Exosomes, in a broad sense extracellular vesicles (EVs), are secreted from several cells and also exist in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF); they contribute to signal transduction not only between neural cells but also among hematopoietic cells. In addition to the peripheral nervous system, the association of regeneration and EVs has also been reported in the central nervous system, for example, following a spinal cord injury. Furthermore, it has become clear that major causative factors of neurodegenerative diseases are transmitted by EVs; thus, EVs are involved in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, we would like to outline the relationship between neurophysiology and neurological disorders centered on EV-mediated communication between neural and glial cells.
Voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are classified into high-voltage-activated (HVA) channels and low-voltage-activated channels consisting of Cav3.1–3.3, known as T (“transient”)-type VGCC. There is evidence that certain types of HVA channels are involved in neurogenic inflammation and inflammatory pain, in agreement with reports indicating the therapeutic effectiveness of gabapentinoids, ligands for the α2δ subunit of HVA, in treating not only neuropathic, but also inflammatory, pain. Among the Cav3 family members, Cav3.2 is abundantly expressed in the primary afferents, regulating both neuronal excitability at the peripheral terminals and spontaneous neurotransmitter release at the spinal terminals. The function and expression of Cav3.2 are modulated by a variety of inflammatory mediators including prostanoids and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), a gasotransmitter. The increased activity of Cav3.2 by H2S participates in colonic, bladder and pancreatic pain, and regulates visceral inflammation. Together, VGCCs are involved in inflammation and inflammatory pain, and Cav3.2 T-type VGCC is especially a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of visceral inflammatory pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome, interstitial cystitis/bladder pain syndrome, pancreatitis, etc., in addition to neuropathic pain.
Brown and beige adipocytes are a major site of mammalian non-shivering thermogenesis and energy dissipation. Obesity is caused by an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure and has become a worldwide health problem. Therefore modulation of thermogenesis in brown and beige adipocytes could be an important application for body weight control and obesity prevention. Over the last few decades, the involvement of thermo-sensitive transient receptor potential (TRP) channels (including TRPV1, TRPV2, TRPV3, TRPV4, TRPM4, TRPM8, TRPC5, and TRPA1) in energy metabolism and adipogenesis in adipocytes has been extensively explored. In this review, we summarize the expression, function, and pathological/physiological contributions of these TRP channels and discuss their potential as future therapeutic targets for preventing and combating human obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders.
Articular chondrocytes are embedded in the cartilage of diarthrodial joints and responsible for the synthesis and secretion of extracellular matrix. The extracellular matrix mainly contains collagens and proteoglycans, and covers the articular cartilage to protect from mechanical and biochemical stresses. In mammalian chondrocytes, various types of ion channels have been identified: e.g., voltage-dependent K+ channels, Ca2+-activated K+ channels, ATP-sensitive K+ channels, two-pore domain K+ channels, voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels, store-operated Ca2+ channels, epithelial Na+ channels, acid-sensing ion channels, transient receptor potential channels, and mechanosensitive channels. These channels play important roles for the regulation of resting membrane potential, Ca2+ signaling, pH sensing, mechanotransduction, and cell proliferation in articular chondrocytes. In addition to these cation channels, Cl− channels are known to be expressed in mammalian chondrocytes: e.g., voltage-dependent Cl− channels, cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator channels, swelling-activated Cl− channels, and Ca2+-activated Cl− channels. Although these chondrocyte Cl− channels are thought to contribute to the regulation of resting membrane potential, Ca2+ signaling, cell volume, cell survival, and endochondral bone formation, the physiological functions have not been fully clarified. Osteoarthritis (OA) is caused by the degradation of articular cartilage, resulting in inflammation and pain in the joints. Therefore the pathophysiological roles of Cl− channels in OA chondrocytes are of considerable interest. Elucidating the physiological and pathological functions of chondrocyte Cl− channels will provide us a more comprehensive understanding of chondrocyte functions and may suggest novel molecular targets of drug development for OA.
