The gene pool of influenza A viruses in aquatic birds provides all of the genetic diversity required for human and lower animals. Host range selection of the receptor binding specificity of the influenza virus hemagglutinin occurs during maintenance of the virus in different host cells that express different receptor sialo-sugar chains. In this paper, functional roles of the hemagglutinin and neuraminidase spikes of influenza viruses are described in the relation to 1) host range of influenza viruses, 2) receptor binding specificity of human and other animal influenza viruses, 3) recognition of sialyl sugar chains by Spanish influenza virus hemagglutinin, 4) highly pathogenic and potentially pandemic H5N1, H9N2, and H7N7 avian influenza viruses and molecular mechanism of host range variation of influenza viruses, 5) role of the neuraminidase spike for the host range of influenza viruses, and 6) Development of anti-influenza drugs.
The release of hepatic lipase (HTGL), which is responsible for the hydrolysis of lipoprotein triacylglyceride, produced by heparin from the isolated rat hepatocytes in primary culture has been examined. Tyrosine kinase (TK) inhibitors (ST-638 and biochanin A) inhibited the heparin-stimulated release of HTGL activity. The activity of partially purified TK preparation from the hepatocytes was found to be increased following incubation with heparin in a manner which was both time- and dose-dependent. An intracellular Ca2+-chelator (Quin2/AM), a calmodulin inhibitor (W-7) and a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMK-II) inhibitor (KN-93) suppressed the release of HTGL activity by heparin. In addition, CaMK-II activity in the hepatocytes incubated with heparin was recognized to elevate in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The increase in CaMK-II activity by heparin was markedly reduced in the presence of the inhibitors of TK. These results suggest that the release of HTGL activity from the hepatocytes by heparin is, in part, caused through a pathway involving an activation of CaMK-II associated with an increase in membrane TK activity.
Semicarbazide-sensitive amine oxidase (SSAO) (EC 18.104.22.168) is widely distributed in nature and catalyzes the oxidative deamination of primary amines. Although SSAO full-length cDNA squences have been reported for some mammalian species, only a partial 5′-terminal sequence has been confirmed in the rat. In this study we isolated full-length SSAO cDNA from rat aorta and examined its mRNA expression in various rat tissues by real-time PCR, as well as the subcellular and tissue distributions of SSAO activity. The deduced amino acid sequence showed 91% and 80% identity with mouse and human SSAO, respectively. The mRNA was expressed in many rat tissues. Those findings were supported by the broad distribution of SSAO in the body. Thus, a high level of SSAO was shown in adipocytes by both mRNA expression and enzyme activity measurement. The results suggest that SSAO may play an important role in the degradation of biologically active amines in adipocytes.
Dihydropyrazines (DHPs), which generate hydroxyl and carbon-centered radicals, cleaved DNA single-strand. It is new knowledge that DHPs were recently determined to produce 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine. The remarkable increase in the DNA strand-cleavage activity upon the addition of Cu2+ suggests that the primary reactive species is carbon-centered radicals rather than the hydroxyl radical generated the initiation reaction. This proposal was in fair agreement with of the observed carbon-centered radical signal intensity, but an effect was not observed with the increase in the hydroxyl radical signal intensity.
Annexin A3 is a member of the lipocortin/annexin family, which binds to phospholipids and membranes in a Ca2+-dependent manner. Although annexin A3 has various functions in vitro, its cellular significance is completely unknown. Annexin A3 is not found in rat liver in vivo. In the present study, we investigated the expression of annexin A3 in primary cultured parenchymal rat hepatocytes. Annexin A3 protein was detected in 48-h, but not 2.5-h, cultured hepatocytes using Western blot analysis. The annexin A3 level further increased after an additional 24 h of culture. Annexin A3 mRNA was not detected in 2.5-h cultured hepatocytes but was detected 22 h after the start of culture by RT-PCR analysis, reaching a maximum value after 48 h of culture. To define the role of Annexin A3 in DNA synthesis, RNA interference was used to reduce annexin III gene expression in hepatocytes. The transfection of small interfering RNAs targeting annexin A3 in the hepatocytes reduced the corresponding mRNA and protein expression by approximately 80% and more than 90%, respectively, at 24 h after transfection. In the annexin A3 small interfering RNAs-transfected cells, DNA synthesis, as assessed by [3H]thymidine incorporation, decreased by approximately 70% not only in the control cultures, but also in the hepatocyte growth factor- or epidermal growth factor-treated cells. These findings show that annexin A3 is expressed in primary cultured parenchymal rat hepatocytes and that the suppression of annexin A3 expression using RNA interference inhibits DNA synthesis.
