The bark, leaves, and flowers of Paulownia trees have been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat infectious and inflammatory diseases. We investigated the antiviral effects of Paulownia tomentosa flowers, an herbal medicine used in some provinces of P. R. China for the treatment of skin rashes and blisters. Dried flowers of P. tomentosa were extracted with methanol and tested for antiviral activity against enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CAV16), the predominant etiologic agents of hand, foot, and mouth disease in P. R. China. The extract inhibited EV71 infection, although no effect was detected against CAV16 infection. Bioactivity-guided fractionation was performed to identify apigenin as an active component of the flowers. The EC50 value for apigenin to block EV71 infection was 11.0 µM, with a selectivity index of approximately 9.3. Although it is a common dietary flavonoid, only apigenin, and not similar compounds like naringenin and quercetin, were active against EV71 infection. As an RNA virus, the genome of EV71 has an internal ribosome entry site that interacts with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs) and regulates viral translation. Cross-linking followed by immunoprecipitation and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis showed that EV71 RNA was associated with hnRNPs A1 and A2. Apigenin treatment disrupted this association, indicating that apigenin suppressed EV71 replication through a novel mechanism by targeting the trans-acting factors. This study therefore validates the effects of Paulownia against EV71 infection. It also yielded mechanistic insights on apigenin as an active compound for the antiviral activity of P. tomentosa against EV71 infection.
Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) catabolizes the degradation of heme into bilirubin, carbon monoxide, and iron ions. The HO-1 products provide antioxidant cytoprotection in addition to having potent antiinflammatory and immunomodulatory functions. HO-1 is induced by its substrate heme and environmental factors including oxidative and heat stresses. Although previous studies reported that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced the expression of both the HO-1 gene and its protein in macrophages, the major regulators of HO-1 expression remain unknown. To identify these regulators, we used two types of cell, the murine macrophage-like cell line J774.1/JA-4 and its LPS-resistant mutant, LPS1916. Based on a comparison of the results obtained with these cells, we found that nitric oxide (NO) was closely linked to the induction of HO-1. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) showed that the time course for inducible HO-1 mRNA by LPS or LPS+interferon (IFN)-γ was similar to that for inducible NO synthase (iNOS) mRNA. Furthermore, the expression of iNOS mRNA and protein increased earlier than that of HO-1 mRNA and protein. N-Nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, an NO synthase inhibitor, reduced both HO-1 expression and NO production in LPS+IFN-γ-treated JA-4 cells. Furthermore, NOC-12, an NO donor, significantly induced HO-1 expression not only in JA-4 but also in LPS1916 cells. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) scavengers, such as superoxide dismutase and catalase, did not affect HO-1 protein expression in LPS+IFN-γ-treated JA-4 cells. These results suggest that, among ROS, NO plays an important role in HO-1 induction in activated macrophages treated with LPS+IFN-γ.
Orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs) containing propiverine hydrochloride (which is extremely bitter and leaves a feeling of numbness in the mouth) were prepared with a combined use of physical and organoleptic taste masking. Propiverine-loaded masking particles (PLMPs) were prepared with different amounts of gastric-soluble coatings as physical masking. ODTs without organoleptic masking were prepared by mixing each group of PLMPs with Ludiflash®, crospovidone, and magnesium stearate. ODTs with organoleptic masking were also prepared by addition of L-menthol, aspartame, thaumatin, and cinnamon. Fifteen-minute dissolution of propiverine in solutions with pH 1.2 was ≥85% for all ODTs, whereas that in pH 6.8 solutions was ≤85% and increased with physical masking. A single blind randomized crossover trial was conducted. Ten healthy volunteers were asked to quantify the bitterness, numbness, and overall palatability using a 100-mm visual analog scale (VAS) at the period of disintegration as well as 1 and 5 min later. VAS scores of bitterness, numbness, and overall palatability improved along with increasing amounts of physical masking, and the effects persisted for 5 min. VAS scores for numbness increased over time regardless of the amount of physical masking. Bitterness, numbness, and overall palatability were significantly improved by organoleptic masking if the amount of physical masking was small. Combined use of physical and organoleptic masking is useful for improving palatability of ODTs containing propiverine.
