Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
Volume 42 , Issue 9
Showing 1-24 articles out of 24 articles from the selected issue
Review
  • Hiroshi Watanabe, Yuki Enoki, Toru Maruyama
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1437-1445
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Chronic kidney disease (CKD), a chronic catabolic condition, is characterized by muscle wasting and decreased muscle endurance. Many insights into the molecular mechanisms of muscle wasting in CKD have been obtained. A persistent imbalance between protein degradation and synthesis in muscle causes muscle wasting. During muscle wasting, high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inflammatory cytokines are detected in muscle. These increased ROS and inflammatory cytokine levels induce the expression of myostatin. The myostatin binding to its receptor activin A receptor type IIB stimulates the expression of atrogenes such as atrogin-1 and muscle ring factor 1, members of the muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase family. Impaired mitochondrial function also contributes to reducing muscle endurance. The increased protein-bound uremic toxin, parathyroid hormone, glucocorticoid, and angiotensin II levels that are observed in CKD all have a negative effect on muscle mass and endurance. Among the protein-bound uremic toxins, indoxyl sulfate, an indole-containing compound has the potential to induce muscle atrophy by stimulating ROS-mediated myostatin and atrogenes expression. Indoxyl sulfate also impairs mitochondrial function. Some potential therapeutic approaches based on the muscle wasting mechanisms in CKD are currently in the testing stages.

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Communications to the Editor
  • Nobuhiko Taguchi, Minoru Yuriguchi, Takuya Ando, Ryosuke Kitai, Hitomi ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1446-1449
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    During the process of skin regeneration following a skin injury, de novo hair follicle regeneration is initiated after wounding; however, these regenerated hairs are mostly unpigmented. The activation of epidermal melanocyte stem cells and their differentiation into regenerating hair follicles have been shown to be necessary for the pigmented hair regeneration after wounding. To determine the role of flavonoids in the regeneration of pigmented hairs, we applied the candidate flavonoids to the regenerating hair follicles after wounding and identified the flavonoid species that maximally induced pigmented hair regeneration. Flavonoids with two OH groups in the B-ring, such as sterubin, luteolin, and hydroxygenkwanin, showed promising effects in regenerating black pigmented hairs, while those with one OH group in the B-ring showed no significant change. Thus, flavonoids with two OH groups in their B-ring could be studied further as potential wound healing agents with the ability to regenerate pigmented hair.

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  • Yiping Zhu, Liangrui Zhong, Jianzhong Peng, Qiang Yuan, Aie Xu
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1450-1455
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: June 19, 2019
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    Vitiligo is a commom disease of skin. Its pathogenesis is complex, resulting in the incapacity to find a targeted cure. Baicalin, which is isolated from Scutellariae radix, has been known to exhibit a number of pharmacological effects on autoimmune diseases. In this study, we explored the effects of Baicalin on the recovery of vitiligo stimulated by monophenylketone in mice. We observed that Baicalin slowed down the progression of depigmentation, decreased the incidence of depigmentation, and reduced the area of depigmentation. Moreover, reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) shown that Baicalin increased the epidermal melanocytes in depigmented skin. Baicalin decreased CD8 + T cell infiltration in mice skin, and decreased the expression of CXCL10 and CXCR3. Baicalin significantly decreased the levels of serum cytokine (interleukin [IL]-6, tumor necrosis factor [TNF]-α, interferon-γ [IFN-γ], and IL-13). Collectively, these data suggest that Baicalin play an important role in the occurrence and development of vitiligo.

