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Jun Zhou, Qilong Wang, Ye Ding, and Ming-Hui Zou

We recently reported that genetic deletion of myeloperoxidase (MPO) alleviates obesity-related insulin resistance in mice in vivo. How MPO impairs insulin sensitivity in adipocytes is poorly characterized. As hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is a principal oxidant product generated by MPO, we evaluated the effects of HOCl on insulin signaling in adipocytes differentiated from 3T3-L1 cells. Exposure of 3T3-L1 adipocytes to exogenous HOCl (200 μmol/l) attenuated insulin-stimulated 2-deoxyglucose uptake, GLUT4 translocation, and insulin signals, including tyrosine phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) and phosphorylation of Akt. Furthermore, treatment with HOCl induced phosphorylation of IRS1 at serine 307, inhibitor κB kinase (IKK), c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), and phosphorylation of PKCθ (PKCθ). In addition, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of IKK and JNK abolished serine phosphorylation of IRS1 and impairment of insulin signaling by HOCl. Furthermore, knockdown of PKCθ using siRNA transfection suppressed phosphorylation of IKK and JNK and consequently attenuated the HOCl-impaired insulin signaling pathway. Moreover, activation of PKCθ by peroxynitrite was accompanied by increased phosphorylation of IKK, JNK, and IRS1-serine 307. In contrast, ONOO inhibitors abolished HOCl-induced phosphorylation of PKCθ, IKK, JNK, and IRS1-serine 307, as well as insulin resistance. Finally, high-fat diet (HFD)-induced insulin resistance was associated with enhanced phosphorylation of PKCθ, IKK, JNK, and IRS1 at serine 307 in white adipose tissues from WT mice, all of which were not found in Mpo knockout mice fed HFDs. We conclude that HOCl impairs insulin signaling pathway by increasing ONOO mediated phosphorylation of PKCθ, resulting in phosphorylation of IKK/JNK and consequent serine phosphorylation of IRS1 in adipocytes.

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Sarah X Zhang, Joshua J Wang, Azar Dashti, Kenneth Wilson, Ming-Hui Zou, Luke Szweda, Jian-Xing Ma, and Timothy J Lyons

Oxidized and/or glycated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) may mediate capillary injury in diabetic retinopathy. The mechanisms may involve pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects on retinal capillary pericytes. In this study, these effects, and the protective effects of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF), were defined in a primary human pericyte model. Human retinal pericytes were exposed to 100 μg/ml native LDL (N-LDL) or heavily oxidized glycated LDL (HOG-LDL) with or without PEDF at 10–160 nM for 24 h. To assess pro-inflammatory effects, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) secretion was measured by ELISA, and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation was detected by immunocytochemistry. Oxidative stress was determined by measuring intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), peroxynitrite (ONOO) formation, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, and nitric oxide (NO) production. The results showed that MCP-1 was significantly increased by HOG-LDL, and the effect was attenuated by PEDF in a dose-dependent manner. PEDF also attenuated the HOG-LDL-induced NF-κB activation, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of PEDF on MCP-1 was at least partially through the blockade of NF-κB activation. Further studies demonstrated that HOG-LDL, but not N-LDL, significantly increased ONOO formation, NO production, and iNOS expression. These changes were also alleviated by PEDF. Moreover, PEDF significantly ameliorated HOG-LDL-induced ROS generation through up-regulation of superoxide dismutase 1 expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate pro-inflammatory and pro-oxidant effects of HOG-LDL on retinal pericytes, which were effectively ameliorated by PEDF. Suppressing MCP-1 production and thus inhibiting macrophage recruitment may represent a new mechanism for the salutary effect of PEDF in diabetic retinopathy and warrants more studies in future.