Reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton is responsible for dynamic regulation of endothelial cell (EC) barrier function. Circumferential actin bundles (CAB) promote formation of linear adherens junctions (AJs) and tightening of EC junctions, whereas formation of radial stress fibers (RSF) connected to punctate AJs occurs during junction remodeling. The small GTPase Rap1 induces CAB formation to potentiate EC junctions; however, the mechanism underlying Rap1-induced CAB formation remains unknown. Here, we show that myotonic dystrophy kinase-related CDC42-binding kinase (MRCK)-mediated activation of non-muscle myosin II (NM-II) at cell-cell contacts is essential for Rap1-induced CAB formation. Our data suggest that Rap1 induces FGD5-dependent Cdc42 activation at cell-cell junctions to locally activate the NM-II through MRCK, thereby inducing CAB formation. We further reveal that Rap1 suppresses the NM-II activity stimulated by the Rho-ROCK pathway, leading to dissolution of RSF. These findings imply that Rap1 potentiates EC junctions by spatially controlling NM-II activity through activation of the Cdc42-MRCK pathway and suppression of the Rho-ROCK pathway.
Effect of the basic property of reactants (tertiary amine catalysts, a substrate amine, and acid neutralizers) on catalytic dehydrocondensation between a carboxylic acid and an amine by using 2-chloro-4,6-dimethoxy-1,3,5-triazine (CDMT) was studied. The reaction yield was affected by the acid-base equilibrium among reactants. In dichloromethane, a representative aprotic solvent, a strongly basic catalyst gave amides in higher yields than weakly basic catalysts, regardless of the basicity of the acid neutralizer, which is called the proton capture agent (PCA). In contrast, in protic solvents, such as methanol or aqueous methanol, weakly basic catalysts gave amides in somewhat better yields than the strongly basic catalysts. In general, PCAs with weakly basic properties are favorable, because those with strongly basic properties tend to give byproducts arising from the reaction between CDMT and the substrate amine.
The Xtal cube is a next-generation DOI detector for PET that we are developing to offer higher resolution and higher sensitivity than is available with present detectors. It is constructed from a cubic monolithic scintillation crystal and silicon photomultipliers which are coupled on various positions of the six surfaces of the cube. A laser-processing technique is applied to produce 3D optical boundaries composed of micro-cracks inside the monolithic scintillator crystal. The current configuration is based on an empirical trial of a laser-processed boundary. There is room to improve the spatial resolution by optimizing the setting of the laser-processed boundary. In fact, the laser-processing technique has high freedom in setting the parameters of the boundary such as size, pitch, and angle. Computer simulation can effectively optimize such parameters. In this study, to design optical characteristics properly for the laser-processed crystal, we developed a Monte Carlo simulator which can model arbitrary arrangements of laser-processed optical boundaries (LPBs). The optical characteristics of the LPBs were measured by use of a setup with a laser and a photo-diode, and then modeled in the simulator. The accuracy of the simulator was confirmed by comparison of position histograms obtained from the simulation and from experiments with a prototype detector composed of a cubic LYSO monolithic crystal with 6 × 6 × 6 segments and multi-pixel photon counters. Furthermore, the simulator was accelerated by parallel computing with general-purpose computing on a graphics processing unit. The calculation speed was about 400 times faster than that with a CPU.
A(2A) adenosine receptor (A(2A)R), P2Y(1) receptor (P2Y(1)R) and P2Y(12) receptor (P2Y(12)R) are predominantly expressed on human platelets. The individual role of each of these receptors in platelet aggregation has been actively reported. Previously, hetero-oligomerization between these three receptors has been shown to occur. Here, we show that Ca(2+) signaling evoked by the P2Y(1)R agonist, 2-methylthioladenosine 5 diphosphate (2MeSADP) was significantly inhibited by the A(2A)R antagonist (ZM241385 (4-(2-[7-amino-2-(2-furyl)[1,2,4]-triazolo[2,3-?][1,3,5]triazin-5-yl amino]ethyl) phenol) and SCH442416) and the P2Y(12)R antagonist (ARC69931MX) (N6-(2-methyl-thioethyl)-2-(3,3,3-trifluoropropylthio)-?,?-dichloromethylene-ATP)) using HEK293T cells expressing the three receptors. It was confirmed that inhibition of P2Y(1)R signaling by A(2A)R and P2Y(12)R antagonists was indeed mediated through A(2A)R and P2Y(12)R using 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells which do not express P2Y receptors. We expect that intermolecular signal transduction and specific conformational changes occur among components of hetero-oligomers formed by these three receptors.
