The adrenoceptors (ARs) play a key role in the modulation of sympathetic nervous system activity and are a site of action for many clinically important therapeutic agents. The α1-adrenoceptor subtypes (α1A-, α1B-, and α1D-AR) play a prominent role in regulating vascular tone and hypertrophic growth of smooth muscle and cardiac cells. Their functional characteristics with respect to ligand binding and second messenger utilization have been well described. Here, we review recent progress on subtype-specific subcellular localization, participation in signaling cascades, and the pivotal function of α1-ARs, as delineated through studies on genetically engineered animals. Together, these findings will provide new insights into the physiological and pathophysiological roles of the α1-ARs.
From the numerous studies developed at the last quarter of the 20th century, glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor has been established as a unique mode of protein binding to the plasma membrane. The core structure of this anchor consists of ethanolamine phosphate, trimannoside, glucosamine and inositol phospholipid in this order. The anchor is combined with the carboxyl-terminal of protein by the ethanolamine head. GPI-anchored proteins are ubiquitously distributed among Eucarya from vertebrates to protozoa, and also shown to be present in some of Archaeobacteria such as Sulfolobus. There is no evidence for the presence of GPI-anchored protein in Eubacteria. In the eucaryotic cells, both biosynthesis of GPI precursors and posttranslational protein modification with GPI proceed in the endoplasmic reticulum. On GPI modification, the carboxyl-terminal signal peptide is split off from the protein and the resulting new carboxyl-terminal is then combined with the amino group of ethanolamine residue in the GPI precursors. The whole process of cleavage and GPI attachment is catalyzed by GPI-transamidase complex. Many genes concerning GPI biosynthesis and protein modification have been cloned and sequenced. The carboxyl-terminal signal peptide containing hydrophobic tail is characterized by genetic analysis and shown to be essential for GPI modification of protein. Recent computational analysis further clarified the detailed requirement of the carboxyl-terminal regions for GPI-anchoring. GPI-anchored proteins are assumed to be transported from Golgi to the plasma membrane in the form of “lipid rafts”, and expressed as the clusters in the cell surface.
We report the development of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the quantitative analysis of a unique musk protein (MP-1) in musk samples. Musk defatted with ethyl acetate/methanol (9 : 1, v/v) was dipped in cold water and ammonium sulfate was added to the supernatant up to 85% saturation. The resulting precipitate was applied to a Bio-Gel P-100 chromatography. The fraction eluted at the void region was collected and it was consecutively purified by affinity chromatography on a DEAE Affi-Gel Blue and on anion-exchange columns containing DEAE-Sepharose CL-6B. This protein was determined to be homogeneous by sodium dodecyl sulfate–polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS–PAGE) under denaturing conditions with an apparent molecular weight of 35000 Da and was called as musk protein-1 (MP-1). Polyclonal antibodies of MP-1 were produced by injecting it into a rabbit. These antibodies were reactive to the aqueous extract of musk and the pure antigen. The ELISA could be applied to detect nano gram quantities of the antigen in musk samples. This method made it possible to distinguish musk samples from different origins.
There is an antiserum elicited by digoxin 3′-hemisuccinate–bovine serum albumin (BSA) conjugate possessing high specificity for digoxin. Our study focused on development of RIA using this novel antiserum for measurement of digoxin in serum from digitalized patients. The property of the new antiserum was investigated by RIA with digoxin 3′-hemisuccinyl-[3H]leucine. The separation of bound and free fractions was performed using a dextran-coated charcoal suspension. The new antiserum bound approximately 50% of digoxin 3′-hemisuccinyl-[3H]leucine with a final dilution of 1 : 30000. The intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were <9% in the range of 0.52—4.17 ng/ml. The mean digoxin concentration in serum samples (n=35) from digitalized patients was estimated to be 0.68 ng/ml, which was lower than its measurement of digoxin with the commercial anti-digoxin BSA serum and monoclonal anti-digoxin. It is apparent that the RIA described here has sufficient precision. The RIA system was available for the measurement of digoxin in serum from digitalized patients.
