G protein-coupled receptors modulate a plethora of physiological processes and mediate the effects of one-third of FDA-approved drugs. Notably, depending on which ligand has activated a particular receptor, it can engage different intracellular transducers. This paradigm of ligand-dependent ‘biased signaling’ dictates a need to advance beyond the level of receptors to consider the combined ligand-receptor pair in order to understand physiological signaling. Bias signaling also has the potential to improve medicines by reducing adverse effects. However, this is challenged by inconsistent interpretation of results and lack of commonly agreed guidelines. Here, we present recommended terminology and guidelines to conduct, report and quantify bias in a comparable and reproducible fashion. We expect these recommendations will facilitate a common understanding of experiments and findings across basic receptor research and drug discovery, while the area and the analytical methods to measure bias are still evolving, especially in complex cellular, tissue and organismal systems.
Background and Purpose Liver failure is often associated with psychiatric alterations, partly resulting from the increased dopamine levels in brain. We aimed to investigate relationship between increased dopamine levels and mental abnormalities using bile duct ligation (BDL) rats and document mechanism that liver failure increased dopamine levels in SH-SY5Y cells. Experimental Approach Psychiatric alterations were operated following 14-day BDL. Dopamine and its metabolite levels in cortex, expressions of enzymes and transporters related to dopamine metabolism and transport in cortex and hippocampus were measured. SH-SY5Y cells were used to investigate whether NH4Cl, bile acids and bilirubin affected expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) or not. TH expression in SH-SY5Y cells co-incubated with bilirubin and signal pathway inhibitors was measured. Key Results Open-field test results showed a remarkable increase in exploratory behavior following BDL. BDL increased dopamine levels and expression of TH protein in cortex. MAO-A and Mb-COMT slightly but significantly decreased. Data from SH-SY5Y cells showed that increased bilirubin levels was a factor in inducing TH expression. Both inhibitor of NF-κB pathway BAY117082 and silencing p65 remarkably reversed bilirubin-induced upregulation of TH protein. NF-κB activator TNF-α increased expression of TH protein. Roles of bilirubin in TH expression and increases in dopamine levels were documented using hyperbilirubinemia rats. Significant increases in dopamine levels, expressions of TH, p65 and p-p65 protein were observed in hyperbilirubinemia rats. Conclusion and Implications BDL significantly increased dopamine levels in rat cortex partly due to bilirubin-mediated TH induction. Increased bilirubin induced TH expression via activating NF-κB signaling pathway.
Background and Purpose: Quercetin is a prominent neuroprotective compound from flavonoids. Previous studies found it may relieve psychiatric disorders, cognition deficits, and memory dysfunction through anti-oxidation and/or radical scavenging mechanisms. In addition, Quercetin also was found to modulate the physiological function of a few types of ion channels. However, the detailed ionic mechanisms of quercetin’s bioeffect remain unknown. Experimental Approach: We examined the effect neuronal activities changes in prefrontal cortex (PFC) and its ionic mechanisms upon quercetin application by using GCaMP calcium imaging and patch clamp in acute brain slices. Then we explored the potential ionic mechanism of quercetin on D-amphetamine induced manic-like using c-fos staining and the open field behavior test. Key Results: Quercetin reduced calcium influx triggered by PFC pyramidal neuronal activity. This effect was caused by increasing the rheobase of neuronal firing through decreasing membrane resistance upon quercetin treatment. Spadin, a TREK-1 potassium channel (a two-pore-domain background potassium channel) inhibitor, could block the effect of quercetin on the membrane resistance and neuronal firing. And also, Spadin can block the neural protective effects of quercetin. In addtion, intraperitoneal injection of quercetin could relieve the manic hyperlocomotion of the mice induced by D-amphetamine, which can be partially alleviated by Spadin. Conclusion and Implications: Our results demonstrated that TREK-1 channel is a novel target on quercetin treatment, which could contribute to both the neuroprotection and anti-manic-like effects.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infections has led to substantial unmet need for treatments, many of which will require testing in appropriate animal models of this disease. Vaccine trials are already underway, but there remains an urgent need to find other therapeutic approaches to either target SARS-CoV-2 or the complications arising from viral infection, particularly the dysregulated immune response and systemic complications which have been associated with progression to severe COVID-19. At the time of writing, in vivo studies of SARS-CoV-2 infection have been described using macaques, cats, ferrets, hamsters, and transgenic mice expressing human angiotensin I converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). These infection models have already been useful for studies of transmission and immunity, but to date only partially model the mechanisms implicated in human severe COVID-19. There is therefore an urgent need for development of animal models for improved evaluation of efficacy of drugs identified as having potential in the treatment of severe COVID-19. These models need to recapitulate key mechanisms of COVID-19 severe acute respiratory distress syndrome and reproduce the immunopathology and systemic sequelae associated with this disease. Here, we review the current models of SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19-related disease mechanisms and suggest ways in which animal models can be adapted to increase their usefulness in research into COVID-19 pathogenesis and for assessing potential treatments.
