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Hong-Zhi Sun, Tong-Wei Yang, Wei-Jin Zang and Shu-Fang Wu

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an endogenous steroid that is metabolized to androgens and/or estrogens in the human prostate. DHEA levels decline with age, and use of DHEA supplements to retard the aging process is of unproved effectiveness and safety. In this study, rat ventral prostatic epithelial cells were used to determine whether DHEA-modulated proliferation and prostate-specific antigen (PSA listed as KLKB1 in the MGI Database) production were mediated via the androgen receptor (AR) and its potential mechanism. We demonstrated that proliferation of prostatic epithelial cells and increase of PSA expression induced by DHEA were neutralized by Casodex or Ar siRNA, two specific AR blockers. DHEA stimulated Nfkb DNA binding activity, with this effect being blunted by Casodex or Ar siRNA. Moreover, the inhibition of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT nullified the effects of DHEA on NFKB activation. These findings suggested that DHEA stimulated normal prostatic epithelial cell proliferation, and AR is involved in DHEA-induced PSA expression in normal prostatic epithelial cells. This stimulation effect induced by DHEA is mediated by the activation of NFKB via PI3K/AKT pathway.

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Da-Long Ren, Ai-Ai Sun, Ya-Juan Li, Min Chen, Shu-Chao Ge and Bing Hu

Neutrophil migration to inflammatory sites is the fundamental process of innate immunity among organisms against pathogen invasion. As a major sleep adjusting hormone, melatonin has also been proved to be involved in various inflammatory events. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of exogenous melatonin on neutrophil migration to the injury site in live zebrafish and further investigate whether ERK signaling is involved in this process. Using the tail fin transection model, the fluorescently labeled neutrophil was in vivo visualized in transgenic Tg(lyz:EGFP), Tg(lyz:DsRed) zebrafish. We found that exogenous melatonin administration dramatically inhibited the injury-induced neutrophil migration in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner. The inhibited effect of melatonin on neutrophil migration could be attenuated by melatonin receptor 1, 2, and 3 antagonists. The ERK phosphorylation level was significantly decreased post injury when treated with melatonin. The blocking of ERK activation with inhibitor PD0325901 suppressed the number of migrated neutrophils in response to injury. However, the activation of ERK with the epidermal growth factor could impair the inhibited effect of melatonin on neutrophil migration. We also detected that PD0325901 significantly suppressed the in vivo neutrophils transmigrating over the vessel endothelial cell using the transgenic Tg(flk:EGFP);(lyz:DsRed) line labeled as both vessel and neutrophil. Taking all of these data together, the results indicated that exogenous melatonin had an anti-migratory effect on neutrophils by blocking the ERK phosphorylation signal, and it led to the subsequent adhesion molecule expression. Thus, the crossing of the vessel endothelial cells of neutrophils became difficult.

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Anneleen Segers, Louis Desmet, Shu Sun, Kristin Verbeke, Jan Tack and Inge Depoortere

The known crosstalk between short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) and the circadian clock is tightly intertwined with feeding time. We aimed to investigate the role of the core clock gene Bmal1 and feeding time in the diurnal rhythms in plasma and caecal SCFAs levels and in their effect on the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin in the stomach and colon. WT, Bmal1 -/- (ad libitum fed) and night-time-restricted-fed (RF)-Bmal1 -/-- littermates were sacrificed at Zeitgeber time (ZT) 4 and 16. SCFA concentrations were measured by gas chromatography. To investigate the effect of SCFAs on ghrelin release, stomach and colonic full-thickness strips were incubated with Krebs or a SCFA mix mimicking plasma or caecal concentrations, after which octanoyl ghrelin release was measured by radioimmunoassay. Diurnal rhythms in caecal and plasma SCFAs oscillated in phase but rhythmic changes were abolished in Bmal1 -/- mice. RF of Bmal1 -/- mice restored fluctuations in caecal SCFAs. Plasma SCFA concentrations failed to affect gastric ghrelin release. The effect of caecal SCFA concentrations on colonic ghrelin release was rhythmic (inhibition at ZT 4, no effect at ZT 16). In Bmal1 -/- mice, the inhibitory effect of SCFAs at ZT 4 was abolished. RF Bmal1 -/- mice restored the inhibitory effect and increased colonic Clock expression. To conclude, diurnal fluctuations in caecal SCFAs and the effect of SCFAs on colonic ghrelin release are regulated by feeding time, independent of the core clock gene BMAL1. However, local entrainment of other clock genes might contribute to the observed effects.