Midkine (MK) and pleiotrophin (PTN) belong to the subfamily of heparin binding growth factors. They have ca. 50% structural homology, with similar C- and N-domains as well as comparable binding affinity to heparin, glycoproteins and proteoglycans. Both MK and PTN have diverse functions, such as mitogenicity, inflammation, angiogenesis, oncogenesis and stem cell self-renewal. The high expression of MK and PTN in many kinds of cancers makes them excellent as cancer biomarkers and targets for anticancer drug development. In addition, the important roles of MK and PTN in the regeneration of tissues, such as myocardium, cartilage, neuron, muscle, and bone, make them attractive candidates for the treatment of degenerative diseases such as myocardiac and cerebral infarction, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and skeletal muscle injury. As a result, there has been a growing interest in the mechanisms of MK and PTN function, including the diverse receptors on the cell membrane and complex signal pathways in the cytoplasm. This work reviews the structures of MK and PTN, as well as the receptors and the intracellular signal pathways involving MK and PTN which will pave the way for future development of MK and PTN therapeutics.
To enhance tumor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signals via the selective accumulation of contrast agents, we prepared folate-modified gadolinium-lipid-based nanoparticles as MRI contrast agents. Folate-modified nanoparticles were comprised of polyethylene glycol (PEG)-lipid, gadolinium diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid lipid, cationic cholesterol derivatives, folate-conjugated PEG-lipid, and Cy7-PEG-lipid. Folate receptor-mediated cellular nanoparticle association was examined in KB cells, which overexpress the folate receptor. The biodistribution of nanoparticles after their intravenous injection into KB tumor-bearing mice was measured. Mice were imaged through in vivo fluorescence imaging and MRI 24 h after nanoparticle injection, and the intensity enhancement of the tumor MRI signal was evaluated. Increased cellular association of folate-modified nanoparticles was inhibited by excess free folic acid, indicating that nanoparticle association was folate receptor-mediated. Irrespective of folate modification, the amount of nanoparticles in blood 24 h after injection was ca. 10% of the injected dose. Compared with non-modified nanoparticles, folate-modified nanoparticles exhibited significant accumulation in tumor tissues without altering other biodistribution, as well as enhanced tumor fluorescence and MRI signal intensity. The results support the feasibility of MRI- and in vivo fluorescence imaging-based tumor visualization using folate-modified nanoparticles and provide opportunities to develop folate targeting-based imaging applications.
While gene products and metabolites of insect symbiotic bacteria may act as useful resources for insect-microbe studies and medicinal use, it is usually difficult to obtain the insect symbionts to some extent in quantity because most of them are unculturable. In this study, the possibility of using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) libraries as a heterologous gene expression tool for the discovery of novel symbiont metabolites was evaluated. A BAC library was constructed from the symbiont purified from the posterior midgut cecum of the stink bug Plautia stali. The BAC library, which consisted of 513 clones with an average insert size of 41 kb, represented greater than five-fold coverage of the genome. The ability of the BAC clones to express plural genes from large-sized insert DNA in Escherichia coli was examined by the growth of BAC-transformed leu operon-deficient DH10B cells on M9 minimal medium supplemented with glucose. Two BAC clones complemented leucine deficiency in DH10B cells; the clones contained the leu operon of the symbiont chromosome. The P. stali symbiont genes introduced into the BAC vector are functional in E. coli, and these genes are expressed in an operon unit. BAC libraries can be used to generate gene product- and metabolite-libraries, facilitating to characterize potential metabolites of the P. stali symbiont.
Glycogen storage disease type Ib (GSD-Ib) is caused by mutations in the glucose-6-phosphate transporter (G6PT) gene, which is involved in glycogen metabolism. Patients with GSD-Ib are known to develop neutropenia as a specific symptom, but the causes remain unclear. To elucidate reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD(P)H) oxidase (NOX) 2-associated mechanisms in neutrophil cell membranes, we examined the mechanism of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production after differentiation from HL-60 cells, and the collapse of glycogen metabolism because of G6PT deficiency. ROS production and caspase-3 and -9 activation were observed in G6PT inhibitor-treated neutrophils but not in control cells. Suppression of ROS production by NOX2 inhibitors or protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors combined with G6PT inhibitor was found to be dependent on the concentration of each inhibitor. Furthermore, ROS production, and caspase-3 and -9 activities were dependent on glucose concentrations. These data indicate that reduced ROS production and suppressed apoptosis in the presence of PKC inhibitors may reflect suppression of PKC-induced NOX2 activation. However, under low glucose conditions, ROS production was reduced and apoptosis was suppressed in neutrophils, suggesting that glucose is a substrate for initiating ROS production. In the present study, the investigation of the pathology of GSD-Ib indicated that a high intracellular glucose level leads to an increase in ROS production by PKC induction and NOX2 activation.
