In order to determine anti-adipogenic effect, this study investigated 1β-hydroxy-2-oxopomolic acid (HOA) isolated from Agrimonia pilosa inhibits adipocyte differentiation and expression of adipogenic marker genes, such as peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ), CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein α (C/EBPα), glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), adiponectin, adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein 2 (aP2), adipocyte determination and differentiation factor 1/sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (ADD1/SREBP1c), resistin, and fatty acid synthase (Fas) in 3T3-L1 preadipocyte. We demonstrated that HOA induced a significant decrease in lipid accumulation and expression of adipogenic marker genes in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, HOA reduced the transcripitional activity of PPARγ induced by troglitazone, a potent diabetes agent; it also suppressed expression of PPARγ and C/EBPα protein levels. Our data suggest that HOA isolated from Agrimonia pilosa inhibits adipocyte differentiation through downregulation of various adipocytokines by blocking PPARγ and C/EBPα expression.
Coptis japonica (Cj) rhizomes are used as a crude drug for gastroenteritis, since they accumulate antimicrobial berberine. Berberine also shows various useful bioactivities, including cholesterol-lowering activity. Unfortunately, Cj is a slow-growing plant and more than 5 years are required to obtain a crude drug suitable for the Japanese Pharmacopoeia. To improve alkaloid productivity, we overexpressed the 3′-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine 4′-O-methyltransferase (4′OMT) gene in Cj. We established the transgenic plant (named CjHE4′) by introducing one copy of Cj4′OMT by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The successful overexpression of 4′OMT was confirmed in all tissues of CjHE4′ by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis. HPLC analysis revealed that the berberine content of CjHE4′ leaves and roots cultivated for 4 months was increased to 2.7- and 2.0-fold, respectively, compared with non-transgenic wild-type (CjWT), and these inductions of alkaloids were stable for at least 20 months. Furthermore, in CjHE4′ cultivated for 20 months, the berberine content in medicinal parts, stems and rhizomes was significantly increased (1.6-fold). As a consequence, increased amounts of alkaloids in CjHE4′ resulted in the improvement of berberine yields (1.5-fold), whereas CjHE4′ showed slower growth than CjWT. These results indicated that 4′OMT is one of the key-step enzymes in berberine biosynthesis and is useful for metabolic engineering in Cj.
Cancer rates are increasing dramatically, and there is currently a strong emphasis on identifying biologically active substances with anti-cancer activity from traditional herbs, as these are thought to have less adverse side-effects than conventional chemotherapy. Here, we examined the effects of extracts of Orostachys japonicus A. BERGER (O. japonicus) on cancer cell proliferation and apoptosis, and investigated the underlying signaling pathways. Dried powdered O. japonicus was extracted with 95% ethyl alcohol and fractionated with a series of organic solvents, including n-hexane (hexane), dichloromethane (DCM), ethylacetate (EtOAc), n-butanol (BuOH), and water (H2O). These extracts were tested for anti-cancer activity on a range of cancer cells; of all these, the EtOAc soluble fraction showed the highest anti-cancer activity, which was most marked in AGS human gastric cancer cells. The EtOAc fraction inhibited the proliferation of AGS cells in a dose-dependent and time-dependent manner, by inducing apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, as evidenced by 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate staining, propidium iodide-labeling, and DNA fragmentation assays. Western blot analysis revealed that p53 and cleaved caspase-3 proteins were up-regulated, and B cell lymphoma-2 (bcl-2) protein and pro-caspase-3 were down-regulated, but bcl-2 associated x protein (bax) protein was not regulated, in response to treatment of AGS cells with the EtOAc fraction. However, the changes of pro-caspase-3 and cleaved caspase-3 could be abolished by the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK. These results suggest the EtOAc fraction from O. japonicus has substantial anti-cancer activity in human gastric cancer cells.
