Cerebral ischemia, a pathological condition in which brain tissue experiences a shortage of cerebral blood flow, is associated with cerebrovascular disease, brain trauma, epilepsy, and cardiac arrest. A reduction in blood flow leaves the brain tissue unsupplied with oxygen and glucose, thus leading to cell death in the ischemic core as well as subsequent peripheral injury in the penumbra. Neurons in the penumbra, where reperfusion occurs, are functionally inactive but still viable. Many biochemical changes, which may lead to neuronal cell death, thereby induce dysfunction of the central nervous system. However, the mechanisms responsible for ischemic stroke–induced cell damage remain to be determined. Protein phosphorylation has been implicated in the regulation of diverse cellular responses in the brain. Initially, tyrosine phosphorylation was considered to be involved in the regulation of cell growth and development. In addition, a variety of synaptic and cellular functions mediated by tyrosine phosphorylation in the brain were found to be associated with relatively high levels of protein tyrosine kinase activity. However, the involvement of this protein tyrosine kinase activity in ischemic cell death is still not fully understood. This review summarizes recent advances dealing with the possible implications of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in the ischemic brain.
Store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) is a ubiquitous Ca2+ entry pathway in non-excitable cells. It is activated by the depletion of Ca2+ from intracellular Ca2+ stores, notably the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In the past 9 years, it has been established that two key proteins, stromal interacting molecule 1 (STIM1) and Orai1, play critical roles in SOCE. STIM1 is a single-pass transmembrane protein located predominantly in the ER that serves as a Ca2+ sensor within the ER, while Orai1 is a tetraspanning plasma membrane (PM) protein that functions as the pore-forming subunit of store-operated Ca2+ channels. A decrease in the ER Ca2+ concentration induces translocation of STIM1 into puncta close to the PM. STIM1 oligomers directly interact with Orai1 channels and activates them. This review summarizes the molecular basis of the interaction between STIM1 and Orai1 in SOCE. Further, we describe current findings on additional regulatory proteins, such as Ca2+ release–activated Ca2+ regulator 2A and septin, novel roles of STIM1, and modulation of SOCE by protein phosphorylation.
The ability to resist stress is an important defensive function of a living body. Thus, elucidation of the mechanisms by which the brain resists stress could help to pave the way for new therapeutic strategies for stress-related psychiatric disorders including depression. The present review focuses on the roles of brain 5-HT1A receptor–mediated epigenetic mechanisms in the development of resistance to emotional stress. Behavioral pharmacological studies have demonstrated that treatment with a 5-HT1A receptor agonist 24 h before testing suppressed the decrease in emotional behaviors induced by acute restraint stress. Studies with DNA microarray technology have revealed that histone deacetylase genes were decreased in the hippocampus of mice that had been pretreated with a 5-HT1A receptor agonist 24 h beforehand. This preliminary finding was supported by data that hippocampal acetylated histone H3 was increased in mice that had developed emotional resistance to acute restraint stress by 5-HT1A receptor agonist. Furthermore, the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A also protected against the emotional changes induced by acute restraint stress, accompanied by the induction of histone H3 acetylation. These findings suggest that epigenetic mechanisms that are functionally coupled with 5-HT1A receptors may play a key role in the development of resistance to emotional stress.
The aim of this study is to investigate whether HJC, isolated from Justicia procumbens for the first time, can suppress the proliferation and induce apoptosis of human leukemia K562 cells and finally clarify its related mechanism. The chemical structure of HJC was validated by LC-ESI-MS/MS, cytotoxicity was assayed using MTT, and apoptosis was investigated by flow cytometry. These assays indicated that HJC remarkably inhibited the growth in K562 cells by decreasing cell proliferation, reducing the SOD activity, enhancing ROS levels and inducing apoptosis. Activation of caspase-3 indicated that HJC may be inducing intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis pathways and that HJC-induced apoptosis was caspase-dependent. This study suggests that HJC is a high-potency anti-tumor agent, and it induces apoptosis through a caspase-dependent pathway in human leukemia K562 cells. It also presents a potential alternative to leukemia therapy.
