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Open access

Xiuzhen Hou, Junfeng Zhang, Hehong Ma, Ming Li, and Pei Wang

Background

Oxidative stress leads to insulin resistance and gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) signaling is an important anti-oxidative stress pathway, which can be activated by hypoxia-reoxygenation (H/R) treatment. We aimed to demonstrate the effects of H/R treatment on GDM symptoms as well as reproductive outcomes.

Methods

Pregnant C57BL/KsJ db/+ mice were used as a genetic GDM model. Plasma insulin and other biochemical indexes of plasma, insulin sensitivity, glucose intolerance, blood glucose and liver biochemical indexes were evaluated. Protein abundance of HO-1 and Nrf2 were assessed with Western blot.

Results

H/R treatment markedly ameliorated β-cell insufficiency and glucose intolerance, suppressed oxidative stress in vivo, stimulated the activities of anti-oxidant enzymes, and led to improved reproductive outcomes. The beneficial effects of H/R treatment were mechanistically mediated via the restoration of Nrf2/HO-1 anti-oxidant signaling pathway in the liver of GDM mice.

Conclusion

Our study, for the first time, suggests that H/R treatment is a potentially novel therapeutic approach against GDM symptoms, by activating the Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway and inhibiting oxidative stress.

Open access

Yun Hu, Na Li, Peng Jiang, Liang Cheng, Bo Ding, Xiao-Mei Liu, Ke He, Yun-Qing Zhu, Bing-li Liu, Xin Cao, Hong Zhou, and Xiao-Ming Mao

Objective

Thyroid nodules are usually accompanied by elevated thyroglobulin (Tg) level and autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITDs). However, the relationship between Tg and AITDs is not fully understood. Dysfunction of regulatory T cells (Tregs) plays an important role in the development of AITDs. We aimed to evaluate the effects of Tg on the function of Tregs in patients with thyroid nodules.

Methods

Tg levels and the functions of Tregs in peripheral blood and thyroid tissues of patients with thyroid nodules from Nanjing First Hospital were evaluated. The effects of Tg on the function of Tregs from healthy donors were also assessed in vitro. The function of Tregs was defined as an inhibitory effect of Tregs on the effector T cell (CD4+ CD25 T cell) proliferation rate.

Results

The level of Tg in peripheral blood correlated negatively with the inhibitory function of Tregs (R = 0.398, P = 0.03), and Tregs function declined significantly in the high Tg group (Tg >77 μg/L) compared with the normal Tg group (11.4 ± 3.9% vs 27.5 ± 3.5%, P < 0.05). Compared with peripheral blood, the function of Tregs in thyroid declined significantly (P < 0.01), but the proportion of FOXP3+ Tregs in thyroid increased (P < 0.01). High concentration of Tg (100 μg/mL) inhibited the function of Tregs and downregulated FOXP3, TGF-β and IL-10 mRNA expression in Tregs in vitro.

Conclusions

Elevated Tg level could impair the function of Tregs, which might increase the risk of AITDs in patient with thyroid nodules.