Doxorubicin (DOX) is a potent antitumor agent, but the cardiotoxicity mediated by the formation of reactive oxygen species limit its clinical use. The present study aims to explore electrocardiographic and biochemical evidence for the cardioprotective effect of two antioxidants, Lycium barbarum polysaccharides (LBP, the main antioxidant in Lycium barbarum) and edaravone (a potent free radical scavenger, EDA) against DOX-induced acute cardiotoxicity in beagle dogs. In this study, male beagle dogs received daily treatment of either LBP (20 mg/kg, per os (p.o.)) or EDA (2 mg/kg, intravenously (i.v.)) for 7 d and then followed by an intravenous injection of DOX (1.5 mg/kg). DOX (15 mg/kg) significantly induced acute cardiotoxicity in dogs characterized by conduction abnormalities (including decreased heart rate, ST segment elevation, QT intervals prolongation, inverted T wave, arrhythmia, and myocardial ischemia) and increased serum creatine kinase (CK) and aspartate aminotrans-ferase (AST). Pretreatment with LBP or EDA effectively alleviated both DOX-associated conduction abnormalities and increased serum CK and AST. Moreover, physiological and serum biochemical evidences demonstrated that EDA is more effective than LBP in alleviating these abnormalities produced by DOX in heart. All these results confirm and extend previous observations in rats concerning the effectiveness of LBP or EDA against DOX-induced cardiomyopathy.
Gq-protein is located at the convergent point in signal transduction pathways leading to vascular remodeling. The carboxyl terminus of Gα-subunit plays a vital role in G-protein-receptor interaction. The present study was designed to explore the effects of a synthetic Gαq carboxyl terminus imitation peptide, namely GCIP-27, on vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) in vitro and vascular remodeling in spontaneous hypertensive rats (SHR). Hyperplasia and hypertrophy of VSMC wre determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, [3H]-thymidine and [3H]-leucine incorporation, and [Ca2+]i was measured with Fluo-3/AM staining. Systolic blood pressure (SBP), the ratio of media thickness to lumen diameter (MT/LD) of aorta, collagen content, and phospholipase C activity in aorta were measured in SHR. GCIP-27 (3—100 μg/l) significantly decreased proliferation activity, protein content, incorporation of [3H]-thymidine and [3H]-leucine, and [Ca2+]i level in VSMC. SBP, MT/LD, collagen content, and phospholipase C activity in aorta of SHR were decreased significantly in GCIP-27 (7, 20, 60 μg/kg)-treated groups and losartan (6 mg/kg) group compared with vehicle group. In conclusion, GCIP-27 could inhibit vascular remodeling effectively in vitro and in vivo.
Mast-cell-development in the bone-marrow (BM) and the spleen is restrictedly controlled by stromal-cells which produce positive-regulators such as stem cell factor (SCF), and negative-regulators such as transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β). How the balance between positive- and negative-regulation is achieved or maintained by stromal-cells is not well understood. We intravenously injected 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) into C3H/HeN mice to disrupt mast-cell-development in order to reveal mechanisms of mast-cell-regulation. 5-FU treatment induces a rapid decrease in the number of mast-cell-progenitor (colony-forming unit (CFU)-mast) cells in the BM and spleen, followed by rapid recovery of CFU-mast numbers. Expression of the SCF gene is one-fiftieth the level of that of TGF-β during the steady-state in BM and spleen. After 5-FU treatment, SCF mRNA levels in the BM markedly increased, approaching TGF-β mRNA levels, whereas SCF levels in the spleen showed limited oscillations whose increases paralleled those in TGF-β levels. In contrast, LPS treatment induces a rapid decrease in CFU-mast number in the BM and a rapid increase in of CFU-mast number in the spleen. After LPS treatment, SCF mRNA levels in the BM markedly decreased, whereas SCF levels in the spleen remained unchanged. These results suggest that regulation of mast-cell-development is dominated by negative-signals in the BM and spleen during the steady-state, and, under biostress-conditions such as 5-FU and LPS treatment, the balance between positive- and negative-regulation can be changed in the BM but not in the spleen. The difference in the regulation of mast-cell-development in the BM versus the spleen probably reflects the different roles of tissue-specific stromal-cells.