The recognition of phosphatidylserine on the erythrocyte membrane mediates erythrophagocytosis by resident spleen macrophages. The application of phosphatidylserine to a gene vector may be a novel approach for splenic drug delivery. Therefore, we chose 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-L-serin (DOPS) as an analogue of phosphatidylserine for splenic gene delivery of plasmid DNA (pDNA). In the present study, we successfully prepared a stable pDNA ternary complex using DOPS and polyethyleneimine (PEI) and evaluated its efficacy and safety. The pDNA/PEI complex had a positive charge and showed high transgene efficacy, although it caused cytotoxicity and agglutination. The addition of DOPS changed the ζ-potential of the pDNA/PEI complex to negative. It is known that anionic complexes are not taken up well by cells. Surprisingly, however, the pDNA/PEI/DOPS complex showed relatively high transgene efficacy in vitro. Fluorescence microscope observation revealed that the pDNA/PEI/DOPS complex internalized the cells while maintaining the complex formation. The injection of the pDNA/PEI complex killed most mice within 24 h at high doses, although all mice in the pDNA/PEI/DOPS complex group survived. The ternary complex with DOPS showed markedly better safety compared with the pDNA/PEI complex. The pDNA/PEI/DOPS complex showed high gene expression selectively in the spleen after intravenous injection into mice. Thus the ternary complex with DOPS can be used to deliver pDNA to the spleen, in which immune cells are abundant. It appears to have an excellent safety level, although further study to determine the mechanism of action is necessary.
Previously, we reported that cationic nanoparticles (NP) composed of diamine-type cholesteryl-3-carboxamide (OH-Chol, N-(2-(2-hydroxyethylamino)ethyl)cholesteryl-3-carboxamide) and Tween 80 could deliver small interfering RNA (siRNA) with high transfection efficiency into tumor cells. In this study, we synthesized new diamine-type cationic cholesteryl carbamate (OH-C-Chol, cholesteryl (2-((2-hydroxyethyl)amino)ethyl)carbamate) and triamine-type carbamate (OH-NC-Chol, cholesteryl (2-((2-((2-hydroxyethyl)amino)ethyl)amino)ethyl)carbamate), and prepared cationic nanoparticles composed of OH-C-Chol or OH-NC-Chol with Tween 80 (NP-C and NP-NC, respectively), as well as cationic liposomes composed of OH-C-Chol or OH-NC-Chol with 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine (DOPE) (LP-C and LP-NC, respectively) for evaluation of their possible use as siRNA delivery vectors. LP-C and LP-NC/siRNA complexes (lipoplexes) exhibited larger gene silencing effects than NP-C and NP-NC/siRNA complexes (nanoplexes), respectively, in human breast tumor MCF-7 cells, although the NP-C nanoplex showed high association with the cells. In particular, LP-NC lipoplex could induce strong gene suppression, even at a concentration of 5 nM siRNA. From these results, cationic liposomes composed of OH-NC-Chol and DOPE may have potential as gene vectors for siRNA transfection to tumor cells.
Cardiac glycosides, which are inhibitors of Na+/K+-ATPase, are classified into cardenolides and bufadienolides. We have recently shown that two cardenolide glycosides, ouabain and odoroside A, inhibit Na+/K+-ATPase, thereby preventing nuclear factor κB-inducible protein expression by blocking Na+-dependent amino acid transport. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of action of cardenolide aglycones in tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α)-induced gene expression. Ouabagenin, digitoxigenin, and digoxigenin were found to inhibit the TNF-α-induced cell-surface expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) in human lung carcinoma A549 cells. Those cardenolide aglycones did not inhibit the TNF-α-induced expression of ICAM-1 mRNA, but strongly inhibited the TNF-α-induced expression of ICAM-1 as translation product. The inhibition of the TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression by ouabagenin, digitoxigenin, and digoxigenin was significantly reversed by the ectopic expression of ouabain-resistant rat Na+/K+-ATPase α1 isoform. Moreover, knockdown of Na+/K+-ATPase α1 isoform augmented the inhibition of the TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression by ouabagenin or ouabain. These results clearly indicate that cardenolide aglycones inhibit the TNF-α-induced ICAM-1 expression at the translation step by blocking Na+/K+-ATPase.
