The development of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) occurs due to excessive proliferation of fibroblasts. Polydatin, a monomeric compound isolated from a traditional Chinese medicine polygonum cuspidatum, exhibits anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. However, the mechanisms underlying the regulatory effects of polydatin on the proliferation, apoptosis and autophagy of fibroblasts obtained from patients with AS remain unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the therapeutic effects of polydatin on symptoms associated with AS. Multiple cellular and molecular biology experiments were performed in the present study, such as cell viability assay, western blotting, flow cytometry, monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining and immunofluorescence assays. In the present study, the results revealed that polydatin induced the apoptosis of fibroblasts isolated from patients with AS by upregulating the expression of active caspase-3 and Bax, and downregulating the expression of Bcl-2. Meanwhile, polydatin was revealed to enhance the autophagy of fibroblasts by increasing the expression levels of LC3II, Beclin 1 and Atg5. The results of MDC and immunofluorescence assays further demonstrated that polydatin significantly induced the formation of autophagosomes in fibroblasts. Furthermore, polydatin-induced apoptosis and autophagy were markedly inhibited following treatment with the autophagy inhibitor, 3-Methyladenine (3-MA). In conclusion, the results of the present study indicated that polydatin induces the apoptosis and autophagy of fibroblasts obtained from patients suffering from AS, and that polydatin may represent a therapeutic agent for the future treatment of patients with AS.
Nicotine-withdrawal symptoms have been indicated as a possible risk factor for neuropsychiatric events, such as depression and suicide, during use of smoking-cessation drugs. We aimed to investigate whether the results of the metabolomic analysis of the rat brain reflect nicotine-withdrawal symptoms. We also aimed to investigate the relative changes in each metabolite in the brains of rats with nicotine-withdrawal symptoms. We created rats experiencing nicotine-withdrawal symptoms through repeat administration of nicotine followed by a 12-h withdrawal period, and rats recovered from nicotine-withdrawal symptoms followed by an 18-h withdrawal period. We then implemented brain metabolic profiling by combining high-resolution magic-angle spinning 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy with partial least square discriminant analysis (PLS-DA). We found that metabolic profiling of the brain reflects the state during nicotine-withdrawal symptoms and the state after recovery from nicotine-withdrawal symptoms. Additionally, N-acetylaspartate and glutamate increased and aspartate, GABA, and creatine decreased in the hippocampus of rats experiencing nicotine-withdrawal symptoms. Therefore, it is suggested that neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation could be changed and abnormal energy metabolism could occur in the hippocampus during nicotine-withdrawal symptoms.
Mohs paste (MP) is a hospital preparation containing zinc hydrochloride and zinc oxide starch. It is a topical medication used to fixate tissues for the removal of inoperable skin tumors and the management of hemorrhage and exudates, and to prevent foul odor resulting from secondary infections. However, it has problems, such as changes in hardness and viscoelasticity with time and liquefaction by exudate. It has been reported that the modified MP with D-sorbitol (S-MP) and the modified MP using the cellulose instead of starch (C-MP) have excellent physicochemical stability and better handling than original MP (O-MP).
In this study, the effect of prescription improvement of MP on the pharmacological effect was examined with reference to water absorbing property, and its tumor tissue invasion fixation depth as an indicator. In the S-MP and C-MP, the amounts of water absorption did not differ significantly from those in the O-MP. The hardness of S-MP was decreased and liquefied like O-MP after absorbing water. In contrast, C-MP retained its form even after water absorption. The subcutaneous tumors in mice treated with modified MP formulations were measured for invasion fixation depth at 6 and 24 hours after application. And the tissue status was observed using computed tomography. In all MPs, invasion fixation depth increased depending on application time. S-MP and O-MP depths did not differ significantly. The invasion depths of the C-MP significantly increased compared with those in the O-MP. These results suggest that C-MP had a high tissue fixation rate.