Chelidonic acid (CA), a constituent of Chelidonium majus L., has many pharmacological effects, including mild analgesic and antimicrobial effects. However, the effects of CA on intestinal inflammation and the molecular mechanisms responsible are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the protective effects of CA against dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced ulcerative colitis (UC). Mice treated with DSS displayed obvious clinic signs, such as, body weight loss and a shortening of colon length, but the administration of CA attenuated both of these signs. Additionally, CA was found to regulate levels of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α in serum. In colonic tissues, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production levels and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and hypoxia induced factor-1α (HIF-1α) expression levels were increased by DSS, but CA attenuated increases in COX-2 and HIF-1α levels. These results provide novel insights into the pharmacological actions of CA and its potential use for the treatment of intestinal inflammation.
Bepridil hydrochloride is used for treatment of atrial fibrillation (AF) in Japan. We investigated the relationship between plasma concentrations of bepridil just before dosing (Cbep) and its clinical efficacy in Japanese patients (n=36) with AF. Patients were treated orally with 100, 150 or 200 mg/d bepridil. Cbep were measured with UV-HPLC. In the first 14 d, when 150, 200, 250 or 300 ng/mL was set as a boundary value, the efficacy of bepridil was significantly higher in all patients with Cbep above than below the boundary value (p<0.05). In the maintenance stage (3 months longer after starting therapy), the efficacy of bepridil was significantly higher in patients with Cbep above than below 300 ng/mL (p=0.04). The clinical efficacy of bepridil was closely related to Cbep. The target value of Cbep to obtain a clinical benefit was approximately 300 ng/mL. Monitoring Cbep should be useful in the treatment of patients with AF.
We have established a stable human cell line, termed HPL-A3, by co-transfection of a human pregnane X receptor (hPXR) expression vector and a reporter plasmid (p3A4-hPXRE-Luc) containing a luciferase gene and a promoter/enhancer region of the human cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) gene into a human hepatoma-derived cell line, HepG2. We then examined the usefulness of HPL-A3 for a chemically activated luciferase expression (CALUX) assay of human CYP3A inducers. The induction of CALUX in HPL-A3 by hPXR activators, including rifampicin, occurred in time- and concentration-dependent fashions, whereas no such induction was observed using rat/mouse PXR activators, such as pregnenolone-16α-carbonitrile and dexamethasone. The hPXR activator-mediated induction of CYP3As, especially CYP3A4, was observed at levels of both mRNA and enzyme activity. Furthermore, there were positive correlations between chemical-mediated inductions of CALUX and CYP3A4 mRNA levels. In addition, the induction of CALUX by dihydropyridine calcium channel blockers, which are known to act as CYP3A inducers in rats, was observed in HPL-A3 cells. Interestingly, expression levels of not only hPXR but also of vitamin D receptor (VDR), a transcription factor that positively regulates CYP3A subfamily genes, were significantly increased in HPL-A3 cells compared with those in the parental cell line, HepG2. Consequently, VDR ligand (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3)-mediated inductions of CALUX and CYP3A4 mRNA were observed in the cells. These findings verified the usefulness of HPL-A3 for the screening of CYP3A inducers, which can activate the hPXR and/or hVDR.
We previously reported that Kaempferia parviflora WALL. ex BAKER (KP) and its ethyl acetate extract (KPE) improve various metabolic disorders in obesity-model mice. However the mechanism is not certain, and, in this study, in order to elucidate the mechanism of the suppressive effect of KP on fat accumulation, we focused on adipocytes, which are closely linked to metabolic diseases. The finding was that KPE and its components, 3,5,7,4′-tetramethoxyflavone and 3,5,7,3′,4′-pentamethoxyflavone, strongly induced differentiation of 3T3-L1 preadipocytes to adipocytes. The above two polymethoxyflavonoids (PMFs) also induced adiponectin mRNA levels, and release of adiponectin into the medium. In addition, these PMFs enhanced the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ), but did not show PPARγ ligand activity. We then investigated the expression of the differentiation-regulator located upstream of PPARγ. Expression of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) β and -δ mRNA, a transcriptional regulator of PPARγ, was induced, and expression of GATA-2 mRNA, a down-regulator of adipogenesis, was suppressed by these PMFs. These functions of the KP PMFs that enhance adipogenesis and secretion of adiponectin are, to some extent at least, involved in the mechanisms of anti-metabolic disorders effects.