We isolated a rat cDNA clone and its human orthologue, which are most homologous to UDP-GalNAc: polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 9, by homology-based PCR from brain. Nucleotide sequence analysis of these putative GalNAc-transferases (designated pt-GalNAc-T) showed that they contained structural features characteristic of the GalNAc-transferase family. It was also found that human pt-GalNAc-T was identical to the gene WBSCR17, which is reported to be in the critical region of patients with Williams–Beuren Syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, and to be predominantly expressed in brain and heart. In order to investigate the expression of pt-GalNAc-T in brain in more detail, we first examined that of human pt-GalNAc-T by Northern blot analysis and found the expression of the 5.0-kb mRNA to be most abundant in cerebral cortex with somewhat less abundant in cellebellum. The expression of rat pt-GalNAc-T was investigated more extensively. The brain-specific expression of 2.0-kb and 5.0-kb transcripts was demonstrated by Northern blot analysis. In situ hybridization in the adult brain revealed high levels of expression in cerebellum, hippocampus, thalamus, and cerebral cortex. Moreover, observation at high magnification revealed the expression to be associated with neurons, but not with glial cells. Analysis of the rat embryos also demonstrated that rat pt-GalNAc-T was expressed in the nervous system, including in the diencephalons, cerebellar primordium, and dorsal root ganglion. However, recombinant human pt-GalNAc-T, which was expressed in insect cells, did not glycosylate several peptides derived from mammalian mucins, suggesting that it may have a strict substrate specificity. The brain-specific expression of pt-GalNAc-T suggested its involvement in brain development, through O-glycosylation of proteins in the neurons.
Rhamnose-binding lectin from catfish (Silurus asotus) eggs (SAL) has the ability to induce externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS), followed by cell shrinkage in globotriaosylceramide (Gb3)-expressing Burkitt's lymphoma Raji cells. Because phospholipid scramblase and aminophospholipid translocase did not participate in SAL-induced PS externalization, we examined the relationship of ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, such as multidrug resistance (MDR) 1 P-glycoprotein (MDR1 P-gp) and MDR-associated protein 1 (MRP1), for translocation of PS. Since cyclosporin A (MDR1 P-gp inhibitor) but not MK571 (MRP1 inhibitor) inhibited SAL-induced PS externalization, it was suggested that MDR1 P-gp is involved in this phenomenon. On the other hand, SAL activated both of the ABC transporters for efflux of rhodamine123 (MDR1 P-gp substrate, Rho123) and 5-carboxyfluorescein diacetate (MRP1 substrate, 5-CFDA) in Raji cells. In contrast, SAL did not activate these two transporters in Gb3-negative cell lines, such as K562 and doxorubicin-resistant K562 cells, involving not only PS externalization but also efflux of Rho123 or 5-CFDA. Since Gb3 and both transporters in Raji cells are located in the glycosphingolipid-enriched microdomain (GEM), it is suggested that the binding of SAL to Gb3 localized in the GEM specifically induces MDR1 P-gp activation in Raji cells.
Selective inhibitors of phosphodiesterases (PDEs) have been suggested to have anti-inflammatory effects on bronchial asthma through the inhibition of chemotaxis, adhesion, degranulation, the respiratory burst, and survival prolongation of eosinophils. However, the mechanisms by which these agents inhibit eosinophil survival remain unclear. We therefore investigated the possible mechanisms of inhibitory effects of selective inhibitors of PDE 3 (cilostazol) and PDE 4 (rolipram) on granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-mediated eosinophil survival. Purified blood eosinophils were cultured with medium alone or GM-CSF (0.01 ng/ml) in the presence or absence of the agents for up to 6 d. DNA was extracted from freshly isolated eosinophils and eosinophils cultured for 2 d with medium alone, GM-CSF, or GM-CSF in the presence of the agents, and analyzed using agarose gel electrophoresis. The presence of rolipram (10−4, 10−5, 10−6 M), but not cilostazol, significantly inhibited eosinophil survival at days 2, 4, and 6. A laddering pattern was observed in the DNA of eosinophils cultured with medium alone and with GM-CSF in the presence of rolipram. The results reveal that selective PDE 4 inhibitors inhibit GM-CSF-mediated eosinophil survival through the induction of apoptosis.
