bims-supasi Biomed News
on Sulfation pathways and signalling
Issue of 2022‒06‒26
twenty papers selected by
Jonathan Wolf Mueller
University of Birmingham

  1. Carbohydr Polym. 2022 Sep 15. pii: S0144-8617(22)00595-1. [Epub ahead of print]292 119690
      Animal origin chondroitin sulfate is employed as anti-inflammatory drug and food supplement against anti-osteoarthritis, but also as antioxidant, antitumor, anticoagulant, and immune-regulatory agent or as biomaterial in tissue engineering scaffolds and in drug-delivery systems. As its biological properties depend on the structural characteristics, multi-analytical approaches are necessary to correlate specific features of its heterogenic composition to the different bioactivities. This is of paramount importance to assess the efficacy of pharmaceuticals and food supplements, beyond safety quality control. This review would address the issue of chondroitin sulfate characterization according to the Pharmacopeia testing monograph point of view giving an update of the analytical novelties reported in the last ten years that might be employed for the product testing and releasing on the market. Not-instrumental (e.g. colorimetric assays) and instrumental techniques, most of them coupling diverse chromatographic separation methods with spectroscopic and spectrometry detection techniques, mono and bi-dimensional NMR approaches, are compared as tools to evaluate identity, titer, purity grade, monosaccharide and disaccharide composition, averaged molecular weight and viscosity, charge and sulfate content, impurities and related substances including the presence of other glycosaminoglycans.
    Keywords:  Chondroitin sulfate; Food supplement; Hyaluronic acid; Keratan sulfate; Molecular weight; Pharmaceutical
  2. J Nutr Biochem. 2022 Jun 17. pii: S0955-2863(22)00160-7. [Epub ahead of print] 109093
      Lignans are plant-derived compounds that act as partial estrogen agonists. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) represent one of the major components of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Here we aimed to understand the role of sesamin (SES), a major lignan compound, in the biosynthesis and degradation of CSPGs in the mouse hippocampus because CSPGs play a key role in the regulation of cognitive functions through the promotion of adult neurogenesis. The expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β was decreased by SES administration in the hippocampus of lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-treated mice, a model of neuroinflammation-induced cognitive deficits. The expression of genes related to biosynthesis and degradation of CSPGs in the hippocampus of LPS-treated mice was both increased and decreased by SES administration. Further, the diffuse ECM labeling of CSPGs by Wisteria floribunda agglutinin (WFA) in the hippocampus of LPS-treated mice was increased by SES administration. The densities of neural stem cells, late transit-amplifying cells, and newborn-granule cells in the hippocampus of LPS-treated mice were also increased by SES administration. Moreover, SES-induced alterations in gene expression, WFA labeling, and adult neurogenesis in LPS-treated mice were more evident in the dorsal hippocampus (center of cognition) than in the ventral hippocampus (center of emotion). Neither LPS nor SES administration affected locomotor activity, anxiety-like behavior, and depression-related behavior. However, impairments in contextual memory and sensorimotor gating in LPS-treated mice were recovered by SES administration. Our results show that SES can promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis through the upregulation of CSPGs, which may alleviate cognitive deficits induced by neuroinflammation.
    Keywords:  adult hippocampal neurogenesis; chondroitin sulfate; cognitive deficit; neuroinflammation; sesamin
  3. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 10. pii: 6519. [Epub ahead of print]23(12):
      Proinflammatory chemokine ligand 26 (CCL26, eotaxin-3) mediates transendothelial cell migration of eosinophils by binding and activating the G-protein-coupled (GPC) chemokine receptor 3 on the surface of eosinophilic cells. Here we have investigated the role of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) as potential co-receptors in the process of CCL26-induced eosinophil chemotaxis. For this purpose, we have first identified the GAG-binding site of CCL26 by a site-directed mutagenesis approach in the form of an alanine screening. A panel of GAG-binding-deficient mutants has been designed, generated, and analyzed with respect to their binding affinities to heparan sulphate (HS) by isothermal fluorescence titration studies. This showed that basic amino acids in the α-helical part of CCL26 are strongly involved in GAG-binding. In chemotaxis experiments, we found that decreased GAG-binding affinity correlated with decreased chemotactic activity, which indicates an involvement of GAGs in eosinophil migration. This was further proven by the negative impact of heparinase III treatment and, independently, by the incubation of eosinophils with an anti heparan sulfate antibody. We finally investigated eosinophils' proteoglycan (PG) expression patterns by real-time PCR, which revealed the highest expression level for serglycin. Including an anti-serglycin antibody in CCL26-induced eosinophil migration experiments reduced the chemotaxis of these immune cells, thereby proving the dependence of eosinophil mobilization on the proteoglycan serglycin.
