Effect of icariside II and metformin on penile erectile function, glucose metabolism, reaction oxygen species, superoxide dismutase, and mitochondrial autophagy in type 2 diabetic rats with erectile dysfunction.
ABSTRACT: Background:Icariside II (ICAII) is a flavonoid isolated from herb Epimedium that has been shown to improve erectile function in rats. However, ICAII's underlying mechanism remains unclear. Methods:Type 2 diabetes mellitus erectile dysfunction (T2DMED) rats were induced by single intraperitoneal injection of 25 mg/kg streptozotocin (STZ) and fed a high-fat, high-sugar, and high-calorie diet for 8 weeks. In the control and T2DMED groups, rats were administered with normal saline; in the metformin (MET) group, rats were administered with MET at 0.2 g/kg/day; and in the ICAII + MET group, rats were administered with ICA II at 10 mg/kg/day and MET for 0.2 g/kg/day. The deposition of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), expression of receptor for AGEs (RAGEs), reactive oxygen species (ROS), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity, and corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CCSMCs) mitochondrial autophagy were measured. We also evaluated the expression of LC3-II/I, Beclin-1, P70S6K, PI3K, AKT, mTOR, phospho-AKT, phospho-mTOR, and phospho-P70S6K. Results:ICAII and MET can improve erectile function, and decrease the levels of fasting plasma glucose (FPG), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), and AGEs in rats with T2DMED. Furthermore, ICAII and MET can decrease excessive CCSMC mitochondrial autophagy and the level of RAGE and oxidant stress in rats with T2DMED. ICAII and MET may enhance signaling via the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway in order to reduce the excessive mitochondrial autophagy of CCSMCs. Conclusions:ICAII may effectively improve penile erectile function via decreasing excessive CCSMCs mitochondrial autophagy, RAGE, and oxidant stress. Furthermore, ICAII may enhance signaling via the PI3K-AKT-mTOR pathway in order to reduce excessive CCSMC mitochondrial autophagy.
Project description:Background:Erectile dysfunction (ED) occurs more frequently and causes a worse response to the first-line therapies in diabetics compared with nondiabetic men. Corpus cavernosum vascular dysfunction plays a pivotal role in the occurrence of diabetes mellitus ED (DMED). The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analog liraglutide on ED and explore the underlying mechanisms in vivo and in vitro. Methods:Type 1 diabetes was induced in rats by streptozotocin, and the apomorphine test was for screening the DMED model in diabetic rats. Then they were randomly treated with subcutaneous injections of liraglutide (0.3 mg/kg/12 h) for 4 weeks. Erectile function was assessed by cavernous nerve electrostimulation. The corpus cavernosum was used for further study. In vitro, effects of liraglutide were evaluated by primary corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CCSMCs) exposed to low or high glucose (HG)-containing medium with or without liraglutide and GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) inhibitor. Western blotting, fluorescent probe, immunohistochemistry, and relevant assay kits were performed to measure the levels of target proteins. Results:Administration of liraglutide did not significantly affect plasma glucose and body weights in diabetic rats, but improved erectile function, reduced levels of NADPH oxidases and ROS production, downregulated expression of Ras homolog gene family (RhoA) and Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) 2 in the DMED group dramatically. The liraglutide treatment promoted autophagy further and restored expression of GLP-1R in the DMED group. Besides, cultured CCSMCs with liraglutide exhibited a lower level of oxidative stress accompanied by inhibition of the RhoA/ROCK pathway and a higher level of autophagy compared with HG treatment. These beneficial effects of liraglutide effectively reversed by GLP-1R inhibitor. Conclusion:Liraglutide exerts protective effects on ED associated with the regulation of smooth muscle dysfunction, oxidative stress and autophagy, independently of a glucose- lowering effect. It provides new insight into the extrapancreatic actions of liraglutide and preclinical evidence for a potential treatment for DMED.
