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Violeta Ristoiu - Top 30 Publications

N-glycosylation of the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 channel is altered in pancreatic cancer cells.

Transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8), a membrane ion channel, is activated by thermal and chemical stimuli. In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, TRPM8 is required for cell migration, proliferation, and senescence and is associated with tumor size and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma stages. Although the underlying mechanisms of these processes have yet to be described, this cation-permeable channel has been proposed as an oncological target. In this study, the glycosylation status of the TRPM8 channel was shown to affect cell proliferation, cell migration, and calcium uptake. TRPM8 expressed in the membrane of the Panc-1 pancreatic tumoral cell line is non-glycosylated, whereas human embryonic kidney cells transfected with human TRPM8 overexpress a glycosylated protein. Moreover, our data suggest that Ca(2+) uptake is modulated by the glycosylation status of the protein, thus affecting cell proliferation.

Contribution of macrophages to peripheral neuropathic pain pathogenesis.

Neuropathic pain pathogenesis is not only confined to changes in the activity of neuronal systems, but also involves neuro-immune interactions mediated by inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. Among the immune cells involved in these interactions, macrophages and their central nervous system counterparts - microglia - are actively involved in the generation of peripheral neuropathic pain. Depending on the type of lesion (traumatic, metabolic, neurotoxic, infections or tumor invasion), the profile of the activated macrophages and microglia in terms of time, place and subtype can substantially vary, due to their remarkable plasticity that allows tuning their physiology according to microenvironmental signals. Knowing what and when specific macrophages activate after a peripheral nerve lesion could help in creating a pattern that can be further used to target the macrophages with cell-specific therapeutics and remit chronicization and complications of neuropathic pain. This minireview summarizes recent findings on the specific contribution of macrophages in different neuropathic pain models.

Activation profile of dorsal root ganglia Iba-1 (+) macrophages varies with the type of lesion in rats.

The interactions between neurons, immune and immune-like glial cells can initiate the abnormal processes that underlie neuropathic pain. In the peripheral nervous system the resident macrophages may play an important role. In this study we investigated in experimental adult Sprague-Dawley rats how Iba-1 (ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1) (+) resident macrophages in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) are activated after a spinal nerve ligation (SNL) or streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes. The activation profile was defined by comparing the responses of resident macrophages against microglia in the spinal cord as they share a common origin. After SNL, the Iba-1 (+) macrophages in L5 DRG reached their activation peak 5 days later, clustered as satellite cells around large A-neurons, expressed the MHC-II marker, but did not show p-p38 and p-ERK1/2 activation and did not secrete IL-18. After STZ-induced diabetes, the Iba-1 (+) macrophages reached their activation peak 1 week later in L4 and L5 DRG, remained scattered between neurons, expressed the MHC-II marker only in L5 DRG, did not show p-p38 and p-ERK1/2 activation and did not secrete any of the investigated cytokines/chemokines. These responses suggest that depending on the type of lesion DRG Iba-1 (+) resident macrophages have different activation mechanisms, which are dissimilar to those in microglia.

Hypoxia-induced sensitization of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 involves activation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha and PKC.

The capsaicin receptor, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), acts as a polymodal detector of pain-producing chemical and physical stimuli in sensory neurons. Hyperglycemia and hypoxia are two main phenomena in diabetes associated with several complications. Although many studies on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats indicate that early diabetic neuropathy is associated with potentiation of TRPV1 activity in dorsal root ganglion neurons, its underlying mechanism and distinctive roles of hyperglycemia and hypoxia have not been completely clarified. Here, we show that hypoxic and high glucose conditions (overnight exposure) potentiate the TRPV1 activity without affecting TRPV1 expression in both native rat sensory neurons and human embryonic kidney-derived 293 cells expressing rat or human TRPV1. Surprisingly, hypoxia was found to be a more effective determinant than high glucose, and hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha (HIF-1α) seemed to be involved. In addition, high glucose enhanced TRPV1 sensitization only when high glucose existed together with hypoxia. The potentiation of TRPV1 was caused by its phosphorylation of the serine residues, and translocation of protein kinase C (PKC)ε was clearly observed in the cells exposed to the hypoxic conditions in both cell types, which was inhibited by 2-methoxyestradiol, a HIF-1α inhibitor. These data suggest that hypoxia is a new sensitization mechanism for TRPV1, which might be relevant to diabetes-related complications, and also for other diseases that are associated with acute hypoxia.

Hypoxia and high glucose activate tetrodotoxin-resistant Na(+) currents through PKA and PKC.

Voltage-gated sodium channels are critical for the initiation and propagation of action potentials and for the regulation of neuronal excitability. Hyperglycemia and hypoxia are two main changes in diabetes frequently associated with several complications. Although many studies on streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats indicate that early diabetic neuropathy is associated with increased amplitude and faster kinetics of sodium channels, the distinctive roles of high glucose and hypoxia have not been completely clarified. Here we show that hypoxic and high glucose conditions (overnight exposure) increase activation and inactivation of TTX-RINa in DRG neurons without affecting the level of expression. Hypoxia and high glucose alone were potent enough to induce similar or even greater sensitization than when both conditions were present, without any of them having a predominant effect. PKA is mainly responsible of the one condition effect, while under both hypoxia and high glucose PKC was also contributing to alter the kinetics, although not in a cumulative manner. These data indicate that TTX-RINa is significantly modulated under short-time exposure to hypoxia and high glucose, a mechanism which might be relevant for diabetes-related complications or other diseases associated with acute hypoxia.

Alpha(1)-adrenoceptor-mediated depolarization and beta-mediated hyperpolarization in cultured rat dorsal root ganglion neurones.

The mechanism of sympathetic - sensory coupling after nerve injury is still not well understood. We have studied the changes in resting potential and excitability of sensory neurones induced by adrenergic stimulation, using whole-cell and perforated-patch recordings in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurones from normal rats. Adrenaline (1-100 microM) depolarized 18 of 39 neurones (46%) and hyperpolarized seven neurones (18%); excitability was increased and decreased, respectively. Stimulating the neurones with 10 microM phenylephrine (alpha(1)-agonist) induced depolarization and increased excitability, while 10 microM isoprenaline (beta-agonist) induced hyperpolarization and reduced excitability. We conclude that alpha(1)- and beta-receptors have opposing effects on membrane potential and excitability in cultured dorsal root ganglion neurones, and the differing effects of adrenaline can be explained by different degrees of expression of each receptor type.

Few cultured rat primary sensory neurons express a tolbutamide-sensitive K+ current.

The response of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to metabolic inhibition is known to involve calcium-activated K+ channels; in most neuronal types ATP-sensitive K+ channels (K(ATP)) also contribute, but this is not yet established in the DRG. We have investigated the presence of a K(ATP) current using whole-cell recordings from rat DRG neurons, classifying the neurons functionally by their "current signature" (Petruska et al, J Neurophysiol 84:2365-2379, 2000). We clearly identified a K(ATP) current in only 1 out of 62 neurons, probably a nociceptor. The current was activated by cyanide (2 mM NaCN) and was sensitive to 100 microM tolbutamide; the relation between reversal potential and external K+ concentration indicated it was a K+ current. In a further two neurons, cyanide activated a K+ current that was only partially blocked by tolbutamide, which may also be an atypical K(ATP) current. We conclude that K(ATP) channels are expressed in normal DRG, but in very few neurons and only in nociceptors.