Inflammation is the most common feature of many chronic diseases and complications, while playing critical roles in carcinogenesis. Several studies have demonstrated that Nrf2 contributes to the anti-inflammatory process by orchestrating the recruitment of inflammatory cells and regulating gene expression through the antioxidant response element (ARE). The Keap1 (Kelch-like ECH-associated protein)/Nrf2 (NF-E2 p45-related factor 2)/ARE signaling pathway mainly regulates anti-inflammatory gene expression and inhibits the progression of inflammation. Therefore, the identification of new Nrf2-dependent anti-inflammatory phytochemicals has become a key point in drug discovery. In this review, we discuss the members of the Keap1/Nrf2/ARE signal pathway and its downstream genes, the effects of this pathway on animal models of inflammatory diseases, and crosstalk with the NF-κB pathway. In addition we also discuss about the regulation of NLRP3 inflammasome by Nrf2. Besides this, we summarize the current scenario of the development of anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and others that mediate the Nrf2/ARE signaling pathway.
The vascular endothelium is a multifunctional organ and is critically involved in modulating vascular tone and structure. Endothelial cells produce a wide range of factors that also regulate cellular adhesion, thromboresistance, smooth muscle cell proliferation, and vessel wall inflammation. Thus, endothelial function is important for the homeostasis of the body and its dysfunction is associated with several pathophysiological conditions, including atherosclerosis, hypertension and diabetes. Patients with diabetes invariably show an impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilation. Therefore, understanding and treating endothelial dysfunction is a major focus in the prevention of vascular complications associated with all forms of diabetes mellitus. The mechanisms of endothelial dysfunction in diabetes may point to new management strategies for the prevention of cardiovascular disease in diabetes. This review will focus on the mechanisms and therapeutics that specifically target endothelial dysfunction in the context of a diabetic setting. Mechanisms including altered glucose metabolism, impaired insulin signaling, low-grade inflammatory state, and increased reactive oxygen species generation will be discussed. The importance of developing new pharmacological approaches that upregulate endothelium-derived nitric oxide synthesis and target key vascular ROS-producing enzymes will be highlighted and new strategies that might prove clinically relevant in preventing the development and/or retarding the progression of diabetes associated vascular complications.
The mammalian family of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) includes extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38, and c-Jun NH -terminal kinase (JNK), with each MAPK signaling pathway consisting of at least three components, a MAPK kinase kinase (MAP3K), a MAPK kinase (MAP2K), and a MAPK. The MAPK pathways are activated by diverse extracellular and intracellular stimuli including peptide growth factors, cytokines, hormones, and various cellular stressors such as oxidative stress and endoplasmic reticulum stress. These signaling pathways regulate a variety of cellular activities including proliferation, differentiation, survival, and death. Deviation from the strict control of MAPK signaling pathways has been implicated in the development of many human diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and various types of cancers. Persistent activation of the JNK or p38 signaling pathways has been suggested to mediate neuronal apoptosis in AD, PD, and ALS, whereas the ERK signaling pathway plays a key role in several steps of tumorigenesis including cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. In this review, we summarize recent findings on the roles of MAPK signaling pathways in human disorders, focusing on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases including AD, PD, and ALS.
There is increasing evidence showing that inflammation is an important pathogenic mediator of the development of obesity-induced insulin resistance. It is now generally accepted that tissue-resident immune cells play a major role in the regulation of this obesity-induced inflammation. The roles that adipose tissue (AT)-resident immune cells play have been particularly extensively studied. AT contains most types of immune cells and obesity increases their numbers and activation levels, particularly in AT macrophages (ATMs). Other pro-inflammatory cells found in AT include neutrophils, Th1 CD4 T cells, CD8 T cells, B cells, DCs, and mast cells. However, AT also contains anti-inflammatory cells that counter the pro-inflammatory immune cells that are responsible for the obesity-induced inflammation in this tissue. These anti-inflammatory cells include regulatory CD4 T cells (Tregs), Th2 CD4 T cells, and eosinophils. Hence, AT inflammation is shaped by the regulation of pro- and anti-inflammatory immune cell homeostasis, and obesity skews this balance towards a more pro-inflammatory status. Recent genetic studies revealed several molecules that participate in the development of obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance. In this review, the cellular and molecular players that participate in the regulation of obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance are discussed, with particular attention being placed on the roles of the cellular players in these pathogeneses. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Modulation of Adipose Tissue in Health and Disease.