Project description:Erectile dysfunction (ED) is a common clinical disease that is difficult to treat. We previously found that hypoxia modulates the phenotype of primary corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CCSMCs) in rats, but the underlying molecular mechanism is still unknown. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR)-related signaling pathways are correlated with cell phenotypic transition, but research has been focused more on vascular smooth muscle and tracheal smooth muscle and less on CCSMCs. Here, we investigated the role of PDGFR-related signaling pathways in penile CCSMCs, which were successfully isolated from rats and cultured in vitro. PDGF-BB at 5, 10, or 20 ng/ml altered CCSMC morphology from the original elongated, spindle shape to a broader shape and promoted the synthetic phenotype and expression of the related proteins vimentin and collagen-I, while inhibiting the contractile phenotype and expression of the related proteins smooth muscle (SM) ?-actin (?-SMA) and desmin. Inhibition of PDGFR activity via siRNA or the PDGFR inhibitor crenolanib inhibited vimentin and collagen-I expression, increased ?-SMA and desmin expression, and considerably inhibited serine-threonine protein kinase (AKT) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation. STAT3 knockdown promoted the contractile phenotype, inhibited vimentin and collagen-I expression, and increased ?-SMA and desmin expression, whereas AKT knockdown did not affect phenotype-associated proteins. STAT3 overexpression in CCSMC cells weakened the suppressive effect of PDGFR inhibition on the morphology and phenotypic transformation induced by PDGF-BB. Through activation of the PDGFR/STAT3 signaling pathway, PDGF promoted the synthetic phenotype transition; thus, regulation of this pathway might contribute to ED therapy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Erectile dysfunction is a major complication of diabetes mellitus. Adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) have attracted much attention as a promising tool for the treatment of diabetes mellitus-induced erectile dysfunction (DMED). Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) plays an important role in protecting penile tissues from fibrosis. The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of ADSCs overexpressing iNOS on DMED in rats.<h4>Methods</h4>ADSCs were isolated and infected with adenovirus overexpressing iNOS (named as ADSCs-iNOS). The expression of iNOS was detected using western blot analysis and real-time PCR. Rats were randomly assigned into five groups: control group, DMED group, ADSCs group, ADSCs-EGFP group and ADSCs-iNOS group. 5 × 10<sup>5</sup> cells were given once via the intracorporal route. Two weeks after treatment, erectile function was assessed by electrical stimulation of the cavernous nerve. Penile tissues were obtained and evaluated at histology level.<h4>Results</h4>We found that ADSCs-iNOS had significantly higher expression of iNOS at mRNA and protein levels and generated more nitric oxide (NO). ADSCs-iNOS reduced collagen I and collagen IV expression of corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CCSMCs) in cell co-culture model. Transforming growth factor-?1 expression in CCSMCs reduced following co-culture with ADSCs-iNOS. Injection of ADSCs-iNOS significantly ameliorated DMED in rats and decreased collagen/smooth muscle cell ratio of penile tissues. Moreover, elevated NO and cyclic guanosine monophosphate concentrations were detected in penile tissues of ADSCs-iNOS group.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Taken together, ADSCs-iNOS significantly improved erectile function of DMED rats. The therapeutic effect may be achieved by increased NO generation and the suppression of collagen I and collagen IV expression in the CCSMCs to decrease penile fibrosis.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Cavernosal nerve (CN) injury is commonly caused by radical prostatectomy surgery, and it might directly lead to erectile dysfunction (ED). Currently, the role of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family proteins in phenotypic transformation of corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cell (CCSMC) after CNs injury is poorly understood. AIM:To investigate the role of p38 MAPK in hypoxia-induced phenotypic transformation of CCSMCs after CN injury. METHODS:In total, 20 Sprague-Dawley rats (male and 8 weeks of age) were randomly divided into 2 groups, including a sham group and CNCI group. In the sham group, rats were sham-operated by identifying 2 CNs without causing direct damage to the CNs. In the CNCI group, rats were subjected to bilateral CN crush injury. CCSMCs were isolated from the normal corpus cavernosum tissues of the Sprague-Dawley rat and then cultured in 21% or 1% O2 concentration context for 48 hours. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Intracavernous pressure/mean arterial pressure were analyzed to measure erectile response. The impact of hypoxia on penile pathology, as well as the expression of extracellular signal-regulated kinases, the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase, and p38 MAPK, were analyzed. RESULTS:Compared with the sham group, the intracavernous pressure/mean arterial pressure rate and ?-smooth muscle actin expression of CNCI group were decreased significantly (P = .0001; P = .016, respectively), but vimentin expression was significantly increased (P = .023). Phosphorylated p38 level in CNCI group was decreased significantly (P = .017; sham: 0.17 ± 0.005; CNCI: 0.14 ± 0.02). The CCSMCs in the normoxia group were long fusiform, whereas the morphology of CCSMCs in the hypoxia group became hypertrophic. After hypoxia for 48 hours, the expression of ?-smooth muscle actin and phosphorylated p38 MAPK was decreased significantly (P = .01; P = .024, normoxia: 0.66 ± 0.18, hypoxia: 0.26 ± 0.08, respectively), and the expression of hypoxia-inducible factor-1? and collagen I was increased significantly in hypoxia group (P = .04; P = .012, respectively). CONCLUSIONS:Hypoxia induced the phenotypic transformation of CCSMCs after CNCI might be associated with the downregulation of phosphorylated p38 MAPK. Chen S, Huang X, Kong X, et al. Hypoxia-Induced Phenotypic Transformation of Corpus Cavernosum Smooth Muscle Cells After Cavernous Nerve Crush Injury by Down-Regulating p38 Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Expression. Sex Med 2019;7:433-440.
Project description:Background: Apoptosis and autophagy are two important patterns of cell death in the process of heart failure. Qi-Li-Qiang-Xin (QLQX), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been frequently used in the treatment of chronic heart failure (CHF) in China. However, the potential effect of QLQX on autophagy has not been reported. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether QLQX alleviated isoproterenol (ISO)-induced myocardial injury through regulating autophagy. Methods: The rapid identification of chemical ingredients of QLQX was performed by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS, and the contents of major constituents in QLQX were also measured by UPLC-Q-TOF-MS. ISO was used to induce myocardial injury in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and SD rats. In vivo, cardiac function was evaluated by echocardiography and cardiac structure was observed by HE and Masson staining. Expressions of Bcl-2, Bax, LC3, P62, AKT, p-AKT, mTOR, and p-mTOR were detected by western blotting. In vitro, H9c2 cells were pretreated with QLQX for 3 h before ISO (80 µM, 48h) addressed. Cell viability, LDH and CK-MB release, apoptosis ratio, and the level of autophagy were measured. Western blotting was also performed to detected related protein expressions. Result: In vivo, treatment by QLQX significantly improved cardiac function and alleviated ISO-induced myocardial structural damage. In addition, QLQX markedly decreased apoptosis and inhibited autophagic activity, accompanied by activating the AKT/mTOR pathway. In vitro, the increased cell apoptosis induced by ISO was paralleling with the gradually increasing level of autophagy. Furthermore, 3-MA, an autophagic inhibitor, could block ISO-induced autophagy in H9c2 cells. Our results suggested that both QLQX and 3-MA treatment could decrease cell death induced by ISO, implying that QLQX protected against ISO-induced myocardial injury possibly by inhibiting excessive autophagy-mediated cell death. In addition, blockage of AKT signaling by an AKT inhibitor, capivasertib, could reduce the effect of QLQX on inhibiting ISO-induced apoptosis and autophagy-mediated cell death. Conclusion: QLQX could alleviate ISO-induced myocardial injury by inhibiting apoptosis and excessive autophagy-mediated cell death via activating the AKT/mTOR pathway.
