Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is necessary for mitochondrial energy production and modulates the expression of genes that are important for inflammatory processes, growth and detoxification reactions. A cellular surveillance-activated detoxification and defenses (cSADDs) pathway has been recently identified in C. elegans. The down-regulation of the components of the cSADDs pathway initiates an aversion behavior of the nematode. Here we hypothesized that CoQ regulates genes of the cSADDs pathway. To verify this we generated CoQ-deficient worms (”CoQ-free”) and performed whole-genome expression profiling. We found about 30% (120 genes) of the cSADDs pathway genes were differentially regulated under CoQ-deficient condition. Remarkably, 83% of these genes were down-regulated. The majority of the CoQ-sensitive cSADDs pathway genes encode for proteins involved in larval development (enrichment score (ES) = 38.0, p = 5.0E−37), aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, proteasome function (ES 8.2, p = 5.9E−31) and mitochondria function (ES 3.4, p = 1.7E−5). 67% (80 genes) of these genes are categorized as lethal. Thus it is shown for the first time that CoQ regulates a substantial number of essential genes that function in the evolutionary conserved cellular surveillance-activated detoxification and defenses pathway in C. elegans.
Fetal brain injury is often related to prenatal inflammation; however, there is a lack of effective therapy. Recently, molecular hydrogen (H2), a specific antioxidant to hydroxyl radical and peroxynitrite, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of this study was to investigate whether maternal H2 administration could protect the fetal brain against inflammation. Pregnant C3H/HeN mice received an intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) on gestational day 15.5 and were provided with H2 water for 24 h prior to LPS injection. Pup brain samples were collected on gestational day 16.5, and the levels of apoptosis and oxidative damage were evaluated using immunohistochemistry. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels were examined using real-time PCR. The levels of apoptosis and oxidative damage, as well as the levels of IL-6 mRNA, increased significantly when the mother was injected with LPS than that in the control group. However, these levels were significantly reduced when H2 was administered prior to the LPS-injection. Our results suggest that LPS-induced apoptosis, oxidative damage and inflammation in the fetal brain were ameliorated by maternal H2 administration. Antenatal H2 administration might protect the premature brain against maternal inflammation.
Excess consumption of trans-fatty acid could increase the risk of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); however, treatment targeting trans-fatty acid-induced NASH has not been examined. Here we focused on the influence of trans-fatty acid intake on endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in hepatocytes, so we investigated the effect of the chemical chaperone 4-phenylbutyric acid (PBA), on trans-fatty acid-caused steatohepatitis using diabetic KK-Ay mice. Elaidic acid (EA, trans-fatty acid) alone did not cause definitive liver injury. In contrast, EA plus low-dose fructose induced extensive apoptosis in hepatocytes with severe fat accumulation. EA plus fructose significantly increased ER stress markers such as glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78), eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and phosphorylated c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), while PBA significantly reduced this response. In vitro, EA promoted expression of GRP78 and phosphorylation of eIF2α in primary-cultured hepatocytes. EA also increased hepatocellular susceptibility to low-dose tert-butyl hydroperoxide. Treatment with PBA significantly reduced these responses. In conclusion, EA potentiates susceptibly to non-hazardous dose of fructose, and increases ER and oxidative stress. PBA improved steatohepatitis induced by EA plus fructose through amelioration of ER stress. Therefore, ER stress-targeted therapy using a chemical chaperone is a promising novel strategy for trans-fatty acid-induced steatohepatitis.
