Nrf2 Overexpression for the Protective Effect of Skin-Derived Precursors against UV-Induced Damage: Evidence from a Three-Dimensional Skin Model.
ABSTRACT: Background:Skin photodamage is associated with ultraviolet- (UV-) induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) overproduction and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) inactivation. In our previous study, skin-derived precursors (SKPs) were shown to ameliorate a UV-induced damage in mice, probably through Nrf2 activation and ROS scavenging. Objective:To clarify the mechanism underlying the photoprotective effect of SKPs against UV-induced damage in a three-dimensional (3D) skin model. Methods:The Nrf2 gene in SKPs was modified using lentiviral infection, and 3D skin models were reconstructed with keratinocytes and fibroblasts on the basis of type I collagen. Subsequently, these models were divided into the following six groups: normal, model, overexpressed, control, silenced, and negative control groups. Prior to irradiation, respective SKPs were injected into the last four groups. Next, all groups except the normal group were exposed to UVA+UVB. Lastly, the pathological and molecular-biological techniques were employed to determine the parameters. Additionally, LY294002, a PI3K inhibitor, was used to investigate the roles of PI3K/Akt and Nrf2/hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) in SKP photoprotection. Results:Normal 3D skin models appeared as milky-white analogs with a clear, well-arranged histological structure. After the skin was exposed to irradiation, it exhibited cell swelling and a disorganized structure and developed nuclear condensation with numerous apoptotic cells. The expressions of cellular protective genes and Nrf2/HO-1/PI3K/Akt proteins remarkably decreased, which were accompanied by increased oxidative stress and decreased antioxidants (P < 0.05). However, these phenomena were reversed by nrf2-overexpressing SKPs. The 3D skin in the overexpressed group showed mild swelling, neatly arranged cells, and few apoptotic cells. Cellular protective genes and Nrf2/HO-1/PI3K/Akt proteins were highly expressed, and the oxidative biomarkers were remarkably ameliorated (P < 0.05). Nevertheless, the expression of these proteins decreased after LY294002 pretreatment regardless of SKP treatment or not. Meanwhile, there were increases in both UV-induced apoptotic cells and ROS level accompanied with SOD and GPX decrease in the presence of LY294002. Conclusions:Evidence from the 3D skin model demonstrates that the protection of SKPs against UV-mediated damage is primarily via the PI3K/Akt-mediated activation of the Nrf2/HO-1 pathway, indicating that SKPs may be a promising candidate for the treatment of photodermatoses.
Project description:Skin-derived precursors (SKPs) are embryonic neural crest- or somite-derived multipotent progenitor cells with properties of dermal stem cells. Although a large number of studies deal with their differentiation ability and potential applications in tissue damage repair, only a few studies have concentrated on the regulation of SKP self-renewal. Here, we found that after separation from their physiological microenvironment, human foreskin-derived SKPs (hSKPs) quickly senesced and lost their self-renewal ability. We observed a sharp decrease in Akt activity during this process, suggesting a possible role of the PI3K-Akt pathway in hSKP maintenance in vitro. Blocking this pathway with several inhibitors inhibited hSKP proliferation and sphere formation and increased hSKP senescence. In contrast, activating this pathway with PDGF-AA and a PTEN inhibitor, bpV(pic), promoted proliferation, improved sphere formation, and alleviated senescence of hSKPs, without altering their differentiation potential. Data also implied that this effect was associated with altered actions of FoxO3 and GSK-3?. Our results suggest an important role of the PI3K-Akt pathway in the senescence and self-renewal of hSKPs. These findings also provide a better understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying hSKP self-renewal and stem cell senescence to allow more efficient expansion of hSKPs for regenerative medical applications.