    Keywords:  CCL26; GAG; GAG-binding site; alanine scan; eosinophils; eotaxin-3; glycosaminoglycans; heparan sulfate; heparinase C; site-directed mutagenesis; trans-theory; transendothelial cell migration; transmigration
  4. Mass Spectrom Rev. 2022 Jun 20. e21792
      The brain extracellular matrix (ECM) is a highly glycosylated environment and plays important roles in many processes including cell communication, growth factor binding, and scaffolding. The formation of structures such as perineuronal nets (PNNs) is critical in neuroprotection and neural plasticity, and the formation of molecular networks is dependent in part on glycans. The ECM is also implicated in the neuropathophysiology of disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Schizophrenia (SZ). As such, it is of interest to understand both the proteomic and glycomic makeup of healthy and diseased brain ECM. Further, there is a growing need for site-specific glycoproteomic information. Over the past decade, sample preparation, mass spectrometry, and bioinformatic methods have been developed and refined to provide comprehensive information about the glycoproteome. Core ECM molecules including versican, hyaluronan and proteoglycan link proteins, and tenascin are dysregulated in AD, PD, and SZ. Glycomic changes such as differential sialylation, sulfation, and branching are also associated with neurodegeneration. A more thorough understanding of the ECM and its proteomic, glycomic, and glycoproteomic changes in brain diseases may provide pathways to new therapeutic options.
    Keywords:  Alzheimer's disease; Parkinson's disease; Schizophrenia; chondroitin sulfate; extracellular matrix; glycomics; glycoproteomics; glycosaminoglycans; glycosylation; heparan sulfate; mass-spectrometry; proteoglycans; proteomics
  5. Mar Drugs. 2022 Jun 06. pii: 380. [Epub ahead of print]20(6):
      Fucosylated chondroitin sulfates (FCSs) FCS-BA and FCS-HS, as well as fucan sulfates (FSs) FS-BA-AT and FS-HS-AT were isolated from the sea cucumbers Bohadschia argus and Holothuria (Theelothuria) spinifera, respectively. Purification of the polysaccharides was carried out by anion-exchange chromatography on DEAE-Sephacel column. Structural characterization of polysaccharides was performed in terms of monosaccharide and sulfate content, as well as using a series of non-destructive NMR spectroscopic methods. Both FCSs were shown to contain a chondroitin core [→3)-β-d-GalNAc-(1→4)-β-d-GlcA-(1→]n bearing sulfated fucosyl branches at O-3 of every GlcA residue in the chain. These fucosyl residues were different in pattern of sulfation: FCS-BA contained Fuc2S4S, Fuc3S4S and Fuc4S at a ratio of 1:8:2, while FCS-HS contained these residues at a ratio of 2:2:1. Polysaccharides differed also in content of GalNAc4S6S and GalNAc4S units, the ratios being 14:1 for FCS-BA and 4:1 for FCS-HS. Both FCSs demonstrated significant anticoagulant activity in clotting time assay and potentiated inhibition of thrombin, but not of factor Xa. FS-BA-AT was shown to be a regular linear polymer of 4-linked α-L-fucopyranose 3-sulfate, the structure being confirmed by NMR spectra of desulfated polysaccharide. In spite of considerable sulfate content, FS-BA-AT was practically devoid of anticoagulant activity. FS-HS-AT cannot be purified completely from contamination of some FCS. Its structure was tentatively represented as a mixture of chains identical with FS-BA-AT and other chains built up of randomly sulfated alternating 4- and 3-linked α-L-fucopyranose residues.