Plasmalogens are a unique class of membrane glycerophospholipids containing a fatty alcohol with a vinyl-ether bond at the -1 position, and enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids at the -2 position of the glycerol backbone. These two features provide novel properties to these compounds. Although plasmalogens represent up to 20% of the total phospholipid mass in humans their physiological roles have been challenging to identify, and are likely to be particular to different tissues, metabolic processes and developmental stages. Their biosynthesis starts in peroxisomes, and defects at these steps cause the malformation syndrome, Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata (RCDP). The RCDP phenotype predicts developmental roles for plasmalogens in bone, brain, lens, lung, kidney and heart. Recent studies have revealed secondary plasmalogen deficiencies associated with more common disorders and allow us to tease out additional pathways dependent on plasmalogen functions. In this review, we present current knowledge of plasmalogen biology in health and disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Metabolic Functions and Biogenesis of peroxisomes in Health and Disease. ► Plasmalogen synthesis and regulation. ► Unique roles ascribed to these molecules: anti-oxidants, membrane structure, signal transduction. ► Primary plasmalogen deficiency disease states: RCDP. ► Secondary plasmalogen deficiency disease states: respiratory disorders, Alzheimer disease. ► Plasmalogen replacement therapy.
Resveratrol has emerged in recent years as a compound conferring strong protection against metabolic, cardiovascular and other age-related complications, including neurodegeneration and cancer. This has generated the notion that resveratrol treatment acts as a calorie-restriction mimetic, based on the many overlapping health benefits observed upon both interventions in diverse organisms, including yeast, worms, flies and rodents. Though studied for over a decade, the molecular mechanisms governing the therapeutic properties of resveratrol still remain elusive. Elucidating how resveratrol exerts its effects would provide not only new insights in its fundamental biological actions but also new avenues for the design and development of more potent drugs to efficiently manage metabolic disorders. In this review we will cover the most recent advances in the field, with special focus on the metabolic actions of resveratrol and the potential role of SIRT1 and AMPK. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.
Mast cells are well known for their role in allergic and anaphylactic reactions, as well as their involvement in acquired and innate immunity. Increasing evidence now implicates mast cells in inflammatory diseases where they are activated by non-allergic triggers, such as neuropeptides and cytokines, often exerting synergistic effects as in the case of IL-33 and neurotensin. Mast cells can also release pro-inflammatory mediators selectively without degranulation. In particular, IL-1 induces selective release of IL-6, while corticotropin-releasing hormone secreted under stress induces the release of vascular endothelial growth factor. Many inflammatory diseases involve mast cells in cross-talk with T cells, such as atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and multiple sclerosis, which all worsen by stress. How mast cell differential responses are regulated is still unresolved. Preliminary evidence suggests that mitochondrial function and dynamics control mast cell degranulation, but not selective release. Recent findings also indicate that mast cells have immunomodulatory properties. Understanding selective release of mediators could explain how mast cells participate in numerous diverse biologic processes, and how they exert both immunostimulatory and immunosuppressive actions. Unraveling selective mast cell secretion could also help develop unique mast cell inhibitors with novel therapeutic applications. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mast cells in inflammation. ► Mast cells release pro-inflammatory mediators selectively without degranulation. ► Mast cells are activated by CRH released under stress. ► Neuropeptide mast cell triggers have synergistic action with cytokines, like IL-33. ► Unique flavonoid combinations can effectively block mast cell secretion. ► Mast cells may serve as new therapeutic targets for psoriasis and multiple sclerosis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder with increasing prevalence due to aging of the population. Its multi-factorial etiology includes oxidative stress and the overproduction of reactive oxygen species, which regulate intracellular signaling processes, chondrocyte senescence and apoptosis, extracellular matrix synthesis and degradation along with synovial inflammation and dysfunction of the subchondral bone. As disease-modifying drugs for osteoarthritis are rare, targeting the complex oxidative stress signaling pathways would offer a valuable perspective for exploration of potential therapeutic strategies in the treatment of this devastating disease.