To evaluate the in vivo mutagenicities of damaged DNA precursors (deoxyribonucleoside 5′-triphosphates) produced by exposure to nitric oxide (NO) and ionizing radiation, five damaged deoxyribonucleotides (deoxyxanthosine triphosphate, deoxyoxanosine triphosphate, dITP, dUTP, and 8-hydroxy-dATP) were introduced into competent Escherichia coli cells. Their mutagenic potentials were assayed using the chromosomal rpoB gene as a mutagenesis target. In contrast to 8-hydroxy-dGTP and 2-hydroxy-dATP, which were examined in an earlier study, none of these damaged deoxyribonucleotides significantly increased the rpoB mutant frequency. These results suggest that these five damaged deoxyribonucleotides are weakly mutagenic in vivo if at all. Thus their contributions to mutations induced by NO and ionizing radiation may be small.
In the present study, three materials extracted or isolated from the roots of B. kaoi, an endemic plant to Taiwan, were used to be examined the hepatoprotective effect against dimethylnitrosamine (DMN)-induced hepatic fibrosis in rats, they were water extract (BKW), polysaccharide-enriched fractions (BKP) and saponin-enriched fractions (BKS). After treated with DMN for 4 weeks, the levels of aminotrasferases (GOT, GPT) were significantly elevated in serum, and the levels of total protein (TP) and albumin were significantly decreased in serum and liver homogenates. Furthermore, the collagen contents were significantly elevated in liver homogenates and corresponded to the hepatofibrotic pathological examination. As the results showed, treated with groups of BKW, BKP, BKS markedly reduced GOT, GPT levels in rats serum. In addition, treated with groups of BKW, BKP, BKS markedly raised TP levels in rats serum and liver homogenates. Furthermore, treated with groups of BKW, BKP markedly raised albumin levels in rats serum and liver homogenates. Treated with groups of BKW, BKP, BKS markedly raised interferon-γ (IFN-γ) levels in rats serum, where only BKS and silymarin markedly raised interkeukin-10 (IL-10) levels in rats serum compared to that of DMN treated rats. None of test materials of B. kaoi except silymarin reduced the malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, but BKW, BKP markedly raised hepatic glutathione (GSH) levels to reveal the activity of anti-lipid peroxidation. Otherwise, treated with groups of BKW, BKP, BKS significantly reduced collagen contents in rats liver homogenates. In conclusion, B. kaoi demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activities followed by anti-oxidant activity of enhanced GSH production, enhanced the liver cell regeneration and concerned with regulations of INF-γ and IL-10. The ability of hepatoprotective and anti-fibrotic activities of B. kaoi are higher than B. chinense, a Bupleuri Radix imported from China to Taiwan.
Armeniacae semen is the seed of Prunus armeniaca L. var. ansu MAXIM which is classified into Rosaceae. In traditional oriental medicine, Armeniacae semen has been used for the treatment of pain and inflammatory diseases. In this study, the effect of Armeniacae semen extract on lipopolysaccharide-induced inflammation was investigated using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blot, prostaglandin E2 immunoassay, and nitric oxide detection on mouse BV2 microglial cells. In the present results, Armeniacae semen extract suppressed prostaglandin E2 synthesis and nitric oxide production by inhibiting the lipopolysaccharide-stimulated enhancement of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA expression in BV2 cells. These results show that Armeniacae semen exerts anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects probably by suppression of cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expressions.
