Publications by authors named "Juening Kang"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Role of ROS-Induced NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation in the Formation of Calcium Oxalate Nephrolithiasis.

Front Immunol 2022 27;13:818625. Epub 2022 Jan 27.

Department of Urology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.

Calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis is a common and highly recurrent disease in urology; however, its precise pathogenesis is still unknown. Recent research has shown that renal inflammatory injury as a result of the cell-crystal reaction plays a crucial role in the development of calcium oxalate kidney stones. An increasing amount of research have confirmed that inflammation mediated by the cell-crystal reaction can lead to inflammatory injury of renal cells, promote the intracellular expression of NADPH oxidase, induce extensive production of reactive oxygen species, activate NLRP3 inflammasome, discharge a great number of inflammatory factors, trigger inflammatory cascading reactions, promote the aggregation, nucleation and growth process of calcium salt crystals, and ultimately lead to the development of intrarenal crystals and even stones. The renal tubular epithelial cells (RTECs)-crystal reaction, macrophage-crystal reaction, calcifying nanoparticles, endoplasmic reticulum stress, autophagy activation, and other regulatory factors and mechanisms are involved in this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2022.818625DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8828488PMC
March 2022

Tumor microenvironment mechanisms and bone metastatic disease progression of prostate cancer.

Cancer Lett 2022 04 17;530:156-169. Epub 2022 Jan 17.

Department for BioMedical Research, Urology Research Laboratory, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:

During disease progression from primary towards metastatic prostate cancer (PCa), and in particular bone metastases, the tumor microenvironment (TME) evolves in parallel with the cancer clones, altering extracellular matrix composition (ECM), vasculature architecture, and recruiting specialized tumor-supporting cells that favor tumor spread and colonization at distant sites. We introduce the clinical profile of advanced metastatic PCa in terms of common genetic alterations. Findings from recently developed models of PCa metastatic spread are discussed, focusing mainly on the role of the TME (mainly matrix and fibroblast cell types), at distinct stages: premetastatic niche orchestrated by the primary tumor towards the metastatic site and bone metastasis. We report evidence of premetastatic niche formation, such as the mechanisms of distant site conditioning by extracellular vesicles, chemokines and other tumor-derived mechanisms, including altered cancer cell-ECM interactions. Furthermore, evidence supporting the similarities of stroma alterations among the primary PCa and bone metastasis, and contribution of TME to androgen deprivation therapy resistance are also discussed. We summarize the available bone metastasis transgenic mouse models of PCa from a perspective of pro-metastatic TME alterations during disease progression and give an update on the current diagnostic and therapeutic radiological strategies for bone metastasis clinical management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.canlet.2022.01.015DOI Listing
April 2022

Regulation of endoplasmic reticulum stress on the damage and apoptosis of renal tubular epithelial cells induced by calcium oxalate crystals.

Urolithiasis 2021 Aug 31;49(4):291-299. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Urology, The Langdong Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, 530028, China.

This study aimed to observe whether calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals can induce the activation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in human renal cortex proximal tubule epithelial (HK-2) cells and to explore the regulatory of ER stress on the damage and apoptosis of HK-2 cells induced by CaOx crystals. We detected the optimal CaOx crystal concentration and intervention time by Western blot. ER stress modifiers tunicamycin (TM) and 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA) were used to regulate the ER stress of HK-2 cells. The activities of ER stress marker proteins GRP78 and CHOP were evaluated by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Western blot and TUNEL staining were used to detect cell apoptosis. We observed cell-crystal adhesion with an optical microscope. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) test kit and IL-1β enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kit were used to detect and evaluate HK-2 cell damage. We found that the expression of ER stress marker proteins GRP78 and CHOP gradually increased with the increase in CaOx crystal concentration and intervention time and reached the maximum at 2.0 mmol/L and 24 h. The use of ER stress modifiers TM and 4-PBA can effectively regulate the ER stress level induced by CaOx crystals, and the level of apoptosis is positively correlated with the level of ER stress. 4-PBA pretreatment remarkably reduced cell-crystal adhesion and the secretions of IL-1β and LDH, whereas the results of TM pretreatment were the opposite. In summary, the damage and apoptosis of HK-2 cells induced by CaOx crystals are closely related to the level of ER stress. Inhibiting the ER stress of HK-2 cells can substantially reduce the cell damage and apoptosis induced by CaOx crystals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00240-021-01261-7DOI Listing
August 2021

Taurine suppresses ROS-dependent autophagy via activating Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in calcium oxalate crystals-induced renal tubular epithelial cell injury.

Aging (Albany NY) 2020 Sep 15;12(17):17353-17366. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, China.