We investigated the effects of α- and β-adrenergic agonists on epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated extracellular-signal regulated kinase (ERK) isoforms in primary cultures of adult rat hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated and cultured with EGF (20 ng/ml) and/or α1-, α2- and β2-adrenergic agonists. Phosphorylated ERK isoforms (ERK1; p44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and ERK2; p42 MAPK) were detected by Western blotting analysis using anti-phospho-ERK1/2 antibody. The results show that EGF induced a 2.5-fold increase in ERK2-, but not ERK1-, phosphorylation within 3 min. This EGF-induced ERK2 activation was abolished by treatment with the EGF-receptor kinase inhibitor AG1478 (10−7 M) or the MEK (MAPK kinase) inhibitor PD98059 (10−6 M). The α2-adrenergic and β2-adrenergic agonists, UK14304 (10−6 M) and metaproterenol (10−6 M), respectively, had no effect in the absence of EGF, but metaproterenol significantly potentiated EGF-induced ERK2 phosphorylation. Moreover, the cell-permeable cAMP analog 8-bromo cAMP (10−7 M), also potentiated EGF-induced ERK2 phosphorylation. The effects of these analogs were antagonized by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H-89 (10−7 M). These results suggest that direct or indirect activation of PKA represents a positive regulatory mechanism for EGF stimulation of ERK2 induction.
Rhizochalin is a two-headed sphingolipid-like compound isolated from the sponge Rhizochalina incrustata. It has been reported that rhizocalin and its derivates have a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic effect. However, the molecular mechanism of these effects is not understood. Here, we demonstrate that aglycon of rhizochalin (AglRhz) from the Rhizochalina incrustata induces AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation, and thereby inhibits mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR)-p70S6 kinase-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling and activator protein 1 (AP-1) activity via phosphorylation of Raptor in HT-29 cells. In addition, AglRhz induced activation of caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), and DNA fragmentation in HT-29 cells, leads to induction of apoptosis as well as suppression of tumorigenicity of HT-29 cells. Notably, AglRhz inhibits insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1-induced AP-1 activity and cell transformation in JB6 Cl41 cells. Overall, our findings identify AMPK as an important target protein for mediating the anti-tumor properties of AglRhz in HT-29 colon cancer cells and have important implication for sponges, the most important marine source, in colon cancer.
The present study was conducted to examine whether morroniside has an ameliorative effect on diabetes-induced alterations such as oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in the liver of type 2 diabetic db/db mice. Morroniside (20 or 100 mg/kg body weight/d, per os (p.o.)) was administered every day for 8 weeks to db/db mice, and its effect was compared with vehicle-treated db/db and m/m mice. The administration of morroniside decreased the elevated serum glucose concentration in db/db mice, and reduced the increased oxidative biomarkers including the generation of reactive oxygen species and lipid peroxidation in the liver. The db/db mice exhibited the up-regulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate oxidase subunits, NF-E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), heme oxygenase-1, nuclear factor-kappa B, cyclooxygenase-2, inducible nitric oxide synthase, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, and intracellular adhesion molecule-1 levels in the liver; however, morroniside treatment significantly reduced those expressions. Moreover, the augmented expressions of apoptosis-related proteins, Bax and cytochrome c, were down-regulated by morroniside administration. Hematoxylin–eosin staining showed that the increased hepatocellular damage in the liver of db/db mice improved on morroniside administration. Taking these into consideration, our findings support the therapeutic evidence for morroniside ameliorating the development of diabetic hepatic complications via regulating oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis.