Project description:Rosmarinic acid (RA) can elicit a neuroprotective effect against ischemic stroke, but the precise molecular mechanism remains poorly understood. In this study, an experimental ischemic stroke model was established in CD-1 mice (Beijing Vital River Laboratory Animal Technology, Beijing, China) by occluding the right middle cerebral artery for 1 hour and allowing reperfusion for 24 hours. After intraperitoneally injecting model mice with 10, 20, or 40 mg/kg RA, functional neurological deficits were evaluated using modified Longa scores. Subsequently, cerebral infarct volume was measured using TTC staining and ischemic brain tissue was examined for cell apoptosis with TUNEL staining. Superoxide dismutase activity and malondialdehyde levels were measured by spectrophometry. Expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), Bcl-2, Bax, Akt, and phospho-Ser473 Akt proteins in ischemic brain tissue was detected by western blot, while mRNA levels of Nrf2, HO-1, Bcl-2, and Bax were analyzed using real time quantitative PCR. In addition, HO-1 enzyme activity was measured spectrophotometrically. RA (20 and 40 mg/kg) greatly improved neurological function, reduced infarct volume, decreased cell apoptosis, upregulated Bcl-2 protein and mRNA expression, downregulated Bax protein and mRNA expression, increased HO-1 and Nrf2 protein and mRNA expression, increased superoxide dismutase activity, and decreased malondialdehyde levels in ischemic brain tissue of model mice. However, intraperitoneal injection of a HO-1 inhibitor (10 mg/kg zinc protoporphyrin IX) reversed the neuroprotective effects of RA on HO-1 enzyme activity and Bcl-2 and Bax protein expression. The PI3K/Akt signaling pathway inhibitor LY294002 (10 mM) inhibited Akt phosphorylation, as well as Nrf2 and HO-1 expression. Our findings suggest that RA has anti-oxidative and anti-apoptotic properties that protect against ischemic stroke by a mechanism involving upregulation of Nrf2 and HO-1 expression via the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway.
Project description:Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress are thought to play a central role in potentiating macrophage activation, causing excessive inflammation, tissue damage, and sepsis. Recently, we have shown that punicalagin (PUN) exhibits anti-inflammatory activity in LPS-stimulated macrophages. However, the potential antioxidant effects of PUN in macrophages remain unclear. Revealing these effects will help understand the mechanism underlying its ability to inhibit excessive macrophage activation. Hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) exhibits antioxidant activity in macrophages. Therefore, we hypothesized that HO-1 is a potential target of PUN and tried to reveal its antioxidant mechanism. Here, PUN treatment increased HO-1 expression together with its upstream mediator nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45-related factor 2 (Nrf2). However, specific inhibition of Nrf2 by brusatol (a specific Nrf2 inhibitor) dramatically blocked PUN-induced HO-1 expression. Previous research has demonstrated that the PI3K/Akt pathway plays a critical role in modulating Nrf2/HO-1 protein expression as an upstream signaling molecule. Here, LY294002, a specific PI3K/Akt inhibitor, suppressed PUN-induced HO-1 expression and led to ROS accumulation in macrophages. Furthermore, PUN inhibited LPS-induced oxidative stress in macrophages by reducing ROS and NO generation and increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD) 1 mRNA expression. These findings provide new perspectives for novel therapeutic approaches using antioxidant medicines and compounds against oxidative stress and excessive inflammatory diseases including tissue damage, sepsis, and endotoxemic shock.
