The effect of molecular flexibility on biological activity was described for soft (e.g. hGH peptides) and hard molecules (e.g. biscoclaurine-type alkaloids). These molecules had a macrocyclic structure during molecular mechanics analysis, and the minimum essential unit, which affects insulin-involved fatty acid synthesis, was observed. The flexibility of the molecular center is concerning with biological activity through the diversification of structural feature, and compared with two types of molecules which have a rigid (haloacetylcarbamoyl-2-nitroimidazole analogs: chiral-TXs) or flexible (bis-quaternary ammonium compounds: bis-QACs) molecular center. Center flexibility reflected the conformation occurrence in TXs and bis-QACs. A parameter (solvation-free energy: dGW), which reflects structural hydrophobicity, was shown, and applied to the molecular design of brefeldin A analog. This hydrophobic index was very useful, and was used for conformational analysis of chiral-TXs and bis-QACs. In molecular dynamics analysis of cholesterol-dependent cytolysin (e.g. storeptolysin O) and -independent cytolysin (e.g. intermedilysin), whole molecules moved like a bow and different conformations were shown in every moment. In such situations, the membrane-associated 11mer region in these cytolysins were flexible and could always interact with extramolecular factors (e.g. membrane constitution).
Oyaksungisan, the herbal prescription composed of eleven herbs, has been widely used in treatment of cerebral infarct in Oriental Medicine. However, the mechanisms by which the herbal formula affects on the production of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in cerebral infarction patients remain unknown yet. The secretory levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interlukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6, and IL-10 were significantly increased in both LPS and PHA-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from cerebral infarction patients. However, pretreatment with Oyaksungisan significantly inhibited the secretion of pro- and anti-inflammatory in PBMCs. Also, Oyaksungisan induced a significant increase of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 in PBMCs. Thus, these data indicate that Oyaksungisan may be beneficial in the cessation of inflammatory processes of cerebral infarct through suppression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 and induction of TGF-β1.
It is known that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) accelerates atherosclerosis. Further, the soluble form of vascular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) is known as a predictive marker of atherosclerosis in RA patients. We reported that keishibukuryogan, one of the Kampo formulas, improved articular symptoms and decreased soluble VCAM-1 in patients with RA. In adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats, an animal model of RA, it is known that endothelial function is injured by inflammation. So, we investigated the effect of keishibukuryogan on endothelial function in AIA rats. Lewis rats were divided into control, AIA control, and AIA with keishibukuryogan groups. The AIA with keishibukuryogan group was fed 3% keishibukuryogan contained in normal chow. On day 25 after injection of Mycobacterium butyricum, endothelium-dependent relaxation by acetylcholine in the AIA control group was suppressed, but it was improved in the AIA with keishibukuryogan group. The contractions by xanthine/xanthine oxidase in both AIA rats increased, but that in keishibukuryogan decreased compared to the AIA control group. Plasma levels of lipid peroxide increased in the AIA control group, but keishibukuryogan decreased these levels. Plasma levels of nitric oxide (NO) increased in both AIA groups. The expressions of endothelial NO synthase, inducible NO synthase and VCAM-1 of thoracic aorta were investigated by western blotting. These expressions increased in the AIA control group, but were restricted in the AIA with keishibukuryogan group. We considered that keishibukuryogan protected the endothelial function of AIA rats mainly by its anti-oxidative effect.
Many effects that oestrogens and progestrogens used in oral contraceptive (OC) have on enzyme physiology are of importance on homeostasis. This study was carried out in order to determine the in vivo effect of three oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol in combination with desogestrel and levonorgestrel on the paraoxonase (PON), catalase (CAT) and carbonic anhydrase (CA) activities in mice, which are model organisms for humans. Serum and liver paraoxonase activities were determined spectrophotometrically by using paraoxan as a substrate according to the methods of Gan et al. and Gil et al., respectively. Catalase and carbonic anhydrase activities were determined from erythrocytes used Aebi and Maren methods, respectively. For these studies, a group of ten mice (25±2 g) was selected for oral administration for 21 d of each drug (0.15 mg desogestrel+0.03 mg ethinylestradiol (A); 0.15 mg levanogestrel+0.03 mg ethinylestradiol (B) and 0.15 mg desogestrel+0.02 mg ethinylestradiol (C)). A group of ten mice was included in the study for a control group, which were not subject to drug administration. For each drug, a mean of the serum and liver paraxonase activity and erythrocytes catalase and carbonic anhydrase activities were determined and compared to the control groups. While mouse liver PON activity showed a statistically significant decrease for all three drugs, serum PON activity increased. Erythrocytes catalase activity was significantly decreased by all contraceptives used. On the other hand, these contraceptives did not change the erythrocytes carbonic anhydrase activity.
