Oxygen-Sensing Nox4 Generates Genotoxic ROS to Induce Premature Senescence of Nucleus Pulposus Cells through MAPK and NF-?B Pathways.
ABSTRACT: Senescence is a crucial driver of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Disc cells are exposed to high oxygen tension due to neovascularization in degenerative discs. However, the effect of oxygen tension on disc cell senescence was unknown. Herein, rat nucleus pulposus (NP) cells were cultured under 20% O2 or 1% O2. Consequently, ROS induced by 20% O2 caused DNA damage and then activated p53-p21-Rb and p16-Rb pathways via ERK signaling to induce NP cell senescence. It also induced catabolic and proinflammatory phenotype of NP cells via MAPK and NF-?B pathways. Furthermore, 20% O2 was found to upregulate Nox4 in NP cells. Small interfering RNA against Nox4 reduced ROS production induced by 20% O2 and consequently suppressed premature senescence of NP cells. On the contrary, NP cells overexpressing Nox4 produced more ROS and rapidly developed senescent signs. In consistent with the in vitro studies, the expression of Nox4, p21, and Rb was upregulated in rat degenerative discs. This study, for the first time, demonstrates that Nox4 is an oxygen-sensing enzyme and a main ROS source in NP cells. Nox4-dependent ROS are genotoxic and a potent trigger of NP cell senescence. Nox4 is a potential therapeutic target for disc cell senescence and IDD.
Project description:Background:The senescence of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration (IDD). NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4)-associated oxidative stress has been shown to induce premature NP cell senescence. Enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) is a crucial gene regulating cell senescence. The aim of this study was to investigate the roles of EZH2 in NOX4-induced NP cell senescence and a feedback loop between EZH2 and NOX4. Results:The down-regulation of EZH2 and the up-regulation of NOX4 and p16 were observed in the degenerative discs of aging rats. EZH2 regulated NP cell senescence via the H3K27me3-p16 pathway. Also, EZH2 regulated the expression of NOX4 in NP cells through the histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) in the promoter of NOX4 gene. Furthermore, NOX4 down-regulated EZH2 expression in NP cells via the canonical Wnt/?-catenin pathway. Conclusions:A positive feedback loop between EZH2 and NOX4 is involved in regulating NP cell senescence, which provides a novel insight into the mechanism of IDD and a potential therapeutic target for IDD.
Project description:Progerin, a truncated unprocessed lamin A protein, causes tissue aging and degeneration. In this study we explored the role of progerin in the pathogenesis of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). We also examined the effect of sulforaphane (SFN) on progerin accumulation and mitochondrial dysfunction in IDD. <b>Methods</b>: The role of progerin in IDD was explored using human nucleus pulposus (NP) tissues, rat NP cells, and Lmna G609G knock-in mice. Immunostaining, X-ray imaging, and Western blotting were performed to assess the phenotypes of intervertebral discs. Alterations in senescence and apoptosis were evaluated by SA-?-galactosidase, immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and TUNEL assays. Mitochondrial function was investigated by JC-1 staining, transmission electron microscopy, and determination of the level of ATP and the activities of mitochondrial enzymes. <b>Results</b>: The progerin level was elevated in degenerated human NP tissues. Lmna G609G/G609G mice displayed IDD, as evidenced by increased matrix metalloproteinase-13 expression and decreased collagen II and aggrecan expression and disc height. Furthermore, progerin overexpression in rat NP cells induced mitochondrial dysfunction (decreased ATP synthesis, mitochondrial membrane potential, and activities of mitochondrial complex enzymes), morphologic abnormalities, and disrupted mitochondrial dynamic (abnormal expression of proteins involved in fission and fusion), resulting in apoptosis and senescence. SFN ameliorated the progerin-induced aging defects and mitochondrial dysfunction in NP cells and IDD in Lmna G609G/G609G mice. <b>Conclusions</b>: Progerin is involved in the pathogenesis of IDD. Also, SFN alleviates progerin?induced IDD, which is associated with amelioration of aging defects and mitochondrial dysfunction. Thus, SFN shows promise for the treatment of IDD.
Project description:This study examines the effect of TNF? on whole bovine intervertebral discs in organ culture and its association with changes characteristic of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) in order to inform future treatments to mitigate the chronic inflammatory state commonly found with painful IDD. Pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF? contribute to disc pathology and are implicated in the catabolic phenotype associated with painful IDD. Whole bovine discs were cultured to examine cellular (anabolic/catabolic gene expression, cell viability and senescence using ?-galactosidase) and structural (histology and aggrecan degradation) changes in response to TNF? treatment. Control or TNF? cultures were assessed at 7 and 21 days; the 21 day group also included a recovery group with 7 days TNF? followed by 14 days in basal media. TNF? induced catabolic and anti-anabolic shifts in the nucleus pulposus (NP) and annulus fibrosus (AF) at 7 days and this persisted until 21 days however cell viability was not affected. Data indicates that TNF? increased aggrecan degradation products and suggests increased ?-galactosidase staining at 21 days without any recovery. TNF? treatment of whole bovine discs for 7 days induced changes similar to the degeneration processes that occur in human IDD: aggrecan degradation, increased catabolism, pro-inflammatory cytokines and nerve growth factor expression. TNF? significantly reduced anabolism in cultured IVDs and a possible mechanism may be associated with cell senescence. Results therefore suggest that successful treatments must promote anabolism and cell proliferation in addition to limiting inflammation.