Overactivation of microglia may contribute to the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and HIV dementia. Thus, regulating microglial activation has been an important therapeutic strategy for treating neurodegenerative diseases. In this research, we compared three limonoids compounds extracted from Melia toosendan by a cell-based assay to investigate their anti-inflammatory effects in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated microglia cells. Our study indicated that 1-O-tigloyl-1-O-deacetyl-nimbolinin B (TNB) markedly suppressed the production of nitric oxide (NO) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in LPS-stimulated microglia cells. TNB also inhibited the gene expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), TNF-α, cyclooxygenase (COX-2), and interleukin (IL)-1β. In addition, TNB inhibited generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). We found that TNB significantly attenuated the nuclear translocation of NF-κB, inhibiting the activation of c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) in LPS-stimulated BV-2 cells. Furthermore, TNB reduced cytotoxicity of activated microglia toward HT-22 hippocampal cells in a co-culture system. Taken together, our experimental results reveal, for the first time, that TNB is a potent inhibitor of microglia-mediated inflammation, and it might be a potential candidate for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
This study investigated the herb–drug interaction of xanthorrhizol and tamoxifen in human breast cancer cells. Using MCF-7 cell line as an in vitro model, the herb–drug interaction between xanthorrhizol and tamoxifen was measured by MTT assay, luciferase reporter assay, and cell cycle analysis. The effects of xanthorrhizol on growth/autophagy related signaling were determined by immunostaining, western blotting, and real time RT-PCR. Additionally, the in vivo effect of xanthorrhizol and tamoxifen on athymic nude mice implanted with MCF-7 cells was evaluated. When MCF-7 cells were co-treated with tamoxifen and xanthorrhizol, there were no significant changes in terms of cell number, luciferase activity, percentage S-phase cells and LC3-II expression. However, using the MCF-7 implanted nude mice model, it was possible to detect significantly increased tumor volumes, a larger tumor size, and increased protein expression of P38 and P27(Kip1) in the xanthorrhizol + tamoxifen group compared to the tamoxifen-alone group. It can be concluded that while there is no significant herb–drug interaction between xanthorrhizol and tamoxifen in vitro, there is such an interaction in tumor-bearing mice, which provides important information that affects breast cancer treatment translational research.
To clarify the role of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibition in vascular tissues, we compared the effects of the poorly tissue-penetrative DPP-4 inhibitor sitagliptin to the highly tissue-penetrative DPP-4 inhibitor linagliptin in Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. Six-week-old ZDF rats were orally treated with placebo, sitagliptin (10 mg/kg), or linagliptin (3 mg/kg) for 4 weeks. Sitagliptin and linagliptin produced equivalent decreases in blood glucose concentrations and increased plasma insulin concentrations during oral glucose tolerance tests after the first and the last treatments. In isolated arteries, acetylcholine-induced vascular relaxation was significantly augmented by sitagliptin and linagliptin, with significantly stronger relaxation observed with linagliptin compared to sitagliptin. Vascular DPP-4 activity was attenuated by these drugs, with linagliptin producing significant greater attenuation than sitagliptin. Vascular malondialdehide levels were significantly lower with linagliptin compared to sitagliptin. Significantly greater attenuation of vascular gene expressions of p22phox and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 by linagliptin, compared with sitagliptin, was also observed. In conclusion, the superior vascular protection by linagliptin compared with sitagliptin was unrelated to the regulation of circulating glucose and insulin levels, and the stronger vascular DPP-4 inhibition by linagliptin may contribute to the mechanism of vascular protection.