Central nervous system (CNS) inflammation is a potential therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases. In recent years, a number of studies have focused on the links between neurodegenerative diseases and CNS glial cells, especially microglia. Microglia are the main resident immune cells in the CNS and represent approximately 10–15% of all CNS cells. Microglia play an important role in maintaining brain homeostasis at rest by surveying the environment, and engulfing apoptotic cells and debris in the healthy brain. However, under certain pathological conditions, microglia can generate neurotoxic factors, such as pro-inflammatory cytokines and molecules like nitric oxide (NO), which lead to CNS inflammatory diseases. In this review, we discuss the evidence that regulation of microglial ion channels may modulate CNS inflammation and subsequent tissue damage in neurological disorders. In particular, we discuss the role of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels in microglia in both acute and chronic inflammatory conditions, and describe the physiological and pathophysiological roles of TRP channels in CNS inflammatory pathways. Additionally, we describe the benefits of stimulation/inhibition of TRP channels in animal models of microglia-related CNS inflammatory diseases.
In lymphoid and myeloid cells, membrane hyperpolarization by the opening of K+ channels increases the activity of Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ (CRAC) channels and transient receptor potential (TRP) Ca2+ channels. The intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 plays an important role in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and cytokine production in innate and adaptive immune systems. KCa3.1 is therefore an attractive therapeutic target for allergic, inflammatory, and autoimmune disorders. In the past several years, studies have provided new insights into 1) KCa3.1 pharmacology and its auxiliary regulators; 2) post-transcriptional and proteasomal regulation of KCa3.1; 3) KCa3.1 as a regulator of immune cell migration, cytokine production, and phenotypic polarization; 4) the role of KCa3.1 in the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of Smad2/3; and 5) KCa3.1 as a therapeutic target for cancer immunotherapy. In this review, we have assembled a comprehensive overview of current research on the physiological and pathophysiological significance of KCa3.1 in the immune system.
Mast cell and testosterone interactions involved in renal fibrosis in rats subjected to unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) were investigated. Orchiectomized (ORX) and nonorchiectomized Wistar rats were subjected to UUO, and a nonorchiectomized group was sham-operated (control: SO). Animals from the UUO group were treated with saline or sodium cromoglycate (CG). Some ORX rats from the saline or CG groups also received testosterone propionate replacement (TR). Kidneys and blood were collected 14 d after UUO or SO. Kidney sections were stained with toluidine blue to quantify mast cells, and picrosirius red was used for collagen analysis. Immunohistochemistry for α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression was also performed. Plasma testosterone levels (PTLs) were measured. ORX decreased and TR normalized PTLs. UUO increased mast cell density in the kidney pelvis, but not in the kidney parenchyma. UUO increased mast cell degranulation, and CG or ORX inhibited this effect. TR partially reversed the effect of ORX on mast cell degranulation, and CG partially inhibited that effect of TR. UUO increased the collagen areas of the renal parenchyma, whereas CG or ORX abolished that alteration; TR reversed the effects of ORX, and CG partially inhibited that effect of TR. UUO increased tubulointerstitial α-SMA expression and PCNA-positive cells, and these changes were sensitive to ORX or CG to the same degree, while TR again reversed the effect of ORX. Renal fibrosis after UUO appears to be determined by interactions between testosterone and mast cells.
Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have increased blood levels of phenyl sulfate (PS), a circulating uremic toxin. In this study, we produced anti-PS monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) and characterized their cross-reactivity to structural PS analogs. To induce PS-specific mAbs, we synthesized 4-mercaptophenyl sulfate with a sulfhydryl group at the para-position of PS and conjugated it to carrier proteins via bifunctional linkers. Using these PS conjugates as immunogens and as antigens for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) screening, we produced by a hybridoma method two novel mAbs (YK33.1 and YKS19.2) that react with PS conjugates independent of carrier and linker structures. Although all of the PS analogs tested, with the exception of indoxyl sulfate, were cross-reactive to both mAbs in phosphate buffered saline (PBS), PS specificity for YKS19.2 was enhanced in human plasma and serum. YKS19.2 mAb was cross-reactive only with o-cresyl sulfate, which is absent in human blood. PS sensitivity for YKS19.2 mAb increased to an IC50 of 10.4 µg/mL when 0.1% Tween 20 was added in a primary competitive reaction. To explore potential clinical applications, we determined concentrations of PS in serum samples from 19 CKD patients by inhibition ELISA using YKS19.2 mAb and compared them to those found using an LC-MS/MS method. A good correlation was observed between each value (R2=0.825). Therefore, the unique antigen specificity of YKS19.2 mAb could be useful for prescreening of patients with accumulated PS or for comprehensive analysis of uremic toxins that have a PS-like structure.
Cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) is a frequently encountered clinical condition when the dysfunction of either the heart or kidneys amplifies the failure progression of the other organ. CRS remains a major global health problem. Qiliqiangxin (QLQX) is a traditional Chinese herbs medication, which can improve cardiac function, urine volume, and subjective symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure. In the present study, we aim to investigate the role of QLQX in the treatment of CRS type I and the possible mechanism through establishment of a rat model of myocardial infarction. Rats in CRS-Q group were orally treated with QLQX daily for 2 weeks or 4 weeks, while in sham group and CRS-C group were treated with saline at the same time. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) analysis showed that QLQX significantly reduced the levels of angiotensin II (AngII), brain natriuretic peptides (BNP), creatinine (CRE), cystatin C (CysC), tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, microalbuminuria (MAU), and neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL) in plasma induced by myocardial infarction. Western blot analysis showed that QLQX significantly reduced the expressions of AngII, non-phagocytic cell oxidase (NOX)2, and B-cell lymphoma (Bcl)2 associated X protein (Bax), and increased the expressions of Bcl2 and Angiotensin II Type 1 receptor (ATR) in the kidney as compared with the CRS-C group. Fluorescence microscopy showed that the content of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was significantly reduced in the kidney as compared with the CRS-C group. We also examined the apoptosis level in kidney by using terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining, and the result showed that QLQX significantly reduced the apoptosis level in kidney induced by myocardial infarction. Taken together, we suggest that QLQX may be a potentially effective drug for the treatment of CRS by regulating inflammatory/oxidative stress signaling.
Lysosomes are organelles that play a crucial role in the degradation of endocytosed molecules, phagocytosed macromolecules and autophagic substrates. The membrane of lysosomes contains several highly glycosylated membrane proteins, and lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP)-1 and LAMP-2 account for a major portion of the lysosomal membrane glycoproteins. Although it is well known that LAMP-2 deficiency causes Danon disease, which is characterized by cardiomyopathy, myopathy and mental retardation, the roles of lysosomal membrane proteins including LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 in myogenesis are not fully understood. In this study, to understand the role of LAMP proteins in the course of differentiation of myoblasts into myotubes, we used C2C12 myoblasts and found that the protein and mRNA levels of LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 were increased in the course of differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts into myotubes. Then, we investigated the effects of LAMP-1 or LAMP-2 knockdown on C2C12 myotube formation, and found that LAMP-1 or LAMP-2 depletion impaired the differentiation of C2C12 myoblasts and reduced the diameter of C2C12 myotubes. LAMP-2 knockdown more severely impaired C2C12 myotube formation compared with LAMP-1 knockdown, and knockdown of LAMP-1 did not exacerbate the suppressive effects of LAMP-2 knockdown on C2C12 myotube formation. In addition, knockdown of LAMP-1 or LAMP-2 decreased the expression levels of myogenic regulatory factors, MyoD and myogenin. These results demonstrate that both LAMP-1 and LAMP-2 are involved in C2C12 myotube formation and LAMP-2 may contribute dominantly to it.
Temozolomide (TMZ) is currently the first-line drug used for clinical postoperative or non-surgical chemotherapy for glioma, but acquired and intrinsic resistance to TMZ limits its application. The anti-proliferative effect of formononetin on human glioma cells had been confirmed. To improve therapeutic effects of TMZ, we studied the effect of formononetin in combination with TMZ on C6 glioma cells. The anti-proliferative effect of C6 cells was tested by 3-4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. The synergy was evaluated by Chou–Talalay method. Morphological changes were observed by hematoxylin–eosin (HE) staining. The effect of formononetin in combination with TMZ on apoptosis of C6 cells was investigated by flow cytometry. The effect of formononetin in combination with TMZ on migration of cells was investigated by wound healing assay and transwell assay. The expression of proteins related to apoptosis and migration were detected by Western blot. These results showed that formononetin or TMZ alone could inhibit the growth of C6 cells in dose-dependent manner and formononetin in combination with TMZ had synergy effect on C6 cells. Further changes in cell morphology could be observed in drug combination by HE staining. Drug combination enhanced the expression of Bax, Cleaved Caspase-3, Cleaved Caspase-9, decreased the expression of Bcl-2, and promoted tumor cells apoptosis. In addition, the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) were down-regulated via drug combination which resulted into inhibiting migration of C6 cell. In conclusion, formononetin in combination with TMZ can play a synergistic role in anti-C6 cells, the mechanisms of synergy depended on multiple pathways.
