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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.

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Liyuan Tian, Zhiqiang Wu, Yali Zhao, Yuanguang Meng, Yiling Si, Xiaobing Fu, Yiming Mu, and Weidong Han

Previously, we investigated the induction effect of LRP16 expression by estrogen (17β-estradiol, E2) and established a feed-forward mechanism that activated estrogen receptor α (ERα) transactivation in estrogen-dependent epithelial cancer cells. LRP16 is required for ERα signaling transduction by functioning as an ERα coactivator. In this study, we demonstrated that LRP16 expression was upregulated in E2-responsive BG-1 ovarian cancer cells, but was downregulated in estrogen-resistant SKOV3 ovarian cancer cells. Pure estrogen antagonist ICI 182 780 did not affect LRP16 expression in SKOV3 cell. The unliganded ERα upregulated LRP16 expression and enhanced LRP16 promoter activity in SKOV3 cells; however, this induction was blocked by estrogen stimulation. Results from chromatin immunoprecipitation experiment revealed a strong recruitment of the unliganded ERα at LRP16 promoter in the absence of estrogen; however, ERα was largely released from the DNA upon E2 stimulation. Modulation in LRP16 expression level did not significantly change the proliferation rate of SKOV3 cells and the growth responsiveness of cells to E2. Knockdown of LRP16 by RNA interference in SKOV3 cells markedly attenuated estrogen response element-dependent ERα reporter gene activity and E2-induced c-Myc expression. Our study suggests a novel mechanism of estrogen resistance of ovarian cancer by which estrogen-repressed signaling pathway antagonizes estrogen-activated signaling transduction.

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Qinkai Li, Weidong Yin, Manbo Cai, Yi Liu, Hongjie Hou, Qingyun Shen, Chi Zhang, Junxia Xiao, Xiaobo Hu, Qishisan Wu, Makoto Funaki, and Yutaka Nakaya

Insulin resistance and dyslipidemia are both considered to be risk factors for metabolic syndrome. Low levels of IGF1 are associated with insulin resistance. Elevation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concomitant with depression of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Liver secretes IGF1 and catabolizes cholesterol regulated by the rate-limiting enzyme of bile acid synthesis from cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1). NO-1886, a chemically synthesized lipoprotein lipase activator, suppresses diet-induced insulin resistance with the improvement of HDL-C. The goal of the present study is to evaluate whether NO-1886 upregulates IGF1 and CYP7A1 to benefit glucose and cholesterol metabolism. By using human hepatoma cell lines (HepG2 cells) as an in vitro model, we found that NO-1886 promoted IGF1 secretion and CYP7A1 expression through the activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5). Pretreatment of cells with AG 490, the inhibitor of STAT pathway, completely abolished NO-1886-induced IGF1 secretion and CYP7A1 expression. Studies performed in Chinese Bama minipigs pointed out an augmentation of plasma IGF1 elicited by a single dose administration of NO-1886. Long-term supplementation with NO-1886 recovered hyperinsulinemia and low plasma levels of IGF1 suppressed LDL-C and facilitated reverse cholesterol transport by decreasing hepatic cholesterol accumulation through increasing CYP7A1 expression in high-fat/high-sucrose/high-cholesterol diet minipigs. These findings indicate that NO-1886 upregulates IGF1 secretion and CYP7A1 expression to improve insulin resistance and hepatic cholesterol accumulation, which may represent an alternative therapeutic avenue of NO-1886 for T2DM and metabolic syndrome.