Niosomes have been reported as possible approach to improve the low corneal penetration and bioavailability characteristics for many drugs. The purpose of this study was to prepare and characterize an effective ocular niosomal hydrogel containing 0.5% (w/v) atenolol which is β1 adrenoceptor blocker for treatment of glaucoma. Thin film hydration method was used for the preparation of niosomes using Span 60 and cholesterol at different molar ratios. Niosomes were characterized using laser diffraction particle size analyzer, transmission electron microscopy, and differential scanning calorimetry. The results showed that higher entrapment efficiency (80.7%±1.2) was obtained from niosomes prepared using Span 60/cholesterol at a 2 : 1 molar ratio. Stability study revealed that a fairly high retention of atenolol inside vesicles (83.1%±2.35) up to a period of 3 months at 4°C. It was found that niosomal hydrogel formulation using carbopol 934P significantly exhibited sustained in vitro release of the drug compared with free drug solution and other polymeric hydrogels. The intraocular pressure (IOP) lowering activity of selected atenolol formulations was determined and compared with that of atenolol solution. It is worth noting that niosomal hydrogel formulation was found to show the most significant prolonged decrease in IOP, suggesting that niosomal hydrogel could be a promising delivery system for atenolol.
The purpose of this study was to develop a ternary complex of plasmid DNA (pDNA) electrostatically assembled with polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimer and chondroitin sulfate (CS) for effective and secure gene delivery. PAMAM dendrimers are new cationic polymers that are expected to be used as gene delivery vectors. However, cationic non-viral gene vectors showed cytotoxicity by binding to negative cellular membranes. We therefore prepared a ternary complex by adding CS, an anionic polymer, and examined its usefulness. The pDNA/PAMAM dendrimer complex (PAMAM dendriplex) and the PAMAM dendriplex coated by CS (CS complex) showed nanoparticles with positive ζ-potential and negative ζ-potential, respectively. The CS complex had no cytotoxicity against B16-F10 cells and no agglutination activity, although severe cytotoxicity and high agglutination were observed in the PAMAM dendriplex. As a result of an in vitro gene expression study of B16-F10 cells, not only the PAMAM dendriplex but also the CS complex showed high transfection efficiency. The transfection efficiency of the CS complex was significantly inhibited by clathrin-mediated endocytosis inhibitor (chlorpromazine), caveolae-mediated endocytosis inhibitor (genistein), and hypothermia. Tail-vein injection of the CS complex into mice led to significantly higher gene expression in the spleen than the PAMAM dendriplex. Thus, the ternary complex of pDNA electrostatically assembled with PAMAM denriplex and CS showed safe high gene expression in the spleen. This vector is expected to be useful for useful gene delivery.
The spontaneous recovery of function after injury in the adult central nervous system is limited due to the several proteins, such as Nogo-A that have repulsive or inhibitory effects on growing neuritis. The Chinese herbal medicine extraction Panax notoginseng saponins (PNS) injection has been widely used and effective in repairing the function of impaired nerves, but the mechanism of this herbal medicine is still poorly understood. This project evaluated the effect of Panax notoginseng saponins on neurological functional recovery and on the expression of Nogo-A, NgR and p75 at 7, 14 and 28 d after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) in rats and also oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R) model on SH-SY5Y cells. We found that the expression of Nogo-A, NgR and p75 of rats receiving MCAO surgery increased on the 7th day, reached a peak on the 14th or 28th day and maintained high levels and Panax notoginseng saponins significantly decreased these expressions. This may be the mechanism of Panax notoginseng saponins that contributes to the recovery of nerve function, which plays an important role in brain protection after cerebral infarction.
