Vegetables are eaten as part of a healthy diet throughout the world, and some are also applied topically as a traditional medicine. We evaluated the innate immunostimulating activities of hot water extracts of various vegetables using the silkworm muscle contraction assay system, and found that broccoli, Brassica oleracea var. italica, contains a strong innate immunostimulant. We purified the innate immunostimulant from broccoli, and characterized the chemical structure by chemical analyses and NMR spectroscopy. The innate immunostimulant comprised galacturonic acid, galactose, glucose, arabinose, and rhamnose, and had a pectic-like polysaccharide structure. To determine the structural motif involved in the innate immunostimulating activity, we modified the structure by chemical and enzymatic treatment, and found that the activity was attenuated by pectinase digestion. These findings suggest that a pectic-like polysaccharide purified from broccoli has innate immune-stimulating activity, for which the polygalacturonic acid structure is necessary.
We screened innate immunostimulant-producing bacteria using a silkworm muscle contraction assay, and isolated Rhizobium sp. strain M2 from soil. We purified the innate immunostimulant from strain M2, and characterized the chemical structure by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and chemical analyses. The innate immunostimulant (M2 EPS) comprised glucose, galactose, pyruvic acid, and succinic acid with a molar ratio of 6.8:1.0:0.9:0.4, and had a succinoglycan-like high molecular-weight heteropolysaccharide structure. To determine the structural motif involved in the innate immunostimulating activity, we modified the M2 EPS structure chemically, and found that the activity was increased by removal of the succinic and pyruvic acid substitutions. Strong acid hydrolysis completely inactivated the M2 EPS. Unmasking of the β-1,3/6-glucan structure of the side-chain by deacylation and depyruvylation may enhance the innate immune-stimulating activity of M2 EPS. These findings suggest that the succinoglycan-like polysaccharide purified from strain M2 has innate immune-stimulating activity, and its glycan structure is necessary for the activity.
The effect of glycyrrhizin on the replication of human parainfluenza virus type 2 (hPIV-2) was examined. Cell fusion induced by hPIV-2 was inhibited by glycyrrhizin, and glycyrrhizin reduced the number of viruses released from the cells. Glycyrrhizin did not change cell morphology at 1 day of culture, but caused some damage at 4 days, as determined by the effect on actin microfilaments. However, it affected the cell viability at 1 day: about 20% of the cells were not alive by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay at 1 day of culture. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and PCR showed that virus genome synthesis was largely inhibited. mRNA synthesis was also inhibited by glycyrrhizin. Viral protein synthesis was largely inhibited as observed by an indirect immunofluorescence study. Multinucleated giant cell formation was studied using a recombinant green fluorescence protein (GFP)-expressing hPIV-2 without matrix protein (rhPIV-2ΔMGFP). A few single cells with fluorescence were observed, but the formation of giant cells was completely blocked. Taken together, it was shown that viral genome, mRNA and protein syntheses, including F and HN proteins, were inhibited by glycyrrhizin, and consequently multinucleated giant cell formation was not observed and the infectious virus was not detected in the culture medium.
Various generic transdermal formulations of tulobuterol containing rubber and acrylate base polymers are commercially available in Japan. However, none of the formulations have been compared directly with respect to the skin permeability of tulobuterol and to their follow ability. Tulobuterol Tape Sawai of rubber base and Tulobuterol Tape NP of acrylate base were used to conduct the in vitro 24-hour skin permeability test of tulobuterol at receiver solution temperatures of 32°C, 37°C, and 40°C. Furthermore, the followability of these tapes were examined by measuring the depth of the pores that were formed in their adhesive layer. Consequently, the maximum flux of tulobuterol was greater for Tulobuterol Tape NP. Arrhenius plot analysis revealed that Tulobuterol Tape Sawai was more sensitive to skin surface temperature compared with Tulobuterol Tape NP. Skin abrasion had a greater effect on the skin permeability of tulobuterol in Tulobuterol Tape Sawai than in Tulobuterol Tape NP. Followability was greater for Tulobuterol Tape NP than for Tulobuterol Tape Sawai. These results suggest that a transdermal formulation of acrylate base is preferable to that with a rubber base when skin surface temperature varies or when the skin is abraded. In clinical settings, therefore, a formulation of acrylate base is preferable to a formulation of rubber base when skin surface temperature varies or when the skin is abraded. The formulation needs to be applied to the skin of less asperity for the achievement of better transdermal absorption of tulobuterol.
Invertebrate infection models that can be evaluated at human body temperature are limited. In this study, we utilized the two-spotted cricket, a heat-tolerant insect, as an animal infection model of human pathogenic fungi. Injection of human pathogenic fungi, including Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, and Cryptococcus neoformans killed crickets within 48 h at both 27˚C and 37˚C. The median lethal dose values (LD50 values) of C. albicans and C. glabrata against crickets were decreased at 37˚C compared to that at 27˚C, whereas the LD50 value of C. neoformans was not different between 27˚C and 37˚C. Heat-killed cells of the three different fungi also killed crickets, but the LD50 value of the heat-killed cells was higher than 5-fold that of live fungal cells in the respective species. C. neoformans gene-knockout strains of cna1, gpa1, and pka1, which are required for virulence in mammals, had greater LD50 values than the parent strain in crickets. These findings suggest that the two-spotted cricket is a valuable infection model of human pathogenic fungi that can be used to evaluate fungal virulence at variable temperatures, including 37˚C, and that the killing abilities of C. albicans and C. glabrata against animals are increased at 37˚C.