Both lipid accumulation and oxidative stress are major pathologic contributors to the development of hepatic steatosis. Treatment with molybdate reduces hepatic levels of lipids in diabetic rats. Potential activities of molybdate as an antioxidant have also been demonstrated in various animal models. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of sodium molybdate dihydrate (SM) on hepatic steatosis and associated disturbances in a widely used mouse model of the metabolic disease. Male C57Bl/6 mice at 10 weeks of age were fed a diet deficient in methionine and choline (MCD) and bottled water containing SM for four weeks. The SM treatment markedly attenuated MCD-induced accumulation of lipids, mainly triglycerides, in the liver. Lipid catabolic autophagic pathways were activated by SM in the MCD-fed mouse livers, as evidenced by a decreased level of p62 expression. MCD-induced oxidative damage, such as lipid and protein oxidation, was also alleviated by SM in the liver. However, the level of MCD-induced hepatocellular damage was not affected by SM. Taken together, these findings suggest that molybdate can be used in the treatment and prevention of hepatic steatosis without inducing adverse effects in the liver. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first experimental study to investigate the effects of molybdate in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and also the first that demonstrates molybdate-induced autophagy.
To explore the role of the abnormal expression of the bile salt export pump (BSEP) and multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2) in isoniazid (INH)-induced liver injury, we assessed the liver injury induced by INH in rats and HepG2 cells in vitro. The regulatory pathways via Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and farnesoid X receptor (FXR) were also determined. Rat liver injury was assessed by histopathological and biochemical analysis and HepG2 cytotoxicity was assessed by a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) test. The levels of protein were determined by Western blot. The results indicated that INH could induce hepatotoxicity in vivo and in vitro in a dose dependent manner. The liver index and serum biochemical analysis, especially the levels of total bile acids (TBA), total bilirubin (TBIL), and direct bilirubin (DBIL), were significantly increased in rats. The INH hepatotoxicity was severe in the high dose group, and occurred alongside the down-regulation of BSEP and MRP2 in vivo and in vitro, leading to the accumulation of toxic substrates in the hepatocytes. The SIRT1/FXR pathway was identified as being important for the down-regulation of transporters. In summary, our study indicated that the down-regulation of BSEP and MRP2 represents one mechanism of INH-induced liver injury and the down-regulation of SIRT1/FXR may be a key regulator. This will inform the development of novel therapies and enable the prevention of INH-induced liver injury.
The natural aporphine alkaloids including crebanine (CN), O-methylbulbocapnine (OMP), and dicentrine (DC), and protoberberine alkaloids, tetrahydropalmatine (THP) and N-methyl tetrahydropalmatine (NTHP), have been found in Stephania venosa. Previous reports demonstrated CN and THP exhibited anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, we investigated anti-inflammatory effect of CN analogs including OMP, DC, THP, and NTHP in RAW264.7 macrophages. The pre-treatment of macrophages with CN, OMP and DC suppressed lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators including interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha, prostaglandin E2 and nitric oxide, in which the rank-order of inhibitory potency was DC>CN≥OMP. Whereas, high dose THP (30–40 µg/mL) reduced LPS-induced IL-6 production in RAW264.7 cells but NTHP did not effect. Moreover, CN, OMP and DC inhibited the LPS-induced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and cyclooxygenase-2. OMP and DC inhibited LPS-induced nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation by suppressing the phosphorylation of NF-κB at Ser536, but not the nucleus translocation and inhibitor of kappaB (IκB)-α degradation. In addition, OMP and DC also reduced the phosphorylation and nucleus translocation of activator protein-1 (AP-1). Furthermore, OMP and DC suppressed the LPS-activated myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) signaling pathway, which were the upstream signaling regulators of AP-1 and NF-κB. Collectively, OMP and DC have an anti-inflammatory effect on RAW264.7 macrophages by the suppression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators. The inhibitory property of OMP and DC is mediated by blockage the activation of MyD88, MAPKs, Akt, NF-κB and AP-1 signaling molecules.