We previously developed an in vivo tissue suction-mediated transfection method (denoted as the tissue suction method) for naked nucleic acids, such as plasmid DNA (pDNA) and small interfering RNA (siRNA), in mice. However, it remains unclear whether the suction pressure conditions affect the results of this method. Therefore, in the present study, we assembled a computer system to control the suction pressure and investigate the effects of the suction pressure conditions on the efficiency of the liver suction transfection of naked pDNA that encodes luciferase in mice. Using the developed system, we examined the effects of the minimum magnitude of the suction pressure, suction pressure waveform, and suction times of the luciferase expression level in mice livers. We determined that the liver suction method at −5 kPa was not only effective but also caused the lowest hepatic toxicity in mice. Additionally, the results indicated that the suction pressure waveform affects the luciferase expression levels, and a single period of suction on the targeted portion of the liver is sufficient for transfection. Thus, the developed system is useful for performing the tissue suction method with high accuracy and safety.
Resveratrol is found in grapes, red wine, and berries. Resveratrol has been known to have many beneficial health effects, such as anti-cancer, neuroprotective, anti-nociceptive, and life-prolonging effects. However, the single cellular mechanisms by which resveratrol acts are relatively unknown, especially in terms of possible regulation of receptors involved in synaptic transmission. The glycine receptor is an inhibitory ligand-gated ion channel involved in fast synaptic transmission in spinal cord. In the present study, we investigated the effect of resveratrol on human glycine receptor channel activity. Glycine α1 receptors were expressed in Xenopus oocytes and glycine receptor channel activity was measured using a two-electrode voltage clamp technique. Treatment with resveratrol alone had no effect on oocytes injected with H2O or on oocytes injected with glycine α1 receptor cRNA. In the oocytes injected with glycine α1 receptor cRNA, co- or pre-treatment of resveratrol with glycine inhibited the glycine-induced inward peak current (IGly) in a reversible manner. The inhibitory effect of resveratrol on IGly was also concentration dependent, voltage independent, and non-competitive. These results indicate that resveratrol regulates glycine receptor channel activity and that resveratrol-mediated regulation of glycine receptor channel activity is one of several cellular action mechanisms of resveratrol for pain regulation.
Leptin is an adipose-derived hormone that primarily regulates energy balance in response to nutrition. Human placental cells produce leptin, whereas murine placental cells produce soluble leptin receptors (Ob-R). However, the roles of these proteins during pregnancy have not been elucidated completely. As an essential metal, zinc (Zn) is central to insulin biosynthesis and energy metabolism. In the present study, the effects of Zn deficiency and supplementation on maternal plasma leptin and soluble Ob-R regulation in pregnant mice placentas were examined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and Western blotting. Nutritional Zn deficiency significantly reduced plasma insulin concentrations and fetal and placental weights in pregnant mice. Plasma leptin concentrations in pregnant mice also increased 20- to 40-fold compared with those in non-pregnant mice. Although dietary Zn deficiency and supplementation did not affect plasma leptin concentrations in non-pregnant mice, Zn-deficient pregnant mice had significantly reduced plasma leptin concentrations and adipose leptin mRNA expression. In contrast, Zn-supplemented pregnant mice had increased plasma leptin concentrations without increased adipose leptin mRNA expression. Placental soluble Ob-R mRNA expression also decreased in Zn-deficient mice and tended to increase in Zn-supplemented mice. These results indicate that Zn influences plasma leptin concentrations by modulating mRNA expression of soluble Ob-R in the placenta, and leptin in visceral fat during pregnancy. These data suggest that both adipose and placenta-derived leptin system are involved in the regulation of energy metabolism during fetal growth.
Advanced glycosylation end-products (AGEs) are non-enzymatically glycosylated proteins that play an important role in several diseases and aging processes, including angiopathy, renal failure, diabetic complications, and some neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, glyceraldehyde (GCA)- and glycolaldehyde (GOA)-derived AGEs are deemed toxic AGEs, due to their cytotoxicity. Recently, the shuttling-protein nucleolin has been shown to possess scavenger receptor-activity. Here, we investigated whether or not macrophages recognize toxic AGEs through nucleolin receptors expressed on their surface. Free amino acid groups and arginine residues found in bovine serum albumin (BSA) were time-dependently modified by incubation with GCA and GOA. In addition, average molecular size was increased by incubation with GCA and GOA. While GCA-treated BSA (GCA-BSA) and GOA-treated BSA (GOA-BSA) were recognized by thioglycollate-elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages in proportion to their respective aldehyde-modification ratios, aldehyde-untreated control-BSA was not. Surface plasmon-resonance analysis revealed that nucleolin strongly associated with GCA-BSA and GOA-BSA, but not with control-BSA. Further, pretreating macrophages with anti-nucleolin antibody, but not control-Immunoglobulin G, inhibited recognition of GCA-BSA and GOA-BSA by macrophages. Additionally, AGRO, a nucleolin-specific oligonucleotide aptamer, inhibited recognition of GCA-BSA and GOA-BSA. Moreover, nucleolin-transfected HEK293 cells recognized more GCA-BSA and GOA-BSA than control HEK cells did. Binding of nucleolin and GCA-BSA/GOA-BSA was also blocked by anti-nucleolin antibody at molecular level. These results indicate that nucleolin is a receptor that allows macrophages to recognize toxic AGEs.
