The determination of biologically-active molecules is very important in order to understand biological functions. A novel approach for the highly sensitive and specific determination seems to be essential for this purpose. Based on this consideration, we synthesized various types of fluorogenic and fluorescent reagents for the derivatization of chiral and achiral molecules. The fluorescence analysis is excellent for the analysis of target molecules and generally provides good expected results. However, the trace analysis of the bioactive molecules in complex matrices, such as plasma and urine, is not always satisfactory even using high-performance fluorometry. In such a situation, mass spectrometry (MS) is another technique for the selective and sensitive determination of biological components. Therefore, various derivatization reagents for MS/MS detection were developed and used for the determination of amines and carboxyls including chiral molecules. These newly developed reagents were also adopted for the biomarker detection related to diseases using non-invasive samples (i.e., saliva, nail, hair). Although the determination of the targeted chiral molecules is relatively easy, it is very difficult to identify and/or determine the enantiomeric biomarker in real samples. To solve this difficulty, we proposed the strategy called “chiral metabolomics,” which means the total analysis of the enantiomers of various chiral metabolites in complex matrices. This review paper focused on the development of various new derivatization reagents for amines and carboxyls by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis and the detection of the biomarker candidates related to several diseases in non-invasive samples (i.e., hair, nail, saliva) using these reagents.
Vinpocetine is an inhibitor of phosphodiesterase type 1 (PDE1), which has been used for treating stroke for over 40 years. However, according to current clinical dosage and treatment period, its direct effect on memory is unclear. In this study, we investigated whether vinpocetine could reverse the scopolamine (SCO)-induced cognitive deficits in animals. Behavioral experiments, including open field, Y-maze, and fear conditioning tests were used to determine the possible role of vinpocetine on scopolamine-induced memory dysfunction. In the open field and Y-maze tests, there were significant differences between the control (CON) group and SCO group. Vinpocetine (4 mg/kg) administration for consecutive 28 d significantly improved the scopolamine-induced memory dysfunction. In the fear conditioning test, vinpocetine (2, 4 mg/kg) administration had certain beneficial effect on emotional memory. Our results suggest that vinpocetine could improve cognitive function in memory deficient mice and high clinic dosage might be better.
Self-assembling peptides have been developed as clinical materials, which could scaffold to regenerate nerve cells and hemostatic materials in vivo. However, there has not been enough information for their in vivo application. The safety of self-assembling peptides for the application on the brain was examined using behavioral tests for each rat in this study. Self-assembling peptide gel was administered to the surface of the brain at a volume of 20 µL at 1.5%. After 2 months, the open field test and the prepulse inhibition (PPI) test were performed. There were no significant differences between the peptide gel and the control groups in locomotor distances and in %PPIs in the PPI test. The mean values of the percentage of time the rats stayed in the central area of the open field during the first 5 min and instances of center rearing or face washing in the peptide gel group were significantly higher than those in the control. There were amorphous substance in the subarachnoid region, and infiltrations of mononuclear cells were also observed in the self-assembling peptide gel group. Although the meaning of the effects observed in this study was not fully elucidated, the self-assembling gel produced marginal but significant behavioral and histological effects.
Crush syndrome (CS) is the systemic manifestation of muscle cell damage resulting from pressure and crushing. It is associated with a high mortality rate, even when patients are treated with conventional therapy. We demonstrated the utility of intramuscular administration of dexamethasone (DEX) in disaster medical care by using a model of CS to characterize the pharmacokinetics and biochemical parameters. We compared intravenous (IV) and intramuscular (IM) injection. The IM sites were the right anterior limb (AL), bilateral hind limbs (bHL), and unilateral hind limb (uHL). DEX (5.0 mg/kg) was administered in sham-operated (sham, S-IV, S-AL, S-bHL, S-uHL groups) and CS rats (control, C-IV, C-AL, C-bHL, C-uHL groups). The survival rate in the IM groups was lower than that in the C-IV group. Survival was highest in the C-AL group, followed by the C-uHL and C-bHL groups. The blood DEX concentration of the C-AL group was similar to that in the C-IV group. The C-bHL and C-uHL groups had decreased blood DEX concentrations. Moreover, inhibition of inflammation was related to these changes. Administration of DEX to non-injured muscle, as well as IV administration, increased the survival rate by modulating shock and inflammatory mediators, consequently suppressing myeloperoxidase activity and subsequent systemic inflammation, resulting in a complete recovery of rats from lethal CS. These results demonstrate that injection DEX into the non-injured muscle is a potentially effective early therapeutic intervention for CS that could easily be used in transport to the hospital.
