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  • Review
    John Dawi, Scarlet Affa, Yura Misakyan, Samuel Kades, Syed Asim, Sumaiya Olia, Alexander Abdou, Vishwanath Venketaraman
    Discovery Medicine. 2024, 36(185): 1091-1108.

    This review comprehensively explores the dysregulation of Gamma Delta T-cells, CD8+ T Cells, and Natural Killer T Cells in the context of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and its implications for brain pathology. It encompasses an overview of the HIV disease process, immune cell dysregulation, association with neurological diseases, and the critical role of Glutathione (GSH) in T-cell function. The alterations in Gamma Delta T-cells during chronic infection, the intricate dynamics of Vδ1 and Vδ2 subsets, and the potential of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells in inhibiting HIV replication are discussed. Additionally, the review addresses the exhaustion, impaired cytotoxicity, and premature senescence of CD8+ T cells, as well as the dysregulation of Natural Killer Cells (NKCs) and their impact on overall immune system activity. Furthermore, it examines the role of Gamma Delta (γδ) T-cells in brain injuries, infections, and tumors and highlights the therapeutic implications of elevated GSH levels in promoting a T helper 1 (Th1) immune response. However, HIV-infected patients with decreased GSH exhibit a T helper 2 (Th2) bias, compromising protection against intracellular pathogens. Finally, the review discusses studies in murine models demonstrating the impact of GSH levels on immune responses and underscores the therapeutic potential of targeting GSH to enhance immunity in HIV patients. Overall, this review provides valuable insights into the complex interplay between immune dysregulation, GSH levels, and HIV-associated brain pathology, offering insights into potential therapeutic avenues for mitigating immune compromise and neurological impairments in HIV patients.

  • Review
    Nathan Boliaki, Guillaume Henin, Georgia Bale, Nicolas Lanthier
    Discovery Medicine. 2024, 36(185): 1139-1153.

    Background: Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD), and more specifically steatohepatitis may be associated with fat infiltration of skeletal muscles which is known as myosteatosis. Pan-peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) agonists have been shown to promote metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH) remission. However, the effect of PPAR agonists on myosteatosis remains to be determined. The aim of this review is to evaluate the effect that PPAR agonists alone or in combination, have on myosteatosis in the context of MASLD.

    Methods: Original research reports concerning the impact of PPAR agonists on muscle fat in MASLD were screened from PUBMED and EMBASE databases following the PRISMA methodology.

    Results: Eleven original manuscripts were included in this review. Two preclinical studies assessed the impact of the PPARα agonist on fat content in the quadriceps muscle and the liver by extracting triglycerides in rats fed a high-fat diet and in insulin-resistant mice. Both models showed muscle and liver triglyceride content reduction using WY14643. Fenofibrate had no significant impact on soleus intramyocellular lipids or liver fat content in insulin-resistant subjects based on proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Treatment with PPARδ agonists increased the expression of genes involved in fatty acid oxidation in two studies on muscle cell culture. PPARγ agonists were investigated in two preclinical studies and one clinical study using spectroscopy and computed tomography respectively. In the first preclinical study in Zucker diabetic fatty rats, rosiglitazone reduced muscle lipids and hepatic steatosis. In a second preclinical study using the same animal model, pioglitazone reduced tibialis anterior intramyocellular lipids. In contrast, computed tomography analyses in patients with type 2 diabetes revealed a surface area increase of low-density muscles (suggesting an increase in muscle fat content) after a one-year treatment with rosiglitazone. Varying combinations of PPAR agonists (cevoglitazar, fenofibrate/pioglitazone and muraglitazar) were evaluated in two preclinical studies and one clinical study. In rats, these treatments showed variable results for muscle and liver depending on the combinations studied. In type 2 diabetic patients, treatment with muraglitazar (a PPARα/γ agonist) reduced the intramyocellular lipid content of tibialis anterior as well as liver fat content following spectroscopy assessment.

    Conclusion: The combination of different PPAR agonists could have a positive impact on reducing myosteatosis, in addition to their effect on the liver. Some discrepancies could be explained by the different techniques used to assess muscle lipid content, the muscles assessed and the possible adipogenic effect of PPARγ agonists. Further clinical research is needed to fully assess the efficacy of these treatments on both MASLD progression and associated myosteatosis.

  • Article
    Jiawen Jiang, Wei Dong, Wen Zhang, Qian Wang, Ruyi Wang, Jiaxu Wang, Hao Wu, Hui Dong, Robert Chunhua Zhao, Jiao Wang, Zhe Li
    Discovery Medicine. 2023, 35(179): 995-1014.

    Background: Hypoxia is a pivotal factor influencing cellular gene expression and contributing to the malignant progression of tumors. Metabolic anomalies under hypoxic conditions are predominantly mediated by mitochondria. Nonetheless, the exploration of hypoxia-induced long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) associated with mitochondria remains largely uncharted.

    Methods: We established hypoxia cell models using primary human hepatocytes (PHH) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cell lines. We isolated mitochondria for high-throughput sequencing to investigate the roles of candidate lncRNAs in HCC progression. We employed in vitro and in vivo assays to evaluate the functions of solute carrier family 1 member 5 antisense lncRNA (SLC1A5-AS). RNA-seq was utilized to scrutinize the comprehensive genome profile regulated by SLC1A5-AS in HCC. Subsequently, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and western blot analysis were utilized to validate the expression of alanine-serine-cysteine transporter 2 (ASCT2, encoded by the SLC1A5 gene), and a glutamine uptake assay was employed to estimate the glutamine uptake capacity of Huh-7 cells after SLC1A5-AS overexpression. To delve into the mechanisms governing the regulation of SLC1A5 expression by SLC1A5-AS, we employed a biotin-labeled SLC1A5-AS probe in conjunction with a western blot assay to confirm the interactions between SLC1A5-AS and candidate transcription factors. Luciferase reporter assays and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) were utilized to authenticate the effects of the predicted transcription factors on SLC1A5 promoter activity.

    Results: Following the screening, we identified CTB-147N14.6, derived from the antisense strand of the SLC1A5 gene, which we have named SLC1A5-AS. SLC1A5-AS exhibited significantly elevated expression levels in HCC tissue and was associated with poor prognosis in HCC patients. In vitro and in vivo assays revealed that the overexpression of SLC1A5-AS significantly heightened cell invasion and metastasis. RNA-seq data unveiled SLC1A5-AS involvement in glutamine metabolism, left-handed amino (L-amino) acid transmembrane transporter activity, and the nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. Overexpression of SLC1A5-AS markedly increased ASCT2 mRNA/protein levels, thereby enhancing glutamine uptake and promoting the growth and metastasis of HCC cells. Mechanistically, higher RNA levels of SLC1A5-AS directly bound with myeloid zinc finger 1 (MZF1), acting as a transcriptional repressor, thus diminishing its binding to the SLC1A5 promoter region.

    Conclusions: Our findings unveil a novel role for the lncRNA SLC1A5-AS in glutamine metabolism, suggesting that targeting SLC1A5-AS/MZF1, in conjunction with ASCT2 inhibitor treatment, could be a potential therapeutic strategy for this disease.