We previously found that daidzein decreased food intake in female rats. To understand the mechanism of anorectic action of dietary daidzein, it is necessary to determine distributions of daidzein and S-equol, a metabolite of intestinal bacterial conversion from daidzein, in the body. In the present study, we measured the concentrations of daidzein and S-equol in serum and bile in sham-operated and ovariectomized female rats fed a diet containing 150 mg/kg daidzein for 7 days. Dietary daidzein increased serum and bile concentrations of S-equol to far higher levels than those of daidzein. S-equol concentration was more than several hundred fold-higher in bile than in serum, regardless of ovariectomy. Moreover, to investigate whether accumulation of S-equol is facilitated by efficient enterohepatic circulation during continuous intake of daidzein and S-equol, female rats were fed diet containing daidzein or S-equol (both 150 mg/kg), or control diet for 1, 2, 3, or 5 days. Dietary daidzein significantly increased serum and bile concentrations of S-equol in a time-dependent manner, but not those of daidzein. These results indicated that substantial proportion of dietary daidzein was converted to S-equol, which underwent efficient enterohepatic circulation and predominantly accumulated there.
Unilateral training of both lateral limbs increases unilateral muscle strength, whereas bilateral training increases bilateral muscle strength, a phenomenon known as lateral specificity in resistance training. Although motor imagery (MI) combined with action observation (AO) (i.e., MI + AO) training increases muscle strength, it is not completely understood whether such training increases the lateral specificity of muscle strength in a way resistance training does. To investigate whether MI + AO induces lateral specificity of muscle strength increase, 18 healthy subjects were divided into groups: MI + AO and the control groups. The control group watched a movie of natural sceneries for ten minutes per day five times a week for three weeks, whereas the MI + AO group imagined bilateral shoulder flexion while watching a movie of athletes performing bilateral shoulder flexion with barbells or dumbbells, with the same time schedule. The MI + AO group alone showed a significant increase in bilateral shoulder strength at three weeks after the intervention compared with the baseline. Unilateral shoulder strength was not significantly altered. These results suggest that MI + AO training increases muscle strength, providing evidence that similar to resistance training, lateral specificity also exists in MI + AO training.
Nerve transfer involves the use of a portion of a healthy nerve to repair an injured nerve, and the process has been used to alleviate traumatic brachial plexus injuries in humans. Study of the neural mechanisms that occur during nerve transfer, however, requires the establishment of reliable experimental models. In this study, we developed an ulnar-musculocutaneous nerve-transfer model wherein the biceps muscle of a mouse was re-innervated using a donor ulnar nerve. Similar muscle action potentials were detected in both the end-to-end suture of the transected nerve (correctrepair) group and the ulnar-musculocutaneous nerve-transfer group. Also, re-innervated acetylcholine receptor (AChR) clusters and muscle spindles were observed in both procedures. There were fewer re-innervated AChR clusters in the nerve transfer group than in the correct repair group at 4 weeks, but the numbers were equal at 24 weeks following surgery. Thus, our ulnar-musculocutaneous nerve-transfer model allowed physiological and morphological evaluation for re-innervation process in mice and revealed the delay of this process during nerve transfer procedure. This model will provide great opportunities to study regeneration, re-innervation, and functional recovery induced via nerve transfer procedures.