Intestinal inflammation causes disorder in bowel motility. Th17 cytokines are involved in intestinal inflammation. To understand the role of interleukin (IL)-17 in intestinal motility, we examined effects of IL-17A on contractile activities of organ-cultured ileum. Rat ileal smooth muscle strips were organ cultured with IL-17A. Muscle contraction was measured, and cells expressing inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) were identified with immunohistochemistry. Creating Th17-transferred colitis model mice, in vivo effects of IL-17 on contractile activities, and iNOS mRNA expression in colonic smooth muscle were investigated. Treatment with IL-17A for 12 h and 3 days attenuated carbachol- and membrane depolarization–induced contractions in organ-cultured rat ileum. NG-Nitro-l-arginine methyl ester (100 μM), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, completely reversed the IL-17A–induced inhibition of contractile force. Ileal tissue cultured in the presence of IL-17A showed increased expression of iNOS mRNA and protein. Immunohistochemical analysis using an iNOS antibody revealed that iNOS protein was expressed on ED2-positive muscularis macrophages. The level of iNOS mRNA was also increased in inflamed colonic smooth muscle of Th17-transferred colitis model mice. In intestinal inflammation, IL-17A induces an intestinal motility disorder through iNOS expression in muscularis macrophages.
The acetylcholine receptor–operated K+ (KACh) channel may be a novel target for atrial-specific antiarrhythmic therapy. Recently it has been demonstrated that tertiapin, a selective blocker of KACh channel, suppressed aconitine-induced atrial fibrillation (AF) in dogs. However, the precise mechanism by which the KACh-channel blocker inhibits the aconitine-induced AF remains unknown. This study was undertaken to determine the role of KACh channel in aconitine-induced AF in guinea pigs. Tertiapin terminated the aconitine-induced AF in anesthetized guinea pigs. The results of an in vitro electrophysiological experiment using atrial cells and atrial preparations suggest that aconitine might activate KACh channels in atrial cells, probably by intracellular Na+ accumulation, and inhibition of KACh channels by tertiapin might suppress AF by producing conduction block, probably due to further decrease in the resting membrane potential. Since it has been reported that constitutively active KACh channels can be observed in atrial cells of patients with chronic AF, aconitine-induced AF may be used as an experimental model for evaluation of drug effect on chronic AF.
Renal ischemia produces renal sympathoexcitation that is responsible for the development of ischemic acute kidney injury. The present study examined changes in the sympathetic nerve function in mice. Ischemic acute kidney injury was induced by occlusion of both renal pedicles. Renal ischemia/reperfusion increased blood urea nitrogen and plasma creatinine and expression of tyrosine hydroxylase, a rate-limiting enzyme for the biosynthesis of noradrenaline, in the kidney. Renal immunoreactivity of tyrosine hydroxylase was observed along with vessel and tubular structure both in the sham-operated and the ischemic acute kidney injury mice. The prominent morphological change was that tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity was observed in the glomeruli of the ischemic acute kidney injury mice, whereas there are almost no tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity signals in the glomeruli of the sham-operated mice. This tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the glomeruli is colocalized with synapsin I immunoreactivity in the ischemic acute kidney injury mice. Intraperitoneal pretreatment with DSP-4 (50 mg/kg) attenuated these changes induced by renal ischemia/reperfusion. These results suggest that morphological and functional changes of glomerulus adrenergic nerve terminal are involved in the pathophysiology of ischemia/reperfusion-induced ischemic acute kidney injury.
Septic shock and associated vascular hyporeactivity to vasoconstrictor agonists remain a major problem of critical care medicine. Here we report that glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), the active component of licorice, effectively restores vascular contractility in the model of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated rat aorta. GA was as effective as the NO synthase inhibitor NG-nitroarginine methylester. GA did not affect the vascular NO levels (measured by EPR spin trapping) and relaxations to l-arginine in LPS-treated rings as well as relaxation to S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine in control rings. Thus, GA may represent an interesting alternative to NO synthase inhibitors in sepsis-associated vascular dysfunction.