Sauchinone, a biologically active lignan isolated from the roots of Saururus chinensis (LOUR.) BAILL. (Saururaceae), is reported to exert a variety of biological activities, such as hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory actions and inhibitory effects on bone resorption. In this study, we investigated the effect of sauchinone in suppressing cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression, leading to a reduction in COX-2-derived prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and iNOS-derived nitric oxide (NO) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages. Present study also demonstrates the effects of sauchinone in inducing heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) expression and an increase in heme oxygenase (HO) activity in RAW264.7 macrophages. The effects of sauchinone on LPS-induced PGE2, NO, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interlukine-1β (IL-1β) production were partially reversed by the HO-1 inhibitor Tin protoporphyrin was also seen in this study. In addition, we found that treatment with extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor (PD98059) reduced sauchinone-induced HO-1 expression. Sauchinone also increased ERK phosphorylation. These results suggest that sauchinone inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators through expression of anti-inflammatory HO-1 via ERK pathway.
Pyrrole–imidazole (PI) polyamide can bind to specific sequences in the minor groove of double-helical DNA and inhibit transcription of the genes. We designed and synthesized a PI polyamide to target the human connective tissue growth factor (hCTGF) promoter region adjacent to the Smads binding site. Among coupling activators that yield PI polyamides, 1-[bis(dimethylamino)methylene]-5-chloro-1H-benzotriazolium 3-oxide hexafluorophosphate (HCTU) was most effective in total yields of PI polyamides. A gel shift assay showed that a PI polyamide designed specifically for hCTGF (PI polyamide to hCTGF) bound the appropriate double-stranded oligonucleotide. A fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-conjugated PI polyamide to CTGF permeated cell membranes and accumulated in the nuclei of cultured human mesangial cells (HMCs) and remained there for 48 h. The PI polyamide to hCTGF significantly decreased phorbol 12-myristate acetate (PMA)- or transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-stimulated luciferase activity of the hCTGF promoter in cultured HMCs. The PI polyamide to hCTGF significantly decreased PMA- or TGF-β1-stimulated expression of hCTGF mRNA in a dose-dependent manner. The PI polyamide to hCTGF significantly decreased PMA- or TGF-β1-stimulated levels of hCTGF protein in HMCs. These results indicate that the developed synthetic PI polyamide to hCTGF could be a novel gene silencer for fibrotic diseases.
Though steroid withdrawal is done in many renal transplant recipients, some patients must restart steroids. Little report has investigated steroid withdrawal under pharmacodynamic monitoring. We assessed lymphocyte sensitivity to endogenous cortisol as a biomarker for determining the safety of steroid withdrawal in renal transplant patients, as we hypothesized that patients hyposensitive to cortisol could not be sufficiently immunosuppressed by their intrinsic cortisol as a substitute for the reduced or withdrawn steroid. Lymphocyte sensitivity to cortisol was examined in 30 long stable renal transplant recipients. Lymphocyte sensitivity to cortisol and its relationship with the clinical outcome after steroid reduction and withdrawal was investigated. The lymphocyte sensitivities to cortisol were estimated as IC50 of lymphocyte blastogenesis. The lymphocyte proliferation rate for concentration of serum cortisol compared between incident and non-incident groups. Serum creatinine levels (S-Cr) increased in a significantly higher number of patients hyposensitive to cortisol (IC50≧10000 ng/ml) than in normally sensitive patients (IC50<10000 ng/ml). The incidences of steroid withdrawal syndrome and necessity for increasing steroid dose or restarting steroid administration were also higher in the patients hyposensitive to cortisol. The patients in whom the lymphocyte proliferation rate was less than 60% did not show increase in S-Cr, experience steroid withdrawal symptoms, or require an increase in the steroid dose or restart of steroid administration. The patients who have the normal IC50 values of cortisol, can withdraw steroid more safely. The lymphocyte sensitivity to cortisol may be a useful biomarker for selecting patients who can sustain steroid withdrawal.