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Regular Articles
  • Yasuhiro Takenouchi, Kazuhito Tsuboi, Kenji Ohsuka, Koji Nobe, Kazuo O ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1456-1463
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    α-Lipoic acid (ALA) is used as a dietary supplement and known as an anti-oxidant. The present study aimed to examine whether ALA improves endothelial dysfunction in high-fat diet-fed obese mice. After feeding a high-fat diet to Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) mice for 4 weeks, the mice were maintained with a high-fat diet (group HF) or a high-fat diet containing ALA (25 mg/d, group HF + ALA) for an additional 20 weeks. Age-matched normal diet-fed mice were also used (group Normal). Chronic oral treatment with ALA did not affect various plasma parameters or body weights. As compared with the aortas of Normal mice, those from HF mice showed impaired endothelium-dependent relaxation in response to clonidine. However, such an impairment was not observed in the aortas from HF + ALA mice. The plasma levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, an indicator of oxidative stress, were significantly decreased in HF + ALA mice compared with HF mice, confirming the anti-oxidative effects of ALA. In addition, when the impaired clonidine-induced vasorelaxation of aortas from normal mice under high glucose conditions was used as a model of acute oxidative stress, the vasorelaxation responses were improved in the presence of ALA at 100 µM. Our results suggested that the chronic oral administration of ALA improves endothelial dysfunction in high-fat diet-fed obese mice possibly through the reduction in oxidative stress in vivo.

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  • Xiaoping Hu, Wanli Jiang, Zhiwei Wang, Luocheng Li, Zhipeng Hu
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1464-1470
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: July 02, 2019
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    Aortic dissection (AD) diseases are characterized by degeneration of the aortic media. Oxidative stress plays a crucial role in the development of AD. Reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase 1 (NOX1) deficiency reduces the incidence of aortic dissection induced by angiotensin II, but its mechanism remains to be further elucidated. The expression of Fibulin-5 is decreased in patients with AD, but its upstream mechanism is still unclear. This study was to clarify the relationship between NOX1 and Fibulin-5 in the AD. Results showed that the expressions of NOX1 and Fibulin-5 were increased and decreased in the AD, respectively. Next, by employing gain- and loss-of-function approaches in vitro, NOX1 negatively regulated Fibulin-5 in the vascular smooth muscle cells. Moreover, the blunted activity of NOX1 with VAS2870 could upregulate the expression of Fibulin-5. These findings indicate NOX1 is a negative modulator of Fibulin-5 in the AD.

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  • Deokho Kim, Quan Feng Liu, Ha Jin Jeong, Seung-Hee Han, Dong-il Kim, S ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1471-1481
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Sutaehwan (STH) has been used in Korean medicine for the treatment of abortus habitualis such as fetal restlessness in the uterus. Previously, we reported that a modified formulation of STH, Sutaehwan-Gami, has phytoestrogen-like properties in an ovariectomized menopausal rat model. However, the therapeutic effects of STH and the precise mechanisms by which STH affects various menopausal symptoms remain poorly understood. The current study was designed to explore the effects of a modified form of STH on menopausal anxiety, depression and heart hypertrophy and its mechanisms in 4-vinylcyclohexene diepoxide (VCD)-induced menopausal mouse models. VCD-induced menopausal model mice were fed a modified form of STH, which contained water extract of 3 herbs (called STH_KP17001) at a dose of 100 or 300 mg/kg/d or as a positive control, estradiol at a dose of 0.2 mg/kg/d with standard mouse pellets for 13 weeks. The results show that STH_KP17001 significantly restored the VCD-induced weight reduction of uterine and ovary through the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and protein kinase B (AKT) in the uterus and ovary. Moreover, STH_KP17001 showed slight proliferative effects and estrogen receptor α phosphorylation in MCF-7 cells. Treatment with STH_KP17001 reversed VCD-induced anxiety and depression through AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activation and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the cerebral cortex, while improving heart hypertrophy through inactivation of inhibitor of kappaB α (IκBα) in the heart. The results indicate that STH_KP17001 improves menopause-induced anxiety, depression and heart hypertrophy, implying its protective role for the management of menopausal symptoms.