Serum metal levels and their ratios are frequently reported to be good signals for diagnosing various diseases. These parameters are not always specific to the disease, however, it is necessary to use other serum parameters for an exact diagnosis. We examined whether the monitoring of these serum parameters such as metallothionein, copper, and zinc levels are useful in diagnosing hepatic disorders. Metallothionein levels of patients with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma were found to be significantly lower than those of patients with chronic hepatitis and those of controls. In contrast, copper levels of the patients with liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma were significantly higher than those with chronic hepatitis and controls. Zinc levels of the patients with chronic hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma were lower than those of controls. Using these three parameters, we are introducing a new parameter, (Cu/Zn)/MT, by which we can discriminate between patients in the [control+miscellaneous diseases+chronic hepatitis] group and those in the [liver cirrhosis+hepatocellular carcinoma] group. The new parameter does not, however, allow us to clearly distinguish between the liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma groups. Multivariate discriminant analysis was found to be very useful, with combinations of two discriminant functions having been designed to discriminate both between chronic hepatitis and liver cirrhosis and between liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. This method recognizes the differences between hepatic disorder, including chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma groups. On the basis of these results, we propose here that the diagnosis of hepatic disorders should be made based on a combination of three serum levels such as those of metallothionein, copper, and zinc.
Eleven iridal type triterpenoids from Iris tectorum and Belamcanda chinensis were examined for protein kinase C (PKC) activation and binding activity to PKC. Among the tested compounds, nine iridals showed dose-dependent activities, and a mutual relation between the two activities was also observed. 28-Deacetylbelamcandal, which has been found to be a new class 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate type tumor promoter, showed the most potent activity in both tests. The structural requirements of the iridals inducing these activities were as follows: 1) a hydrophobic side-chain, 2) an E-methylidene aldehyde group at the C-1 position, and 3) a hydroxyl group at the C-26 position.
The effect of activins AB and B on DNA synthesis stimulated by epidermal growth factor (EGF) was studied in primary cultured rat hepatocytes and compared with the effect of activin A, a suppressor of DNA synthesis. Activin AB inhibited DNA synthesis as assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation. The inhibition by activin AB was detected at 6 ng/ml, and the 12.5 ng/ml concentration produced almost maximal inhibition, approximately 40%, almost the same as that produced by activin A. Inhibition by activin A was detected at 3 ng/ml, and the 6 ng/ml concentration produced almost maximal inhibition. Activin B, on the other hand, had no effect on DNA synthesis up to 50 ng/ml. The increase in labeling index by EGF was also reduced to about 20% by 25 ng/ml activin A and activin AB, but not by activin B. Activin B, however, inhibited the binding of [125I]activin A to hepatocytes, but had no effect on the inhibition of DNA synthesis by activin A, even at 3-fold excess concentrations. These findings suggest that activin AB may act in the same manner as activin A does in terms EGF's inhibitory effect on DNA synthesis, although the effective concentration is higher than that of activin A. The findings also suggest that activin B receptors are present in hepatocytes but that they do not mediate signal transduction leading to the inhibition of DNA synthesis.
In this report, we compared kinetic constants and products in the reduction of the neurosteroids, 3α, 5α-tetrahydroprogesterone (3α,5α-THP) and 3α,5α-tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (3α,5α-THDOC), and their precursors, 5α-dihydroprogesterone (5α-DHP), 5α-dihydrodeoxycorticosterone (5α-DHDOC) and progesterone, by three isoenzymes (AKR1C1, AKR1C2 and AKR1C3) of human 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. AKR1C1 efficiently reduced 3α,5α-THP, 5α-DHP and progesterone to their 20α-hydroxy metabolites, and slowly converted 5α-DHDOC to 3α,5α-THDOC. AKR1C2 exhibited low 20-ketoreductase activity for 3α,5α-THP and moderate 3-ketoreductase activity for 5α-DHP and 5α-DHDOC. 3α,5α-THDOC was not reduced by the two isoenzymes. No significant activity for the steroids was detected with AKR1C3. The results suggest that AKR1C2 is involved in the neurosteroid synthesis, but AKR1C1 decreases the neurosteroid concentrations in human brain by inactivating 3α,5α-THP and eliminating the precursors from the synthetic pathways. In addition, we found that the several benzodiazepines inhibited the three isoenzymes noncompetitively with respect to the substrate. Although cloxazolam was a potent and specific inhibitor of AKR1C3, diazepam, estazolam, flunitrazepam, medazepam and nitrazepam, that inhibited AKR1C1 and AKR1C2, may influence the neurosteroid metabolism.
