Melanopsin is the photopigment that confers light sensitivity on intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. Mammalian intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells are involved in the photic synchronization of circadian rhythms to the day-night cycle. Here, we report molecular components of melanopsin signaling using the cultured Xenopus dermal melanophore system. Photoactivated melanopsin is shown to initiate a phosphoinositide signaling pathway similar to that found in invertebrate phototransduction. In melanophores, light increases the intracellular level of inositol trisphosphate and causes the dispersion of melanosomes. Inhibition of phospholipase C and protein kinase C and chelation of intracellular calcium block the effect of light on melanophores. At least four proteins, 43, 74, 90, and 134 kDa, are phosphorylated by protein kinase C upon light stimulation. This provides evidence of an invertebrate-like light-activated signaling cascade within vertebrate cells.melanophore ͉ phosphoinositide ͉ phospholipase C ͉ photoreception T he canonical visual photoreceptors (rods and cones) are not the only photosensitive cells in the mammalian retina. A subpopulation of retinal ganglion cells are intrinsically photosensitive, depolarizing in response to light (1). These cells project to the master circadian clock, the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus, and other brain sites known to participate in nonvisual responses to light (2-4). It has been demonstrated that these intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGC) are important for photic regulation of the circadian oscillator, acute suppression of pineal melatonin, and acute suppression of activity (masking) in rodents (5, 6). Melanopsin (gene symbol Opn4), a recently identified opsin-based photopigment (7,8), is expressed in ipRGC and is required for their photosensitivity (9). Melanopsin was initially cloned from cultured photosensitive dermal melanophores derived from Xenopus laevis embryos (7). Its peptide sequence is consistent with melanopsin being a member of the superfamily of heptahelical G protein-coupled receptors; specifically, the family of photopigment proteins known as opsins. Despite its vertebrate source, melanopsin's predicted peptide sequence bears greater homology to invertebrate than to vertebrate opsins (7). Although phototransduction is well understood in vertebrate visual photoreceptors and the photoreceptors of some invertebrates, virtually nothing is known currently about intracellular melanopsin-initiated signaling pathways (1).Photosensitive amphibian melanophores are an ideal model in which to investigate melanopsin signal transduction. These cells grow at room temperature by using atmospheric air and show a robust melanosome dispersion in response to illumination. Scoring of this photoresponse can be automated through absorbance monitoring in a microtiter plate reader (10-12). Although ipRGC and Xenopus melanophores naturally express melanopsin, the ultimate cellular responses to melanopsin activation ar...
Malignant Mesothelioma (MM) is a very aggressive cancer with low survival rates and often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Several players have been implicated in the development of this cancer, such as asbestos, erionite and the simian virus 40 (SV40). Here, we have reviewed the involvement of erionite, SV40, as well as, the role of several genes (p16(INK4a), p14(ARF), NF2, LATS2, SAV, CTNNB1 and among others), the pathways (RAS, PI3K, Wnt, BCL and Hippo), and their respective roles in the development of MM.
Melanopsin is the photopigment that confers photosensitivity upon intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). This subset of retinal ganglion cells comprises less than 2% of all RGCs in the mammalian retina. The paucity of melanopsin-positive cells has made studies on melanopsin signaling difficult to pursue in ipRGCs. To address this issue, we have established several cell lines consisting of a transformed human embryonic kidney cell line (HEK293) stably expressing human melanopsin. With these cell lines, we have investigated the intracellular rise in calcium triggered upon light activation of melanopsin. Our human melanopsin-expressing cells exhibit an irradiance-dependent increase in intracellular calcium. Control cells expressing human melanopsin, where the Schiff-base lysine has been mutated to alanine, show no responses to light. Chelating extracellular calcium has no effect on the light-induced increase in intracellular calcium suggesting that calcium is mobilized from intracellular stores. This involvement of intracellular stores has been confirmed through their depletion by thapsigargin, which inhibits a subsequent light-induced increase in intracellular calcium. Addition of the nonselective cation channel blocker lanthanum does not alter light-induced rises in intracellular calcium, further supporting that melanopsin triggers a release of internal calcium from internal stores. HEK293 cells stably expressing melanopsin have proven to be a useful tool to study melanopsin-initiated signaling.
Aldosterone is the most known mineralocorticoid hormone synthesized by the adrenal cortex. The genomic pathway displayed by aldosterone is attributed to the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) signaling. Even though the rapid effects displayed by aldosterone are long known, our knowledge regarding the receptor responsible for such event is still poor. It is intense that the debate whether the MR or another receptor-the "unknown receptor"-is the receptor responsible for the rapid effects of aldosterone. Recently, G protein-coupled estrogen receptor-1 (GPER-1) was elegantly shown to mediate some aldosterone-induced rapid effects in several tissues, a fact that strongly places GPER-1 as the unknown receptor. It has also been suggested that angiotensin receptor type 1 (AT1) also participates in the aldosterone-induced rapid effects. Despite this open question, the relevance of the beneficial effects of aldosterone is clear in the kidneys, colon, and CNS as aldosterone controls the important water reabsorption process; on the other hand, detrimental effects displayed by aldosterone have been reported in the cardiovascular system and in the kidneys. In this line, the MR antagonists are well-known drugs that display beneficial effects in patients with heart failure and hypertension; it has been proposed that MR antagonists could also play an important role in vascular disease, obesity, obesity-related hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. Taken altogether, our goal here was to (1) bring a historical perspective of both genomic and rapid effects of aldosterone in several tissues, and the receptors and signaling pathways involved in such processes; and (2) critically address the controversial points within the literature as regarding which receptor participates in the rapid pathway display by aldosterone.
