Direct conversion of mammalian fibroblasts into induced neuronal (iN) cells has been attained by forced expression of pro-neural transcriptional factors, or by combining defined factors with either microRNAs or small molecules. Here, we show that neuronal cells can be converted from postnatal human fibroblasts into cell populations with neuronal purities of up to >80% using a combination of six chemical compounds. The chemical compound-induced neuronal cells (CiNCs) express neuron-specific proteins and functional neuron markers. The efficiency of CiNCs is unaffected by either the donor’s age or cellular senescence (passage number). We propose this chemical direct converting strategy as a potential approach for highly efficient generation of neuronal cells from human fibroblasts for such uses as in neural disease modeling and regenerative medicine.
Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects the mucous membrane of the oral cavity and can contribute to the development of other diseases. Inflammation in oral lichen planus is a T-cell-mediated autoimmune disease that acts through cytotoxic CD8+ T cells to trigger apoptosis of keratinocytes. However, the specific cause of oral lichen planus remains unknown and no effective medical treatment has yet been established. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid pigment with capacity for anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities. In this study, we evaluated whether astaxanthin could be used to improve the pathology of oral lichen planus by reducing inflammation. In particular, the anti-inflammatory effects of astaxanthin on the chronic inflammation caused by lipopolysaccharide derived from Escherichia coli O55 in human gingival keratinocytes (NDUSD-1) were evaluated. Following astaxanthin treatment, localization of nuclear factor κB/p65 and the level of inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-α) tended to decrease, and cell proliferation significantly increased in vitro. These results suggest that astaxanthin could be useful for improving chronic inflammation such as that associated with oral lichen planus.
S-allyl cysteine (SAC) is the most abundant compound in aged garlic extracts (AGEs). AGE has been reported to ameliorate the oxidative damage implicated in a variety of diseases. However, the effects of SAC have not been established in liver cirrhosis. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of therapeutic administration of SAC in liver cirrhosis by chronic carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) administration in rats. SAC or other cysteine compounds were administered from 4 weeks when liver fibrosis was confirmed to be in process. CCl4 administration elevated plasma alanine aminotransferase, plasma lipid peroxidation, liver hydroxyproline, and liver transforming growth factor (TGF)-β at 12 weeks. SAC prevented these changes induced by CCl4. Furthermore, SAC improved survival in a dose-dependent manner following consecutive CCl4 administration. The inhibitory mechanisms may be associated with a decrease in the profibrogenic cytokine, TGF-β as well as the antioxidative properties of SAC.
Pruni cortex, the bark of Prunus jamasakura Siebold ex Koidzumi, has been used in the Japanese systems of medicine for many years for its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antitussive properties. In this study, we investigated the effect of pruni cortex on atopic dermatitis NC/Nga mouse model. Atopic dermatitis-like lesion was induced by the application of house dust mite extract to the dorsal skin. After induction of atopic dermatitis, pruni cortex aqueous extract (1 g/kg, p.o.) was administered daily for 2 weeks. We evaluated dermatitis severity, histopathological changes and cellular protein expression by Western blotting for nuclear and cytoplasmic high mobility group box 1, receptor for advanced glycation end products, nuclear factor κB, apoptosis and inflammatory markers in the skin of atopic dermatitis mice. The clinical observation confirmed that the dermatitis score was significantly lower when treated with pruni cortex than in the atopic dermatitis group. Similarly pruni cortex inhibited hypertrophy and infiltration of inflammatory cells as identified by histopathology. In addition, pruni cortex significantly inhibited the protein expression of cytoplasmic high mobility group box 1, receptor for advanced glycation end products, nuclear p-nuclear factor kappa B, apoptosis and inflammatory markers. These results indicate that pruni cortex may have therapeutic potential in the treatment of atopic dermatitis by attenuating high mobility group box 1 and inflammation possibly through the nuclear factor κB pathway.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by chronic hyperglycemia. Advanced diabetes is associated with severe complications and impaired nutritional status. Here, we assessed the expression of retinol-associated proteins, including β-carotene 15,15'-monooxygenase (BCMO), lecithin:retinol acyltransferase (LRAT), aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), and cytochrome P450 26A1 (CYP26A1), and measured retinol levels in the plasma and liver of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced type 1 diabetic model rats. Compared to the levels in the control rats, retinol levels in the plasma and liver of STZ rats were decreased and increased, respectively. Hepatic expression of the LRAT gene in STZ rats was lower than that in the controls. In the liver of STZ rats, the expression of ALDH1A1, a retinal metabolizing enzyme was higher, whereas ALDH1A2 expression was lower than in the controls. Hepatic CYP26A1 expression in STZ rats was significantly higher than in the control rats. BCMO expression levels in the liver and intestine of STZ rats were much lower than those of the controls. Altered BCMO expression might affect retinol status. It is considered that the metabolic availability of retinol was lessened despite the accelerated catabolism of retinol; therefore, retinol mobilization may be unbalanced in the liver of rats in the type 1 diabetic state.
