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Tsun-Jui Liu, Hui-Chin Lai, Chih-Tai Ting, and Ping H Wang

Signaling pathways of IGF-I and insulin receptors play important roles in the regulation of myocardial function. FOXO1 is a member of the forkhead transcriptional factor family, but how insulin and IGF-I receptor signaling regulate FOXO1 in cardiomyocytes is not well understood. This study was carried out to elucidate how IGF-I and insulin receptor signaling modulate FOXO1 in cardiomyocytes. In cardiomyocytes, activation of IGF-I receptor and insulin receptor lead to rapid phosphorylation of FOXO1. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway suppressed the effect of insulin and IGF-I on FOXO1 phosphorylation. Prolonged incubation with IGF-I increased ubiquitination of FOXO1 and down-regulated the abundance of FOXO1 proteins, which suggested that IGF-I might modulate FOXO1 degradation. To explore whether FOXO1 could modulate IGF-I and insulin signaling, a constitutively active FOXO1 was overexpressed in cardiomyocytes. The abundance of insulin receptor and IGF-I receptor was significantly upregulated in the cells overexpressing active FOXO1, accompanied by increased receptor phosphorylation upon insulin/IGF-I stimulation. Interestingly, overexpression of constitutively active FOXO1 also led to activation of MEK and Akt phosphorylation. IGF-I-stimulated MEK and Akt phosphorylation were augmented byoverexpression of constitutively active FOXO1. These findings indicate bidirectional regulation of insulin/IGF-I receptor signaling and FOXO1 in cardiomyocytes. FOXO1 may provide feedback control through upregulation of insulin and IGF-I receptor signaling.

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Jinglin Zhang, Jie Gao, Di Zhang, Hui Liu, Kemian Gou, and Sheng Cui

Prolactin (PRL) is a pituitary hormone that regulates multiple physiological processes. However, the mechanisms of PLR synthesis have not been fully elucidated. The aims of the present study were to study the functions and the related mechanisms of miR-375 regulating PRL synthesis. We initially found that miR-375 mainly expressed in the lactotrophs of mouse pituitary gland. To identify the function of miR-375 in the pituitary gland, the miR-375 knockout mice were generated by using Crispr/Cas9 technique. The results showed that miR-375 knockout resulted in the decline of pituitary PRL mRNA and protein levels by 75.7% and 60.4% respectively, and the serum PRL level reduced about 46.1%, but had no significant effect on FSH, LH and TSH. Further, we identified that Estrogen receptor 1 (alpha) (Esr1) was a downstream molecule of miR-375. The real-time PCR and western blot results showed that ESR1 mRNA and protein levels markedly decreased by 40.9% and 42.9% in the miR-375 knockout mouse pituitary, and these were subsequently confirmed by the in vitro study using transfections of miR-375 mimics and inhibitors in pituitary lactotroph GH4 cells. Further, Rasd1 was predicted by bioinformatic tools and proved to be the direct target of miR-375 in lactotrophs using dual-luciferase reporter assay. Rasd1-siRNA transfection results revealed the negative effect of Rasd1 in regulating ESR1. Collectively, the results presented here demonstrate that miR-375 positively modulates PRL synthesis through Rasd1 and Esr1, which are crucial for understanding the regulating mechanisms of pituitary hormone synthesis.

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Baiyang You, Yaoshan Dun, Wenliang Zhang, Lingjun Jiang, Hui Li, Murong Xie, Yuan Liu, and Suixin Liu