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  • Xiaoying Yu, Xindi Zhang, Hua Jin, Zhiwei Wu, Chunlu Yan, Zhijun Liu, ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1482-1490
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Zhengganxifeng decoction (ZGXFD) is a traditional Chinese medicinal formula, from “Medical Zhong parameter West recorded” by Xichun Zhang, which has been applied to the treatment of clinical essential hypertension. Besides its effect in blood pressure reduction, ZGXFD is also known to be a radical therapy with little or no side effects. Compared with western medicines, Chinese medicinal formulas have the advantage of simultaneously attacking multiple targets. However, such a property brings trouble to the pharmacological studies of Chinese medicines. This study investigated the composition of gut microbiota in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) treated with ZGXFD. ZGXFD was shown to cause similar effects in the treatment group as benazepril: both were able to reduce in SHR the microbial diversity, Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes (F/B) ratio and coccus to bacillus (C/B) ratio. Meanwhile, ZGXFD can maintain the integrity of intestinal mechanistic barrier and elevate the percentage of bacteria producing short chain fatty acids (SCFA). By investigating renin–angiotensin system (RAS) system, we found that ZGXFD can decrease the expression of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) in lungs, which in turn causes a increase in AngI produces angiotensin1–7 (Ang1–7) and decrease in AngII. ZGXFD regulate blood pressure in SHR via RAS.

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  • Dan-Hong Wei, Jiu-Ling Deng, Rong-Zhen Shi, Li Ma, Jia-Man Shen, Rober ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1491-1499
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: June 14, 2019
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    Endothelial cell injury and apoptosis induced by oxidative stress serve important roles in many vascular diseases. The repair of endothelial cell vascular injury relies on the function of local endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). Our previous study indicated that epimedin C, a major flavonoid derived from Herba epimedii (yin yang huo), could promote vascularization by inducing endothelial-like differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells C3H/10T1/2 both in vivo and in vitro. In view of the significant cardiovascular protective effects of Herba epimedii, we detected a protective effect of epimedin C on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced peroxidation injury in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and the role of EPC in this process. The results show that epimedin C increased the expression of the stem cell marker, CD34 and PROM1, and subsequently enhanced the expression and function of vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 in local vascular endothelial cells. In conclusion, epimedin C protects H2O2-induced peroxidation injury by enhancing the function of endothelial progenitor HUVEC populations.

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  • Xu Deng, Jiexia Sheng, Hua Liu, Nannan Wang, Cuoji Dai, Zhenguo Wang, ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1500-1509
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Cinobufagin isolated from traditional Chinese herbs has antitumour, anaesthetic, analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Recently, the antitumour activity of cinobufagin has attracted increasing attention from researchers. However, the anticancer activity of this drug on esophageal cancer cells and the precise mechanism are unclear. In this study, we determined the inhibitory effect of cinobufagin on the growth of three esophageal squamous cell carcinoma cell lines and explored its underlying mechanism. EC-109, Kyse-150, and Kyse-520 cells were treated with different concentrations of cinobufagin. The results of the Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK-8) and clone formation assays showed that cinobufagin significantly reduced cell proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Also, flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 staining indicated that the inhibition of growth induced by cinobufagin was mediated by G2/M cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In addition, the expression of proteins related to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis was assessed by real-time quantitative (q)RT-PCR and Western blot. The results showed that cinobufagin caused G2/M arrest via upregulation of p21 and Wee1 and downregulation of cyclin B1 and Cdc2 at the mRNA and protein levels and induced apoptosis via upregulation of cleaved caspase-3, Puma and Noxa expression and an increased Bax/Bcl-2 ratio. Other data further showed that cinobufagin increased p73 expression and decreased Mdm2 expression, whereas p53 expression was not significantly changed. Taken together, these results suggest that growth inhibition of cinobufagin in esophageal cancer cells might act through the p73 pathway and its downstream molecules.

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  • Mari Suto, Hirofumi Masutomi, Katsuyuki Ishihara, Hitoshi Masaki
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1510-1516
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    The ability of dermal fibroblasts to synthesize collagen decreases with ages. The integrity of collagen fibers severely decreases in aged skin, causing its characteristic morphological changes such as wrinkles and sagging. To prevent and improve skin aging, the stimulation of collagen synthesis in dermal fibroblasts is important. Potato peels contain many biofunctional compounds, but not much is known about their effects on human skin physiology. To characterize the potential effects of a potato peel extract (PPE) against skin aging, we examined its effects on the synthesis of type I collagen by normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs). Treatment with the PPE significantly increased the expression of type I collagen mRNA in NHDFs and their secretion of type I collagen. To elucidate the mechanism involved, we examined the signaling pathway controlled by transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), which regulates the synthesis of type I collagen. Treatment of NHDFs with the PPE significantly increased the expression of TGF-β receptor mRNA. TGF-β signaling involves Smad-dependent and Smad-independent pathways, like phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/Akt and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). The PPE did not activate Smad, but significantly activated Akt and ERK. These results demonstrate that the PPE activates PI3K/Akt and MAPK/ERK signals via TGF-β receptors, which stimulate the synthesis of type I collagen in NHDFs. These results suggest that the PPE could be a novel and effective antiaging material.