A fragment of rat thoracic aorta within type I collagen gel was employed as a model of angiogenesis, including the processes of cell migration, proliferation and capillary tube formation. Endogenous angiogenic factors in this model were studied. Expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor, and proteolytic enzyme activities (matrix metalloprotease-2; MMP-2 and plasminogen activator; PA) increased during angiogenesis. The angiogenesis was inhibited by VEGF receptor kinase inhibitor and MMP inhibitor, confirming that these endogenous factors played an important role in angiogenesis. Interestingly, these inhibitors induced different capillary morphologies, including differences of cell migration and sprouting. Furthermore, dexamethasone (a down-regulator of MMP and PA) and TNP-470 (an endothelial cell growth inhibitor) induced another capillary morphology. The results suggest that the capillary structure in this model is dramatically influenced by the inhibition of angiogenic signalling and extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation. We also found that a novel angiogenesis inhibitor, the microbial metabolite luminacin, which was recently identified by us (Wakabayashi et al., J. Antiobiot., 53, 591—596 (2000)), induced a different morphology compared with other inhibitors examined, suggesting that it has a unique mechanism of action. Our results indicate that this rat aorta model should be useful for screening novel angiogenesis inhibitors.
The nor-clerodane diterpene trans-crotonin isolated from the bark of Croton cajucara BENTH. was investigated for its ability to prevent the formation of gastric-mucosa ulceration in different experimental models in mice. The results obtained from crotonin were compared with those obtained with another diterpene, DHC (trans-dehydrocrotonin) in the same models. When previously administered (p.o.) at the dose of 100 mg/kg, crotonin, as well as DHC, significantly reduced (p<0.05) gastric injury induced by stress (72, 67%), indomethacin/bethanechol (78, 29%) and pylorus ligature (35, 30%). In the HCl/ethanol-induced gastric ulcer model, at oral doses of 100 and 250 mg/kg, crotonin significantly prevented (p<0.05) the formation of gastric lesions by 51 and 56%, respectively, when compared to the control group. Gastric injury was also of significantly less magnitude in the DHC treatment group (p<0.05). In the pylorus-ligature model, crotonin (p.o.), like cimetidine, increased the volume of gastric juice when compared to the control group (p<0.05). No significant modifications where found in gastric parameters such as pH or total acid content after oral crotonin treatment. However, systemic alterations were observed when crotonin (100 mg/kg) was previously administered intraduodenally to mice. We observed significant changes (p<0.001) in gastric-juice parameters such as an increase in volume and a decrease in gastric acidity. Those pre-treated with crotonin as well as with DHC did not increase free mucus production (p>0.05). The results suggest that crotonin presents a significant anti-ulcer effect when assessed in these ulcer-induced models. As with DHC, the antiulcerogenic effects of crotonin are probably related to anti-secretory or/and gastroprotective properties of this substance. In light of results obtained with DHC and natural trans-crotonin in the present study, we concluded that the A-ring of both diterpenes is not directly involved in the antiulcerogenic activity.
We have studied the effects of ginsenoside Rb1 (GRb1) on the change in lipid contents in rat liver. When GRb1 was administered intraperitoneally to rats, liver microsomal cytochrome P-450 content and NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase activity were lower than those in control rats. The contents of triglyceride (TG) and cholesterol were decreased, but those of total phospholipid, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylethanolamine were increased in the GRb1-treated group compared with controls. These results indicate that GRb1 might be involved in lipid metabolism by regulating the activity of microsomal cytochrome P-450 monooxygenase. Although liver TG levels were reduced by GRb1, the levels of TG and β-lipoprotein in serum from the GRb1-treated group did not change as compared with those in controls. Thus we suggest that the decrease in liver TG levels with GRb1-treatment is not associated with the secretion of TG-rich very low-density lipoprotein. Furthermore, the level of cAMP was also significantly increased in the GRb1-treated group as compared with that in controls. Additionally, the cAMP level was more markedly increased as compared with that in the GRb1-treated group or control group when GRb1 was exogenously added to the reaction system for measuring cAMP production in homogenates from control group liver. Accordingly, these results demonstrate that GRb1 might lower TG levels via cAMP-production in the liver, and GRb1 might be an interesting candidate to for a modulator of cAMP-mediated effects, especially within the liver steatosis system.
