Aberrant Transferrin and Ferritin Upregulation Elicits Iron Accumulation and Oxidative Inflammaging Causing Ferroptosis and Undermines Estradiol Biosynthesis in Aging Rat Ovaries by Upregulating NF-Κb-Activated Inducible Nitric Oxide Synthase: First Demonstration of an Intricate Mechanism

Stephen Cho Wing Sze*, Liang Zhang, Shiqing Zhang, Kaili Lin, Tzi Bun Ng, Man Ling Ng, Kai Fai Lee, Jenny Ka Wing Lam, Zhang Zhang, Ken Kin Lam Yung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number12689
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Volume23
Issue number20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • ferritin
  • ferroptosis
  • NF-κB/iNOS
  • ovarian oxi-inflammaging
  • transferrin

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