While the role of small non-coding RNAs, such as miRNAs, in apoptosis control is well established, long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have received less attention. ( ) encodes multiple snoRNAs within its introns, while exonic sequences produce lncRNA which can act as a riborepressor of the glucocorticoid and related receptors. GAS5 negatively regulates the survival of lymphoid and breast cells, and is aberrantly expressed in several cancers. Although cellular GAS5 levels decline as prostate cancer cells acquire castration-resistance, the influence of GAS5 on prostate cell survival has not been determined. To address this question, prostate cell lines were transfected with GAS5-encoding plasmids or GAS5 siRNAs, and cell survival was assessed. Basal apoptosis increased, and cell survival decreased, after transfection of 22Rv1 cells with plasmids encoding GAS5 transcripts, including mature GAS5 lncRNA. Similar effects were observed in PC-3 cells. In stable clones of 22Rv1, cell death correlated strongly with cellular GAS5 levels. Induction of 22Rv1 cell death by UV-C irradiation and chemotherapeutic drugs was augmented in cells transiently transfected with GAS5 constructs, and attenuated following down-regulation of GAS5 expression. Again, in these experiments, cell death was strongly correlated with cellular GAS5 levels. Thus, GAS5 promotes the apoptosis of prostate cells, and exonic sequence, GAS5 lncRNA, is sufficient to mediate this activity. Abnormally low levels of GAS5 expression may therefore reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapeutic agents. Although several lncRNAs have recently been shown to control cell survival, this is the first report of a death-promoting lncRNA in prostate cells.
Cells are constantly exposed to a large variety of lipids. Traditionally, these molecules were thought to serve as simple energy storing molecules. More recently it has been realized that they can also initiate and regulate signaling events that will decisively influence development, cellular differentiation, metabolism and related functions through the regulation of gene expression. Multicellular organisms dedicate a large family of nuclear receptors to these tasks. These proteins combine the defining features of both transcription factors and receptor molecules, and therefore have the unique ability of being able to bind lipid signaling molecules and transduce the appropriate signals derived from lipid environment to the level of gene expression. Intriguingly, the members of a subfamily of the nuclear receptors, the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are able to sense and interpret fatty acid signals derived from dietary lipids, pathogenic lipoproteins or essential fatty acid metabolites. Not surprisingly, Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors were found to be key regulators of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. Unexpectedly, later studies revealed that Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors are also able to modulate inflammatory responses. Here we summarize our understanding on how these transcription factors/receptors connect lipid metabolism to inflammation and some of the novel regulatory mechanisms by which they contribute to homeostasis and certain pathological conditions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translating nuclear receptors from health to disease. ► PPARs and lipid environment form a regulatory circuit. ► Fatty acid derived molecules can regulate inflammation through PPARs. ► PPARs have anti-inflammatory roles in a number of inflammatory diseases. ► A number of outstanding questions about the biology of PPARs are still unanswered.
Recently researchers proposed the term ‘Type-3-Diabetes’ for Alzheimer's disease (ad) because of the shared molecular and cellular features among Type-1-Diabetes, Type-2-Diabetes and insulin resistance associated with memory deficits and cognitive decline in elderly individuals. Recent clinical and basic studies on patients with diabetes and AD revealed previously unreported cellular and pathological among diabetes, insulin resistance and AD. These studies are also strengthened by various basic biological studies that decipher the effects of insulin in the pathology of AD through cellular and molecular mechanisms. For instance, insulin is involved in the activation of glycogen synthase kinase 3β, which in turn causes phosphorylation of tau, which involved in the formation of neurofibrillary tangles. Interestingly, insulin also plays a crucial role in the formation amyloid plaques. In this review, we discussed significant shared mechanisms between AD and diabetes and we also provided therapeutic avenues for diabetes and AD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Quality in Diabetes/Obesity and Critical Illness Spectrum of Diseases - edited by P. Hemachandra Reddy.
