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[en] Concerns over the adverse reproductive outcomes in human have been raised, more evidence including the underlying mechanism are required. Since extravillous trophoblast (EVT) invasion is an important physiological step during early development, the effects of mono-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (MEHP), the bioactive metabolite of DEHP, on EVT invasion were investigated using Matrigel-coated transwell chambers and cell line HTR-8/SVneo. In the transwell-based invasive assay, MEHP exposure inhibited EVT invasion as judged by decreased invasion index. Further analysis showed that MEHP exposure significantly inhibited the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), which is an important positive regulator of EVT invasion. Meanwhile, the protein levels of tissue inhibitor matrix metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), one key negative regulator of EVT invasion, were upregulated by MEHP treatment. Finally, inactivation of PPARγ pathway by either PPARγ inhibitors or PPARγ shRNA knockdown rescued the MEHP-induced inhibited invasion of HTR-8/SVneo cells, which is accompanied by the recovery of inhibited MMP-9 expression. The present study provides the evidence that MEHP exposure inhibits trophoblast invasion via PPARγ at concentrations comparable to those found in humans, which provides an insight in understanding the mechanisms of DEHP-associated early pregnancy loss. - Highlights: • MEHP inhibits HTR-8/SVneo cell invasion. • MEHP exposure imbalanced the expression of MMP-9/TIMP-1 in HTR-8/SVneo cells. • This effect of MEHP is mediated via the PPARγ pathway.
[en] Alcohol intermittent binge drinking (BD) during adolescence decreases the levels of selenium (Se), a trace element that plays a key biological role against oxidative damage in hepatocytes through different selenoproteins such as the antioxidant enzymes glutathione peroxidases (GPx1 and Gpx4) and selenoprotein P (SelP). In this context, it has been found that GPx4 has an essential antioxidant role in mitochondria modulating the apoptosis and NF-kB activation (a factor intimately related to apoptosis and immune function). To further investigate the effectiveness of selenium supplementation in oxidative balance, inflammation and apoptosis, the present study examined the protective effects of 0.4 ppm of dietary selenite administrated to adolescent rats exposed to BD. BD consumption depleted Se deposits in all the tissues studied. In liver, GPx1 activity and expression were decreased leading to protein and lipid hepatic oxidation. Moreover GPx4 and NF-kB expression were also decreased in liver, coinciding with an increase in caspase-3 expression. This hepatic profile caused general liver damage as shown the increased serum transaminases ratio AST/ALT. Proinflammatory serum citokines and chemocines were decreased. Se supplementation therapy used restored all these values, even AST levels. These findings suggest for first time that Se supplementation is a good strategy against BD liver damage during adolescence, since it increases GPx1 and GPx4 expression and avoids NF-kB downregulation and caspase-3 upregulation, leading to a better oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic liver profile. The therapy proposed could be considered to have a great biological efficacy and to be suitable for BD exposed teenagers in order to avoid future hepatic complications. - Highlights: • Binge drinking exposition increases ratio AST/ALT and caspase-3 expression. • Binge drinking also decreases citokines, chemocines and GPx4 and NF-kB expression. • Se supplementation therapy improves oxidative, inflammatory and apoptotic liver profile. • The therapy proposed could suitable in BD exposition to avoid hepatic complications.
[en] In this study, a comprehensive characterization of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes (XMEs) based on gene expression and enzyme functionality was made in a reconstructed skin epidermal model derived from the outer root sheath (ORS) of hair follicles (ORS-RHE). The ORS-RHE model XME gene profile was consistent with native human skin. Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) consistently reported to be detected in native human skin were also present at the gene level in the ORS-RHE model. The highest Phase I XME gene expression levels were observed for alcohol/aldehyde dehydrogenases and (carboxyl) esterases. The model was responsive to the CYP inducers, 3-methylcholanthrene (3-MC) and β-naphthoflavone (βNF) after topical and systemic applications, evident at the gene and enzyme activity level. Phase II XME levels were generally higher than those of Phase I XMEs, the highest levels were GSTs and transferases, including NAT1. The presence of functional CYPs, UGTs and SULTs was confirmed by incubating the models with 7-ethoxycoumarin, testosterone, benzo(a)pyrene and 3-MC, all of which were rapidly metabolized within 24 h after topical application. The extent of metabolism was dependent on saturable and non-saturable metabolism by the XMEs and on the residence time within the model. In conclusion, the ORS-RHE model expresses a number of Phase I and II XMEs, some of which may be induced by AhR ligands. Functional XME activities were also demonstrated using systemic or topical application routes, supporting their use in cutaneous metabolism studies. Such a reproducible model will be of interest when evaluating the cutaneous metabolism and potential toxicity of innovative dermo-cosmetic ingredients. - Highlights: • Phase I and II xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes are expressed in ORS-RHE model derived from adult hair follicles. • Xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes are functional in ORS-RHE following either systemic or topical application. • Xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes are inducible in ORS-RHE. • ORS-RHE is a suitable model for studying skin metabolism. • ORS-RHE is a convenient and reliable tool for the evaluation of xenobiotics.