Emerging data shows pregnant women with COVID-19 are at significantly higher risk of severe outcomes compared to non-pregnant women of similar age. This review discusses the invaluable insight revealed from vaccine clinical trials in women who were vaccinated and inadvertently became pregnant during the trial period. It further explores a number of clinical avenues in their management and proposes a drug development strategy in-line with clinical trials for vaccines and drug treatments for the drug development community. Little is known of the long-term effects of COVID-19 on the mother and the baby. We provide a rationale for our hypothesis that COVID-19 predisposes pregnant women to cardiovascular diseases later in life, in a similar way, to preeclampsia and may increase the risk of preeclampsia in their subsequent pregnancy. This is an ever-evolving landscape and early knowledge for healthcare providers and drug innovators is offered to ensure benefits outweigh the risks.
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2) is a newly identified coronavirus which has spread from China to the rest of the world causing the pandemic coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19). It has fatality rate that floats from 5 to 15% and the symtoms are fever, cough, myalgia and/or fatigue up to dyspnea, responsible for hospitalization and in most of the cases of artificial oxygenation. In the attempt to understand how the virus spreads and how to pharmacologically abolish it, it was highlighted that SARS-CoV2 infects human cells by means of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro), also known as Mpro. Once bound to its receptor ACE2, the other two proteases, in concert with the receptor-mediated signaling, allow virus replication and spread throughout the body. Our attention has been focused on the role of ACE2 in that its blockade by the virus increases Bradykinin and its metabolites, well known to facilitate inflammation in the lung (responsible for cough and fever), facilitate both the coagulation and complement system, three mechanisms that are typical of angioedema, cardiovascular dysfunction and sepsis, pathologies which symptoms occur in COVID-19 patients. Thus, we propose to pharmacologically block the kallicrein-kinin system upstream bradykinin and the ensuing inflammation, coagulation and complement activation by means of lanadelumab, which is a clinically approved drug for hereditary angioedema.
Background and Purpose: Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, alone or in combination with azithromycin, have been proposed as therapies for COVID-19. However, there is currently scant and inconsistent data regarding their proarrhythmic potential in these patients. Moreover, their risk profile in the setting of altered physiological states encountered in patients with COVID-19 (i.e. febrile state, electrolyte imbalances, and/or acidosis) is unknown. Experimental approach: Potency of hERG block was measured using high-throughput electrophysiology in the presence of variable environmental factors. These potencies informed simulations to predict population risk profiles. Effects on cardiac repolarisation were verified in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CM) from three separate individuals. Key Results: Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine blocked hERG with IC50 of 1.47±0.07 µM and 3.78±0.17 µM respectively, indicating proarrhythmic risk at concentrations effective against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and proposed in COVID-19 clinical trials. Hypokalaemia and hypermagnesemia increased potency of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, indicating increased proarrhythmic risk. Acidosis significantly reduced potency of all drugs (i.e. reduced proarrhythmic risk), whereas increased temperature decreased potency of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine but increased potency for azithromycin. In silico simulations across genetically diverse populations predicted that 17% of individuals exhibit action potential durations >500 ms at the highest proposed therapeutic levels, equating to significant QT prolongation. Conclusion and Implications: Significant proarrhythmic risk is predicted for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine at doses proposed to treat COVID-19. Clinicians should carefully consider the risk of such treatments, and implement long term QT interval monitoring in trials, particularly in patients with electrolyte imbalances.