Changes in l-arginine metabolism, including increased arginase levels and decreased nitric oxide production, are involved in the pathophysiology of asthma. In this study, using an intranasal mite-induced NC/Nga mouse model of asthma, we examined whether administration of l-arginine ameliorated airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation by altering l-arginine metabolism. Experimental asthma was induced in NC/Nga mice via intranasal administration of mite crude extract (50 µg/day) on 5 consecutive days (days 0–4, sensitization) and on day 11 (challenge). Oral administration of l-arginine (250 mg/kg) was performed twice daily on days 5–10 for prevention or on days 11–13 for therapy. On day 14, we evaluated the inflammatory airway response (airway hyperresponsiveness, the number of cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid, and the changes in pathological inflammation of the lung), arginase expression and activity, l-arginine bioavailability, and the concentration of NOx, the end products of nitric oxide. Treatment with l-arginine ameliorated the mite-induced inflammatory airway response. Furthermore, l-arginine administration attenuated the increases in arginase expression and activity and elevated the NOx levels by enhancing l-arginine bioavailability. These findings indicate that l-arginine administration may contribute to the improvement of asthmatic symptoms by altering l-arginine metabolism.
This study aimed to compare the nutritional status and energy expenditure of hospitalized patients with Crohn’s disease (CD) and those with ulcerative colitis (UC). Twenty-two hospitalized patients with CD and 18 patients with UC were enrolled in this study. We analyzed nutritional status upon admission by using nutritional screening tools including subjective global assessment, malnutrition universal screening tool, and laboratory tests. We measured resting energy expenditure (mREE) of the patients with indirect calorimetry and predicted resting energy expenditure (pREE) was calculated by using the Harris-Benedict equation. Results presented here indicate no significant difference in nutritional parameters and energy metabolism between CD and UC patients. In UC patients, a significant correlation was observed between mREE/body weight and disease activity detected by the Lichtiger and Seo indices. However, there was no correlation between mREE/body weight and Crohn’s disease activity index in CD patients. Inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 levels correlated with mREE/pREE in CD and UC patients while tumor necrosis factor-α was not. In conclusion, energy expenditure significantly correlated with disease activity in UC patients but not in CD patients. These results indicate that establishing daily energy requirements based on disease activity of UC is imperative for improving the nutritional status of patients.
We investigated the changes in energy expenditure during induction therapy in patients with severe or moderate ulcerative colitis. Thirteen patients (10 men, 3 women; mean age, 36.5 years) with ulcerative colitis admitted to the Shiga University Hospital were enrolled in this study. We measured the resting energy expenditure and respiratory quotients of these patients before and after induction therapy with indirect calorimetry. We analyzed the changes of nutritional status and serum inflammatory cytokine levels and also evaluated the relationship between energy metabolism and disease activity by using the Seo index and Lichtiger index. The resting energy expenditure was 26.3 ± 3.8 kcal/kg/day in the active stage and significantly decreased to 23.5 ± 2.4 kcal/kg/day after induction therapy (p<0.01). The resting energy expenditure changed in parallel with the disease activity index and C-reactive protein and inflammatory cytokine levels. The respiratory quotient significantly increased after induction therapy. Thus, moderate to severe ulcerative colitis patients had a hyper-metabolic status, and the energy metabolism of these patients significantly changed after induction therapy. Therefore, we recommend that nutritional management with 30–34 kcal/kg/day (calculated as measured resting energy expenditure × activity factor, 1.3) may be optimal for hospitalized ulcerative colitis patients.