The flower buds of Tussilago farfara L. (Compositae) have been traditionally used in Oriental medicine for the treatment of bronchitis and asthma. The extract of T. farfara was reported to exhibit antiinflammatory actions by inhibiting arachidonic acid metabolism and nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages. In the present study, we investigated the effects of the ethyl acetate (EA) fraction on various types of neuronal cell damage induced in primary cultured rat cortical cells. Its antioxidant activities were also evaluated by cell-free bioassays. We found that the EA fraction potently inhibited the neuronal damage induced by arachidonic acid. We also found that it significantly attenuated the neuronal damage induced by spermine NONOate, a stable NO generator. In addition, it inhibited the Aβ(25—35)-induced neurotoxicity and glutamate- or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid-induced excitotoxicity. It was found that the oxidative neuronal damage induced by H2O2, xanthine/xanthine oxidase, or Fe2+/ascorbic acid was also inhibited by the EA fraction. Furthermore, it was shown to inhibit lipid peroxidation initiated by Fe2+/ascorbic acid in rat brain homogenates, and scavenge DPPH radicals. This is the first demonstration of neuroprotective and antioxidant effects of T. farfara. Although complex mechanisms may be involved in the neuroprotective actions, T. farfara may be useful for the management of neurodegenerative disorders associated with inflammation, Aβ, excitotoxicity, and/or oxidative stress.
We previously reported that oridonin, a major component isolated from the plant Rabdosia rubescens HEMSL, induced apoptosis in human melanoma A375-S2 and cervical cancer HeLa cells. In the present study, oridonin was first evaluated for its effect on phagocytosis of apoptotic cells by macrophages. Preincubation of human histocytic lymphoma U937 cell-derived macrophages with 2.7 μM oridonin significantly augmented phagocytosis of UV-irradiated (2.4 J/cm2, 4 min) U937 cells undergoing apoptosis in a dose- and time-dependent manner. However, less effect on synthetic fluoresbrite microspheres indicated that enhancement of apoptotic U937 cell uptake by oridonin was a selective effect. The oridonin-augmented phagocytosis was attenuated by anti-human TNFα and IL-1β antisera, suggesting that TNFα and IL-1β participate in the phagocytosis by oridonin-treated U937 cell-derived macrophages. In addition, the similar effect of phagocytosis was observed in oridonin-treated human monocyte-derived macrophages at 4 d maturation. Taken together, oridonin facilitates the phagocytic activity against apoptotic cells through TNFα and IL-1β release, which may be contribute to its antitumor activities.
The aqueous extract of whole plant of Coronopus didymus LINN (CD) [Family: Bracicacea] was screened for antiallergic, antipyretic and hepatoprotective effects in rats and hypoglycemic activity in mice. The extract showed significant antiallergic, antipyretic, hypoglycemic and hepatoprotective activity at 200 and 400 mg/kg doses on oral administration. Mechanistically, CD acts as an antioxidant as evidenced by its ability to scavenge DPPH and superoxide radicals. All the observed activities may be due to the presence of flavonoids, saponins and tannins as they are reported to possess a variety of biological activities.
The effect of the simultaneous use of 0.025% levocabastine hydrochloride eye drops (levocabastine) and 0.1% pemirolast potassium ophthalmic solution (pemirolast) on experimental allergic conjunctivitis in rats was investigated. Levocabastine and pemirolast significantly inhibited allergic conjunctivitis compared with the control group when separately administered. In addition, the simultaneous use of both drugs inhibited allergic conjunctivitis more potently than the original activity of levocabastine or pemirolast. Furthermore, the simultaneous use of levocabastine and pemirolast also significantly inhibited increased vascular permeability induced by antigen compared with levocabastine or pemirolast alone, respectively. Levocabastine and pemirolast inhibited histamine release from the rat conjunctiva in correlation with a decrease in histamine content in tears. When levocabastine and pemirolast were simultaneously applied to the eyes, histamine release from the conjunctiva was greater than for the original activities of both drugs. Similar to histamine release from the conjunctiva, the histamine content in tears induced by the simultaneous use of both drugs was significantly decreased compared with levocabastine and pemirolast alone, respectively. A potentiating effect induced by the simultaneous use of levocabastine and pemirolast may be attributable to the antihistaminic activity of levocabastine and histamine release inhibition by levocabastine and pemirolast.