The effects of L-ascorbic acid and its stable analogue L-ascorbic acid 2-glucoside on the restoration of liver mass and recovery of liver function after 70% partial hepatectomy (PH), were compared with other natural vitamin C analogues in rats in vivo. L-Ascorbic acid (100 mg/kg/d, intraperitoneally (i.p.))- and L-ascorbic acid 2-glucoside (50 mg/kg/d, i.p.)-treated rats showed an approximately 1.3-fold increase in the ratio of liver weight (LW) to body weight (BW), when compared to saline (as control)-, L-dehydroascorbic acid (150 mg/kg/d, i.p.)- and D-isoascorbic acid (150 mg/kg/d, i.p.)-administrated rats on day 3 after PH. Accordingly, 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine-labeling index in the regenerating liver was significantly higher in L-ascorbic acid- and L-ascorbic acid 2-glucoside-treated rats compared with saline-, L-dehydroascorbic acid- and D-isoascorbic acid-treated rats on day 1. In control rats, liver-related serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) activity was rapidly elevated on day 1, and then decreased to near pre-operative levels on day 5 following PH. L-Ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid 2-glucoside significantly lowered the serum ALT on day 1 after PH compared with saline-, L-dehydroascorbic acid- and D-isoascorbic acid-administered rats. These results demonstrate that L-ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid 2-glucoside significantly promote the regeneration of liver mass and function with full recovery after liver injury.
We found that bacteria in a commercial soil conditioner sold in Ishinomaki, Miyagi, exhibited concentrative and saturable cesium ion (Cs+) uptake in the natural range of pH and temperature. The concentration of intracellular Cs+ could be condensed at least a few times higher compared with the outside medium of the cells. This uptake appeared to be mediated by a K+ transport system, since Cs+ uptake was dose-dependently inhibited by potassium ion (K+). Eadie-Hofstee plot analysis indicated that the Cs+ uptake involved a single saturable process. The maximum uptake amount (Jmax) was the same in the presence and absence of K+, suggesting that Cs+ and K+ uptakes were competitive with respect to each other. These bacteria might be useful for bioremediation of cesium-contaminated soil.
Cordycepol C, a novel sesquiterpene isolated from the cultured mycelia of Cordyceps ophioglossoides, contains a hydroperoxy group and is cytotoxic to HepG2 cells. So far, no sesquiterpenes have been found in the genus Cordyceps and it would be interesting to investigate the antitumor efficacy as well as the mechanism of action of this unusual sesquiterpene. In this study, we showed that cordycepol C induced apoptosis of the HepG2 cells without affecting the normal liver cell line L-02. Cordycepol C caused poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase-1 (PARP-1) cleavage and triggered the loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (Δψm) in HepG2 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner, resulting in the nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and endonuclease G (Endo G). We also found that cordycepol C induced the expression of Bax protein, followed by its translocation from the cytosol to mitochondria in both wild type and p53 knockdown HepG2 cells. However, cordycepol C could not cause cleavages of procaspase-3, -8, and -9. Caspase activities were not increased and Z-VAD-fmk, a caspase inhibitor, could not prevent the apoptosis induced by cordycepol C. These findings indicate that cordycepol C induces caspase-independent apoptosis in HepG2 cells through a p53-independent and Bax-mediated mitochondrial pathway, leading to the nuclear translocation of AIF and Endo G. Our study provides the molecular mechanism by which cordycepol C induces apoptosis in hepatocellular carcinoma cells and indicates the potential use of cordycepol C as an antitumor agent.
