Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
Volume 42 , Issue 5
Showing 1-29 articles out of 29 articles from the selected issue
Review
  • Tsuneo Imanaka
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 649-665
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Peroxisomes are indispensable organelles in mammals including humans. They are involved in the β-oxidation of very long chain fatty acids, and the synthesis of ether phospholipids and bile acids. Pre-peroxisomes bud from endoplasmic reticulum and peroxisomal membrane and matrix proteins are imported to the pre-peroxisomes. Then, matured peroxisomes grow by division. Impairment of the biogenesis and function of peroxisomes results in severe diseases. Since I first undertook peroxisome research in Prof. de Duve’s laboratory at Rockefeller University in 1985, I have continuously studied peroxisomes for more than 30 years, with a particular focus on the ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters. Here, I review the history of peroxisome research, the biogenesis and function of peroxisomes, and peroxisome disease including X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy. The review includes the targeting and function of the ABC transporter subfamily D.

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Communication to the Editor
  • Mengxuan Gao, Ken Orita, Yuji Ikegaya
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 666-670
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorder, are associated with sleep disturbances and deficits in memory consolidation; however, the relationship between these symptoms remains unclear. Here, we focused on hippocampal sharp-wave ripples (SWRs), a form of transient high-frequency oscillations that occur during sleep and behavioral immobility and contribute to memory consolidation. We activated the maternal immune system with polyinosinic–polycytidylic acid (poly(I : C)), one of the major pharmacological models of psychiatric disorders, to investigate whether SWR activity is altered in acute slices of the hippocampus from offspring born to poly(I : C)-treated mouse dams. Using robust continuous clustering in a low dimensional space defined by a uniform manifold approximation and projection, we found that mice with prenatal exposure to poly(I : C) exhibited different feature distributions of SWR waveforms without affecting the overall frequencies of SWR events. Based on our results, maternal immune activation leads to altered SWR patterns in offspring.

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Regular Articles
  • Florencia Musso, Darío Lincor, Andrea Vasconsuelo, Lucía Pronsato, Bel ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 671-679
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Nicotiana glauca is a cosmopolitan shrub, used in medicine to treat swellings, wounds, sores and cancer. However, its users lack of knowledge of the adverse effects. We seek to evaluate the effects of lipid extracts from N. glauca on myoblasts, identifying the compounds which cause undesirable effects. Myoblasts are important in muscle homeostasis, thus a high death rate of them cause myopathies. We performed an ethanolic extraction from leaves of N. glauca and the extract was successively partitioned with hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate. The effects of extracts in C2C12 cells were analysed by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL), Mitotracker and 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining, Western blotting, real-time PCR and immunofluorescence assays. Caspase activity was studied. The fraction with the highest apoptotic effects was analysed by chromatography, NMR and GC-MS spectrometry were used to identify the apoptotic agent, after which its biological activity was evaluated. The extracts from N. glauca induced apoptosis in C2C12 cells involving caspase-3/7. We found that the extracts trigger a defence response in muscle through Akt and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27). We identified an apoptotic agent as palmitic acid. These data suggest that the use of N. glauca in hormone replacement therapy, or in other therapies affects skeletal muscle homeostasis, worsening the negative effects of the menopause. Thus, the relevance of this work lies in the fact that it is the first time that a report about the molecular mechanism responsible for the side effects of medicinal use of N. glauca, has been shown. Moreover the compound responsible for these effects has been identified.

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  • Aya Yoshida, Tatsuya Hirose, Ayaka Kuroda, Machiko Mitsuoka, Yasutaka ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 680-684
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Daiokanzoto (DKT) and lubiprostone (LPS) are drugs used for constipation, but few studies have compared them. This study examined the effectiveness, adverse events, and medical economic efficiency of DKT and LPS for constipation. Patients who received DKT (DKT group) and those who received LPS (LPS group) during admission to Ogaki Municipal Hospital between November 2012 and May 2016 were enrolled. Drug efficacy was evaluated based on the median value of bowel movement frequency over 1 week before and after drug administration, and their safety was evaluated by the presence or absence of diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. To assess medical economic efficiency, drug costs for constipation per week were calculated. The median values (quartile ranges) of bowel movement frequency at 1 week after drug administration were 8.5 (6.0–12.0) in the DKT group and 5 (3.0–7.0) in the LPS group, which was significantly different (p < 0.01). Diarrhea occurred significantly less often in the DKT group (4 cases) than in the LPS group (17 cases) (p < 0.01). The median cost of drugs administered for constipation for 1 week was significantly lower in the DKT group (631 [quartile range, 513–653] yen) than in the LPS group (1431 [1135–2344] yen) (p < 0.01). DKT had a higher immediate effect on constipation and was associated with more frequent bowel movement and fewer adverse events of diarrhea than LPS, suggesting that it may be effective and safe for treating constipation, and DKT is inexpensive.