Stable transformants of Saos-2 cells that contain the luciferase reporter gene under the control of the human p16INK4a transcriptional regulatory region were established, and were used to identify growth-inhibiting substances from culture broths of actinomycetes and extracts of plants. Among the active substances so far identified were an aclacinomycin-derivative, cenerubin B, and a cardiac glycoside, periplocin. These substances inhibited growth of normal human fibroblasts, and induced senescent phenotypes including a flattened morphology and increased acidic β-galactosidase activity, although the activities of their derivatives to induce p16CDKN2 and β-galactosidase did not coincided with each other. These results suggest that the reporter system using the p16CDKN2 transcriptional regulatory region is a useful means for screening growth inhibiting substances that are potential anti-tumor agents.
The protective effect of fleroxacin on isepamicin-induced nephrotoxicity was investigated. Wistar rats were administered either fleroxacin 100 mg/kg orally, isepamicin 300 mg/kg subcutaneously, or fleroxacin and isepamicin in combination for 14 d. The animals given 300 mg/kg of isepamicin showed a significant increase in urine N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG) levels as compared with the control animals which received saline (p<0.01). However, the increase in NAG level was markedly less when isepamicin was administered in combination with fleroxacin (p<0.01). Fleroxacin alone had no effect on urine NAG activity. Serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were significantly higher in animals treated with isepamicin alone than in the control animals (p<0.01) or animals receiving the isepamicin fleroxacin combination (p<0.01). Histopathologically, fleroxacin induced very few cellular alterations, but considerably reduced the manifestation of typical signs of isepamicin nephrotoxicity. This investigation demonstrates that fleroxacin protects animals against isepamicin-induced nephrotoxicity.
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that mediates the biological action of many environmental compounds. Methyl yellow (4-dimethylaminoazobenzene; MY) is a principal azo-dye, and structurally related compounds were subjected to analysis of structure–activity relationships as AhR ligands by using a yeast AhR signaling assay. The effects of halogen-substitution among 23 halogenated MYs on the AhR ligand activity can be summarized as follows: enhancement by halogen-substitution at the ortho-position (2′- and 6′-position), and reduction by substitution at the para-position (4′-position). The greatest enhancement of the ligand activity was observed in 2′,6′-dichlorinated MY (13.5-fold of MY), and its AhR ligand activity was very close to that of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) in the present assay system. In the study of compounds structurally related to MY, benzanilide (BA) showed almost the same AhR ligand activity as azobenzene and trans-stilbene. Furthermore, 4′-chlorobenzanilide, in which the length of the molecule is similar to that of MY, enhanced the AhR ligand activity by ortho(2′)-chlorine-substitution, and the AhR ligand activity of 2′,4′-dichlorobenzanilide was similar to that of 2′-chloro-MY. These results suggest that the amide bond is equivalent to the –N=N– or –CH=CH– double bond for recognition as the ligand by AhR in 1,2-diphenyl-1,2-ene derivatives.
Chlorophyllin, a water-soluble derivative of chlorophyll, is known to suppress the mutagenic and carcinogenic action of compounds having polycyclic structures, e.g., heterocyclic amines and aflatoxin B1. Recently, we reported that chlorophyllin fixed on chitosan (chl-chitosan), which is insoluble in water, can efficiently and tightly trap these heterocyclic amines. We have studied whether this adsorption to chl-chitosan can result in an interference with DNA-adduct formation caused by 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole (Trp-P-2), a heterocyclic amine, in CDF1 mice, in which Trp-P-2 had been shown to induce hepatocellular carcinomas. Mice were fed a diet containing Trp-P-2 with or without chl-chitosan. After 3 d of feeding, DNA-adduct formation in liver and lung was examined by 32P-postlabeling analysis. Adducts formed from Trp-P-2 were significantly decreased by the chl-chitosan addition (p<0.05, t-test). These results suggest that the uptake of Trp-P-2 into the mouse was lowered by its adsorption to chl-chitosan, either within the digestive tract or within the food itself. This trapping agent, chl-chitosan, is thus worthy of study for cancer chemoprevention.