Background and Purpose: Azithromycin (AZM) is a macrolide antibiotic with well-described anti-inflammatory properties. This study aimed to substantiate its treatment potential in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Experimental Approach: Gene expression profiles were collected by RNA-sequencing and the effects of AZM were assessed in functional assays. In vitro and vivo assays for examining the blockade of glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) actions by AZM: assays for defining the anti-inﬂammatory activity of AZM using fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) from RA patients as well as collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in DBA/1 mice. Identification and characterization of the binding of AZM to GRP78 using drug affability responsive target stability assay, proteomics and cellular thermal shift assay. Detect AZM inhibition of GRP78 and dependence of AZM’s anti-arthritis activity on GRP78. Key Results: AZM reduced pro-inflammatory factor production, cell migration, invasion and chemo-attractive potential, enhanced apoptosis, thereby reducing the deleterious inflammatory response of RA FLSs in vitro. AZM ameliorated the severity of CIA lesions. Transcriptional analyses implied that AZM treatment causes impairments in signaling cascades associated with cholesterol and lipid biosynthetic process. GRP78 was isolated as a novel target of AZM. AZM-mediated activation of unfolded protein response (UPR) via inhibiting GRP78 activity is required not only for inducing the expression of C/EBP-homologous protein (CHOP), but also for activation of sterol-regulatory element binding protein (SREBP) and its targeted genes involved in cholesterol and lipid biosynthetic process. Further, deletion of GRP78 abolished AZM’s anti-arthritis activity. Conclusion and Implications: These findings confirmed that AZM is an anti-arthritis therapeutic drug for RA treatment.
The present work analyses in detail the published data on ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine and provides arguments for the involvement of anti-vector immunity and of SARS-CoV-2 variants on the efficacy of ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine. First, it is suggested that anti-vector immunity takes place as the regimen of homologous vaccination with ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is applied and interferes with efficacy of the vaccine when the interval between prime and boost doses is less than three months. Second, longitudinal studies suggest that ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine provides sub-optimal efficacy against UK variant of SARS-CoV-2, which appears to have an increased transmissibility over the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 among vaccinated people. At the moment, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine is able to reduce the severity of symptoms and transmissibility; however, if the vaccinated individuals do not maintain everyday preventive actions, they could turn into potential spreaders, thus accelerating the process of generation of new viral variants due to the selective pressure of immune response. Prediction and possible consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 evolution and repeated anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccinations are discussed. Since the impact of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants suggests that vaccines are unlikely to be effective in quickly solving the pandemic crisis, it is highlighted the need to keep searching for new and more efficacious pharmacotherapy for COVID-19, such as those targeting ACE2 and ADAM17 zinc-metalloprotease activities.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The cysteine674 (C674) thiol of Sarcoplasmic/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase 2 (SERCA2) is easily and irreversibly oxidized under atherosclerotic conditions. However, contribution of the C674 thiol redox status in the development of atherosclerosis remains unclear. Our goal was to elucidate the possible mechanism involved. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH Heterozygous SERCA2 C674S knock-in (SKI) mice in which half of the C674 was substituted by serine674 were used to mimic removal of the reactive C674 thiol which occurs under patholog-ical conditions. The whole aorta and aortic root were isolated for histological analysis. Bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs) and a cardiac endothelial cell line were used for intra-cellular Ca2+, macrophage adhesion and protein expression analysis. KEY RESULTS SKI mice developed more severe atherosclerotic plaque and macrophage accumulation. Cell cul-ture studies suggest the partial substitution of SERCA2 C674 increased intracellular calcium lev-els and ER stress in both BMDMs and ECs. The release of pro-inflammatory factors and macro-phage adhesion increased in SKI BMDMs. In normal ECs, the overexpression of C674S mutant induced endothelial inflammation and promoted macrophage recruitment. Additionally, 4-phenyl butyric acid (4-PBA), an ER stress inhibitor, prevented the increased atherosclerosis observed in SKI mice, and alleviated ER stress and inflammatory responses in BMDMs and ECs exposed to 4-PBA. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS The substitution of SERCA2 C674 thiol accelerates the development of atherosclerosis by in-ducing ER stress and inflammation. Our findings highlight the importance of SERCA2 C674 redox status in the context of atherosclerosis, and open up a novel therapeutic strategy to combat atherosclerosis.