Clinical reports have shown that some antihistamines, such as ketotifen, occasionally produced seizures, especially in pre-school age children or young patients with epilepsy. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether olopatadine, one of the most efficacious antihistamines, promotes seizures induced by electroshocks in young rats. We investigated the seizures induced by electroshock using increasing-current delivery in 3- or 4-week-old rats, and found that the threshold-current of tonic extensor seizures was elevated with age in weeks in the vehicle-treatment groups. While caffeine decreased the threshold-current in every age group of rats, pentylenetetrazole, a γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor antagonist, significantly decreased them only in 4-week-old rats. On the other hand, ketotifen decreased them only in 3-weeks-old rats. In the 3-week-old rats, neither olopatadine nor fexofenadine had any effect on the threshold-currents of tonic extensor seizures. These results showed that histaminergic neuro-transmission in the brain plays a crucial role in inhibiting seizures in rats soon after weaning, but is no longer effective in rats as they approach sexual maturation. In addition, unlike ketotifen, olopatadine, as well as fexofenadine, do not promote the occurrence of seizures in infant rats.
An ultra high-sensitivity method for quantifying fexofenadine concentration in rat plasma samples by multiple injection method (MIM) was developed for a microdose study. In this study, MIM involved continuous injections of multiple samples containing the single compound into a column of the ultra-HPLC (UHPLC) system, and then, temporary trapping of the analyte at the column head. This was followed by elution of the compound from the column and detection by mass spectrometer. Fexofenadine, used as a model compound in this study, was extracted from the plasma samples by a protein precipitation method. Chromatographic separation was achieved on a reversed-phase C18 column by using a gradient method with 0.1% formic acid and 0.1% formic acid in acetonitrile as the mobile phase. The analyte was quantified in the positive-ion electrospray ionization mode using selected reaction monitoring. In this study, the analytical time per fexofenadine sample was approximately 2 min according to the UHPLC system. The method exhibited the linear dynamic ranges of 5–5000 pg/mL for fexofenadine in rat plasma. The intra-day precisions were from 3.2 to 8.7% and the accuracy range was 95.2–99.3%. The inter-day precisions and accuracies ranged from 3.5 to 8.4% and from 98.6 to 102.6%, respectively. The validated MIM was successfully applied to a microdose study in the rats that received oral administration of 100 µg/kg fexofenadine. We suggest that this method might be beneficial for the quantification of fexofenadine concentrations in a microdose clinical study.
Glomerular crescents play an important role in progressive glomerular injury. The lesions consist of epithelial cells, macrophages and fibrin deposition. Macrophage chemoattractant protin-1 (MCP-1) is a chemoattractant of monocytes, which has a potential of procoagulant activity. Macrophage inflammatory protein-2 (MIP-2) is a chemoattractant of neutrophils and acute necrotizing injury is primarily mediated by neutrophils in crescentic glomerulonephritis. Mizoribine (MZR) is an immunosuppressive drug and it has been used for organ transplantation and treatment of various autoimmune diseases. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of MZR on glomerular epithelial cells (GEC). Rat GEC were cultured with K1 medium and used from 12th to 14th passage. GEC proliferation was determined by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. MCP-1 and MIP-2 were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in culture supernatants and mRNA expressions of MCP-1 and MIP-2 were analyzed by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The proliferation of GEC was suppressed by MZR in a dose-dependent manner in the range of 1.0–100.0 µg/mL. These concentrations of MZR had no toxic effect to GEC. Thrombin (1.0–5.0 U/mL) enhanced the production of MCP-1, MIP-2 and the mRNA expressions of MCP-1 and MIP-2. The stimulatory effect of thrombin was inhibited by addition of MZR (10 µg/mL). It is concluded that MZR may be useful for the treatment of crescentic glomerulonephritis.