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  • Zhongpu Chen, Xiaodong Pan, Zulong Sheng, Gaoliang Yan, Long Chen, Gen ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1517-1523
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: June 14, 2019
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    Atherosclerosis (AS) is a chronic inflammatory disease threatening human health, and vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) are involved in AS processes. Baicalin is a flavonoid compound, which has anti-atherosclerotic effect. The aim of our study was to explore the molecular mechanism of baicalin on AS. The expression of miR-126-5p was measured in peripheral blood of AS patients and healthy control. We found miR-126-5p expression was decreased in AS. Then, high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) was verified as a target of miR-126-5p and its expression was increased in AS. Similarly, miR-126-5p and HMGB1 expression was downregulated and upregulated in oxidized low-density lipoprotein treated VSMCs (ox-LDL-VSMCs), respectively. Furthermore, baicalin upregulated miR-126-5p and downregulated HMGB1 expression. Functionally, baicalin significantly inhibited ox-LDL-VSMCs proliferation and migration, and miR-126-5p targets HMGB1 to enhance the inhibition induced by baicalin. Taken together, baicalin is able to prevent AS, which suppressed the proliferation and migration of ox-LDL-VSMCs through upregulating miR-126-5p by targeting HMGB1. These findings suggested that baicalin is an effective drug to alleviate AS, and miR-126-5p is a novel therapeutic target for AS.

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  • Ki Mo Kim, A-Rang Im, Se Kyu Park, Hyoung Seok Shin, Sung-wook Chae
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1524-1531
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: July 02, 2019
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    UVB radiation changes several photoaging pathway in the body, thereby prompting skin injury. Besides, chronic UVB radiation leads to photoaging, sustained immunosuppression, and photocarcinogenesis. We investigated the protective effect of Timosaponin AIII (TA-III), a naturally occurring steroidal saponin separated from Anemarrhena asphodeloides, against UVB-induced invasive properties of human epidermal keratinocytes (HEKs) and human dermal fibroblasts (HDF). No cytotoxicity was observed up to 50 nM concentration of TA-III. Similarly, TA-III inhibited UVB-induced cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) transcription level and protein expression in a dose-dependent manner at non-cytotoxic dose. Further, TA-III decreased UVB-induced invasion in primary skin cells. Additionally, TA-III suppressed UVB-stimulates mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, activator protein-1 (AP-1) and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation, thereby preventing the overexpression of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and COX-2 in human epidermal keratinocytes cells. Furthermore, TA-III prevented UVB-mediated formation of 8-oxo-7,8-dihydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) and activation of DNA repair enzymes and, cell cycle arrest genes like as proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), structural maintenance of chromosomes protein 1 (SMC1). This results support that understanding into the molecular action of TA-III, which can be useful for developing photoprotective agents.