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  • Xianmin Wang, Ting Wang, Fan Yi, Chunyan Duan, Qiaoling Wanwg, Nana He ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 685-691
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Ursolic acid (UA), a natural pentacyclic triterpenoid, is a promising compound for cancer prevention and therapy. However, its mechanisms of action have not been well elucidated in colorectal cancer cells. Here, using cultured human colon cancer cell lines SW620 and HCT116, this assay demonstrates that UA reduces cell viability, inhibits cell clone formation, and induces caspase-3 mediated apoptosis. Additional experiments show that UA inhibits cell migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), including E-cadherin, Vimentin, Integrin, Twist, and Zeb1 biomakers. These results suggest that UA inhibits cell proliferation, invasion, and metastasis in colorectal cancer cells by affecting mechanisms that regulate EMT. Taken together, the results suggested that the anti-proliferation and anti-metastasis activities of UA was through EMT inhibition in colorectal cancer.

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  • Shu-Qing Feng, Shao-Yun Zong, Jia-Xin Liu, Yang Chen, Rong Xu, Xin Yin ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 692-702
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: March 02, 2019
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    Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-mediated apoptosis pathway is considered to play a vital role in mediating stroke and other cerebrovascular diseases. Previous studies have showed that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonism reduced cerebral ischemic–reperfusion (CI/R) damage, but whether attenuation of ER stress-induced apoptosis is contributing to its mechanisms remains elusive. Our study aimed to investigate the protective effect of VEGF antagonism on CI/R-induced injury. First, oxygen–glucose deprivation and re-oxygenation (OGD/R) BEND3 cell model was constructed to estimate small interfering RNA (siRNA)-VEGF on damage of endothelial cells. Next, in animal model, CI/R mice were induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 2 h followed by 24 h reperfusion to investigate cerebral tissue damage. For treatment group, mice received 100 µg/kg anti-VEGF antibodies at 30 min before MCAO, followed by 24 h reperfusion. Our findings demonstrated that pre-administration of siRNA-VEGF before OGD/R changed the biological characteristics of BEND3 cells, reversed the levels of X-box binding protein-1 (XBP-1) and glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), showing siRNA-VEGF attenuated, at least in part, the oxidative damage in OGD/R cell by down-regulating ER stress. In mice experiment, pre-administration of anti-VEGF antibody reduced the brain infarct volume and edema extent and improved neurological scores outcome of CI/R injury mice. Pathological and terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining results also confirmed this protective effect. The expressions of VEGF, CATT/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), inositol requiring enzyme 1α (IRE-1α), and cleaved-caspase12 and c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) phosphorylation were also prominently decreased. These results suggested that inhibition of endogenous VEGF attenuates CI/R-induced injury via inhibiting ER stress-mediated apoptosis.

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  • Min Jia, Yaping Zhang, Han Zhang, Qiaohong Qin, Cang-Bao Xu
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 703-711
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Cigarette smoke is a well-known strong risk factor for inducing airway hyperreactivity (AHR), but the underlying molecular mechanisms are not fully understood. In the present study, mouse in-vivo and in-vitro models were used to study effects of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO)-extracted cigarette smoke particles (DSP) on the airway, and to explore the underlying molecular mechanisms that are involved in DSP-induced AHR. In mouse in-vivo model, DSP (0.75, 1.5 or 3 µL/mL) was administered intranasally daily for 7 d. At the end of this period, lung functions were measured with flexiVent™. The results showed that the mice exhibited AHR in a dose-dependent manner following methacholine inhalation in vivo. In mouse in-vitro organ culture model, exposure of mouse tracheal segments to DSP (0.1 µL/mL) with or without the following pharmacological inhibitors: specific c-Jun-N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor SP600125 (10 µM) or the anti-inflammatory drug dexamethasone (1 µM). DSP-induced bradykinin receptor-mediated airway contraction with increased mRNA and protein expressions for bradykinin B1 and B2 receptors could be significantly reduced by SP600125 or dexamethasone. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates that DSP could induce AHR in vivo and in vitro. In addition to this, the upregulation of bradykinin receptors in airway is most likely one of the underlying molecular mechanisms involved.

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  • Tomoya Tachi, Yuta Kanematsu, Satoshi Aoyama, Hayato Katsuno, Manami O ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 712-720
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    We conducted a retrospective study to investigate adverse drug reactions and associated medical costs among elderly individuals that could be avoided if pharmacotherapy was performed in accordance with the Beers Criteria: the Japanese Version (BCJV) and Guidelines for Medical Treatment and Its Safety in the Elderly 2015 (GL2015). Patients aged at least 65 years who were either hospitalized at Gifu Municipal Hospital between October 1 and November 30, 2014 (n = 1236) or had outpatient examinations at Gifu Municipal Hospital on October 1–2, 2014 (n = 980) were included in the study. The outcomes measured were usage rates of drugs listed in the BCJV and GL2015, incidence rates of adverse drug reactions, and additional costs incurred per patient due to adverse reactions. Among the inpatients, usage rates of drugs listed in the BCJV and GL2015 were 24.0 and 72.4%, respectively, and adverse reactions to these drugs occurred at rates of 3.0 and 8.2%, respectively. Among the outpatients, while the usage rates were 26.2% (BCJV) and 59.9% (GL2015), the incidence rates of adverse reactions were 4.7% (BCJV) and 3.9% (GL2015). The additional costs incurred due to adverse drug reactions ranged from 12713–163925 yen per patient. Our results demonstrate that appropriate use of drugs based on the BCJV and GL2015 can help prevent adverse reactions; this would reduce the overall medical costs.