We performed low-temperature cultivation of soil samples in Tokyo, Japan, and isolated 30 bacterial strains that formed colonies at 4°C. All the culture supernatants of these bacteria exhibited antibacterial activity against Escherichia coli. The 16S rDNA sequences of 29 strains showed similarity to that of the Pseudomonas genus, whereas the 16S rDNA sequence of one strain showed similarity to that of the Janthinobacterium genus. We classified the 29 strains into 10 groups according to the 16S rDNA sequence similarities, and performed two phylogenetic analyses using the 16S rDNA and rpoD gene sequences. Four groups formed a unique branch within Pseudomonas species in both phylogenetic analyses. Four other groups were closely related to the Pseudomonas species, but the most closely related species differed between the two phylogenic tree analyses. These results suggest that low-temperature cultivation of temperate soil is effective for isolating new bacterial sources for producing antibiotics.
Several chemicals, such as methyl p-hydroxybenzoate (MHB), have been widely used as preservatives in the water baths of CO2 incubators used for mammalian cell culture, and they are not considered to produce any biological effects. However, no detailed analyses of the effects of these compounds on cultured cells have been reported. In this study, we thus examined whether MHB in the incubator water bath affects cell viability or genome-wide gene expression in mouse embryonic stem cells under control conditions [using only dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in the culture medium] and under chemical-treated conditions using benzene and chloroform; conditions that simulate a cell-based toxicity assay. We found that (i) MHB significantly altered cell growth rate, and (ii) MHB affected gene expression levels related to pathways that modulate cell growth and basic molecular processes, not only under control conditions but also the chemical-treated conditions. Furthermore, Gene Ontology term analyses revealed that the effects of MHB cannot be accounted for by subtracting the gene expression pattern in the control conditions from that in the chemical-treated conditions. Thus, we suggest that the use of MHB or other preservatives in a CO2 incubator water bath is reconsidered in terms of potential confounding effects on cultured cells.
The leaves of Aster yomena (Kitam.) Honda have long been used as a traditional herb for treating disorders including coughs, asthma, and insect bites. According to recent studies, A. yomena leaf extracts have several pharmacological properties, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-asthmatic activities. However, little information is available regarding their anti-obesity effect. In this study, we investigated the inhibitory effect of the ethanol extracts of A. yomena leaves (EEAY) on adipocyte differentiation and adipogenesis using 3T3-L1 preadipocytes. When 3T3-L1 preadipocytes were treated with various concentrations of EEAY (ranging from non-toxic), the number of lipid droplets, lipid content, and triglyceride production, the typical characteristics of adipocytes, were suppressed in a concentration-dependent manner. During this process, EEAY significantly reduced the expression of adipogenic transcription factors, including peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ, CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α and β, and sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c. In addition, EEAY was also found to potently inhibit the expression of adipocyte-specific genes, including adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein and leptin. In particular, EEAY treatment effectively enhanced the activation of the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway; however, the co-treatment with compound C, an inhibitor of AMPK, significantly restored the EEAY-induced inhibition of pro-adipogenic transcription factors and adipocyte-specific genes. These results indicate that EEAY may exert an anti-obesity effect by controlling the AMPK signaling pathway, suggesting that the leaf extract of A. yomena may be a potential anti-obesity agent.
We evaluated the innate immune-stimulating activity of amazake using a silkworm muscle contraction assay. Sake cake, a raw material used to make amazake, had high innate immunity-stimulating activity, whereas rice malt, another raw material used to make amazake, did not, even after fermentation. These results suggest that the silkworm muscle contraction assay is a useful tool to screen foods with high innate immune-stimulating activity and that amazake made from sake cake has immunomodulatory potential.
In patients with malignancy who receive aflibercept based chemotherapy, gastrointestinal perforation is among the reported adverse events with a prevalence of 1.9%. This complication may lead to mortality up to 10.8%. We here report a case of small bowel perforation that occurred fifteen days after the first cycle of aflibercept in a 58-year old female who had metachronous colorectal liver metastases. Emergency laparotomy was performed and revealed a small bowel perforation without any anastomotic dehiscence. Surgery was followed by uneventful outcome. The use of aflibercept in patients with malignancy may be associated with very early gastrointestinal perforation and this should be known by oncologist and surgeons.
In the article entitled "Sushi repeat-containing protein X-linked 2 promotes angiogenesis through the urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor dependent integrin αvβ3/focal adhesion kinase pathways" by Liu KL et al. (Drug Discov Ther. 2017; 11(4):212-217.), a mistake in Figure 3a (αvβ3) has been identified. Figure 3 is printed below.