To find novel skin-whitening agents, the melanogenesis inhibitory action of gallic acid (GA) was investigated. In this current study, the effects of GA on mushroom tyrosinase, tyrosinase inhibitory activity, and melanin content were assessed in B16 melanoma cells (B16 cells). Results indicated that GA has a strong antityrosinase activity (IC50=3.59×10−6 M). Furthermore, data on murine tyrosinase activity and melanin biosynthesis revealed that GA effectively suppressed murine tyrosinase action and the amount of melanin. To investigate the relation between GA's inhibition of melanogenesis and antioxidant activity, the effect of GA on reactive species (RS) generation and the reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione (GSSG) ratio in were determined in B16 cells. Results indicated that GA effectively down-regulated the RS generation and enhanced the GSH/GSSG ratio. Based on these results, I propose that GA exerts antimelanogenic activity coupled with antioxidant properties by suppressing RS generation and maintaining a higher GSH/GSSG ratio.
We cloned the cDNA of a novel steroid receptor-binding protein, SRB-RGS, which suppressed the estrogen receptor (ER)α-mediated and other promoter-driven transcriptional activities. This study revealed the interaction between the full-length SRB-RGS and full-length ERα or ERβ by a coimmunoprecipitation assay. The full-length SRB-RGS and full-length ERα interacted in COS-7 cell by a mammalian two-hybrid system. The interaction between intrinsic SRB-RGS and ERs in the nuclear ER extract from the rat uteri was observed by the gel-shift assay. These results strongly suggested that SRB-RGS interacts with ERs bound to DNA (estrogen response element) in the nuclei of the cells. SRB-RGS suppressed very efficiently the ERα-, ERβ-, and ERα+ERβ-mediated transcriptional activities. Green fluorescence of enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP)-tagged SRB-RGS was localized both in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm. Intrinsic SRB-RGS was immunostained in the nucleus and the cytoplasm of HeLa cells. The putative SRB-RGS deduced from cDNA sequence was identified by the immunostaining and Western blotting by using the anti-SRB-RGS antibody. Overexpression of SRB-RGS induced the cell death in the HeLa cells. The nucleotide sequence of SRB-RGS cDNA that we cloned previously is identical with that of the newly isolated RGS3 cDNA. SRB-RGS could interact with ERs bound DNA in the nuclei of the cells and suppressed the ERs-mediated transcriptional activities.
In our previous study, the MDR1/Pglycoprotein-overexpressing multidrug resistant subline, Hvr100-6, was established from the human cervical carcinoma cell line HeLa-Ohio (HeLa) by stepwise exposure to an anti-microtubule agent, vinblastine sulfate, a typical substrate of MDR1. Their gene and protein expression profiles were analyzed herein, and 148 genes were identified to be differentially expressed by cDNA microarray analysis. The up-regulation of sorcin, a soluble resistance-related calcium-binding protein of 22 kDa, was confirmed in Hvr100-6 cells by the proteome analysis. To clarify the relationship between MDR1 and sorcin, HeLa cells were treated with small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) targeted for theirs mRNAs. The siRNA for MDR1 mRNA resulted in its decrease by 86% and 61% on the days 1 and 2 after the treatment, whereas the expression level of sorcin mRNA was not changed. On the other hand, the siRNA for sorcin mRNA suppressed its expression by 80—90% on days 1—3 after the treatment. Interestingly; suppression of sorcin induced a more than 3-fold increase in the expression level for MDR1 mRNA. An efflux function of MDR1 evaluated with using rhodamine 123 as a probe showed a tendency to be increased in HeLa cells treated with siRNA for sorcin, compared with that in the cells treated with scramble siRNA. The activity and the expression of caspase-3 in the sorcin knock-down HeLa cells were relatively higher than those in the cells treated with scramble siRNA. Thus, we demonstrated that sorcin might be a partial suppressor of MDR1 expression. Furthermore, the present study suggested that sorcin repressed apoptosis via dysfunction of caspase-3.