    Keywords:  Bohadschia argus; Holothuria (Theelothuria) spinifera; anticoagulant activity; fucan sulfates; fucosylated chondroitin sulfates; sea cucumber
  6. Mar Drugs. 2022 Jun 07. pii: 382. [Epub ahead of print]20(6):
      Urolithiasis is a common urological disease characterized by the presence of a stone anywhere along the urinary tract. The major component of such stones is calcium oxalate, and reactive oxygen species act as an essential mediator of calcium oxalate crystallization. Previous studies have demonstrated the antioxidant and antiurolithiatic activities of sulfated polysaccharides. In this study, native sulfated galactans (N-SGs) with a molecular weight of 217.4 kDa from Gracilaria fisheri were modified to obtain lower molecular weight SG (L-SG) and also subjected to sulfation SG (S-SG). The in vitro antioxidant and antiurolithiatic activities of the modified substances and their ability to protect against sodium oxalate-induced renal tubular (HK-2) cell death were investigated. The results revealed that S-SG showed more pronounced antioxidant activities (DPPH and O2- scavenging activities) than those of other compounds. S-SG exhibited the highest antiurolithiatic activity in terms of nucleation and aggregation, as well as crystal morphology and size. Moreover, S-SG showed improved cell survival and increased anti-apoptotic BCL-2 protein in HK-2 cells treated with sodium oxalate. Our findings highlight the potential application of S-SG in the functional food and pharmaceutical industries.
    Keywords:  antioxidant; antiurolithiasis; sodium oxalate; sulfated galactans; sulfation
  7. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2022 ;13 892270
      Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is an androgen synthesized by the adrenal cortex, which is an intermediary in the biosynthesis of sex hormones, such as testosterone and estradiol. DHEA mostly circulates as a conjugated ester, in the form of sulfate (DHEA-S). There exist several endogenous factors able to influence its synthesis, the most common ones being the corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH), growth factors, and proinflammatory cytokines, among others. Like other steroid hormones, DHEA, can alter the functioning of immune cells and therefore the course of diseases exhibiting an immune-inflammatory component, mostly from autoimmune or infectious nature. We herein review the role played by DHEA during a major infectious disease like tuberculosis (TB). Data recorded from TB patients, mouse models, or in vitro studies show that DHEA is likely to be implied in better disease control. This provides a stimulating background for carrying out clinical studies aimed at assessing the usefulness of DHEA as an adjuvant in TB patients.
    Keywords:  Dehydroepiandrosterone (DH EA); Tuberculosis; adrenal hormones; immunoendocrinology; infection disease
  8. In Vivo. 2022 Jul-Aug;36(4):36(4): 1790-1794
      BACKGROUND/AIM: Indoxyl sulfate is a metabolite of tryptophan and its urinary level reflects the status of bacterial flora in the intestine. Indoxyl sulfate possesses prooxidant properties and is implicated in various diseases including chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular diseases. However, the relation of urinary indoxyl sulfate to oxidative stress is not known.PATIENTS AND METHODS: The association of urinary indoxyl sulfate levels with urinary levels of oxidative stress markers, 15-isoprostane F2t and pteridine derivatives, was investigated in 255 patients with type 2 diabetes. Indoxyl sulfate and pteridine derivatives were measured by using spectrofluorometry.
    RESULTS: Urinary levels of indoxyl sulfate, pteridines, and 15-isoprostane F2t showed a normal distribution after logarithmic transformation but not before it, and they were thus used for parametric analysis after logarithmic transformation. Urinary indoxyl sulfate levels were significantly correlated (p<0.01) with urinary 15-isoprostane F2t and pteridine levels [Pearson's correlation coefficients: 0.503 (15-isoprostane F2t) and 0.562 (pteridines)]. These associations were also found in multivariable analysis after adjusting for age, sex, insulin therapy for diabetes, body mass index, mean arterial pressure, hemoglobin A1c, estimated glomerular filtration rate, urinary albumin, and histories of smoking and alcohol drinking.
    CONCLUSION: Urinary indoxyl sulfate levels showed associations with urinary levels of oxidative stress markers, and the associations were independent of age, sex, insulin therapy for diabetes, body mass index, blood pressure, glycemic status, renal function, smoking, and alcohol drinking. Indoxyl sulfate appears to be an important determinant of redox balance in patients with diabetes.