Mitochondrial quality control (MQC) and function are determinants for cellular energy metabolism, and their disorders are reported to play an important role in the development of insulin resistance (IR). Salidroside was reported to have beneficial effects on MQC through AMPK pathway; however, it is unknown whether salidroside exerts anti-IR effect with this action. This study sought to investigate the effects of salidroside on IR with an exploration of the mechanisms of its action. Experimental IR models were adopted in high-fat-diet (HFD)-fed mice and palmitate-treated C2C12 myotubes, respectively. Blood levels of glucose and insulin as well as cellular glucose uptake were determined, and mitochondrial function and MQC-associated parameters and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production were analyzed based on treatments with the activator (AICAR), inhibitors (compound C and EX-527) or specific siRNA of Ampk/Sirt1 and mitochondrial ROS scavenger (mito-TEMPO). Protein expression level was determined by Western blot, cellular observation by transmission electron microscope and ROS production by functional analysis kits. Salidroside reduced IR and activated insulin signaling along with the stimulation of AMPK/SIRT1 signaling and downstream regulation of MQC and ROS production. These salidroside effects were comparable to those of AICAR and could be prevented by AMPK/SIRT1 inhibitors or siRNAs, respectively. Salidroside reduces IR and regulates MQC and ROS production by activating AMPK/SIRT1 signaling pathway. Since IR is a critical issue for public health, to explore a potent agent against IR is of high interest. The anti-IR effects of salidroside warrant further experimental and clinical studies.

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Lin-guo Pei, Qi Zhang, Chao Yuan, Min Liu, Yun-fei Zou, Feng Lv, Da-ji Luo, Shan Zhong, and Hui Wang

Prenatal caffeine exposure (PCE) can induce testicular developmental toxicity. Here, we aimed to explore the underlying mechanism of this process in reference to its intrauterine origin. Pregnant rats were intragastrically administrated caffeine (30 and 120 mg/kg/day) from gestational days 9 to 20. The results showed that the male fetuses exposed to high dose of caffeine (120 mg/kg/day) had a decreased bodyweight and inhibited testosterone synthetic function. Meanwhile, their serum corticosterone concentration was elevated and their testicular insulin-like growth factor 1 (Igf1) expression was decreased. Moreover, the histone 3 lysine 14 acetylation (H3K14ac) level in the Igf1 promoter region was reduced. Low-dose (30 mg/kg/day) caffeine exposure, however, increased steroidogenic enzymes expression in male fetuses. After birth, the serum corticosterone concentration gradually decreased in the PCE (120 mg/kg/day) offspring rats, whereas the expression and H3K14ac level of Igf1 gradually increased, with obvious catch-up growth and testicular development compensation. Intriguingly, when we subjected the offspring to 2 weeks of chronic stress to elevate the serum corticosterone concentration, the expression of Igf1 and testosterone synthesis were inhibited again in the PCE (120 mg/kg/day) group, accompanied by a decrease in the H3K14ac level in the Igf1 promoter region. In vitro, corticosterone (rather than caffeine) was proved to inhibit testosterone production in Leydig cells by altering the H3K14ac level and the expression of Igf1. These observations suggested that PCE-induced testicular developmental toxicity is related to the negative regulation of corticosterone on H3K14ac levels and the expression of Igf1.

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Yan-Hong Bu, Yu-Ling He, Hou-De Zhou, Wei Liu, Dan Peng, Ai-Guo Tang, Ling-Li Tang, Hui Xie, Qiu-Xia Huang, Xiang-Hang Luo, and Er-Yuan Liao

Insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) is an essential molecule for the intracellular signaling of IGF1 and insulin, which are potent anabolic regulators of bone metabolism. Osteoblastic IRS1 is essential for maintaining bone turnover; however, the mechanism underlying this regulation remains unclear. To clarify the role of IRS1 in bone metabolism, we employed RNA interference to inhibit IRS1 gene expression and observed the effects of silencing this gene on the proliferation and differentiation of and the expression of matrix metallopeptidase (MMP) and tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily, member 11b (TNFRSF11B) in MC3T3-E1 cells. Our results showed that IRS1 short hairpin RNAs can effectively suppress the expression of IRS1, and inhibit the phosphorylation of AKT in IRS1 pathway; reduce the expression of MMP2, MMP3, MMP13, and MMP14, decrease the expression of TNFRSF11B and RANKL (also known as tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily, member 11), however increase the RANKL/TNFRSF11B ratio; decrease cell survival, proliferation, and mineralization, and impair the differentiation of MC3T3-E1 cells. The downregulation of IRS1 had no effect on the expression of MMP1. Our findings suggest that IRS1 not only promotes bone formation and mineralization but also might play roles in bone resorption partly via the regulation of MMPs and RANKL/TNFRSF11B ratio, thus regulates the bone turnover.