In the present study, effects of various hederagenin monodesmosides isolated from the stem bark of Kalopanax pictus NAKAI, such as hederagenin, δ-hederin, kalopanaxsaponin A, kalopanaxsaponin I, and sapindoside C, have been evaluated on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) release by the macrophage cell line RAW 264.7. Among the tested monodesmosides, kalopanxsaponin A was the most potent inhibitor of NO production, and it also significantly decreased PGE2 and TNF-α release. Consistent with these observations, the expression level of inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 enzyme was inhibited by kalopanxsaponin A in a concentration-dependent manner. Thus, this study suggests that kalopanaxsaponin A-mediated inhibition of iNOS, COX-2 expression, and TNF-α release may be one of the mechanisms responsible for the anti-inflammatory effects of the stem bark of Kalopanax pictus NAKAI.
Costus speciosus produces a large quantity of steroidal glycosides derived from the sole aglycone, diosgenin. Cycloartenol, a product of oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC), is postulated to be a common intermediate for phytosterols of primary metabolism and diosgenin of secondary metabolism, possibly providing a metabolic branch point. Two cDNAs, CSOSC1 and CSOSC2, were cloned from C. speciosus by RT-PCR and cDNA library screening. Both cDNAs encode 759 amino acids with high mutual identity (74%), resembling (>55% identity) the known OSCs. Phylogenetic tree analysis indicated that the gene products occupy distinct positions from those of cycloartenol synthases (CASs) and triterpene synthases from dicotyledonous plants. By functional expression in yeast, CSOSC1 and CSOSC2 were proved to encode a CAS and a multifunctional triterpene synthase, respectively. The present result is the first demonstration of the functional expression of OSCs from monocotyledonous plants.
Biological activities of five Veronica species (Scrophulariaceae), V. cymbalaria, V. hederifolia, V. pectinata var. glandulosa, V. persica and V. polita were studied for their anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic activities. Their methanol extracts showed both the inhibitory activity of nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated macrophages and cytotoxic activity against KB epidermoid carcinoma and B16 melanoma. When the methanol extracts were fractionated between water and chloroform, water fractions significantly inhibited NO production without any cytotoxicity, while chloroform fractions showed cytotoxicity dose-dependently. When the radical scavenging activity was determined using 2, 2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH), water fractions of the five Veronica species scavenged free radicals effectively, suggesting that the inhibitory effect of this species on NO production was due to their radical scavenging activity. On the other hand, chloroform fractions of Veronica species except for V. cymbalaria showed similar cytotoxic activity against KB and B16 melanoma cells.
Kangen-karyu (KGK) is a herbal formula created under the theory of traditional Chinese herbal medicine to invigorate the blood and dispel blood stasis. It contains 6 herbs: peony root, cnidium rhizome, safflower, cyperus rhizome, saussurea root (JP XIV), and Salvia miltiorrhiza root. The present study has been conducted to evaluate the in vivo anti-thrombotic activity of KGK using normal mice. Three consecutive days of oral administration of KGK to mice significantly extended tail-bleeding time and suppressed ex vivo platelet aggregation, while it did not extend the prothrombin time of plasma. It was revealed that the anti-thrombotic effects of KGK did not depend on the downregulation of the coagulation system, but depended in part on the inhibition of platelet aggregation. These results explain one of the pharmacological activities of KGK to invigorate the blood and dispel blood stasis.
Celosia argentea LINN. commonly known as “Cocks Comb” and its seeds are widely used in Indian folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of an alcoholic extract of Celosia argentea seeds (ACAS) on blood glucose and body weight in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. ACAS was found to reduce the increase of blood glucose in alloxan-induced diabetic rats (27.8% at 250 mg/kg and 38.8% at 500 mg/kg body weight). Chronic administration of ACAS significantly (p<0.01) reduced the blood glucose in alloxan-induced diabetic rats for two weeks. Also the extract prevented a decrease in body weight in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. These results suggest that the ACAS possesses anti-diabetic activity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats.