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  • Ping Yang, Yuping Zhou, Qing Xia, Lipeng Yao, Xiuchun Chang
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 721-727
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: March 13, 2019
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    Astragaloside IV (AS-IV) is one of the main pharmacologically active compounds found in Astragalus membranaceus. AS-IV has protective effects against ischemia–reperfusion injury (IRI), but its mechanism of action has not yet been determined. This study aims to investigate the effect of AS-IV on IRI and its effect on the phosphadylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt/heme oxygenase (HO-1) signaling pathway through in vitro experiments. Firstly, a cell culture model of myocardiocyte hypoxia–reoxygenation (H/R) injury was replicated. After AS-IV treatment, cell viability, reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels, as well as the content or activity of the cellular factors lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), interleukin 6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), were measured to evaluate the effect of treatment with AS-IV. The effect of AS-IV on HO-1 protein expression and nuclear factor E2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and Bach1 protein expression was determined by Western blotting. Finally, a reversal of the effect of AS-IV treatment was observed following co-incubation with a PI3K inhibitor. Our results show that AS-IV has good protective effect on H/R injury and has anti-oxidative stress and anti-inflammatory effects. It can regulate the expression of Nrf2 and Bach1 proteins in the nucleus and promote the expression of HO-1 protein, while a PI3K inhibitor can partially reverse the above effects. This study suggests that the PI3K/Akt/HO-1 signaling pathway may be a key signaling pathway for the anti-IRI effect of AS-IV.

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  • Yansui Mai, Zheng Niu, Wenda He, Xiaoping Lai, Song Huang, Xiasheng Zh ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 728-735
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Dendrobium officinale protocorms (DOPs) are a specific developmental stage of Dendrobium officinale KIMURA et MIGO, which is used in folk medicine to ease skin issues, such as wrinkles and erythema. The purpose of the current study was to evaluate the effect of DOPs on UV irradiation-induced skin damage in bc_nu hairless mice, using matrixyl as a positive control. Hairless mice were randomly separated into 6 groups (8 mice per group). The normal control group received solvent and was not exposed to UV irradiation, while the model control group received solvent and was exposed to UV irradiation. The positive control group was subjected to UV irradiation and then received a 10 mg/mL formulation of matrixyl. The DOPs-treated groups received a transdermal application of a DOPs formulation after 4 weeks of UV irradiation. Relevant indicators, such as catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px), thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), were then used to evaluate the ability of DOPs to repair photodamage. The results indicated that DOPs significantly reduced erythema and protected the skin from dryness and therefore exhibits a significant anti-photoaging effect. In addition, the expression of CAT, SOD, and GSH-Px increased while TBARS and MMPs levels decreased in DOPs-treated mice. This demonstrated that DOPs can inhibit photodamage in the skin of hairless mice. DOPs could be used as a potential therapeutic agent to protect the skin against UV-induced photoaging.

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  • Keisuke Obara, Serena Suzuki, Hiroko Shibata, Naoki Yoneyama, Shoko Ha ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 736-743
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    β-Adrenoceptors are subclassified into 3 subtypes (β1–β3). Among these, β3-adrenoceptors are present in various types of smooth muscle and are believed to play a role in relaxation responses of these muscles. β3-Adrenoceptors are also present in urinary bladder smooth muscle (UBSM), although their expression varies depending on the animal species. To date, there has been little information available about the endogenous ligand that stimulates β3-adrenoceptors to produce relaxation responses in UBSM. In this study, to determine whether noradrenaline is a ligand of UBSM β3-adrenoceptors, noradrenaline-induced relaxation was analyzed pharmacologically using rat UBSM. We also assessed whether noradrenaline metabolites were ligands in UBSM. In isolated rat urinary bladder tissues, mRNAs for β1-, β2-, and β3-adrenoceptors were detected using RT-PCR. In UBSM preparations contracted with methacholine (3 × 10−5 M), noradrenaline-induced relaxation was not inhibited by the following antagonists: atenolol (10−6 M; selective β1-adrenoceptor antagonist), ICI-118,551 (3 × 10−8 M; selective β2-adrenoceptor antagonist), propranolol (10−7 M; non-selective β-adrenoceptor antagonist), and bupranolol (10−7 M; non-selective β-adrenoceptor antagonist). In the presence of propranolol (10−6 M), noradrenaline-induced relaxation was competitively inhibited by bupranolol (3 × 10−7–3 × 10−6 M) or SR59230A (10−7–10−6 M; selective β3-adrenoceptor antagonist), with their pA2 values calculated to be 6.64 and 7.27, respectively. None of the six noradrenaline metabolites produced significant relaxation of methacholine-contracted UBSM. These findings suggest that noradrenaline, but not its metabolites, is a ligand for β3-adrenoceptors to produce relaxation responses of UBSM in rats.

