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Physiological Reviews

Jesús Tejero, Sruti Shiva, Mark T Gladwin
Nitric oxide (NO) is a small free radical with critical signaling roles in physiology and pathophysiology. The generation of sufficient NO levels to regulate the resistance of the blood vessels and hence the maintenance of adequate blood flow is critical to the healthy performance of the vasculature. A novel paradigm indicates that classical NO synthesis by dedicated NO synthases is supplemented by nitrite reduction pathways under hypoxia. At the same time, reactive oxygen species (ROS), which include superoxide and hydrogen peroxide, are produced in the vascular system for signaling purposes, as effectors of the immune response, or as byproducts of cellular metabolism...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Jolanda van der Velden, Ger J M Stienen
The sarcomeric proteins represent the structural building blocks of heart muscle, which are essential for contraction and relaxation. During recent years, it has become evident that posttranslational modifications of sarcomeric proteins, in particular phosphorylation, tune cardiac pump function at rest and during exercise. This delicate, orchestrated interaction is also influenced by mutations, predominantly in sarcomeric proteins, which cause hypertrophic or dilated cardiomyopathy. In this review, we follow a bottom-up approach starting from a description of the basic components of cardiac muscle at the molecular level up to the various forms of cardiac disorders at the organ level...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Agustin Gonzalez-Vicente, Fara Saez, Casandra M Monzon, Jessica Asirwatham, Jeffrey L Garvin
The thick ascending limb plays a key role in maintaining water and electrolyte balance. The importance of this segment in regulating blood pressure is evidenced by the effect of loop diuretics or local genetic defects on this parameter. Hormones and factors produced by thick ascending limbs have both autocrine and paracrine effects, which can extend prohypertensive signaling to other structures of the nephron. In this review, we discuss the role of the thick ascending limb in the development of hypertension, not as a sole participant, but one that works within the rich biological context of the renal medulla...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Thomas P Keeley, Giovanni E Mann
The extensive oxygen gradient between the air we breathe (Po2 ~21 kPa) and its ultimate distribution within mitochondria (as low as ~0.5-1 kPa) is testament to the efforts expended in limiting its inherent toxicity. It has long been recognized that cell culture undertaken under room air conditions falls short of replicating this protection in vitro. Despite this, difficulty in accurately determining the appropriate O2 levels in which to culture cells, coupled with a lack of the technology to replicate and maintain a physiological O2 environment in vitro, has hindered addressing this issue thus far...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Catherine Dostert, Melanie Grusdat, Elisabeth Letellier, Dirk Brenner
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamilies (TNFSF/TNFRSF) include 19 ligands and 29 receptors that play important roles in the modulation of cellular functions. The communication pathways mediated by TNFSF/TNFRSF are essential for numerous developmental, homeostatic, and stimulus-responsive processes in vivo. TNFSF/TNFRSF members regulate cellular differentiation, survival, and programmed death, but their most critical functions pertain to the immune system. Both innate and adaptive immune cells are controlled by TNFSF/TNFRSF members in a manner that is crucial for the coordination of various mechanisms driving either co-stimulation or co-inhibition of the immune response...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Peter Karagiannis, Kazutoshi Takahashi, Megumu Saito, Yoshinori Yoshida, Keisuke Okita, Akira Watanabe, Haruhisa Inoue, Jun K Yamashita, Masaya Todani, Masato Nakagawa, Mitsujiro Osawa, Yoshimi Yashiro, Shinya Yamanaka, Kenji Osafune
The discovery of somatic cell nuclear transfer proved that somatic cells can carry the same genetic code as the zygote, and that activating parts of this code are sufficient to reprogram the cell to an early developmental state. The discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) nearly half a century later provided a molecular mechanism for the reprogramming. The initial creation of iPSCs was accomplished by the ectopic expression of four specific genes (OCT4, KLF4, SOX2, and c-Myc; OSKM). iPSCs have since been acquired from a wide range of cell types and a wide range of species, suggesting a universal molecular mechanism...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Melanie D Sweeney, Zhen Zhao, Axel Montagne, Amy R Nelson, Berislav V Zlokovic
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) prevents neurotoxic plasma components, blood cells, and pathogens from entering the brain. At the same time, the BBB regulates transport of molecules into and out of the central nervous system (CNS), which maintains tightly controlled chemical composition of the neuronal milieu that is required for proper neuronal functioning. In this review, we first examine molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the establishment of the BBB. Then, we focus on BBB transport physiology, endothelial and pericyte transporters, and perivascular and paravascular transport...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Liliana D'Alba, Matthew D Shawkey
Melanosomes are organelles that produce and store melanin, a widespread biological pigment with a unique suite of properties including high refractive index, semiconducting capabilities, material stiffness, and high fossilization potential. They are involved in numerous critical biological functions in organisms across the tree of life. Individual components such as melanin chemistry and melanosome development have recently been addressed, but a broad synthesis is needed. Here, we review the hierarchical structure, development, functions, and evolution of melanosomes...