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cell and are involved in essential functions of the cell, including ATP production, intracellular Ca regulation, reactive oxygen species production & scavenging, regulation of apoptotic cell death and activation of the caspase family of proteases. Mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress are largely involved in aging, cancer, age-related neurodegenerative and metabolic syndrome. In the last decade, tremendous progress has been made in understanding mitochondrial structure, function and their physiology in metabolic syndromes such as diabetes, obesity, stroke and hypertension, and heart disease. Further, progress has also been made in developing therapeutic strategies, including lifestyle interventions (healthy diet and regular exercise), pharmacological strategies and mitochondria-targeted approaches. These strategies were mainly focused to reduce mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress and to maintain mitochondrial quality in metabolic syndromes. The purpose of our article is to highlight the recent progress on the mitochondrial role in metabolic syndromes and also summarize the progress of mitochondria-targeted molecules as therapeutic targets to treat metabolic syndromes. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Oxidative Stress and Mitochondrial Quality in Diabetes/Obesity and Critical Illness Spectrum of Diseases - edited by P. Hemachandra Reddy.
Substantial evidence links α-synuclein, a small highly conserved presynaptic protein with unknown function, to both familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). α-Synuclein has been identified as the major component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, the characteristic proteinaceous deposits that are the hallmarks of PD. α-Synuclein is a typical intrinsically disordered protein, but can adopt a number of different conformational states depending on conditions and cofactors. These include the helical membrane-bound form, a partially-folded state that is a key intermediate in aggregation and fibrillation, various oligomeric species, and fibrillar and amorphous aggregates. The molecular basis of PD appears to be tightly coupled to the aggregation of α-synuclein and the factors that affect its conformation. This review examines the different aggregation states of α-synuclein, the molecular mechanism of its aggregation, and the influence of environmental and genetic factors on this process. ► α-Synuclein misfolding and aggregation are linked to the Parkinson's disease pathology. ► In the unbound form, α-synuclein is a typical intrinsically disordered protein. ► It can adopt different conformations depending on the environmental modulators. ► Many environmental factors promote α-synuclein misfolding and aggregation. ► Structural variability of aggregated forms correlates with their effects .
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Despite advancements in diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular disease, the incidence of cardiovascular disease is still rising. Therefore, new lines of medications are needed to treat the growing population of patients with cardiovascular disease. Although the majority of the existing pharmacotherapies for cardiovascular disease are synthesized molecules, natural compounds, such as resveratrol, are also being tested. Resveratrol is a non-flavonoid polyphenolic compound, which has several biological effects. Preclinical studies have provided convincing evidence that resveratrol has beneficial effects in animal models of hypertension, atherosclerosis, stroke, ischemic heart disease, arrhythmia, chemotherapy-induced cardiotoxicity, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and heart failure. Although not fully delineated, some of the beneficial cardiovascular effects of resveratrol are mediated through activation of silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1), AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and endogenous anti-oxidant enzymes. In addition to these pathways, the anti-inflammatory, anti-platelet, insulin-sensitizing, and lipid-lowering properties of resveratrol contribute to its beneficial cardiovascular effects. Despite the promise of resveratrol as a treatment for numerous cardiovascular diseases, the clinical studies for resveratrol are still limited. In addition, several conflicting results from trials have been reported, which demonstrates the challenges that face the translation of the exciting preclinical findings to humans. Herein, we will review much of the preclinical and clinical evidence for the role of resveratrol in the treatment of cardiovascular disease and provide information about the physiological and molecular signaling mechanisms involved. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.