Episesamin is an isomer of sesamin, resulting from the refining process of non-roasted sesame seed oil. Episesamin has two methylendioxyphenyl groups on exo and endo faces of the bicyclic skeleton. The side methylendioxyphenyl group was metabolized by cytochrome-P450. Seven metabolites of episesamin were found in rat bile after treatment with glucuronidase/arylsulfatase and were identified using NMR and MS. The seven metabolites were (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3,4-dihydroxy-3′,4′-methylenedioxy-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-1-1), (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3,4-methylenedioxy-3′,4′-dihydroxy-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-1-2) and (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3,4:3′,4′-bis(dihydroxy)-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-2), (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-3′,4′-methylenedioxy-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-1m-1), (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3,4-methylenedioxy-3′-methoxy-4′-hydroxy-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-1m-2), (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3-methoxy-4-hydroxy-3′,4′-dihydroxy-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-2m-1) and (7α,7′β,8α,8′α)-3,4-dihydroxy-3′-methoxy-4′-hydroxy-7,9′:7′,9-diepoxylignane (EC-2m-2). EC-1-1, EC-1-2 and EC-2 were also identified as metabolites of episesamin in human liver microsomes. These results suggested that similar metabolic pathways of episesamin could be proposed in rats and humans.
Capecitabine, an oral prodrug of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), is a promising treatment for colorectal, breast and gastric cancers, but often causes hand-foot syndrome (HFS), the most common dose-limiting toxicity. The current study was conducted to investigate the relationship between HFS and efficacy of capecitabine in 98 patients with metastatic breast cancer. Possible associations between HFS and efficacy endpoints, including time-to-treatment failure (TTF), tumor response in metastatic lesions and changes in tumor markers, were investigated retrospectively using electronic medical records. The TTF of group with HFS of grade 1 and ≥2 was significantly longer than that of group with no HFS, respectively (hazard ratio (HR), 0.39; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.18–0.87 for group with grade 1; HR, 0.42, 95% CI, 0.19–0.90 for group with grade ≥2). Significantly higher disease control rates for the liver metastasis were observed in patients with HFS (grade 1 and greater) than in those without HFS (92.9 vs. 42.9%, p=0.009). Furthermore, prevention of increases in tumor marker levels (carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carbohydrate antigen 15-3 (CA15-3) and National Cancer Center-Stomach-439 (NCC-ST439)) was evident in patients with HFS. This study clearly showed a significant correlation between HFS and some efficacy markers of capecitabine therapy in patients with metastatic breast cancer, and suggests that early dose adjustment based on severity of HFS might improve efficacy. Studies are needed to explore predictive biomarkers for HFS/efficacy, so that capecitabine therapy can be further tailored to patient response.
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is an aggressive neoplasm caused by Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) in immunosuppressed patients and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected homosexual males. We evaluated the cytotoxic effects of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) inhibitors on PEL cells. The HSP90 inhibitors geldanamycin (GA), 17(allylamino)-17-demethoxygeldanamycin (17-AAG), and radicicol dramatically inhibited cell proliferation and induced apoptosis of PEL cells through caspase activation. Furthermore, GA induced the stabilization of inhibitor of κB (IκB)α and reduced the phosphorylation of IκBα in PEL cells. HSP90 inhibitors suppressed the transcriptional activity of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) in PEL cells. It is known that the constitutive activation of NF-κB signaling is essential for the survival of PEL cells and HSP90 contributes to promote activation of NF-κB signaling. The suppression of NF-κB signaling by HSP90 inhibitors may contribute to the induction of apoptosis in PEL cells. In addition, HSP90 activity is required for KSHV replication in KSHV latently infected PEL cells. GA, 17-AAG and radicicol reduced the production of progeny virus from PEL cells at low concentrations, which do not affect PEL cell growth. Our results suggest that HSP90 activity is required for both the survival of PEL cells and viral replication in PEL cells, and that pharmacologic inhibition of HSP90 may be an effective treatment for PEL and KSHV-related diseases.