Contact hypersensitivity (CHS) to preservatives is receiving increased attention. Parabens are widely used in foods, pharmaceutics and cosmetics as preservatives. The skin sensitizing activity of parabens remains controversial but a few investigations have been made as to whether parabens could facilitate sensitization to other chemicals. We have shown that di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP), a phthalate ester, has an adjuvant effect in a fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-induced CHS mouse model. We have also demonstrated that DBP activates transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) cation channels expressed on sensory neurons. Comparative studies of phthalate esters revealed that TRPA1 agonistic activity and the adjuvant effect on FITC-CHS coincide. Here we focused on two commonly used parabens, butyl paraben (BP) and ethyl paraben (EP), as to their adjuvant effects. BALB/c mice were epicutneously sensitized with FITC in acetone in the presence or absence of a paraben. Sensitization to FITC was evaluated as the ear-swelling response after FITC challenge. BP but not EP enhanced skin sensitization to FITC, but the effect of BP was much weaker than that of DBP. Mechanistically, BP enhanced the trafficking of FITC-presenting CD11c+ dendritic cells (DCs) from the skin to draining lymph nodes as well as cytokine production by draining lymph nodes. When the TRPA1 agonistic activity was measured with a cell line expressing TRPA1, BP exhibited higher activity than EP. The present study provides direct in vivo evidence that BP causes sensitization to other chemicals by means of a mouse FITC-CHS model.
Semaphorin4A (Sema4A) is a family member of semaphorins expressed in immune cells and is also related with disease progression of tumor disease. In this study, we investigate the expression and pathological role of Sema4A in breast cancer (BCa). Our data showed that the expression of Sema4A increased in the tissues and serum of BCa patients when compared with normal controls. The expression of Sema4A in BCa cells could be induced by hypoxic treatment, whereas silencing HIF-1α could attenuate the above induced. Furthermore, ChIP analysis demonstrated that HIF-1α could regulate the expression of Sema4A through directly binding to the promoter of Sema4A gene, whose enrichment could be further enhanced by hypoxic stimulation. In addition, silencing Sema4A could inhibit the proliferation, VEGF production and the phosphorylation of Akt, ERK1/2 MAPK and STAT3, but induce apoptosis of BCa cells in the presence of hypoxia. In contrast, recombinant human Sema4A treatment showed the opposite effects. Taken together, these results suggest that Sema4A could promote progression of BCa in the presence of hypoxia and it may hold potential for treatment target for BCa.
In traditional Tibetan medicinal system, Berberis herbs mainly originate from the dried barks of Berberis kansuensis, Berberis dictyophylla, Berberis diaphana, and Berberis vernae.In this study, molecular phylogenetic method based on four markers (i.e., rbcL, ITS, ITS2, and psbA-trnH) and HPLC chemical analysis were used to evaluate the chemical and genetic differences between the four Berberis species. The results showed that the discriminatory power of ITS, ITS2 and psbA-trnH was low, but the rbcL marker was highly effective and reliable for the species differentiation. The four Berberis species can be successfully classified based on phylogenetic analysis of the rbcL sequences. Moreover, the results of chemical analysis showed that four main alkaloids (i.e., berberine, palmatine, magnoflorine, and jatrorrhizine) cannot be used as chemical markers for discrimination of the four Berberis species. These findings provide valuable information for distinguishing the four Berberis Tibetan herbs.
We show that a lectin like protein from the mushroom Agaricus bisporus (LSMT) is capable to permeate the epithelial monolayer barrier of the intestine ex vivo. The protein is not toxic or immunogenic upon prolonged administration and elevated dose in mice. Thus, it could be a candidate as a drug carrier for oral administration. However, its permeability should be tested after the protein has been modified, mimicking the condition in which it is used as a drug carrier. The protein was conjugated to captopril, the selected model of a BCS class III drug, with high solubility but poor permeability. The drug was conjugated to LSMT that had been modified with SMPT as a linker. The success of LSMT modification was confirmed with thin layer chromatography and mass spectrometry; the latter also indicated the amount of captopril molecule linked. The modified LSMT could permeate through the intestinal monolayer barrier, and thus could be absorbed in the intestine after modification. The modified protein appears to remain stable after incubation in simulated gastrointestinal fluids. This pioneering work provides an essential basis for further development of the protein as a drug carrier for oral administration.
Avian influenza A (H7N9) virus has caused several epidemics and infection in both human and poultry. With mutation, the H7N9 virus gained its fifth endemic in China. Early diagnosis is crucial for the control of viral spread in poultry and prognosis of infected patients. In this study, we developed and evaluated a lateral flow dipstick recombinase polymerase amplification (LFD-RPA) assay for rapid detection of both hemagglutinin and neuraminidase gene of H7N9. Our H7-LFD-RPA and N9-LFD-RPA assay were able to detect 32 fg H7N9 nucleic acid which is more convenient and rapid than previous methods. Through detecting 50 influenza positive samples, cross-reaction was not found with other subtypes of influenza virus. The 100% analytical specificity and sufficient analytical sensitivity results agreed the real time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. The results data demonstrated that our method performed well and could can be applied to the detection of H7N9 virus. This LFD-RPA assay provides a candidate method for rapid point-of-care diagnosis of H7N9.