Oxidative stress and autophagy are the key promoters of calcium oxalate (CaOx) nephrolithiasis. Taurine is an antioxidant that plays a protective role in the pathogenesis of kidney disease. Previous studies found that taurine suppressed cellular oxidative stress, and inhibited autophagy activation. However, the effect of taurine on CaOx kidney stone formation remains unknown. In the present work, we explored the regulatory effects of taurine on CaOx crystals-induced HK-2 cell injury. Results showed that pretreatment with taurine significantly enhanced the viability of HK-2 cells and ameliorated kidney tissue injury induced by CaOx crystals. Taurine also markedly reduced the levels of inflammatory cytokines, apoptosis, and CaOx crystals deposition. Furthermore, we observed that taurine supplementation alleviated CaOx crystals-induced autophagy. Mechanism studies showed that taurine reduced oxidative stress via increasing SOD activity, reducing MDA concentration, alleviating mitochondrial oxidative injury, and decreasing the production of intracellular ROS. Taurine treatment also effectively activated Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in CaOx crystals-induced HK-2 cells both and . In summary, the current study shows that taurine inhibits ROS-dependent autophagy via activating Akt/mTOR signaling pathway in CaOx crystals-induced HK-2 cell and kidney injury, suggesting that taurine may serve as an effective therapeutic agent for the treatment of CaOx nephrolithiasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/aging.103730DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7521519PMC
September 2020

Atorvastatin inhibits renal inflammatory response induced by calcium oxalate crystals via inhibiting the activation of TLR4/NF-κB and NLRP3 inflammasome.

IUBMB Life 2020 05 21;72(5):1065-1074. Epub 2020 Feb 21.

Department of Urology, the Langdong Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China.

This study aimed to investigate the renal protective effect of atorvastatin (ATV) on the kidney inflammation induced by calcium oxalate (CaOx) crystals. A cell model of cell-crystal interactions and a rat model of CaOx kidney stone were established. The expressions of TLR4, NF-κB, NLRP3, and cleaved caspase-1 in cells and rat kidney tissues were detected using Western blot, immunohistochemical, and/or immunofluorescence. The concentrations of malondialdehyde (MDA), superoxide dismutase (SOD), reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells, and lactic acid dehydrogenase (LDH) in the culture medium were measured. The secreted levels of interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-18, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were examined by ELISA. The serum levels of creatinine (CRE) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) were measured. von Kossa staining was used for the evaluation of renal lens deposition. The CaOx model group showed significantly decreased SOD level; increased concentrations of MDA; ROS and LDH; elevated expressions of TLR4, NF-κB, NLRP3, and cleaved caspase-1; and the elevated release of IL-1β, IL-18, IL-6, and TNF- α as compared to the control group. The treatment with ATV significantly inhibited the formation of CaOx kidney stone by increasing the level of SOD; downregulating MDA, ROS, and LDH; inhibiting the expressions of TLR4, NF-κB, NLRP3 and cleaved caspase-1; and blocking the secretion of inflammatory cytokines. In addition, the serum levels of CRE and BUN, and the intrarenal crystal deposition were also significantly decreased in ATV-treated rats. In summary, oxidative stress, TLR4/NF-κB, and NLRP3 inflammasome pathways are involved in renal inflammatory responses induced by CaOx crystals. ATV treatment significantly suppressed oxidative stress, inhibited the activation of TLR4/NF-κB and NLRP3 inflammasome pathways, and decreased the release of inflammatory mediators, thereby ameliorating CaOx crystal-induced damage and crystal deposition in HK-2 cells and rat kidney tissues.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/iub.2250DOI Listing
May 2020

Effect of endoplasmic reticulum stress-mediated excessive autophagy on apoptosis and formation of kidney stones.

Life Sci 2020 Mar 27;244:117232. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China; Department of Urology, the Langdong Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China. Electronic address:

Aims: This study was designed to reveal the role and underlying mechanism of excessive autophagy mediated by ERS via the PERK-eIF2α pathway in the apoptosis and formation of CaOx kidney stones.

Main Methods: Ethylene glycol (EG) was used to establish a rat model of CaOx kidney stones, and 100 mg/kg of ERS inhibitor 4-phenylbutyric acid (4-PBA) or 60 mg/kg of autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (CQ) was administered daily to the rats. Four weeks after administration, we collected blood and kidney tissues to analyze the occurrence of ERS and autophagy, apoptosis, renal function, renal tubular crystal deposition, and kidney damage, respectively.

Key Findings: We observed that both 4-PBA and CQ treatment significantly inhibited the excessive autophagy and reduced apoptosis as well as decreasing p-PERK and p-eIF2α expressions. Meanwhile, the proportion of kidney weight, contents of creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, excretion of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin and kidney injury molecule 1, and renal tubular deposition were markedly down-regulated.

Significance: The findings in this study suggested that ERS induced excessive autophagy via the PERK-eIF2α pathway, regulating cell damage and apoptosis. ERS-mediated inhibition of excessive autophagy effectively protected kidney function and prevented the apoptosis and formation of kidney stones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2019.117232DOI Listing
March 2020

Autophagy-endoplasmic reticulum stress inhibition mechanism of superoxide dismutase in the formation of calcium oxalate kidney stones.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Jan 13;121:109649. Epub 2019 Nov 13.