    Keywords:  15-isoprostane F2t; Diabetes mellitus; indoxyl sulfate; oxidative stress; pteridines
  9. Mar Drugs. 2022 Jun 03. pii: 377. [Epub ahead of print]20(6):
      A fucan sulfate (HfFS) was isolated from the sea cucumber Holothuriafloridana after proteolysis-alkaline treatment and purified with anion-exchange chromatography. The molecular weight (Mw) of HfFS was determined to be 443.4 kDa, and the sulfate content of HfFS was 30.4%. The structural analysis of the peroxidative depolymerized product (dHfFS-1) showed that the primary structure of HfFS was mainly composed of a distinct pentasaccharide repeating unit -[l-Fuc2S4S-α(1,3)-l-Fuc-α(1,3)-Fuc-α(1,3)-l-Fuc2S-α(1,3)-l-Fuc2S-α(1,3)-]n-. Then, the "bottom-up" strategy was employed to confirm the structure of HfFS, and a series of fucooligosaccharides (disaccharides, trisaccharides, and tetrasaccharides) were purified from the mild acid-hydrolyzed HfFS. The structures identified through 1D/2D NMR spectra showed that these fucooligosaccharides could be derivates from the pentasaccharide units, while the irregular sulfate substituent also exists in the units. Anticoagulant activity assays of native HfFS and its depolymerized products (dHf-1~dHf-6) in vitro suggested that HfFS exhibits potent APTT-prolonging activity and the potencies decreased with the reduction in molecular weights, and HfFS fragments (dHf-4~dHf-6) with Mw less than 11.5 kDa showed no significant anticoagulant effect. Overall, our study enriched the knowledge about the structural diversity of FSs in different sea cucumber species and their biological activities.
    Keywords:  anticoagulant; chemical structure; fucan sulfate; oligosaccharide; pentasaccharide; sea cucumber
  10. Molecules. 2022 Jun 15. pii: 3848. [Epub ahead of print]27(12):
      The deteriorating function of the kidneys in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is associated, among other things, with the retention of many unnecessary metabolic products in the body. Indoxyl sulfate (IS) belongs to the group of uremic toxins with a high protein binding affinity. Moreover, this compound can generate oxidative stress. We hypothesized that a high concentration of IS might induce oxidative changes in erythrocytes and plasma components, and could therefore contribute to CKD progression. In this study, we evaluated the influence of IS on the oxidative stress parameters in plasma and hemolysate. Moreover, as a result of the action of IS, we observed a decrease in the total antioxidant capacity and a change in the activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase in hemolysate and plasma. The obtained results indicate that IS induces oxidative damage to hemolysate and plasma components. Greater changes in the parameters of oxidative stress were observed in hemolysate than in plasma treated with indoxyl sulfate. The obtained results suggest that the increased concentration of IS in patients with chronic kidney disease may lead to a decrease in the lifespan of erythrocytes in their bloodstream.
    Keywords:  hemolysate; indoxyl sulfate; oxidative stress; plasma
  11. Biomedicines. 2022 Jun 11. pii: 1388. [Epub ahead of print]10(6):
      Sulfated polysaccharides of red marine microalgae have recently gained much attention for biomedical applications due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, their low mechanical properties limit their use in tissue engineering. Herein, to enhance the mechanical properties of the sulfated polysaccharide produced by the red marine microalga, Porphyridium sp. (PS), it was integrated with the fluorenylmethoxycarbonyl diphenylalanine (FmocFF) peptide hydrogelator. Transparent, stable hydrogels were formed when mixing the two components at a 1:1 ratio in three different concentrations. Electron microscopy showed that all hydrogels exhibited a nanofibrous structure, mimicking the extracellular matrix. Furthermore, the hydrogels were injectable, and tunable mechanical properties were obtained by changing the hydrogel concentration. The composite hydrogels allowed the sustained release of curcumin which was controlled by the change in the hydrogel concentration. Finally, the hydrogels supported MC3T3-E1 preosteoblasts viability and calcium deposition. The synergy between the sulfated polysaccharide, with its unique bioactivities, and FmocFF peptide, with its structural and mechanical properties, bears a promising potential for developing novel tunable scaffolds for tissue engineering that may allow cell differentiation into various lineages.