Uridine 5′-diphosphate (UDP)-glucuronosyltransferase 1A (UGT1A), which catalyzes major phase II reactions, is regulated by endogenous and exogenous factors via nuclear receptors such as the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR). Glucocorticoid, one of the adrenocortical hormones, regulates AhR and UGT1A expression. We examined the effects of adrenalectomy on the expression and induction of UGT1A via AhR in the rat liver and small intestine. Rats were adrenalectomized bilaterally (ADX) or sham-operated (SHAM) and received intraperitoneal treatment with β-naphthoflavone (BNF) for 4 d. Hepatic UGT1A6 and UGT1A7 mRNA levels were altered by ADX (0.1-fold and 1.6-fold, respectively). BNF treatment increased UGT1A6 and UGT1A7 mRNA expression and the intrinsic clearance of acetaminophen (APAP) glucuronidation, which is primarily catalyzed by UGT1A6 and UGT1A7, in both SHAM and ADX rats. Therefore, ADX rats maintained a functional AhR signaling pathway in the presence of BNF, expressed UGT1A6 and UGT1A7 mRNA, and showed APAP glucuronidation, namely induction by BNF via AhR was not abolished. Our results indicate that adrenal-dependent factors such as glucocorticoids are partially involved in the basal regulation of UGT1A6 and UGT1A7 transcription.
This study examined the effect of genistein from Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)/D-galactosamine (D-GalN)-induced acute hepatic failure. Compared to the model control, genistein treatment significantly protected against LPS/D-GalN-induced liver injury, as evidenced by the decrease in serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferases activities and the attenuation of histopathological changes. Furthermore, genistein alleviated the pro-inflammatory cytokines including tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) and nitric oxide (NO)/inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) by inhibiting nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activity. Genistein attenuated the elevated level of caspases-3, while augmented the expression of Bcl-2. In addition, LPS/D-GalN induced significant increase of heme oxygenase (HO), carbon monoxide and bilirubin levels and these alterations were augmented by genistein treatment. In conclusion, the protective effect of genistein on LPS/D-GalN-induced liver damage was mainly due to its ability to block NF-κB signaling pathway for anti-inflammation response, attenuate hepatocellular apoptosis and increase HO level. These findings suggest that genistein can be considered as a potential agent for preventing acute hepatic failure.
GANT61 is a small-molecule inhibitor of glioma-associated oncogene 1 (GLI1)- and GLI2-mediated transcription at the nuclear level that exerts its effect by preventing DNA binding. It has been demonstrated to induce cell death against Ewing’s sarcoma family tumor (ESFT) cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. The most sensitive cell line was SK-N-LO, which expresses the EWS-FLI1 fusion gene. SK-N-LO cells treated with GANT61 showed cellular and nuclear morphological changes, including cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation and nuclear fragmentation, in a concentration-dependent manner, as visualized by Hoechst 33342 staining. Furthermore, annexin V-propidium iodide (PI) double-staining revealed a significant increase in the number of late apoptotic cells. GANT61 induced a significant decrease in the proportion of cells in the S phase. Significant decrease of the protein levels of GLI2, survivin, cyclin A and claspin, and significant increase of p21 expression was also observed in the cells treated with GANT61. Moreover, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) cleavage was observed, but no cleavage of caspase-3 or -7, or any change in the expressions of Bcl-2 or p53 were observed. These findings suggest that GANT61 induces cell death of SK-N-LO cells in a caspase-independent manner, by inhibiting DNA replication in the S phase.
Lymphatic metastasis is common in advanced-stage carcinoma and is associated with a poor prognosis. However, few effective treatments to inhibit it are available. Z-100 is an immunomodulatory extract of Mycobacterium tuberculosis strain Aoyama B that contains polysaccharides such as arabinomannan and mannan. Here, we investigated the inhibitory effect of Z-100 on spontaneous lymphatic metastasis. C57BL/6N mice injected subcutaneously with B16-BL6 melanoma cells in the right hind footpad were administered Z-100 subcutaneously in the right inguinal region on a daily basis. On day twenty-one after the injection, the right inguinal lymph nodes were excised, and the extent of metastasis, the number of immune cells, and the amount of granzyme B protein in the lymph nodes were examined. We also investigated the combined effect of Z-100 and irradiation in this model. Results showed that Z-100 reduced number of animals with metastasis, with respective metastasis rates of 85.7%, 42.9%, 7.1% and 0.0% in saline, 0.1 mg/kg Z-100, 1 mg/kg Z-100 and 10 mg/kg Z-100 group. Further, mice that had been given Z-100 were found to have more immune cells and granzyme B protein in the lymph nodes than control mice. The combination of low dose Z-100 and irradiation also inhibited spontaneous lymph node metastases. These findings suggest that Z-100 may be beneficial in preventing lymphatic metastasis by enhancing the immune response.
