Abstract—High level apoptosis induced by spinal cord injury (SCI) evokes serious damage because of the loss and dysfunction of motor neurons. Our previous studies showed that inhibition of autophagy evokes the activation of apoptosis. Interestingly, Baicalein, a medicine with anti-apoptosis activity that is derived from the roots of herb Scutellaria baicalensis, largely induces autophagy by activing PI3K. In this study, we investigated the effects of intraperitoneal injection of Baicalein on autophagy and apoptosis in SCI mice and evaluated the relationship between autophagy and apoptosis. We demonstrated that Baicalein promoted the functional recovery of motor neurons at 7 days after SCI. In addition, Baicalein enhanced neuronal autophagy and the autophagy-related factor PI3K, while inhibiting the p62 protein. Baicalein treatment decreased neuronal apoptosis at 7 days after SCI. Moreover, when inhibiting autophagy, apoptosis was upgraded by Baicalein treatment after injury. Thus, Baicalein attenuated SCI by inducing autophagy to reduce apoptosis in neurons potentially via activing PI3K.
Detection of anomalous cells such as cancer cells from normal blood cells has the potential to contribute greatly to cancer diagnosis and therapy. Conventional methods for the detection of cancer cells are usually tedious and cumbersome. Herein, we report on the use of a particle size analyzer for the convenient size-based differentiation of cancer cells from normal cells. Measurements made using a particle size analyzer revealed that size parameters for cancer cells are significantly greater (e.g., inner diameter and width) than the corresponding values for normal cells (white blood cells (WBC), lymphocytes and splenocytes), with no significant difference in shape parameters (e.g., circularity and convexity). The inner diameter of many cancer cell lines is greater than 10 μm, in contrast to normal cells. For the detection of WBC having similar size to that of cancer cells, we developed a PC software “Cancer Cell Finder” that differentiates them from cancer cells based on brightness inflection points on a cell surface. Furthermore, the aforementioned method was validated for cancer cell/clusters detection in spiked mouse blood samples (a B16 melanoma mouse xenograft model) and circulating tumor cell cluster-like particles in the cat and dog (diagnosed with cancer) blood samples. These results provide insights into the possible applicability of the use of a particle size analyzer in conjunction with PC software for the convenient detection of cancer cells in experimental and clinical samples for theranostics.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) generated by NADPH oxidase (Nox)1 mediate cellular signalings involved in normal physiological processes, and aberrant control of Nox1 has been implicated in the pathogenesis of various diseases. Therefore, Nox1 could have great potential as a therapeutic target. Here, we identified a novel Nox1 inhibitor, NOS31 secreted from Stretomyces sp. and analyzed its chemical structure. Furthermore, NOS31 was found to selectively inhibit Nox1-mediated ROS generation, with only a marginal effect on other Nox isoforms (Nox2-5) and no ROS scavenging activity. This compound blocked both Nox organizer 1(NOXO1)/Nox activator1(NOXA1)-dependent and phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-stimulated Nox1-mediated ROS production in colon cancer cells. NOS31 inhibited the proliferation of several colon carcinoma and gastric cancer cell lines that upregulate the Nox1 system, whereas it had no appreciable effect on normal cells with low levels of Nox1. The finding suggests that NOS31 is a unique, potent Nox1 inhibitor of microbial origin and raises its possibility as a therapeutic agent for inhibiting gastrointestinal cancer cell growth.
Isatin (1H-indole-2,3-dione) and many of its derivatives are reported to have pharmacological properties. In this study, we report the synthesis and biological activity of a new class of N-alkyl-isatin-3-iminobenzoic acid derivatives prepared via the condensation of N-alkyl isatin with 4-aminobenzoic acid by conventional, microwave, and ultrasonic methods. Microwave irradiation yielded the products in a shorter reaction time with higher yields and purities. The compounds were screened in zebrafish embryos, and also in three human cancer cell lines (MCF7, HepG2, and Jurkat) and one normal human cell line i.e human foreskin cell line (HFF-1). Two compounds (3c and 3f) were found to be highly effective against hematopoiesis in live zebrafish embryo at 10 µM concentration. The developmental stage-dependent treatment indicated that these compounds interfered with the differentiation of hemangioblasts to hematopoietic cells in zebrafish embryos. The comparative screening of semaxanib (SU5416) (a known isatin derivatives), to compounds synthesized in this study, revealed the contrasting effects of these two classes of isatin derivatives on zebrafish hematopoiesis. Most of the N-alkyl-isatin-3-iminobenzoic acid derivatives were toxic on cancer and non-cancer tested human cells lines, however, the compounds 3c and 3f specifically affected the cell viability of Jurkat cells (human hematological cell line) with least IC50 values of 16.5 and 7.8 µM. The Structure-activity relationship (SAR) analysis indicated that the substitution pattern of the isatin at the 5-position was vital for activity. The in vivo and in vitro biological activities of these compounds suggested their potential use as pharmaceutical compounds for human leukemia treatment.