    Keywords:  biomaterials; hydrogels; sulfated polysaccharides; tissue engineering
  12. Pan Afr Med J. 2022 ;41 227
      Introduction: androgens play an important role in the pathogenesis of acne vulgaris. They cause hyperkeratinization of the pilosebaceous follicles and seborrhea. Endocrine diseases characterized by increased levels of androgens often present with acne vulgaris. A correlation between serum androgen levels and acne severity exists, and the assessment of serum androgen levels is therefore essential in women with severe acne vulgaris and treatment resistant acne.Methods: the study was conducted in the Dermatology Clinic of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Ituku Ozalla. Seventy females with acne vulgaris and seventy females without acne vulgaris were recruited as subjects and controls respectively. Blood samples were taken from subjects and controls to measure levels of serum testosterone, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and androstenedione. Acne severity was measured using global acne grading system (GAGS).
    Results: the median levels of DHEAS and androstenedione (1.20µg/ml and 1.80ng/ml respectively) were higher in subjects than 1.00µg/ml and 1.70ng/ml in controls respectively, although these findings were not statistically significant. There was also no significant difference between the levels of serum testosterone in both the subjects and the controls. No correlation existed between levels of serum androgens and acne severity.
    Conclusion: there was no statistically significant difference in the serum androgen levels between the subjects and the control population, and no relationship between androgen levels and severity of acne vulgaris was demonstrated.
    Keywords:  Females; acne vulgaris; androgen levels; androstenedione; testosterone
  13. Mar Drugs. 2022 Jun 13. pii: 391. [Epub ahead of print]20(6):
      In this study, the anti-inflammatory activity of sulfated polysaccharides isolated from the green seaweed Codium fragile (CFCE-PS) was investigated in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages and zebrafish. The results demonstrated that CFCE-PS significantly increased the viability of LPS-induced RAW 264.7 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. CFCE-PS remarkably and concentration-dependently reduced the levels of inflammatory molecules including prostaglandin E2, nitric oxide (NO), interleukin-1 beta, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and interleukin-6 in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. In addition, in vivo test results indicated that CFCE-PS effectively reduced reactive oxygen species, cell death, and NO levels in LPS-stimulated zebrafish. Thus, these results indicate that CFCE-PS possesses in vitro and in vivo anti-inflammatory activities and suggest it is a potential ingredient in the functional food and pharmaceutical industries.
    Keywords:  Codium fragile; RAW 264.7 cells; anti-inflammatory activity; sulfated polysaccharides; zebrafish
  14. Theriogenology. 2022 Jun 11. pii: S0093-691X(22)00215-1. [Epub ahead of print]189 86-91
      This study describes 17-β-estradiol (E2), estrone (E1) and estrone-sulfate (E1S) concentrations between 4 and 11 months in healthy equine pregnancies of two different breeds using Liquid Chromatography coupled to Mass-Spectrometry (LC-MS). In 2 stud-farms including 15 Spanish PureBred (SPB) and 11 Showjumping (SJ) types mares, combined thickness of the uterus and the placenta (CTUP) was measured and blood was sampled monthly between 4 and 11 months of gestation. Concentrations of E2, E1 and E1S were assayed with LC-MS in mares with normal CTUP. Effects of breed, day of pregnancy and mare's parity and age on estrogens concentrations were investigated. Peak of E2 was observed at 5 months (median: 46.4 pg/mL; maximum: 201.5 pg/mL). A strong correlation was observed between E1 and E1S (p < 0.0001, r = 0.85). Peak of E1 (median: 571.0 pg/mL; maximum: 1641.9 pg/mL) and E1S (median: 573.6 ng/mL; maximum: 997.6 ng/mL) concentrations was observed at the 5th month and then E1S decreased quicker than E1 until the end of pregnancy. Higher E2 and E1 concentrations were observed in SJ than in SPB mares between the 6th and the 8th months. No difference between breeds was observed for E1S monthly evolution. Estrogen peak values were all observed at 5 months. Unlike recent LC-MS studies, E1S values observed here were in the same range than those previously established using immuno-assays. After the 6th month, E1S decreased quicker than E1. Effect of breed only observed on non-sulfonated estrogens should be further confirmed. These findings confirm that sulfonation activity of the allantochorion may be limited after the 6th month.