Proteasome inhibitors are a novel class of molecular-targeted anti-cancer drugs that suppress the degradation of malfolded proteins, trigger endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, and activate apoptosis signals. Glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), a major ER chaperone, is one of the most important molecules for transduction of unfolded protein response (UPR) signals. In accordance with past findings that expression of GRP78 is elevated in cancer cells and helps to resist stress-induced apoptosis, GRP78 knockdown could be effective in anticancer therapy. We tested this hypothesis and found that transfection of small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting GRP78 inhibited the growth of RENCA renal carcinoma cells, in association with elevated gene expression of UPR downstream signaling molecules (CHOP, EDEM1, and ERdj4 mRNA). In addition, the combinatorial effect of GRP78 siRNA with ER stress inducers (tunicamycin, MG132, and 2-deoxyglucose) on survival was measured. Combination of GRP78 siRNA and the ER stress inducers more extensively reduced cell viability than combination with scrambled siRNA. Besides RENCA, B16BL6 melanoma cells were also shown to be sensitive to GRP78 siRNA. These results suggest that GRP78 knockdown might be an effective strategy for cancer therapy targeting UPR-induced apoptosis.
The strain and sex differences in serum total cholesterol (TC) levels were examined in F344 and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. A sex difference (male<female) was observed in F344 rats but not in SD rats. The strain-dependent sex difference (male<female) was also observed in the constitutive gene expression level of hepatic 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR), a rate-limiting enzyme for cholesterol biosynthesis, but not in the expression of hepatic cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase, a rate-limiting enzyme for cholesterol catabolism (bile acid biosynthesis from cholesterol). The strain-dependent sex difference in hepatic HMGR gene expression was closely correlated with the levels of hepatic interleukins (ILs), especially of IL-1α, which acts as a positive regulator for the hepatic HMGR gene. Hepatic IL-1α protein expression was higher in female F344 rats than in male F344 rats and compared with male and female SD rats. Similar to hepatic IL-1α protein expression, serum TC levels were highest in female F344 rats than in the other groups of rats. Serum TC and hepatic IL-1α levels in male F344 rats were similar to those in male and female SD rats. The present findings demonstrate for the first time that strain-dependent sex difference in serum TC level between F344 and SD rats is, at least in part, related to difference in the IL-1α-mediated HMGR gene expression level in the liver.
E26 transformation-specific (ETS) transcription factors play important roles in normal and tumorigenic processes during development, differentiation, homeostasis, proliferation, and apoptosis. To identify critical ETS factor(s) in germ cell-derived cancer cells, we examined the expression patterns of the 27 ETS transcription factors in naive and differentiated NCCIT human embryonic carcinoma cells, which exhibit both pluripotent and tumorigenic characteristics. Overall, expression of ETS factors was relatively low in NCCIT cells. Among the 27 ETS factors, polyomavirus enhancer activator 3 (PEA3) and epithelium-specific ETS transcription factor-1 (ESE-1) exhibited the most significant changes in their expression levels. Western blot analysis confirmed these patterns, revealing reduced levels of PEA3 protein and elevated levels of ESE-1 protein in differentiated cells. PEA3 increased the proportion of cells in S-phase and promoted cell growth, whereas ESE-1 reduced proliferation potential. These data suggest that PEA3 and ESE-1 may play important roles in pluripotent and tumorigenic embryonic carcinoma cells. These findings contribute to our understanding of the functions of oncogenic ETS factors in germ cell-derived stem cells during processes related to tumorigenesis and pluripotency.