Dextrorphan, an active metabolite of the antitussive dextromethorphan, has been shown to be subjected to sulfation by several zebrafish cytosolic sulfotransferases (SULTs). We were interested in finding out which of the human SULT(s) is(are) capable of catalyzing the sulfation of dextrorphan, and to verify whether sulfation of dextrorphan may occur in cultured human cells and human organ cytosols. Data from the enzymatic assays showed that, of all thirteen known human SULTs, SULT1A3 displayed the strongest dextrorphan-sulfating activity. Cell culture experiments using HepG2 human hepatoma cells and Caco-2 human colon carcinoma cells incubated with [35S]sulfate together with varying concentrations of dextrorphan revealed indeed the production and release of [35S]sulfated dextrorphan in a concentration-dependent manner. Additionally, significant dextrorphan-sulfating activity was detected in human liver, small intestine and lung cytosols. Taken together, these results provided a biochemical basis for the sulfation of dextrorphan in humans.
Whey protein concentrate (WPC), which contains α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin, is utilized widely in the food industry. The Maillard reaction is a complex reaction that produces Maillard reaction products (MRPs), which are associated with the formation of antioxidant compounds. In this study, the hepatoprotection activity of MRPs of WPC against oxidative stress through the nuclear factor-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2)-dependent antioxidant pathway in HepG2 cells was examined. Glucose–whey protein concentrate conjugate (Glc-WPC) was obtained from Maillard reaction between WPC and glucose. The fluorescence intensity of Glc-WPC increased after 7 d compared to native WPC, and resulted in loss of 48% of the free amino groups of WPC. The sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) patterns of Glc-WPC showed the presence of a high-molecular-weight portion. Treatment of HepG2 cells with Glc-WPC increased cell viability in the presence of oxidative stress, inhibited the generation of intracellular reactive oxygen species by tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP), and increased the glutathione level. Nrf2 translocation and Nrf2, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H)-quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NOQ1), heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), glutamate-L-cysteine ligase (GCL)M and GCLC mRNA levels were increased by Glc-WPC. Also, Glc-WPC increased the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). The results of this study demonstrate that Glc-WPC activates the Nrf2-dependent pathway through the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK in HepG2 cells, and induces production of antioxidant enzymes and phase II enzymes.
Obesity-related renal diseases have been a worldwide issue. Effective strategy that prevents high fat-diet induced renal damage is of great significance. Resveratrol, a natural plant polyphenol, is famous for its antioxidant activity, cardioprotective effects and anticancer properties. However whether resveratrol can play a role in the treatment of renal diseases is unknown. In this study, we added resveratrol in normal glucose or high glucose medium and provide evidences that resveratrol protects against high-glucose triggered oxidative stress and cell senescence. Moreover, mice were fed with standard diet, standard diet plus resveratrol, high-fat diet or high-fat diet plus resveratrol for 3 months, and results show that resveratrol treatment prevents high-fat diet induced renal pathological damage by activating SIRT1, a key member in the mammalian sirtuin family that response to calorie restriction life-extension method. This research confirms the potential role of resveratrol in the treatment of renal diseases and may provide an effective and convenient method to mimic the beneficial effects of calorie restriction.