January 1, 2019: Physiological Reviews
Markus M Rinschen, Kavee Limbutara, Mark A Knepper, D Michael Payne, Trairak Pisitkun
Classical physiological studies using electrophysiological, biophysical, biochemical, and molecular techniques have created a detailed picture of molecular transport, bioenergetics, contractility and movement, and growth, as well as the regulation of these processes by external stimuli in cells and organisms. Newer systems biology approaches are beginning to provide deeper and broader understanding of these complex biological processes and their dynamic responses to a variety of environmental cues. In the past decade, advances in mass spectrometry-based proteomic technologies have provided invaluable tools to further elucidate these complex cellular processes, thereby confirming, complementing, and advancing common views of physiology...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Thomas Moore-Morris, Patrick Piet van Vliet, Gregor Andelfinger, Michel Puceat
The heart is the first organ to be functional in the fetus. Heart formation is a complex morphogenetic process regulated by both genetic and epigenetic mechanisms. Congenital heart diseases (CHD) are the most prominent congenital diseases. Genetics is not sufficient to explain these diseases or the impact of them on patients. Epigenetics is more and more emerging as a basis for cardiac malformations. This review brings the essential knowledge on cardiac biology of development. It further provides a broad background on epigenetics with a focus on three-dimensional conformation of chromatin...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Vanessa Frodermann, Matthias Nahrendorf
Research during the last decade has generated numerous insights on the presence, phenotype, and function of myeloid cells in cardiovascular organs. Newer tools with improved detection sensitivities revealed sizable populations of tissue-resident macrophages in all major healthy tissues. The heart and blood vessels contain robust numbers of these cells; for instance, 8% of noncardiomyocytes in the heart are macrophages. This number and the cell's phenotype change dramatically in disease conditions. While steady-state macrophages are mostly monocyte independent, macrophages residing in the inflamed vascular wall and the diseased heart derive from hematopoietic organs...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Jing Wang, Jean-Luc Puel
Sensorineural hearing impairment is the most common sensory disorder and a major health and socio-economic issue in industrialized countries. It is primarily due to the degeneration of mechanosensory hair cells and spiral ganglion neurons in the cochlea via complex pathophysiological mechanisms. These occur following acute and/or chronic exposure to harmful extrinsic (e.g., ototoxic drugs, noise...) and intrinsic (e.g., aging, genetic) causative factors. No clinical therapies currently exist to rescue the dying sensorineural cells or regenerate these cells once lost...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Jonathan W Lowery, Vicki Rosen
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) constitute the largest subdivision of the transforming growth factor-β family of ligands. BMPs exhibit widespread utility and pleiotropic, context-dependent effects, and the strength and duration of BMP pathway signaling is tightly regulated at numerous levels via mechanisms operating both inside and outside the cell. Defects in the BMP pathway or its regulation underlie multiple human diseases of different organ systems. Yet much remains to be discovered about the BMP pathway in its original context, i...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Erika Harno, Thanuja Gali Ramamoorthy, Anthony P Coll, Anne White
Pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) is the archetypal polypeptide precursor of hormones and neuropeptides. In this review, we examine the variability in the individual peptides produced in different tissues and the impact of the simultaneous presence of their precursors or fragments. We also discuss the problems inherent in accurately measuring which of the precursors and their derived peptides are present in biological samples. We address how not being able to measure all the combinations of precursors and fragments quantitatively has affected our understanding of the pathophysiology associated with POMC processing...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Colin Reardon, Kaitlin Murray, Alan E Lomax