Our previous studies demonstrated that subcutaneous injection of bee venom (BV) into the Zusanli (ST36) acupuncture point, namely BV acupuncture, dose-dependently prevents conditioned place preference (CPP) induced by repeated injection of methamphetamine (METH) in mice. To expand on our observations, the present study was designed to determine the suppressive mechanisms of BV acupuncture in the development of METH-induced CPP by evaluating the changes in expression of ΔFosB, phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (pERK), and phosphorylated calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type II (pCaMKII) in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and nucleus accumbens (NAc) in mice. Pre-emptive treatment with BV at 30 min before repeated METH injection completely suppressed acquisition of CPP at the day 7 test session. METH-induced upregulation of ΔFosB and pERK in PFC and NAc was significantly reduced by BV pretreatment. Expression of pCaMKII was significantly elevated by METH in NAc and reduced in PFC. BV pretreatment reversed the changes of pCaMKII expression in PFC and NAc. These findings suggest that BV acupuncture may exert a suppressive effect on METH-induced addiction via regulation of signaling cascades of ΔFosB, ERK, and CaMKII in PFC and NAc.
In use of a claims database for a study, an inaccurate diagnosis of breast cancer based on claims data may lead to invalid study results. The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of definitions for identifying breast cancer cases from the Japanese claims database. The study cohort consisted of women with no prior cancer-related history, from the claims data at a single institution between January 1 and December 31, 2011. We developed 14 definitions for identifying breast cancer based on claims data, using a combination of diagnosis codes and treatment procedure codes. We calculated the sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value (PPV) of each definition, compared to cases identified from the standardized hospital-based cancer registry as a standard reference. A total of 50056 women were included in the study cohort from the claims database. We identified 633 breast cancer cases from the cancer registry. Of 14 definitions, 12 exhibited higher sensitivity than 90%, while the others exhibited lower sensitivity than 40%. The specificities of all definitions were high (≥99%), and the PPVs were between 65.8 and 90.7%. We selected the most optimal definition obtained from combinations of diagnosis and cancer treatment codes (surgery, chemotherapy, medication, radiation procedure), which had high values for sensitivity (90.4%), specificity (99.8%), and PPV (87.3%). Definitions obtained via combinations of the diagnosis codes and procedure codes could be used to accurately identify breast cancer cases from the claims database. Further studies in a multi-institutional setting are planned to confirm our results.
The aim of this study was to characterize the kinetics of metabolite formation of the phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5) inhibitors sildenafil and tadalafil by CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and CYP3A7 isoforms. The formations of N-desmethyl sildenafil and desmethylene tadalafil were examined using CYP3A supersomes co-expressing human P450 oxidoreductase and cytochrome b5. Both sildenafil N-demethylation and tadalafil demethylenation were catalyzed by CYP3A4, CYP3A5, and to a lesser extent by CYP3A7. The kinetics of desalkyl metabolite formation of the two drugs were well fitted to the Hill equation; however, the Hill coefficients (n) suggested CYP3A-mediated negative cooperativity. Next, we analyzed the kinetics with a two binding sites model assuming two reaction steps: reaction 1 with high-affinity and low-capacity metabolism and reaction 2 with low-affinity and high-capacity metabolism. The kinetics of desalkyl metabolite formation were also fitted to the two binding sites model. The intrinsic clearance (CLint) values of reactions 1 and 2 for sildenafil N-demethylation were 0.733 and 0.033 µL/min/pmol P450 for CYP3A4, 0.788 and 0.019 µL/min/pmol P450 for CYP3A5, and 0.079 and 0.004 µL/min/pmol P450 for CYP3A7, respectively. The CLint values of reactions 1 and 2 for tadalafil demethylenation were 0.187 and 0.014 µL/min/pmol P450 for CYP3A4, 0.050 and <0.001 µL/min/pmol P450 for CYP3A5, and 0.004 and <0.001 µL/min/pmol P450 for CYP3A7, respectively. These results may provide the basis not only for understanding the metabolic properties of the two PDE5 inhibitors, but also for one possible explanation of the mechanisms of CYP3A-mediated negative cooperativity.