Turnera ulmifolia is a plant belonging to the family Turneraceae, popularly known in Brazil as chanana. This species is distributed from Guyana to southern Brazil where it is considered a weed. The plant occurs in tropical rain forest, fields, and gardens. Chanana tea is used in Brazilian folk medicine for the treatment of diseases related mainly to gastric dysfunction including gastric and duodenal ulcers. In this study, the ability of a lyophilized infusion, as an aqueous fraction (AqF) of the aerial parts of T. ulmifolia, was investigated for its ability to prevent ulceration of the gastric and duodenal mucosa was examined in mice and rats, respectively. The AqF significantly reduced the formation of lesions associated with HCl/ethanol administration by 39% and 46%, respectively, at doses of 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg, p.o. The AqF also significantly reduced the incidence of gastric lesions induced by a combination of indomethacin and bethanechol by 58% and 72% at doses of 500 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg, respectively. In stress-induced gastric ulcer, the inhibition by the AqF was 48%, 57%, and 58% at doses of 250 mg/kg, 500 mg/kg, and 1000 mg/kg, respectively (p<0.05). A pyloric ligature experiment showed that the highest dose of the AqF significantly affected the gastric juice parameters by increasing the pH from 2.5 (control) to 5.3 and decreasing the acid output from 11.3 (control) to 3.7 mEq/ml/4 h. The AqF had no significant effect on duodenal ulcers induced by cysteamine. Preliminary phytochemical screening confirmed that flavonoids were the major constituents of the AqF of T. ulmifolia. These results indicate that this extract has a significant antiulcerogenic effect, as popularly believed.
KW-3902 (a newly synthesized adenosine A1-receptor antagonist) has potent diuretic and renal protective activities. We investigated the influence of the emulsion formulation on the pharmacokinetics of KW-3902 and its metabolite (M1) in rats using three different formulations, i.e., a lipid emulsion about 130 nm in diameter composed of egg yolk lecithin: soybean oil: oleic acid=1 : 1 : 0.048, a liposome about 100 nm in diameter composed of egg yolk lecithin, and a saline solution containing 1% (v/v) each of dimethyl sulfoxide and 1 n NaOH. There was no significant difference in the pharmacokinetic parameters of KW-3902 (elimination half-life (T1/2), area under the plasma concentration–time curves (AUC0—∞), total body clearance (CL), mean residence time (MRT) and volume of distribution at steady-state (Vdss)) and M1 (Cmax, T1/2, AUC0—∞ and MRT) after injection of these three dosage forms. Moreover, we investigated in vitro the binding of KW-3902 to blood components using these three formulations. KW-3902 was completely partitioned into the blood components regardless of its dosage form. These findings suggested that KW-3902 dissociated rapidly from the lipid emulsion or liposome in blood after injection and showed intrinsic pharmacokinetics of KW-3902 at doses of 0.1 and 1 mg/kg. Thus, the lipid emulsion formulation of KW-3902 was defined as a solvent, which was a vehicle for dissolving the drugs to prepare the injection, at its expected effective doses.
The effects of cationic liposomes complexed with plasmid DNA on the process of transcription was examined using a recently developed rapid cell free translation system. The findings indicate that the liposome itself inhibited the process when the ratio of DNA/liposome typically used in transfection studies was used.
The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of Paeoniae Radix (PR), one of the most famous tonic traditional Chinese medicines, on the pharmacokinetics of carbamazepine (CBZ) in rats and to determine the possible interactions between PR and CBZ. The significant decrease in Tmax indicated that simultaneous oral administration of PR contributed to more rapid absorption of CBZ. It is suggested that the faster absorption of CBZ might lead to the rapid onset of its clinical effect. There were no significant differences in maximum concentration (Cmax), area under the plasma concentration–time curve (AUC), half-life (t1/2), mean residence time (MRT), clearance/bioavailability (CL/F), and apparent volume of distribution/bioavailability (Vd/F) of CBZ between the two groups, showing that PR did not significantly affect the absorption extent, distribution, metabolism, and elimination of CBZ. A significant decrease in protein binding rate was found when CBZ was coadministered with PR. Further studies are in progress to clarify the clinical significance and the mechanism underlying the effects of PR on the protein binding of CBZ observed in the present study.
We have already reported that the D-Fraction, a β-glucan extracted from the fruiting body of the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa), activates cellular immunity and expresses anti-tumor effects. In this study we investigated the anti-tumor functions of D-Fraction in relation to its control of the balance between T lymphocyte subsets Th-1 and Th-2. D-Fraction decreased the activation of B cells and potentiated the activation of helper T cells, resulting in enhanced cellular immunity. It also induced the production of interferon (IFN)-γ, interleukin (IL)-12 p70, and IL-18 by whole spleen cells and lymph node cells, but suppressed that of IL-4. These results suggest that D-Fraction establishes Th-1 dominance which induces cellular immunity in the population that was Th-2 dominant due to carcinoma.