Androgen deprivation therapy is a common treatment strategy for advanced prostate cancer. Though effective initially, the tumor often progresses to androgen independent stage in most patients eventually after a period of remission. One of the key factors of development of resistance is reflected in expression of androgen receptor (AR). In this study, we showed that two natural compounds, physalins A and B, both secosteriods from Physalisalkekengi var. franchetii, significantly inhibited the growth of two androgen-independent cell lines CWR22Rv1 and C42B, induced apoptosis via c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and/or extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation, and decreased AR expression. In addition, physalins A and B down-regulated the expression of prostate specific antigen (PSA) in C42B cells which is a target gene of AR. Our results suggest that physalin A and B might be useful agents in preventing the growth of androgen-independent prostate cancer (AI-PCa).
Physiological cell death is an essential event in normal development and maintenance of homeostasis. Recently, the morphological and pharmacological characteristics of programmed cell death, which are distinct from those of apoptosis under physiological and pathological conditions, have been reported. However, the molecular mechanism and executioner of this type of cell death are unknown. We show that overexpression of hematopoietically expressed homeoprotein (Hex), a homeoprotein of divergent type, and enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) fusion protein (Hex-EGFP) induces cell death in mouse chondrogenic cell line ATDC5. The expression rate of Hex-EGFP decreased more rapidly than that of EGFP 96 h after transfection. The time-lapse image of living cells revealed the Hex-EGFP-positive cells rapidly died in a necrosis-like fashion. The nuclei of Hex-EGFP-expressing cells were rarely fragmented; however, these cells were negative for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining. The expression rate of Hex-EGFP clearly increased by treatment with radical scavengers, propyl gallate and butylated hydroxyanisole, slightly increased with a caspase inhibitor, zVAD-fmk, and was not affected by N-acetyl cysteine in ATDC5 cells. A fluorescent probe indicated that reactive oxygen species (ROS) were localized near the nuclei in Hex-EGFP-positive cells. In differentiated ATDC5 cells, as hypertrophic chondrocyte-like cells, the expression rate of Hex-EGFP increased above that in uninduced ATDC5 cells. These results suggest that Hex induces nonapoptotic cell death through local accumulation of reactive oxygen species, and mature chondrocytes, which express Hex, might be able to escape cell death induced by Hex in cartilage.
The objective of the present study was to evaluate the cardiovascular protective effects of Danshensu, a water-soluble active component of Danshen, in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). SHR (male, 9 weeks old, n=30) were divided into three groups: 1) saline control (n=10); 2) a Danshensu (10 mg/kg/d, intraperitoneally (i.p.)) treatment group (n=10); and 3) a Valsartan (10 mg/kg/d, intragastrically (i.g.)) treatment group (n=10). Age-matched Wistar-Kyoto rats (n=10) were used as normotensive controls. Saline and drug treatments were administered for 6 weeks. When the rats were 15 weeks old, their hearts were excised and arrhythmias were induced by an ex vivo ischemia/reperfusion protocol. The heart weight to body weight index was significantly increased in SHR, and this increase was attenuated with Danshensu treatment (both p<0.05). Systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure were also decreased with Danshensu treatment, from 145±3 and 103±10 mmHg to 116±7 and 87±2 mmHg in SHR and Danshensu-treated groups, respectively (both p<0.05). The incidences of ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation decreased from 100 to 50% and 30% in SHR, respectively, with Danshensu treatment (both p<0.05). Serum nitric oxide content and inducible nitric oxide synthase activity were significantly increased with Danshensu (both p<0.05). In addition, Danshensu increased the K+ current density and Ca2+ activated K+ channel current density of mesenteric vascular smooth muscle cells isolated from SHRs. Together, these results demonstrate that Danshensu imparts cardiovascular protection by modifying vascular responses during the progression of hypertension.
