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03 December 2018 : Laboratory Research  

Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1-α (HIF-1α) Induces Apoptosis of Human Uterosacral Ligament Fibroblasts Through the Death Receptor and Mitochondrial Pathways

Xinrui Zhao1ABE, Lidong Liu1CF, Rui Li1CD, Xuan Wei1CF, Wenqing Luan1D, Peishu Liu1AEG*, Jing Zhao1ACF

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.913384

Med Sci Monit 2018; 24: LBR8722-8733

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Hypoxia induces cell apoptosis in the uterosacral ligaments of patients with pelvic organ prolapse by upregulation of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). This study aimed to investigate the effects of HIF-1α on human uterosacral ligament fibroblasts (hUSLFs) following treatment with the chemical inducer of hypoxia, cobalt chloride (CoCl2), and to explore the underlying mechanisms.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Ten women who underwent hysterectomy for benign disease provided uterosacral ligament tissue for cell extraction. Following CoCl₂ treatment, cell viability of isolated and cultured hUSLFs was evaluated by the MTT assay. JC-1 fluorescence mitochondrial imaging was used to study the change in mitochondrial membrane potential. Cell apoptosis and expression of apoptosis-associated proteins and collagen type I alpha 1 (COL1A1) were measured by flow cytometry, TUNEL and Western blot, respectively.

RESULTS: Hypoxia increased the expression of HIF-1a and increased cell apoptosis, decreased cell viability and expression levels of COL1A1. The JC-1 assay showed that the mitochondrial membrane potential was reduced and caspase-8, and -9 inhibitors partly reduced hUSLF apoptosis. HIF-1α treatment downregulated the expression of cellular FLICE inhibitory protein (c-FLIP), decoy receptor 2 (DcR2), and the ratio of Bcl-2 to Bax, and upregulated the expression tumor necrosis factor related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL), death receptor 5 (DR5) or TRAIL-R2, Fas, Bcl-2 interacting protein 3 (BNIP3), and cytochrome C, and increased the activation of caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9, all of which were reversed by knockdown of HIF-1α.

CONCLUSIONS: HIF-1α significantly induced apoptosis of hUSLFs through both the cell death receptor and the mitochondrial-associated apoptosis pathways.

Keywords: Cell Hypoxia, Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1, pelvic organ prolapse

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Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750
Medical Science Monitor eISSN: 1643-3750