Phase II detoxification enzymes are responsible for the detoxification and elimination of activated carcinogens, and thus act as important biomarkers for chemoprevention. In this study, we tested the chemopreventive activity of taxifolin, a flavanon compound purified from a mongolian medicinal plant, by measuring quinone reductase (QR) activity in HCT 116 cells. Taxifolin induced significant QR activity, but displayed relatively low cytotoxicity in cells (chemoprevention index=5.75). To identify the target genes regulated by taxifolin, DNA microarray was performed with a 3K human cancer chip containing 3096 human genes associated with carcinogenesis. Significant analysis of microarray (SAM) revealed 428 differentially expressed (DE) genes as statistically significant, with a false discovery rate (FDR) of 57.2% (delta=0.3366). Sixty-five genes, including a few detoxification enzymes (NQO1, GSTM1) and an antioxidant enzyme (TXNRD1), were up-regulated and 363 genes were down-regulated in the presence of 60 μM taxifolin. In view of the finding that selected genes of interest contained antioxidant response element (ARE), we hypothesize that taxifolin modulates chemopreventive genes through activation of the ARE. Transient transfection experiments using the ARE QR-CAT construct demonstrate that taxifolin significantly activates ARE, but not xenobiotic response element (XRE). In conclusion, taxifolin acts as a potential chemopreventive agent by regulating genes via an ARE-dependent mechanism.
Werner syndrome (WS), caused by mutations in a gene (WRN) that encodes a RecQ DNA helicase, is characterized by premature aging and cancer predisposition. Cells derived from WS patients show sensitivity to several DNA damaging agents. Previous studies revealed that the WRN protein plays roles in DNA repair or damage tolerance, although it was not yet assigned to a specific pathway. Here we examined the relationship between WRN and the post-replication repair protein RAD18 by generating deletion derivatives in chicken DT40 cells. The frequency of spontaneous sister chromatid exchange in WRN−/−/RAD18−/− double mutant cells was slightly increased compared to that of either single mutant. However, the sensitivity of WRN−/−/RAD18−/− cells to 4-nitroquinoline 1-oxide and methyl methanesulfonate was almost the same as that of RAD18−/− cells. Moreover, the cisplatin sensitivity of RAD18−/− cells was slightly suppressed by disruption of WRN. These data suggest that WRN functions in a pathway involving RAD18 under damage-inducing conditions.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects multiple synovial joints. Proinflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)α play important roles as principle inflammatory and destructive components of the disease. RA is known to be associated with significant gender differences in its prevalence and clinical features. We found that a potent androgen, 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) inhibits IL-1α mRNA expression induced by TNFα and the DHT effect was inhibited by an androgen receptor antagonist, hydroxyflutamide (OHF). DHT inhibited the NF-κB activation induced by TNFα in a manner dependent on the androgen receptor (AR). These results suggest that DHT inhibits the TNFα-induced IL-1α mRNA expression by inhibiting NF-κB activation, and contributes to the gender differences of the disease.
The ATP binding cassette transporter subtype A5 (ABCA5)-like transporters ABCA5, ABCA6, ABCA8, ABCA9 and ABCA10 form a unique gene cluster within the ABC transporter superfamily, though their function is still poorly understood. The purpose of this study is to examine whether ABCA5-like transporters may play a role in tumor development by measuring their mRNA levels in human tissues and tumors. Intense mRNA expression of human ABCA5-like transporters was detected in the brain. ABCA5 and ABCA8 mRNAs were detected in spleen, testis and ovary. ABCA5 mRNA was also detected in liver and pancreas. ABCA6 mRNA was detected in lung and liver, and ABCA8 was detected in lung. ABCA6, ABCA7 and ABCA8 mRNAs were not detected in any tumors, but weak mRNA expression of ABCA10 was detected in all tumors examined. ABCA5 mRNA was detected in poorly differentiated colon adenocarcinoma (GI-112) and undifferentiated ovarian carcinoma (GI-102), but not in normal colon. ABCB1 mRNA was also detected in GI-112, while ABCC1 and ABCA2 mRNAs were not. In contrast, ABCC1 and ABCA2 mRNAs, but not ABCA5 or ABCB1 mRNA, were detected in well differentiated colon adenocarcinoma (CX-1). Thus, induction of ABCA5, together with ABCB1, appears to be correlated with the differentiation state of human colon tumors, and may have a role in tumor development.