Project description:RATIONALE:Age-related changes in the intervertebral discs are the predominant contributors to back pain, a common physical and functional impairment experienced by older persons. Cellular senescence, a process wherein cells undergo growth arrest and chronically secrete numerous inflammatory molecules and proteases, has been reported to cause decline in the health and function of multiple tissues with age. Although senescent cells have been reported to increase in intervertebral degeneration (IDD), it is not known whether they are causative in age-related IDD. OBJECTIVE:The study aimed to elucidate whether a causal relationship exists between cellular senescence and age-related IDD. METHODS AND RESULTS:To examine the impact of senescent cells on age-associated IDD, we used p16-3MR transgenic mice, which enables the selective removal of p16Ink4a -positive senescent cells by the drug ganciclovir. Disc cellularity, aggrecan content and fragmentation alongside expression of inflammatory cytokine (IL-6) and matrix proteases (ADAMTS4 and MMP13) in discs of p16-3MR mice treated with GCV and untreated controls were assessed. In aged mice, reducing the per cent of senescent cells decreased disc aggrecan proteolytic degradation and increased overall proteoglycan matrix content along with improved histological disc features. Additionally, reduction of senescent cells lowered the levels of MMP13, which is purported to promote disc degenerative changes during aging. CONCLUSIONS:The findings of this study suggest that systemic reduction in the number of senescent cells ameliorates multiple age-associated changes within the disc tissue. Cellular senescence could therefore serve as a therapeutic target to restore the health of disc tissue that deteriorates with age.
Project description:Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is one of the major causes of low back pain. Diabetes is a risk factor for IDD and may aggravate IDD in rats; however, the mechanism is poorly understood. Previously, we demonstrated that apoptosis and senescence were increased in diabetic nucleus pulposus (NP) tissues; in the current study, we found that hyperglycaemia may promote the incidence of apoptosis and senescence in NP cells in vitro. Meanwhile, the acetylation of P53, a master transcription factor of apoptosis and senescence, was also found increased in diabetic NP tissues in vivo as well as in hyperglycaemic NP cells in vitro. Sirt1 is an NAD+-dependent deacetylase, and we showed that the expression of Sirt1 was decreased in NP tissues, while hyperglycaemia could suppress the expression and activity of Sirt1 in NP cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that butein may inhibit acetylation of P53 and protect NP cells against hyperglycaemia-induced apoptosis and senescence through Sirt1 activation, as the Sirt1 inhibitor Ex527 may counteract the protective effect of butein in hyperglycaemic NP cells. An in vivo study showed that butein could ameliorate the IDD process in diabetic rats, while Sirt1 was increased and acetyl-p53 was decreased in NP tissues in butein-treated rats. These results indicate that the Sirt1/P53 axis is involved in the pathogenesis of diabetic IDD and may serve as a therapeutic target for diabetic IDD.
Project description:Treatment of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) seeks to prevent senescence and death of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells. Previous studies have shown that sirt6 exerts potent anti-senescent and anti-apoptotic effects in models of age-related degenerative disease. However, it is not known whether sirt6 protects against IDD. Here, we explored whether sirt6 influenced IDD. The sirt6 level was reduced in senescent human NP cells. Sirt6 overexpression protected against apoptosis and both replicative and stress-induced premature senescence. Sirt6 also activated NP cell autophagy both in vivo and in vitro. 3-methyladenine (3-MA) and chloroquine (CQ)-mediated inhibition of autophagy partially reversed the anti-senescent and anti-apoptotic effects of sirt6, which regulated the expression of degeneration-associated proteins. In vivo, sirt6 overexpression attenuated IDD. Together, the data showed that sirt6 attenuated cell senescence, and reduced apoptosis, by triggering autophagy that ultimately ameliorated IDD. Thus, sirt6 may be a novel therapeutic target for IDD treatment.