Project description:The Keap1-Nrf2 signaling pathway regulates host cell defense responses against oxidative stress and maintains the cellular redox balance.We investigated the function/molecular mechanisms by which Keap1-Nrf2 complex may influence liver ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI) in a mouse model of hepatic cold storage (20h at 4°C) followed by orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).The Keap1 hepatocyte-specific knockout (HKO) in the donor liver ameliorated post-transplant IRI, evidenced by improved hepatocellular function and OLT outcomes (Keap1 HKO?Keap1 HKO; 100% survival), as compared with controls (WT?WT; 50% survival; p<0.01). By contrast, donor liver Nrf2 deficiency exacerbated IRI in transplant recipients (Nrf2 KO?Nrf2 KO; 40% survival). Ablation of Keap1 signaling reduced macrophage/neutrophil trafficking, pro-inflammatory cytokine programs, and hepatocellular necrosis/apoptosis, while simultaneously promoting anti-apoptotic functions in OLTs. At the molecular level, Keap1 HKO increased Nrf2 levels, stimulated Akt phosphorylation, and enhanced expression of anti-oxidant Trx1, HIF-1?, and HO-1. Pretreatment of liver donors with PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) disrupted Akt/HIF-1A signaling and recreated hepatocellular damage in otherwise IR-resistant Keap1 HKO transplants. In parallel in vitro studies, hydrogen peroxide-stressed Keap1-deficient hepatocytes were characterized by enhanced expression of Nrf2, Trx1, and Akt phosphorylation, in association with decreased release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in cell culture supernatants.Keap1-Nrf2 complex prevents oxidative injury in IR-stressed OLTs through Keap1 signaling, which negatively regulates Nrf2 pathway. Activation of Nrf2 induces Trx1 and promotes PI3K/Akt, crucial for HIF-1? activity. HIF-1?-mediated overexpression of HO-1/Cyclin D1 facilitates cytoprotection by limiting hepatic inflammatory responses, and hepatocellular necrosis/apoptosis in a PI3K-dependent manner.
Project description:Human multipotent skin derived precursor cells (SKPs) are traditionally sourced from dissociated dermal tissues; therefore, donor availability may become limiting. Here we demonstrate that both normal and diseased adult human dermal fibroblasts (DF) pre-cultured in conventional monolayers are capable of forming SKPs (termed m-SKPs). Moreover, we show that these m-SKPs can be passaged and that cryopreservation of original fibroblast monolayer cultures does not reduce m-SKP yield; however, extensive monolayer passaging does. Like SKPs generated from dissociated dermis, these m-SKPs expressed nestin, fibronectin and versican at the protein level. At the transcriptional level, m-SKPs derived from normal adult human DF, expressed neural crest stem cell markers such as p75NTR, embryonic stem cell markers such as Nanog and the mesenchymal stem cell marker Dermo-1. Furthermore, appropriate stimuli induced m-SKPs to differentiate down either mesenchymal or neural lineages resulting in lipid accumulation, calcification and S100? or ?-III tubulin expression (with multiple processes). m-SKP yield was greater from neonatal foreskin cultures compared to those from adult DF cultures; however, the former showed a greater decrease in m-SKP forming capacity after extensive monolayer passaging. m-SKP yield was greater from adult DF cultures expressing more alpha-smooth muscle actin (?SMA). In turn, elevated ?SMA expression correlated with cells originating from specimens isolated from biopsies containing more terminal hair follicles; however, ?SMA expression was lost upon m-SKP formation. Others have shown that dissociated human hair follicle dermal papilla (DP) are a highly enriched source of SKPs. However, conversely and unexpectedly, monolayer cultured human hair follicle DP cells failed to form m-SKPs whereas those from the murine vibrissae follicles did. Collectively, these findings reveal the potential for using expanded DF cultures to produce SKPs, the heterogeneity of SKP forming potential of skin from distinct anatomical locations and ages, and question the progenitor status of human hair follicle DP cells.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Mevastatin (MVS), a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme, a reductase (HMG-CoA) inhibitor, has anti-inflammatory effects potentially via up-regulation of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). However, the mechanisms underlying MVS-induced HO-1 expression remain largely unknown in human pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells (HPAEpiCs). METHODS:HO-1 and intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 expression were determined using real-time PCR, Western blotting, and promoter reporter analyses. The signaling components were investigated using pharmacological inhibitors or specific small interfering RNA (siRNA)s. Interaction between Nrf2 and the antioxidant response element (ARE) binding site for the HO-1 promoter was determined by chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay. RESULTS:Upregulation of HO-1 by MVS attenuated the tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-?