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) is popular as a potherb in many areas of Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean region and is widely distributed around the globe. It has a wide range of pharmacological effects, such as antibacterial, anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidative properties. Although the extract of purslane has numerous beneficial pharmacological effects, its effect on osteoclasts remains unknown. We aimed to investigate the anti-osteoclastogenic activity in vitro and in vivo and to elucidate the underlying mechanism. The effect of purslane on the differentiation and function of bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) into osteoclasts was examined using a phenotype assay such as tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) staining, F-actin staining, and pit assay and followed by confirmation by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot analysis. To address the effect of purslane in vivo, the inflammatory, lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced osteolysis mouse model was chosen. Bone volume and bone microarchitecture were evaluated by microcomputed tomography and histologic analysis. Purslane inhibited receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B ligand (RANKL)-stimulated osteoclast differentiation accompanied by inhibition of Akt/glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) signaling, which could underlie purslane-induced downregulation of c-Fos and nuclear factor of activated T cells 1 (NFATc1) expression levels, transcription factors that regulate osteoclast-specific genes, as well as osteoclast fusion and resorption-related molecules. Moreover, in vivo studies further verified the bone protection activity of purslane in the LPS-induced osteolysis animal model. Purslane could exhibit its anti-osteoclastogenic activity by inhibiting Akt/GSK3β-c-Fos-NFATc1 signaling cascades. Therefore, purslane is a potential natural medicine for the treatment of osteoclast-related diseases.
Methods to improve the bioactive component content of cultivated licorice have become the bottleneck of industrial licorice extraction for pharmaceutical use. To evaluate the effects of genotype, environment and their interaction on major bioactive components, we analyzed the five bioactive components: liquiritin (LQ), liquiritigenin (LQG), glycyrrhizin (GL), isoliquiritin (ILQ) and isoliquiritigenin (ILQG) of four diverse licorice varieties grown in four distinct environments in northern China during 2010–11. Analysis of variance showed that environmental and genotypic effects were significant (p<0.01) for all five bioactive components. Additionally, their interaction was significant (p<0.05) for GL in the 2-year study period. LQ and ILQ were mainly affected by genetic factors and have great potential for genetic improvement, whereas LQG and ILQG were mainly affected by environmental factors. GL was similarly affected by environmental and genetic factors. Biplot of the principal component analysis showed that for quality breeding, G2 (WNT-1) and G3 (JX-1) are two relatively preferable genotypes, and E2 (Chifeng) location is suitable for accumulation of the bioactive components of these two genotypes. Stepwise regression analysis showed that sunshine and rainfall are the dominant environmental factors for licorice bioactive component accumulation; increased duration of sunshine is advantageous to GL accumulation whereas declining rainfall is conducive to LQG and ILQG accumulation. These results provide a theoretical basis for initiating licorice breeding programs with increased bioactive components and improved quality.
The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a rapid and effective method to detect Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a leading pathogen causing seafood-borne gastroenteritis. A newly designed loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay including a short enrichment period was optimized. This assay correctly detected all the target strains (n=61) but none of the non-target strains (n=34). Very low numbers of V. parahaemolyticus (2 colony forming unit (CFU) per gram of seafood) could be detected within 3 h and the minimum time of the whole assay was only 5 h. Comparative screening of various seafood samples (n=70) indicated that the LAMP assay is superior to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and conventional culture methods because it is more rapid and less complex. This highly sensitive LAMP assay can be applicable as the method of choice in large-scale and rapid screening of seafood and environmental samples to detect V. parahaemolyticus strains.
The purpose of this practice-based observational study was to examine the effects of long-term treatment with risedronate in patients with an increased fracture risk. Seventy patients (4 men and 66 postmenopausal women; mean age, 68.0 years) with osteoporosis or osteopenia and clinical risk factors for fractures were treated with risedronate at either 2.5 mg/d or 17.5 mg/week for 5 years. The bone mineral density (BMD) of the lumbar spine and proximal femur, and the structural geometric parameters of the proximal femur were evaluated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry with advanced hip assessment software at baseline and after each year of treatment. The lumbar spine BMD rapidly increased during the first year of the treatment and steadily increased throughout the 5-year treatment period. The BMD of the femoral neck and total hip also significantly increased during the first 3 and 2 years of treatment, respectively, then gradually declined and reached the baseline level after 5 years of treatment. The cross-sectional moment of inertia, cross-sectional area, and mean width of the femoral neck region of interest significantly increased during the first 2 years, and these increases were maintained throughout the 5-year treatment period. The femur strength index and section modulus also significantly increased following time courses similar to those of the above three parameters. These results suggest that risedronate produced both a sustained increase in the lumbar spine BMD and improvement in the femoral structural geometric parameters for 5 years of treatment.