In 29 patients (40 samples) with hematological diseases who had been treated with a candin antifungal agent, micafungin (MCFG), we measured the blood level of MCFG by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). There was a correlation between the dose and the blood level of MCFG (r=0.729, p<0.001). In addition, there was a correlation between the total bilirubin level and the C/D value (r=0.458, p<0.01), which was calculated by dividing the blood level of MCFG by the dose, although there was no correlation between creatinine clearance and the C/D value. These findings suggest that the dose of MCFG must be regulated in patients with biliary stasis-type liver hypofunction. In addition, there was no significant difference in the blood level of MCFG between the group in which tacrolimus (FK506) was combined with MCFG and the group in which MCFG alone was administered. These results suggest that there are no changes in the blood level of MCFG even when MCFG is combined with FK506.
The present study quantitatively investigated the antioxidant effects of the aqueous extracts from dried calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa LINN. (roselle) in vitro using rat low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Formations of the conjugated dienes and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARs) were monitored as markers of the early and later stages of the oxidation of LDL, respectively. Thus, we demonstrated that the dried calyx extracts of roselle exhibits strong antioxidant activity in Cu2+-mediated oxidation of LDL (p<0.05) in vitro. The inhibitory effect of the extracts on LDL oxidation was dose-dependent at concentrations ranging from 0.1 to 5 mg/ml. Moreover, 5 mg/ml of roselle inhibited TBARs-formation with greater potency than 100 μM of vitamin E. In conclusion, this study provides a quantitative insight into the potent antioxidant effect of roselle in vitro.
The aim of this study was to discover a novel agent that promotes hair growth. We carried out a screening test in 298 types of conditioned medium (CM) from cultures of bacteria by using a hair bulb keratinocyte (HBK) growth assay. As a result, we found a HBK growth factor in the CM of Bacillus sp. M18. This HBK growth factor was purified by collecting biologically active fractions in three steps, including HP-20 batch processing, LH-20 chromatography and C18 reverse-phase high-pressure liquid chromatography, and identified as a short peptide GPIGS. GPIGS increased Akt phosphorylation in HBKs. Moreover, the GPIGS-stimulated HBK growth was inhibited by the treatment with LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI-3K). These results suggest that GPIGS promotes HBK growth via the PI-3K/Akt pathway. In addition to in vitro tests, GPIGS was found to accelerate hair regrowth in telogen mice. Our results indicate that GPIGS is a potential agent to promote hair growth.
Araloside A, a potent inhibitor of gastric lesion and ulcer formation in rats, was isolated from the root bark of Aralia elata through a bioassay-guided separation procedure. The compound exhibited significant reduction of HCl·ethanol-induced gastric lesions and aspirin-induced gastric ulcers at oral doses of 50 and 100 mg/kg, respectively. These activities are comparable to those of cimetidine.
We have investigated the effect of naringenin (NGEN) on tumor growth in various human cancer cell lines and sarcoma S-180-implanted mice. NGEN showed cytotoxicity in cell lines derived from cancer of the breast (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231), stomach (KATOIII, MKN-7), liver (HepG2, Hep3B, Huh7), cervix (Hela, Hela-TG), pancreas (PK-1), and colon (Caco-2) as well as leukemia (HL-60, NALM-6, Jurkat, U937). NGEN-induced cytotoxicity was low in Caco-2 and high in leukemia cells compared to other cell lines. NGEN dose-dependently induced apoptosis, with hypodiploid cells detected in both Caco-2 and HL-60 by flow cytometric analysis. In vivo, NGEN inhibited tumor growth in sarcoma S-180-implanted mice, following intraperitoneal or peroral injection once a day for 5 d. Naringin (NG) also inhibited tumor growth by peroral injection but not intraperitoneal injection. NGEN, one of the most abundant flavonoids in citrus fruits, may have a potentially useful inhibitory effect on tumor growth.
We examined the effect of Hippophae rhamnoides L. (HRL) juice on lead-induced memory impairment and neuronal damage in the brains of adult mice. Kunming mice were exposed to lead acetate 10 mg/kg body weight for 20 d. Twenty percent and 40% HRL prevented the lead-induced decrease in step-through latency. In the water maze test, the swimming time was lengthened in mice treated with lead acetate, but this time was decreased in mice that received 20% and 40% HRL. The malondialdehyde (MDA) levels were increased in lead-treated mice, which were reduced by 20% and 40% HRL in dose-dependent manner. The activities of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) and monoamine oxidase-A and -B were significantly increased in the lead-treated group, which were decreased by 40% HRL but not by 20% HRL. The levels of norepinephrine, serotonin, and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid were decreased significantly in the lead-treated mice, and the decreases were antagonized by 40% HRL, except for than in dopamine, but 20% HRL had no effect on this change. These data suggest that the different doses of the HRL juice protect against the lead acetate-induced deficits in learning and memory and changes in neurobiochemical parameters.