This study aimed to elucidate the clinical efficacy and pharmacokinetics of levothyroxine (LT4) suppository, thus, we examined the pharmacokinetics of thyroxine (T4) after the administration of the suppository in thyroidectomized rats and examined dose and the levels of free T4 (FT4) in patients with hypothyroidism receiving suppositories. Thyroidectomized rats were administered with LT4 solution and LT4 suppository (30 µg/kg), and plasma T4 concentrations were measured using LC/MS. The AUC0–168 of T4 after rectal administration of the LT4 suppository was 64% lower than these values after oral administration. To evaluate clinical effect of LT4 suppository, we enrolled 6 Japanese patients with hypothyroidism (2 men and 4 women; age, 68.2±13.5 years) who were administered LT4 suppository at Kameda Medical Center from 2007 to 2013 in this case series. The FT4 level during the administration of suppositories was significantly lower than that during the administration of tablets (0.657±0.183 ng/dL vs. 1.25±0.51 ng/dL, p=0.034). The FT4/dose ratio for the suppository was significantly 44% lower than that for the tablet (p=0.020). In conclusion, although the bioavailability of LT4 is lower after administration of the suppository than after the oral formulation, it was suggested that T4 levels can be maintained in patients with hypothyroidism by administering LT4 suppositories at a dose 1.8 times higher than that of the tablet. Thus, the administration of LT4 suppository can be an alternative for treatment with oral medication in clinical practice.
This study aimed at developing a novel rebamipide liquid for an effective treatment of oral mucositis. The healing effects of a variety of liquids comprising submicronized rebamipide crystals were investigated using a rat cauterization-induced oral ulcer model. Whereas 2% rebamipide liquid comprising micro-crystals did not exhibit significant curative effect, 2% rebamipide liquids comprising submicronized crystals with moderate viscosities exhibited healing effects following intra-oral administration. The 2% and 4% optimized rebamipide liquids showed significant healing effects in the rat oral ulcer model (p<0.01). In addition, in the rat radiation-induced glossitis model, whereby the injury was caused to the tongue by exposing only around the rat’s snout to a 15 Gy of X-irradiation, the 2% optimized rebamipide liquid significantly reduced the percent area of ulcerated injury (p<0.05). In conclusion, the submicronized rebamipide liquid with moderate viscosity following intra-oral administration showed better both healing effect in the rat oral ulcer model and preventive effect in the rat irradiation-induced glossitis model.
The aim of this study was to evaluate whether linezolid minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) creep occurred in Staphylococcus aureus clinical isolates, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), over a recent 5-year period at a single Japanese center. A total of 453 MRSA and 195 methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA) isolates recovered from inpatients from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2013 were analyzed. The MIC of linezolid was determined by automated Vitek-2 system. The modal MIC, MIC range, MIC50 and MIC90 (MICs required to inhibit the growth of 50% and 90% of organisms, respectively), geometric mean MIC and percentages of susceptible and resistant isolates were evaluated for each fiscal year. None of the S. aureus isolates were resistant to linezolid. Isolates with an MIC of >1 µg/mL were more common in the MSSA samples than in the MRSA samples (91.3% versus 38.2%, p<0.001). The linezolid geometric mean MIC increased by 0.403 µg/mL (from 1.178 in 2008 to 1.582 in 2012) in the MRSA isolates (p=0.006, r2=0.945 according to a linear regression analysis) over the 5-year period; however, no increase was observed in the MSSA isolates. The frequency of MRSA isolates with an MIC of 1 µg/mL decreased (from 76.3% in 2008 to 35.4% in 2012) and the isolates with MICs of >1 µg/mL increased over time (from 23.7% in 2008 to 64.6% in 2012). This report demonstrates the occurrence of linezolid MIC creep, as determined using the geometric mean MIC, in MRSA clinical isolates at a single Japanese center.
Lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) culture is associated with several problems. There are ethical concerns about the collection of LECs from humans, in addition to the concern that LECs from different individuals might exhibit variable behavior. Properties of LECs such as morphology can also change when they are cultured for prolonged periods. These problems may hinder the analysis of LEC properties and functions, and obstruct elucidation of mechanisms underlying lymphatic system-mediated cancer metastasis. To overcome these problems, we increased the culture duration of an established LEC line by generating a LEC line stably expressing high levels of the large T antigen of simian virus 40 (LEC-SV). This LEC-SV line could be cultured for approximately twice as long as the parental LEC line. LECs are thought to be involved in hormone-dependent lymphogenous metastasis; therefore, the response of LEC and LEC-SVs to estrogen stimulation was also investigated. Levels of mRNA for three LEC marker genes, Flt-4, Xlkd-1, and Prox1, were significantly higher in β-estradiol-treated parental LECs and LEC-SVs compared to vehicle-treated LECs and LEC-SVs. This LEC-SV line should be a valuable tool for analyzing the properties and functions of lymphatic vessels and endothelial cells.