IMP-2, a subclass B1 metallo-β-lactamase (MBL), is a Zn(II)-containing hydrolase. This hydrolase, involved in antibiotic resistance, catalyzes the hydrolysis of the C–N bond of the β-lactam ring in β-lactam antibiotics such as benzylpenicillin and imipenem. The crystal structure of IMP-2 MBL from Acinetobacter spp. was determined at 2.3 Å resolution. This structure is analogous to that of subclass B1 MBLs such as IMP-1 and VIM-2. Comparison of the structures of IMP-1 and IMP-2, which have an 85% amino acid identity, suggests that the amino acid substitution at position 68 on a β-strand (β3) (Pro in IMP-1 versus Ser in IMP-2) may be a staple factor affecting the flexibility of loop 1 (comprising residues at positions 60–66; EVNGWGV). In the IMP-1 structure, loop 1 adopts an open, disordered conformation. On the other hand, loop 1 of IMP-2 forms a closed conformation in which the side chain of Trp64, involved in substrate binding, is oriented so as to cover the active site, even though there is an acetate ion in the active site of both IMP-1 and IMP-2. Loop 1 of IMP-2 has a more flexible structure in comparison to IMP-1 due to having a Ser residue instead of the Pro residue at position 68, indicating that this difference in sequence may be a trigger to induce a more flexible conformation in loop 1.
Autophagy has been an emerging field in the treatment of hepatic carcinoma since anticancer therapies were shown to ignite autophagy in vitro and in vivo. Here we report that ginsenoside Rg3 and Rh2, major components of red ginseng, induce apoptotic cell death in a stereoisomer-specific fashion. The 20(S)-forms of Rg3 and Rh2, but not their respective 20(R)-forms, promoted cell death in a dose-dependent manner accompanied by downregulation of Bcl2 and upregulation of Fas, resulting in apoptosis of HepG2 cells with poly ADP ribose polymerase cleavage. The LD50 value [45 µM for Rg3(S), less than 10 µM for Rh2(S)] and gross morphological electron microscopic observation revealed more severe cellular damage in cells treated with Rh2(S) than in those treated with Rg3(S). Both Rg3(S) and Rh2(S) also induced autophagy when undergoing induced apoptosis. Inhibition of autophagy with lysosomotrophic agents significantly potentiated the cellular damage, implying a favorable switch of the cell fate to tumor cell death. Blocking intracellular calcium with 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N′,N′-tetraacetic acid tetrakis(acetoxymethyl ester) (BAPTA-AM) restored the cell death induced by both Rg3(S) and Rh2(S). Our results suggest that the 20(S)-forms of Rg3 and Rh2 in red ginseng possess more potent antitumor activity with autophagy than their 20(R)-forms via calcium-dependent apoptosis.
Cinnamomum cassia is widely employed for gastrointestinal complaints such as dyspepsia, flatulence, diarrhea, and vomiting. Studies report cinnamaldehyde (CM) as a major active constituent of cinnamon. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory mechanism of CM on Helicobacter (H.) pylori-infected gastric epithelial cells in order to validate cinnamon traditional use in gastrointestinal (GI)-related disorders. AGS/MKN-45 cells and H. pylori (193C) were employed for co-culture experiments. Anti-H. pylori cytotoxic and anti-adhesion activity of CM were determined. Enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, real time polymerase chain reaction analysis and immunoblotting were used to measure the effect on interleukin-8 (IL-8) secretion/expression. The effect on activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) was determined by immunoblot analysis. The non-cytotoxic CM (≤125 µM) was also non-bactericidal at the given time, suggesting the effect in H. pylori/cell co-culture system was not due to alteration in H. pylori viability or the toxicity to the cells. Also, CM did not show any anti-adhesion effect against H. pylori/cell co-culture. However, pre-incubation of the cells with CM significantly inhibited the IL-8 secretion/expression from H. pylori-infected cells (p<0.01). In addition, CM suppressed H. pylori-induced NF-κB activation and prevented degradation of inhibitor (I)-κB This study provides evidence that the anti-inflammatory effect of C. cassia on H. pylori-infected gastric cells is due to blockage of the NF-κB pathway by cinnamaldehyde. This agent can be considered as a potential candidate for in vivo and clinical studies against various H. pylori related gastric pathogenic processes.