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  • Xiaolin Deng, Yiye Shao, Yangmei Xie, Yonghao Feng, Men Wu, Ming Wang, ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 744-750
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Increasing evidence supports that the efflux transporters, especially P-glycoprotein (P-gp), have vital roles on drug resistance in epilepsy. Overexpression of P-gp in the brain could reduce the anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) concentration in the epileptogenic zone, resulting in drug resistance. Studies have demonstrated that recurrent seizures induce the expression of P-gp and status epilepticus (SE) could upregulate the expression of P-gp, resulting in drug resistance. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), as endogenous regulators, represent small regulatory RNA molecules that have been shown to act as negative regulators of gene expression in different biological processes. We investigated the impact of miR-146a-5p on the expression of P-gp in status epilepticus rat model. The expression of miR-146a-5p in rat cortex and hippocampus was measured by quantitative RT-PCR at 2 weeks after induction of SE. Meanwhile, we detected the expression of P-gp in the brain of SE rats using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Upregulation of miR-146a-5p and overexpression of P-gp were evident at 2 weeks after SE. Moreover, the expression of P-gp was downregulated by injection of miR-146a mimic into the hippocampus. We also detected the expression of interleukin-1 receptor-associated protein kinases-1 (IRAK1) and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) p65 using Western blotting and immunohistochemistry, which indicated the expression of IRAK1, TRAF6 and NF-κB p-p65/p65 increased in the brain of SE rats, and overexpression of miR-146a-5p could downregulate the expression of IRAK1, TRAF6, NF-κB p-p65/p65 and P-gp. Our study indicated that miR-146a-5p may decrease the expression of P-gp in status epilepticus rats via NF-κB signaling pathway.

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  • Yusuke Sakai, Eriko Murakami, Hideo Kato, Kaname Ohyama, Yukihiro Esak ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 751-757
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    It is important to evaluate the amount of daptomycin (DAP) distributed to skeletal muscles to elucidate the mechanisms related to penetration and side effects, such as myopathies. However, no attempt has been made to measure DAP concentrations in skeletal muscles. The study’s aim to investigate the feasibility of trypsin digestion, as a muscle sample preparation technique for the determination of DAP in murine skeletal muscle, was evaluated in conjunction with a conventional HPLC-UV analysis. Compared with trypsin digestion, DAP was less recovered from spiked skeletal muscle by the conventional extraction, including homogenization, centrifugation, and filtration, because of its incorporation into the muscle protein. On the other hand, a sample preparation technique involving enzymatic digestion employing trypsin fully recovered DAP from the spiked skeletal muscle. Based on the spike recovery assay results, we proposed an efficient muscle sample preparation method involving trypsin digestion. HPLC analysis in conjunction with the sample preparation method has successfully determined DAP concentrations of skeletal muscles collected from mice administrated subcutaneously with DAP. The proposed method is suitable for application to investigations that include animal experiments on drug migration into muscle and mechanism underlying skeletal muscle injury as a side reaction, such as myopathies, of DAP therapy.

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  • Hua Shen, Kaikai Fang, Haifeng Guo, Guojun Wang
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 758-763
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: March 06, 2019
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    MicroRNAs were involved in a wide range of biological processes of diabetic nephropathy (DN). It is reported that miR-15b-5p was downregulated in the patients with DN. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulatory effects of miR-15b-5p on patients with diabetes remain unclear. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the role of miR-15b-5p during high glucose (HG)-induced apoptosis in human kidney cells. Quantitative real-time (qRT)-PCR was used to detect the level of miR-15b-5p. CCK-8 assay, EdU staining assays and flow cytometry were used to detect cell proliferation, apoptosis respectively in vitro. In addition, Western blotting was used to determine active caspase-3, cleaved poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), phosphorylated (p)-AKT, p-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), p-S6, p-c-Jun N terminal kinase (JNK), p-p38 and p-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) proteins levels. The expression of miR-15b-5p in patients with DN were dramatically decreased compared with health persons. Similarly, HG down-regulated the expression of miR-15b-5p in HK-2 cells. In contrast, miR-15b-5p mimics alleviated HG-induced apoptosis in HK-2 cells via decreasing the expressions of active caspase 3 and cleaved PARP. EdU detection further confirmed that miR-15b-5p mimics attenuated the anti-proliferation effect of HG in HK-2 cells. Furthermore, HG-induced Akt/mTOR pathway downregulation and JNK upregulation were markedly reversed by miR-15b-5p mimics in cells. The data suggested that miR-15b-5p mimics protects HK-2 cells from HG-induced apoptosis. The anti-apoptotic effects of miR-15b-5p may due to the activation of the Akt/mTOR pathway as well as inactivation of JNK. Taken together, miR-15b-5p might be a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with DN.