Since the start of the novel coronavirus SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, a disease that has become one of the world’s greatest global health challenges, the role of the immune system has been at the forefront of scientific studies. The pathophysiology of COVID-19 is complex, which is evident by those at higher risk for poor outcome. Multiple systems contribute to thrombosis and inflammation seen in COVID-19 patients, including neutrophil dysfunction, platelet activation, endothelial cell activation. Understanding how the immune system functions in different patient cohorts (particularly given recent emerging events with the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine) is vital to understanding the pathophysiology of this devastating disease and for subsequent development of novel therapeutic targets and expedite possible drug repurposing strategies that could benefit society on a global scale.
Background:The pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA) implicates a low-grade inflammation associated to the activation of the innate immune system. Toll like receptor (TLR) stimulation triggers the release of inflammatory mediators, which aggravate OA severity. The aim was to study the preventive effect of 6-shogaol (6S), a potential TLR4 inhibitor, on the treatment of experimental knee OA. Experimentalapproach:OA was induced in C57BL6 mice by surgical section of the medial meniscotibial ligament, which received 6S for eight weeks. Cartilage damage, inflammatory mediator presence, and disease markers were assessed in the joint tissues by immunohistochemistry. Computational modeling was used to predict binding modes of 6S into the TLR4/MD2 receptor and its permeability across cellular membranes. Employing LPS-stimulated chondrocytes and MAPK assay we clarified 6S action mechanisms. Results:6S treatment was able to prevent articular cartilage lesions, synovitis, and the presence of pro-inflammatory mediators and disease markers in OA animals. Molecular modeling studies predicted 6S interaction with the TLR4/MD-2 heterodimer in an antagonist conformation through its binding into the MD-2 pocket. In cell culture, we confirmed that 6S reduced LPS-induced TLR4 inflammatory signaling pathways. Besides, MAPK assay demonstrated that 6S directly inhibits the ERK1/2 phosphorylation activity. Conclusion:6S evoked a preventive action on cartilage and synovial inflammation in OA mice. 6S effect may take place not only by hindering the interaction between TLR4 ligands and the TLR4/MD-2 complex in chondrocytes, but also through inhibition of ERK phosphorylation, implying a pleiotropic effect on different mediators activated during OA, which proposes it as an attractive drug for OA treatment.
