• Bazedoxifene Attenuates Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Formation via Downregulation of Interleukin-6/Glycoprotein 130/Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 Signaling Pathway in Apolipoprotein E-Knockout Mice

      Yan, D.; Ma, H.; Lin, J. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2020)
      Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by aortic dilatation and predominantly affects an elderly population. Accumulating evidence suggests that Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) play an important role in formation of AAAs. However, it remains unclear whether Bazedoxifene (BAZ) could suppress the activation of IL-6/GP130/STAT3 in vascular cells and the formation of AAA. Here we explored the effect of BAZ on AngII-stimulated AAA formation. ApoE–/– mice infused with AngII for 28 days using osmotic minipumps were treated with placebo or 5mg/kg BAZ. In our results most of the AngII-induced mice developed AAA with exacerbated inflammation, degradation of elastin fibers, STAT3 phosphorylation, and increased expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). These effects were markedly attenuated by BAZ. Furthermore, BAZ suppressed the stimuli-induced (IL-6 or AngII) expression of P-STAT3, MMP2 and MMP9 in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). BAZ inhibited wound healing, colony formation and suppressed STAT3 nuclear translocation in vitro. In conclusion, these results indicated that BAZ downregulated IL-6/GP130/STAT3 signaling and interfered with AAA formation induced by AngII in ApoE-/- mice, which indicates a novel potential strategy for the prevention and therapy of AAA. Copyright 2020 The Authors
    • FGF21 augments autophagy in random-pattern skin flaps via AMPK signaling pathways and improves tissue survival

      Zhou, K.; Chen, H.; Lin, J. (Nature Publishing Group, 2019)
      Random-pattern skin flap is commonly used for surgical tissue reconstruction due to its ease and lack of axial vascular limitation. However, ischemic necrosis is a common complication, especially in distal parts of skin flaps. Previous studies have shown that FGF21 can promote angiogenesis and protect against ischemic cardiovascular disease, but little is known about the effect of FGF21 on flap survival. In this study, using a rat model of random skin flaps, we found that the expression of FGF21 is significantly increased after establishment skin flaps, suggesting that FGF21 may exert a pivotal effect on flap survival. We conducted experiments to elucidate the role of FGF21 in this model. Our results showed that FGF21 directly increased the survival area of skin flaps, blood flow intensity, and mean blood vessel density through enhancing angiogenesis, inhibiting apoptosis, and reducing oxidative stress. Our studies also revealed that FGF21 administration leads to an upregulation of autophagy, and the beneficial effects of FGF21 were reversed by 3-methyladenine (3MA), which is a well-known inhibitor of autophagy, suggesting that autophagy plays a central role in FGF21's therapeutic benefit on skin flap survival. In our mechanistic investigation, we found that FGF21-induced autophagy enhancement is mediated by the dephosphorylation and nuclear translocation of TFEB; this effect was due to activation of AMPK-FoxO3a-SPK2-CARM1 and AMPK-mTOR signaling pathways. Together, our data provides novel evidence that FGF21 is a potent modulator of autophagy capable of significantly increasing random skin flap viability, and thus may serve as a promising therapy for clinical use. Copyright 2019, The Author(s).
    • Imaging stem cell distribution, growth, migration, and differentiation in 3-D scaffolds for bone tissue engineering using mesoscopic fluorescence tomography

      Tang, Q.; Piard, C.; Lin, J. (John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2018)
      Regenerative medicine has emerged as an important discipline that aims to repair injury or replace damaged tissues or organs by introducing living cells or functioning tissues. Successful regenerative medicine strategies will likely depend upon a simultaneous optimization strategy for the design of biomaterials, cell-seeding methods, cell-biomaterial interactions and molecular signaling within the engineered tissues. It remains a challenge to image three-dimensional (3-D) structures and functions of the cell-seeded scaffold in mesoscopic scale (>2~3 mm). In this study, we utilized angled fluorescence laminar optical tomography (aFLOT), which allows depth-resolved molecular characterization of engineered tissues in 3-D to investigate cell viability, migration and bone mineralization within bone tissue engineering scaffolds in situ. Copyright 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    • Inhibition of Interleukin-6/glycoprotein 130 signalling by Bazedoxifene ameliorates cardiac remodelling in pressure overload mice

