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R Singh, G Upadhyay, S Kumar, A Kapoor, A Kumar, M Tiwari, and MM Godbole

Thyroid hormone (TH) deficiency results in delayed proliferation and migration of cerebellar granule cells. Although extensive cell loss during the development of the cerebellum under hypothyroid conditions is known, its nature and its mechanism are poorly understood. Bcl-2 family gene expression is known to determine the fate of cells to undergo apoptosis. We evaluated the effect of hypothyroidism on Bcl-2 family gene expression in the developing rat cerebellum. Electrophoresis and Western blotting were used to analyze DNA fragmentation and expression of DNA fragmentation factor (DFF-45), Bcl-2, Bcl-xL and Bax genes respectively. In the hypothyroid condition, extensive DNA fragmentation and enhanced cleavage of DFF-45 were seen throughout development (postnatal day 0 to day 24) and adulthood whereas they were absent in the euthyroid state. The anti-apoptotic genes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL were down-regulated and the pro-apoptotic gene Bax was expressed at higher levels compared with the euthyroid state. These results suggest that normal levels of TH prevent cerebellar apoptosis to a large extent, whereas hypothyroidism not only increases the extent but also the duration of apoptosis by down-regulating the anti-apoptotic genes and maintaining a high level of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax.

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F Le Bellego, C Pisselet, C Huet, P Monget, and D Monniaux

This study aimed to determine the physiological role of laminin (LN) and its receptor, alpha(6)beta(1) integrin, in controlling the functions of granulosa cells (GC) during follicular development in sheep ovary. Immunohistochemistry experiments showed the presence of increasing levels of LN (P<0.0001), and high levels of mature alpha(6)beta(1) integrin in GC layers of healthy antral follicles during the follicular and the preovulatory phases of the estrous cycle. In vitro, the addition of a function-blocking antibody raised against alpha(6) subunit (anti-alpha(6) IgG) to the medium of ovine GC cultured on LN impaired cell spreading (P<0.0001), decreased the proliferation rate (P<0.05) and increased the apoptosis rate (P<0.05). Furthermore, addition of anti-alpha(6) IgG enhanced estradiol (E2) secretion by GC in the presence or absence of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone or insulin-like growth factor-I in culture medium (P<0.0001), and inhibited progesterone (P4) secretion in basal conditions or in the presence of low (0.5 ng/ml) FSH concentrations only (P<0.0001). The anti-alpha(6) IgG effect was specific to an interaction of LN with alpha(6)beta(1) integrin since it was ineffective on GC cultured on heat-denatured LN, RGD (arginine-glycine-aspartic acid) peptides and non-coated substratum. Hence, this study established that alpha(6)beta(1) integrin 1) was expressed in GC of antral follicles, 2) mediated the actions of LN on survival, proliferation and steroidogenesis of GC, and 3) was able to dramatically modulate P4 and E2 secretion by GC in vitro. It is suggested that during the follicular and the preovulatory phases of the estrous cycle, the increasing levels of LN in GC of large antral follicles might support their final development to ovulation.

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Kuladip Jana, Xiangling Yin, Randolph B Schiffer, Jau-Jiin Chen, Akhilesh K Pandey, Douglas M Stocco, Paula Grammas, and XingJia Wang

. 2002 ). We have studied the steroidogenic effect of this flavonoid and found that chrysin significantly enhanced steroidogenesis in Leydig cells mainly by increasing the StAR gene expression. Materials and Methods Reagents N 6 ,2-dibutyryladenosine 3

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ME Fabiani, M Sourial, WG Thomas, CI Johnston, CI Johnston, and AG Frauman

