Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
Volume 40 , Issue 7
Showing 1-24 articles out of 24 articles from the selected issue
Review
  • Takayuki Nakagawa, Shuji Kaneko
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 947-953
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN), characterized by symptoms of paresthesia, dysesthesia, numbness, and pain, is a common adverse effect of several chemotherapeutic agents, including platinum-based agents, taxanes, and vinca alkaloids. However, no effective prevention or treatment strategies exist for CIPN because the mechanisms underpinning this neuropathy are poorly understood. Recent accumulating evidence suggests that some transient receptor potential (TRP) channels functioning as nociceptors in primary sensory neurons are responsible for CIPN. In this review, we focus on the specific roles of redox-sensitive TRP ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), which was first reported to be a cold nociceptor, in acute cold hypersensitivity induced by oxaliplatin, a platinum-based agent, because it induces a peculiar cold-triggered CIPN during or within hours after its infusion. Oxaliplatin-induced rapid-onset cold hypersensitivity is ameliorated by TRPA1 blockade or deficiency in mice. Consistent with this, oxaliplatin enhances the responsiveness of TRPA1 stimulation, but not of TRP melastatin 8 (TRPM8) and TRP vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), in mice and cultured mouse dorsal root ganglion neurons. These responses are mimicked by an oxaliplatin metabolite, oxalate. In human TRPA1 (hTRPA1)-expressing cells, oxaliplatin or oxalate causes TRPA1 sensitization to reactive oxygen species (ROS) by inhibiting prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs). Inhibition of PHD-mediated hydroxylation of a proline residue within the N-terminal ankyrin repeat of hTRPA1 endows TRPA1 with cold sensitivity by its sensing of cold-evoked ROS. This review discusses these findings and summarizes the evidence demonstrating that oxaliplatin-induced acute cold hypersensitivity is caused by TRPA1 sensitization to ROS via PHD inhibition, which enables TRPA1 to convert ROS signaling into cold sensitivity.

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Regular Articles
  • Runfeng Li, Chunguang Yang, Qiuling Du, Xin Zhao, Haiming Jiang, Wenhu ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 954-959
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Influenza A viruses with the presence of mutations in M2 still circulate and threaten to avian species and human in China. A novel M2 inhibitor pinanamine was previously identified as an antiviral agent by an in vitro assay. In this study, we monitored the activity of pinanamine against influenza A/FM1/47 (H1N1) virus infection in cell culture and mice. Pinanamine showed more potent antiviral effect than ribavirin, and was as effective as oseltamivir carboxylate and amantadine in Madin–Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. Pinanamine at dose of 50 mg/kg/d administrated once a day for 6 d starting 24 h prior to virus exposure promoted survival rate of infected mice to 100% (p<0.001) and produced significant reduction (p<0.001) in lung virus yields and lung index. Even lower the dose of 3.1 mg/kg/d, pinanamine was 60% protective (p<0.05), which was equivalent to treatment with amantadine at 50 mg/kg/d. Our finding highlights the potential of pinanamine as a promising lead compound for influenza A virus.

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  • Gaoshu Zheng, Jiejie Cai, Xingxing Chen, Lingzhi Chen, Wenhua Ge, Xi Z ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 960-966
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    There may be cardio–renal interactions in rats of isoproterenol-induced heart failure, which may be associated with renal fibrosis and endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT). Since its discovery, relaxin (RLX) which was regarded as a reproductive hormone for a long time, is recently considered an effective antifibrotic hormone in cardiac and renal fibrosis. We studied whether RLX diminished renal fibrosis in rats of isoproterenol (Iso)-induced heart failure and investigated the mechanism. Fifty male Sprague–Dawley rats were separated into five groups for treatment: control; Iso subcutaneously injection to induce heart failure, which led to renal fibrosis; RLX subcutaneously injection at low, medium and high dose (0.2, 2, 20 µg·kg−1·d−1 for 21 d). Indices of cardiac function and organ fibrosis were examined. Expression and changes in levels of collagen, cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31), α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), and transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) were measured in renal tissues. In rats with heart failure induced by Iso, treatment with RLX significantly ameliorated cardiac function and inhibited cardiac and renal fibrosis. RLX decreased renal collagen types I and III deposition, increased CD31 expression, and decreased the expression of α-SMA and TGF-β, thereby possibly indicating inhibited renal EndMT in kidneys. Iso-induced heart and renal fibrosis was inhibited even greater with high-dose RLX, so the antifibrotic effect of RLX may be dose-related. In conclusion, RLX may ameliorate renal fibrosis in rats of Iso-induced heart failure, and it is infered that prevention of the EndMT may be one of the possible potential signaling pathways.