Project description:Anticancer activities of flavonoids derived from Tephroseris kirilowii (Turcz.) Holub. were evaluated in human cancer cells. We isolated and identified, for the first time, eight flavonoids from T. kirilowii and found that three of them (IH: isorhamnetin, GN: genkwanin, and Aca: acacetin) inhibited cell proliferation in a variety of human cancer cell lines. These active flavonoids caused cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase and induced apoptosis and autophagy in human breast cancer cells. Molecular docking revealed that these flavonoids dock in the ATP binding pocket of PI3K?. Importantly, treatment with these flavonoids decreased the levels of PI3K?-p110, phospho-PI3K, phospho-AKT, phospho-mTOR, phospho-p70S6K, and phospho-ULK. Pretreatment with PI3K? specific inhibitor AS605240 potentiated flavonoids-mediated inactivation of AKT, mTOR, p70S6K, ULK, and apoptosis. Taken together, these findings represent a novel mechanism by which downregulation of PI3K?-p110 and consequent interruption of PI3K/AKT/mTOR/p70S6K/ULK signaling pathway might play a critical functional role in these flavonoids-induced cell cycle arrest at G2/M phase, apoptosis, and autophagy. Our studies provide novel insights into the anticancer activities of selected flavonoids and their potential uses in anticancer therapy.
Project description:Increased cytoplasmic lipid droplets (LDs) and elevated AKT/mTOR signaling are characteristics of clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a potent lipid mitogen generated via autotaxin (elevated in ccRCC), can modulate tumor progression but its role in altering chemotherapeutic sensitivity to mTOR inhibitors is unclear and thus is the focus of the studies presented herein. Using malignant (A-498, 769-P and 786-O) and normal immortalized kidney (HK-2) cell lines, we investigated their cellular responsiveness to Temsirolimus (TEMS, mTOR inhibitor) in the absence or presence of LPA by monitoring alterations in AKT/mTOR pathway mediators (via western blotting), LDs (using LipidTOX and real-time PCR to assess transcript changes in modulators of LD biogenesis/turnover), mitochondrial networks (via immunofluorescence staining for TOM20 and TOM70), as well as cellular viability. We identified that TEMS reduced cellular viability in all renal cell lines, with increased sensitivity in the presence of an autophagy inhibitor. TEMS also altered activation of AKT/mTOR pathway mediators, abundance of LDs, and fragmentation of mitochondrial networks. We observed that these effects were antagonized by LPA. In HK-2 cells, LPA markedly increased LD size and abundance, coinciding with phospho-MAPK and phospho-S6 activation, increased diacylglycerol O-acetyltransferase 2 (DGAT2) mRNA (which produces triacylglycerides), and survival. Inhibiting MAPK partially antagonized LPA-induced LD changes. Collectively, we have identified that LPA can reverse the effects of TEMS by increasing LDs in a MAPK-dependent manner; these results suggest that LPA may contribute to the pathogenesis and chemotherapeutic resistance of ccRCC.
Project description:This study compared tankyrase 1 expression and autophagy quantity between erectile dysfunction (ED) and non-ED rats' corpus cavernosum smooth muscle cells (CSMCs). This study aslo explored the effect and possible mechanism of tankyrase 1 on autophagy and cell proliferation in ageing ED rats' CSMCs. The intracavernous pressure and mean systemic arterial pressure were measured to investigate erectile function so that eight 24-month-old ED and eight 8-month-old male Wistar rats were chosen respectively. The rat CSMCs were isolated and cultured by enzyme digestion, in which tankyrase 1 expression and autophagy quantity were compared. Tankyrase 1 overexpression was induced with plasmid transfection by Lipofectamine. The effect of tankyrase 1 overexpression on proliferation, autophagy and mTOR pathway in 24-month-old ED rats' CSMCs was measured by the cell growth curve in MTT assay, cell cycle analysis in flow cytometry (FCM), key protein expression in Western blot, autophagy quantity in transmission electron microscopy, monodansylcadaverine staining and GFP-LC3 fluorescence. The primary CSMCs were confirmed by immunofluorescence, and the purity was 99.1% in FCM. Compared with that of 8-month-old rats, tankyrase 1 expression and autophagy quantity significantly decreased in 24-month-old ED rats' primary CSMCs (P < 0.01). Tankyrase 1 overexpression significantly increased the growth rate (P < 0.05) and increased the S phase of cell cycle (P < 0.01). The autophagosome quantity was remarkably increased (P < 0.01), LC3-I/II and Beclin 1 were upregulated (P < 0.01 and P < 0.05), and p-p70S6K (Thr(389)) was downregulated in 24-month-old ED rat CSMCs (P < 0.05). In conclusion, Tankyrase 1 and autophagy decrease in the CSMCs from aging rats with ED, and tankyrase 1 may have a positive effect on proliferation by enhancing autophagy and regulating the mTOR signalling pathway.