      Shi, W.; Ma, H.; Lin, J. (Blackwell Publishing Inc., 2020)
      The role of IL-6 signalling in hypertensive heart disease and its sequelae is controversial. Our group demonstrated that Bazedoxifene suppressed IL-6/gp130 signalling in cancer cells but its effect on myocardial pathology induced by pressure overload is still unknown. We explored whether Bazedoxifene could confer benefits in wild-type C57BL/6J mice suffering from transverse aortic constriction (TAC) and the potential mechanisms in H9c2 myoblasts. Mice were randomized into three groups (Sham, TAC, TAC+Bazedoxifene, n = 10). Morphological and histological observations suggested TAC aggravated myocardial remodelling while long-term intake of Bazedoxifene (5 mg/kg, intragastric) attenuated pressure overload-induced pathology. Echocardiographic results indicated Bazedoxifene rescued cardiac function in part. We found Bazedoxifene decreased the mRNA expression of IL-6, MMP2, Col1A1, Col3A1 and periostin in murine hearts after 8-week surgery. By Western blot detection, we found Bazedoxifene exhibited an inhibition of STAT3 activation in mice three hours and 8 weeks after TAC. Acute TAC stress (3 hours) led to down-regulated ratio of LC3-Ⅱ/LC3-Ⅰ, while in mice after long-term (8 weeks) TAC this ratio becomes higher than that in Sham mice. Bazedoxifene inverted the autophagic alteration induced by TAC at both two time-points. In H9c2 myoblasts, Bazedoxifene suppressed the IL-6-induced STAT3 activation. Moreover, IL-6 reduced the ratio of LC3-Ⅱ/LC3-Ⅰ, promoted P62 expression but Bazedoxifene reversed both changes in H9c2 cells. Our data suggested Bazedoxifene inhibited IL-6/gp130 signalling and protected against cardiac remodelling together with function deterioration in TAC mice. Copyright 2020 The Authors.
    • LLL12B, a small molecule STAT3 inhibitor, induces growth arrest, apoptosis, and enhances cisplatin-mediated cytotoxicity in medulloblastoma cells

      Chen, X.; Pan, L.; Wei, J.; Zhang, R.; Yang, X.; Song, J.; Bai, R.-Y.; Fu, S.; Pierson, C.R.; Finlay, J.L.; et al. (Nature Research, 2021-03-22)
      Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) is a transcription factor and an oncogene product, which plays a pivotal role in tumor progression. Therefore, targeting persistent STAT3 signaling directly is an attractive anticancer strategy. The aim of this study is to test the efficacy of a novel STAT3 small molecule inhibitor, LLL12B, in suppressing medulloblastoma cells in vitro and tumor growth in vivo. LLL12B selectively inhibited the induction of STAT3 phosphorylation by interleukin-6 but not induction of STAT1 phosphorylation by INF-γ. LLL12B also induced apoptosis in human medulloblastoma cells. In addition, LLL12B exhibited good oral bioavailability in vivo and potent suppressive activity in tumor growth of medulloblastoma cells in vivo. Besides, combining LLL12B with cisplatin showed greater inhibition of cell viability and tumorsphere formation as well as induction of apoptosis comparing to single agent treatment in medulloblastoma cells. Furthermore, LLL12B and cisplatin combination exhibited greater suppression of medulloblastoma tumor growth than monotherapy in vivo. The present study supported that LLL12B is a novel therapeutic agent for medulloblastoma and the combination of LLL12B with a chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin may be an effective approach for medulloblastoma therapy. Copyright 2021, The Author(s).
    • Seed-in-soil: Pancreatic cancer influenced by tumor microenvironment

      Lin, H.-J.; Lin, J. (MDPI AG, 2017)
      Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a fatal malignancy with a five-year survival rate lower than 7%, and most patients dying within six months of diagnosis. The factors that contribute to the aggressiveness of the disease include, but are not limited to: late diagnosis, prompt metastasis to adjacent vital organs, poor response, and resistance to anticancer treatments. This malignancy is uniquely associated with desmoplastic stroma that accounts for 80% of tumor mass. Understanding the biology of stroma can aid the discovery of innovative strategies for eradicating this lethal cancer in the future. This review highlights the critical components in the stroma and how they interact with the cancer cells to convey the devastating tumor progression. Copyright 2017 by the authors.