We have developed a strong inhibitor (S252W mutant soluble ectodomain of fibroblast growth factor recptor-2 IIIc, msFGFR2) that binds FGFs strongly and blocks the activation of FGFRs. In vitro, msFGFR2 could inhibit the promoting effect of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 on the proliferation of primary lung fibroblasts. In vivo, msFGFR2 alleviated lung fibrosis through inhibiting the expression of α-smooth muscle actin (SMA) and collagen deposit. In Western blotting of the right lung tissues and immunohistochemical assay, we found the level of p-FGFRs, p-mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) and p-Smad3 in the mice of bleomycin (BLM) group treated with msFGFR2 was down dramatically compared with the mice of BLM group, which suggested the activations of FGF and TGF-β signals were blocked meanwhile. In summary, msFGFR2 attenuated BLM-induced fibrosis and is an attractive therapeutic candidate for human pulmonary fibrosis.
Large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BKCa) channel encoded by KCa1.1 plays an important role in the control of smooth muscle tone by modulating membrane potential and intracellular Ca2+ mobilization. BKCa channel is functionally expressed in prostatic smooth muscle cells, and is activated by α1-adrenoceptor agonists. The main objective of this study was to elucidate the pathophysiological significance of changes in prostatic KCa1.1 expressions in benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Our previous study has shown that KCa3.1 encoding intermediate-conductance KCa (IKCa) channel is up-regulated in stromal cells of implanted urogenital sinuses (UGSs) of stromal hyperplasia BPH model rats and in those of prostatic tissues from BPH patients. In the present study, the results from real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Western blot, and immunohistochemical analyses showed significant down-regulation of KCa1.1 transcripts and proteins and negative correlation between KCa1.1 and KCa3.1 transcript expressions in prostatic stromal cells of both BPH model rats and BPH patients. Corresponding to down-regulation of KCa1.1 expression in stromal cells of implanted UGSs, membrane depolarization by application of the BKCa channel blocker was disappeared. Down-regulation of KCa1.1 may be involved in the phenotype switch from contractile profile to proliferative one in prostatic stromal cells of BPH patients.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the transport mechanism of exendin-4 using Madin Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell monolayer as an in vitro model of the human intestinal barrier. The roles of active and passive mechanisms of exendin-4 in the cell models were well studied and the corresponding contributions of the transcelluar and paracellular pathway to exendin-4 transport were also evaluated. Moreover, the apparent permeability coefficient (Papp) values of exendin-4 were determined in the presence of chitosan, sodium decanoate and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) to further confirm the relative transport mechanism and to evaluate their potential utility in future formulation design. The results revealed the low transport capacity of exendin-4 (Papp, 0.10±0.06×10−6 cm/s). And exendin-4 transport across the cell models was time and concentration-dependence, direction and energy-independence, and similar to the passive transport marker. Drug efflux and active transport were not observed. In the presence of absorption enhancers, the Papp value significantly increased up to 2.2–11.9 folds without apparent cytotoxicity, which is comparable to that of the paracellular transport marker. And the order of enhancement was to the effect of chitosan>EDTA>sodium decanoate, and the order of safety was sodium decanoate≈chitosan>EDTA. These findings demonstrated that exendin-4 transport across MDCK cell monolayer mainly by passive paracellular pathway, which agrees with the result of confocal laser scanning microscopy. And these absorption enhancers can be used as potential safe ingredients to improve oral efficacy of exendin-4.
