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Individuals with chronic kidney disease have elevated levels of oxidative stress and are at a significantly higher risk of skeletal fracture. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs), which accumulate in bone and compromise mechanical properties, are known to be driven in part by oxidative stress. The goal of this study was to study effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on reducing oxidative stress and improving various bone parameters, most specifically mechanical properties, in an animal model of progressive CKD. Male Cy/+ (CKD) rats and unaffected littermates were untreated (controls) or treated with NAC (80 mg/kg, IP) from 30 to 35 weeks of age. Endpoint measures included serum biochemistries, assessments of systemic oxidative stress, bone morphology, and mechanical properties, and AGE levels in the bone. CKD rats had the expected phenotype that included low kidney function, elevated parathyroid hormone, higher cortical porosity, and compromised mechanical properties. NAC treatment had mixed effects on oxidative stress markers, significantly reducing TBARS (a measure of lipid peroxidation) while not affecting 8-OHdG (a marker of DNA oxidation) levels. AGE levels in the bone were elevated in CKD animals and were reduced with NAC although this did not translate to a benefit in bone mechanical properties. In conclusion, NAC failed to significantly improve bone architecture/geometry/mechanical properties in our rat model of progressive CKD.
How metabolic pathways required for epidermal tissue growth and remodeling influence the ability of keratinocytes to survive stressful conditions is still largely unknown. The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) regulates growth and metabolism of several tissues, but its functions in epidermal cells are poorly defined. Rictor is an adaptor protein essential for mTORC2 activity. To explore the roles of mTORC2 in the epidermis, we have conditionally deleted rictor in mice via K14-Cre-mediated homologous recombination and found that its deficiency causes moderate tissue hypoplasia, reduced keratinocyte proliferation and attenuated hyperplastic response to TPA. Noteworthy, rictor-deficient keratinocytes displayed increased lifespan, protection from senescence, and enhanced tolerance to cellular stressors such as growth factors deprivation, epirubicin and X-ray in vitro and radioresistance in vivo. Rictor-deficient keratinocytes exhibited changes in global gene expression profiles consistent with metabolic alterations and enhanced stress tolerance, a shift in cell catabolic processes from glycids and lipids to glutamine consumption and increased production of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS). Mechanistically, the resiliency of rictor-deficient epidermal cells relies on these ROS increases, indicating stress resistance via mitohormesis. Thus, our findings reveal a new link between metabolic changes and stress adaptation of keratinocytes centered on mTORC2 activity, with potential implications in skin aging and therapeutic resistance of epithelial tumors.
Neutrophil extracellular traps are associated with a unique form of cell death distinct from apoptosis or necrosis, whereby invading microbes are trapped and killed. Neutrophil extracellular traps can contribute to autoimmunity by exposing autoantigens, inducing IFN-α production, and activating the complement system. The association of neutrophil extracellular traps with autoimmune diseases, particularly systemic lupus erythematosus, will be reviewed. Increased neutrophil extracellular trap formation is seen in psoriasis, antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis, antiphospholipid antibody syndrome rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Neutrophil extracellular traps may promote thrombus formation in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. In systemic lupus erythematosus, increased neutrophil extracellular trap formation is associated with increased disease activity and renal disease, suggesting that neutrophil extracellular traps could be a disease activity marker. Neutrophil extracellular traps can damage and kill endothelial cells and promote inflammation in atherosclerotic plaques, which may contribute to accelerated atherosclerosis in systemic lupus erythematosus. As neutrophil extracellular traps induce IFN-α production, measuring neutrophil extracellular traps may estimate IFN-α levels and identify which systemic lupus erythematosus patients have elevated levels and may be more likely to respond to emerging anti-IFN-α therapies. In addition to anti-IFN-α therapies, other novel agents, such as N-acetyl-cysteine, DNase I, and peptidylarginine deiminase inhibitor 4, target neutrophil extracellular traps. Neutrophil extracellular traps offer insight into the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases and provide promise in developing disease markers and novel therapeutic agents in systemic lupus erythematosus. Priority areas for basic research based on clinical research insights will be identified, specifically the potential role of neutrophil extracellular traps as a biomarker and therapeutic target in systemic lupus erythematosus.
© Society for Leukocyte Biology.
