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HMGB1-induced Aberrant Autophagy Contributes to Insulin Resistance in Granulosa Cells in PCOS

Insulin resistance (IR) disrupts ovarian functions in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). The contributing factors remains elusive. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule, has been shown to be related to IR and autophagy, respectively, in peripheral tissues. Here, we investigated whether increased HMGB1 contributes to IR in granulosa cells of PCOS patients via induction of aberrant autophagy. Results showed that HMGB1 abundance in the follicular fluid was significantly increased with enhanced autophagy in granulosa cells in PCOS patients with IR. HMGB1 exacerbated autophagy in granulosa cells as evinced by increased LC3B II/I ratio and ATG7 as well as decreased p62, the markers for autophagy. Concurrently, HMGB1 impaired insulin sensitivities by attenuating the abundance of insulin receptor substrate-1, Akt phosphorylation, GLUT4 translocation, and glucose uptake in granulosa cells, which were reversed by blocking autophagy pathways with siRNA-mediated knockdown of ATG7 or with chloroquine and bafilomycin A1, the lysosome inhibitors. In conclusion, our results indicate that increased HMGB1 contributes to IR development in granulosa cells of PCOS patients, which is associated with exacerbation of autophagy by HMGB1. Control of HMGB1 production may be benefical for the improvement of insulin sensitivity in granulosa cells in PCOS.

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