Nitric oxide (NO) is a unique signaling molecule in the mammalian species. NO is produced by a variety of cell types to elicit distinct physiological actions. In the vascular system, NO is produced by the endothelium, a single layer of cells forming the inner lining of all blood vessels. Endothelium-derived NO has several different functions, one of which is vascular smooth muscle relaxation, resulting in vasodilation and a consequent decrease in blood pressure and increase in local blood flow. In the erectile tissue, NO is released as a neurotransmitter from the nerves innervating the corpus cavernosum during sexual stimulation, and causes profound smooth muscle relaxation and increased blood flow to the erectile tissue. This results in engorgement with blood and consequent penile erection.The uniqueness of NO as a signaling molecule derives, at least in part, by the fact that it is a gaseous molecule in its native state. However, despite being a gas, NO, like oxygen (O2), elicits its pharmacological effects as a solute in aqueous solution. Another unique characteristic of NO is its fleeting action because of its highly unstable chemical nature and reactivity. Unlike many other signaling molecules, NO elicits its wise array of physiological effects by distinct mechanisms. For example, vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle relaxation, and inhibition of platelet function are mediated by intracellular cyclic GMP (cyclic 3’, 5’-guanosine monophosphate). NO elicits many cyclic GMP-independent effects as well. For example, nitric oxide is a reactive free radical that can covalently modify protein function. One good example is protein S-nitrosylation, which can result in both regulatory and aberrant effects. By this and a variety of other mechanisms, NO also reacts with other molecules, such as reactive oxygen species, in invading cells such as bacteria, parasites and viruses to kill them or inhibit their replication or spread.The first pharmacological action of nitric oxide, demonstrated several years before it’s production in mammals was actually discovered, was vascular and nonvascular smooth muscle relaxation. One of many examples of the latter is the smooth muscle enveloping the sinusoidal cavities within the corpus cavernosum. Another important example is the airway smooth muscle in the trachea and bronchioles of the lungs. Indeed, inhalation of NO gas causes bronchodilation and increased delivery of air into the lungs. However, perhaps more significant than the bronchodilator effect of inhaled NO is its vasodilator effect. In fact, advantage was taken of the vasodilator action of NO in the lungs by Warren Zapol, MD, from the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, who discovered that inhalation of very small amounts of NO gas by newborn babies with life-threatening, persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN) results in a dramatic and permanent reversal of pulmonary vasoconstriction. Inhaled NO (INO) literally turned blue babies into pink babies. Without INO, most babies would have died while others would have required highly invasive procedures (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; ECMO) to oxygenate their lungs, and may not have survived.Regarding its antiviral action, NO has been shown to increase the survival rate of mammalian cells infected with SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome caused by coronavirus). In an in vitrostudy, NO donors (i.e., S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine) greatly increased the survival rate of SARS-CoV-infected eukaryotic cells, suggesting direct antiviral effects of NO (1). In this study, NO significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS CoV in a concentration-dependent manner. NO also inhibited viral protein and RNA synthesis. Furthermore, NO generated by inducible nitric oxide synthase inhibited the SARS CoV replication cycle. The coronavirus responsible for SARS-CoV shares most of the genome of COVID- 19 indicating potential effectiveness of inhaled NO therapy in these patients.In 2004, during the SARS-CoV outbreak in China, the administration of inhaled NO reversed pulmonary hypertension, improved severe hypoxia and shortened the length of ventilatory support as compared to matched control patients with SARS-CoV (2). The mechanism of action was thought to be pulmonary vasodilation and consequent improved oxygenation in the blood of the lungs, thereby killing the virus, which does not do well in a high oxygen environment. In addition, however, I would offer the opinion that the NO also interacts directly with the virus to kill it and/or inhibit its replication, as shown in a prior study (1).Although studies have not yet been reported with COVID-19, NO has been shown to have an antiviral effect on several DNA and RNA virus families (3). The NO-mediated S-nitrosylation of viral molecules might be an intriguing general mechanism for the control of the virus life cycle. In this regard, it is conceivable that NO could nitrosylate cysteine-containing enzymes and proteins, including nucleocapsid proteins and glycoproteins, present in the coronavirus.In view of the knowledge gained by treating SARS-CoV patients with INO, it follows that INO might be effective in patients with the current SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) infection. Indeed, a clinical trial of inhaled nitric oxide in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19 