The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of dibenzoylmethane (DBM) on monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation, the inflammatory response, and the resulting signaling in human monocytes and murine macrophage. DBM effectively inhibited the monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation induced by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) through a reduction in adhesion of THP-1 cells. Cluster of differentiation molecule β (CD11β) and CD36, which are surface markers of macrophage differentiation, were downregulated by 80 and 74%, respectively. DBM also significantly inhibited lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitrite (NO) production through the downregulation of inducible oxide synthase (iNOS) in RAW264.7 cells. The abundance of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), a pro-inflammatory protein, was also effectively decreased by DBM in a dose-dependent manner. DBM (50 µM) reduced the levels of COX-2 and iNOS by 81 and 78%, respectively. DBM significantly inhibited the translocation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), an inflammatory transcription factor, into the nucleus. DBM-mediated increase of NF-κB translocation resulted from the DBM-induced suppression of the phosphorylation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha (IκBα). In contrast, DBM effectively increased the expression of nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and its target protein, hemeoxygenase-1 (HO-1). Nrf2 translocation into the nucleus was also significantly enhanced by DBM. Furthermore, DBM effectively inhibited the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β), IL-6, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). These results indicated that the DBM-mediated differential regulation of NF-κB and Nrf2, which are major transcription factors involved in inflammation, inhibited the expression of inflammatory cytokines.
microRNA-22 (miR-22) is a brain-enriched regulatory gene which has been reported to be involved in the development of cancers. The Notch signaling pathway exerts important functions in cell growth. This study is designed to investigate the mechanisms of miR-22-Notch signaling pathway in apoptosis and autophagy of human ovarian cancer cells. After over-expressing miR-22 in human ovarian cancer cell lines OVCAR-3 and SKOV3, cell viability is determined by 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT) method, cell apoptosis is observed by Flow cytometry (FCM), mRNA expression of miR-22 is measured by RNA preparation and RT-PCR, protein expression of Notch1, Hes1, Beclin1 and LC3B-II is analyzed by Western blot. It is suggested that miR-22 expression is heavily decreased in human ovarian cancer cell lines OVCAR-3 and SKOV3. Over-expression of miR-22 potently suppresses cell viability and authophagy while promotes the percentage of apoptotic cancer cells. In addition, the decreased expression level of Notch1 and its targeted gene is detected in miR-22-over-expressed cells. Moreover, followed by the block of the Notch signaling pathway using Notch1 small interference RNA (siRNA), the effects of miR-22 on the apoptosis and autophagy of human ovarian cancer cell lines OVCAR-3 and SKOV3 are obviously blocked. Together, miR-22 inhibits apoptosis and promotes autophagy of human ovarian cancer cells through the suppression of the Notch signaling pathway, indicating a potential use of miR-22 in the ovarian cancer treatment.
Celastrol is well known for its anti-cancer effects, yet its specific mechanisms against colon cancer are still not fully elucidated. In this study, cytotoxic effect of celastrol against HCT116 colon cancer cells was investigated based on cell viability assay and flow cytometry assay, and the possible mechanism was explored using a strategy combining metabolic profiling and targeted metabolite analysis based on ultra performance liquid chromatography (UPLC)/MS. Celastrol was found to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells and induce apoptosis. Metabolomics analysis revealed characteristic changes in metabolic profiles of the colon cancer cells, revealing altered levels of amino acids, carnitine, and lipid markers. Most interestingly, with the assistance of targeted metabolite analysis, tryptophan (Trp) level was significantly increased whereas kynurenine (Kyn) level was decreased in colon cancer cells after celastrol treatment, together with markedly declined Kyn/Trp ratios. Western blot analysis revealed that expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), the enzyme catalyzing Trp to generate Kyn, was dramatically inhibited in colon cancer cells after celastrol treatment, with a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that suppression of IDO expression and tryptophan catabolism may be part of the mechanisms of celastrol in its cytotoxic effect against HCT116 colon cancer cells. This study provided scientific basis for further development of celastrol on treating colon cancer.