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  • Hiroshi Arakawa, Hiroki Kamioka, Tomoko Jomura, Satoshi Koyama, Yoko I ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 967-974
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a common reason for withdrawal of candidate drugs from clinical trials, or of approved drugs from the market. DILI may be induced not only by intact parental drugs, but also by metabolites or intermediates, and therefore should be evaluated in the enzyme-induced state. Here, we present a protocol for assay of drug-metabolizing enzyme-inducing potential using three-dimensional (3D) primary cultures of human hepatocytes (hepatocyte spheroids). Hepatocyte spheroids could be used up to 21 d after seeding (pre-culture for 7 d and exposure to inducer for up to 14 d), based on preliminary evaluation of basal activities of CYP subtypes and mRNA expression of the corresponding transcription factor and xenobiotic receptors (aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and pregnane X receptor (PXR)). After 2 d exposure of hepatocyte spheroids to omeprazole, phenobarbital and rifampicin (typical inducers of CYP1A2, 2B6 and 3A4, respectively), CYP1A2, 2B6 and 3A4 mRNA expression levels were significantly increased. The mRNA induction of CYP2B6 remained reasonably stable between days 2 and 14 of exposure to inducers, while induction of both CYP1A2 and 3A4 continued to increase up to day 14. These enzyme activities were all significantly increased compared with the control until day 14. Our findings indicate that our 3D hepatocyte spheroids system would be especially suitable for long-term testing of enzyme activity induction by drugs, either to predict or to verify clinical events.

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  • Masaki Takigawa, Hirofumi Masutomi, Yuki Kishimoto, Yoshitomo Shimazak ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 975-983
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Vancomycin hydrochloride (VCM) is a glycopeptide antibiotic that is commonly used against methicillin-resistant, Gram-positive cocci despite the nephrotoxic side effects. VCM-induced nephrotoxicity has been reported in 5–28% of recipient patients. Therefore, renal failure induced by VCM has become an important clinical problem. However, the exceedingly complex mechanism of VCM-induced nephrotoxicity is not fully understood. Therefore, this study was designed to clarify time-dependent alterations of VCM-induced nephrotoxicity in mice as a step toward decreasing the risks of kidney injury associated with VCM therapy. VCM was injected intraperitoneally into mice at a dose of 400 mg/kg body weight at 24-h intervals for 3, 5, 7, and 14 d. At 24 h after the last injection, we examined histopathological alterations of the kidney as well as blood biochemistry. VCM administration resulted in a decrease of body weight and increase of kidney weight. Histological examination revealed renal damage such as dilated proximal tubules with occasional casts and interstitial fibrosis in VCM-treated mice. Furthermore, immunohistochemical staining with anti-CD10 and anti-single-stranded DNA antibodies highlighted damaged renal proximal tubules with marked dilatation as well as numerous apoptotic cells as early as day 4 of VCM-treatment. The severity of symptoms progressed until day 15. These results suggest that VCM-induced renal damage and incipient renal failure begin soon after the start of treatment and progressively worsen. This is the first report describing the time-dependence of VCM-induced nephrotoxicity in mice and depicting a model that clarifies the mechanisms of this tissue damage.

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  • Chie Moritani, Kayoko Kawakami, Akiko Fujita, Koji Kawakami, Tadashi H ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 984-991
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 06, 2017
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    Glutathione (GSH) is an ubiquitous thiol-containing tripeptide, which plays important roles in cellular protection from oxidative stress. In our search for a dietary source that can increase GSH levels, we discovered that a 24 h treatment of HepG2 cells with rice bran protein hydrolysate (RBPH), prepared by Umamizyme G-catalyzed hydrolysis, increased the GSH content in a dose-dependent manner. RBPH elevated the expression levels of γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS), which constitutes the rate-limiting enzyme of GSH synthesis, and of another two enzymes, hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1) and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (phosphate): quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1). This induction was preceded by the accumulation of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) inside the nucleus, which is a key transcription factor for the expression of the γ-GCS, HO-1, and NQO1. Pre-treatment of cells with RBPH produced a significant protective effect against cytotoxicity caused by H2O2 or ethanol. These results indicate that RBPH exerts a protective effect against oxidative stress by modulating GSH levels and anti-oxidative enzyme expression via the Nrf2 pathway.