To compare the effects of intrathecal dexmedetomidine and intrathecal morphine as supplements to bupivacaine in cesarean sections under spinal anesthesia. Full-term parturients (n=120) undergoing elective cesarean sections under spinal anesthesia were randomly allocated into three groups: Group B received 10 mg bupivacaine, Group BD received 10 mg bupivacaine plus 5 µg dexmedetomidine, and Group BM received 10 mg bupivacaine plus 100 µg morphine. The onset and regression time of sensory and motor blockade, postoperative analgesia, and side effects were recorded. Group BD showed quicker onset time and a longer sensory and motor blockade than other groups (BD vs. B and BD vs. BM, p<0.05). The mean time of sensory regression to the S1 segment was 253.21±42.79 min in group BD, 192.50±40.62 min in group BM and 188.33±37.62 min in group B (p<0.001). Group BD showed an analgesia duration (time to requirement of first rescue analgesic) (17.59±6.23 h) similar to that of group BM (16.78±5.90 h) but longer than that of group B (3.53±1.68 h) (p<0.001). The incidence of pruritus was significantly higher in group BM compared with groups BD and B (p<0.001). Less shivering was observed in group BD than in groups BM and B (p=0.009). So intrathecal dexmedetomidine (5 µg) prolonged the motor and sensory blockade, provided a similar analgesic effect and reduced pruritus and shivering compared with morphine (100 µg) in cesarean sections.
To transform ginsenosides, Korean ginseng berry (KGB) was fermented by mycotoxin non-producing Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Changes of ginsenoside profile and anti-proliferative activities were observed. Results showed that A. niger tended to efficiently transform protopanaxadiol (PPD) type ginsenosides such as Rb1, Rb2, Rd to compound K while A. oryzae tended to efficiently transform protopanaxatriol (PPT) type ginsenoside Re to Rh1 via Rg1. Butanol extracts of fermented KGB showed high cytotoxicity on human adenocarcinoma HT-29 cell line and hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cell line while that of unfermented KGB showed little. The minimum effective concentration of niger-fermented KGB was less than 2.5 µg/mL while that of oryzae-fermented KGB was about 5 µg/mL. As A. niger is more inclined to transform PPD type ginsenosides, niger-fermented KGB showed stronger anti-proliferative activity than oryzae-fermented KGB.
The concomitant use of herb and prescription medications is increasing globally. Herb–drug interactions are therefore a clinically important problem. Yokukansan (YKS), a Japanese traditional herbal medicine, is one of the most frequently used herbal medicines. It is effective for treating the behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia. We investigated the potential effects of YKS on drug–metabolizing enzyme activities in humans. An open-label repeat-dose study was conducted in 26 healthy Japanese male volunteers (age: 22.7±2.3 years) with no history of smoking. An 8-h urine sample was collected after a 150-mg dose of caffeine and a 30-mg dose of dextromethorphan before and after the administration of YKS (2.5 g, twice a day for 1 week). The activities of cytochrome P450 (CYP) 1A2, CYP2D6, CYP3A, xanthine oxidase (XO) and N-acetyltransferase 2 (NAT2) were assessed based on the urinary metabolic indices of caffeine and dextromethorphan, and the urinary excretion ratio of 6β-hydroxycortisol to cortisol. There were no statistically significant differences in the activities of the examined enzymes before or after the 7-d administration of YKS. Although further studies assessing the influence of YKS on the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the substrates of the drug–metabolizing enzymes are needed to verify the present results, YKS is unlikely that a pharmacokinetic interaction will occur with concomitantly administered medications that are predominantly metabolized by the CYP1A2, CYP2D6, CYP3A, XO and NAT2.
