghrelin mRNA in the stomach was increased after 3 days in low-PVATV (5.8±0.9%) rats but not in high-PVATV (14±1.6%) rats. Therefore, both ghrelin secretion and mRNA were delayed in response to fasting in rats with increased visceral fat. In rats matched for PVATV, but with different body weights, the fasting induced similar levels of increased ghrelin while in rats with different PVATV ghrelin secretion was different in response to fasting, even when body weights were matched in two groups. These data suggested that the initial PVATV, not lean mass, was related to the pattern of plasma ghrelin in response to fasting in rats.