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  • Akari Yoshimura, Mizuho Oikawa, Hitomi Jinbo, Yuri Hasegawa, Takemi En ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 764-769
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Werner helicase-interacting protein 1 (WRNIP1) was originally identified as a protein that interacts with WRN, the product of the gene responsible for Werner syndrome. Our previous studies suggested that WRNIP1 is implicated in translesion synthesis (TLS), a process in which specialized TLS polymerases replace replicative DNA polymerase and take over DNA synthesis on damaged templates. We proposed that a novel error-free pathway involving DNA polymerase δ and primase-polymerase (PrimPol) functions to synthesize DNA on UV-damaged DNA templates in the absence of WRNIP1 and the TLS polymerase Polη. Hence, in the current study, we analyzed the relationship between WRNIP1 and PrimPol. We found that WRNIP1 and PrimPol form a complex in cells. PrimPol protein expression was reduced in cells overexpressing WRNIP1, but was increased in WRNIP1-depleted cells. The WRNIP1-mediated reduction in the amount of PrimPol was suppressed by treatment of the cells with proteasome inhibitors, suggesting that WRNIP1 is involved in the degradation of PrimPol via the proteasome.

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  • Yoshitaka Shirasago, Yoko Inamori, Takeru Suzuki, Isei Tanida, Tetsuro ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 770-777
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Previously, we reported that coffee extract and its constituents, caffeic acid (CA) and p-coumaric acid, inhibit infection by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). In the present report, we identified another coffee-related compound, tannic acid (TA), which also inhibits HCV infection. We systematically evaluated which steps of the viral lifecycle were affected by CA and TA. TA substantially inhibits HCV RNA replication and egression, while CA does not. The infectivity of the HCV pretreated with CA or TA was almost lost. Cellular attachment of HCV particles and their interaction with apolipoprotein E, which is essential for HCV infectivity, were significantly reduced by CA. These results indicate that CA inhibits HCV entry via its direct effect on viral particles and TA inhibits HCV RNA replication and particle egression as well as entry into host cells. Taken together, our findings may provide insights into CA and TA as potential anti-HCV strategies.

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    Editor’s picks

    The article by Shirasago et al demonstrated that the coffee-related compounds caffeic acid and tannic acid act on hepatitis C virus (HCV) particles and abrogate their infectivity. Particularly, the authors demonstrated that caffeic acid significantly reduced cellular attachment of HCV particles and their interaction with host apolipoprotein E, which is essential for HCV infectivity. Intake of coffee or the coffee-related compounds caffeic acid and tannic acid, which are inexpensive and easy to supply, might lead to prevention of HCV infection and slower disease progression after HCV infection.

  • Naomi Iihara, Eri Ohara, Yoshinori Bando, Tomoji Yoshida, Masaki Ohara ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 778-785
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Fragility fractures associated with age-related bone loss are of urgent concern worldwide because they reduce QOL and pose financial burdens for health care services. Currently, national data in Japan are limited. This study provides quantitative data for older patients throughout Japan who, although otherwise relatively healthy, sustained fragility fractures and were hospitalized for them. The National Database of Health Insurance Claims and Specific Health Checkups of Japan was accessed to target patients aged 65 years or older who sustained fractures between May 2013 and September 2014 and were not hospitalized for at least 13 months prior to fracture. We investigated whether the first fracture sustained was fragility related at any of four locations (proximal humerus, distal radius, vertebra, or femoral neck) and whether it necessitated hospitalization. Fragility fractures were identified in 490138 of 1188754 patients (41.2%, 345980 patients/year; 1 : 4 male-to-female ratio). Regardless of gender, vertebral fractures were most common across the age cohorts studied (43286 males and 162767 females/year), and femoral neck fractures increased markedly with increased patient age. Approximately 80% of patients with femoral neck fractures were hospitalized (62.3% of males, 71.1% of females) compared with up to 10.4% of patients with other fragility fractures. Data provided in this study can be used as a baseline for evaluating the health economy and establishing health policy in Japan.

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  • Kenshiro Hirata, Hiroshi Watanabe, Mariko Toyoda, Ryusei Sugimoto, Kom ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 786-791
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    The mechanism responsible for the decreased extra-renal CYP3A activity in chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients remains unknown. Using an animal model, we previously found that elevated levels of serum intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) caused a reduced CYP3A activity. This retrospective observational study assessed the relationship between serum iPTH levels and the blood concentration or dosage of tacrolimus, a CYP3A substrate, after oral administration in kidney transplant patients. Thirty-four patients were enrolled who had kidney transplants between April 2014 and March 2016 and who had been administrated once- daily prolonged-release tacrolimus (Graceptor®, Astellas Pharm Inc.). Among the 34 patients, 22 had taken a CYP3A inhibitor. These patients were excluded from the study. A significant positive correlation between serum iPTH and tacrolimus trough levels was found at 4 d before kidney transplantation in 12 patients who were not receiving potent CYP3A inhibitor. In addition, serum iPTH levels before transplantation could serve as a factor for the dose of tacrolimus up to 1 year after transplantation. Monitoring serum iPTH levels could predict the trough level for the initial administration of tacrolimus, and may serve as an index for the initial dose of tacrolimus in kidney transplantation patients.