Sixteen compounds isolated from Zingiber aromaticum and showing concentration-dependent inhibition with IC50 values less than 100 μM, were analyzed for their possibility of time-, concentration-, and NADPH-dependent inhibition of CYP3A4 and four were analyzed for CYP2D6. All seven kaempferol glycosides and two kaempferol derivatives (4, 5, 8—14) appear to be the mechanism-based inhibitors of CYP3A4 enzyme in which the inhibition is irreversible and driven by the catalytic process. The other compounds showed no NADPH-dependent inhibition or reversible inhibition, and thus do not appear to be mechanism-based inhibitors. KI values for compounds 4, 5, 8—14 were in the range of 2.21—27.01 μM, whereas the kinact values were 0.23—0.65 min−1. Kaempferol-3-O-(2,3,4-tri-O-acetyl-α-L-rhamnopyranoside) (5) was found to be the most potent CYP3A4 inactivator with KI and kinact values of 2.21 μM and 0.45 min−1, respectively.
To clarify the hepatoprotective effects of kakkalide and its metabolite irisolidone by human fecal microflora, their effects on tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BHP)-injured HepG2 cells and mice were investigated. Irisolidone protected HepG2 cells against cytotoxicity induced by t-BHP. However, kakkalide did not protect cytotoxicity. When kakkalide 100 mg/kg was orally administered to mice injured by t-BHP, it significantly inhibited the increase in plasma alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase activities by 84% and 85% of t-BHP-treated control group, respectively. The inhibitory effect of kakkalide is much more potent than that of silybin, a hepatoprotective agent. However, intraperitoneally administered kakkalide did not exhibit hepatoprotective activity. When irisolidone was intraperitoneally administered to mice, it exhibited potent hepatoprotective activity. Based on these findings, irisolidone can be hepatoprotective and kakkalide may be a prodrug transformed to irisolidone.
A new xanthone derivative was isolated together with other 13 known constituents from a Chinese natural medicine, Swertia pseudochinensis HARA. Their structures were determined based on the spectral and chemical evidences. Furthermore, respective hexane, ethyl acetate, 1-BuOH, MeOH and water extracts of S. pseudochinensis, and purified compounds were respectively evaluated for their hepatoprotective activities against hepatocyte injury induced by CCl4. All the extracts and isolated compounds exhibited significant hepatoprotective activities at a dose showing no hepatoxicity.
The plant extracts of the Leguminosae family were screened for their estrogenic activity with the Ishikawa cell system. Of the tested plants, Desmodium oxyphyllum, Dunbaria villosa, Kummerowia striata, Lespedeza bicolor, Maackia amurensis, Maackia fauriei, Pueraria thunbergiana, and Sophora flavescens were highly estrogenic with EC50 values of less than 10 μg/ml.
In present study, we investigated the synergic effect of berberine against disseminated candidiasis caused by the pathogenic fungus, Candida albicans. Berberine inhibited the growth of C. albicans under in-vitro condition. The broth susceptibility revealed the synergic effect of berberine with amphotericin B (Amp B). To confirm these results under the in-vivo condition, the effect was examined in mice against disseminated candidiasis. Results showed mice that were given diluent (negative control), Amp B (0.5 mg/kg of body weight), or berberine (1 mg/kg of body weight) had mean survival times (MST) of approximately 12, 14, and 17 d, respectively. On the contrary, mice that were treated using a combination of the two agents at the same concentrations resulted in a MST value of 36 d, surviving at an average of 22 d longer than the mice group treated only with the Amp B. This MST value was almost same as MST value from the mice that were given four times the Amp B dose. These data indicate that the combination of Amp B and berberine could reduce approximately 75% of the Amp B dose, implying that berberine indeed has synergy with Amp B against the disseminated disease.