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  • Toshihide Kimura, Mami Yamaoka, Takeshi Terabayashi, Kozo Kaibuchi, To ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1532-1537
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is controlled by both exocytosis and endocytosis in pancreatic β-cells. Although endocytosis is a fundamental step to maintain cellular responses to the secretagogue, the molecular mechanism of endocytosis remains poorly defined. We have previously shown that in response to high concentrations of glucose, guanosine 5′-diphosphate (GDP)-bound Rab27a is recruited to the plasma membrane where IQ motif-containing guanosine 5′-triphosphatase (GTPase)-activating protein 1 (IQGAP1) is expressed, and that complex formation promotes endocytosis of secretory membranes after insulin secretion. In the present study, the regulatory mechanisms of dissociation of the complex were investigated. Phosphorylation of IQGAP1 on serine (Ser)-1443, a site recognized by protein kinase Cε (PKCε), inhibited the interaction of GDP-bound Rab27a with IQGAP1 in a Cdc42-independent manner. Glucose stimulation caused a translocation of PKCε from the cytosol to the plasma membrane. In addition, glucose-induced endocytosis was inhibited by the knockdown of IQGAP1 with small interfering RNA (siRNA). However, the expression of the non-phosphorylatable or phosphomimetic form of IQGAP1 could not rescue the inhibition, suggesting that a phosphorylation-dephosphorylation cycle of IQGAP1 is required for endocytosis. These results suggest that IQGAP1 phosphorylated by PKCε promotes the dissociation of the IQGAP1-GDP-bound Rab27a complex in pancreatic β-cells, thereby regulating endocytosis of secretory membranes following insulin secretion.

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    Editor’s picks

    Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is controlled by both exocytosis and endocytosis in pancreatic β-cells. Although endocytosis is a fundamental step to maintain cellular responses to the secretagogue, the molecular mechanism of endocytosis remains poorly defined. Kimura et al. have demonstrated the regulatory mechanisms of the IQGAP1/GDP-bound Rab27a endocytic machinery. PKCε, which was activated by glucose stimulation, phosphorylated IQGAP1 on Ser-1443, thereby promoting the dissociation of the IQGAP1/GDP-bound Rab27a complex in pancreatic β-cells. Insulin secretion is controlled by stage-specific complex formation and the dissociation of IQGAP1 from its specific binding partners.

  • Shunsuke Nakamori, Jun Takahashi, Sumiko Hyuga, Jinwei Yang, Hiroaki T ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1538-1544
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    The analgesic effect of Ephedra Herb (EH) is believed to be derived from the anti-inflammatory action of pseudoephedrine (Pse). We recently reported that ephedrine alkaloids–free EH extract (EFE) attenuates formalin-induced pain to the same level as that achieved by EH extract (EHE), which suggests that the analgesic effect of EH may not be due to ephedrine alkaloids (EAs). To examine the contribution of EAs to the analgesic effect of EH, mice were injected with formalin to induce a biphasic pain reaction (first phase, 0–5 min; second phase, 10–45 min) at various time points after oral administration of the following test drugs: ephedrine (Eph), Pse, “authentic” EHE from Tsumura & Co. (EHE-Ts), EFE, and EHE that was used as the source of EFE (EHE-To). Biphasic pain was suppressed at 30 min after administration of Eph, EHE-Ts, and EHE-To. At 6 h after administration of EFE, EHE-To, and Pse—and at 4 to 6 h after administration of EHE-Ts—only second-phase pain was suppressed; however, the effect of Pse at 6 h was not significant. These results suggested that EHE has a biphasic analgesic effect against biphasic formalin-induced pain: in the first phase of analgesia (30 min after administration), biphasic pain is suppressed by Eph; in the second phase of analgesia (4–6 h after administration), second-phase pain is alleviated by constituents other than EAs, although Pse may partially contribute to the relief of second-phase pain.

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  • Noritaka Nakamichi, Yuta Matsumoto, Takumi Kawanishi, Takahiro Ishimot ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1545-1553
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    The aim of the present study is to construct and characterize a novel three-dimensional culture system for mouse neurons using the functional polymer, FP001. Stereoscopically extended neurites were found in primary mouse cortical neurons cultured in the FP001-containing medium. Neurons cultured with FP001 were distributed throughout the medium of the observation range whereas neurons cultured without FP001 were distributed only on the bottom of the dish. These results demonstrated that neurons can be three-dimensionally cultured using the FP001-containing medium. The mRNA expression of the glutamatergic neuronal marker vesicular glutamate transporter 1 in neurons cultured in the FP001-containing medium were higher than that in neurons cultured in the FP001-free medium. Expression of the matured neuronal marker, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) a,b, and the synapse formation marker, Synapsin I, in neurons cultured with FP001 was also higher than that in neurons cultured without FP001. The expression pattern of MAP2a,b in neurons cultured with FP001, but not that in neurons cultured without FP001, was similar to that in the embryonic cerebral cortex. Exposure to glutamate significantly increased 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) reduction activity in neurons cultured with FP001 compared to that in neurons cultured without FP001. These results suggested that glutamatergic neurotransmission in neurons three-dimensionally cultured in the FP001-containing medium may be upregulated compared to neurons two-dimensionally cultured in the FP001-free medium. Thus, neurons with the properties close to those in the embryonic brain could be obtained by three-dimensionally culturing neurons using FP001, compared to two-dimensional culture with a conventional adhesion method.