[en] Spontaneous activity represents an early, primitive form of motor activity within zebrafish embryos, providing a potential readout for identification of neuroactive compounds. However, despite use as an endpoint in chemical screens around the world, the predictive power and limitations of assays relying on spontaneous activity remain unclear. Using an improved high-content screening assay that increased throughput from 384 to 3072 wells per week, we screened a well-characterized library of 1280 pharmacologically active compounds (LOPAC1280) – 612 of which target neurotransmission – to identify which targets are detected using spontaneous activity as a readout. Results from this screen revealed that (1) 8% of the LOPAC1280 library was biologically active; (2) spontaneous activity was affected by compounds spanning a broad array of targets; (3) only 4% of compounds targeting neurotransmission impacted spontaneous activity; and (4) hypoactivity was observed for 100% of hits detected, including those that exhibit opposing mechanisms of action for the same target. Therefore, while this assay was able to rapidly identify potent neuroactive chemicals, these data suggest that spontaneous activity may lack the ability to discriminate modes of action for compounds interfering with neurotransmission, an issue that may be due to systemic uptake following waterborne exposure, persistent control variation, and/or interference with non-neurotransmission-related mechanisms. - Highlights: • Assay throughput was increased from 384 to 3072 wells per week. • 8% of the LOPAC1280 library was biologically active within zebrafish embryos. • Spontaneous activity was affected by compounds spanning a broad array of targets. • Only 4% of compounds targeting neurotransmission impacted spontaneous activity. • Hypoactivity was observed for 100% of hits detected.
[en] Mercury (Hg) has been implicated as a factor contributing to autoimmune disease in animal models and humans. However the mechanism by which this occurs has remained elusive. Since the discovery of B cells it has been appreciated by immunologists that during the normal course of B cell development, some immature B cells must be generated that produce immunoglobulin reactive to self-antigens (auto-antibodies). However in the course of normal development, the vast majority of immature auto-reactive B cells are prevented from maturing by processes collectively known as tolerance. Autoimmune disease arises when these mechanisms of tolerance are disrupted. In the B cell compartment, it is firmly established that tolerance depends in part upon negative selection of self-reactive immature (transitional type 1) B cells. In these cells negative selection depends upon signals generated by the B Cell Receptor (BCR), in the sense that those T1 B cells who's BCRs most strongly bind to, and so generate the strongest signals to self-antigens are neutralized. In this report we have utilized multicolor phosphoflow cytometry to show that in immature T1 B cells Hg attenuates signal generation by the BCR through mechanisms that may involve Lyn, a key tyrosine kinase in the BCR signal transduction pathway. We suggest that exposure to low, environmentally relevant levels of Hg, disrupts tolerance by interfering with BCR signaling in immature B cells, potentially leading to the appearance of mature auto-reactive B cells which have the ability to contribute to auto-immune disease. - Highlights: • Hg2+ interferes with BCR-mediated activation of ERK in immature T1 B cells. • Hg2+ acts upstream of ERK. • BCR mediated activation of Syk and the CD79a ITAM are attenuated in immature T1 B cells by Hg2+. • The mechanism whereby which Hg2+ affects Syk and CD7a activation involves the tyrosine phosphokinase Lyn.
[en] Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a critically conserved molecular chaperone protein and promising therapeutic target for cancer treatment. In this study, platycodin D (PD), a saponin isolated from traditional Chinese herb Platycodonis Radix, was identified as a novel Hsp90 inhibitor. We verified that PD did not affect the ATPase activity of Hsp90. However, PD disrupted the co-chaperone interaction of Hsp90/cell division cycle protein 37 (Cdc37) and subsequently degraded multiple Hsp90 client proteins without the feedback increase of Hsp70. In different genotypes of non-small cell lung cancer cells, co-treatment with the mTOR inhibitor Everolimus and PD enhanced antiproliferation activity and apoptotic effect. The feedback survival signal upon mTOR inhibition was fully terminated by the co-administration with PD through reduced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and insulin growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) expression, suppressed AKT activity, and reinforced 4E-BP1 inhibition. Our results not only identified PD as a novel Hsp90 inhibitor by disrupting the protein–protein interaction of Hsp90/Cdc37 complex, but also provided mechanistic insights into the ineffectiveness of mTOR inhibitors and identified therapeutic strategy for cancer treatment. - Highlights: • Platycodin D (PD) is a novel Hsp90 inhibitor by disrupting Hsp90/Cdc37 complex. • PD terminated the survival signal induced by mTOR inhibition via feedback blockade. • Combining mTOR inhibitor and PD together exhibited amplified anti-NSCLC effect.