Project description:Oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction and nucleus pulposus (NP) cell apoptosis play crucial roles in the development of intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD). Increasing studies have shown that interventions targeting impaired autophagic flux can maintain cellular homeostasis by relieving oxidative damage. Here, we investigated the effect of curcumin (CUR), a known autophagy activator, on IDD in vitro and in vivo. CUR suppressed tert-butyl hydroperoxide- (TBHP-) induced oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction and thereby inhibited human NP cell apoptosis, senescence, and ECM degradation. CUR treatment induced autophagy and enhanced autophagic flux in an AMPK/mTOR/ULK1-dependent manner. Notably, CUR alleviated TBHP-induced interruption of autophagosome-lysosome fusion and impairment of lysosomal function and thus contributed to the restoration of blocked autophagic clearance. These protective effects of CUR in TBHP-stimulated human NP cells resembled the effects produced by the autophagy inducer rapamycin, but the effects were partially eliminated by 3-methyladenine- and compound C-mediated inhibition of autophagy initiation or chloroquine-mediated obstruction of autophagic flux. Lastly, CUR also exerted a protective effect against puncture-induced IDD progression in vivo. Our results showed that suppression of excessive ROS production and mitochondrial dysfunction through enhancement of autophagy coupled with restoration of autophagic flux ameliorated TBHP-induced human NP cell apoptosis, senescence, and ECM degradation. Thus, maintenance of the proper functioning of autophagy represents a promising therapeutic strategy for IDD, and CUR might serve as an effective therapeutic agent for IDD.
Project description:Intervertebral disc degeneration is an important contributor to chronic low back and neck pain. Although many environmental and genetic factors are known to contribute to disc degeneration, age is still the most significant risk factor. Recent studies have shown that senescence may play a role in age-related disc degeneration and matrix catabolism in humans and mouse models. Clearance of p16Ink4a-positive senescent cells reduces the degenerative phenotype in many age-associated diseases. Whether p16Ink4a plays a functional role in intervertebral disc degeneration and senescence is unknown. We first characterized the senescence status of discs in young and old mice. Quantitative histology, gene expression and a novel p16tdTom reporter mice showed an increase in p16Ink4a, p21 and IL-6, with a decrease in Ki67 with aging. Accordingly, we studied the spinal-phenotype of 18-month-old mice with conditional deletion of p16Ink4a in the disc driven by Acan-CreERT2 (cKO). The analyses of discs of cKO and age-matched control mice showed little change in cell morphology and tissue architecture. The cKO mice exhibited changes in functional attributes of aggrecan as well as in collagen composition of the intervertebral disc. While cKO discs exhibited a small decrease in TUNEL positive cells, lineage tracing experiments using ZsGreen reporter indicated that the overall changes in cell fate or numbers were minimal. The cKO mice maintained expression of NP-cell phenotypic markers CA3, Krt19 and GLUT-1. Moreover, in cKO discs, levels of p19Arf and RB were higher without alterations in Ki67, ?H2AX, CDK4 and Lipofuscin deposition. Interestingly, the cKO discs showed lower levels of SASP markers, IL-1?, IL-6, MCP1 and TGF-?1. These results show that while, p16Ink4a is dispensable for induction and maintenance of senescence, conditional loss of p16Ink4a reduces apoptosis, limits the SASP phenotype and alters matrix homeostasis of disc cells.
Project description:The intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) with increasing aging mainly manifests as low back pain (LBP) accompanied with a loss of physical ability. These pathological processes can be preliminarily interpreted as a series of changes at cellular level. In addition to cell death, disc cells enter into the stagnation with dysfunction and deteriorate tissue microenvironment in degenerative discs, which is recognized as cell senescence. During aging, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors have been proved to have strong connections with these cellular senescence phenomena. Growing evidences of these connections require us to gather up critical cues from potential risk factors to pathogenesis and relative interventions for retarding cell senescence and attenuating degenerative changes. In this paper, we try to clarify another important cell state apart from cell death in IDD and discuss senescence-associated changes in cells and extracellular microenvironment. Then, we emphasize the role of oxidative stress and epigenomic perturbations in linking risk factors to cell senescence in the onset of IDD. Further, we summarize the current interventions targeting senescent cells that may exert the benefits of antidegeneration in IDD.
Project description:Intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD) is associated with the deterioration of nucleus pulposus (NP) cells due to hypertrophic differentiation and calcification. Emerging studies have shown that long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) play critical roles in the development of IDD. Using bioinformatics prediction, we hereby sought to identify the lncRNAs that regulate the expression of microRNA-146a-5p (miR-146a-5p), an IDD-related inflammatory factor. Our study demonstrated that lncRNA HCG18 acted as an endogenous sponge to down-regulate miR-146a-5p expression in the NP cells by directly binding to miR-146a-5p. In addition, HCG18 expression was up-regulated in the patients with IDD, bulging or herniated discs, and its level was positively correlated with the disc degeneration grade. In vitro, miR-146a-5p up-regulation HCG18 retarded the growth of NP cells by decreasing S phase of cell cycle, inducing cell apoptosis, recruitment of macrophages and hypercalcification. Conversely, down-regulation of miR-146a-5p exerted opposite effects. Furthermore, we elucidated that TRAF6, a target gene by miR-146a-5p, was modulated by HCG18 expression. Restore of TRAF6 expression by virus infection reserved the effect of HCG18 on the NP cells. Altogether, our data indicated that HCG18 suppressed the growth of NP cells and promoted the IDD development via the miR-146a-5p/TRAF6/NF?B axis.