with pneumonia and under assisted ventilatory support recently received IRB (Institutional Review Board) approval at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Warren Zapol is director of this project. This trial has now been expanded to include at least two additional hospitals in the U.S. In the successful treatment of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns, the amount of NO inhaled is generally one ppm (part per million). In the clinical trial using COVID-19 patients, the amount of NO will be approximately 100-fold higher, about 100 ppm. This is a safe dose of INO, which could prove to be effective in killing the virus and allowing recovery of the patient. The effective use of INO would also lessen the need for oxygen, ventilators, and beds in the ICU.One thing I urge everyone to practice during this coronavirus pandemic is to breathe or inhale through your NOSE and exhale through your mouth. Swedish investigators at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have shown that the cells and tissues in the nasal sinusoids, but not the mouth, constantly and continuously produce nitric oxide, which is a gas, and can be easily detected in the exhaled breath. The physiological significance of this is that nasally-derived NO, when inhaled through the nose, improves oxygen delivery into the lungs by causing bronchodilation. This physiological action of inhaled NO is well-known by competitive athletes, especially runners. Moreover, when inhaling through the nose, your nasal nitric oxide is inhaled into your lungs where it stands a chance of meeting up with the coronavirus particles and killing them or inhibiting their replication. Inhaling through your mouth will NOT accomplish this. By the same token, exhaling through your nose is highly wasteful in that you would be expelling the NO away from the lungs, where it is needed most.“INHALE THROUGH YOUR NOSE, AND EXHALE THROUGH YOUR MOUTH!”
Background and purpose. Venomous animals express numerous Kunitz-type peptides. The mambaquaretin-1 (MQ1) recently identified from the Dendroaspis angusticeps venom is the most selective antagonist of the arginine-vasopressin V2 receptor (V2R) and the unique Kunitz-type peptide active on a GPCR. We aimed to exploit other mamba venoms to enlarge the V2R-Kunitz peptide family and get insight into the MQ1 molecular mode of action. Experimental approach. We used a bio-guided screening assay to identify novel MQs and placed them phylogenetically. Several newly identified MQs were produced by solid phase peptide synthesis. They were characterized in vitro by binding and functional tests andin vivo by diuresis measurement in rats. Key results. Eight additional MQs were identified with nanomolar affinities for the V2R, all antagonists. MQs form a new subgroup in the Kunitz family, close to the V2R non-active dendrotoxins and to 2 V2R active cobra toxins. Sequence comparison between active and non-active V2R Kunitz peptides highlighted 5 specific V2R positions. Four of them are involved in V2R activity and belong to the 2 large MQ1 loops. We finally determined that 8 positions, part of these 2 loops, interact with the V2R. The variant MQ1-K39A showed specificity for the human versus the rat V2R . Conclusions and implications. A third function and mode of action is now associated with the Kunitz-peptides. The number of MQ1 residues involved in V2R binding is large and may explain its absolute selectivity. MQ1-K39A represents the first step in the improvement of the MQ1 design for medicinal perspective.
Background and Purpose: Astrocytic nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) is a potential therapeutic target of ischemic preconditioning (IPC). Icariside Ⅱ (ICS Ⅱ) is a naturally occurring flavonoid derived from Herba Epimedii with Nrf2 induction potency. This study was designed to clarify whether ICS Ⅱ simulates IPC neuroprotection and to decipher if the astrocytic-Nrf2 is contributed to ICS Ⅱ preconditioning against ischemic stroke. Experimental Approach: Mice with transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced focal cerebral ischemia and oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-injured primary astrocytes were used to explore the neuroprotective of ICS Ⅱ preconditioning. Additionally, Nrf2-deficient mice were pretreated with ICS Ⅱ to determine whether ICS Ⅱ exerts its neuroprotection by activating Nrf2. Key results: ICS Ⅱ pre-treatment dramatically mitigated the cerebral injury in ischemic stroke mice along with restoring long-term recovery. Furthermore, proteomics screening identified Nrf2 is a crucial gene evoked by ICS Ⅱ stimulation and is required for the anti-oxidative effect and anti-inflammatory effect of ICS Ⅱ. Most interestingly, ICS Ⅱ directly bound with Nrf2 and reinforced the transcriptional activity of Nrf2 after MCAO. Moreover, ICS Ⅱ pre-treatment exerted cytoprotective effect on astrocytes after lethal oxygen-glucose deprivation insult via promoting Nrf2 nuclear translocation and mediating OXPHOS/NF-κB/ferroptosis axis. While, abrogated neuroprotection in Nrf2-deficient mice and astrocyte potently supports Nrf2-dependent neuroprotection of ICS Ⅱ. Conclusions and implications: ICS Ⅱ preconditioning confers robust neuroprotection against ischemic stroke via astrocytic Nrf2-mediated OXPHOS/NF-κB/ferroptosis axis, it is concluded that ICS Ⅱ will be serve as a promising Nrf2 activator to rescue ischemic stroke.