It is well known that clocks are present in brain regions other than the suprachiasmatic nucleus and in many peripheral tissues. In the teleost, Danio rerio, peripheral oscillators can be directly synchronized by light. Danio rerio ZEM-2S embryonic cells respond to light with differential growth: cells kept in constant light exhibited a strong inhibition of proliferation, whereas in cells kept in light:dark (LD) cycles (14L:10D and 10L:14D) or in constant darkness (DD), the doubling times were not statistically different. We demonstrated by RT-PCR followed by PCR that ZEM-2S cells express two melanopsins, Opn4x and Opn4m, and the six Cry genes. The presence of the protein OPN4x was demonstrated by immunocytochemistry. The pattern of temporal expression of the genes Opn4x, Per1, Cry1b, and Clock was studied in ZEM-2S cells kept for five days in 12L:12D or DD. In 12L:12D, the clock genes Per 1 and Cry1b exhibited robust circadian expression, while Opn4x and Clock expression seemed to vary in an ultradian pattern. Both Per1 and Cry1b genes had higher expression during the L phase; Clock gene had an increase in expression coincident with the D phase, and during the subjective night. In DD, the temporal variation of Per1 and Cry1b genes was greatly attenuated but not extinguished, and the higher expressions were shifted to the transition times between subjective day and night, demonstrating that Per and Cry1b were synchronized by the LD cycle. Clock and Opn4x kept the ultradian oscillation, but the rhythm was not statistically significant. As endothelins (ET) have been reported to be a potent stimulator of Per genes in rodents, we investigated the effect of endothelin on ZEM-2S cells, which express ETA receptors. Cells were kept in 12D:12L for five days, and then treated with 10(-11) to 10(-8)M ET-1 for 24 h. ET-1 exhibited a biphasic effect on Opn4x expression. At 10(-11)M, the hormone exerted a highly significant stimulation of Opn4x expression during the L phase and introduced a circadian oscillatory pattern. At 10(-10)M, a significant increase was seen at ZT21 and ZT0 (i.e., at the end of the D phase and beginning of the L phase), whereas 10(-9) and 10(-8)M ET-1 inhibited the expression of Opn4x at most ZTs. Clock expression was unaffected by 10(-8)M ET-1; however, in the presence of lower concentrations, the expression was enhanced at some ZTs, strengthening the ultradian oscillation. ET-1 at 10(-11) and 10(-10)M had no effect on Per1 circadian expression; however, 10(-9) and 10(-8)M ET-1 reduced the amplitude of Per1 expression in the beginning of the L phase. ET-1 effects were less evident on Cry 1b. For both genes, the reduction in expression was not sufficient to abolish the circadian oscillatory pattern. Based on these results and data in the literature, a link between ET-1 stimulation of ETA receptors may be established by E4BP4 binding to the promoters and consequent inhibition of gene expression.
Six weeks of swim training attenuates the adverse remodeling of LV structural and mechanical properties in the early compensated phase of hypertension in male SHR.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia and alterations in the carbohydrate, lipid, and protein metabolism. DM is associated with increased oxidative stress and pancreatic beta cell damage, which impair the production of insulin and the maintenance of normoglycemia. Inhibiting oxidative damage and controlling hyperglycemia are two important strategies for the prevention of diabetes. The pulp and leaf extracts of mulberry (Morus nigra L.) have abundant total phenolics and flavonoids, and its antioxidant potential may be an important factor for modulating oxidative stress induced by diabetes. In this study, DM was induced by intraperitoneal injection of alloxan monohydrate (135 mg kg(-1)). Female Fischer rats were divided into four groups: control, diabetic, diabetic pulp, and diabetic leaf extract. Animals in the diabetic pulp and diabetic leaf extract groups were treated for 30 days with M. nigra L. pulp or leaf extracts, respectively. At the end of treatment, animals were euthanized and, liver and blood samples were collected for analysis of biochemical and metabolic parameters. Our study demonstrated that treatment of diabetic rats with leaf extracts decreased the superoxide dismutase (SOD)/catalase (CAT) ratio and carbonylated protein levels by reducing oxidative stress. Moreover, the leaf extract of M. nigra L. decreased the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 activity, increased insulinemia, and alleviated hyperglycemia-induced diabetes. In conclusion, our study found that the leaf extract of M. nigra L. improved oxidative stress and complications in diabetic rats, suggesting the utility of this herbal remedy in the prevention and treatment of DM.
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