In periodontitis, production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by neutrophils induces oxidative stress and deteriorates surrounding tissues. Antioxidants reduce damage caused by ROS and are used to treat diseases involving oxidative stress. This study summarizes the different effects of resveratrol, quercetin, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) on human gingival fibroblasts (HGFs) under oxidative stress induced by hydrogen peroxide. Real-time cytotoxicity analyses reveals that resveratrol and quercetin enhanced cell proliferation even under oxidative stress. Of the antioxidants tested, resveratrol is the most effective at inhibiting ROS production. HGFs incubated with resveratrol and quercetin up-regulate the transcription of type I collagen gene after 3 h, but only resveratrol sustained this up-regulation for 24 h. A measurement of the oxygen consumption rate (OCR, mitochondrial respiration) shows that resveratrol generates the highest maximal respiratory capacity, followed by quercetin and NAC. Simultaneous measurement of OCR and the extracellular acidification rate (non-mitochondrial respiration) reveals that resveratrol and quercetin induce an increase in mitochondrial respiration when compared with untreated cells. NAC treatment consumes less oxygen and enhances more non-mitochondrial respiration. In conclusion, resveratrol is the most effective antioxidant in terms of real-time cytotoxicity analysis, reduction of ROS production, and enhancement of type I collagen synthesis and mitochondrial respiration in HGFs.
A 24-week, double-blind, clinical trial of rabeprazole for the prevention of recurrent peptic ulcers caused by low-dose aspirin (LDA) has been reported, but trials for longer than 24 weeks have not been reported. The aim of this study is to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of rabeprazole for preventing peptic ulcer recurrence on LDA therapy. Eligible patients had a history of peptic ulcers on long-term LDA (81 or 100 mg/day) therapy. Patients with no recurrence of peptic ulcers at the end of the 24-week double-blind phase with rabeprazole (10- or 5-mg once daily) or teprenone (50 mg three times daily) entered the extension phase. Rabeprazole doses were maintained for a maximum of 76 weeks, including the double-blind 24-week period and the extension phase period (long-term rabeprazole 10- and 5-mg groups). Teprenone was randomly switched to rabeprazole 10 or 5 mg for a maximum of 52 weeks in the extension phase (newly-initiated rabeprazole 10- and 5-mg groups). The full analysis set consisted of 151 and 150 subjects in the long-term rabeprazole 10- and 5-mg groups, respectively, and the cumulative recurrence rates of peptic ulcers were 2.2 and 3.7%, respectively. Recurrent peptic ulcers were not observed in the newly-initiated rabeprazole 10- and 5-mg groups. No bleeding ulcers were reported. No clinically significant safety findings, including cardiovascular events, emerged. The use of long-term rabeprazole 10- and 5-mg once daily prevents the recurrence of peptic ulcers in subjects on low-dose aspirin therapy, and both were well-tolerated.
Although recent studies have reported that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG), the most extensively studied probiotic strain, exerts an anti-hyperglycemic effect on several rodent models, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. In this study, twenty male C57BL/KsJ-db/db (db/db) mice were divided into 2 groups, LGG-treated and control group, which received a daily dose of LGG (1 × 108 CFU per mouse) and PBS orally for 4 weeks, respectively. We observed that glucose tolerance was significantly improved in LGG-treated db/db mice. Insulin-stimulated Akt phosphorylation and GLUT4 translocation were higher in skeletal muscle of LGG-treated mice relative to their controls. It was also observed that LGG treatment caused significant reductions in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in skeletal muscle and M1-like macrophage activation in white adipose tissues. Our results indicate that the anti-diabetic effect of LGG in db/db mice is associated with alleviated ER stress and suppressed macrophage activation, resulting in enhanced insulin sensitivity. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential of probiotics for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.