Ponatinib, a novel tyrosine kinase inhibitor marketed in 2016, is a key drug used for treating chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia. This study aimed to develop a simple method for determining plasma ponatinib concentration. The analysis required extraction of a 400-μL sample of plasma and precipitation of proteins using an Oasis HLB cartridge. Ponatinib and bosutinib, which is used as an internal standard, were separated by HPLC using a mobile phase of acetonitrile: 0.037 mol/L KH2PO4 (pH 4.5) (39:61, v/v) on a Capcell Pack C18 MG II (250 mm × 4.6 mm) monitored at 250 nm, with a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. This assay method was then used for determining plasma ponatinib concentration in a 42-year-old man treated with ponatinib at 15 mg/day. The calibration curve was found to be linear for the plasma concentration range of 5–250 ng/mL with a regression coefficient (r2) of 0.9999. The coefficients of intra-day and inter-day validation under these concentrations were 2.1–6.0% and 4.5–8.0%, respectively. The assay accuracy was -1.5–9.0%, and the recovery was greater than 86%. The plasma concentration of the patient at 2.5 and 3 h after 15 mg ponatinib administration was 43.6 ng/mL and 49.3 ng/mL, respectively. This method of HPLC equipped with UV detection for determining plasma ponatinib concentration has several advantages, such as simplicity and applicability to routine therapeutic drug monitoring at hospital laboratories.
Maintaining a certain level of hydrogen sulfide (H2S) in ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) is essential for limiting injury to the liver. Exogenous H2S exerts protective effects against this injury, but the mechanisms remain unclear. Liver injury was induced in Wistar rats undergoing hepatic I/R for 30 min, followed by a 3-h reperfusion. Administration of GYY4137 (a slow-releasing H2S donor) significantly attenuated the severity of liver injury and was reflected by reduced inflammatory cytokine production and cell apoptosis, the levels of which were elevated by I/R, while DL-propargylglycine (PAG, an inhibitor of cystathionine γ-lyase [CSE]) aggravated liver injury. Delivery of GYY4137 significantly elevated the plasma levels of H2S and upregulated the expression of microRNA-21 (miR-21), leading to the activation of the Akt pathway, in rat livers subjected to I/R. To further investigate the protective mechanisms of H2S during liver I/R injury, we established a cell model of hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R) by incubating Buffalo rat liver (BRL) cells under hypoxia for 4 h followed by normoxia for 10 h. The regulatory effect of miR-21 on the Akt pathway by downregulating phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) was validated by luciferase assays. Incubation of NaHS (sodium hydrosulfide), an H2S donor, increased the expression of miR-21, attenuated the reduced cell viability and the increased apoptosis by H/R, in BRL cells. Anti-miR-21 abolished the protective effects of NaHS by inactivating the Akt pathway. In conclusion, the present results indicate the activation of the Akt pathway regulated by miR-21 participates in the protective effects of H2S against I/R-induced liver injury.
Despite the relatively high prevalence of migraine or headache, the pathophysiological mechanisms triggering headache-associated peripheral hypersensitivities, are unknown. Since nitric oxide (NO) is well known as a causative factor in the pathogenesis of migraine or migraine-associated hypersensitivities, a mouse model has been established using systemic administration of the NO donor, nitroglycerin (NTG). Here we tried to investigate the time course development of facial or hindpaw hypersensitivity after repetitive NTG injection. NTG (10 mg/kg) was administrated to mice every other day for nine days. Two hours post-injection, NTG produced acute mechanical and heat hypersensitivity in the hind paws. By contrast, cold allodynia, but not mechanical hypersensitivity, occurred in the facial region. Moreover, this hindpaws mechanical hypersensitivity and the facial cold allodynia was progressive and long-lasting. We subsequently examined whether the depletion of capsaicin-sensitive primary afferents (CSPAs) with resiniferatoxin (RTX, 0.02 mg/kg) altered these peripheral hypersensitivities in NTG-treated mice. RTX pretreatment did not affect the NTG-induced mechanical allodynia in the hind paws nor the cold allodynia in the facial region, but it did inhibit the development of hind paw heat hyperalgesia. Similarly, NTG injection produced significant hindpaw mechanical allodynia or facial cold allodynia, but not heat hyperalgesia in transient receptor potential type V1 (TRPV1) knockout mice. These findings demonstrate that different peripheral hypersensitivities develop in the face versus hindpaw regions in a mouse model of repetitive NTG-induced migraine, and that these hindpaw mechanical hypersensitivity and facial cold allodynia are not mediated by the activation of CSPAs.