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  • Tatsuya Koseki, Naoya Suehiro, Yoshiaki Masuda, Nao Miyoshi, Daisuke M ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 792-800
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is a latent transcription factor that contributes to tumor cell growth and survival and is often constitutively active in several types of cancers, which makes it an attractive target for cancer therapy. We identified 5,5′-(pentane-1,5′-diyl)bis(2-methyl-1,4-benzoquinone) (BPMB) as a new STAT3 inhibitor. BPMB inhibited the transcriptional activities of STAT3, despite its inability to reduce the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of STAT3. BPMB selectively inhibited the proliferation of human breast cancer cell lines with constitutively activated STAT3. Furthermore, a gel retardation pattern was obtained by immunoblotting only when those STAT3-activated cell lines were treated with BPMB. The shifted bands could be immunoblotted with anti-STAT3 antibody but not with anti-STAT1/STAT5 antibody, and were stable under reducing conditions. The purified recombinant STAT3 protein treated with BPMB afforded a similar band shift pattern. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry analysis of the component comprising the main shifted band suggested that the complex is a STAT3 homodimer crosslinked by BPMB through a Michael addition with Cys550 in the linker domain. Alanine replacement at this position resulted in reduction of the STAT3 dimer formation in the gel retardation assay. Thus, our results suggest that BPMB inhibits the proliferation of STAT3-activated cell lines, presumably through acylation of the linker domain and subsequent induction of the inactive STAT3 complexes.

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  • Yukio Suga, Mayako Uchida, Shinya Suzuki, Hideki Sugawara, Kazuhiro To ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 801-806
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Opioid analgesics have greatly contributed to the advancement of pain management. However, although opioids have been appropriately used in Japan, they rarely induce serious adverse events, such as respiratory depression. The present study aimed to investigate the temporal changes in the occurrence of opioid-related adverse events and deaths between 2004 and 2017 in Japan using the Japanese Adverse Drug Event Report (JADER) database. We analyzed the following points using data extracted from JADER website: 1) temporal changes in the number and proportion of opioid-related adverse event reports; 2) temporal changes in the number of morphine-, oxycodone-, and fentanyl-related adverse event reports per annual consumption; and 3) cases in which the reported outcome following opioid-related adverse events was death. Our results showed no dramatic changes in the overall incidence of opioid-related adverse events, despite the temporal changes in the annual consumption and shared component of each opioid during the survey period. However, the number and rate of fentanyl-related adverse events and their outcome “death” increased since 2010, being the highest among all adverse event including those related to morphine and oxycodone. Outcome “death” by fentanyl-related adverse events was caused mainly due to respiratory depression. These findings suggest that, although opioid-related adverse events can be controlled through proper monitoring and management by medical personnel in Japan, extra caution should be continuously paid for the rare but serious fentanyl-induced adverse events.

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  • Yuko Takata, Kyoko Nomura, Kenichi Ishibashi, Koichiro Kido, Yukifumi ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 807-813
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Protein expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) is a useful indicator of maternal condition and the intrauterine environment during pregnancy. Therefore, we investigated protein expression in HUVECs obtained from patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). HUVECs were prepared from the umbilical cords of GDM patients and controls who underwent planned cesarean section between 2013 and 2014 at Teikyo University Hospital (Tokyo, Japan). There were no differences in blood glucose levels between the GDM patients and controls at admission. However, pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) was higher in GDM patients, although the changes in gestational BMI were smaller during hospitalization. To evaluate the state of the endothelium, we examined the protein expression levels of vascular adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), intercellular adhesion molecule-1, thrombomodulin (TM), endothelial nitric oxide synthase, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), and VE-cadherin, which are altered by various factors in endothelial tissue. VCAM-1, PAI-1, and COX-2 expression was higher in HUVECs from patients with GDM than the controls. Because the pre-pregnancy BMI was higher in GDM patients, we examined the relationship between BMI and protein expression. However, the expression levels of these proteins were not correlated with pre-pregnancy BMI and were higher in HUVECs from BMI-matched GDM patients than from BMI-matched controls. Intriguingly, TM expression was also higher in HUVECs from BMI-matched GDM patients. Thus, expression of VCAM-1, PAI-1, COX-2, and TM may reflect certain factors in the intrauterine environment that are altered in hospitalized GDM patients with controlled body weight.