In this study, we found that Acinetobacter baumannii utilized exogenously supplied desferricoprogen, rhodotorulic acid, and desferrioxamine B for growth under iron-limiting conditions. The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) titration assay method was then successfully applied to select iron-regulated genes in A. baumannii genomic libraries. Part of the nucleotide sequence homologous to Escherichia coli, fhuE, obtained from one of the positive clones allowed us to clone the entire gene, which was named fhuE. The fhuE gene had an amino acid sequence consistent with the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the 76-kDa iron-repressible outer membrane proteins in A. baumannii. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis demonstrated that fhuE mRNA is transcribed under iron-limiting conditions, consistent with the presence of a sequence homologous to the consensus Fur box in the promoter region. Disruption of fhuE resulted in the loss of expression of the 76-kDa protein. In addition, the double disruptant of fhuE and basD, which encodes one of the biosynthetic genes for the cognate siderophore acinetobactin, was unable to grow in the presence of desferricoprogen, rhodotorulic acid or desferrioxamine B. However, growth of the double disruptant was restored by complementation with fhuE, demonstrating that A. baumannii FhuE functions as the receptor common to coprogen, ferric rhodotorulic acid and ferrioxamine B.
Nano drug delivery systems (nanoDDS) are a promising strategy for treatment of human tumors. As indicated by our previous work, the extent of pericyte-coverage of tumor vasculature is important to determining nanoDDS efficacy since intratumoral accumulation of nanoDDS is less in tumor models with pericyte-covered vasculature. Here we investigated the clinical relevance of our previous observations in animal models, by determining pericyte coverage using immunohistochemistry of smooth muscle actin (SMA) with CD34: a vascular endothelial marker, in human tumor tissue samples. The investigation revealed that tumor vasculature coverage by pericytes in pancreatic and diffuse-type gastric cancers was significantly greater than in ovarian, colon, and intestinal-type gastric cancers. The latter group of cancers is easier to treat clinically. These observations are consistent with our previous findings in animal models. On the basis of these findings we believe optimization of nanoDDS delivery should be done depend upon a clear understanding of the effects of pericyte vascular coverage.
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by increased expression of adhesion molecules, which contribute to monocytes adhesion to vascular endothelial cells (VECs). Paeonol, an active compound isolated from cortex Moutan, has been shown to have therapeutic effects on atherosclerotic animals. The present study aims to investigate whether paeonol can inhibit monocyte adhesion to vascular endothelial cells induced by oxidized Low-Density Lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and its possible therapeutic molecular mechanism. Exposure to ox-LDL (50, 100 µg/mL) induced damaged to VECs leading to decreased survival rates (p<0.01). Paeonol (7.2–18.0 µM) partially restored survival and reduced lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release in VECs in a concentration-dependent manner (p<0.01). Adhesion of monocytes to VECs was dramatically prevented by paeonol at 21.6 and 25.2 μM (p<0.01). In addition, paeonol (14.4–21.6 μM) repressed the expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1) and lowered the levels of phosphor-c-Jun N-terminal kinase (P-JNK)1/2, phosphor-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (P-ERK)1/2 and P-p38 in a dose-dependent manner. The molecular effects of paeonol were more pronouced when companied with mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) inhibitors. These data suggest that paeonol (10.8–25.2 μM), at certain concentrations, prevents monocyte adhesion to VEC induced by ox-LDL, probably by means of blocking one or more target proteins on MAPKs signaling pathway. These results indicate that paeonol has potential protective effects on the development of atherosclerosis.
