SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Biomolecules & therapeutics

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Coculture with adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) can stimulate proliferation and migration of melanocytes. To enhance outcomes of skin disorders caused by melanocyte loss or death, mixed transplantation with ADSCs has been suggested. However, role of cocultured ADSCs in proliferation and migration of melanocytes remains unclear. This study determined the effect of ADSCs on production of growth factors and expression levels of intergrins in primary culture of adult human melanocytes with or without ADSCs and in nude mice grafted with such melanocytes. Higher amounts of growth factors for melanocytes, such as bFGF and SCF were produced and released from ADSCs by coculturing with melanocytes. Relative levels of integrins β1, α5, and α6 as well as adhesion to fibronectin and laminin were increased in melanocytes cocultured with ADSCs. Such increases were inhibited by neutralization of bFGF or SCF. Relative levels of bFGF, SCF and integrins were increased in nude mice skin after grafting with melanocyte+ADSC cocultures. Collectively, these results indicate that ADSCs can stimulate proliferation and migration of melanocytes by increasing expression of integrins in melanocytes through upregulation of production/release of melanocyte growth factors such as bFGF and SCF.

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Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) that are able to suppress T cell function are a heterogeneous cell population frequently observed in cancer, infection, and autoimmune disease. Immune checkpoint molecules, such as programmed death 1 (PD-1) expressed on T cells and its ligand (PD-L1) expressed on tumor cells or antigen-presenting cells, have received extensive attention in the past decade due to the dramatic effects of their inhibitors in patients with various types of cancer. In the present study, we investigated the expression of PD-1 on MDSCs in bone marrow, spleen, and tumor tissue derived from breast tumor-bearing mice. Our studies demonstrate that PD-1 expression is markedly increased in tumor-infiltrating MDSCs compared to expression in bone marrow and spleens and that it can be induced by LPS that is able to mediate NF-κB signaling. Moreover, expression of PD-L1 and CD80 on PD-1+ MDSCs was higher than on PD-1- MDSCs and proliferation of MDSCs in a tumor microenvironment was more strongly induced in PD-1+ MDSCs than in PD-1- MDSCs. Although we could not characterize the inducer of PD-1 expression derived from cancer cells, our findings indicate that the study on the mechanism of PD-1 induction in MDSCs is important and necessary for the control of MDSC activity; our results suggest that PD-1+ MDSCs in a tumor microenvironment may induce tumor development and relapse through the modulation of their proliferation and suppressive molecules.

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Methamphetamine (METH) acts strongly on the nervous system and damages neurons and is known to cause neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds present in green tea, red wine and several fruits exhibit antioxidant properties that protect neurons from oxidative damage and promote neuronal survival. Especially, epicatechin (EC) is a powerful flavonoid with antibacterial, antiviral, antitumor and antimutagenic effects as well as antioxidant effects. We therefore investigated whether EC could prevent METH-induced neurotoxicity using HT22 hippocampal neuronal cells. EC reduced METH-induced cell death of HT22 cells. In addition, we observed that EC abrogated the activation of ERK, p38 and inhibited the expression of CHOP and DR4. EC also reduced METH-induced ROS accumulation and MMP. These results suggest that EC may protect HT22 hippocampal neurons against METH-induced cell death by reducing ER stress and mitochondrial damage.

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Oxidative stress is considered a major contributor in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy and in diabetes complications, such as nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases. Diabetic neuropathy, which is the most frequent complications of diabetes, affect sensory, motor, and autonomic nerves. This study aimed to investigate whether 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) protects SH-SY5Y neuronal cells against high glucose-induced toxicity. In the current study, we found that diabetic patients exhibited higher lipid peroxidation caused by oxidative stress than healthy subjects. 7,8-DHF exhibits superoxide anion and hydroxyl radical scavenging activities. High glucose-induced toxicity severely damaged SH-SY5Y neuronal cells, causing mitochondrial depolarization; however, 7,8-DHF recovered mitochondrial polarization. Furthermore, 7,8-DHF effectively modulated the expression of pro-apoptotic protein (Bax) and anti-apoptotic protein (Bcl-2) under high glucose, thus inhibiting the activation of caspase signaling pathways. These results indicate that 7,8-DHF has antioxidant effects and protects cells from apoptotic cell death induced by high glucose. Thus, 7,8-DHF may be developed into a promising candidate for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

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Technological advances of mankind, through the development of electrical and communication technologies, have resulted in the exposure to artificial electromagnetic fields (EMF). Technological growth is expected to continue; as such, the amount of EMF exposure will continue to increase steadily. In particular, the use-time of smart phones, that have become a necessity for modern people, is steadily increasing. Social concerns and interest in the impact on the cranial nervous system are increased when considering the area where the mobile phone is used. However, before discussing possible effects of radiofrequency-electromagnetic field (RF-EMF) on the human body, several factors must be investigated about the influence of EMFs at the level of research using in vitro or animal models. Scientific studies on the mechanism of biological effects are also required. It has been found that RF-EMF can induce changes in central nervous system nerve cells, including neuronal cell apoptosis, changes in the function of the nerve myelin and ion channels; furthermore, RF-EMF act as a stress source in living creatures. The possible biological effects of RF-EMF exposure have not yet been proven, and there are insufficient data on biological hazards to provide a clear answer to possible health risks. Therefore, it is necessary to study the biological response to RF-EMF in consideration of the comprehensive exposure with regard to the use of various devices by individuals. In this review, we summarize the possible biological effects of RF-EMF exposure.