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  • Soo Heui Paik, Yong Ha Chi, Joo Han Lee, Hee-Soo Han, Kyung-Tae Lee
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 992-1001
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    The pharmacological profile of fimasartan, [2-n-butyl-5-dimethylamino-thiocarbonyl-methyl-6-methyl-3-{[2-(1H-tetrazole-5-yl)biphenyl-4-yl]methyl}-pyrimidin-4(3H)-one, a new non-peptide angiotensin type 1 (AT1)-selective angiotensin receptor antagonist, has been investigated in a variety of in vitro and in vivo experimental models. In the present study, fimasartan showed slow dissociation and irreversible binding to AT1 subtype receptors in membrane fractions of HEK-293 cells with a Kd of 0.03 nM and a T1/2 of 63.7 min. The inhibitory effect of fimasartan on angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced contraction persisted longer after washout than that of losartan or candesartan. In conscious rats, a single dose of fimasartan (0.3, 1, or 3 mg/kg; per os (p.o.)) dose-dependently antagonized Ang II-induced pressor responses. Both orally administrated fimasartan and losartan dose-dependently decreased mean arterial pressure in furosemide-treated rats and dogs, and fimasartan administered orally at 1, 3, or 10 mg/kg reduced blood pressure in conscious spontaneously hypertensive rats. Taken together, these findings indicate that fimasartan has potent and sustained binding affinity at the AT1 receptor subtype, and reveal the molecular basis responsible for the marked lowering of blood pressure in various conscious rats and dogs models after its oral administration.

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  • Shang-Hsuan Lee, Yusuke Sato, Mamoru Hyodo, Hideyoshi Harashima
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1002-1009
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    In the active targeting of a drug delivery system (DDS), the density of the ligand on the functionalized liposome determines its affinity for binding to the target. To evaluate these densities on the surface of different sized liposomes, 4 liposomes with various diameters (188, 137, 70, 40 nm) were prepared and their surfaces were modified with fluorescently labeled ligand–lipid conjugates by the post-insertion method. Each liposomal mixture was fractionated into a series of fractions using size exclusion chromatography (SEC), and the resulting liposome fractions were precisely analyzed and the surface ligand densities calculated. The data collected using this methodology indicate that the density of the ligand on a particle is greatly dependent on the size of the liposome. This, in turn, indicates that smaller liposomes (75–40 nm) tend to possess higher densities. For developing active targeting systems, size and the density of the ligands are two important and independent factors that can affect the efficiency of a system as it relates to medical use.

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  • Akiko Mikami, Satoko Hori, Hisakazu Ohtani, Yasufumi Sawada
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1010-1020
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    The purpose of the study was to quantitatively estimate and predict drug interactions between terbinafine and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), amitriptyline or nortriptyline, based on in vitro studies. Inhibition of TCA-metabolizing activity by terbinafine was investigated using human liver microsomes. Based on the unbound Ki values obtained in vitro and reported pharmacokinetic parameters, a pharmacokinetic model of drug interaction was fitted to the reported plasma concentration profiles of TCAs administered concomitantly with terbinafine to obtain the drug–drug interaction parameters. Then, the model was used to predict nortriptyline plasma concentration with concomitant administration of terbinafine and changes of area under the curve (AUC) of nortriptyline after cessation of terbinafine. The CYP2D6 inhibitory potency of terbinafine was unaffected by preincubation, so the inhibition seems to be reversible. Terbinafine competitively inhibited amitriptyline or nortriptyline E-10-hydroxylation, with unbound Ki values of 13.7 and 12.4 nM, respectively. Observed plasma concentrations of TCAs administered concomitantly with terbinafine were successfully simulated with the drug interaction model using the in vitro parameters. Model-predicted nortriptyline plasma concentration after concomitant nortriptylene/terbinafine administration for two weeks exceeded the toxic level, and drug interaction was predicted to be prolonged; the AUC of nortriptyline was predicted to be increased by 2.5- or 2.0- and 1.5-fold at 0, 3 and 6 months after cessation of terbinafine, respectively. The developed model enables us to quantitatively predict the prolonged drug interaction between terbinafine and TCAs. The model should be helpful for clinical management of terbinafine-CYP2D6 substrate drug interactions, which are difficult to predict due to their time-dependency.