To improve in vitro gene transfer efficiency and/or achieve cell-specific gene delivery of polyamidoamine (PAMAM) starburst dendrimer (generation 2, G2) conjugate with α-cyclodextrin (α-CDE conjugate (G2)), we prepared α-CDE conjugate bearing galactose (Gal-α-CDE conjugates) with the various degrees of substitution of the galactose moiety (DSG) as a novel non-viral vector. The agarose gel electrophoretic studies revealed that Gal-α-CDE conjugates formed complexes with plasmid DNA (pDNA) and protected the degradation of pDNA by DNase I, but these effects impaired as the DSG value increased. Dendrimer and α-CDE conjugate exerted pDNA condensation through the complexation, but Gal-α-CDE conjugates did not. Gal-α-CDE conjugate (DSG 4) was found to have much higher gene transfer activity than dendrimer, α-CDE conjugate and Gal-α-CDE conjugates (DSG 8, 15) in HepG2, NIH3T3 and A549 cells, which are independent of the expression of the asialoglycoprotein receptor. Transfection activity of Gal-α-CDE conjugate (DSG 4) was insensitive to the existence of competitors (asialofetuin and galactose) and serum. In addition, no cytotoxicity after transfection of the complex of pDNA with Gal-α-CDE conjugate (DSG 4) was observed. These results suggest the potential use of Gal-α-CDE conjugate (DSG 4) as a non-viral vector in various cells.
The extracts derived from cultures of 1626 endophytic strains harbored in Trachelospermum jasminoides were assayed for more potent antioxidant and/or free radical-scavenging agents. The free radical-scavenging assessment was carried out using l,l-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and hydroxyl radical assays, and the antioxidant actions on linoleic acid and human low-density lipoprotein (LDL) models. After extensive spectroscopic analyses, graphislactone A was characterized as the most bioactive secondary metabolite of endophytic Cephalosporium sp. IFB-E001 with its free radical-scavenging (in a dose-dependent manner) and antioxidant activities ascertained in vitro to be stronger than those of butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and ascorbic acid, the two positive references coassayed in the study. From the demonstrated efficacy of graphislactone A in preventing and protecting against oxidative injury, it can be predicted that this metabolite could be a potential agent in the management of oxidative damage-initiated diseases.
Absorption enhancers, which increase the permeability of drugs through epithelial membranes without damaging them, are especially useful for intranasal administration of peptide drugs. In this study, aminated gelatins, candidate enhancers, having different numbers of amino groups were prepared from gelatin (H-gelatin, isoelectric point=9.0, MW 100 kDa) and a partial gelatin hydrolysate (L-gelatin, isoelectric point=8.0, MW 5 kDa), and the enhancing effects on the nasal absorption of insulin, used as a model peptide drug, and 5(6)-carboxyfluorescein (CF), a paracellular marker, were examined in rats. The enhancing effect on insulin and CF depends on the MW and number of amino groups. A high correlation between the enhancing effects on insulin and CF was observed and this suggests that an increase in the paracellular permeability is the mechanism governing the nasal absorption-enhancement of aminated gelatins, at least as far as insulin and CF are concerned. The enhancing mechanism might be shared with other cationic polymers having absorption-enhancing effects.
