We report herein a novel mechanism, unraveled by proteomics and validated by in vitro and in vivo studies, of the aberrant aging-associated upregulation of ovarian transferrin and ferritin in rat ovaries. The ovarian mass and serum estradiol titer plummeted while the ovarian labile ferrous iron and total iron levels escalated with age in rats. Oxidative stress markers, such as nitrite/nitrate, 3-nitrotyrosine, and 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal, accumulated in the aging ovaries due to an aberrant upregulation of the ovarian transferrin, ferritin light/heavy chains, and iron regulatory protein 2(IRP2)-mediated transferrin receptor 1 (TfR1). Ferritin inhibited estradiol biosynthesis in ovarian granulosa cells in vitro via the upregulation of a nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) and p65/p50-induced oxidative and inflammatory factor inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). An in vivo study demonstrated how the age-associated activation of NF-κB induced the upregulation of iNOS and the tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα). The downregulation of the keap1-mediated nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), that induced a decrease in glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), was observed. The aberrant transferrin and ferritin upregulation triggered an iron accumulation via the upregulation of an IRP2-induced TfR1. This culminates in NF-κB-iNOS-mediated ovarian oxi-inflamm-aging and serum estradiol decrement in naturally aging rats. The iron accumulation and the effect on ferroptosis-related proteins including the GPX4, TfR1, Nrf2, Keap1, and ferritin heavy chain, as in testicular ferroptosis, indicated the triggering of ferroptosis. In young rats, an intraovarian injection of an adenovirus, which expressed iron regulatory proteins, upregulated the ovarian NF-κB/iNOS and downregulated the GPX4. These novel findings have contributed to a prompt translational research on the ovarian aging-associated iron metabolism and aging-associated ovarian diseases.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry
- ovarian oxi-inflammaging