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  • Chen Xu, Yingjia Yu, Li Ling, Yang Wang, Jundong Zhang, Yan Li, Gengli ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1021-1028
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    A rapid, effective extraction technique has been established for measuring the gallic acid in rat plasma by using sandwich-structured graphene/mesoporous silica composites with C8-modified interior pore-walls as adsorbent. The unique characteristics of the graphene-silica composites excluded large molecules, like proteins, from the mesopore channels as a result of size exclusion effect, leading to a direct extraction of drug molecules from protein-rich biological samples such as plasma without any other pretreatment procedure. Followed by elution and centrifugation, the gallic acid-absorbed composites were rapidly isolated before LC-MS/MS. Serving as a reliable tool for analysis of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Changtai Granule, the newly developed method was fully validated and successfully applied in the pharmacokinetic study of gallic acid in rat plasma. Extraction recovery, matrix effect and stability were satisfactory in rat plasma. According to the results of pharmacokinetic studies, Changtai Granule exhibited greater adsorption, distribution and clearance properties of gallic acid in the treatment of ulcerative colitis. Hence, this study may offer a valuable alternative to simplify and speed up sample preparation, and be useful for clinical studies of related preparations.

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  • Anna Ondrejková, Judit Süli, Jarmila Harvanová, Róbert Ondrejka, Mariá ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1029-1034
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 19, 2017
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    The authors verified the possibility of antioxidative protection of squalene adjuvant emulsions by the antioxidants α-tocopherol and β-carotene. They determined the influence of β-carotene on the stability and antigenic effectiveness of adjuvant emulsion in combination with rabies vaccine. The composition of the adjuvant emulsions or vaccines was: 2.5% squalene; 6% detergents; 0.5% antioxidant; 91% water phase. The oxidative injury after UV-irradiation was followed by the detection of the peroxide value of the emulsions. The stability of the emulsions was evaluated by the determination of the emulsion’s particle size. The level of rabies antibodies (RAB) in mice sera until day 90 after vaccination, was determined by the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test. In the in vitro system of squalene adjuvant, α-tocopherol acted as a prooxidant, while β-carotene effectively reduced the oxidative injury. The homogenization of the squalene adjuvant during a prolonged period from 8 to 10 min did not change the particle size. The oxidation processes were efficiently reduced by β-carotene during the preparation process and also during the 70-d storage. The vaccine with β-carotene induced a gradual increase in the RAB levels with the highest value on day 28. While the inactivated rabies vaccine with adjuvant without β-carotene developed a rapid formation of RAB, the application of the vaccine with β-carotene induced a slower but more uniform production of RAB. The level of RAB was significantly higher after the application of the vaccine with β-carotene and reached the protective value of 0.5 IU/mL, in contrast to the vaccine without β-carotene.

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    Editor’s picks

    The composition of the adjuvant emulsions was 2.5% squalene, 6% detergents, 0.5% antioxidant – α-tocopherol or β-carotene and 91% water phase. Antioxidant effectivity was testing by determination of peroxide value. α-tocopherol acted as a prooxidant, β-carotene was an effective antioxidant. Effectiveness of rabies vaccine with squalene adjuvant was testing on mice. Adjuvanted vaccine with β-carotene was compared to vaccine without antioxidant and induced a slower but prolonged immunity response with protective levels of rabies antibodies (0.5 IU/mL).

  • Lina Xiong, Shinji Yamasaki, Hongsheng Chen, Lei Shi, Ziyao Mo
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1035-1042
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Various studies have been made to attempt to study the interaction between Legionella pneumophila and the host cells. In this research, we successfully constructed a L. pneumophila mutant strain that stably expressed high levels of green fluorescent protein and used this strain to evaluate the adherence, invasion and proliferation of L. pneumophila in association with several cell lines, including seven cell lines [human macrophage-like cell lines (U937, THP-1), murine macrophage-like cell lines (J774.1A, Raw264.7), human bronchial epithelial cell lines (16HBE, Beas-2B) and human cerrical cancer cell line (HeLa)] which have been used as the host models of L. pneumophila, and two breast carcinoma cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231). Our results showed that the two newly tested cell lines are able to support the intracellular proliferation of L. pneumophila, and there were some morphological variations during the invasion and intracellular replication of L. pneumophila in different cell lines. These results can help us find out the common and special patterns of invasion and proliferation of L. pneumophila within different hosts. This is conducive to our knowledge on the relationship and interaction between bacteria and host.