Chitooligosaccharides have attracted much attention as new biomedical materials. The biologic availability of each of these chitooligosaccharides, however, has not yet been studied. In the present study, we found that chitobiose and chitotriose appeared in the blood of rats with maximum plasma concentrations at around 1 h after administration when given orally at a dose of 30 mg/kg. However, chitotetraose and chitopentaose did not appear in the blood when given at a dose of 300 mg/kg. Pharmacokinetic analysis of chitobiose and chitotriose after intravenous administration at 100 mg/kg revealed that both sugars were eliminated from the body following a one-compartment model and that the former relative to the latter was higher for both the total body clearance (224±43 vs. 155±26 ml/h/kg) and the distribution volume (107±15 vs. 65±9 ml/kg). The absolute oral bioavailability of chitobiose was higher than that of chitotriose at all doses (30, 100, and 300 mg/kg) examined. The first-order absorption rate constants for chitobiose and chitotriose at all doses were less than 1.0 h−1 and smaller than the elimination rate constants (2.2±0.3, 2.7±0.1 h−1, respectively). The absorption was slow, resulting in flip-flop kinetics. This study indicates that among various chitooligosaccharides, only chitobiose and chitotriose can be appreciably absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
The effects of amino-acid fluids on ligand binding to human serum albumin (HSA) were investigated by fluorescence and ultrafiltration techniques. Warfarin and dansylsarcosine were used as the site marker fluorescence probes for site I and site II of HSA, respectively. Amino-acid fluids specifically decreased the fluorescence intensity induced by dansylsarcosine-HSA binding without any effects on that induced by warfarin-HSA binding. The ultrafiltration technique clarified that the free fraction of the site II drug, diazepam, in human serum was increased in the presence of amino-acid fluids, while no effect was observed in the free fraction of the site I drug, warfarin. The potencies of the effect on binding to site II, observed by fluorescence and ultrafiltration techniques, correlated well with the L-tryptophan contents in amino-acid fluids or with those in L-tryptophan solutions. Based on the comparison between the effects of amino-acid fluids and L-tryptophan solutions, we confirmed that L-tryptophan in amino-acid fluids specifically inhibits drug binding to site II of HSA.
The absorption of glycerol was examined using the closed loop of the rat small intestine in situ to clarify the transport mechanism. The absorption of glycerol, evaluated by its disappearance from the intestinal lumen, was saturable and reduced under the Na+-free conditions, suggesting the involvement of an Na+-dependent carrier-mediated transport system. Furthermore, glycerol absorption was selectively inhibited by several alcohols, among which 1,3-propanediol caused the greatest inhibition, and also by glycerol-3-phosphate and voglibose, which are alcohol-related compounds analogous to glycerol. Several other compounds that did not inhibit glycerol absorption included D-glucose and L-ascorbate, which are known to be transported by specific carriers. Therefore, the carriers for these two compounds do not seem to be involved in glycerol absorption. It is likely that the carrier-mediated transport system involved in glycerol absorption is specific to glycerol and, possibly, some analogous compounds with hydroxyl groups. Thus, the present study has provided in situ evidence for the presence of an Na+-dependent carrier-mediated transport system for glycerol in the rat small intestine. It would be interesting to examine the possibility that the carrier-mediated glycerol transport system could be involved in drug absorption and also that it could be used for oral drug delivery.
We examined the pharmacokinetic behavior of micafungin, a novel antifungal agent, in rats receiving carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) at a single dose of 2.5 ml/kg. There was no significant change in the total clearance (CLtot) in CCl4-treated rats, while the steady-state volume of distribution (Vdss) was significantly increased by CCl4 treatment. Alteration in the serum unbound fraction of micafungin after CCl4 treatment was unlikely in light of the serum albumin, bilirubin, creatinine, and urea nitrogen. The increased Vdss was attributable to augmentation in the accessibility of micafungin to peripheral tissue without impairment of the intrinsic clearance, because slight enhancement of the tissue distribution of micafungin was confirmed following CCl4 treatment.
Uptake of pullulan, including a binding process followed by internalization, was examined in cultured rat liver parenchymal cells. A tyramine derivative of pullulan was labeled with [125I]iodine and used as a ligand. Pullulan bound to the cell surface was released by EDTA treatment, indicating that pullulan binding requires Ca2+ and a contribution from the asialoglycoprotein receptor. Binding of pullulan reached a steady state and internalization represented a biphasic mode, which included first- and zero-order processes in the initial stage and after 20 min incubation, respectively. The uptake of pullulan could be estimated by a similar model for intracellular disposition of asialofetuin. Kinetic parameters of pullulan constituting both binding and internalization were below those found for asialofetuin. These results suggest that pullulan is taken up by liver parenchymal cells via the asialoglycoprotein receptor; however, uptake availability is lower than that of asialofetuin.
Thalidomide (Thal: 1) and its two metabolites, 5-hydroxythalidomide (5-HT: 2) and N-hydroxythalidomide (N-HT: 3), showed an enhancing effect on all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-induced HL-60 cell differentiation. 5-HT and N-HT showed tubulin polymerization-inhibiting activity, but thalidomide did not.