An extract from Salvia officinalis (Sage) leaves showed antimicrobial activity against vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). We isolated the effective compound and identified it as oleanolic acid, a triterpenoid. We also tested antimicrobial activity of similar triterpenoids, ursolic acid, uvaol, betulinic acid and betulin. We found that ursolic acid also showed antimicrobial activity against VRE. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of oleanolic acid and ursolic acid were 8 and 4 μg/ml, respectively. These two compounds also showed antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus pneumoniae and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). These compounds showed bactericidal activity against VRE at least for 48 h when added at concentrations that were two-times higher than their MICs.
In the case of left ventricle remodeling after myocardial infarction, cardiomyocyte apoptosis is attributed to increased cardiac workload by the stimulus such as chronic hypoxia. B-Type natriuretic peptide, being known as a reliable prognostic of cardiovascular pathology, plays an important role in the myocardial infarction. However, the action of B-type natriuretic peptide on cardiomyocytes undergoing apoptosis is unclear. In the present study, B-type natriuretic peptide have exhibited the enhancive effects on the mild hypoxia-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis with the manifestation of facilitating phosphatidylserine evagination and increasing typical fragmented nuclei. In addition, B-type natriuretic peptide aggravated the dissipation of Δψm, the depletion of intracellular ATP and the increase of caspase-3 activity. 8-Bromo-cGMP, which increased cGMP independent of B-type natriuretic peptide, could mimic B-type natriuretic peptide's effects; whereas cGMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor, Rp-8-br-cGMP inhibited that. Further study revealed the enhancive effect of BNP on down-regulation of Bcl-2 mRNA expression in the presence of mild hypoxia. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that B-type natriuretic peptide aggravated the cardiomyocyte apoptosis by influencing hypoxia-induced mitochondrial death pathway, which is true at least in this oxygen deprivation model; and this effect was partially realized through intracellular cGMP.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a major component of green tea extracts, is known to have anti-fibrotic properties in many organs. The aim of present study was to investigate effects of EGCG on rat pancreatic fibrosis induced by diethyldithiocarbamate (DDC). Oral gavages of different dose of EGCG (50, 100 and 200 mg/kg daily for 8 weeks) ameliorated histological changes and significantly suppressed collagen deposition in a dose-dependent manner. Meanwhile, administration of EGCG inhibited overexpression of TGF-β1 and α-smooth muscle actin (a symbol of activation of pancreatic stellate cells). Moreover, EGCG has a potent influence on expression of Smads (downstream transcription factor of TGF-β1). EGCG suppressed the expression of Smad3 and enhanced the expression of Smad7. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that EGCG attenuated rat pancreatic fibrosis induced by DDC and therefore may be an anti-fibrogenic candidate in the pancreatic fibrosis.
We recently isolated a novel lignan, 4-hydroxykobusin from Geranium thunbergii (Liu et al., Arch. Pharm. Res., 29, 1109—1113, 2006). Here, we studied its effect on the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) gene in RAW264.7 cells. 4-Hydroxykobusin inhibited nitric oxide (NO) production in a concentration-dependent manner and blocked the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). To identify the mechanistic basis for its inhibition of iNOS induction, we examined the effect of 4-hydroxykobusin on the transactivation of iNOS gene by luciferase reporter activity using −1.59 kb flanking region. The lignan suppressed the reporter gene activity and the LPS-induced reporter activations of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and activator protein-1 (AP-1) were also significantly blocked by 4-hydroxykobusin. These findings suggest that the inhibition of LPS-induced NO formation by 4-hydroxykobusin is due to its inhibition of NF-κB and AP-1 activation.