-stimulated ICAM-1 expression associated with THP-1 adhesion to HPAEpiCs. These inhibitory effects of HO-1 were reversed by tin protoporphyrin (SnPP)IX or by transfection with HO-1 siRNA. MVS-induced HO-1 expression was mediated via NADPH oxidase (Nox)-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Activation of Nox2/ROS further stimulated the phosphorylation of p47phox, proto-oncogene tyrosine-protein kinase (c-Src), platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDFGR)?, protein kinase B (Akt), and Nrf2, which were inhibited by siRNAs. Pretreatment with pharmacological inhibitors, including diphenyleneiodonium (DPI), apocynin (APO), N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), PP1, AG1296, or LY294002, reduced the MVS-activated Nrf2 nuclear-translocation binding to the ARE on the HO-1 promoter. CONCLUSIONS:MVS-induced HO-1 is, at least in part, mediated through a p47phox/Nox2/ROS-dependent activation of c-Src/PDGFR?/PI3K/Akt-regulated Nrf2/ARE axis and suppresses the TNF-?-mediated inflammatory responses in HPAEpiCs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Cultured epidermal stem cells (Epi-SCs) and skin-derived precursors (SKPs) were capable of reconstituting functional hair follicles after implantation, while the signaling pathways that regulate neogenic hair follicle formation are poorly investigated. In this study, we aimed to understand the interactions between Epi-SCs and SKPs during skin organoid formation and to uncover key signal pathways crucial for de novo hair follicle regeneration. METHODS:To track their fate after transplantation, Epi-SCs derived from neonatal C57BL/6 mice were labeled with tdTomato, and SKPs were isolated from neonatal C57BL/6/GFP mice. A mixture of Epi-SCs-tdTomato and SKPs-EGFP in Matrigel was observed under two-photon microscope in culture and after implantation into excisional wounds in nude mice, to observe dynamic migrations of the cells during hair follicle morphogenesis. Signaling communications between the two cell populations were examined by RNA-Seq analysis. Potential signaling pathways revealed by the analysis were validated by targeting the pathways using specific inhibitors to observe a functional loss in de novo hair follicle formation. RESULTS:Two-photon microscopy analysis indicated that when Epi-SCs and SKPs were mixed in Matrigel and cultured, they underwent dynamic migrations resulting in the formation of a bilayer skin-like structure (skin organoid), where Epi-SCs positioned themselves in the outer layer; when the mixture of Epi-SCs and SKPs was grafted into excisional wounds in nude mice, a bilayer structure resembling the epidermis and the dermis formed at the 5th day, and de novo hair follicles generated subsequently. RNA-Seq analysis of the two cell types after incubation in mixture revealed dramatic alterations in gene transcriptome, where PI3K-Akt signaling pathway in Epi-SCs was significantly upregulated; meanwhile, elevated expressions of several growth factors and cytokine potentially activating PI3K were found in SKPs, suggesting active reciprocal communications between them. In addition, inhibition of PI3K or Akt by specific inhibitors markedly suppressed the hair follicle regeneration mediated by Epi-SCs and SKPs. CONCLUSIONS:Our data indicate that the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway plays a crucial role in de novo hair follicle regeneration, and the finding may suggest potential therapeutic applications in enhancing hair regeneration.
Project description:Excessive UV radiation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) cause retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell injuries. Nrf2 regulates transcriptional activation of many anti-oxidant genes. Here, we tested the potential role of 3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione (D3T) against UV or ROS damages in cultured RPE cells (both primary cells and ARPE-19 line). We showed that D3T significantly inhibited UV-/H2O2-induced RPE cell death and apoptosis. UV-stimulated ROS production was dramatically inhibited by D3T pretreatment. D3T induced Nrf2 phosphorylation in cultured RPE cells, causing Nrf2 disassociation with KEAP1 and its subsequent nuclear accumulation. This led to expression of antioxidant response elements (ARE)-dependent gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Nrf2-HO-1 activation was required for D3T-mediated cytoprotective effect. Nrf2 shRNA knockdown or S40T dominant negative mutation as well as the HO-1 inhibitor Zinc protoporphyrin (ZnPP) largely inhibited D3T's RPE cytoprotective effects against UV radiation. Yet, exogenous overexpression Nrf2 enhanced D3T's activity in RPE cells. Further studies showed that D3T activated Akt/mTORC1 in cultured RPE cells. Akt-mTORC1 inhibitors, or Akt1 knockdown by shRNA, not only inhibited D3T-induced Nrf2-HO-1 activation, but also abolished the RPE cytoprotective effects. In vivo, D3T intravitreal injection protected from light-induced retinal dysfunctions in mice. Thus, D3T protects RPE cells from UV-induced damages via activation of Akt-mTORC1-Nrf2-HO-1 signaling axis.