The renin-angiotensin system (RAS) is present in the human prostate and may be activated in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), possibly contributing to the pathophysiology of this disorder by enhancing local sympathetic tone and cell growth. The functional role of the RAS in the prostate, however, is unknown. The present study was undertaken to determine whether angiotensin (Ang) II enhances sympathetic transmission in the prostate. The neuronal stores of the rat prostate were labelled with [(3)H]noradrenaline (NA). Ang II and Ang I enhanced [(3)H]NA release in a concentration-dependent manner. The Ang II receptor subtype 1 (AT(1) receptor) antagonist losartan and the AT(2) receptor antagonist PD123319 inhibited this facilitatory effect of Ang II and Ang I, whereas the other AT(2) receptor antagonist, CGP42112, was without effect. Bradykinin also increased [(3)H]NA release, which was inhibited by the B(2) receptor antagonist Hoe140. The angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor captopril inhibited the effect of Ang I, but potentiated that of bradykinin. Interestingly, captopril alone produced an increase in [(3)H]NA release which was inhibited by Hoe140. Losartan, but not PD123319 or CGP42112, inhibited [(125)I]-Ang II binding in Chinese hamster ovary cells transfected with the AT(1a) or AT(1b) receptor. In contrast, in cells expressing the AT(2) receptor, PD123319 and CGP42112, but not losartan, inhibited [(125)I]-Ang II binding. In conclusion, Ang II enhances the release of NA from sympathetic nerves of the rat prostate via a novel functional receptor distinct from the cloned AT(1a), AT(1b) or AT(2). These data provide direct evidence in support of a functional role for the local RAS in modulating sympathetic transmission in the prostate, which may have important implications for the pathophysiology of BPH.

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Sayaka Aizawa, Takafumi Sakai, and Ichiro Sakata

00000008465 2944.3 1508.1 2061.1 MEA1 Male-enhanced antigen ENSRNOG00000017144 2929.1 6413.2 2378.1 RT1-KE4 RT1 class I, locus Ke4 ENSRNOG00000000465 2853.1 1557.8 1889.8 MXRA8 Matrix-remodeling-associated protein 8 precursor (limitrin) ENSRNOG00000019244 2820

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Yan Zhou, Jacob Bendor, Lauren Hofmann, Matthew Randesi, Ann Ho, and Mary Jeanne Kreek

levels. We extended our studies to investigate the effects of 12 h spontaneous morphine withdrawal, and found an increase in MOP-r mRNA levels in the lat.hyp. This increase in MOP-r mRNA levels after morphine withdrawal suggests an enhanced MOP

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M Takamoto, K Tsuji, T Yamashita, H Sasaki, T Yano, Y Taketani, T Komori, A Nifuji, and M Noda

Hedgehog signaling is considered to play a crucial role in chondrogenesis by regulation through a network of cytokine actions, which is not fully understood. We examined the effect of hedgehog signaling on the expression of core-binding factor a1 (Cbfa1), a critical transcription factor for the development of bone and cartilage. Primary chondrocytes prepared from the costal cartilage of newborn mice were treated with N-terminal fragment of recombinant murine sonic hedgehog (rmShh-N). Northern blot analysis indicated that Cbfa1 mRNA expression levels in the chondrocyte cultures were elevated by the treatment with rmShh-N. rmShh-N treatment enhanced 1.8 kb Cbfa1 promoter activity in chondrocytes, suggesting the presence of transcriptional control. As Cbfa1-binding site(s) have been located in the promoter of the receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB (RANK) ligand (RANKL) gene, we also examined RANKL expression. rmShh-N treatment upregulated RANKL and RANK mRNA expression levels in chondrocytes. Interestingly, RANKL suppressed the hedgehog enhancement of alkaline phosphatase activity in chondrocytes, suggesting the presence of a link between these signaling molecules. We conclude that hedgehog signaling activates Cbfa1 gene expression through its promoter in chondrocytes, and also activates and interacts with RANKL to maintain cartilage development.