In cellular events, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress has an important role in the development of various diseases including cardiovascular diseases. Tunicamycin, an inhibitor of N-linked glycosylation, is known to be an inducer of ER stress. However, the extent to which tunicamycin affects the vasorelaxant function is not completely understood. Thus, we investigated the effect of tunicamycin on relaxations induced by various vasorelaxant agents, including acetylcholine (ACh; endothelium-dependent vasodilator), sodium nitroprusside (SNP; endothelium-independent vasodilator), isoprenaline (ISO; beta-adrenoceptor agonist), forskolin (FSK; adenylyl cyclase activator), and cromakalim [ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel activator] in organ-cultured superior mesenteric arteries of rats, which are treated with either a vehicle [dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)] or tunicamycin (20 µg/mL for 22–24 h). Protein levels of the ER stress marker binding immunoglobulin protein (BiP) were determined by Western blotting. Tunicamycin increased the expression of BiP in organ-cultured arteries. Tunicamycin impaired ACh-induced relaxation, but did not alter SNP-induced relaxation. Tunicamycin also impaired vasorelaxation induced by ISO, FSK, and cromakalim; moreover, it reduced basal nitric oxide (NO) formation. In conclusion, short-term treatment with tunicamycin not only caused endothelial dysfunction but also impaired cAMP- and KATP-mediated responses in the superior mesenteric arteries of rats. These alterations in tunicamycin-treated arteries may be due to reduced basal NO formation. This work provides new insight into ER stress in vascular dysfunction.
It is thought that eating habits induces individual variation in intestinal absorption and metabolism of drugs. The objective of this research was to clarify the influence of vegetables juices on CYP3A4 activity, which is an important enzyme in intestine. Five vegetables juices (VJ-o, Kagome Original®; VJ-g, Kagome 30 kinds of vegetables and fruits®; VJ-p, Kagome Purple vegetables®; VJ-r, Kagome Sweet Tomato®; and VJ-y, Kagome Fruity Salada®; KAGOME Co., Ltd., Aichi, Japan) were centrifuged (1630×g, 10 min) and filtered using filter paper and 0.45-µm membrane filters. In this study, recombinant CYP3A4 and LS180 cells were used for the evaluation of CYP3A4 activity. The metabolisms to 6β-hydroxytestosterone by recombinant CYP3A4 were significantly inhibited by VJ-o, VJ-g, and VJ-y in a preincubation time-dependent manner, and CYP3A4 activity in LS180 cells were significantly inhibited by VJ-o and VJ-y. These results show that the difference in ingestion volume of vegetable juices and vegetables might partially induce individual difference in intestinal drug metabolism.
The effective cure for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients is challenging due late diagnosis and fatal metastasis. The standard diagnosis for OSCC often depends on the subjective interpretation of conventional histopathology. Additionally, there is no standard way for OSCC prognosis. Over the past decade, nano-mechanical stiffness has been considered as a quantitative measure for cancer diagnosis. Nevertheless, its application to OSCC diagnosis and prognosis is still in a primitive stage. In this study, we investigated whether the OSCC progression can be predicted by nano-mechanical properties in combination with biochemical properties, especially the epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). Atomic force microscopy-based nano-mechanical measurements of three different OSCC cell lines—SCC-4, SCC-9, and SCC-15—were conducted together with biochemical analyses. The gradual upregulation of Snail2, N-cadherin, and vimentin and the simultaneous downregulation of E-cadherin were observed, and the degree of upregulation and downregulation was stronger in the order of the cell lines mentioned above. The strength of enhancement in migration was in the same order as well. Consistently, nano-mechanical stiffness was gradually decreased as the EMT progresses. These results suggest that the nano-mechanical assay could serve as a quantitative tool to predict the OSCC progression in the context of the EMT. Furthermore, we found that the upregulated vimentin, a major filamentous component of the cytoskeleton, may contribute to mechanical softening, which can be discerned from the role of actin filaments in mechanical stiffness. In conclusion, our combinational study proposes a novel way to elucidate the mechanism of OSCC progression and its therapeutic targets.