Project description:Since the first mammal was cloned, the idea of using this technique to help endangered species has aroused considerable interest. However, several issues limit this possibility, including the relatively low success rate at every stage of the cloning process, and the dearth of usable tissues from these rare animals. iPS cells have been produced from cells from a number of rare mammalian species and this is the method of choice for strategies to improve cloning efficiency and create new gametes by directed differentiation. Nevertheless information about other stem cell/progenitor capabilities of cells from endangered species could prove important for future conservation approaches and adds to the knowledge base about cellular material that can be extremely limited. Multipotent progenitor cells, termed skin-derived precursor (SKP) cells, can be isolated directly from mammalian skin dermis, and human cheek tissue has also been shown to be a good source of SKP-like cells. Recently we showed that structures identical to SKPs termed m-SKPs could be obtained from monolayer/ two dimensional (2D) skin fibroblast cultures. Here we aimed to isolate m-SKPs from cultured cells of three endangered species; giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca); red panda (Ailurus fulgens); and Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). m-SKP-like spheres were formed from the giant panda buccal mucosa fibroblasts; whereas dermal fibroblast (DF) cells cultured from abdominal skin of the other two species were unable to generate spheres. Under specific differentiation culture conditions giant panda spheres expressed neural, Schwann, adipogenic and osteogenic cell markers. Furthermore, these buccal mucosa derived spheres were shown to maintain expression of SKP markers: nestin, versican, fibronectin, and P75 and switch on expression of the stem cell marker ABCG2. These results demonstrate that giant panda cheek skin can be a useful source of m-SKP multipotent progenitors. At present lack of sample numbers means that we can only postulate why we were unable to obtain m-SKPs from the lion and red panda cultures. However the giant panda observations point to the value of archiving cells from rare species, and the possibilities for later progenitor cell derivation.
Project description:Electroacupuncture at select acupoints have been verified to protect against organ dysfunctions during endotoxic shock. And, heme oxygenase (HO)-1 as a phase II enzyme and antioxidant contributed to the protection of kidney in septic shock rats. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway mediated the activation of NF-E2 related factor-2 (Nrf2), which was involved in HO-1 induction. To understand the efficacy of electroacupuncture stimulation in ameliorating acute kidney injury (AKI) through the PI3K/Akt/Nrf2 pathway and subsequent HO-1 upregulation, a dose of LPS 5mg/kg was administered intravenously to replicate the rabbit model of AKI induced by endotoxic shock. Electroacupuncture pretreatment was handled bilaterally at Zusanli and Neiguan acupoints for five consecutive days while sham electroacupuncture at non-acupoints as control. Results displayed that electroacupuncture stimulation significantly alleviated the morphologic renal damage, attenuated renal tubular apoptosis, suppressed the elevated biochemical indicators of AKI caused by LPS, enhanced the expressions of phospho-Akt, HO-1protein, Nrf2 total and nucleoprotein, and highlighted the proportions of Nrf2 nucleoprotein as a parallel. Furthermore, partial protective effects of elecroacupuncture were counteracted by preconditioning with wortmannin (the selective PI3K inhibitor), indicating a direct involvement of PI3K/Akt pathway. Inconsistently, wortmannin pretreatment made little difference to the expressions of HO-1, Nrf2 nucleoprotein and total protein, which indicated that PI3K/Akt may be not the only pathway responsible for electroacupuncture-afforded protection against LPS-induced AKI. These findings provide new insights into the potential future clinical applications of electroacupuncture for AKI induced by endotoxic shock instead of traditional remedies.