    Keywords:  Allantochorion; Estradiol; Estrone; Estrone-sulfate; Liquid-chromatography coupled to mass-spectrometry; Mare; Pregnancy
  15. Plants (Basel). 2022 Jun 07. pii: 1526. [Epub ahead of print]11(12):
      LSU proteins belong to a plant-specific gene family initially characterized by their strong induction in response to sulfate (S) deficiency. In the last few years, LSUs have arisen as relevant hubs in protein-protein interaction networks, in which they play relevant roles in the response to abiotic and biotic stresses. Most of our knowledge on LSU genomic organization, expression and function comes from studies in Arabidopsis and tobacco, while little is known about the LSU gene repertoire and evolution of this family in land plants. In this work, a total of 270 LSU family members were identified using 134 land plant species with whole-genome sequences available. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that LSU genes belong to a Spermatophyta-specific gene family, and their homologs are distributed in three major groups, two for dicotyledons and one group for monocotyledons. Protein sequence analyses showed four new motifs that further support the subgroup classification by phylogenetic analyses. Moreover, we analyzed the expression of LSU genes in one representative species of each phylogenetic group (wheat, tomato and Arabidopsis) and found a conserved response to S deficiency, suggesting that these genes might play a key role in S stress responses. In summary, our results indicate that LSU genes belong to the Spermatophyta-specific gene family and their response to S deficiency is conserved in angiosperms.
    Keywords:  Arabidopsis thaliana; LSU; Solanum lycopersicum; Triticum aestivum; abiotic stress; response to low sulfur; sulfate deficiency; sulfur nutrition
  16. Front Microbiol. 2022 ;13 901558
      Tyrosine sulfation plays a vital role in various biochemical reactions. Although sulfated tyrosine (sTyr) has a similar structure to phosphotyrosine (pTyr), the number of available sTyr sites is significantly less than that of pTyr sites, mainly because of the lack of effective sTyr probes. A few sTyr binders were identified on the basis of structural similarity by engineering the pTyr-binding pocket of an Src Homology 2 (SH2) domain through phage selections against sTyr peptides. Nevertheless, they still interact with pTyr peptides with comparable affinity. This study aims to identify sTyr superbinders using the SH2 domain as a template. We created a distinctive phage selection scheme that separately covered selections against sTyr and pTyr peptides, followed by next-generation sequencing (NGS). After selections, phage pools showed strong enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) signal intensities for both modified peptides, indicating that the variants evolved with a high affinity for these peptides, which causes difficulty in identifying sTyr-specific binders. In contrast, NGS data from selected pools showed significant differences, suggesting the enrichment of sTyr-specific variants during selections. Accordingly, we obtained the sTyr features based on NGS data analysis and prioritized a few potential sTyr binders. The variant SH2-4 showed a stronger affinity for sTyr than pTyr and was superior to previous sTyr binders as measured by the Biolayer Interferometry assay. In summary, we described the strategy of integrating NGS data mining with a novel selection scheme to identify sTyr superbinders.
    Keywords:  SH2 domain; directed evolution; next-generation sequencing; phage display; tyrosine sulfation
  17. Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Jun 10. pii: 6496. [Epub ahead of print]23(12):
      Abnormally elevated circulating bile acids (BA) during pregnancy endanger fetal survival and offspring health; however, the pathology and underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. A total of nineteen pregnant sows were randomly assigned to day 60 of gestation, day 90 of gestation (G60, G90), and the farrowing day (L0), to investigate the intercorrelation of reproductive hormone, including estradiol, progesterone and sulfated progesterone metabolites (PMSs), and BA in the peripheral blood of mother and fetuses during pregnancy. All data were analyzed by Student's t-test or one-way ANOVA of GraphPad Prism and further compared by using the Student-Newman-Keuls test. Correlation analysis was also carried out using the CORR procedure of SAS to study the relationship between PMSs and BA levels in both maternal and fetal serum at G60, G90, and L0. Allopregnanolone sulphate (PM4S) and epiallopregnanolone sulphate (PM5S) were firstly identified in the maternal and fetal peripheral blood of pregnant sows by using newly developed ultraperformance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) methods. Correlation analysis showed that pregnancy-associated maternal BA homeostasis was correlated with maternal serum PM4S levels, whereas fetal BA homeostasis was correlated with fetal serum PM5S levels. The antagonist activity role of PM5S on farnesoid X receptor (FXR)-mediated BA homeostasis and fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) were confirmed in the PM5S and FXR activator co-treated pig primary hepatocytes model, and the antagonist role of PM4S on FXR-mediated BA homeostasis and FGF19 were also identified in the PM4S-treated pig primary hepatocytes model. Together with the high relative expression of FGF19 in pig hepatocytes, the pregnant sow is a promising animal model to investigate the pathogenesis of cholestasis during pregnancy.
