Corosolic acid (CA), contained in the leaves of the banaba plant (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.), is a pentacyclic triterpene, and has hypoglycemic effects. The effects of CA on dietary hypercholesterolemia and hepatic steatosis were assessed in KK-Ay mice, an animal model of type 2 diabetes. Two kinds of high cholesterol diet with or without 0.023% CA, were prepared for the study. KK-Ay mice were fed a normal diet (controls), the high cholesterol diet with CA (CA-mice) or that without CA (HC-mice) for 10 weeks. CA inhibited the mean blood cholesterol level by 32% (P < 0.05) and the liver cholesterol content by 46% (P < 0.05) compared with those of HC-mice 10 weeks after the start of dietary intake. Acutely, CA inhibited the mean blood cholesterol level 4 h after the administration of a high-cholesterol cocktail in an oral cholesterol-loading test, compared with that of control mice (P < 0.05). These results suggest that CA has some direct effects on the cholesterol absorption process in the small intestine. CA may inhibit the activity of cholesterol acyltransferase, which acts in the re-esterification of cholesterol in the small intestine, in type 2 diabetes.
We attempted to clarify the effects of cyclohexenonic long-chain fatty alcohol (CHLFA) on the alterations of type 2 diabetes-induced nephropathy. Forty-week-old male Goto-Kakizaki (GK) and Wistar rats were divided into four groups of 6 to 8 animals. Group A consisted of eight Wistar rats and served as an age-matched control group. Group B (7 GK rats) received no treatment and served as a diabetic group. Group C (6 GK rats) was treated daily with low-dose CHLFA (2 mg/ kg/body weight, subcutaneously) for 30 weeks, and Group D (6 GK rats) with high-dose CHLFA (8 mg/kg/body weight) for 30 weeks. At the end of the treatment period, urinary protein excretion, blood chemistry, renal histological, and immunohistological analyses were conducted. Although CHLFA administration did not influence serum glucose or insulin levels, it reversed diabetesinduced increases in urinary protein excretion and serum creatinine. Light microscopically, CHLFA treatment ameliorated the otherwise elevated glomerular sclerotic scores in the diabetic group.Immunohistochemically, increased expression of desmin and decreased expression of rat endothelial cell antigen-1 in the group with untreated diabetes both showed a reversal to control levels in the high-dose CHLFA treatment group. In conclusion, CHLFA may ameliorate type 2 diabetesinduced nephropathy.
Hericium erinaceus, a well known edible mashroom, has numerous biological activities. Especially hericenones and erinacines isolated from its fruiting body stimulate nerve growth factor (NGF) synthesis, which expects H. erinaceus to have some effects on brain functions and autonomic nervous system. Herein, we investigated the clinical effects of H. erinaceus on menopause, depression, sleep quality and indefinite complaints, using the Kupperman Menopausal Index (KMI), the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and the Indefinite Complaints Index (ICI). Thirty females were randomly assigned to either the H. erinaceus (HE) group or the placebo group and took HE cookies or placebo cookies for 4 weeks. Each of the CES-D and the ICI score after the HE intake was significantly lower than that before. In two terms of the ICI, “insentive” and “palpitatio”, each of the mean score of the HE group was significantly lower than the placebo group. “Concentration”, “irritating” and “anxious” tended to be lower than the placebo group. Our results show that HE intake has the possibility to reduce depression and anxiety and these results suggest a different mechanism from NGF-enhancing action of H. erinaceus.
SMCT1 (slc5a8) is a sodium-coupled monocarboxylate transporter expressed in the brush border of enterocytes. It regulates the uptake of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by bacterial fermentation in the large intestine. Another subtype, SMCT2 (slc5a12), is expressed abundantly in the small intestine, but its precise expression profile remains unknown. The present study using in situ hybridization method, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative PCR analysis examined the distribution and cellular localization of SMCT2 in the digestive tract of mice and compared the expression pattern with those of other transporters for monocarboxylates. While an abundant expression of SMCT2 was found in the jejunum, this was negligible in the duodenum, terminal ileum, and large intestine. In contrast, SMCT1 had predominant expression sites in the large bowel and terminal ileum. Subcellularly, SMCT2 was localized in the brush border of enterocytes in the intestinal villi—as is the case for SMCT1, sugge ting its involvement in the uptake of foodderived monocarboxylates such as lactate and acetate. MCT (slc16) is a basolateral type transporter of the gut epithelium and conveys monocarboxylates in an H+-dependent manner. Since among the main subtypes of MCT family only MCT1 was expressed significantly in the small intestine, it is able to function as a counterpart to SMCT2 in this location.
The effect of consuming bonito extract (BE) on cerebral blood flow was evaluated in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP), a cerebrovascular disease model. BE dissolved in drinking water was given to 5-week-old male SHRSP for 7 weeks. Tap water was given to the control group. At the age of 12 weeks, blood flow and vascular diameter were measured in the middle cerebral artery. Both cerebral blood flow and cerebral vessel width were greater in the BE group than in the control group. Also, stroke occurred in 7 (with death in 2) of the 8 animals in the control group but in none of the 6 animals in the BE group. To clarify its mechanism, the expressions of nitrogen oxide synthase (NOS) and the superoxide dismutase activity (SOD) in the brain were evaluated. NOS mRNA expression and SOD activity in the cerebrum were higher in the BE group. These results suggest that the consumption of BE suppresses the decrease of cerebral blood flow and reduces the risk of stroke to maintain vasorelaxation through the production of nitrogen oxide and suppression of active oxygen generation.
Neuroadrenergic abnormalities, including a predominant activity of parasympathetic nerve and blunted hormone secretion, are recognized in the overweight patients. This study aimed to examine whether the “Senobi” breathing method, a stretch-breathing exercise that we have developed, could activate or recover sympathetic nervous system activity that leads to the loss of body weight. Forty pre-menopausal women, aged 40 to 50 years, participated in this study. Twenty were healthy and the other 20 were overweight (body mass index › 25 and body fat › 30%). Sympathetic nerve activity was assessed using equipment that analyzes cardiac-beat variation, and several urinary hormone levels were examined before and 30 min after performing the “Senobi” breathing exercise. The average proportion of sympathetic nerve among healthy women during daytime hours (10 : 00 AM to 12 : 00 PM) was 62.6% ± 2.6%. On the other hand, that of overweight women was 33.5% ± 0.4%. After 1 min of the “Senobi” breathing, substantial up-regulation of sympathetic nerve activity and increased urinary hormone secretion were observed in the overweight women but not in the healthy controls. Moreover, after repeating the exercise for a month, the obese patients showed significant loss of body fat. The “Senobi” breathing exercise was found to be effective for weight loss in obesity possibly by regulating the autonomic nervous system and the hormone secretion.