Exosomes are small extracellular vesicles containing microRNAs and mRNAs that are produced by various types of cells. We previously used ultrafiltration and size-exclusion chromatography to isolate two types of human salivary exosomes (exosomes I, II) that are different in size and proteomes. We showed that salivary exosomes contain large repertoires of small RNAs. However, precise information regarding long RNAs in salivary exosomes has not been fully determined. In this study, we investigated the compositions of protein-coding RNAs (pcRNAs) and long non-protein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) of exosome I, exosome II and whole saliva (WS) by next-generation sequencing technology. Although 11% of all RNAs were commonly detected among the three samples, the compositions of reads mapping to known RNAs were similar. The most abundant pcRNA is ribosomal RNA protein, and pcRNAs of some salivary proteins such as S100 calcium-binding protein A8 (protein S100-A8) were present in salivary exosomes. Interestingly, lncRNAs of pseudogenes (presumably, processed pseudogenes) were abundant in exosome I, exosome II and WS. Translationally controlled tumor protein gene, which plays an important role in cell proliferation, cell death and immune responses, was highly expressed as pcRNA and pseudogenes in salivary exosomes. Our results show that salivary exosomes contain various types of RNAs such as pseudogenes and small RNAs, and may mediate intercellular communication by transferring these RNAs to target cells as gene expression regulators.
To prevent recurrent depression, patients should ideally continue treatment for >6 months with the antidepressant dose that effectively suppressed acute depressive symptoms. However, there are inter-individual differences in the antidepressant doses required to achieve response and maintenance. Therefore, this study was conducted to examine the role of clinical features, including genetic polymorphisms, on the antidepressant dose required for maintenance therapy in 82 Japanese patients with depression. We calculated the antidepressant dose using the imipramine equivalent scale and the dose of concomitant anxiolytics and hypnotics using the diazepam equivalent scale. The 82 participants were classified into two groups based on the median imipramine equivalent dose, and we examined the influence of patient characteristics and the presence of genetic polymorphisms of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF; rs6265) and cyclic adenosine monophosphate responsive element-binding protein 1 (CREB1; rs2253306, rs4675690, rs769963) on the antidepressant maintenance dose. Using a multivariate logistic regression analysis, we found that the concomitant diazepam equivalent dose and presence of the CREB1 rs4675690 polymorphism were significantly associated with the antidepressant maintenance dose. We concluded that these factors influenced the antidepressant dose in maintenance therapy among Japanese patients with depression. However, further research is required in large cohorts.
In this study, solid lipid nanoparticle (SLN) suspensions were prepared using a base of hard fat with or without ethylcellulose (EC) and polyvinyl alcohols (PVA) and polysorbate (Tween) 60 surfactants. Commercially available PVAs vary in their degree of saponification and polymerization, and the appropriate PVAs to form SLNs from hard fat with or without EC were investigated. A relatively low-saponification-degree PVA was required to reproducibly form SLN suspensions without EC and relatively high-saponification-degree PVAs were suitable for SLNs with EC. The release of morin from SLNs with EC was more sustained than that from SLNs without EC. The maximum plasma concentration (Cmax) of SLNs with and without EC were almost the same, and both were higher than that of a morin suspension. The area under the curve for 0 to 360 min (AUC0–360) of SLNs with EC was increased compared with those of a morin suspension and SLNs without EC. The median diameter of SLNs with EC and a very low-saponification-degree PVA was decreased compared to other formulation, and morin release was more sustained for this formulation. SLNs with EC and a very low-saponification-degree PVA showed higher Cmax and AUC0–360 than SLNs with EC lacking a very low-saponification-degree PVA. The optimized SLNs with EC and a very low-saponification-degree PVA improved bioavailability via increased accessibility to the enterocyte surface by decreased particle size and increased permeation of SLN encapsulated morin through the intestinal membrane by sustained release properties.
Heme oxygenase (HO)-1 has potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory functions. Recent studies have shown that the upregulation of HO-1 is beneficial to counteract neuroinflammation, making HO-1 a new therapeutic target for neurological diseases. We have reported that epalrestat (EPS), which is currently used for the treatment of diabetic neuropathy, increases HO-1 levels through the activation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) in bovine aortic endothelial cells. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that EPS upregulates HO-1 via Nrf2 activation in the component cells of the nervous system, by using rat Schwann cells and human SH-SY5Y cells. Treatment of Schwann cells with EPS at near-plasma concentration led to a dramatic increase in HO-1 levels. Nrf2 knockdown by small interfering RNA (siRNA) suppressed the EPS-induced HO-1 expression. EPS did not promote the intracellular accumulation of free ferrous ion and reactive oxygen species, by increasing ferritin via Nrf2 during HO-1 induction. Moreover, EPS stimulated the expression of superoxide dismutase 1 and catalase, which also are Nrf2 target gene products. It also markedly increased HO-1 levels in SH-SY5Y cells through the activation of Nrf2. We demonstrated for the first time that EPS upregulates HO-1, superoxide dismutase, and catalase by activating Nrf2. We suggest that EPS has the potential to prevent several neurological diseases.