Porcine placental extract (PPE) is used as a nonprescription drug for analeptics and in health foods and cosmetics in Japan, Korea and China. It was reported that PPE has anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory activities; however, the mechanisms and the responsible molecules involved in these activities are still unclear. Here, we investigated how enzymatically prepared PPE affects proinflammatory factors such as interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α in a cultured macrophage cell line, RAW264.7, when co-stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Enhanced production of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α by LPS was significantly reduced by the addition of PPE and these effects were dose dependent. Nitric oxide (NO) production induced in cultured macrophages by LPS was also inhibited by PPE. Real-time PCR after the reverse transcription of total RNAs isolated from cells treated with PPE revealed that the mRNA expressions of IL-1β, IL-6, TNFα, and NO synthase (NOS)-2 were reduced. The necessary concentration of PPE prepared by enzymatic digestion to mediate anti-inflammatory effects compared with the reported value of that extracted by phosphate buffered saline without digestion was proportional to the amount of extracted materials from the same amount of placenta (about 10-fold). This suggests that the molecules responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity exists in the placenta and can be extracted by phosphate buffered saline, and thus might survive enzymatic digestion.
Chrysanthemum zawadskii var. latilobum (CZ) has been used as a traditional medicine in Asian countries for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. Recently, CZ extract was shown to inhibit differentiation of osteoclasts and provide protection against rheumatoid arthritis. The aim of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanisms of BST106, the ethanol extract of CZ, for cartilage protection in monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced osteoarthritis (OA), particularly focusing on apoptosis and autophagy. BST106 (50, 100, and 200 mg/kg) was orally administered once daily to MIA-induced OA rats. Swelling, limping, roentgenography, and histomorphological changes were assessed 28 d after MIA injection. Biochemical parameters for matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), apoptosis, and autophagy were also assessed. BST106 ameliorated the severity of swelling and limping after MIA injection. Roentgenographic and histomorphological examinations revealed that BST106 reduced MIA-induced cartilage damage. BST106 decreased MIA-induced increases in MMP-2 and MMP-13 mRNA levels. Increased levels of serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and glycosaminoglycan release were attenuated by BST106. Furthermore, BST106 suppressed the protein expression of proapoptotic molecules and increased the protein expression of autophagosome- and autolysosome-related molecules. These findings indicate that BST106 protects against OA-induced cartilage damage by inhibition of the apoptotic pathway and restoration of impaired autophagic flux.
The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of romaine lettuce leaves extract (RE), skullcap root extract (SE) and their mixture on sleep behaviors in vertebrate models. HPLC analysis showed that RE contains lactucopicrin (0.02±0.01 mg/g extract), chlorogenic acid (4.05±0.03 mg/g extract), caffeic acid (2.38±0.03 mg/g extract), and chicoric acid (7.02±0.32 mg/g extract) as main phenolic compounds, while SE includes baicalin (99.4±0.5 mg/g extract), baicalein (8.28±0.21 mg/g extract), and wogonin (3.09±0.32 mg/g extract). The mixture of RE (100 mg/g extract) and SE (40 mg/g extract) increased total sleep time by 50.9% compared with the control in pentobarbital-induced sleep model. In electroencephalography (EEG) analysis, RE/SE mixture significantly increased Non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM), in which delta wave was enhanced by around 40% compared with normal control, leading to the increase of sleep time. In caffeine-induced wake model, RE/SE mixture greatly decreased (53%) caffeine-induced wake time, showing a similar level to normal control. In addition, caffeine-induced decreased of NREM and delta wave effectively increased with RE/SE mixture; NREM and delta wave increased by 85% and 108%, respectively. Furthermore, RE/SE mixture was shown to bind to a gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA)-benzodiazepine (BZD) receptor stronger than RE or SE single extract. Taken together, RE/SE mixture effectively improved sleep behavior with the increase of NREM via GABAA-BZD receptor binding. RE/SE mixture can be used as an herbal agent for sleep disorders.