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  • Zhen-yu Tao, Peng Gao, Yu-hui Yan, Hong-yan Li, Jie Song, Jing-xian Ya ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1043-1054
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Neuroendoscopy processes can cause severe traumatic brain injury. Existing therapeutic methods, such as neural stem cell transplantation and osthole have not been proven effective. Therefore, there is an emerging need on the development of new techniques for the treatment of brain injuries. In this study we propose to combine the above stem cell based methods and then evaluate the efficiency and accuracy of the new method. Mice were randomly divided into four groups: group 1 (brain injury alone); group 2 (osthole); group 3 (stem cell transplantation); and group 4 (osthole combined with stem cell transplantation). We carried out water maze task to exam spatial memory. Immunocytochemistry was used to test the inflammatory condition of each group, and the differentiation of stem cells. To evaluate the condition of the damaged blood brain barrier restore, we detect the Evans blue (EB) extravasation across the blood brain barrier. The result shows that osthole and stem cell transplantation combined therapeutic method has a potent effect on improving the spatial memory. This combined method was more effective on inhibiting inflammation and preventing neuronal degeneration than the single treated ones. In addition, there was a distinct decline of EB extravasation in the combined treatment groups, which was not observed in single treatment groups. Most importantly, the combined usage of osthole and stem cell transplantation provide a better treatment for the traumatic brain injury caused by neuroendoscopy. The collective evidence indicates osthole combined with neural stem cell transplantation is superior than either method alone for the treatment of traumatic brain injury caused by neuroendoscopy.

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  • Noriaki Nagai, Yosuke Nakazawa, Yoshimasa Ito, Kazutaka Kanai, Norio O ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1055-1062
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    We designed ophthalmic formulations containing dexamethasone-loaded solid nanoparticles (DEXnano dispersion), and investigated corneal permeability and toxicity. 0.1% dexamethasone (DEX) powder (DEX microparticles), 0.026% methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (MP), 0.014% propyl p-hydroxybenzoate (PP), and 0.5% methylcellulose were used, and the DEXnano dispersion was prepared by the bead mill method. The mean particle size of DEXnano dispersion was 78 nm. Antimicrobial activity of the DEXnano dispersion were measured by using Escherichia coli, and the corneal epithelium-debrided rat model and HCE-T cells (immortalized human corneal epithelial cell line) were used to estimate the corneal toxicity. The transcorneal penetration of the DEXnano dispersion were evaluated in the corneas of rabbit. The DEXnano dispersion was found to be highly stable until 14 d after its preparation. Although DEX itself did not exhibit antimicrobial activity, the DEXnano dispersion containing parabens (MP and PP) showed high antimicrobial activity, approximately equal to that of the solution containing parabens without DEX. The corneal penetration rate (Jc) and mean residence time (MRT) of DEX from the DEXnano dispersion were approximately 5.1- and 1.3-fold higher, respectively, than those of a dispersion containing DEX microparticles (mean particle size, 11.3 µm). In addition, no significant difference was found in corneal stimulation between the vehicle and DEXnano dispersion. In conclusion, we successfully prepared high quality dispersion containing DEX solid nanoparticles, and the nanoparticle-based ophthalmic formulation of DEX enhanced the corneal permeability and residence time of the drug. It is possible that DEXnano dispersion will show increased effectiveness in treating ocular inflammation.