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucobrassicin which, during metabolism, yields indole-3-carbinol (I3C). The aim of this study was to find whether indole-3-carbinol caused apoptosis and its mechanism in Candida albicans. We found that treatment of Candida albicans with indole-3-carbinol significantly increased the reactive oxygen species and hydroxyl radical accumulation. The hydroxyl radical is one of the most active components of oxygen, and it is the end product of an oxidative damage cellular death pathway. We investigated the general phenotypes of apoptosis and then investigated whether there were other distinct markers of apoptosis. Furthermore, the effects of thiourea as a hydroxyl radical scavenger and protective effect of trehalose, which is the result of the fungal immune system, was also assured. This study indicates that indole-3-carbinol has apoptosis effects, including a production of hydroxyl radicals, cytochrome c release and activation of metacaspase. Both hydroxyl radicals and metacaspases triggered apoptosis in Candida albicans.
The initiation of a pharmacist-implemented management program to ensure appropriate use of erythropoietin-stimulating agents at Mizushima Kyodo Hospital is described. In the present study, we examined the influence of having pharmacists actively manage hemoglobin levels on therapeutic outcome in a retrospective study of 84 outpatients receiving hemodialysis. We compiled in-hospital guidelines for the use of erythropoietin and iron for outpatients with renal anemia. Pharmacists made recommendations, particularly about changes in the dose of erythropoietin and administration of iron preparations, to physicians. Clinical test results were monitored for 12 months (between November 2007 and October 2008) with and without the participation of pharmacists (continuous 6 months). The counseling by pharmacists significantly decreased hemoglobin levels in the high group (>12 g/dl) and significantly increased them in low group (<10 g/dl). Furthermore, it increased hemoglobin levels in the optimal group, suggesting the management of our hospital guidelines. On the other hand, low levels of hemoglobin indicated low levels of albumin. It is suggested that no improvement in hemoglobin levels may indicate low levels of albumin. These findings suggest that the active participation of pharmacists in the management of renal anemia in hemodialysis patients had a great therapeutic impact.
Accumulation of visceral fat induces various symptoms of metabolic syndrome such as insulin resistance and abnormal glucose/lipid metabolism and eventually leads to the onset of ischemic cerebrovascular diseases. Geniposide, which is iridoid glycoside from the fruit of Gardenia jasminoides ELLIS, is recognized as being useful against hyperlipidemia and fatty liver. In order to clarify the effect of geniposide on metabolic disease-based visceral fat accumulation and the relevant molecular mechanism, experiments were performed in spontaneously obese Type 2 diabetic TSOD mice and the free fatty acid-treated HepG2 cells. In the TSOD mice, geniposide showed suppression of body weight and visceral fat accumulation, alleviation of abnormal lipid metabolism and suppression of intrahepatic lipid accumulation. In addition, geniposide alleviated abnormal glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia, suggesting that geniposide has an insulin resistance-alleviating effect. Next, in order to investigate the direct effect of geniposide on the liver, the effect on the free fatty acid-treated HepG2 fatty liver model was investigated using genipin, which is the aglycone portion of geniposide. Genipin suppressed the intracellular lipid accumulation caused by the free fatty acid treatment and also significantly increased the intracellular expression of a fatty acid oxidation-related gene (peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor: PPARα). From these results, it was confirmed that geniposide has an anti-obesity effect, an insulin resistance-alleviating effect and an abnormal lipid metabolism-alleviating effect, and the metabolite genipin shows a direct effect on the liver, inducing expression of a lipid metabolism-related gene as one of its molecular mechanisms.
Microbial samples, including our library of known microbial compounds (ca. 300) and microbial culture broths (ca. 9000), were screened for small molecules affecting the phenotype of Caenorhabditis elegans. As a result, seven known compounds were found to induce phenotypic abnormality of C. elegans. Staurosporine exhibited morphological defects in the vulva and tail of C. elegans, avermectin B1a exhibited hatching inhibition of starting eggs on day 1 at 25—100 μM and growth inhibition at 0.01—12.5 μM, siccanin and antimycin A inhibited the growth of C. elegans, and fluorouracil inhibited hatching of eggs newly spawned by adult C. elegans. Toromycin induced morphological defects in the intestine. 5-(4-Methoxyphenyl)-oxazole, isolated as a fungal metabolite for the first time, inhibited the hatching of eggs newly spawned by adult C. elegans.