Scavenger receptors have a broad range of functions that include pathogen clearance, and identification of the scavenger receptor family has been of great benefit to the field of physiology. The shuttling-protein nucleolin has recently been shown to possess scavenger receptor-like activity. We therefore investigated whether or not nucleolin is a receptor for maleylated-bovine serum albumin (maleylated-BSA), which is a common ligand for scavenger receptors. Binding and phagocytosis of native control-BSA by thioglycollate-elicited mouse peritoneal macrophages was weak, but that of maleylated-BSA was strong. Surface plasmon-resonance analysis revealed that nucleolin strongly associated with maleylated-BSA but not control-BSA or maleic anhydride. Further, co-treatment of macrophages with anti-nucleolin antibody, but not control-immunoglobulin G, inhibited binding of maleylated-BSA. In addition, antineoplastic guanine rich oligonucleotide (AGRO), a nucleolin-specific oligonucleotide aptamer, inhibited binding of maleylated-BSA. Further, binding of maleylated-BSA to nucleolin-transfected HEK293 cells was higher than that by control HEK cells. These results indicate that nucleolin is a receptor that enables macrophages to recognize maleylated-BSA.
Berberine, an isoquinoline alkaloid derived from many medicinal plants, has been extensively used to treat various gastrointestinal diseases. In the present study, we investigated whether berberine could ameliorate intestinal mucosal barrier damage induced by peritoneal air exposure for 3 h. Peritoneal air-exposure rats received 100, 150, and 200 mg/kg berberine orally via gavage four times before and after surgery. Blood and terminal ileum samples were collected 24 h after surgery. The serum D-lactate levels were determined using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Intestinal permeability was determined by measuring the intestinal clearance of fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)–dextran (FD4). Intestinal inflammation was assessed by measuring myeloperoxidase activity. Intestinal histopathology was also assessed. The results revealed that berberine decreased the serum D-lactate level, intestinal FD4 clearance, and myeloperoxidase activity. Edema and inflammation were reduced by berberine in the intestinal mucosa and submucosa, and the Chiu’s scores, indices of intestinal mucosal injury, also decreased in the berberine-treated group. In addition, berberine exerted these protective effects in a dose-dependent manner, with a significant difference from the control group at doses of 150 and 200 mg/kg. The results suggest that berberine could ameliorate intestinal mucosal barrier damage induced by peritoneal air exposure, which is linked to its anti-inflammatory activity. Berberine may be a promising treatment for intestinal mucosal barrier damage in open abdominal surgery.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) offer an invaluable tool for biological research and regenerative medicine. We report establishment of rat iPSCs (riPSCs) using a plasmid vector encoding four transcription factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. Although all riPSC clones were generated and cultured under the same conditions, expressed hallmark pluripotency markers and differentiated successfully in vitro, the expression of a keratan sulfate glycan epitope with unique properties defined by R-10G antibody varied in the riPSC clones. In contrast, tumor rejection antigen (TRA)-1-81 epitope expression was comparable. A clone highly reactive to R-10G antibody formed teratomas in vivo consisting of cells from all three germ layers. However, clones expressing a lower level of the epitope defined by R-10G resulted in tumors with rapid growth consisting of undifferentiated cells. Additionally, riPSCs could be successfully differentiated into a neuronal lineage including glutamate neurons that responded to agonist stimulation. These observations demonstrate a glycophenotypic difference that may potentially serve as a useful probe for riPSC evaluation and to study the role of glycans in pluripotency and carcinogenesis in these cells.
Psilocin (3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-1H-indol-4-ol) is a hallucinogenic component of the Mexican mushroom Psilocybe mexicana and a skeletal serotonin (5-HT) analogue. Psilocin is the active metabolite of psilocybin (3-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-1H-indol-4-yl dihydrogen phosphate). In the present study, we examined the effects of systemically administered psilocin on extracellular dopamine and 5-HT concentrations in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), nucleus accumbens, and medial prefrontal cortex of the dopaminergic pathway in awake rats using in vivo microdialysis. Intraperitoneal administration of psilocin (5, 10 mg/kg) significantly increased extracellular dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens. Psilocin did not affect the extracellular 5-HT level in the nucleus accumbens. Conversely, systemic administration of psilocin (10 mg/kg) significantly increased extracellular 5-HT levels in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats, but dopamine was decreased in this region. However, neither extracellular dopamine nor 5-HT levels in the VTA were altered by administration of psilocin. Behaviorally, psilocin significantly increased the number of head twitches. Thus, psilocin affects the dopaminergic system in the nucleus accumbens. In the serotonergic system, psilocin contribute to a crucial effect in the medial prefrontal cortex. The present data suggest that psilocin increased both the extracellular dopamine and 5-HT concentrations in the mesoaccumbens and/or mesocortical pathway.