Japanese breast milk samples were tested for antibodies to human T-cell leukemia virus type I (HTLV-1) by particle agglutination (PA) and a line immunoassay (LIA). In the PA method, the agglutination reaction between the HTLV-1 antibody and sensitized particles occurred at a 1 : 128 dilution of some breast milk samples. The average antibody titer was one order of magnitude lower than that in the serum positive control. A total of 243 human breast milk specimens were assayed by PA, of which 21 samples from Okinawa, Hyogo, Miyagi and Hokkaido were positive or deferred. The results of the 21 positive samples were subsequently assayed by LIA (INNO-LIATM HTLV I/II) for confirmation; and one sample was positive, and two were indeterminate. We attempted to use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect HTLV-1 provirus DNA, but we did not detect PCR products for the pX1 region of the HTLV-1 genome in the LIA-positive samples. These negative PCR results are most likely due to the lower sensitivity of the PCR for amplification from milk than from HTLV-1-positive monocytes. In conclusion, the PA method to breast milk samples appears to be a suitable tool to screen for antibodies to HTLV-1 in the breast milk of carrier mothers in cases in which it would be difficult to use serum for the test. Although LIA may be able to confirm HTLV-1 infection, the presence of HTLV-1 provirus should be confirmed in the breast milk.
Curcumin has a wide spectrum of pharmacological activities, including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anticancer properties. Recently, its potential as effective chemoprevention against cholangiocarcinoma, a highly malignant tumor of the bile duct with limited therapeutic options, was reported. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the contribution of multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 (Mrp2) to the biliary excretion of curcumin using Sprague-Dawley rats (SDR) and Eisai hyperbilirubinemic rats (EHBR). After intravenous administration of curcumin with a loading dose of 4.5 mg/kg, followed by a constant infusion of 18 mg/kg/h to the SDR and EHBR, the pharmacokinetic parameters of curcumin were estimated. In EHBR, the total area under the bile concentration–time curve from 0 to 80 min following curcumin administration was dramatically decreased (0.094%) compared to that in SDR. In addition, the plasma-to-bile and liver-to-bile clearances were both significantly decreased compared to SDR. These results provide the first evidence that Mrp2 mediates the biliary excretion of curcumin and thus may be a major factor in the control of exposure of curcumin to the bile duct. This study may be helpful to the potential use of curcumin as a treatment for bile duct cancer, and to understanding the genetic polymorphism of Mrp2 for clinical trials of curcumin.
Superoxide dismutase (SOD) is a potent antioxidant agent that protects against UV-induced skin damage. However, its high molecular weight is a significant obstacle for efficient delivery into the skin through the stratum corneum and development of antioxidant activity. Recently, we developed a non-invasive transfollicular delivery system for macromolecules using a combination of liposomes and iontophoresis, that represents promising technology for enhancing transdermal administration of charged drugs (IJP, 403, 2011, Kajimoto et al.). In this study, in rats we attempted to apply this system to intradermal delivery of SOD for preventing UV-induced skin injury. SOD encapsulating in cationic liposomes was subjected to anodal iontophoresis. After iontophoretic treatment, the liposomes were diffused widely in the viable skin layer around hair follicles. In contrast, passive diffusion failed to transport liposomes efficiently into the skin. Iontophoretic delivery of liposomes encapsulating SOD caused a marked decrease in the production of oxidative products, such as malondialdehyde, hexanoyl lysine, and 8-hydroxi-2-deoxyguanosine, in UV-irradiated skin. These findings suggested that functional SOD can be delivered into the skin using a combination of iontophoresis and a liposomal system. In conclusion, we succeeded in developing an efficient intradermal SOD delivery system, that would be useful for delivery of other macromolecules.
In this study, twelve neuraminidase (NA) inhibitory compounds 1–12 were isolated from heartwood of Caesalpinia sappan on the basis of their biological activities against three types of viral NAs. Of isolated homoisoflavonoids, sappanone A (2) showed the most potent NAs inhibitory activities with IC50 values of 0.7 µM [H1N1], 1.1 µM [H3N2], and 1.0 µM [H9N2], respectively, whereas saturated homoisoflavonoid (3) did not show significantly inhibition. This result revealed that α,β-unsaturated carbonyl group in A-ring was the key requirements for viral NAs inhibitory activity. In our enzyme kinetic study, all NA inhibitors screened were found to be reversible noncompetitive types.