Despite extensive research, no therapeutic interventions have been shown to prevent AKI, accelerate recovery of AKI, or reduce progression of AKI to CKD in patients. This failure in translation has led investigators to speculate that the animal models being used do not predict therapeutic responses in humans. Although this issue continues to be debated, an important concern that has not been addressed is whether improvements in preclinical study design can be identified that might also increase the likelihood of translating basic AKI research into clinical practice using the current models. In this review, we have taken an evidence-based approach to identify common weaknesses in study design and reporting in preclinical AKI research that may contribute to the poor translatability of the findings. We focused on use of N-acetylcysteine or sodium bicarbonate for the prevention of contrast-induced AKI and use of erythropoietin for the prevention of AKI, two therapeutic approaches that have been extensively studied in clinical trials. On the basis of our findings, we identified five areas for improvement in preclinical study design and reporting. These suggested and preliminary guidelines may help improve the quality of preclinical research for AKI drug development.
Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Macrophages dictate both initiation and resolution of inflammation. During acute inflammation classically activated macrophages (M1) predominate, and during the resolution phase alternative macrophages (M2) are dominant. The molecular mechanisms involved in macrophage polarization are understudied. MicroRNAs are differentially expressed in M1 and M2 macrophages that influence macrophage polarization. We identified a role of miR-21 in macrophage polarization, and found that cross-talk between miR-21 and the lipid mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a determining factor in macrophage polarization. miR-21 inhibition impairs expression of M2 signature genes but not M1 genes. PGE2 and its downstream effectors PKA and Epac inhibit miR-21 expression and enhance expression of M2 genes, and this effect is more pronounced in miR-21-/- cells. Among potential targets involved in macrophage polarization, we found that STAT3 and SOCS1 were enhanced in miR-21-/- cells and further enhanced by PGE2. We found that STAT3 was a direct target of miR-21 in macrophages. Silencing the STAT3 gene abolished PGE2-mediated expression of M2 genes in miR-21-/- macrophages. These data shed light on the molecular brakes involved in homeostatic macrophage polarization and suggest new therapeutic strategies to prevent inflammatory responses.
High glucose concentrations due to diabetes increase leakage of plasma constituents across the endothelial permeability barrier. We sought to determine whether vitamin C, or ascorbic acid (ascorbate), could reverse such high glucose-induced increases in endothelial barrier permeability. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells and two brain endothelial cell lines cultured at 25 mM glucose showed increases in endothelial barrier permeability to radiolabeled inulin compared to cells cultured at 5mM glucose. Acute loading of the cells for 30-60 min with ascorbate before the permeability assay prevented the high glucose-induced increase in permeability and decreased basal permeability at 5mM glucose. High glucose-induced barrier leakage was mediated largely by activation of the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), since it was prevented by RAGE blockade and mimicked by RAGE ligands. Intracellular ascorbate completely prevented RAGE ligand-induced increases in barrier permeability. The high glucose-induced increase in endothelial barrier permeability was also acutely decreased by several cell-penetrant antioxidants, suggesting that at least part of the ascorbate effect could be due to its ability to act as an antioxidant.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - Hepatic lipotoxicity is characterized by reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, mitochondrial dysfunction, and excessive apoptosis, but the precise sequence of biochemical events leading to oxidative damage and cell death remains unclear. The goal of this study was to delineate the role of mitochondrial metabolism in mediating hepatocyte lipotoxicity.
MATERIALS/METHODS - We treated H4IIEC3 rat hepatoma cells with free fatty acids in combination with antioxidants and mitochondrial inhibitors designed to block key events in the progression toward apoptosis. We then applied (13)C metabolic flux analysis (MFA) to quantify mitochondrial pathway alterations associated with these treatments.
RESULTS - Treatment with palmitate alone led to a doubling in oxygen uptake rate and in most mitochondrial fluxes. Supplementing culture media with the antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) reduced ROS accumulation and caspase activation and partially restored cell viability. However, (13)C MFA revealed that treatment with NAC did not normalize palmitate-induced metabolic alterations, indicating that neither elevated ROS nor downstream apoptotic events contributed to mitochondrial activation. To directly limit mitochondrial metabolism, the complex I inhibitor phenformin was added to cells treated with palmitate. Phenformin addition eliminated abnormal ROS accumulation, prevented the appearance of apoptotic markers, and normalized mitochondrial carbon flow. Further studies revealed that glutamine provided the primary fuel for elevated mitochondrial metabolism in the presence of palmitate, rather than fatty acid beta-oxidation, and that glutamine consumption could be reduced through co-treatment with phenformin but not NAC.
CONCLUSION - Our results indicate that ROS accumulation in palmitate-treated H4IIEC3 cells occurs downstream of altered mitochondrial oxidative metabolism, which is independent of beta-oxidation and precedes apoptosis initiation.