    Keywords:  FXR; bile acid homeostasis; pregnancy; sows; sulfated progesterone metabolites
  18. Semin Thromb Hemost. 2022 Jun 22.
      Although the worldwide usage of direct oral anticoagulants has continuously increased over the past decade, heparin remains an important weapon in the current arsenal of anticoagulant drugs. Parenteral heparin administration (i.e., either intravenously or subcutaneously) has represented for decades the only possible route for generating a significant anticoagulant effect, although being notoriously associated with some important drawbacks such as discomfort and risk of low compliance, thus paving the way to searching for more amenable means of administration. We provide here an updated analysis of animal and human studies that have explored the feasibility, suitability, and efficiency of heparin administration through the unconventional nasal route, as a possible alternative to the more traditional parenteral injection. The major hurdles that contribute to impair intranasal absorption and systemic delivery of heparin are represented by its relatively high molecular weight and negative charge. Therefore, although pure drug administration would not be associated with efficient nasal adsorption, or by systemic biological activity (i.e., anticoagulant effect), the combination of low molecular weight heparins and absorption enhancers such as surfactants, mucoadhesive, cyclodextrins, polyethylenimines and encapsulation into (nano)carriers seems effective to at least partially improve drug transport through the nasal route and allow systemic delivery in animals. Besides generating anticoagulant effects, intranasal heparin administration can also produce local pleiotropic effects, mostly related to anti-inflammatory properties, such as attenuating airway allergic inflammation or inhibiting the binding of the spike protein of some coronaviruses (including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2) to their host cell receptors. This preliminary evidence represents a valuable premise for planning future studies in humans aimed at establishing the pharmacokinetics and biological activity of locally and systemically delivered intranasal heparin formulations.
  19. Hum Reprod. 2022 Jun 21. pii: deac139. [Epub ahead of print]
      STUDY QUESTION: Do circadian genes exhibit an altered profile in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients and do they have a potential role in androgen excess?SUMMARY ANSWER: Our findings revealed that an impaired circadian clock could hamper the regulation of peripheral steroid metabolism in PCOS women.
    WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: PCOS patients exhibit features of metabolic syndrome. Circadian rhythm disruption is involved in the development of metabolic diseases and subfertility. An association between shift work and the incidence of PCOS in females was recently reported.
    STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: This is a retrospective case-referent study in which peripheral blood samples were obtained from 101 control and 101 PCOS subjects. PCOS diagnoses were based on Rotterdam Consensus criteria.
    PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: This study comprised 101 women with PCOS and 101 control volunteers, as well as Swiss albino mice treated with dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to induce PCOS development. Gene expression analyses of circadian and steroidogenesis genes in human PBMC and mice ovaries and blood were executed by quantitative real-time PCR.
    MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: We observed aberrant expression of peripheral circadian clock genes in PCOS, with a significant reduction in the core clock genes, circadian locomotor output cycles kaput (CLOCK) (P ≤ 0.00001), brain and muscle ARNT-like 1 (BMAL1) (P ≤ 0.00001) and NPAS2 (P ≤ 0.001), and upregulation of their negative feedback loop genes, CRY1 (P ≤ 0.00003), CRY2 (P ≤ 0.00006), PER1 (P ≤ 0.003), PER2 (P ≤ 0.002), DEC1 (P ≤ 0.0001) and DEC2 (P ≤ 0.00005). Transcript levels of an additional feedback loop regulating BMAL1 showed varied expression, with reduced RORA (P ≤ 0.008) and increased NR1D1 (P ≤ 0.02) in PCOS patients in comparison with the control group. We also demonstrated the expression pattern of clock genes in PBMCs of PCOS women at three different time points. PCOS patients also exhibited increased mRNA levels of steroidogenic enzymes like StAR (P ≤ 0.0005), CYP17A1 (P ≤ 0.005), SRD5A1 (P ≤ 0.00006) and SRD5A2 (P ≤ 0.009). Knockdown of CLOCK/BMAL1 in PBMCs resulted in a significant reduction in estradiol production, by reducing CYP19A1 and a significant increase in dihydrotestosterone production, by upregulating SRD5A1 and SRD5A2 in PBMCs. Our data also showed that CYP17A1 as a direct CLOCK-BMAL1 target in PBMCs. Phenotypic classification of PCOS subgroups showed a higher variation in expression of clock genes and steroidogenesis genes with phenotype A of PCOS. In alignment with the above results, altered expression of ovarian core clock genes (Clock, Bmal1 and Per2) was found in DHEA-treated PCOS mice. The expression of peripheral blood core clock genes in DHEA-induced PCOS mice was less robust and showed a loss of periodicity in comparison with that of control mice.
    LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: We could not evaluate the circadian oscillation of clock genes and clock-controlled genes over a 24-h period in the peripheral blood of control versus PCOS subjects. Additionally, circadian genes in the ovaries of PCOS women could not be evaluated due to limitations in sample availability, hence we employed the androgen excess mouse model of PCOS for ovarian circadian assessment. Clock genes were assessed in the whole ovary of the androgen excess mouse model of PCOS rather than in granulosa cells, which is another limitation of the present work.
    WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Our observations suggest that the biological clock is one of the contributing factors in androgen excess in PCOS, owing to its potential role in modulating peripheral androgen metabolism. Considering the increasing prevalence of PCOS and the rising frequency of delayed circadian rhythms and insufficient sleep among women, our study emphasizes the potential in modulating circadian rhythm as an important strategy in PCOS management, and further research on this aspect is highly warranted.
    STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): This work was supported by the RGCB-DBT Core Funds and a grant (#BT/PR29996/MED/97/472/2020) from the Department of Biotechnology (DBT), India, to M.L. B.S.J. was supported by a DST/INSPIRE Fellowship/2015/IF150361 and M.B.K. was supported by the Research Fellowship from Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) (10.2(5)/2007(ii).E.U.II). The authors declare no competing interests.
    Keywords:  CLOCK-BMAL1; androgens; circadian rhythm; peripheral clock genes; polycystic ovarian syndrome; steroid 5α-reductase; steroidogenesis; testosterone; transcriptional regulation
  20. Ann Transl Med. 2022 May;10(10): 614
      Background: Polymyxins antibiotics have become the first-line clinical drugs in the treatment of refractory gram-negative bacterial infections. Currently, there is a lack of clinical studies on the effect of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) combined with continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) on polymyxin concentrations. The purpose of this report was to investigate the changes in the plasma concentrations of Colistin sulfate during ECMO and CRRT and to provide drug administration programs for critically ill patients receiving ECMO and CRRT.Case Description: In this case report, a patient with septic shock caused by severe acute pancreatitis, with abdominal pain and dyspnea as the main manifestations, was treated with ECMO combined with CRRT for life support and multiple anti-infective drugs. However, the symptoms of infection had not got improved, the inflammatory indicators remain high and the body temperature fluctuates repeatedly 36.7-38.5 ℃, was considered as carbapenem-resistant organisms (CROs) infection, and was empirically given Colistin sulfate for anti-infection treatment. Finally, the patient's condition improved and ECMO and CRRT were gradually withdrawn. At the same time, the plasma concentrations of Colistin sulfate before and after ECMO combined with CRRT, was monitored to determine the changes in the plasma concentrations of Colistin sulfate during ECMO and CRRT. Trough and peak concentrations on the 4th day of venovenous ECMO (VV-ECMO) combined with CRRT were 0.36 and 0.98 mg/L, respectively. After withdrawal of ECMO and CRRT, the concentrations were, respectively, 0.27 and 0.34 mg/L for trough concentrations, and 0.82 and 0.98 mg/L for peak concentrations. The data showed that there were no significant differences in the trough and peak concentrations of Colistin sulfate before and after ECMO and CRRT. No adverse effects occurred during follow-up.
    Conclusions: There were no significant differences in the trough and peak concentrations of Colistin sulfate before and after ECMO and CRRT. Therefore, no dose modification is required for Colistin sulfate in patients receiving ECMO with CRRT.
    Keywords:  Colistin sulfate; case report; continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT); extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO); plasma concentration monitoring