Echinacoside is a major compound of CistancheHerb and has glutamate release-inhibiting activity in the brain. Given the involvement of excitotoxicity caused by massive glutamate in the pathophysiology of epilepsy, we explored the antiepileptic effect of echinacoside on kainic acid–induced seizures in rats. The rats were intraperitoneally administrated echinacoside for 30 min prior to intraperitoneal injection with kainic acid. The results showed that kainic acid induced seizure-like behavioral patterns, increased glutamate concentrations, caused neuronal loss and microglial activation, and stimulated proinflammatory cytokine gene expression in the hippocampus. These kainic acid-induced alternations were found to be attenuated by echinacoside pretreatment. Furthermore, decreased Akt and glycogen synthase kinase 3β phosphorylation as well as Bcl-2 expression in the hippocampus was reversed by the echinacoside pretreatment. These results demonstrate that echinacoside exert its antiepileptic and neuroprotective actions in a kainic acid rat model through suppressing inflammatory response and activating the Akt/GSK3β signaling. Therefore, the present study suggest that echinacoside is the potentially useful in the prevention of epilepsy.
Biosimilar products of therapeutic antibodies have been launched all over the world. They can relieve some of the economic burden of medicines. Although clinical trials have demonstrated the equivalency of biosimilar products with their reference product, biosimilar products are not commonly used in clinical practice. One reason is that the structural difference between the reference product and a biosimilar one remains unclear. We analyzed glycoforms and amino acids of an infliximab biosimilar product approved in Japan compared to that of the reference product (Remicade®). By combination of papain digestion and LC/TOF-MS, we established a valuable method to analyze these therapeutic antibodies. Nine glycoforms were detected in infliximab, and a difference in amino acids was observed. In the glycoforms of MMF, MGnF/GnMF, GnGn, GnGnF, AGnF/GnAF, and AAF, the relative intensities were significantly different between the reference and biosimilar product. Furthermore, we elucidated that the content rate of the C-terminal lysine was different among glycoforms. In conclusion, our analytical method can analyze not only amino acids but also carbohydrate chains of therapeutic antibodies, and will provide a useful strategy to evaluate bio-medicines including biosimilar antibodies.
This review article mentions about the following points, and proposes its importance and positive thinking. 1) Wakan-yaku (Japanese oriental medicines) is covered by the national health insurance system in Japan as therapeutic drugs to be actively used in medical practice to treat illness. 2) Applications of Wakan-yaku is accomplished based on the reliable own theories which are established with long histories. 3) Promotion of studies based on these theories will be highly expected to find novel view points which breaks conventional concepts and to novel standards for developing new medicinal drugs. Although studies based on the reliable Wakan-yaku theories are not advancing satisfactorily till now, the possibilities to obtain the advanced resources for drugs and novel viewpoints for experiments by studies about Wakan-yaku theories are discussed in this review.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasingly prevalent and represents a growing challenge in terms of prevention and treatment. The purpose of this study is to investigate the protective effects of ginsenoside Rg1 (Rg1), an active ingredient of a natural medicine, and further clarify its protective mechanisms, in a mouse model of NAFLD induced by a high-fat diet. Rg1 significantly reduced liver weight, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), triglyceride (TG), liver free fatty acids (FFAs) and malondialdehyde (MDA) levels, and increased superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity. Rg1 also upregulated the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-alpha (PPARα), which stimulated fatty acid beta oxidation and promoted the metabolism of FFAs and TG. It also suppressed the expression of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP), cysteine-containing aspartate-specific proteases 12 (Caspase 12), and glucose-regulated protein78 (GRP78), which reduced endoplasmic reticulum(ER) stress. Furthermore, Rg1 alleviated liver inflammation by inhibiting the activation of NOD-like receptor family pyrin domain-containing 3 (NLRP3) and thus reduced the production of inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin 1-beta (IL-1β) and interleukin 18 (IL-18). These results suggested that Rg1 may protect against NAFLD, through regulation of lipid peroxidation, ER stress and inflammasome activation.
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.