Diabetes is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and heart failure. Diabetic cardiovascular dysfunction also underscores the development of diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. Despite the broad availability of antidiabetic therapy, glycemic control still remains a major challenge in the management of diabetic patients. Hyperglycemia triggers formation of advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), activates protein kinase C, enhances polyol pathway, glucose autoxidation, which coupled with elevated levels of free fatty acids, and leptin have been implicated in increased generation of superoxide anion by mitochondria, NADPH oxidases and xanthine oxidoreductase in diabetic vasculature and myocardium. Superoxide anion interacts with nitric oxide forming the potent toxin peroxynitrite via diffusion limited reaction, which in concert with other oxidants triggers activation of stress kinases, endoplasmic reticulum stress, mitochondrial and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1-dependent cell death, dysregulates autophagy/mitophagy, inactivates key proteins involved in myocardial calcium handling/contractility and antioxidant defense, activates matrix metalloproteinases and redox-dependent pro-inflammatory transcription factors (e.g. nuclear factor kappaB) promoting inflammation, AGEs formation, eventually culminating in myocardial dysfunction, remodeling and heart failure. Understanding the complex interplay of oxidative/nitrosative stress with pro-inflammatory, metabolic and cell death pathways is critical to devise novel targeted therapies for diabetic cardiomyopathy, which will be overviewed in this brief synopsis. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Autophagy and protein quality control in cardiometabolic diseases.
Vascular insults can initiate a cascade of molecular events leading to neurodegeneration, cognitive impairment, and dementia. Here, we review the cellular and molecular mechanisms in cerebral blood vessels and the pathophysiological events leading to cerebral blood flow dysregulation and disruption of the neurovascular unit and the blood–brain barrier, which all may contribute to the onset and progression of dementia and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Particularly, we examine the link between neurovascular dysfunction and neurodegeneration including the effects of AD genetic risk factors on cerebrovascular functions and clearance of Alzheimer's amyloid-β peptide toxin, and the impact of vascular risk factors, environment, and lifestyle on cerebral blood vessels, which in turn may affect synaptic, neuronal, and cognitive functions. Finally, we examine potential experimental treatments for dementia and AD based on the neurovascular model, and discuss some critical questions to be addressed by future studies. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Vascular Contributions to Cognitive Impairment and Dementia edited by M. Paul Murphy, Roderick A. Corriveau and Donna M. Wilcock
Modulation of endogenous cellular defense mechanisms represents an innovative approach to therapeutic intervention in diseases causing chronic tissue damage, such as in neurodegeneration. This paper introduces the emerging role of exogenous molecules in hormetic-based neuroprotection and the mitochondrial redox signaling concept of hormesis and its applications to the field of neuroprotection and longevity. Maintenance of optimal long-term health conditions is accomplished by a complex network of longevity assurance processes that are controlled by vitagenes, a group of genes involved in preserving cellular homeostasis during stressful conditions. Vitagenes encode for heat shock proteins (Hsp) Hsp32, Hsp70, the thioredoxin and the sirtuin protein systems. Dietary antioxidants, such as polyphenols and L-carnitine/acetyl-L-carnitine, have recently been demonstrated to be neuroprotective through the activation of hormetic pathways, including vitagenes. Hormesis provides the central underpinning of neuroprotective responses, providing a framework for explaining the common quantitative features of their dose response relationships, their mechanistic foundations, their relationship to the concept of biological plasticity as well as providing a key insight for improving the accuracy of the therapeutic dose of pharmaceutical agents within the highly heterogeneous human population. This paper describes in mechanistic detail how hormetic dose responses are mediated for endogenous cellular defense pathways including sirtuin, Nrfs and related pathways that integrate adaptive stress responses in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Antioxidants and Antioxidant Treatment in Disease. ► Modulation of endogenous cellular defense mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases. ► Network of longevity assurance processes that are controlled by vitagenes. ► Nrf2 pathway integrates stress responses in the prevention of neurodegeneration.