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  • Hiroko Kamata, Sotaro Sadahiro, Takao Yamori
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 814-818
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: February 21, 2019
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    In addition to their major targets, clinically effective drugs may have unknown off-targets. By identifying such off-targets it may be possible to repurpose approved drugs for new indications. We are interested in the Golgi apparatus as a novel target for cancer therapy, but there is a paucity of candidate Golgi-disrupting drugs. Here, we aimed to identify Golgi-disrupting compounds from a panel of 34 approved anticancer drugs by using HBC-4 human breast cancer cells and immunofluorescence microscopy to visualize the Golgi apparatus. The screen identified five drugs having Golgi-disrupting activity. Four of them were vinca alkaloids (vinorelbine, vindesine, vincristine and vinblastine), and the fifth drug was eribulin. This is the first study to demonstrate that vinorelbine, vindesine and eribulin possess Golgi-disrupting activity. The 5 drugs are known to inhibit tubulin polymerization and to induce microtubule depolymerization. Interestingly, a microtubule-stabilizer paclitaxel did not induce Golgi-disruption, suggesting that the three-dimensionally preserved microtubules are partly responsible for maintaining the Golgi complex. Concerning eribulin, a noteworthy drug because of its high clinical efficacy against advanced breast cancer, we further confirmed its Golgi-disrupting activity in 3 different human breast cancer cell lines, BSY-1, MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7. Golgi-disruption may contribute to anticancer efficacy of eribulin. In conclusion, the present study revealed that 4 vinca alkaloids and eribulin possessed potential Golgi-disrupting activity among a panel of 34 approved anticancer drugs. Other drugs covering various molecular-targeted drugs and classical DNA-damaging drugs showed no Golgi-disrupting effect. These results suggest that tubulin polymerization-inhibitors might be promising candidate drugs with Golgi-disrupting activity.

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  • Yuki Hagiwara, Kyohei Higashi, Hiraku Hagita, Tomoya Uehara, Daichi It ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 819-826
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Macrophage mannose receptor (MMR/CD206) is a promising target for the detection and identification of sentinel lymph node (SLN). MMR-targeting probes have been developed using mannosylated dextran, however, impairment of efficient targeting of SLN was often caused because of retention of injection site in which macrophages and dendritic cells exist. In this study, we prepared new MMR-targeting probes from yeast mannan (85 kDa), and its bioditribution was investigated. In-vivo evaluation showed that 11.9% of injected dose of 99mTc-labeled mannan-S-cysteines (99mTc-MSCs) was accumulated in popliteal lymph node (the SLN in this model), however, significant level of radioactivity (approximately 80%) was remained in injection site. Interestingly, 99mTc-labeled low molecular weight mannan-S-cysteine mannan (99mTc-LSC) prepared from 50 and 25 kDa mannan showed a decreased specific accumulation of 99mTc-LSC in the popliteal lymph node, while the radioactivity at the injection site remained unchanged. These results suggest that the molecular size, or nature/shape of the sugar chain is important for the specific accumulation of 99mTc-MSC in popliteal lymph node.

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Notes
  • Keijo Fukushima, Tadanobu Takahashi, Masahiro Takaguchi, Seigo Ito, Ch ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 827-832
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Human parainfluenza virus type 1 (hPIV1) has two spike glycoproteins, the hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein as a receptor-binding protein and the fusion (F) glycoprotein as a membrane-fusion protein. The F glycoprotein mediates both membrane fusion between the virus and cell and membrane fusion between cells, called syncytium formation. Wild-type C35 strain (WT) of hPIV1 shows little syncytium formation of infected cells during virus growth. In the present study, we isolated a variant virus (Vr) from the WT that showed enhanced syncytium formation of infected cells by using our previously established hPIV1 plaque formation assay. Vr formed a larger focus and showed increased virus growth compared with WT. Sequence analysis of the spike glycoprotein genes showed that the Vr had a single amino acid substitution of Ile to Val at position 131 in the fusion peptide region of the F glycoprotein without any substitutions of the HN glycoprotein. The Vr F glycoprotein showed enhanced syncytium formation in F and HN glycoprotein-expressing cells. Additionally, expression of the Vr F glycoprotein increased the focus area of the WT-infected cells. The single amino acid substitution at position 131 in the F glycoprotein of hPIV1 gives hPIV1 abilities to enhance syncytium formation and increase cell-to-cell spread. The present study supports the possibility that hPIV1 acquires increased virus growth in vitro from promotion of direct cell-to-cell transmission by syncytium formation.

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  • Makoto Furutachi, Toshiaki Gondo, Ryuji Ikeda, Naoki Yoshikawa, Tsubas ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 833-836
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Derivatives of C2-symmetrical bivalent phenylboronic acid exhibit several remarkable biological activities such as anti-herpes simplex virus (HSV)-1 and cytotoxic activities against Vero cells and they can reverse the effect of anticancer drugs. Novel symmetrical bivalent molecules were synthesized and their biological activities were evaluated in vitro using a human brain glioma cell line (U251) and a human carcinoma cell line (KB3-1). Among the tested compounds (1ai), bivalent C2-symmetrical phenylboronic acid derivative 1g showed the highest anti-proliferative activity towards both U251 and KB3-1 cells. The values of 50% anti-proliferative activity (IC50) of this compound against the two cell lines (U251 and KB3-1) were 19.0 and 3.78 µM, respectively. The anti-proliferative activity of compound 1g towards KB3-1 cells was higher than that of cisplatin. The bivalent C2-symmetrical compound 1g had a linear methylene linker in the molecule.