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  • Byong-Keol Min, Hyeon-Ji Kang, Byung-Jun Choi, Yong Hyun Jeon, Je-Yoel ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1554-1561
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Obesity, which is characterized by an excessive accumulation of body fat, is one of the critical factors causing metabolic syndrome. Many studies have been performed to identify appropriate agents to control obesity, but toxicity remains a problem. Herein, we identified that phenylbutyrate (PBA), which has been used to treat urea cycle disorder with very low toxicity for a long time, efficiently inhibited high fat-induced body weight gain in a diet-induced obesity mouse model (DIO model). PBA treatment decreased body fat mass and increased lean composition. Moreover, PBA increased brown adipose tissue (BAT) activity by increasing glucose uptake, thereby improving glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance. Interestingly, PBA could induce the expression of liver type phosphofructokinase (PFKL), a key enzyme in the glycolytic pathway, and knocking down PFKL dramatically repressed the expression level of Ucp1 as well as those of Prdm16, Cidea, Pgc1α, and Pparγ, which are marker genes for BAT activation. These results strongly suggested that PBA could increase energy expenditure by increasing BAT activity via the induction of PFKL. Taken together, PBA could be used as a therapeutic agent for people with obesity to prevent the development of metabolic syndrome.

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  • Hiroki Yoshioka, Yui Hirose, Rurika Ohishi, Sarah Tominaga, Aya Torii- ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1562-1568
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Chronopharmacology is the study of the varying responses of drugs to changes in biological timing and endogenous periodicities. The dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor sitagliptin is a globally prescribed anti-hyperglycemic drug. Although dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors are usually administered once, the specific intake time is generally not mentioned. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the diurnal effects of sitagliptin-induced anti-hyperglycemia in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity in mice. Five-week-old male C57BL/6J mice were fed normal (control) diet or HFD for 10 weeks. During the last 2 weeks, the mice were administered saline or sitagliptin (10 mg/kg, per os) in the light or dark phase, respectively. At the end of the experiment, the mice were euthanized after an 18 h fasting period, and plasma and tissue samples (liver, kidney, and epididymal white adipose tissues) were collected, or the oral glucose tolerance test was performed. Sitagliptin administration in the light phase significantly decreased plasma glucose levels, insulin levels, hepatic steatosis, and restored the glucose tolerance compared with the HFD group. In contrast, these parameters remained unchanged in the dark phase-treated mice. Our data therefore suggests that sitagliptin portrays definite chronopharmacology, which may provide valuable information on the importance of drug administration timing for maximum pharmacological effects.

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  • Wataru Matsuura, Kazuo Nakamoto, Shogo Tokuyama
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1569-1574
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    The pathophysiological mechanism of central post-stroke pain (CPSP) is complicated and not well understood. Recently, it has been reported that an increase in the levels of spinal nitric oxide synthetase (NOS) occurs in cerebral ischemia, and spinal NOS is involved in the development of neuropathic pain. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanism of spinal NOS signaling in the development of CPSP. Male ddY mice were subjected to 30-min long bilateral carotid artery occlusion (BCAO). The withdrawal responses to mechanical stimuli were significantly increased as determined with von Frey test on days 1 and 3 after BCAO. Protein expression of spinal N(G),N(G)-dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydralase 1 (DDAH1), a key enzyme involved in the metabolism of the endogenous NOS, increased on day 1 after BCAO, but not on day 3. Intrathecal (i.t.) injection of PD404182, a DDAH1 inhibitor, significantly suppressed mechanical allodynia on day 1, but not on day 3 after BCAO. In addition, i.t. administration of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a non-selective NOS inhibitor, significantly blocked mechanical allodynia on days 1 and 3 after BCAO. Furthermore, BCAO-induced increment of spinal NOS activity was inhibited by the pretreatment with PD404182. These results suggest that mechanical allodynia in the early stage of CPSP is caused by increment of NOS activity through upregulated DDAH1 in the spinal cord.

