Osteoclasts are multinucleated bone resorbing cells whose differentiation is regulated by several important signaling pathways. Several lines of evidence indicate that dihydroartemisinin (DHA), an anti-malarial drug, inhibits osteoclast differentiation with little cytotoxicity. However, the detailed inhibitory mechanisms of DHA on osteoclastogenesis from native cells remain to be elucidated. In this study, we investigated the effects of DHA on the differentiation of bone marrow-derived macrophages into osteoclasts. DHA inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor κ-B ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclast formation and its bone resorbing activity. Mechanistically, DHA treatment markedly abolished phosphorylation of IκBα, and slightly affected a p38 MAPK dependent pathway. Moreover, DHA treatment induced down-regulation of nuclear factor of activated T cells cytoplasmic-1 (NFATc1), a master regulator for osteoclast differentiation and its target proteins, such as Src and cathepsin K. These results indicate that DHA represses RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis of bone marrow macrophages through reduced NFATc1 expression and impaired phosphorylation of IκBα.
Adaptor protein complex-1 (AP-1) and Golgi associated, γ-adaptin ear containing, Arf binding proteins (GGAs) are clathrin adaptors that regulate membrane trafficking between the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and endosomes. p56 is a clathrin adaptor accessory protein that may modulate the function of GGAs in mammalian cell lines. However, the precise relationship between p56 and the three GGAs (GGA1–3), as well as the physiological role of p56 in tissue cells, remain unknown. To this end, we generated an antibody against p56 and determined its cellular localization. In ARPE-19 cells and mouse embryonic fibroblasts, p56 was found to be localized as fine puncta in the TGN. Interestingly, the depletion of each clathrin adaptor by RNAi revealed that this localization was dependent on the expression of GGA1, but not that of GGA2, GGA3, or AP-1. Using immunohistofluorescence microscopy in the mouse central nervous system (CNS), p56 was clearly detected as scattered cytoplasmic puncta in spinal motor neurons, cerebellar Purkinje cells, and pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus and cerebral cortex. Moreover, double labeling with organelle markers revealed that the majority of these puncta were closely associated with the TGN; however, a small fraction was associated with endosomes or lysosomes in spinal motor neurons. Collectively, these results indicate a functional association of p56 with GGA1, suggesting an important role of p56 in larger CNS neurons.
Ten pairs of protrusions, called accessory lobes (ALs), exist at the lateral sides of the avian lumbosacral spinal cord. Histological evidence indicates that neuron-like cells gather in the ALs, and behavioral evidence suggests that the ALs act as a sensory organ of equilibrium during bipedal walking. Recently, using an electrophysiological method, we reported that cells showing Na+ currents and action potentials exist among cells that were dissociated from the ALs. However, it was unclear which isoforms of the voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) are expressed in the ALs and whether cells having neuronal morphology in the ALs express VGSCs. To elucidate these points, RT-PCR and immunohistochemical experiments were performed. In RT-PCR analysis, PCR products for Nav 1.1–1.7 were detected in the ALs. The signal intensities of the Nav 1.1 and 1.6 isoforms were stronger than those of the other isoforms. We confirmed that an antibody raised against an epitope peptide of the rat VGSC had cross-reactivity to chick tissues by Western blotting, and we performed immunofluorescence staining using the antibody. The AL contained cells having neuron-like morphology and VGSC-like immunoreactivity at their cytoplasm and/or cell membranes. Filament-like structures showing GFAP-like immunoreactivity infilled intercellular spaces. The VGSC- and GFAP-like immunoreactivities did not overlap. These results indicate that the neuronal isoforms of the VGSC are mainly expressed in the AL and that the neuron-like cells in the ALs express VGSCs. Our findings indicate that AL neurons generate action potentials and send sensory information to the motor systems on the contralateral side of the spinal segment.
Despite their pharmacologically opposite actions, long-acting depot formulations of both GnRH agonists and antagonists have been clinically applied for treatment of androgen-sensitive prostate cancer. Sustained treatment with GnRH analogues commonly suppresses both the synthesis and release of gonadotropins, leading to depletion of testicular testosterone. To clarify the underlying differences in the effects of GnRH agonists and antagonists on spermatogenesis, we compared histological changes in the seminiferous epithelium after administration of depot formulations of GnRH agonist leuprorelin and antagonist degarelix to male rats. Testicular weight had markedly declined by 28 days after administration of both GnRH analogues, although the testicular weight was decreased more promptly by leuprorelin compared with degarelix. Shortly after administration, massive exfoliation of premature spermatids and anomalous multinucleated giant cells was observed in seminiferous tubules of leuprorelin-treated rats, probably via the initial hyperstimulatory effects on the hypothalamic-pituitary-testicular axis, whereas no discernible changes were found in those of degarelix-treated rats. Long term treatment with both types of GnRH analogues similarly induced a marked reduction in the height of the epithelium and deformation of apical cytoplasm in Sertoli cells, resulting in premature detachment of spermatids from the epithelium. Lipid droplets had accumulated progressively in Sertoli cells, especially in those of degarelix-treated rats. These findings clearly demonstrate the differences in the effects of GnRH agonists and antagonists on the spermatogenic process. This study suggests that an appropriate choice of GnRH analogues is necessary to minimize their adverse effects on spermatogenesis when reproductive functions should be preserved in patients.
Previous studies have shown that dissolved substances in some natural hot springs have analgesic/anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory actions. However, the mechanisms underlying how such dissolved substances exert these actions are not fully understood. In the present study on mice, we examined the analgesic/anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory properties of a mineral cream containing natural hot spring ingredients. The anti-nociceptive effects of the mineral cream were assessed by using the von Frey test. Application of the mineral cream to the hind paw of mice produced a significant anti-nociceptive effect compared to control. The anti-nociceptive effects of the mineral cream were also assessed following the injection of complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA) into the hind paws of mice after pre-treatment for one or four weeks with the mineral cream. Histological experiments with light microscopy showed that the mineral cream did not reduce inflammation caused by the CFA treatment. In addition, the mineral cream did not inhibit oxidative stress as evidenced by increased levels of oxidative metabolites (d-ROMs) and biological anti-oxidant potential (BAP). These results suggest that the mineral cream does not exert a protective effect against inflammation, and that the constituents of the mineral cream may produce their anti-nociceptive effects transdermally via different mechanisms including the nervous system.