The high-affinity choline transporter (CHT1), which is specifically expressed in cholinergic neurons, constitutes a rate-limiting step for acetylcholine synthesis. We have found that the exogenous ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-2 interacts with CHT1 expressed in HEK293 cells decreasing the amount of cell surface CHT1 by approximately 40%, and that small interfering RNA for endogenous Nedd4-2 enhances the choline uptake activity by CHT1 in HEK293 cells. These results indicate that Nedd4-2-mediated ubiquitination regulates the cell surface expression of CHT1 in cultured cells and suggest a possibility that treatments or drugs which inhibit the interaction between CHT1 and Nedd4-2 might be useful for diseases involving decrease in acetylcholine level such as Alzheimer's disease.
Many biological activities of green tea have been attributed to a major constituent, (minus;)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). We previously reported that EGCG and an EGCG-free fraction derived from green tea modulated the gene expression of gluconeogenic enzymes, glucose-6-phosphatase and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, in the mouse liver. EGCG is also known to affect the gene expression of enzymes related to lipid metabolism. However, it remains to be examined whether or not a constituent other than EGCG contributes to the change in gene expression of these enzymes. In this study, we prepared an EGCG-free water-soluble fraction (GT-W), and examined its effects on the hepatic gene expression of lipogenic enzymes in mice. The results of quantitative real-time PCR assays indicated that the dietary administration of GT-W for 4 weeks reduced the hepatic gene expression of lipogenic enzymes: fatty acid synthase, hydroxymethylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, and acetyl-coenzyme A carboxylase alpha. Also, the gene expression of sterol regulatory element-binding transcription factor (Srebf)1 and/or Srebf2 was reduced, suggesting that the reduction of Srebfs contributed to the down-regulation of the lipogenic enzymes, since these transcription factors bind the promoter region to enhance their expression. The plasma levels of triglycerides and cholesterol were reduced with statistical significance in the group given a diet containing GT-W. These results suggest that in addition to EGCG, green tea contains some component(s) which may help to prevent arteriosclerosis and obesity.
Geranylgeranoic acid (GGA), a 20-carbon acyclic polyprenoic acid (all-trans 3,7,11,15-tetramethyl- 2,4,6,10,14-hexadecatetraenoic acid) and its derivatives were developed as synthetic “acyclic retinoids” for cancer chemoprevention. Previously, we have shown the natural occurrence of GGA in various medicinal herbs and reported enzymatic formation of GGA from geranylgeraniol (GGOH) through geranylgeranial (GGal) by rat liver homogenates. Here, we present several lines of evidence that a putative GGOH oxidase is involved in GGA synthesis by human hepatoma cell lysates. First, conversion of GGOH to GGal did not require exogenous NAD+, whereas the conversion from GGal to GGA absolutely required additional NAD+. Second, GGal synthesis from GGOH was coupled with consumption of oxygen from the reaction mixture. Third, GGOH-dependent GGal synthesis activity was proteinase K-resistant and even enhanced by proteinase K treatment; GGOH oxidase activity was enriched in the mitochondrial fraction. Finally, recombinant human monoamine oxidase (MAO)-B, but not MAO-A catalyzed oxidation of GGOH to GGal. These data suggest that a putative mitochondrial GGOH oxidase is involved in the initial step of GGA synthesis from GGOH.
We have studied the effects of natural medicines on neurite outgrowth in PC12D cells in a cultured medium of C2C12 cells. Derived from mouse myoblasts, the C2C12 cells secrete neurotrophic factors including nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3). The secretion of these neurotrophins from C2C12 cells stimulate neurite outgrowth in PC12D cells. We have screened a total of 120 samples and found five natural medicines: Trichosanthes Root, Asiasarum Root, Lycium Bark, Sinomenium Stem, and Dictamni radicis Cortex, that enhance the activity of C2C12-cultured medium to stimulate neurite outgrowth in PC12D cells. These natural medicines promoted not only neurite outgrowth but also stabilized the neurite formation in PC12D cells for several days. RT-PCR analysis showed that NGF was significantly increased with Trichosanthes and Lycium Bark. However, BDNF was slightly decreased with Lycium Bark, Sinomenium Stem, and Dictamni radicis Cortex. NT-3 was increased slightly by all of these natural medicines except Sinomenium Stem. All these five natural medicines significantly increased the number and length of neurites in PC12D cells in co-culture with C2C12 cells.
Peptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) are produced in endocrine cells that show distal distribution in each of small and large intestine. They are colocalized in the same endocrine cells at different ratios depending on the animal species. The present study examined the possibility of plasticity in the colocalization pattern in the bovine rectum, which is known to contain endocrine cells at a high concentration. Consecutive sections from different pre- and postnatal stages were stained immunohistochemically. The immunoreactive (IR) cells were divided into three groups: 1) cells IR for both PYY and GLP-1 (PYY/GLP-1-IR cells), 2) cells IR only for PYY (PYY-IR cells), and 3) cells IR only for GLP-1 (GLP-1-IR cells). The percentage of PYY/GLP-1-IR cells was high in the prenatal (early, mid- and late fetuses) and suckling stages, whereas it decreased in the herbivorous (weaning, weaned and adult) stages. In contrast, percentages of PYYand GLP-1-IR single cells were low in the prenatal and suckling stages and increased after the suckling stage. PYY/GLP-1 endocrine cells may adapt to the change of digestion depending on feeding habits and/or specific developmental stages of cattle. The present results suggest the developmental plasticity of the colocalization pattern of gut hormones with nutritional transition.
Compared with the aggressive factors, little attention has been paid to the mucosal defensive factors in ulcer therapy, and the role of the H2-receptor antagonists in gastric mucosal protection has not been well characterized. In the present study, the effects of different types of H2-receptor antagonists (famotidine and roxatidine) on rat gastric mucus cells were investigated using both biochemical and histological methods. Each drug (famotidine, 3 mg/kg; roxatidine, 100 mg/kg) was orally administered to rats by gavage once daily for 7 days. The biosynthesis and tissue content of mucin were compared in the gastric mucosa treated with each drug. Using anti-mucin monoclonal antibodies, the mucin content and immunohistochemical localization were also compared. Both the biosynthesis and the accumulation of gastric mucin were significantly decreased in the famotidinetreated rats, but not in the roxatidine. Both the content and the immunoreactivity of surface mucus cell-derived mucin were reduced by famotidine, while they were maintained in roxatidine-treated rat stomachs. There was no difference between the groups in the content and immunoreactivity of mucous neck cell-derived mucin. H2-receptor antagonists should be classified in relation to gastric surface mucus cell function, raising the possibility of more effective ulcer therapy.
The ICGN mouse strain is a glomerulosclerosis (GS) model that shows significant proteinuria, podocyte morphological abnormalities and increased extracellular matrix accumulation in the glomeruli, which represent the final common pathology associated with a variety of kidney diseases leading to end-stage renal failure. Previously, we demonstrated that GS in ICGN mice can be attributed to the deletion mutation of the tensin2 (Tns2) gene (Tns2nep). Further, the C57BL/6J (B6) mouse is resistant to GS caused by this mutation. 129/Sv is also a popular strain; however, its susceptibility to GS has not been defined. Thus, to determine whether 129/Sv is resistant or susceptible to GS, we produced a congenic strain carrying Tns2nep on the 129+Ter/Sv (129T) background. 129T congenic mice (129T-Tns2nep) did not exhibit albuminuria, renal anemia, increases in BUN, or any severe pathological changes until at least 16 weeks of age. These results indicate that 129T is resistant to GS. Although their usage in biomedical studies is already widespread, 129/Sv mice may afford a late-onset and unique strain applicable to kidney disease research.
Stress is believed to be harmful to not only mental but also physical health. However, proving a link between stress and disease is difficult. A recent study reported that an environmental enrichment reduced cancer growth via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and leptin. Here, we report that mice kept in a fragrant environment enriched with α-pinene show reduced melanoma growth. Tumor volume of mice under the α-pinene environment was about 40% smaller than that in the control mice. α-Pinene had no inhibitory effect on melanoma cell proliferation in vitro, suggesting that this effect was not a direct effect of α-pinene. These results suggest that the provision of a fragrant environment may be an important factor in the therapeutic approach to cancer.
Blood glucose and plasma insulin levels between C57BL/6J and ICR strain mice with nicotinamide (NA) and streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes were compared to establish a suitable strain of the experimental diabetic mouse model. The mice were intraperitoneally treated twice with STZ (100 mg/kg) 15 min after injection of NA (120 mg/kg) at a 1-day interval, and non-fasting blood glucose level was then weekly monitored for 5 weeks. The blood glucose level in ICR mice gradually increased and was about 2-times higher than that in C57BL/6J mice at the end of the observation. The plasma insulin level in ICR mice was comparatively low, compared with that in C57BL/6J mice. ICR mice were also markedly glucose-intolerant when oral glucose tolerance test was performed. These results indicate that ICR strain is more sensitive than C57BL/6J strain as a mouse model with NA/STZ-induced mild diabetes.