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  • Kai Zhang, Lei Yao
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1575-1580
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: June 29, 2019
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    Cedrol has been reported to be effective in reducing anxiety of male mice. The limited application of females in animal models of anxiety makes it difficult to systematically investigate new drug substitutes with potential anxiolytic activity. In the present study, we investigated the behavioral response of female ICR mice to cedrol after intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration using the elevated plus maze (EPM) and the light–dark box (LDB) test, followed by determination of neurochemical changes in brain. The data suggested that cedrol at dose of 1200–1600 mg·kg−1 exhibited anxiolytic activity on the female mice, as reflected by greater percentage of entries into the open arms and time spent in the open arms in the EPM, and greater transitions between chambers and percentage of time spent in the light chamber in the LDB. Cedrol increased the level of 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), decreased the level of dopamine (DA), reduced the ratio of 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA)/5-HT and increased the ratio of 3,4-dihydroxyphenyl acetic acid (DOPAC)/DA, compared with the control group, indicative of an anxiolytic-like effect on female mice via the 5-HTnergic or DAnergic pathways.

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  • Md Rakhimuzzaman, Masafumi Noda, Narandalai Danshiitsoodol, Masanori S ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1581-1589
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    As a bacterium used in industry for production of several amino acids, an endotoxin-free Corynebacterium (C.) glutamicum is well known. However, it is also true that the endotoxin-producing other Corynebacterium species is present. An aim of this study is to obtain a lactic acid bacterium (LAB) that produces ornithine and citrulline at high levels. We successfully isolated a strain, designated K-28, and identified it as Weissella (W.) confusa. The production of ornithine and citrulline by K-28 was 18 ± 1 and 10 ± 2 g/L, respectively, with a 100 ± 9% conversion rate when arginine was continuously fed into a jar fermenter. Although the ornithine high production using C. glutamicum is industrially present, the strains have been genetically modified. In that connection, the wild-type of C. glutamicum produces only 0.5 g/L ornithine, indicating that W. confusa K-28 is superior to C. glutamicum to use a probiotic microorganism. We confirmed that W. confusa K-28 harbors an arginine deiminase (ADI) gene cluster, wkaABDCR. The production of ornithine and the expression of these genes significantly decreased under the aerobic condition rather than anaerobic one. The expression level of the five genes did not differ with or without arginine, suggesting that the production of amino acids in the K-28 strain was not induced by exogenous arginine.

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Notes
  • Motoyasu Miura, Shinya Uchida, Shimako Tanaka, Naoki Inui, Junichi Kaw ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1590-1595
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS FULL-TEXT HTML

    There are large inter- and intra-individual variations in CYP3A4 activity. Midazolam, which is predominantly metabolized to 1′-hydroxymidazolam and 4-hydroxymidazolam by CYP3A4, is considered an effective probe for CYP3A4. To determine the area under the curve (AUC) of midazolam or midazolam clearance for CYP3A4 activity, multiple plasma samples of midazolam are required. This study aimed to evaluate whether measurement of a single plasma concentration or urinary excretion of midazolam could be used to predict the AUC of midazolam in healthy volunteers. We conducted a retrospective analysis of two pharmacokinetic studies. Nineteen volunteers received intravenous (5, 15, and 30 µg/kg) and oral (15, 50, and 100 µg/kg) administration of midazolam on sequential days. The midazolam concentration in plasma and urine was determined by LC-MS/MS. Plasma midazolam concentrations showed a good correlation with the AUC at all blood sampling points after the administrations. The coefficient of determination was highest at 1–2 and 2–4 h after intravenous (>0.96) and oral administration (>0.94), respectively, among all the sampling times. The errors for bias and accuracy of prediction were the lowest at 1.5 and 4 h after intravenous and oral administration, respectively. In case of urinary excretion, a significant positive correlation between midazolam and the AUC was observed only after oral administration. Thus, the AUC of midazolam can be evaluated by blood sampling at 1.5 h after intravenous administration and at 4 h after oral administration.