Species of the Citrus genus are known as rich sources of phenolic compounds. Peels of Citrus tachibana and Citrus unshiu are used in herbal formulations, sometimes in similar ways. In this study, we examined the effects of plant maturity and genetic background on the total phenolic contents and quantities of specific flavonoids in C. tachibana peel. In addition, we compared these values in C. tachibana and C. unshiu peels. The total phenolic contents and the contents of nobiletin, tangeretin, and hesperidin were higher in the extracts of the immature peel than in those of the mature peels of C. tachibana; moreover, the quantities of these compounds were also influenced by the genetic background of C. tachibana. In the extracts of C. unshiu peel, the contents of total phenolics, nobiletin, and tangeretin were lower than those of C. tachibana peel. However, the hesperidin content was higher in extracts of C. unshiu peel than those of C. tachibana peel. This study evaluated the phenolic and flavonoid contents of C. tachibana and C. unshiu in an effort to provide new insights into herbal medicines for further study and utilization.
Fungal β-glucan is a potent immunological stimulator, and that it activates both the innate immune system and adaptive immunity. Curdlan is (1→3)-β-glucan, a linear form of β-glucan with a high molecular weight; it modulates the immune response. However, its role in bone tissue is controversial, and the effects of curdlan on bone tissues are unknown. Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play critical roles in innate immunity, and various ligands for TLRs are thought to regulate the host defense mechanisms against pathogens. TLR2 is known to form heterodimers with TLR6, and the TLR2-TLR6 heterodimer (TLR2/6) recognizes diacylated lipopeptides from Gram-positive bacteria. In the present study, we prepared low molecular-weight curdlan, (1→3)-β-D-glucan, and examined its effects on bone resorption induced by TLR2/6 signaling. In co-cultures of bone marrow cells and osteoblasts, low molecular-weight curdlan suppressed the osteoclast formation induced by TLR2/6 ligand, and attenuated bone resorption in mouse calvarial organ cultures. Curdlan acted on mouse osteoblasts and suppressed the expression of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) ligand (RANKL), a key molecule for osteoclastogenesis. Curdlan also acted on mouse bone marrow macrophages and suppressed RANKL-dependent osteoclast differentiation from osteoclast precursor cells. The present study indicates that low molecular-weight curdlan attenuated TLR2-induced inflammatory bone resorption. Curdlan, (1→3)-β-glucan may be a natural agent with beneficial effects on bone health in humans.
Clozapine, an atypical antipsychotic agent, has been reported to cause acute hyperglycemia. However, the mechanism of clozapine-induced rapidly developing hyperglycemia is not well elucidated. To clarify the mechanism underlying clozapine-induced acute hyperglycemia, we investigated the effects of single intravenous administration of clozapine on the serum concentrations of glucose and several endogenous substances in rats. Male Wistar rats received an intravenous injection of saline (control) or clozapine 2.5, 5, 10 mg/kg. Blood samples were obtained periodically after clozapine administration to determine the serum concentrations of glucose, adrenaline, glucagon, insulin, corticosterone, and clozapine. The serum concentrations of glucose, adrenaline, and glucagon increased dose-dependently after the administration of clozapine at 2.5–10 mg/kg, and reached maxima at 5 mg/kg of clozapine. The serum concentration of corticosterone increased after the administration of clozapine, but no significant variation was observed with the dosage of clozapine. The concentration of serum insulin increased in a dose-dependent manner after clozapine administration. In conclusion, a single administration of clozapine increased the serum concentration of glucose in rats, and adrenaline and/or glucagon would be associated with clozapine-induced acute hyperglycemia.