Background and purpose: Bradykinin [BK-(1-9)] is an endogenous nonapeptide involved in multiple physiological and pathological processes. A long-held belief is that peptide fragments of BK-(1-9) are biologically inactive. Here, we have tested the biological activities of BK-(1-9) and two major peptide fragments in human and animal systems. Experimental Approach: Levels of BK peptides in male Wistar rat plasma were quantified by mass spectrometric methods. Nitric oxide was quantified in human, mouse and rat cells, and loaded with DAF-FM. We used aortic rings from adult male Wistar rats to test vascular reactivity. Changes in blood pressure and heart rate were measured in conscious adult male Wistar rats. Key results: Plasma levels of BK-(1-7) and BK-(1-5) in rats were increased following infusion of BK-(1-9). All tested peptides induced NO production in all cell types tested. However, unlike BK-(1-9), NO production elicited by BK-(1-7) or BK-(1-5) was not inhibited by B1 or B2 receptor antagonists. BK-(1-7) or BK-(1-5) also induced concentration-dependent vasorelaxation of aortic rings, without involving B1 or B2 receptors. In vivo, either intravenous or intra-arterial administration of BK-(1-7) or BK-(1-5) induced similar hypotension response. Conclusions and implications: BK-(1-7) and BK-(1-5) are endogenous peptides present in plasma. They are formed, at least partially, through the BK-(1-9) proteolysis. BK-related peptide fragments show biological activity, not mediated by B1 or B2 receptors. These BK-fragments could constitute new, active components of the kallikrein-kinin system.
COVID-19, the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2, has a wide-ranging clinical spectrum that, in the worst-case scenario, involves a rapid progression to severe acute respiratory syndrome and even death. Epidemiological data show that “diabesity”, the association of obesity and diabetes, is among the main risk factors associated with high morbidity and mortality. The increased susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection documented in diabesity argues for initial defects in defense mechanisms, most likely due to an elevated systemic metabolic inflammation (“metaflammation”). The NLRP3 inflammasome is a master regulator of metaflammation and has a pivotal role in the pathophysiology of diabesity. Here we discuss the most recent findings suggesting contribution of NLRP3 inflammasome to the increase in complications in COVID-19 patients with diabesity. We also review current pharmacological strategies for COVID-19, focusing on treatments whose efficacy could be due, at least in part, to interference with the activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
Post-operative ileus (POI) is a frequent complication after abdominal surgery. The consequences of POI can be potentially serious such as bronchial inhalation or acute functional renal failure. Numerous advances in peri-operative management, particularly early rehabilitation, have made it possible to decrease POI. Despite this, the rate of prolonged POI ileus remains high and can be as high as 25% of patients in colorectal surgery. From a pathophysiological point of view, POI has two phases, an early neurological phase and a later inflammatory phase, to which we could add a “pharmacological” phase during which analgesic drugs, particularly opiates, play a central role. The aim of this review article is to describe the phases of the pathophysiology of POI, to analyse the pharmacological treatments currently available through published clinical trials and finally to discuss the different research areas for potential pharmacological targets.