Aqueous extract of Clinopodium vulgare L. showed strong antitumour activity when tested in vitro on A2058 (human metastatic melanoma), HEp-2 (epidermoid carcinoma, larynx, human) and L5178Y (mouse lymphoma) cell lines–6 h after treatment disintegration of the nuclei and cell lysis started. Applied at a concentration of 80 μg/ml it reduced the cell survival to 1.0, 5.6 and 6.6%, respectively. The concentrations of aqueous extract inhibiting the growth of A2058, HEp-2 and L5178Y cells by 50% (IC50 values) were calculated to be 20, 10 and 17.8 μg/ml respectively. Two groups of active substances were detected: the first one, probably combining glycosides, influenced adhesion, while the second one caused massive cell vacuolisation. The chloroform extract, which contained ursolic acid and gentriacontan had also cytotoxic, however a little bit weaker effect. All changes observed were irreversible.
Monitoring the blood flow of unanesthesized mice was found to be a reliable and effective method for studying their anaphylactic responses, in addition to the known method of monitoring blood pressure. Hen egg-white lysozyme (HEL)-specific anaphylaxis in mice was estimated by monitoring the decrease in blood flow with a Doppler blood flow meter. This method is convenient for searching for both anaphylaxis and anti-anaphylactic substances from natural products. Using this system, we estimated the anti-anaphylactic effects of the 35% ethanol extract (IB) of petals of Impatiens balsamina L., as well as those of anti-allergic agents currently used. Kaempferol 3-rutinoside and lawsone from IB significantly inhibited the decrease of blood flow. We also found that platelet-activating factor (PAF) and serotonin participate in decreasing the blood flow, but histamine does not.
Osteoblasts are the primary cells responsible for bone formation and are thought to originate from mesenchymal osteoprogenitor cells within skeletal tissues. To elucidate the osteoblastic differentiation process, fetal rat calvariae (FRC) were enzymatically digested and fractionated to provide an osteoprogenitor-enriched cell population. The third fraction of cells from the five sequential digestions tested showed a significant osteogenic response to dexamethasone (Dex), a well-known differentiation hormone, which was demonstrated by high alkaline phosphatase activity early in culture and enhanced calcium deposition and bone nodule formation in late stage cultures. These data indicate that fraction three contains a large number of osteoprogenitor cells. During the osteoblastic differentiation of the third fraction of FRC cells, the formation of collagen cross-links (pyridinoline and deoxypyridinoline) was time-dependently accelerated with the accumulation of collagens, which coincided with an onset of mineralization of the cultures, i.e., calcium deposition and bone nodule formation. Moreover, noncollagenous matrix proteins, bone sialoprotein and osteocalcin, were also increased at both mRNA and protein level in Dex-treated cultures with advancing culture periods. Further examination for mRNA expression of bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and TGF-β1 revealed a notable elevation in BMP-6 mRNA expression on days 3 and 10, and no significant change in TGF-β1 expression. These observations suggested that the progressive formation of collagen cross-links, production of noncollagenous proteins, and up regulation of BMP-6 mRNA play an important role in the osteoblastic differentiation process of osteoprogenitor cells isolated from FRC. This culture system provides us a suitable model for in vitro bone formation.
Eighteen batches of cephalexin extended release tablet were prepared by wet granulation method by using Eudragit L100. The effect of the concentration of Eudragit L100, microcrystalline cellulose and tablet hardness on cephalexin release was studied. The formulated tablets were also characterized for physical and chemical parameters. The dissolution results showed that a higher amount of Eudragit in tablet composition and higher tablet hardness resulted in reduced drug release. An increased amount of microcrystalline cellulose in tablet composition resulted in enhanced drug release. Tablet composition of 13.3% w/w Eudragit L100 and 6.6 to 8% w/w microcrystalline cellulose with hardness of 7—11 kg/cm2 gave predicted release for 6 h. The in vitro release was compared with a marketed tablet. Physical and chemical parameters of all formulated tablets were within acceptable limits. The effect of storage on in vitro release and physicochemical parameters of tablets was evaluated and two batches among formulated eighteen batches found to be in acceptable limits.