Systems for delivering nucleic acids are now fundamental technologies for realizing personalized medicine. Among the various nucleic acid delivery systems that are currently available, lipid-nanoparticles (LNPs) that contain short interfering RNA (siRNA) have been extensively investigated for clinical applications. LNPs are generally prepared by an alcohol dilution method. In this method, it is necessary to remove the alcohol and then concentrate the LNP sample before they can be used. In this study, we report on the development of an “alcohol dilution–lyophilization method” for preparing siRNA-encapsulating LNPs. This method involves the use of a freeze-drying (lyophilization) method to remove the residual alcohol and to simultaneously concentrate the preparation. At first, the compositions of cryoprotectants and polyethylene glycol (PEG)-lipids that were used were optimized from the point of view of particle stabilization. A combination of sucrose and 1-(monomethoxy polyethyleneglycol5000)-2,3-dimyristoylglycerol (DMG-PEG5000) was found to have the most efficient cryoprotective activity for the LNPs. The knockdown efficiency of the LNP prepared by the alcohol dilution–lyophilization method was comparable to that of an LNP prepared by the conventional ultrafiltration method.
In our recent study, we reported that kurarinone, one of the most abundant flavonoids found in the dry root of Sophora flavescens (Kushen), is a potent activator of the large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BKCa) channel. Herein, we isolated and characterized other flavonoid components from Kushen. Among the 13 compounds tested, six flavonoids were found to activate the BKCa channel, three of which, 7,4′-dihydroxy-5-methoxy-8-(γ,γ-dimethylallyl)-flavanone, kuraridin, and kuraridinol, are new activators of the BKCa channel.
Monolaurin is a natural compound that has been known for its broad antimicrobial activities. We evaluate the antifungal activity of monolaurin against Candida albicans biofilms in vivo using a novel bioluminescent model to longitudinally monitor oral fungal infection. Oral fungal infection in vivo was performed using bioluminescent engineered C. albicans (SKCa23-ActgLUC) biofilms on Balb/c mice. The antifungal activity of monolaurin was determined by comparing three groups of mice (n=5/group): monolaurin, vehicle control, and positive control (nystatin). All mice were immunosuppressed with cortisone acetate and oral topical treatments were applied for 5 d. In vivo imaging system (IVIS) imaging was used to monitor the progression of infection over a 5-d period. Total photon flux and ex vivo microbiological analysis of the excised tongues were used to determine the overall fungal burden. Oral topical treatments of monolaurin have resulted in a significant decrease (p<0.05) in the total photon flux over 4 and 5 d post-infection in comparison to the vehicle control group. Furthermore, monolaurin treated group had a significant decrease in colony formation unit of tongue tissue compared to the vehicle control. Our findings support monolaurin as a promising antifungal compound in vivo, which may translate to its future use in the treatment of oral candidiasis.
Cannabis sativa L. is cultivated worldwide for a variety of purposes, but its cultivation and possession are regulated by law in many countries, necessitating accurate detection methods. We previously reported a DNA-based C. sativa identification method using the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay. Although the LAMP technique can be used for on-site detection, our previous protocol took about 90 min from sampling to detection. In this study, we report an on-site protocol that can be completed in 30 min for C. sativa identification based on a modified LAMP system. Under optimal conditions, the LAMP reaction started at approximately 10 min and was completed within 20 min at 63°C. It had high sensitivity (10 pg of purified DNA). Its specificity for C. sativa was confirmed by examining 20 strains of C. sativa and 50 other species samples. With a simple DNA extraction method, the entire procedure from DNA extraction to detection required only 30 min. Using the protocol, we were able to identify C. sativa from various plant parts, such as the leaf, stem, root, seed, and resin derived from C. sativa extracts. As the entire procedure was completed using a single portable device and the results could be evaluated by visual detection, the protocol could be used for on-site detection and is expected to contribute to the regulation of C. sativa.
In our research program to find novel agents for alopecia from natural plant resources, we screened Euphorbiaceae plant extracts using an anti-5α-reductase assay. Among the samples tested, the extract of Phyllanthus urinaria showed the most potent activity with 24.3 and 64.6% inhibition at 50 and 200 µg/mL against the enzyme, respectively. The extract also suppressed the androgen activity of dihydrotestosterone in LNCaP cell line. These results show that the extract of P. urinaria may be a multi-potent agent for androgen-derived alopecia. We tested for activity on a hair regrowth model using mice. The extract of P. urinaria showed hair regrowth activity at 5 mg/mouse/d administration. Furthermore, the active principle for anti-5α-reductase activity was determined as stigmasterol glucoside from activity-guided fractionation and the IC50 was 27.2 µM. These results suggest that extract of P. urinaria may be a promising candidate anti-alopecia agent.