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) can differentiate into both endothelial cells and contractile smooth muscle cells (SMC). Previously we reported that TR-BME2 cells, a model for EPC, developed contractile SMC-like characteristics in culture medium deprived of endothelial cell growth factors (ECGF). The aim of the present study was to clarify the effect of one of these factors, basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) on differentiation of EPC. First it was confirmed that bFGF receptor (FGFR-1) mRNA is expressed in TR-BME2 cultured in both ECGF-rich and ECGF-deprived medium. When TR-BME2 cells were cultured in ECGF-deprived medium, they differentiated into contractile SMC. Expression of an undifferentiated state marker, CD133, and proliferation of TR-BME2 were both reduced by ECGF deprivation, but these changes were diminished in the presence of bFGF. mRNA expression of smooth muscle α-actin (SMA) and smooth muscle protein 22 (SM22), which are contractile SMC markers, was induced by deprivation of ECGF and the induction was suppressed by bFGF. In vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF)-induced tube formation assay, TR-BME2 cells formed tube structures in the presence of bFGF, but not in its absence. Our results indicate that bFGF is essential for the maintenance of EPC phenotype, serving to suppress differentiation to contractile SMC.
In the search for novel chemical scaffolds leading to potential antihypertensive agents, the methanol extract of Murraya paniculata leaves was assessed for its effects on isolated rat aorta rings. The vasorelaxing effect of the chloroform fraction of the methanol plant extract was the most potent for its vasorelaxing activity on rat aorta rings contracted by 60 mM K+ (K60). Two coumarins were isolated from the chloroform fraction: the novel kimcuongin (1) and the known murracarpin (2). Their structures were determined from spectroscopic evidences including 1H- and 13C-NMR, correlation spectroscopy (COSY), nuclear Overhauser effect spectroscopy (NOESY), heteronuclear multiple bond correlation (HMBC), heteronuclear single quantum correlation (HSQC), and high resolution mass spectrometry (HR-MS). Kimcuongin and, to a lesser extent, murracarpin, showed vasorelaxing activity with IC50 values of 37.7 µM and 139.3 µM, respectively. The coumarins kimcuongin and murracarpin may thus represent a novel class of vasodilators of natural source.
Elastic fiber assembly is a complex stepwise process involving multiple different proteins and enzymes. Domain 36, encoded by the last exon of the elastin gene, is recognized to be an important domain for deposition onto microfibrils, an essential step in elastic fiber assembly. However, the role of domain 36 in elastic fiber assembly has not been clarified. Here, we utilized our established in vitro assembly model to identify the importance of domain 36 for the assembly process. Our results showed that the lack of domain 36 in bovine tropoelastin results in deficient elastic fiber assembly. A similar result was obtained with the point mutation of two cysteine residues and the deletion of the Lysine–Arginine–Lysine–Arginine (RKRK) sequence in domain 36. Double immunofluorescence of tropoelastin and fibrillin-1, a main component of microfibrils, demonstrated reduced localization of these mutant tropoelastin molecules on fibrillin-1 fibers. Moreover, the binding affinity of these mutants to fibrillin-1 and microfibril-associated glycoprotein (MAGP) was significantly decreased. These data indicate that domain 36 of tropoelastin facilitates elastic fiber assembly by interacting with microfibrils via two cysteine residues and the RKRK sequence.
Butylbenzyl phthalate (BBzP) is used as a plasticizer to import flexibility to polyvinylchloride plastics. In this study, hydrolysis of BBzP to monobutyl phthalate (MBP) and monobenzyl phthalate (MBzP) in liver microsomes of humans, monkeys, dogs, rats and mice was examined. The kinetics for MBP formation by human, dog and mouse liver microsomes followed the Michaelis–Menten model, whereas the kinetics by monkey and rat liver microsomes fitted the Hill model. The kinetics for MBzP formation fitted the Hill model for all liver microsomes. The Vmax and in vitro clearance (CLint or CLmax) ratios of MBP/MBzP formation varied among animal species, although the Km for MBP and MBzP formation in each liver microsomes were generally comparable. The hydrolysis of BBzP to monoester phthalates in mammalian liver microsomes could be classified into two types: MBzP>MBP type for humans and dogs, and MBP>MBzP type for monkeys, rats and mice. These findings suggest that the formation profile of MBzP and MBP from BBzP by liver microsomes differs extensively among animal species.