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Priyanka De, Sreerupa Ghose Roy, Dipak Kar and Arun Bandyopadhyay

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Priyanka De, Sreerupa Ghose Roy, Dipak Kar and Arun Bandyopadhyay

Ventricular dysfunction is one of the important side effects of the anti-inflammatory agent, glucocorticoid (GC). The present study was undertaken to examine whether abnormal calcium signaling is responsible for cardiac dysfunction due to an excess of GC hormone. The synthetic GC drug, dexamethasone (DEX), significantly (P<0.001, n=20) increased heart weight to body weight ratio, left ventricular remodeling, and fibrosis. The microarray analysis showed altered expression of several genes encoding calcium cycling/ion channel proteins in DEX-treated rat heart. The altered expression of some of the genes was validated by real-time PCR and western blotting analyses. The expression of the L-type calcium channels and calsequestrin was increased, whereas sarcoendoplasmic reticulum calcium transport ATPase 2a (SERCA2a) and junctin mRNAs were significantly reduced in DEX-treated rat left ventricular tissues. In neonatal rat ventricular cardiomyocytes, DEX also increased the level of mRNAs of atrial- and brain natriuretic peptides, L-type calcium channels, and calsequestrin after 24 h of treatment, which were mostly restored by mifepristone. The caffeine-induced calcium release was prolonged by DEX compared to the sharp release in control cardiomyocytes. Taken together, these data show that impaired calcium kinetics may be responsible for cardiac malfunction by DEX. The results are important in understanding the pathophysiology of the heart in patients treated with excess GC.

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Sangeeta Maity, Dipak Kar, Kakali De, Vivek Chander and Arun Bandyopadhyay

This study elucidates the role of metabolic remodeling in cardiac dysfunction induced by hyperthyroidism. Cardiac hypertrophy, structural remodeling, and expression of the genes associated with fatty acid metabolism were examined in rats treated with triiodothyronine (T3) alone (8 μg/100 g body weight (BW), i.p.) for 15 days or along with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha agonist bezafibrate (Bzf; 30 μg/100 g BW, oral) and were found to improve in the Bzf co-treated condition. Ultrastructure of mitochondria was damaged in T3-treated rat heart, which was prevented by Bzf co-administration. Hyperthyroidism-induced oxidative stress, reduction in cytochrome c oxidase activity, and myocardial ATP concentration were also significantly checked by Bzf. Heart function studied at different time points during the course of T3 treatment shows an initial improvement and then a gradual but progressive decline with time, which is prevented by Bzf co-treatment. In summary, the results demonstrate that hyperthyroidism inflicts structural and functional damage to mitochondria, leading to energy depletion and cardiac dysfunction.

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Sourav Kundu, Kousik Pramanick, Sudipta Paul, Arun Bandyopadhyay and Dilip Mukherjee

In mouse uterus, at the late diestrus stage LH binding sites have previously been described. The aim of our study was to confirm the existence of LH receptor (Lhr (Lhcgr)) mRNA and its protein in mouse endometrium. Endometrium at all stages of the estrous cycle contained Lhr mRNA, essentially identical to that found in mouse ovary. Endometrium also contained a 72 kDa immunoreactive receptor protein that bound to mouse anti-LHR antibody in western blot. Both receptor mRNA and protein were maximally expressed in the endometrium at metestrus and LH caused a significant increase in their expression levels. Endometrium also contained 3β-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase (3 β -hsd) mRNA and 3β-HSD protein. LH addition elevated their expression and activity as evident from increased conversion of labeled pregnenolone to progesterone (P4) and de novo P4 synthesis. LH-induced endometrial P4 synthesis is mediated through expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory (Star) gene. Results demonstrated that LH-induced P4 synthesis in endometrium is possibly mediated through the cAMP pathway. Involvement of a MAPK pathway was also evident. Gonadotropin-stimulated endometrial P4 synthesis was markedly attenuated by an antagonist of MEK1/2, PD98059. LH-stimulated MEK1/2-dependent phosphorylation of ERK1/2 in a concentration- and time-dependant manner in cultured endometrial tissues. Moreover, involvement of cAMP in LH-stimulated activation of ERK1/2 was also evident. It is therefore possible that the major signaling pathways regulating endometrial steroidogenesis in mouse, including the adenylate cyclase and MAP kinase pathways, converge at a point distal to activation of protein kinase A and ERK1/2.