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  • Taisuke Matsuo, Shun Daishaku, Yasuyuki Sadzuka
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 837-839
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    In solid tumors, cancer cells are exposed to microenvironment stress, including hypoxia and insufficient nutrients. An acidic microenvironment in tumors is facilitated by the increase in synthesis of lactic acid; this is known as Warburg effect. We previously showed that B16F10 melanoma cells were induced autophagic cell death by glucose-deprivation stress, and lactic acid suppressed the cell death through the inhibition of autophagy. In this study, effects of lactic acid on cell death of B16F10 cells under hypoxic and glucose-depleted double stress conditions were investigated. The double stress promoted autophagic cell death earlier than glucose-depleted stress alone. Lactic acid repressed the double stress-induced cell death by inhibiting autophagy. These results suggest that lactic acid serves for cell survival under microenvironmental stress conditions in B16F10 melanoma cells.

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  • Yusuke Kono, Satoshi Konishi, Takuya Fujita
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 840-844
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    In drug absorption and permeability experiments, an unstirred water layer (UWL) is known to cause differences in the estimated permeability of drugs between in vitro and in vivo experiments. Therefore, it is necessary to develop a new method to allow for accurate measurements of in vitro drug absorption through the reduction of the UWL effect. Previously, we have developed an artificial intestinal tract that mimics the tubular structure of the human intestine and enables study of drug absorption under flow conditions. In order to determine whether our artificial intestinal tract has the potential to reduce the effect of a UWL on drug absorption, the present study evaluated drug absorption in Caco-2 cells using this artificial system. The viability and tight junction structure of Caco-2 cells on the artificial intestinal tract were intact during perfusion. The cumulative amount of the highly lipophilic drugs imipramine and chlorpromazine accumulated in Caco-2 cells cultured on the cell culture plate was 1.5 times higher under mechanical agitation, whereas that of cells on the artificial intestinal tract was 6.5 times higher when internal flow was applied. In addition, the cumulative amounts of 5-aminosalicylic acid and clonidine, drugs with low lipophilicity, accumulated in Caco-2 cells on the artificial intestinal tract were unchanged by internal flow. These results indicate that the artificial intestinal tract enables effective reduction of the UWL thickness at the Caco-2 cell-surface, and allows evaluation of in vitro drug absorption under conditions similar to those found in vivo.

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  • Hirofumi Inoue, Kento Takayama, Chiho Takahara, Norihiko Tabuchi, Nobu ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 845-849
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    It has been suggested that imbalances in gut microbiota are related to diseases associated with metabolism, the central nervous system, etc. Therefore, analysis of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) produced by gut microbiota is very important as an indicator of causation, demonstrating the effects on the host due to changes in the gut microbiota. We developed a HPLC method for the determination of SCFAs in mouse feces. After homogenization, the SCFAs in mouse feces and 2-ethylbutyric acid (internal standard) were derivatized with 2-nitrophenylhydrazine (2-NPH) in the presence of 1-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-3-ethylcarbodiimide. The 2-NPH derivatives of SCFAs and the internal standard were separated on a reversed-phase column (octadecyl silyl column) by gradient elution using phosphoric acid (pH 2.5)–acetonitrile at 50°C and detected by absorbance measurement at 400 nm. The recovery of the method was 90–115%, with a precision (relative standard deviation) of 1.3–7.7%. The determination of SCFAs by the present method can provide useful information for biological and clinical research.

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  • Satoko Shimbara-Matsubayashi, Hiroshi Kuwata, Nobutada Tanaka, Masaru ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 5 Pages 850-855
    Published: May 01, 2019
    Released: May 01, 2019
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    Acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family members (ACSLs) are a family of enzymes that convert long-chain free fatty acids into their acyl-CoAs. ACSL4 is an ACSL isozyme with a strong preference for arachidonic acid (AA) and has been hypothesized to modulate the metabolic fates of AA. There are two ACSL4 splice variants: ACSL4V1, which is the more abundant transcript, and ACSL4V2, which is believed to be restricted to the brain. In the present study, we expressed recombinant human ACSL4V1 and V2 in Spodoptera frugiperda 9 (Sf9) cells using the baculovirus expression system and then partially purified both variants by cobalt affinity column chromatography. We then established a novel ACSL assay system with LC-MS/MS, which is highly sensitive and applicable to various kinds of fatty acids, and used it to investigate the substrate specificity of recombinant human ACSL4V1 and V2. The results showed that both ACSL4 variants preferred various kinds of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs), including docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), adrenic acid (docosatetraenoic acid) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), as well as AA as a substrate. Moreover, our kinetic studies revealed that the two variants had similar relative affinities for AA, EPA and DHA but different reaction rates for each HUFA. These results confirmed the importance of both of ACSL4 variants in the maintenance of membrane phospholipids bearing HUFAs. Structural analysis of these variants might reveal the molecular mechanism by which they maintain membrane phospholipids bearing HUFAs.

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