This study investigated the role of nitric oxide in radiation-induced damage by examining changes in mouse serum nitrate concentrations after irradiation. In addition, the contribution of S-2-aminoethylisothiourea 2HBr (AET) to the mechanisms of radiation damage protection was also clarified. The serum nitrate concentration increased as soon as 1.5 h after irradiation, and after 2.5 to 3.0 h the concentrations were significantly higher compared with normal levels. Normal levels were re-established after 12 h. Post-irradiation serum nitrate concentrations increased dose-dependently with irradiation dose (19.6—31.5 Gy). AET suppressed increases in the serum nitrate concentration following irradiation while 2-mercaptoethylamine HCl (MEA) did not. AET has an inhibitory effect on inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS); therefore, the increase in nitric oxide after irradiation may be produced by iNOS. Combined administration of irradiation and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced a significant increase in serum nitrate concentration, and a significant decrease in survival rate, compared with irradiation alone. The administration of AET or aminoguanidine increased survival rate following irradiation. In contrast to findings after LPS administration, IL-1β and IFN-γ were not determined in serum following irradiation. Existing iNOS is activated by irradiation, and nitric oxide production appears to increase without iNOS induction. Thus, the irradiation-induced increase in nitric oxide may be related to lethal injury.
Schisandrin B (Sch B), a dibenzocyclooctadiene derivative isolated from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis, has been shown to protect against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) hepatotoxicity in mice. In order to elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying the hepatoprotection afforded by Sch B, the effect of Sch B treatment on the sensitivity of mitochondria to Ca2+-stimulated permeability transition (PT) was investigated in mouse livers under normal and CCl4-intoxicated conditions. CCl4 hepatotoxicity caused an increase in the sensitivity of mitochondria to Ca2+-stimulated PT in vitro. The enhanced sensitivity to mitochondrial PT was associated with increases in mitochondrial Ca2+ content as well as the extent of reactive oxidant species (ROS) production and cytochrome c release. The hepatoprotection afforded by Sch B pretreatment against CCl4 toxicity was paralleled by the decrease in the sensitivity of hepatic mitochondria to Ca2+-stimulated PT as well as the attenuations of mitochondrial Ca2+ loading, ROS production and cytochrome c release under CCl4-intoxicated condition. In conclusion, the results suggest that the hepatoprotection afforded by Sch B pretreatment against CCl4 toxicity may be related to the increase in the resistance of hepatic mitochondria to Ca2+-stimulated PT.
A series of new pyrazole derivatives from emodin synthesized in our lab have been shown to have much stronger cytotoxicity than emodin against various tumor cell lines.1) This study was to examine the apoptosis-inducing activity of these new emodin derivatives in human hepatocellular carcinoma HepG2 cell culture for a better understanding of their cytotoxic effects on the cancer cells. Several major events in the induction of cell apoptosis, nuclear chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, caspase-3 activation and poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage were detected in the cells after treatment with the compounds at various concentrations. Of the seven emodin derivatives tested at a dose of 10 μM and within a treatment period of 24 h, only compounds 1 and 3 effectively induced all these apoptotic events in the cancer cells. The apoptosis-inducing activity of the compounds showed a positive correlation to their cytotoxic activity, suggesting a close connection between the growth inhibition and apoptosis induction of the cancer cells by these pyrazole emodin derivatives.
We have designed and synthesized lithocholic acid-based cationic amphiphile molecules as components of cationic liposomes for gene transfection (lipofection). To study the relationship between the molecular structures of those amphiphilic molecules, particularly the extended hydrophobic appendant (anchor) at the 3-hydroxyl group, and transfection efficiency, we synthesized several lithocholic and isolithocholic acid derivatives, and examined their transfection efficiency. We also compared the physico-chemical properties of cationic liposomes prepared from these derivatives. We found that isolithocholic acid derivatives exhibit higher transfection efficiency than the corresponding lithocholic acid derivatives. This result indicates that the orientation and extension of hydrophobic regions influence the gene transfection process. Isolithocholic acid derivatives showed a high ability to encapsulate DNA in a compact liposome–DNA complex and to protect it from enzymatic degradation. Isolithocholic acid derivatives also facilitated the release of DNA from the liposome–DNA complex, which is a crucial step for DNA entry into the nucleus. Our results show that the transfection efficiency is directly influenced by the ability of the liposome complex to release DNA, rather than by the DNA-encapsulating ability. Molecular modeling revealed that isolithocholic acid derivatives take relatively extended conformations, while the lithocholic acid derivatives take folded structures. Thus, the efficiency of release of DNA from cationic liposomes in the cytoplasm, which contributes to high transfection efficiency, appears to be dependent upon the molecular shape of the cationic amphiphiles.