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Neural stem cells (NSCs) can proliferate and differentiate into multiple cell types that constitute the nervous system. NSCs can be derived from developing fetuses, embryonic stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells. NSCs provide a good platform to screen drugs for neurodegenerative diseases and also have potential applications in regenerative medicine. Natural products have long been used as compounds to develop new drugs. In this review, natural products that control NSC fate and induce their differentiation into neurons or glia are discussed. These phytochemicals enable promising advances to be made in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

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Cell therapeutic agents for treating degenerative brain diseases using neural stem cells are actively being developed. However, few systems have been developed to monitor in real time whether the transplanted neural stem cells are actually differentiated into neurons. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a technology capable of specifically monitoring neuronal differentiation in vivo. In this study, we established a system that expresses cell membrane-targeting red fluorescent protein under control of the Synapsin promoter in order to specifically monitor differentiation from neural stem cells into neurons. In order to overcome the weak expression level of the tissue-specific promoter system, the partial 5' UTR sequence of Creb was added for efficient expression of the cell surface-specific antigen. This system was able to track functional neuronal differentiation of neural stem cells transplanted in vivo, which will help improve stem cell therapies.

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Mixed lineage leukemia proteins (MLL) are the key histone lysine methyltransferases that regulate expression of diverse genes. Aberrant activation of MLL promotes leukemia as well as solid tumors in humans, highlighting the urgent need for the development of an MLL inhibitor. We screened and isolated MLL1-binding ssRNAs using SELEX (Systemic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment) technology. When sequences in sub-libraries were obtained using next-generation sequencing (NGS), the most enriched aptamers-APT1 and APT2-represented about 30% and 26% of sub-library populations, respectively. Motif analysis of the top 50 sequences provided a highly conserved sequence: 5΄-A[A/C][C/G][G/U][U/A]ACAGAGGG[U/A]GG[A/C]GAGUGGGU-3΄. APT1, APT2, and APT5 embracing this motif generated secondary structures with similar topological characteristics. We found that APT1 and APT2 have a good binding activity and the analysis using mutated aptamer variants showed that the site information in the central region was critical for binding. In vitro enzyme activity assay showed that APT1 and APT2 had MLL1 inhibitory activity. Three-dimensional structure prediction of APT1-MLL1 complex indicates multiple weak interactions formed between MLL1 SET domain and APT1. Our study confirmed that NGS-assisted SELEX is an efficient tool for aptamer screening and that aptamers could be useful in diagnosis and treatment of MLL1-mediated diseases.

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Purpurogallin, a natural phenol obtained from oak nutgalls, has been shown to possess antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory effects. Recently, in addition to ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation that induces cell apoptosis via oxidative stress, particulate matter 2.5 (PM2.5) was shown to trigger excessive production of reactive oxygen species. In this study, we observed that UVB radiation and PM2.5 severely damaged human HaCaT keratinocytes, disrupting cellular DNA, lipids, and proteins and causing mitochondrial depolarization. Purpurogallin protected HaCaT cells from apoptosis induced by UVB radiation and/or PM2.5. Furthermore, purpurogallin effectively modulates the pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins under UVB irradiation via caspase signaling pathways. Additionally, purpurogallin reduced apoptosis via MAPK signaling pathways, as demonstrated using MAPK-p38, ERK, and JNK inhibitors. These results indicate that purpurogallin possesses antioxidant effects and protects cells from damage and apoptosis induced by UVB radiation and PM2.5.

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Ginger, one of worldwide consumed dietary spice, in fact, it is not only famous as food supplements, and also believed to exert a variety of remarkable pharmacological activity as herbal remedies. In this study, a ginger constituent, 12-dehydrogingerdione (DHGD) was proven that has comparable anti-inflammatory activity with positive control 6-shogaol in inhibiting LPS-induce dinterleukin (IL)-6, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, prostaglandin (PG) E2, nitric oxide (NO), inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, without interfering with COX-1 in cultured microglial cells. Subsequent mechanistic studies indicate that 12-DHGD may inhibit neuro-inflammation through suppressing the LPS-activated Akt/IKK/NF-κB pathway. Furthermore, 12-DHGD markedly promoted the activation of NF-E2-related factor (Nrf)-2 and heme oxygenase (HO)-1, and we demonstrated that the involvement of HO-1 on the production of pro-inflammatory mediators such as NO and TNF-α by using a HO-1 inhibitor, Zinc protoporphyrin (Znpp). These results indicate that 12-DHGD may protect against neuro-inflammation by inhibiting Akt/IKK/IκB/NF-κB pathway and promoting Nrf-2/HO-1 pathway.