Bacterial enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase has been confirmed as a novel target for antibacterial drug development. In the screening of inhibitors of Staphylococcus aureus enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI), we found that a methanol extract of leaves of Morus alba L. potently inhibited S. aureus FabI as well as growth of S. aureus. The active principles were identified as chalcomoracin and moracin C by MS and NMR analysis. Chalcomoracin and moracin C inhibited S. aureus FabI with IC50 of 5.5 and 83.8 µM, respectively. They also prevented the growth of S. aureus with minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 4 and 32 µg/mL, respectively. Consistent with their inhibition against FabI and bacterial growth, they prevented [14C]acetate incorporation into fatty acid in S. aureus while didn’t affect protein synthesis. In this study, we reported that chalcomoracin and moracin C, potent antibacterial compounds from Morus alba, inhibited FabI and fatty acid synthesis.
Doxorubicin, a very potent and often used anti-cancer drug, is largely limited due to the dose-related toxic effects. The present study investigated whether berberine, a natural product alkaloid, can reduce the liver injury induced by doxorubicin. Mice of either gender were randomly divided into four groups: the control group, doxorubicin group, berberine group, and berberine+doxorubicin group. In the tests, body weight, general condition and mortality of the mice were observed, and serum alanine aminotransferase and aspartate transaminase levels were determined to evaluate liver function. Furthermore, the liver was excised for determination of the weight changes, as well as histopathological analysis in the tissues. Mortality rate and significant decline in body weight, and increased plasma alanine aminotransferase and aspartate transaminase activities were observed in doxorubicin-treated mice. These changes were significantly prevented by pretreatment with berberine. Histopathological studies showed that doxorubicin caused structural injuries, such as vascular congestion, inflammatory cell infiltration, hepatocellular degeneration and necrosis, fibrosis in the liver. These histopathological changes were largely attenuated by berberine pretreatment. These findings indicate that berberine has the hepatoprotective effect on doxorubicin-induced liver injury in mice.
CYP51 has been recognized as a unique CYP family that consists of one isolated molecular species, a sterol 14-demethylase essential for sterol biosynthesis. However, another CYP51 gene classified as the CYP51H subfamily has been identified in higher plants, in addition to a sterol 14-demethylase gene, CYP51G1. To shed light on the function of this “second CYP51”, oat CYP51H10 was introduced into the β-amyrin-producing yeast cells, and the effect of the expressed CYP51H10 on β-amyrin metabolism in the host cells was examined. In the CYP51H10-introduced cells, β-amyrin was converted to a metabolite with 12,13-epoxy and one additional hydroxyl group. Since the 12,13-epoxy group introduced into β-amyrin ring is an essential structure of avenacin A-1, a triterpene glycoside produced in oat from β-amyrin, the present findings indicate the contribution of CYP51H10 to avenacin A-1 biosynthesis from β-amyrin. This is the first study showing a second function of the CYP51 family.
Transcriptional factors of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family are involved in T cell signaling. Many NFAT signaling inhibitors, such as cyclosporin A (CsA) and tacrolimus, abrogate dephosphorylation of NFAT proteins by inhibiting calcineurin activity. In pursuit of a novel type of NFAT signaling inhibitor, we screened our chemical library using the NFAT-dependent reporter assay and identified tributylhexadecylphosphonium bromide (THPB) as a selective NFAT signaling inhibitor. THPB inhibited NFAT-dependent reporter activity, and the induction of interleukin-2 (IL-2) at both mRNA and protein levels by calcium stimulation. Moreover, THPB had an additive effect on the inhibition of IL-2 induction with CsA. Unlike CsA, THPB did not affect dephosphorylation of NFAT1, but suppressed phosphorylation of p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K). These results suggest that THPB may be a novel type of NFAT signaling inhibitor that acts in association with inhibition of p70S6K phosphorylation.