Coffee is a beverage that is consumed world-wide on a daily basis and is known to induce a series of metabolic and pharmacological effects, especially in the digestive tract. However, little is known concerning the effects of coffee on transporters in the gastrointestinal tract. To elucidate the effect of coffee on intestinal transporters, we investigated its effect on expression of the breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP/ABCG2) in a human colorectal cancer cell line, Caco-2. Coffee induced BCRP gene expression in Caco-2 cells in a coffee-dose dependent manner. Coffee treatment of Caco-2 cells also increased the level of BCRP protein, which corresponded to induction of gene expression, and also increased cellular efflux activity, as judged by Hoechst33342 accumulation. None of the major constituents of coffee tested could induce BCRP gene expression. The constituent of coffee that mediated this induction was extractable with ethyl acetate and was produced during the roasting process. Dehydromethylepoxyquinomicin (DHMEQ), an inhibitor of nuclear factor (NF)-κB, inhibited coffee-mediated induction of BCRP gene expression, suggesting involvement of NF-κB in this induction. Our data suggest that daily consumption of coffee might induce BCRP expression in the gastrointestinal tract and may affect the bioavailability of BCRP substrates.
Hepatic lipid accumulation is a major risk factor for dyslipidemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and insulin resistance. The present study was conducted to evaluate hypolipidemic effects of meso-dihydroguaiaretic acid (MDA), anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory compound isolated from the Myristica fragrans HOUTT., by oil red O staining, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and Western blot. MDA significantly inhibited insulin-induced hepatic lipid accumulation in a dose-dependent manner. The lipid-lowering effect of MDA was accompanied by increased expression of proteins involved in fatty acid oxidation and decreased expression of lipid synthetic proteins. In addition, MDA activated AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) as determined by phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), a downstream target of AMPK. The effects of MDA on lipogenic protein expression were suppressed by pretreatment with compound C, an AMPK inhibitor. Taken together, these findings show that MDA inhibits insulin-induced lipid accumulation in human HepG2 cells by suppressing expression of lipogenic proteins through AMPK signaling, suggesting a potent lipid-lowering agent.
In our previous study, two synthetic thiophenes such as IMB-05 and IMB-15 were found as peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists and exhibited beneficial effects on glucose tolerance of diabetic mice in vivo. In the present study, their effect on the transactivity of other nuclear receptors was further investigated. IMB-05 and IMB-15 could not only activated PPARγ but also efficiently activate PPARα in GAL4-hPPARα/γ (ligand binding domain (LBD)) chimeric receptor assay and PPAR response element (PPRE)-luc reporter gene assay with EC50 values of 1.8—5.2 μM, whereas no activity was observed in other nuclear receptor assays. In addition, the maximal efficacy of IMB-05 and IMB-15 in activating PPARα/γ was approximately 30% of that observed with Wy14643 and rosiglitazone. These data indicate that the two thiophene derivatives are novel class of partial PPARα/γ dual agonists, which may be the mechanism underlying their regulatory effects on glucose homeostasis.
Galectins comprise a large family of β-galactoside-binding proteins in animals and fungi. We previously isolated cDNAs of 10 galectin and galectin-like genes (lec-1 to lec-6 and lec-8 to lec-11) from Caenorhabditis elegans and characterized the carbohydrate-binding properties of their recombinant proteins. In the present study, we isolated cDNA corresponding to an open reading frame of the DC2.3a gene from C. elegans total RNA; this cDNA encodes another potential galectin. A recombinant DC2.3a protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and used for analysis. The protein displayed hemagglutinating activity against rabbit erythrocytes, bound to an asialofetuin-Sepharose column, and was eluted with lactose. Furthermore, frontal affinity chromatography (FAC) analysis confirmed that DC2.3a recognized oligosaccharides with a non-reducing terminal galactose. According to these results, we designated DC2.3 as lec-12. The carbohydrate-binding property of the recombinant DC2.3a/LEC-12a was essentially similar to that of LEC-6. Additionally, DC2.3a/LEC-12a and LEC-6 showed higher affinities for the galactoseβ1→4fucose (Galβ1→4Fuc) disaccharide than for N-acetyllactosamine. This suggests that the principal recognition unit is the Galβ1→4Fuc disaccharide as in the case of the C. elegans galectins. However, the recombinant DC2.3a/LEC-12a showed weak affinity for N-glycan E3, which was previously shown to be a preferential endogenous ligand for LEC-6. The DC2.3a/LEC-12a endogenous ligand structures appear to be somewhat different but contain the same galactose-fucose recognition motif.