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  • Byung-Hwan Lee, Ho-Kyoung Kim, Minhee Jang, Hyeon-Joong Kim, Sun-Hye C ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1063-1070
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Ginseng extract has been used for prevention of atopic dermatitis (AD) in experimental animal models. However, little is known about its active ingredients and the molecular mechanisms underlying its anti-AD effects. Recently, we isolated a unique lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor ligand, gintonin, from ginseng. Gintonin, the glycolipoprotein fraction of ginseng, contains LPAs, mainly LPA C18 : 2 with other minor lysophospholipid components. A line of evidence showed that serum autotaxin (ATX) activity and level are significantly elevated in human AD patients compared to those in normal controls, which indicates that ATX may be involved in human AD. In a previous study, we demonstrated that gintonin exerted anti-inflammatory effects via inhibition of microglial activation and proinflammatory cytokine production by immune cells and that it strongly inhibited ATX activity. In this study, we investigated whether oral administration of the gintonin-enriched fraction (GEF) could ameliorate the symptoms of 2,4-dinitrofluorobenzene (DNFB)-induced AD in NC/Nga mice. We found that oral administration of GEF to DNFB-induced AD mice for 2 weeks reduced ear swelling and AD skin index. In addition, oral administration of GEF reduced the serum levels of immunoglobulin E, histamine, interleukin-4, and interferon-γ. Histological examination showed that oral administration of GEF attenuated skin inflammation and significantly reduced eosinophil and mast cell infiltration into the skin. Moreover, oral administration of GEF not only decreased serum ATX level but also reduced serum ATX activity. The present study shows that the anti-AD effects of ginseng might be attributed to GEF-induced anti-inflammatory activity and ATX regulation.

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  • Kenshi Ohbori, Makiko Fujiwara, Akihiro Ohishi, Kentaro Nishida, Yoshi ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1071-1077
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    The number of patients with colitis has been increasing year by year. Recently, intestinal inflammation, as one of the factors for its onset, has been demonstrated to be induced by P2X7 receptor-mediated activation of colonic immune cells such as mast cells. Activation of P2X7 receptor (P2X7R) is known to be inhibited by divalent metal cations such as magnesium, but whether or not magnesium administration prevents/relieves colitis is unknown so far. Here, we report that oral (per os (p.o.)) administration of MgCl2 and ingestion of commercially available magnesium-rich mineral hard water relieves dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced colitis in mice. Colitis was induced through ingestion of a 3% (w/v) DSS solution ad libitum for 10 d. Brilliant blue G (BBG, a P2X7R antagonist), MgCl2 or magnesium-rich mineral hard water was administered p.o. to mice via gastric intubation once a day or ad libitum from a day before DSS administration for 11 times or 11 d, respectively. DSS-treated mice exhibited a low disease activity index, a short colon and a high histological score compared to in control mice. As BBG (250 mg/kg, p.o.), administration of a MgCl2 solution (100 or 500 mg/kg, p.o.) and ad libitum ingestion of the magnesium-rich mineral hard water (212 ppm as magnesium) partially, but significantly, attenuated the severity of colitis by decreasing the accumulation of P2X7R-immunopositive mast cells in the colon. Therefore, prophylactic p.o. administration/ingestion of magnesium is considered to be partially effective to protect mice against DSS-induced colitis by inhibiting P2X7R-mediated activation/accumulation of colonic mast cells.

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  • Yuji Mukai, Masayuki Narita, Erika Akiyama, Kanami Ohashi, Yasutaka Ho ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1078-1085
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Fluvastatin, which is one of the hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins), is primarily metabolized by CYP2C9 and to a lesser extent by CYP3A4 and CYP2C8. Predictions of drug-drug interactions (DDI) are important for the safety of combination therapies with statins, in particular drugs that are metabolized by CYP3A4. Little information is available regarding drug interactions with fluvastatin. Since CYP2C9 is a polymorphic enzyme, we investigated the effect of DDI via CYP2C9, CYP3A4, and CYP2C8 on fluvastatin pharmacokinetics by using a validated prediction method in relation to CYP2C9 variants. The predicted increases in the area under the concentration–time curve (AUC) ratios of fluvastatin in carriers with CYP2C9*1/*2, CYP2C9*1/*3, CYP2C9*2/*2, CYP2C9*2/*3, and CYP2C9*3/*3 versus that found in carriers with CYP2C9*1/*1 were 1.16, 1.35, 1.37, 1.65, and 2.06, respectively. Our in silico model predicted that administration of fluvastatin in conjunction with the potent inhibitors that completely inhibited CYP3A4 and CYP2C8 in carriers with the CYP2C9*3/*3 variant would cause a 3.23- and 2.60-fold increase in the AUC ratios, respectively, when compared to that for the carriers with the CYP2C9*1/*1 taking fluvastatin alone. We also predicted the effect of telmisartan when coadministered with fluvastatin. Our prediction results showed that the interaction between telmisartan and fluvastatin via CYP enzymes were negligible in clinical situations.