Arachidonic acid (ARA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are the dominant polyunsaturated fatty acids in the brain, have crucial roles in brain development and function. Recent studies have shown that ARA and DHA promote postnatal neurogenesis. However, the direct effects of ARA on neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) and the effects of ARA and DHA on NSPCs at the neurogenic and subsequent gliogenic stages are still unknown. Here, we analyzed the effects of ARA and DHA on neurogenesis, specifically maintenance and differentiation, using neurosphere assays. We confirmed that primary neurospheres are neurogenic NSPCs and that tertiary neurospheres are gliogenic NSPCs. Regarding the effects of ARA and DHA on neurogenic NSPCs, ARA and DHA increased the number of neurospheres, whereas neither ARA nor DHA had a detectable effect on NSPCs in the differentiation condition. In gliogenic NSPCs, DHA increased the number of neurospheres, whereas ARA had no such effect. In contrast, ARA increased the number of astrocytes, whereas DHA increased the number of neurons in the differentiation condition. These results suggest that ARA promotes the maintenance of neurogenic NSPCs and might induce the glial differentiation of gliogenic NSPCs and that DHA promotes the maintenance of both neurogenic and gliogenic NSPCs and might lead to the neuronal differentiation of gliogenic NSPCs.
The mushroom Hericium erinaceus has been used as a food and herbal medicine since ancient times in East Asia. It has been reported that H. erinaceus promotes nerve growth factor secretion in vitro and in vivo. Nerve growth factor is involved in maintaining and organizing cholinergic neurons in the central nervous system. These findings suggest that H. erinaceus may be appropriate for the prevention or treatment of dementia. In the present study, we examined the effects of H. erinaceus on amyloid ?(25-35) peptide-induced learning and memory deficits in mice. Mice were administered 10 µg of amyloid ?(25-35) peptide intracerebroventricularly on days 7 and 14, and fed a diet containing H. erinaceus over a 23-d experimental period. Memory and learning function was examined using behavioral pharmacological methods including the Y-maze test and the novel-object recognition test. The results revealed that H. erinaceus prevented impairments of spatial short-term and visual recognition memory induced by amyloid ?(25-35) peptide. This finding indicates that H. erinaceus may be useful in the prevention of cognitive dysfunction.
Maternal circadian information has been reported to play an important role in fetal physiology and development. Hormones and nutrition have been mainly investigated as circadian cues from mother to fetus. However, the influences of circadian properties of the pregnant reproductive organs on fetuses have not been fully investigated. To gain an insight on the circadian functions of the reproductive organs, we examined molecular clocks in the pregnant rat uterus and placenta. By using a Period1-luciferase (Per1-luc) rat, whose tissues express luciferase corresponding to activation of Period1, a "key clock gene", we examined the uterus clock during non-pregnancy, on embryonic day 12 (E12), and on E22 (the end of pregnancy) in a light-dark (LD) cycle and constant darkness (DD). By in situ hybridization we further explored Per1 mRNA rhythms in the placenta on E12 and E22. The uterus in vitro showed clear circadian Per1-luc rhythms both in and out of pregnancy, having peaks at around the time corresponding to dusk in LD. Likewise, in DD, the uterus in vitro had the same Per1-luc rhythms. The decidua in LD showed circadian Per1 mRNA rhythms, peaking during night 6 h after dusk, while the decidua in DD showed the same Per1 mRNA rhythms only on E22. In contrast, the labyrinth showed no circadian Per1 mRNA rhythms in LD or DD during pregnancy. These results suggest that the uterus and decidua, a maternally-originated tissue of the placenta, but not the labyrinth, a fetus-originated tissue of the placenta, can provide the fetus with circadian information.
The activity of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) is regulated by various humoral factors. Although prostaglandin (PG) D(2) is known to mediate various physiological brain functions such as sleep, its actions on NPCs have not been fully understood. In the process of investigating the effects of PGD(2) on NPCs, we found that 15-deoxy-Delta(12,14)-prostaglandin J(2) (15d-PGJ(2)), an endogenous metabolite of PGD(2), exhibits a novel regulation of the proliferation of NPCs derived from mouse hippocampus. 15d-PGJ(2) showed biphasic effects on epidermal growth factor-induced proliferation of NPCs; facilitation at low concentrations ( approximately 0.3 muM) and suppression at higher concentrations (0.5-10 microM) in vitro. 2-Chloro-5-nitrobenzanilide (GW9662), an inhibitor of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, known to be a molecular target for 15d-PGJ(2), failed to abolish the effects of 15d-PGJ(2). 9,10-dihydro-15d-PGJ(2) (CAY10410), a structural analog of 15d-PGJ(2) lacking the electrophilic carbon in the cyclopentenone ring, did not show 15d-PGJ(2)-like actions. Treatment with 15d-PGJ(2) increased the levels of reactive oxygen species and decreased endogenous GSH levels. Furthermore, supplementation with a membrane-permeable analog of glutathione, GSH ethyl ester (2 mM), diminished the biphasic effects of 15d-PGJ(2). Finally, cell division in the dentate gyrus of postnatal mice was increased by injection of low-dose (1 ng i.c.v.) 15d-PGJ(2) and suppressed by high-dose (30 ng) 15d-PGJ(2). These results suggest that 15d-PGJ(2) regulates the proliferation of NPCs via its electrophilic nature, which enables covalent binding to molecules such as GSH.
