• Androgen receptor regulates the growth of neuroblastoma cells in vitro and in vivo

      Sun, J.; Wang, D.; Guo, L. (Frontiers Research Foundation, 2017)
      Background: Neuroblastoma is the most common extracranial tumors in children. At present about the true etiology of neuroblastoma is unclear and many studies have tried to find effective treatments for these primary malignant tumors. Although it has been illustrated that androgen receptor (AR) was expressed in neuroblastoma cells in some former reports, the biological role of androgen receptor in the development of neuroblastoma is not fully understood. Methods: Androgen (R1881) and the antagonists of androgen receptor (MDV3100 and ARN509) were used to study the role of the androgen receptor signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo on SH-SY5Y and Neuro-2a (N2a) cell lines. Results: We found that AR expression showed an R1881 dose-dependent manner in neuroblastoma cells in vitro and R1881was able to increase, while both antagonists of androgen receptor (MDV3100 and ARN509) significantly decrease, the proliferation, migration, invasion and sphere formation of SH-SY5Y and N2a cells. Moreover, androgen promoted the growth of N2a tumor in vivo. However, when androgen receptor (AR) was effectively knocked down in the two cell lines by siRNA, either promoting or inhibiting effect of the androgen or androgen receptor antagonists, respectively, was attenuated. Conclusion: Our results suggested that androgen receptor may involve in the progression of neuroblastoma as well as provided insight into a new target for the diagnosis and treatment of neuroblastoma patients. Copyright 2017 Sun, Wang, Guo, Fang, Wang and Xing.
    • CD163+ macrophages promote angiogenesis and vascular permeability accompanied by inflammation in atherosclerosis

      Guo, L.; Akahori, H.; Harari, E. (American Society for Clinical Investigation, 2018)
      Intake of hemoglobin by the hemoglobin-haptoglobin receptor CD163 leads to a distinct alternative non-foam cell antiinflammatory macrophage phenotype that was previously considered atheroprotective. Here, we reveal an unexpected but important pathogenic role for these macrophages in atherosclerosis. Using human atherosclerotic samples, cultured cells, and a mouse model of advanced atherosclerosis, we investigated the role of intraplaque hemorrhage on macrophage function with respect to angiogenesis, vascular permeability, inflammation, and plaque progression. In human atherosclerotic lesions, CD163+ macrophages were associated with plaque progression, microvascularity, and a high level of HIF1? and VEGF-A expression. We observed irregular vascular endothelial cadherin in intraplaque microvessels surrounded by CD163+ macrophages. Within these cells, activation of HIF1? via inhibition of prolyl hydroxylases promoted VEGF-mediated increases in intraplaque angiogenesis, vascular permeability, and inflammatory cell recruitment. CD163+ macrophages increased intraplaque endothelial VCAM expression and plaque inflammation. Subjects with homozygous minor alleles of the SNP rs7136716 had elevated microvessel density, increased expression of CD163 in ruptured coronary plaques, and a higher risk of myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease in population cohorts. Thus, our findings highlight a nonlipid-driven mechanism by which alternative macrophages promote plaque angiogenesis, leakiness, inflammation, and progression via the CD163/HIF1?/VEGF-A pathway. Copyright 2018 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved.
    • New insights into the role of iron in inflammation and atherosclerosis

      Cornelissen, A.; Guo, L.; Finn, A.V. (Elsevier B.V., 2019)
      Iron is fundamental for life-essential processes. However, it can also cause oxidative damage, which is thought to trigger numerous pathologies, including cardiovascular diseases. The role of iron in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis is still not completely understood. Macrophages are both key players in the handling of iron throughout the body and in the onset, progression and destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. Iron itself might impact atherosclerosis through its effects on macrophages. However, while targeting iron metabolism within macrophages may have some beneficial effects on preventing atherosclerotic plaque progression there may also be negative consequences. Thus, the prevailing view of iron being capable of accelerating the progression of coronary disease through lipid peroxidation may not fully take into account the multi-faceted role of iron in pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. In this review, we will summarize the current understanding of iron metabolism in the context of the complex interplay between iron, inflammation, and atherosclerosis.