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Ziping Jiang, Junduo Wu, Fuzhe Ma, Jun Jiang, Linlin Xu, Lei Du, Wenlin Huang, Zhaohui Wang, Ye Jia, Laijin Lu, and Hao Wu

Over a half of the diabetic individuals develop macrovascular complications that cause high mortality. Oxidative stress (OS) promotes endothelial dysfunction (ED) which is a critical early step toward diabetic macrovascular complications. Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) is a master regulator of cellular antioxidant defense system and combats diabetes-induced OS. Previously, we found that impaired NRF2 antioxidant signaling contributed to diabetes-induced endothelial OS and dysfunction in mice. The present study has investigated the effect of microRNA-200a (miR-200a) on NRF2 signaling and diabetic ED. In aortic endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice, high glucose (HG) reduced miR-200a levels and increased the expression of kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap1) – a target of miR-200a and a negative regulator of NRF2. This led to the inactivation of NRF2 signaling and exacerbation of OS and inflammation. miR-200a mimic (miR-200a-M) or inhibitor modulated KEAP1/NRF2 antioxidant signaling and manipulated OS and inflammation under HG conditions. These effects were completely abolished by knockdown of Keap1, indicating that Keap1 mRNA is a major target of miR-200a. Moreover, the protective effect of miR-200a-M was completely abrogated in aortic ECs isolated from C57BL/6 Nrf2 knockout (KO) mice, demonstrating that NRF2 is required for miR-200a’s actions. In vivo, miR-200a-M inhibited aortic Keap1 expression, activated NRF2 signaling, and attenuated hyperglycemia-induced OS, inflammation and ED in the WT, but not Nrf2 KO, mice. Therefore, the present study has uncovered miR-200a/KEAP1/NRF2 signaling that controls aortic endothelial antioxidant capacity, which protects against diabetic ED.

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Lei Du, Yang Wang, Cong-Rong Li, Liang-Jian Chen, Jin-Yang Cai, Zheng-Rong Xia, Wen-Tao Zeng, Zi-Bin Wang, Xi-Chen Chen, Fan Hu, Dong Zhang, Xiao-Wei Xing, and Zhi-Xia Yang

Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a major severe ovary disorder affecting 5–10% of reproductive women around the world. PCOS can be considered a metabolic disease because it is often accompanied by obesity and diabetes. Brown adipose tissue (BAT) contains abundant mitochondria and adipokines and has been proven to be effective for treating various metabolic diseases. Recently, allotransplanted BAT successfully recovered the ovarian function of PCOS rat. However, BAT allotransplantation could not be applied to human PCOS; the most potent BAT is from infants, so voluntary donors are almost inaccessible. We recently reported that single BAT xenotransplantation significantly prolonged the fertility of aging mice and did not cause obvious immunorejection. However, PCOS individuals have distinct physiologies from aging mice; thus, it remains essential to study whether xenotransplanted rat BAT can be used for treating PCOS mice. In this study, rat-to-mouse BAT xenotransplantation fortunately did not cause severe rejection reaction, and significantly recovered ovarian functions, indicated by the recovery of fertility, oocyte quality, and the levels of multiple essential genes and kinases. Besides, the blood biochemical index, glucose resistance, and insulin resistance were improved. Moreover, transcriptome analysis showed that the recovered PCOS F0 mother following BAT xenotransplantation could also benefit the F1 generation. Finally, BAT xenotransplantation corrected characteristic gene expression abnormalities found in the ovaries of human PCOS patients. These findings suggest that BAT xenotransplantation could be a novel therapeutic strategy for treating PCOS patients.