The objectives of this study were to investigate the antihyperglycemic effect of Cephalotaxus sinensis leaves and to identify the active components. The antihyperglycemic effect of various fractions (FA, FB, FC, FD) of the 80% ethanol extract of the leaves was evaluated in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Among the tested fractions, FC was the most active. FC (0.48 g/kg) given orally for 10 d reduced significantly (p<0.001) the blood glucose of STZ-induced diabetic rats. The food and water intakes of FC (0.48 g/kg)-treated diabetic rats were reduced significantly (p<0.001) when compared to the 0.5% carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC)-treated diabetic rats. The activity-guided fractionation of the ethanol extract of C. sinensis leaves furnished three flavonoid compounds, apigenin-5-O-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-6-O-β-D-acetylglucopyranoside] (1), apigenin (2), and apigenin-5-O-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-6-O-β-D-glucopyranoside] (3). The elevation of GLUT-4 protein level in membrane preparations from mice adipocytes was detected by Western blot analysis after adipocytes were pre-incubated with FC (0.1, 1, 10 mg/ml), apigenin (0.1, 2 mg/ml) and apigenin-5-O-[α-L-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→4)-6-O-β-D-acetylglucopyranoside] (0.1, 2 mg/ml), respectively. Phytochemical investigation and HPLC-DAD analysis of FC indicated that the flavonoids were the major constituents in this fraction. These results suggest that the fraction from C. sinensis leaves is a promising drug for the treatment of diabetes, and that the flavonoids from this plant are the active constituents.
Oxidative damage induced by β-amyloid (Aβ) is closely associated with the hallmark pathologies of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and may play a critical role in the development of AD. In this study, the protective effects of vitisin A and heyneanol A, resveratrol oligomers isolated from Vitis amurensis RUPR. (Vitaceae), against Aβ-induced oxidative cell death were investigated using rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cells. Exposure of PC12 cells to the Aβ (20 μM) for 24 h resulted in neuronal cell death, whereas pretreatment with vitisin A or heyneanol A at the concentration range of 5—50 μM reduced Aβ-induced cell death. In addition, Aβ-induced elevation of reactive oxygen species generation, the primary cause of Aβ-induced oxidative stress, was attenuated by treatment of vitisin A or heyneanol A (10, 25, 50 μM). Aβ-treated cells also displayed characteristic features of apoptosis such as induction of DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activation, but vitisin A and heyneanol A (10, 50 μM) significantly suppressed these events. These results suggest that vitisin A and heyneanol A prevent Aβ-induced neurotoxicity through attenuating oxidative stress induced by Aβ, and may be useful as potential preventive or therapeutic agents for AD.
The leaf, stem and root extracts of Chromolaena odorata were evaluated for their effect on platelet-activating factor (PAF) receptor binding on rabbit platelets using 3H-PAF as a ligand. The leaf extract demonstrated high PAF receptor binding inhibitory activity of 79.2±2.1% at 18.2 μg/ml. A total of eleven flavonoids were subsequently isolated from the active leaf extract and evaluated for their effects on PAF receptor binding. Eight of the flavonoids exhibited >50% inhibition on the binding activity at 18.2 μg/ml. These flavonoids were identified as eriodictyol 7,4′-dimethyl ether, quercetin 7,4′-methyl ether, naringenin 4′-methyl ether, kaempferol 4′-methyl ether, kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside, taxifolin 4′-methyl ether, taxifolin 7-methyl ether and quercetin 4′-methyl ether. Their IC50 values ranged from 19.5 to 62.1 μM.