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GF Gonzales, A Cordova, K Vega, A Chung, A Villena, and C Gonez

Lepidium meyenii (Maca) is a Peruvian hypocotyl that grows exclusively between 4000 and 4500 m in the central Andes. Maca is traditionally employed in the Andean region for its supposed aphrodisiac and/or fertility-enhancing properties. This study was a 12-week double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized, parallel trial in which active treatment with different doses of Maca Gelatinizada was compared with a placebo. The study aimed to test the hypothesis that Maca has no effect on serum reproductive hormone levels in apparently healthy men when administered in doses used for aphrodisiac and/or fertility-enhancing properties. Men aged between 21 and 56 Years received 1500 mg or 3000 mg Maca. Serum levels of luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, prolactin, 17-alpha hydroxyprogesterone, testosterone and 17-beta estradiol were measured before and at 2, 4, 8 and 12 weeks of treatment with placebo or Maca (1.5 g or 3.0 g per day). Data showed that compared with placebo Maca had no effect on any of the hormones studied nor did the hormones show any changes over time. Multiple regression analysis showed that serum testosterone levels were not affected by treatment with Maca at any of the times studied (P, not significant). In conclusion, treatment with Maca does not affect serum reproductive hormone levels.

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RC Fowkes and JM Burrin

Steroidogenic factor-1 (SF-1) is a key regulator of endocrine development, and mediates expression of gonadotrophin-specific genes in the pituitary. Basal and hormone stimulated transcription of the human glycoprotein hormone alpha-subunit gene (alphaGSU) in gonadotrophs involves SF-1 and its cognate binding site, the gonadotroph-specific element (GSE). In this study, we demonstrate that SF-1 significantly enhances basal and forskolin-stimulated transcription of the human alphaGSU promoter in GH(3) cells. Mutation of the GSE abolished the SF-1-mediated transactivation of basal alphaGSU promoter activity, and significantly attenuated the forskolin effect by 50%. Mutation of the Ser203 residue in SF-1 to Ala blocked basal transactivation of alphaGSU promoter activity, and halved the forskolin effect. These data collectively reveal a direct role for SF-1 and the GSE in mediating basal and forskolin-stimulated transcription of the human alphaGSU promoter in GH(3) cells. The phosphorylation site at Ser203 appears to be required for these effects.

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C Anneren

Transgenic CBA mice expressing either the tyrosine kinase GTK (gut tyrosine kinase) or the adaptor protein SHB (Src homology 2 protein of beta-cells) under the control of the rat insulin promoter exhibited an increased beta-cell mass, but also elevated cytokine-induced islet cell death compared with control mice. To further investigate the importance of GTK and SHB for beta-cell death and proliferation, these mice were subjected to a 60% partial pancreatectomy (Px) or a sham-operation and beta-cell replication was determined by autoradiographic detection of [(3)H]thymidine incorporation into islet cells positively stained for insulin. The Px-operated control mice exhibited a moderate and insignificant increase in beta-cell replication 4 days after Px compared with the sham-operated mice (0.27+/-0.08% vs 0.08+/-0.02%). In contrast, the Px-induced beta-cell proliferation was significantly increased in both the GTK- and SHB-transgenic mice compared with the corresponding sham-treated animals (0.64+/-0.12% vs 0.11+/-0.04% and 0.44+/-0.11% vs 0.09+/-0.04% respectively). This effect was dependent on intracellular signal transduction pathways activated or enhanced by GTK and SHB overexpression, since the proliferation of acinar cells, located in the vicinity of the islets, was equal in the transgenic and control mice. GTK- and SHB-transgenic mice, treated with a sub-diabetogenic dose of the beta-cell toxin streptozotocin (STZ) on day 0 and subjected to a glucose tolerance test on day 3, exhibited an impaired glucose tolerance in comparison with the STZ-treated control mice. Pretreatment with STZ blunted the regenerative response to Px in the transgenic mice. Furthermore, the SHB-transgenic islets were significantly more damaged with respect to beta-cell loss, compared with the islets of the control mice. Previous and present data suggest a dual role of GTK and SHB for beta-cell growth: whereas these proteins increase the beta-cell mass and induce beta-cell proliferation after 60% Px, SHB and GTK also enhance beta-cell death under certain stressful conditions.