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  • Mahmoud Kandeel, Abdallah Altaher
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1086-1091
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
    [Advance publication] Released: April 18, 2017
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    Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS CoV) is a recently evolved fatal respiratory disease that poses a concern for a global epidemic. MERS CoV encodes 2 proteases, 3C-like protease (3CLpro) and papain-like protease (PLpro). These proteases share in processing MERS CoV polyproteins at different sites to yield 16 nonstructural proteins. In this work, we provide evidence that MERS CoV 3CLpro and PLpro are subject to different genetic and evolutionary influences that shape the protein sequence, codon usage pattern, and codon usage bias. Compositional bias is present in both proteins due to a preference for AT nucleotides. Thymidine (T) was highly preferred at the third position of codons, preferred and overrepresented codons in PLpro, but was replaced by guanosine (G) in 3CLpro. Compositional constraints were important in PLpro but not in 3CLpro. Directed mutation pressure seems to have a strong influence on 3CLpro codon usage, which is more than 30-fold higher than that in PLpro. Translational selection was evident with PLpro but not with 3CLpro. Both proteins are less immunogenic by showing low CpG frequencies. Correspondence analysis reveals the presence of 3 genetic clusters based on codon usage in PLpro and 3CLpro. Every protein had one common cluster and 2 different clusters. As revealed by correspondence analysis, the number of influences on codon usage are restricted in MERS CoV 3CLpro. In contrast, PLpro is controlled by a broader range of compositional, mutational, and other influences. This may be due to the multifunctional protease, deubiquitination, and innate immunity suppressing profiles of PLpro.

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  • Keisuke Obara, Tsukasa Ogawa, Daisuke Chino, Yoshio Tanaka
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1092-1100
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Distigmine bromide (distigmine), a reversible, long-lasting cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitor, is used for the treatment of underactive bladder in Japan and has been shown to potentiate urinary bladder (UB) contractility. We studied the duration of distigmine’s potentiating effects on acetylcholine (ACh)-induced UB contraction and its inhibitory effects on ChE activity, and compared that with those of other ChE inhibitors (neostigmine, pyridostigmine, and ambenonium). The duration of potentiating/inhibitory effects of ChE inhibitors, including distigmine, on ACh-induced guinea pig UB contraction/ChE activity was evaluated for 12 h following washout. Dissociation rate constants (k) of the inhibitors were also tentatively calculated based on the time courses of their ChE inhibitory effects. The potentiating effect of distigmine (10−6 M) on ACh-induced UB contraction and its inhibitory effect on ChE activity were significantly sustained 12 h after washout. The potentiating effect of other ChE inhibitors on ACh-induced UB contraction, however, was sustained only until 3 h after washout. The ChE inhibitory effects of these inhibitors dissipated in a time-dependent manner after washout, with more than 75% of ChE activity restored by 4 h after washout. The k values of ChE inhibitors approached 0.50 h−1, except for distigmine, where k could not be determined. Compared with that of other ChE inhibitors, the potentiating effect of distigmine on UB contractile function was significantly more sustainable following washout, which was likely associated with its corresponding long-lasting ChE inhibitory effect. Distigmine may associate more strongly with UB ChE than other ChE inhibitors, which would partly explain its sustained effects.

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  • Hyeon-Son Choi, Bong Soo Ko, Hae Dun Kim, Ki-Bae Hong, Hyung Joo Suh
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1101-1110
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    The aim of this study was to investigate the sleep-promoting effect of a Valerian/Hops mixture in fruit flies. The HPLC analysis showed that Valerenic acid (1260.53 µg/g of extract) and Xanthohumol (Cascade: 827.49 µg/g, Hallertau: 763.60 µg/g, Saaz: 186.93 µg/g) were contained in Valerian and Hop, respectively. The sleep patterns of fruit flies on the Valerian/Hops were examined in both baseline and caffeine-treated conditions. Total activities of flies significantly decreased in 20 mg/mL Valerian (74%), 10 mg/mL Cascade (25%), and 5 mg/mL Hallertau (11%) during nighttime or daytime compared with the control. Valerian/Cascade mixture showed longer sleeping time (ca. 20%) than control group. This mixture-mediated effect was partly observed in caffeine-treated flies. Valerian/Cascade mixture upregulated mRNA expressions of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors and serotonin receptor, and GABA receptors were more strongly regulated than serotonin receptor. In competitive GABA receptor binding assay, Valerian/Cascade mixture extract showed a higher binding ability on GABA receptor than Valerenic acid or/and Xanthohumol which are estimated to be active compounds in the extract. This study demonstrates that a Valerian/Cascade mixture extract improves sleep-related behaviors, including sleeping time, by modulating GABAergic/serotonergic signaling.