To evaluate the antiallergic effect of the fruit of Schizandra chinensis BAILL (Family Magnoliaceae), which inhibited the mouse passive cutaneous anaphylaxis (PCA) reaction in a preliminary experiment, its main constituent, schizandrin, was isolated and its antiallergic effect investigated. Schizandrin inhibited the PCA reaction induced by the IgE–antigen complex, the scratching behaviors induced by compound 48/80 and the serum IgE production induced by ovalbumin. Schizandrin also inhibited the in vitro degranulation of compound 48/80-induced rat peritoneal mast cells and IgE-induced RBL 2H3 cells. Schizandrin reduced the protein expressions of TNF-α and IL-4 in IgE-induced RBL 2H3 cells. These findings suggest that schizandrin can improve IgE-induced anaphylaxis and scratching behaviors.
The objective of the present study was to investigate the beneficial properties of magnoflorine, an alkaloid isolated from Coptidis Rhizoma, on protecting human high density lipoprotein (HDL) against lipid peroxidation. Magnoflorine exerts an inhibitory effect against Cu2+-induced lipid peroxidation of HDL, as showed by prolongation of lag time from 62 to 123 min at the concentration of 3.0 μM. It also inhibits the generation of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in the dose-dependent maners with IC50 values of 2.3±0.2 μM and 6.2±0.5 μM since HDL oxidation mediated by either catalytic Cu2+ or thermo-labile radical initiator (AAPH), respectively. Separately, Cu2+ oxidized HDL lost the antioxidant action but the inclusion of magnoflorine/Cu2+ oxidized HDL can protect LDL oxidation according to increasing magnoflorine concentration. The results suggest that magnoflorine may have a role to play in preventing the HDL oxidation.
A homology-based cloning strategy yielded a cDNA clone, designated Sd-cam, encoding calmodulin protein from Scoparia dulcis. The restriction digests of genomic DNA of S. dulcis showed a single hybridized signal when probed with the fragment of this gene in Southern blot analyses, suggesting that Sd-cam occurs as a sole gene encoding calmodulin in the plant. The reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that Sd-cam was appreciably expressed in leaf, root and stem tissues. It appeared that transcription of this gene increased transiently when the leaf cultures of S. dulcis were treated with methyl jasmonate and calcium ionophore A23187. These results suggest that transcriptional activation of Sd-cam is one of the early cellular events of the methyl jasmonate-induced responses of S. dulcis.
The organic extract of the heartwood of Acer nikoense MAXIM. (Aceraceae) showed vasorelaxant activity on rat aorta with or without endothelium. Coumarin [scopoletin (1)] and coumarinolignans [cleomiscosin A (2) and aquillochin (3)] were isolated as major constituents from the organic extract of the heartwood of A. nikoense. Compounds 1—3 exhibited moderate vasorelaxant effects on rat aorta, while 2 and 3 showed vasorelaxant effects in the norepinephrine-stimulated and also in high K+-depolarized preparations.
It is well known that drug residue remains in a fluticasone propionate Diskhaler (FP-DH) following a single inhalation. Thus, the inspiratory ability of the patient has an influence on the effects of the drug. In a previous study, we reported that the amount of drug remaining in an FP-DH was decreased by tapping the device after the first inhalation. In the present study, we investigated the relationship between the amount of drug delivered to the lungs and amount of drug released from the FP-DH by inhalation along with tapping using an in vitro model. We measured the amounts delivered to the throat, stage 1, and stage 2 of a twin impinger device by HPLC-UV, following inhalation and tapping of 100 μg of FP-DH at various inspiratory flow rates, which ranged from 11.5 to 73.6 l/min for 2 s. A positive linear correlation between the amount of drug released from the FP-DH and that deposited in stage 2 was observed. Amounts deposited in stage 2 following tapping were estimated to be 6.0 μg at an inspiratory flow rate of 20 l/min and 10.6 μg at 60 l/min, while those without tapping were 2.0 μg and 10.2 μg, respectively. Notably, at an inspiratory flow rate of 20 l/min, the amount of drug deposited in stage 2 by tapping was increased about 3-fold in comparison to that without tapping. Our results indicate that the amount of drug deposited in stage 2, i.e., the lung in our model, is increased by tapping of the device, which would be particularly helpful for patients with a lower level of inspiratory ability.