As a traditional herbal medicine, the fruits of Psoralea corylifolia L. (FP) have been widely used for the treatment of various skin diseases for hundred years. Recently, the emerging FP-induced toxic effects, especially hepatotoxicity, in clinic are getting the public’s attention. However, its exact toxic components and mechanisms underlying remain unclear. Bavachin, one of flavonoids in FP, has been documented as a hepatotoxic substance, and the present study aimed to determine the toxicity caused by bavachin and the possible toxic mechanisms involved using HepG2 cells. Our results showed that bavachin could significantly inhibited cell proliferation and trigger the endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress) in a dose dependent manner. Downregulating ER stress using tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) obvious attenuated Bavachin-triggerd cell apoptosis. Then, siRNA knock-down of Mitofusion 2 (Mfn2) resulted in a remarkable aggravation of ER stress through the inhibition of the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt). Additionally, suppression of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by ROS Scavenger (NAC) also reduced Bavachin-induced ER stress. Taken together, our study demonstrated that Bavachin-induced ER stress caused cell apoptosis by Mfn2-Akt pathway, and that ROS may participate upstream in this mechanism. Here, we not only provide a new understanding of ROS/Mfn2/Akt pathway in Bavachin-induced cytotoxicity via the ER stress, but also identify a new specific intervention to prevent FP-induced hepatotoxicity in the future.
NSAIDs are likely to be used concomitantly with acyclovir or valacyclovir in clinical practice, but the study on the safety of such combinations was seldom reported. The objective of the study was to investigate reports of acute kidney injury(AKI) events associated with the concomitant use of oral acyclovir or valacyclovir with an NSAID by using the United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) database between January 2004 and June 2012.The frequency of AKI events in patients while simultaneously taking either acyclovir or valacyclovir and an NSAID was compared using the Chi-square test. The effect of concomitant use of acyclovir or valacyclovir and individual NSAIDs on AKI was analyzed by the reporting odds ratio (ROR).The results showed that AKI was reported as the adverse event in 8.6% of the 10,923 patients taking valacyclovir compared with 8.7% of the 2,556 patients taking acyclovir (p=NS).However, AKI was significantly more frequently reported in patients simultaneously taking valacyclovir and an NSAID(19.4%)than in patients simultaneously taking acyclovir and an NSAID(10.5%)(p<0.01). The results also suggested that increased risk of AKI was likely associated with the concomitant use of valacyclovir and some NSAIDs such as loxoprofen, diclofenac, etodolac, ketorolac, piroxicam or lornoxicam.The case series from the AERS indicated that compared with acyclovir, valacyclovir is more likely to be affected by NSAIDs, and the concomitant use of valacyclovir with some NSAIDs might be associated with increased risk of AKI. The drug interactions with this speciﬁc combination of medications are worth exploring further.
We explored the effects of chondroitin sulfate on knee osteoarthritis in a one-year, randomized, double-blind, dose-comparison study. Patients with painful, Kellgren–Lawrence grade 2–3, osteoarthritis of the knee were treated with oral chondroitin sulfate at a dose of either 260 mg/day (low-dose group, control group) or 1,560 mg/day (high-dose group). Symptoms were evaluated by the Lequesne’s index and visual analog scale for pain. We made subgroup analyses according to background symptom severity (Lequesne’s index ≥8 or <8) in 73 patients. Serum level of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and hyaluronic acid were also determined. In the subgroup with severe symptoms (Lequesne’s index ≥8), the chondroitin sulfate dose of 1,560 mg/day improved pain faster after 6 and 9 months’ therapy. However, no dose-related effects were found on cartilage oligomeric matrix protein or hyaluronic acid levels. Chondroitin sulfate also had good tolerability. We conclude that chondroitin sulfate is useful for pain control in knee osteoarthritis.
Human serum albumin (HSA) has two major ligand-binding sites, sites I and II, and hydrolyzes compounds at both sites. Although the hydrolytic interaction of ester-type drugs with other drugs by HSA has been reported, there are only a few studies concerning the effect of pharmaceutical excipients on the hydrolysis of ester-type drugs by HSA. In the present study, we investigated the effect of ethanol (2 vol%; 345 mM) on the hydrolysis of aspirin, p-nitrophenyl acetate, and olmesartan medoxomil, which are ester-type drugs, with 4 different lots of HSA preparations. The hydrolysis activities of HSA toward aspirin, p-nitrophenyl acetate, and olmesartan medoxomil were measured from the pseudo-first-order degradation rate constant (kobs) of salicylic acid, p-nitrophenol, and olmesartan, respectively, which are the HSA-hydrolyzed products. Ethanol inhibited hydrolysis of aspirin by HSA containing low levels of fatty acids, but not by fatty acid-free HSA. Ethanol inhibited hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl acetate by both fatty acid-free HSA and HSA containing low levels of fatty acids. In contrast, the hydrolysis of olmesartan medoxomil by HSA was insignificantly inhibited by ethanol, but inhibited not only by warfarin and indomethacin but also by naproxen, which are site I binding drugs and a site II binding drug, respectively. These results suggest that the inhibitory action of ethanol on the hydrolysis of ester-type drugs by HSA differs between site I binding drugs and site II binding drugs.
This article has been retracted by the Editorial Committee of The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan because it contains scientific misconduct. Although the data published in this article were generated in part by the first author, the authors violated authorship and sponsorship protocol.