Folium Artemisiae Argyi is an important herb in traditional Chinese medicine. It is commonly used in moxibustion, medicine, etc. However, identifying Artemisia argyi is difficult because this herb exhibits similar morphological characteristics to closely related species and counterfeits. To verify the applicability of DNA barcoding, ITS2 and psbA-trnH were used to identify A. argyi from 15 closely related species and counterfeits. Results indicated that total DNA was easily extracted from all the samples and that both ITS2 and psbA-trnH fragments can be easily amplified. ITS2 was a more ideal barcode than psbA-trnH and ITS2+psbA-trnH to identify A. argyi from closely related species and counterfeits on the basis of sequence character, genetic distance, and tree methods. The sequence length was 225 bp for the 56 ITS2 sequences of A. argyi, and no variable site was detected. For the ITS2 sequences, A. capillaris, A. anomala, A. annua, A. igniaria, A. maximowicziana, A. princeps, Dendranthema vestitum, and D. indicum had single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The intraspecific Kimura 2-Parameter distance was zero, which is lower than the minimum interspecific distance (0.005). A. argyi, the closely related species, and counterfeits, except for Artemisia maximowicziana and Artemisia sieversiana, were separated into pairs of divergent clusters by using the neighbor joining, maximum parsimony, and maximum likelihood tree methods. Thus, the ITS2 sequence was an ideal barcode to identify A. argyi from closely related species and counterfeits to ensure the safe use of this plant.
There has been no report on the genotype-dependent regional, especially prefectural, differences in hepatitis C treatment in Japan. We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the nationwide database. The registration period of the database was from December 2009 to April 2013. Individuals with chronic hepatitis C were identified from the database. The sustained virologic response (SVR) rates in each prefecture were calculated stratified by genotype. Confounding variables were identified using stepwise logistic regression analysis. The range of the point estimate of the adjusted odds ratio explained prefectural differences in treatment outcomes. During the registration period, 36 prefectures registered cases to the database. A total of 16349 cases were registered and 11653 cases were included in the analysis. The mean age was 57.9±10.5 years; 7950 (68.2%) had hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 and 3703 (31.8%) had HCV genotype 2. The range in SVR rates was 30.0 to 63.0% for genotype 1 and 55.0 to 100.0% for genotype 2. In the multivariate analysis, the ranges of the adjusted odds ratio of each prefecture were 0.658 to 2.125 for genotype 1 and 0.364 to 2.630 for genotype 2. Our results suggest that regional, particularly prefectural, differences in chronic hepatitis C treatment with peg-interferon (IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) exist in Japan and that these regional differences may similarly exist both in HCV genotypes 1 and 2. Additional studies using these methods, considering medical situations in each prefecture and new treatments regimens, could greatly contribute to improving and standardizing chronic hepatitis C treatment.
Coumarins are a major class of polyphenols that are abundantly present in many dietary plants and possess different biological activities. Neuroprotective effect of 28 variously substituted 4-methylcoumarins was evaluated in a cell model of oxidative stress-induced neurodegeneration, which measures viability in PC12 cells challenged with hydrogen peroxide by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The inhibitory activity of these compounds against intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation was also determined by 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescein diacetate method in the same cells. Chemical redox-based assays including 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) tests were employed to explore structure–antioxidant activity relationships in a cell-free environment. The results demonstrated that 4-methylcoumarins containing ortho-dihydroxy or ortho-diacetoxy substituents on the benzenoid ring possess considerable neuroprotective effects. ortho-Dihydroxy compounds inhibited cytotoxicity (44.7–62.9%) and ROS formation (41.6–71.1%) at 50 µM and showed considerable antioxidant effects. We conclude that 4-methylcoumarins are promising neuroprotective and antioxidant scaffolds potentially usefull for management of neurodegenerative diseases.