Restricted feeding induces anticipatory activity rhythm and also entrains the peripheral circadian clocks, although the underlying brain mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. The dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) has been implicated in the regulation of restricted feeding-induced anticipatory activity rhythms (FAA), but the role of the DMH in restricted feeding- induced entrainment of peripheral circadian clocks is still unknown. In the present study, the role of the DMH in entrainment of the peripheral circadian clock was examined using Per2::luciferase knock-in mice. The results indicate that lesions that destroy the large mediobasal hypothalamic (MBH) lesions destroying the DMH, ventrolateral hypothalamus (VMH), and arcuate nucleus (ARC) significantly reduce daily locomotor activity rhythms and FAA formation. In addition, these lesions phase advanced the peak of liver Per2 expression by 2 h when compared to sham-operated mice. Following the administration of MBH lesions, the animals run less and start later in the restricted feeding- induced FAA rhythm but do not have any alterations in the restricted feeding- induced phase shift of the liver Per2 rhythm. These results demonstrate that the hypothalamus, including the MBH, is an important brain area for maintaining the locomotor rhythm and FAA formation. However, it is not necessary for restricted feeding-induced entrainment of the liver clock.
THE SLEEP SEQUENCE: i) non-REM sleep, ii) REM sleep, and iii) wakefulness, is stable and widely preserved in mammals, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. It has been shown that this sequence is disrupted by sudden REM sleep onset during active wakefulness (i.e., narcolepsy) in orexin-deficient mutant animals. Phospholipase C (PLC) mediates the signaling of numerous metabotropic receptors, including orexin receptors. Among the several PLC subtypes, the beta4 subtype is uniquely localized in the geniculate nucleus of thalamus which is hypothesized to have a critical role in the transition and maintenance of sleep stages. In fact, we have reported irregular theta wave frequency during REM sleep in PLC-beta4-deficient mutant (PLC-beta4-/-) mice. Daily behavioral phenotypes and metabotropic receptors involved have not been analyzed in detail in PLC-beta4-/- mice, however.
Circadian rhythms in mammals are regulated by a light-entrainable circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nucleus and food-entrainable oscillators located elsewhere in the brain and body. The dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus (DMH) has been proposed to be the site of oscillators driving food-anticipatory circadian rhythms, but this is controversial. To further evaluate this hypothesis, we measured clock gene, temperature and activity rhythms in intact and DMH-ablated mice. A single 4-h midday feeding after an overnight fast induced mPer1 and mPer2 mRNA expression in the DMH, arcuate nucleus, nucleus of the solitary tract and area postrema, and reset daily rhythms of mPer1, mPer2 and mBMAL1 in the DMH, arcuate and neocortex. These rhythms persisted during 2 days of food deprivation after 12 days of scheduled daytime feeding. Acute induction of DMH mPer1 and mPer2 was N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor-dependent, whereas rhythmic expression after 6 days of restricted feeding was not. Thermal DMH lesions did not affect acute induction or rhythmic expression of clock genes in other brain regions in response to scheduled daytime feeding. DMH lesions attenuated mean daily activity levels and nocturnality but did not affect food-anticipatory rhythms of activity and body temperature in either light-dark or constant darkness. These results confirm that the DMH and other brain regions express circadian clock gene rhythms sensitive to daytime feeding schedules, but do not support the hypothesis that DMH oscillations drive food-anticipatory behavioral or temperature rhythms.