Project description:Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is known to exert cardioprotective actions. However, it remains unknown if autophagy, a major adaptive response to nutritional stress, contributes to IGF-1-mediated cardioprotection.We subjected cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes, as well as live mice, to nutritional stress and assessed cell death and autophagic rates. Nutritional stress induced by serum/glucose deprivation strongly induced autophagy and cell death, and both responses were inhibited by IGF-1. The Akt/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway mediated the effects of IGF-1 upon autophagy. Importantly, starvation also decreased intracellular ATP levels and oxygen consumption leading to AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation; IGF-1 increased mitochondrial Ca(2+) uptake and mitochondrial respiration in nutrient-starved cells. IGF-1 also rescued ATP levels, reduced AMPK phosphorylation and increased p70(S6K) phosphorylation, which indicates that in addition to Akt/mTOR, IGF-1 inhibits autophagy by the AMPK/mTOR axis. In mice harbouring a liver-specific igf1 deletion, which dramatically reduces IGF-1 plasma levels, AMPK activity and autophagy were increased, and significant heart weight loss was observed in comparison with wild-type starved animals, revealing the importance of IGF-1 in maintaining cardiac adaptability to nutritional insults in vivo.Our data support the cardioprotective actions of IGF-1, which, by rescuing the mitochondrial metabolism and the energetic state of cells, reduces cell death and controls the potentially harmful autophagic response to nutritional challenges. IGF-1, therefore, may prove beneficial to mitigate damage induced by excessive nutrient-related stress, including ischaemic disease in multiple tissues.
Project description:Helix B surface peptide (HBSP) is an erythropoietin (EPO)-derived peptide that protects tissue from the risks of elevated blood pressure and thrombosis. This study focused on the protection of HBSP in hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R) by enhancing the level of autophagy. In detail, we randomly divided C57BL/6 mice into sham-operated, hepatic ischaemia/reperfusion (I/R), I/R?+?HBSP, I/R?+?HBSP?+?3-methyladenine (autophagy inhibitor), I/R?+?HBSP?+?rapamycin (mTOR inhibitor), and I/R?+?HBSP?+?Ly294002 (Akt inhibitor) groups. We assessed alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in mouse sera, and performed haematoxylin/eosin (HE) staining, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy, immunofluorescence microscopy, and western blotting on liver tissue to detect the degree of liver injury, liver apoptosis, autophagy, and the expression of microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3 alpha (Map1lc3, or LC3), Beclin 1, phospho-mTOR, mTOR, phospho-Akt (P-Akt), and Akt. HBSP relieved hepatic I/R injury in a concentration-independent manner. The expression of LC3II, LC3I, and Beclin 1, and the formation of autophagosomes, in the I/R?+?HBSP group were higher than those in the I/R group. The protective effects of HBSP were abolished by 3-methyladenine and, to a lesser extent, Ly294002, but enhanced by rapamycin. Furthermore, In vivo, HBSP also protected against hypoxia injury induced by cobalt chloride (CoCl2) through improving the level of autophagy. Therefore, HBSP protected against hepatic I/R injury, mainly via regulating autophagy by targeting mTOR.