Pantethine and fursultiamine have been evaluated for their clinical usefulness in the treatment and prevention of uncomplicated postoperative adhesive intestinal obstruction. In recent years, the actions of drugs used to treat gastrointestinal diseases have been elucidated pharmacologically from the viewpoints of gastrointestinal peptide levels. We examined the effects of pantethine and fursultiamine on plasma levels of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP)-, motilin- and substance P (SP)-like immunoreactive substances (IS) in healthy subjects. An open-labeled study was conducted on five healthy volunteers. Each subject was administered a single oral dose of pantethine, fursultiamine and placebo at intervals of one month. Venous blood samples were collected before and at 20, 40, 60, 90, 120, 180 and 240 min after each administration. Plasma peptide levels were measured using a highly sensitive enzyme immunoassay. A single oral dose of pantethine resulted in significant increases of plasma CGRP- and VIP-IS levels compared to placebo. Furthermore, areas under the plasma concentration–time curves (AUC0—240) of CGRP- and VIP-IS were significantly higher after pantethine administration compared with placebo. On the other hand, fursultiamine had no effect on plasma levels and AUC0—240 of CGRP-, VIP-, motilin- and SP-IS. This study demonstrated the different effects of pantethine and fursultiamine from the viewpoint of plasma gastrointestinal peptide changes. The pharmacological effects of pantethine may be closely related to the changes in plasma CGRP- and VIP-IS levels.
Our previous study using interleukin-1α/β-knockout (IL-1-KO) and wild-type (WT) mice demonstrated that IL-1 acts as a positive factor for constitutive gene expression of hepatic cytochrome P4507a1 (Cyp7a1). In this study, to clarify the role of IL-1 in the expression of the hepatic Cyp7a1 gene, we focused on Cyp7a1 transcriptional regulators such as α-fetoprotein transcription factor (FTF), liver X receptor α (LXRα), hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α (HNF4α) and small heterodimer partner (SHP) and examined the effects of IL-1 on their gene expression by real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction using IL-1-KO and WT mice. We observed no significant differences between sex-matched IL-1-KO and WT mice with regard to gene expression levels of FTF, LXRα, and HNF4α, all of which are positive transcriptional regulators for the Cyp7a1 gene. However, interindividual differences in hepatic FTF and LXRα expression were closely dependent on the gene expression level(s) of hepatic IL-1 and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), while interindividual differences in hepatic HNF4α were clearly correlated with the expression of IL-1, but not TNF-α. In contrast, the gene expression level of SHP, which is a negative transcriptional regulator of the Cyp7a1 gene through inhibition of FTF function, was higher in IL-1-KO mice than in sex-matched WT mice. These findings demonstrate that, like TNF-α, IL-1 positively controls the gene expression of Cyp7a1 transcriptional upregulators but, in contrast to the previously reported action of TNF-α, IL-1 also acts to downregulate SHP gene expression.
Unauthorized genetically modified (GM) papaya (Carica papaya LINNAEUS) was detected in a commercially processed product, which included papaya as a major ingredient, in Japan. We identified the transgenic vector construct generated based on resistance to infection with the papaya ringspot virus (PRSV) YK strain. A specific detection method to qualitatively monitor papaya products for contamination with the GM papaya was developed using the real-time polymerase chain reaction.