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      Baicalin Protects Human OA Chondrocytes Against IL-1β-Induced Apoptosis and ECM Degradation by Activating Autophagy via MiR-766-3p/AIFM1 Axis

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          Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent and degenerative diseases with complicated pathology including articular cartilage degradation, subchondral sclerosis and synovitis. Chondrocytes play a crucial role in maintaining cartilage integrity.


          Primary chondrocytes were treated with 10 ng/mL IL-1β alone, or pre-treated with 20 μM baicalin for 5 h followed by co-treatment with 20 μM baicalin and 10 ng/mL IL-1β. CCK-8 assay was used to assess cell viability, and cell apoptosis was analyzed by both PI/FITC-Annexin V staining and quantitating apoptosis-related Bcl-2, Bax and cleaved-caspase-3 expression at both protein and mRNA level by Western blotting and qRT-PCR, respectively. Chondrocytes were transfected with miRNA-766-3p mimic and autophagy flux was examined by LC3, Beclin and p62 Western blotting and by Cyto-ID assay to quantify autophagic vacuoles.


          Baicalin treatment decreased the apoptosis rate and the expressions of pro-apoptotic proteins induced by IL-1β, up-regulated anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 expression, and inhibited the degradation of ECM. Baicalin increased autophagy through up-regulating the autophagy markers Beclin-1 expression and LC3 Ⅱ/LC3 Ⅰ ratio and promoting autophagic flux. Contrarily, autophagy inhibition partially alleviated the beneficial effects of baicalin on ECM synthesis and anti-apoptosis in the chondrocytes treated with L-1β. Furthermore, the differential expressional profiles of miR-766-3p and apoptosis-inducing factor mitochondria-associated 1 (AIFM1) were determined in IL-1β and IL-1β + baicalin-treated chondrocytes, and we confirmed AIFM1 was a target of miR-766-3p. MiR-766-3p overexpression suppressed apoptosis and facilitated autophagy and ECM synthesis in the chondrocytes through decreasing AIFM1. Contrarily, silencing of miR-766-3p inhibited chondrocyte autophagy and promoted apoptosis, and this effect could be reversed by AIFM1 silence.


          Baicalin protects human OA chondrocytes against IL-1β-induced apoptosis and the degradation of ECM through activating autophagy via miR-766-3p/AIFM1 axis and serves as a potential therapeutic candidate for OA treatment.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Autophagy is a protective mechanism in normal cartilage, and its aging-related loss is linked with cell death and osteoarthritis.

          Autophagy is a process for turnover of intracellular organelles and molecules that protects cells during stress responses. We undertook this study to evaluate the potential roles of Unc-51-like kinase 1 (ULK1), an inducer of autophagy, Beclin1, a regulator of autophagy, and microtubule-associated protein 1 light chain 3 (LC3), which executes autophagy, in the development of osteoarthritis (OA) and in cartilage cell death. Expression of ULK1, Beclin1, and LC3 was analyzed in normal and OA human articular cartilage and in knee joints of mice with aging-related and surgically induced OA, using immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) p85 expression was used to determine the correlation between cell death and autophagy. ULK1, Beclin1, and LC3 were constitutively expressed in normal human articular cartilage. ULK1, Beclin1, and LC3 protein expression was reduced in OA chondrocytes and cartilage, but these 3 proteins were strongly expressed in the OA cell clusters. In mouse knee joints, loss of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) was observed at ages 9 months and 12 months and in the surgical OA model, 8 weeks after knee destabilization. Expression of ULK1, Beclin1, and LC3 decreased together with GAG loss, while PARP p85 expression was increased. Autophagy may be a protective or homeostatic mechanism in normal cartilage. In contrast, human OA and aging-related and surgically induced OA in mice are associated with a reduction and loss of ULK1, Beclin1, and LC3 expression and a related increase in apoptosis. These results suggest that compromised autophagy represents a novel mechanism in the development of OA.
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            Apoptosis and acute kidney injury.

            Improved mechanistic understanding of renal cell death in acute kidney injury (AKI) has generated new therapeutic targets. Clearly, the classic lesion of acute tubular necrosis is not adequate to describe the consequences of renal ischemia, nephrotoxin exposure, or sepsis on glomerular filtration rate. Experimental evidence supports a pathogenic role for apoptosis in AKI. Interestingly, proximal tubule epithelial cells are highly susceptible to apoptosis, and injury at this site contributes to organ failure. During apoptosis, well-orchestrated events converge at the mitochondrion, the organelle that integrates life and death signals generated by the BCL2 (B-cell lymphoma 2) protein family. Death requires the 'perfect storm' for outer mitochondrial membrane injury to release its cellular 'executioners'. The complexity of this process affords new targets for effective interventions, both before and after renal insults. Inhibiting apoptosis appears to be critical, because circulating factors released by the injured kidney induce apoptosis and inflammation in distant organs including the heart, lung, liver, and brain, potentially contributing to the high morbidity and mortality associated with AKI. Manipulation of known stress kinases upstream of mitochondrial injury, induction of endogenous, anti-apoptotic proteins, and improved understanding of the timing and consequences of renal cell apoptosis will inevitably improve the outcome of human AKI.
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              Aging and osteoarthritis: the role of chondrocyte senescence and aging changes in the cartilage matrix.

               R.F. Loeser (2009)
              Age-related changes in multiple components of the musculoskeletal system may contribute to the well established link between aging and osteoarthritis (OA). This review focused on potential mechanisms by which age-related changes in the articular cartilage could contribute to the development of OA. The peer-reviewed literature published prior to February 2009 in the PubMed database was searched using pre-defined search criteria. Articles, selected for their relevance to aging and articular chondrocytes or cartilage, were summarized. Articular chondrocytes exhibit an age-related decline in proliferative and synthetic capacity while maintaining the ability to produce pro-inflammatory mediators and matrix degrading enzymes. These findings are characteristic of the senescent secretory phenotype and are most likely a consequence of extrinsic stress-induced senescence driven by oxidative stress rather than intrinsic replicative senescence. Extracellular matrix changes with aging also contribute to the propensity to develop OA and include the accumulation of proteins modified by non-enzymatic glycation. The effects of aging on chondrocytes and their matrix result in a tissue that is less able to maintain homeostasis when stressed, resulting in breakdown and loss of the articular cartilage, a hallmark of OA. A better understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying senescence and how the process may be modified could provide novel ways to slow the development of OA.

                Author and article information

                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Des Devel Ther
                Drug Design, Development and Therapy
                07 July 2020
                : 14
                : 2645-2655
                [1 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Geriatric Hospital of Nanjing Medical University , Nanjing, People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University , Nanjing, People’s Republic of China
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Jiuxiang Liu Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University , 300 Guangzhou Road, Nanjing210029, People’s Republic of ChinaTel +86 25-83714511 Email liujxnjmufah@163.com
                © 2020 Li et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms ( https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php).

                Page count
                Figures: 6, References: 48, Pages: 11
                Funded by: No funding
                No funding was received for this work.
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