Phase solubility behavior of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) at 25 °C in various molar solutions of poloxamer 188 (P188) in water was observed and their binary solid dispersions (BSD) at different weight ratios were prepared by a simple, rapid, cost effective, uncomplicated and potentially scalable low temperature melting method. BSDs were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and evaluated for improved solubility at 25 °C and 37 °C and in-vitro release of CoQ10 at 37 °C in distilled water. Solubility of CoQ10 increased with increasing concentrations of P188 in water. Gibbs free energy (ΔG°tr) values were all negative indicating the spontaneous nature of CoQ10 solubilization and decreased with increasing concentration of P188 demonstrating that the reaction conditions became more favorable as the concentration of P188 increased. DSC and SEM analysis indicated that the homogeneity of dispersion was not at the molecular level. However, BSDs exhibited a remarkably improved aqueous solubility and dissolution of CoQ10.
Tyrosinase is a key enzyme catalyzing the rate-limiting step for the biosynthesis pathway of melanin pigment, which is the most important determinant of the color of skin. Inhibiting tyrosinase and repressing melanocyte metabolism can reduce melanin production. Among the possible melanin reducing compounds, tyrosinase inhibitors are most promising for treating pigmentation and are used as skin-whitening agents in the cosmetic industry. In our investigation, some new tyrosinase inhibitors from plants have been identified to have high tyrosinase inhibitory activity. Specifically, p-hydroxybenzyl alcohol (4HBA) was found to inhibit the monophenolase activity of mushroom tyrosinase. When 4HBA binds with the enzyme, conformation of the enzyme is altered and its activity decreases. The inhibitory effect of 4HBA on melanogenesis has been studied using cultured mouse melanoma cells. Melanin synthesis in cell culture with 4HBA at 1.0 mM was decreased to 45% of control and below 1.0 mM there was no effect on cell growth. The inhibitory effects of 4HBA on melanogenesis are due to the direct inhibition of melanosomal tyrosinase activity, rather than to the suppression of tyrosinase gene. These results showed that 4HBA is a promising and safe agent for skin whitening.
We examined strain differences in numbers of blood cells and their circadian rhythms in male Jcl:ICR, BALB/cA, C57BL/6J and C3H/HeN mice. The total numbers of circulating white blood cells (WBCs) were increased during subjective day and night, and the peaks in the active period were common to all strains. However, the number of WBCs in C3H/HeN mice remained lower and plasma levels of corticosterone (CS) were slightly higher throughout the day compared with the other strains. The numbers of circulating red blood cells (RBC) also differed according to strain. The numbers of RBCs, hematocrit (HCT) and hemoglobin (HGB) were considerably lower in C3H/HeN mice compared with the other strains, although mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and mean corpuscular volume (MCV) were highest among the tested strains. We found that serum erythropoetin (EPO) levels were considerably higher in C3H/HeN mice than in the other three strains. The high EPO level might be related to the unique features of RBCs in C3H/HeN mice. The present observations provide basic information about the numbers of peripheral blood cells and their circadian rhythm in mouse models and also demonstrate a unique feature of C3H/HeN mice.
Class I phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) consists of four isoforms of the catalytic subunit, p110α, -β, -δ and -γ, generated from the genes PIK3CA, -B, -D and -G, respectively. These isoforms show different tissue distribution and some specific and indispensable functions in various biological pathways such as development, inflammation, autoimmunity and malignancy. In human cancers, frequent genomic amplification and gain-of-function mutations of PIK3CA were reported, which suggests an oncogenic potential. However, the role played by the other three isoforms in human cancer remains to be determined. We wanted to investigate the relationship between all the isoforms in human cancers. Here, we have established a system for the simultaneous absolute-quantification of all four isoforms by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The reliability of this system was confirmed using three main criteria: (i) good correlation of each standard curve, (ii) high specificity of the PCR reactions and (iii) excellent reproducibility. Using this system, we investigated human monocytic leukemia cells (U937) to analyze expression of all four isoforms. The biological implications of the expression level of the four isoforms of class I PI3K catalytic subunit are discussed.