The immune and nervous systems are tightly integrated, with each system capable of influencing the other to respond to infectious or inflammatory perturbations of homeostasis. Recent studies demonstrating the ability of neural stimulation to significantly reduce the severity of immunopathology and consequently reduce mortality have led to a resurgence in the field of neuroimmunology. Highlighting the tight integration of the nervous and immune systems, afferent neurons can be activated by a diverse range of substances from bacterial-derived products to cytokines released by host cells...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Toshimi Michigami, Masanobu Kawai, Miwa Yamazaki, Keiichi Ozono
In mammals, phosphate balance is maintained by influx and efflux via the intestines, kidneys, bone, and soft tissue, which involves multiple sodium/phosphate (Na+ /Pi ) cotransporters, as well as regulation by several hormones. Alterations in the levels of extracellular phosphate exert effects on both skeletal and extra-skeletal tissues, and accumulating evidence has suggested that phosphate itself evokes signal transduction to regulate gene expression and cell behavior. Several in vitro studies have demonstrated that an elevation in extracellular Pi activates fibroblast growth factor receptor, Raf/MEK (mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase)/ERK (extracellular signal-regulated kinase) pathway and Akt pathway, which might involve the type III Na+ /Pi cotransporter PiT-1...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Jennifer W Hill, Carol F Elias
A minimum amount of energy is required for basic physiological processes, such as protein biosynthesis, thermoregulation, locomotion, cardiovascular function, and digestion. However, for reproductive function and survival of the species, extra energy stores are necessary. Production of sex hormones and gametes, pubertal development, pregnancy, lactation, and parental care all require energy reserves. Thus the physiological systems that control energy homeostasis and reproductive function coevolved in mammals to support both individual health and species subsistence...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Jan M Deussing, Alon Chen
The physiological stress response is responsible for the maintenance of homeostasis in the presence of real or perceived challenges. In this function, the brain activates adaptive responses that involve numerous neural circuits and effector molecules to adapt to the current and future demands. A maladaptive stress response has been linked to the etiology of a variety of disorders, such as anxiety and mood disorders, eating disorders, and the metabolic syndrome. The neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and its relatives, the urocortins 1-3, in concert with their receptors (CRFR1, CRFR2), have emerged as central components of the physiological stress response...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Yasushi Okamura, Akira Kawanabe, Takafumi Kawai
Voltage-sensing phosphatase (VSP) contains a voltage sensor domain (VSD) similar to that in voltage-gated ion channels, and a phosphoinositide phosphatase region similar to phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). The VSP gene is conserved from unicellular organisms to higher vertebrates. Membrane depolarization induces electrical driven conformational rearrangement in the VSD, which is translated into catalytic enzyme activity. Biophysical and structural characterization has revealed details of the mechanisms underlying the molecular functions of VSP...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
Ann Hammarstedt, Silvia Gogg, Shahram Hedjazifar, Annika Nerstedt, Ulf Smith
The subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT) is the largest and best storage site for excess lipids. However, it has a limited ability to expand by recruiting and/or differentiating available precursor cells. When inadequate, this leads to a hypertrophic expansion of the cells with increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and a dysfunctional prolipolytic tissue. Epi-/genetic factors regulate SAT adipogenesis and genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes is associated with markers of an impaired SAT adipogenesis and development of hypertrophic obesity also in nonobese individuals...
October 1, 2018: Physiological Reviews
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