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Zhenhua Li, Tao Zhang, Hongyan Dai, Guanghui Liu, Haibin Wang, Yingying Sun, Yun Zhang, and Zhiming Ge

Apoptosis plays a critical role in the diabetic cardiomyopathy, and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS) is one of the intrinsic apoptosis pathways. Previous studies have shown that the endoplasmic reticulum becomes swollen and dilated in diabetic myocardium, and ERS is involved in heart failure and diabetic kidney. This study is aimed to demonstrate whether ERS is induced in myocardium of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. We established a type 1 diabetic rat model, used echocardiographic evaluation, hematoxylin–eosin staining, and the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated DNA nick-end labeling staining to identify the existence of diabetic cardiomyopathy and enhanced apoptosis in the diabetic heart. We performed immunohistochemistry, western blot, and real-time PCR to analyze the hallmarks of ERS that include glucose-regulated protein 78, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein homologous protein (CHOP) and caspase12. We found these hallmarks to have enhanced expression in protein and mRNA levels in diabetic myocardium. Also, another pathway that can lead to cell death of ERS, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase-dependent pathway, was also activated in diabetic heart. Those results suggested that ERS was induced in STZ-induced diabetic rats' myocardium, and ERS-associated apoptosis occurred in the pathophysiology of diabetic cardiomyopathy.

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Zhenhua Li, Tao Zhang, Hongyan Dai, Guanghui Liu, Haibin Wang, Yingying Sun, Yun Zhang, and Zhiming Ge

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Guangcui Xu, Tingtian Yan, Qiang Peng, Haibin Li, Weidong Wu, Xianwen Yi, and Yingzheng Zhao

Oxidative stress is proposed to be involved in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). However, antioxidant therapy results in controversial outcomes. Therefore, we generated a new antioxidant/NAFLD mouse model, LiasHigh/HighLeprdb/db mice, by crossbreeding Leprdb/dbmice, an obesity mouse model, with LiasHigh/Highmice, generated by overexpression of lipoic acid synthase gene (Lias) and having increased endogenous antioxidant capacity, to investigate whether the new model could block the development of NAFLD. We have systemically characterized the novel model based on the main features of human NAFLD, determined the impact of enhanced endogenous antioxidant capacity on the retardation of NAFLD and elucidated the underlying mechanisms using various biological and pathological methods. We found that LiasHigh/HighLeprdb/db mice ameliorated many pathological changes of NAFLD compared with the control. In particular, LiasHigh/HighLeprdb/db mice displayed the improved liver mitochondrial function, reflecting the decline of mitochondrial microvesicular steatosis, and reduced oxidative stress, which mainly contribute to alleviation of pathologic alterations of the NAFLD progression. Our new model shows that mitochondrial dysfunction is a major pathogenesis for liver steatosis. Overexpression of Lias gene effectively reduces oxidative stress and protects mitochondria, and consequently attenuates NAFLD/NASH.