Department of Urology, the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China. Electronic address:

Background: Nephrolithiasis is a common disease in urology, and its pathogenesis is associated with various factors. Recent studies have shown that reactive oxygen species (ROS) can promote autophagy in the formation of kidney stones and exacerbate kidney injury. Endoplasmic reticulum stress (ERS), a key factor in regulating intracellular environmental homeostasis, is also directly related to ROS production. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the regulatory effect of superoxide dismutase (SOD) on autophagy-ERS response during the formation of calcium oxalate (CaOx) kidney stones in rats.

Methods: Thirty-two rats were randomly divided into four groups (n = 8): normal control group, stone model group, stone model with atorvastatin group, and stone model with diethyldithiocarbamic acid (DETC) group. Rat models of CaOx kidney stones were established by intragastric administration of 0.75 % ethylene glycol for 4 weeks. Kidney/body weight was used to assess renal enlargement. Renal function was assessed by measuring serum SOD, creatinine (CRE), and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels. The expression of autophagy-related proteins LC3B and BECN1 was detected through immunohistochemical staining. Meanwhile, the expression of autophagy-ERS response-related proteins LC3B, BECN1, p62, GRP78, and CHOP was detected using Western blot and RT-PCR. Renal tubular injury markers neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) and kidney injury molecule 1 (Kim-1) were determined through enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The apoptosis of renal tubular cells and the expression of their signature proteins cleaved Caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 were detected using Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling and Western blot assays, respectively. Crystal deposition and histological tissue injury were assessed through Von Kossa staining.

Results: Compared with the control group, the stone model group showed higher kidney/body weight ratio; evidently higher expression of autophagy-ERS response- and apoptosis-related proteins LC3B, BECN1, GRP78, CHOP, Bax and cleaved Caspase-3; and lower levels of p62, bcl-2 protein, and SOD. The stone model group also showed higher levels of apoptosis, serum CRE, BUN, NGAL, and Kim-1, as well as considerably greater crystal deposition and renal injury, than the control group. Atorvastatin reduced the levels of autophagy-ERS response, kidney injury, and crystal deposition, but they were increased by DETC.

Conclusion: Enhanced SOD activity can protect the kidneys by reducing autophagy-ERS response and CaOx kidney stone formation. Atorvastatin may be a new option for the prevention and treatment of nephrolithiasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2019.109649DOI Listing
January 2020

Effect of M2 Macrophages on Injury and Apoptosis of Renal Tubular Epithelial Cells Induced by Calcium Oxalate Crystals.

Kidney Blood Press Res 2019 13;44(4):777-791. Epub 2019 Aug 13.

Department of Urology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, China,

Background: M2 macrophages have important roles in diseases such as tumours, cardiovascular diseases and renal diseases. This study aimed to determine the effects and protective mechanism of M2 macrophages against oxidative stress injury and apoptosis induced by calcium oxalate crystals (CaOx) in renal tubular epithelial cells (HK-2) under coculture conditions.

Methods: THP-1 cells were induced to differentiate into M2 macrophages by using phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate, IL-4 and IL-13. Morphological features were observed by microscopy. Phenotypic markers were identified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). HK-2 cells were treated with 0.5 mg/mL CaOx crystals and co-cultured with M2 macrophages or apocynin. The viability of HK-2 cells was detected by CCK-8 assay. The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity of HK-2 cells was analysed using a microplate reader. The apoptosis of HK-2 cells was examined by flow cytometry and Hoechst 33258 staining. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) expression and mitochondrial membrane potential in HK-2 cells were detected by a fluorescence microplate reader. Western blot analysis was conducted to detect the expression of p47phox, Bcl-2, cleaved caspase-3, cytochrome c, p38 MAPK, phospho-p38 MAPK, Akt and phospho-Akt.

Results: The results of morphology, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, Western blot and ELISA showed that THP-1 cells were successfully polarised to M2 macrophages. The results of co-culture suggested that M2 macrophages or apocynin significantly increased the cell viability and decreased the LDH activity and apoptosis rate after HK-2 cells were challenged with CaOx crystals. The expression of the p47phox protein and the concentration of ROS were reduced, the release of mitochondrial membrane potential and the expression of the Bcl-2 protein were upregulated and the protein expression of cleaved caspase-3 and cytochrome c was downregulated. The expression of the phosphorylated form of p38 MAPK increased. Under coculture conditions with M2 macrophages, the Akt protein of HK-2 cells treated with CaOx crystals was dephosphorylated, but the phosphorylated form of Akt was not reduced by apocynin.

Conclusions: M2 macrophages reduced the oxidative stress injury and apoptosis of HK-2 cells by downregulating the activation of NADPH oxidase, reducing the production of ROS, inhibiting the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and enhancing the phosphorylation of Akt. We have revealed one of the possible mechanisms by which M2 macrophages reduce the formation of kidney stones.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000501558DOI Listing
January 2020
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