[en] A series of naturally occurring cardenolides that exhibit potent anti-transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) activity in swine testicular (ST) cells has been identified. In an immunofluorescence assay, these cardenolides were found to diminish the expressions of TGEV nucleocapsid and spike protein, which was used as an indication for viral replication; block TGEV infection induced apoptosis and cytopathic effects; and impart the same trend of inhibitory activity against Na+/K+-ATPase as for anti-TGEV activity. The viral titer inhibition was found to take place in a dose-dependent manner. Knocking down expression of Na+/K+-ATPase, the cellular receptor of cardenolides, in ST cells was found to significantly impair the susceptibility of ST cells to TGEV infectivity. Thus, we have identified Na+/K+-ATPase as an anti-viral drug target and its antagonists, cardenolides, a novel class of anti- TGEV agents. - Highlights: • Cardenolides were identified as a novel class of anti-TGEV agents. • Cardenolides diminished TGEV replication/viral titers in a dose dependent manner. • Cardenolides blocked TGEV infection induced apoptosis and cytopathic effect. • These cardenolides imparted the same trend of inhibitory activity for Na+/K+-ATPase. • Na+/K+-ATPase was identified as an anti-viral drug target.
[en] Baicalin is a major flavonoid compound purified from Scutellariae radix, which has been described as an herb in the Chinese Pharmacopoeia. Previous studies have suggested baicalin possessed extensive anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-viral properties. However, up to known, there have been no reports of safety and toxicity in the rats following oral administration of baicalin. In this present study, we showed the first evidence that treatment of baicalin (400, 800 and 1600 mg/kg/day) induced significantly kidney injury and fibrosis. The collagen synthesis and fibrosis-related protein expression were increased in the kidney of Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats after treatment with high doses of baicalin. We further investigated the potential molecular mechanism of baicalin-mediated renal fibrosis and revealed that baicalin activated the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β)/Smad signaling pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, we also observed that baicalin induced Smad3 interaction with transcriptional coactivator p300 accompanying with increment of Smad3 acetylation. Our results may contribute to better understanding of the future pharmacological and toxicological studies of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi and its active compounds on the human disease. - Highlights: • High doses of baicalin induced kidney injury and fibrosis. • High doses of baicalin activated TGF-β/Smad signaling pathway. • High doses of baicalin increased the interaction of p300 and Smad3, and subsequent acetylation of Smad3.
[en] Biopersistence of carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide (GO) and several other types of carbonaceous nanomaterials is an essential determinant of their health effects. Successful biodegradation is one of the major factors defining the life span and biological responses to nanoparticles. Here, we review the role and contribution of different oxidative enzymes of inflammatory cells – myeloperoxidase, eosinophil peroxidase, lactoperoxidase, hemoglobin, and xanthine oxidase – to the reactions of nanoparticle biodegradation. We further focus on interactions of nanomaterials with hemoproteins dependent on the specific features of their physico-chemical and structural characteristics. Mechanistically, we highlight the significance of immobilized peroxidase reactive intermediates vs diffusible small molecule oxidants (hypochlorous and hypobromous acids) for the overall oxidative biodegradation process in neutrophils and eosinophils. We also accentuate the importance of peroxynitrite-driven pathways realized in macrophages via the engagement of NADPH oxidase- and NO synthase-triggered oxidative mechanisms. We consider possible involvement of oxidative machinery of other professional phagocytes such as microglial cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, in the context of biodegradation relevant to targeted drug delivery. We evaluate the importance of genetic factors and their manipulations for the enzymatic biodegradation in vivo. Finally, we emphasize a novel type of biodegradation realized via the activation of the “dormant” peroxidase activity of hemoproteins by the nano-surface. This is exemplified by the binding of GO to cyt c causing the unfolding and ‘unmasking’ of the peroxidase activity of the latter. We conclude with the strategies leading to safe by design carbonaceous nanoparticles with optimized characteristics for mechanism-based targeted delivery and regulatable life-span of drugs in circulation. - Highlights: • Nanoparticles can be degraded by oxidative enzymatic machinery of inflammatory cells. • Peroxidase-generated oxidants are the reactive species executing the biodegradation. • Unmasked by GO binding peroxidase activity of cyt c biodegrades GO. • Professional phagocytes are accountable for the clearance of nanoparticles in vivo. • Carbonaceous nano-carriers of drugs protect against degradation of payloads.
[en] The delivery of drugs, antigens, and imaging agents benefits from using nanotechnology-based carriers. The successful translation of nanoformulations to the clinic involves thorough assessment of their safety profiles, which, among other end-points, includes evaluation of immunotoxicity. The past decade of research focusing on nanoparticle interaction with the immune system has been fruitful in terms of understanding the basics of nanoparticle immunocompatibility, developing a bioanalytical infrastructure to screen for nanoparticle-mediated immune reactions, beginning to uncover the mechanisms of nanoparticle immunotoxicity, and utilizing current knowledge about the structure–activity relationship between nanoparticles' physicochemical properties and their effects on the immune system to guide safe drug delivery. In the present review, we focus on the most prominent pieces of the nanoparticle–immune system puzzle and discuss the achievements, disappointments, and lessons learned over the past 15 years of research on the immunotoxicity of engineered nanomaterials. - Graphical abstract: API — active pharmaceutical ingredient; NP — nanoparticles; PCP — physicochemical properties, CARPA — complement activation-related pseudoallergy, ICH — International Conference on Harmonization. Display Omitted - Highlights: • Achievements, disappointments and lessons learned over past decade are reviewed. • Areas in focus include characterization, immunotoxicity and utility in drug delivery. • Future direction focusing on mechanistic immunotoxicity studies is proposed.