Lipid rafts, microdomains in the plasma membrane, are known to be involved in G protein-coupled receptor signal transduction; however, their involvement in thromboxane A(2) receptor (TP) signaling remains to be clarified. We examined whether two isoforms of TP, TP? and TP?, utilize lipid rafts for multiple G protein signal transduction. Sucrose density gradient centrifugation followed by western blotting of HEK cells expressing TP? or TP? revealed the localization of both TP? and TP? in lipid rafts. Furthermore, methyl-?-cyclodextrin, which destroys lipid raft structure by depleting cholesterol, influenced G protein signaling elicited by TP? and TP? to varying degrees. Phosphatidylinositol hydrolysis and cAMP accumulation induced by TP? or TP? stimulation was markedly inhibited by methyl-?-cyclodextrin. In contrast, treatment with methyl-?-cyclodextrin partially inhibited RhoA activation induced by TP? stimulation, but failed to affect TP? stimulation. Furthermore, the inhibitory action of methyl-?-cyclodextrin on cAMP accumulation was specific to TP? and TP?, because methyl-?-cyclodextrin enhanced forskolin and ?-adrenergic stimulation-induced cAMP accumulation. These results indicate that TP isoforms depend on lipid rafts during G(q) and G(s) signaling, while G(13) signaling mediated by TP isoforms does not. Moreover, TP? seems to be more lipid raft-dependent with respect to RhoA activation than TP?. These results indicate that the two isoforms of the TP mediate multiple signal transductions with varying degrees of lipid raft dependency. Moreover, our results provide a deeper understanding of the function of lipid rafts in G protein signaling and the physiological meaning of TP isoforms.
Satratoxin H is an important air- and food-borne mycotoxin, which has been implicated in human health damage. Satratoxin H is known to induce apoptosis as well as genotoxicity in PC12 cells. In the present study, we further investigated the mechanism of apoptotic effects of satratoxin H with focus on caspase-3 and poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) pathway. We also examined whether it induces DNA damage in PC12 cells. In the cells treated with satratoxin H, caspase-3 was cleaved in a time-dependent manner. Furthermore, satratoxin H induced cleavage of PARP, one of the downstream molecules of caspase-3. The cleavage was inhibited by SB203580, a p38 MAPK inhibitor, or SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. Satratoxin H, however, had no effect on expression levels of Bax and Bcl-2. Furthermore, the micronucleus assay revealed that satratoxin H induced chromosome break. Also, satratoxin H increased the level of phosphorylation of histone H2A, indicating that it caused DNA double-stranded breaks in PC12 cells. Meanwhile, no genotoxicity was detected with any of treatments carried out in the alkaline comet assay. These results imply that satratoxin H induces genotoxicity by DNA double-stranded break. Our results suggest a considerable potential for the genotoxic risk associated with the presence of satratoxin H.
The Xtal cube is a depth-of-interaction (DOI)-PET detector which is aimed at obtaining isotropic resolution by effective readout of scintillation photons from the six sides of a crystal block. The Xtal cube is composed of the 3D crystal block with isotropic resolution and arrays of multi-pixel photon counters (MPPCs). In this study, to fabricate the 3D crystal block efficiently and precisely, we applied a sub-surface laser engraving (SSLE) technique to a monolithic crystal block instead of gluing segmented small crystals. The SSLE technique provided micro-crack walls which carve a groove into a monolithic scintillator block. Using the fabricated Xtal cube, we evaluated its intrinsic spatial resolution to show a proof of concept of isotropic resolution. The 3D grids of 2 mm pitch were fabricated into an 18 × 18 × 18 mm(3) monolithic lutetium yttrium orthosilicate (LYSO) crystal by the SSLE technique. 4 × 4 MPPCs were optically coupled to each surface of the crystal block. The Xtal cube was uniformly irradiated by (22)Na gamma rays, and all of the 3D grids on the 3D position histogram were separated clearly by an Anger-type calculation from the 96-channel MPPC signals. Response functions of the Xtal cube were measured by scanning with a (22)Na point source. The gamma-ray beam with a 1.0 mm slit was scanned in 0.25 mm steps by positioning of the Xtal cube at vertical and 45° incident angles. The average FWHM resolution at both incident angles was 2.1 mm. Therefore, we confirmed the isotropic spatial resolution performance of the Xtal cube.
Nucleophilic substitution at the anomeric positions of tetrahydropyranyl (THP) and related carbohydrate-derived esters that proceeded through pyridinium-type salt intermediates have been developed. Treatment of the 6-substituted ?-acetoxy-tetrahydropyrans with TMSOTf (TMS=trimethylsilyl) and 2-substitutited pyridines, such as 2-p-tolylpyridine and 2-methoxypyridine, led to the efficient generation of cis-pyridinium-type salts. These salts reacted with various nucleophiles, such as alcohols, azides, and organozinc reagents, to form nucleophilic-substitution products. A characteristic feature of these processes was that they took place under mild conditions, which did not affect acid-labile protecting groups. Furthermore, the reactions that employed azides and C-nucleophiles generated 2,6-trans products with high degrees of stereoselectivity.
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