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  • Kazuo Yamada, Atsushi Watanabe, Haruo Takeshita, Atsushi Fujita, Norik ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1596-1599
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
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    Joint hypermobility syndrome (JHS) (also termed hypermobility type Ehlers–Danlos syndrome, hEDS) is a heritable connective tissue disorder that is characterized by generalized joint hypermobility, chronic pain, fatigue, and minor skin changes. Initially, it was reported that there is a small subset of patients with JHS/hEDS who have haploinsufficiency of tenascin-X (TNX). However, the relationship between TNXB and JHS/hEDS has not been reported at all afterwards. EDS was reclassified into thirteen types in 2017, and the causative gene of JHS/hEDS remained to be identified. Therefore, in this study in order to determine whether JHS/hEDS can be diagnosed by the concentrations of serum form of TNX (sTNX), we measured the concentrations of sTNX in 17 JHS/hEDS patients. The sTNX concentrations in half of the JHS/hEDS patients were significantly lower than those in healthy individuals. No mutations, insertions or deletions were detected in the TNX exon sequence of the JHS/hEDS patients except for one in patient. That patient has a heterozygous mutation. A correlation between sTNX concentration and mutation of the TNXB genomic sequence was not found in the JHS/hEDS patients. These results indicate that the decrease in sTNX concentration could be used as a risk factor for JHS/hEDS.

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  • Miho Nagayasu, Kazuhisa Ozeki, Satomi Onoue
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1600-1604
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS FULL-TEXT HTML

    The purpose of this study was to establish a modified method of three-compartment model analysis that minimized the sampling frequency. A Caco-2 permeability assay was performed on ten structurally diverse compounds with passive diffusion. A three-compartment model was analyzed by a conventional method and a method with fewer sampling points, called the simplified method, using concentration–time profiles in the donor, intracellular, and receiver compartments. The concentration–time profiles in all compartments were well described by the conventional method. The calculated unbound fraction of intracellular (fu2) and apparent permeability coefficient (Papp) were 0.0107–1.22 and 0.886-146 × 10−6 cm/s, respectively. The simplified method also described the concentration profiles in the compartments of all ten compounds except one, ibuprofen. The difference in values calculated by the simplified method compared to the conventional method was between −7 and 7% for fu2 and between −6 and 42% for Papp. These results suggested that the parameter values from the simplified method were comparable with those from the conventional method. The simplified method may be a promising approach to improve the throughput of three-compartment model analyses of Caco-2 permeability assays in the early stages of drug discovery.

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  • Yuki Kai, Momoko Motegi, Yuta Suzuki, Yui Harada, Hiroto Takeuchi, Ris ...
    2019 Volume 42 Issue 9 Pages 1605-1607
    Published: September 01, 2019
    Released: September 01, 2019
    [Advance publication] Released: June 25, 2019
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS FULL-TEXT HTML

    Recently, we demonstrated that Rac1 upregulation is involved in augmented bronchial smooth muscle (BSM) contractions of antigen-challenged mice. However, change in G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR)-induced Rac1 activation remains unknown in BSMs of repeatedly antigen-challenged (Chal.) mice. We here examined carbachol (CCh)-induced Rac1 activation in BSMs of Chal. mice. Gene expression levels of both Rac1 and Rac-guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), such as Tiam1 and Trio, were increased in BSMs of Chal. mice. Furthermore, CCh-induced Rac1 activation was inhibited by pretreatment with Rac1-GEF inhibitor NSC23766 and Rac1 inhibitor EHT1864 in BSMs of sensitized-control (S.C.) and Chal. mice. Compared with S.C. mice, CCh-induced Rac1 activation was increased in BSMs of Chal. mice. In conclusion, we reported that increased CCh-induced Rac1 activation via Tiam1 and Trio upregulation, in addition to upregulate Rac1, may be involved in increased CCh-induced BSM contractions in Chal. mice.

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