L-Ornithine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid, abundant in freshwater clams and commercially available as an oral nutritional supplement. L-Ornithine is metabolized by ornithine-δ-aminotransferase. Deficiency of this enzyme causes gyrate atrophy of the choroid and retina, an autosomal recessive hereditary disease characterized by the triad of progressive chorioretinal degeneration, early cataract formation, and type II muscle fiber atrophy, with hyperornithinemia. However, it is unknown whether long-term L-ornithine supplementation affects visual function and retinal histology. The aim of the present study is to determine the effect of long-term supplementation of excess amounts of L-ornithine on visual function and retinal histology in rats. Male Brown Norway rats at six weeks of age were allowed free access to chow containing 4% (w/w) L-ornithine (the high ornithine diet) or that containing 4% (w/w) casein (the control diet) for 49 weeks. The dose of L-ornithine calculated from the food intake was approximately 0.8 g/d/animal, which was 100 times higher than the recommended dose for healthy humans. The amplitude of the a-wave of the scotopic rod-cone electroretinogram and the number of cells in the ganglion cell layer in the L-ornithine-treated group were larger than those in the control group 49 weeks after initiating the test diet. No functional or histological damage to the retina was seen up to 49 weeks after the start of the high-ornithine diet. The present study demonstrated that long-term supplementation of very high doses of L-ornithine for at least 49 weeks did not induce retinal damage.
Novel delivery technology using cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) have recently shown their potential and are emerging as promising candidates for an oral protein and peptide delivery systems. As with for the development of any absorption enhancer that is meant to function across an epithelial layer covering a surface highly exposed to pathogens such as the intestines, concern arises about the safety of such enhancers. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 7 d of consecutive oral administrations of CPPs and a typical enterotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mice to determine the degree, if any, of damage caused to the hepatic tissue. Following the 7-d dosing regimen, we could not detect significantly increased levels of the liver enzymes alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase in plasma of mice treated with CPP and LPS compared to the controls, whereas heightened levels were observed in animals receiving the bile salt. In conclusion, the repeated use of CPPs as an oral absorption enhancer for macromolecules was found to be a safe strategy.
We examined the effects of SEA0400 and CGP-37157 on the plasmalemmal Na+–Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) and mitochondrial NCX using H9c2 cardiomyocytes loaded with Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent probes. The plasmalemmal NCX activity, which was measured as the increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration after application of low Na+ extracellular solution, was inhibited by SEA0400 but not by CGP-37157. The mitochondrial NCX activity, which was measured in permeabilized H9c2 cells as the decrease in mitochondrial Ca2+ concentration after application of Ca2+-free extramitochondrial solution, was inhibited by CGP-37157 but not by SEA0400. These results indicate that SEA0400 and CGP-37157 act as selective inhibitors towards plasmalemmal and mitochondrial NCX, respectively, and provide pharmacological evidence that the plasmalemmal and mitochondrial NCX are distinct molecular entities.
We investigated whether milnacipran, a serotonin–noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor, would have therapeutic effect on oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia in mice. A single intraperitoneal injection of oxaliplatin (3 mg/kg) induced mechanical allodynia, which peaked on day 10 after injection and almost completely subsided by day 20. Ten days post-oxaliplatin injection, the intraperitoneal administration of milnacipran (3–30 mg/kg) significantly and dose-dependently inhibited the established mechanical allodynia. Intrathecal injections of milnacipran (2.1–21 µg/site) also significantly and dose-dependently inhibited mechanical allodynia, but intracisternal and intracereboventricular injections at the same doses did not. The present results suggest that milnacipran is effective against oxaliplatin-induced mechanical allodynia and that the antiallodynic effect is mainly mediated by actions on the spinal cord.