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Notes
  • Yusuke Watanabe, Yuji Ikegaya
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1111-1115
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Caffeine promotes memory consolidation. Memory consolidation is thought to depend at least in part on hippocampal sharp waves (SWs). In the present study, we investigated the effect of bath-application of caffeine in spontaneously occurring SWs in mouse acute hippocampal slices. Caffeine induced an about 100% increase in the event frequency of SWs at concentrations of 60 and 200 µM. The effect of caffeine was reversible after washout of caffeine and was mimicked by an adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, but not by an A2A receptor antagonist. Caffeine increased SWs even in dentate-CA3 mini-slices without the CA2 regions, in which adenosine A1 receptors are abundantly expressed in the hippocampus. Thus, caffeine facilitates SWs by inhibiting adenosine A1 receptors in the hippocampal CA3 region or the dentate gyrus.

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  • Gyujin Park, Tetsuhiro Horie, Kazuya Fukasawa, Kakeru Ozaki, Yuki Onis ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1116-1120
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    β-Cryptoxanthin, which is primarily obtained from citrus fruits such as Satsuma mandarins, is a major carotenoid routinely found in human serum. Recently, we demonstrated that daily oral intake of β-cryptoxanthin prevented ovariectomy-induced bone loss and ameliorated neuropathic pain in mice. Although β-cryptoxanthin exerts preventive effects on various lifestyle-related diseases, there have been no studies on the effect of β-cryptoxanthin on the development of osteoarthritis, the most common degenerative joint disease, which frequently leads to loss of ability and stiffness in the elderly. Here we showed that daily oral administration of β-cryptoxanthin significantly prevented the development of osteoarthritis developed by surgically inducing knee joint instability in mice in vivo. Furthermore, in vitro experiments revealed that β-cryptoxanthin markedly inhibited the expression of inflammatory cytokines and enzymes critical for the degradation of the extracellular matrix in primary chondrocytes. Our results suggest that oral supplementation of β-cryptoxanthin would be beneficial for the maintenance of joint health and as prophylaxis against osteoarthritis.

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  • Keishi Ishida, Takashi Saiki, Kanae Umeda, Masatsugu Miyara, Seigo San ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1121-1124
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    Tributyltin (TBT), a common environmental contaminant, is widely used as an antifouling agent in paint. We previously reported that exposure of primary cortical neurons to TBT in vitro decreased the α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor subunit glutamate receptor 2 (GluR2) expression and subsequently increased neuronal vulnerability to glutamate. Therefore, to identify whether GluR2 expression also decreases after TBT exposure in vivo, we evaluated the changes in GluR2 expression in the mouse brain after prenatal or postnatal exposure to 10 and 25 ppm TBT through pellet diets. Although the mean feed intake and body weight did not decrease in TBT-exposed mice compared with that in control mice, GluR2 expression in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus decreased after TBT exposure during the prenatal period. These results indicate that a decrease in neuronal GluR2 may be involved in TBT-induced neurotoxicity, especially during the fetal period.

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  • Yuka Sone, Shimpei Uraguchi, Yasukazu Takanezawa, Ryosuke Nakamura, Hi ...
    2017 Volume 40 Issue 7 Pages 1125-1128
    Published: July 01, 2017
    Released: July 01, 2017
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    MerC, encoded by merC in the transposon Tn21 mer operon, is a heavy metal transporter with potential applications for phytoremediation of heavy metals such as mercuric ion and cadmium. In this study, we demonstrate that MerC also acts as a transporter for methylmercury. When MerC was expressed in Escherichia coli XL1-Blue, cells became hypersensitive to CH3Hg(I) and the uptake of CH3Hg(I) by these cells was higher than that by cells of the isogenic strain. Moreover, transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing bacterial MerC or MerC fused to plant soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNAREs) accumulated CH3Hg(I) effectively and their growth was comparable to the wild-type plants. These results demonstrate that when the bacterium-derived merC gene is ectopically introduced in genetically modified plants, MerC expression in the transgenic plants promotes the transport and sequestration of methylmercury. Thus, our results show that the expression of merC in Arabidopsis results in transgenic plants that could be used for the phytoremediation and elimination of toxic methylmercury from the environment.

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