Bisphosphonate (BP)-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) can occur when enhanced bone-resorptive diseases are treated with nitrogen-containing BPs (N-BPs). Having previously found, in mice, that the non-N-BP etidronate can (i) reduce the inflammatory/necrotic effects of N-BPs by inhibiting their intracellular entry and (ii) antagonize the binding of N-BPs to bone hydroxyapatite, we hypothesized that etidronate-replacement therapy (Eti-RT) might be useful for patients with, or at risk of, BRONJ. In the present study we examined this hypothesis. In each of 25 patients receiving N-BP treatment, the N-BP was discontinued when BRONJ was suspected and/or diagnosed. After consultation with the physician-in-charge and with the patient’s informed consent, Eti-RT was instituted in one group according to its standard oral prescription. We retrospectively compared this Eti-RT group (11 patients) with a non-Eti-RT group (14 patients). The Eti-RT group (6 oral N-BP patients and 5 intravenous N-BP patients) and the non-Eti-RT group (5 oral N-BP patients and 9 intravenous N-BP patients) were all stage 2–3 BRONJ. Both in oral and intravenous N-BP patients (particularly in the former patients), Eti-RT promoted or tended to promote the separation and removal of sequestra and thereby promoted the recovery of soft-tissues, allowing them to cover the exposed jawbone. These results suggest that Eti-RT may be an effective choice for BRONJ caused by either oral or intravenous N-BPs and for BRONJ prevention, while retaining a level of anti-bone-resorption. Eti-RT may also be effective at preventing BRONJ in N-BP-treated patients at risk of BRONJ. However, prospective trials are still required.
Hydrodynamic tail vein injection was considered an in vivo transfection method that yields a higher level of gene expression mainly in the liver. This method has been applied to cancer gene therapy targeting both hepatic and non-hepatic cancers. However, intratumor transgene expression in non-hepatic tumors has not been well studied. In this study, we showed an extended transgene expression of β-galactosidase (LacZ), a nonsecretory protein, in a subcutaneously implanted murine solid tumor following the hydrodynamic injection of plasmid DNA (LacZ pDNA). Our result may indicate that the hydrodynamic injection method is a powerful tool that can be used to gain transgene expression not only in the liver but also in solid tumors.
Inhalation of scent compounds with phenylpropanoidal structures, such as trans-cinnamaldehyde, is expected to increase the appetite. The scent of curry powder is well known for its appetite-enhancing effect on humans. In this work, we show that the appetite of mice after inhalation of curry powder essential oil or benzylacetone showed a similar increase. The components of curry oil, trans-cinnamaldehyde, trans-anethole, and eugenol, each showed appetite-enhancing effects; therefore, these three scent compounds may be the active compounds in curry powder oil.
The aim of the present study was to investigate whether pretreatment with the Japanese herbal medicine, “Juzen-taiho-to” (JTX), had an ameliorative effect on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced hepatotoxicity through anorexia prevention. Mice injected with CCl4 exhibited severe anorexia. Moreover, CCl4 increased the plasma levels of hepatic injury markers (i.e., alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase), lipid peroxidation, and hepatic Ca2+ levels. Pretreatment with JTX recovered the CCl4-induced anorexia. In addition, JTX pretreatment decreased CCl4-induced plasma levels of hepatic injury markers. Increased Ca2+ is a known indicator of the final progression to hepatocyte death, and CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity is mainly caused by oxidative stress. The present study indicated CCl4-induced lipid peroxidation and hepatic Ca2+ content decreased with JTX pretreatment. Our results suggest that JTX has potential to protect of CCl4-induced anorexia, and the modulation of oxidative stress.