Mouse bone marrow-derived clonal mesenchymal stem cells (mcMSCs), which were originated from a single cell by a subfractionation culturing method, are recognized as new paradigm for stem cell therapy featured with its homogenous cell population. Next to proven therapeutic effects against pancreatitis, in the current study we demonstrated that mcMSCs showed significant therapeutic effects in dextran sulfate sodium (DSS)-induced experimental colitis model supported with anti-inflammatory and restorative activities. mcMSCs significantly reduced the disease activity index (DAI) score, including weight loss, stool consistency, and intestinal bleeding and significantly increased survival rates. The pathological scores were also significantly improved with mcMSC. We have demonstrated that especial mucosal regeneration activity accompanied with significantly lowered level of apoptosis as beneficiary actions of mcMSCs in UC models. The levels of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-17 were all significantly concurrent with significantly repressed NF-κB activation compared to the control group and significantly decreased infiltrations of responsible macrophage and neutrophil. Conclusively, our findings provide the rationale that mcMSCs are applicable as a potential source of cell-based therapy in inflammatory bowel diseases, especially contributing either to prevent relapse or to accelerate healing as solution to unmet medical needs in IBD therapy.
We examined the effect of a high-fat diet from senescence as a means of preventing malnutrition among the elderly. The senescence-accelerated mouse P8 was used and divided into three groups. The 6C group was given a normal diet until 6 months old. The 12N group was given a normal diet until 12 months old. The 12F group was given a normal diet until 6 months old and then a high-fat diet until 12 months old. In the oral fat tolerance test, there was a decrease in area under the curve for serum triacylglycerol level in the 12N group and a significant increase in the 12F group, suggesting that the attenuation of lipid absorption ability with aging was delayed by a high-fat diet from senescence. To examine this mechanism, histological analysis in the small intestine was performed. As a result, the degeneration of villi with aging was inhibited by the high-fat diet. There was also a significant decrease in length of villus in the small intestine in the 12N group and a significant increase in the 12F group. The high-fat diet from senescence inhibited the degeneration of villi with aging in the small intestine, and inhibited the attenuation of lipid absorption ability.
The effects of dietary polyphenols on human health have mainly been discussed in the context of preventing degenerative diseases, particularly cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The antioxidant properties of polyphenols have been widely studied, but it has become clear that the mechanism of action of polyphenols extends beyond the modulation of oxidative stress, as they are poorly absorbed from the digestive tract. The purpose of this study was to clarify the effects of polyphenols on the colonic environment, intestinal barrier function, and gut microbiota. We demonstrated that dietary polyphenols derived from aronia, haskap, and bilberry, markedly elevated the amount of fecal mucin and immunoglobulin A (IgA) as an intestinal barrier function and ameliorated the disturbance in gut microbiota caused by a high fat diet in rats. These results suggest that dietary polyphenols play a significant role in the prevention of degenerative diseases through improvement of the colonic environment without any absorption from the digestive tract.
We studied the effect of soluble fiber-enriched products on anthropometric and biochemical variables in 30 healthy non-obese, non-diabetic subjects. This was a randomized, controlled crossover, single-blind, dietary intervention study performed for 8 weeks. Subjects received an isocaloric diet with fiber-enriched products for the first 4 weeks and with regular flour products for the following 4 weeks, or vice versa. Weight, height, measures of fat distribution (waist, hip circumference), glucose, insulin and triglycerides were measured at baseline, after 4 and 8 weeks of intervention. BMI and insulin sensitivity indices were calculated. Weight and BMI decreased in the first period of isocaloric diet in both groups, regardless of the type of flour consumed (weight p<0.01, p<0.001 respectively; BMI p = 0.01, p<0.001 respectively). At the end of the 8 weeks, weight and BMI further decreased in the group consuming the fiber-enriched diet (p<0.01). Insulin resistance, estimated with the Homeostasis Model Assessment index and the Lipid Accumulation Product index, improved in all subjects after the fiber-enriched flour diet (p = 0.03, p = 0.02, respectively). In conclusion, an isocaloric diet supplemented with fiber-enriched products may improve measures of fatness and insulin sensitivity in healthy non-obese non-diabetic subjects. We might hypothesize a similar effect also in subjects with metabolic abnormalities.
Low vitamin K nutritional status has been associated with increased risk of fracture, however inconsistent results exist to support the role of vitamin K on bone mineral density depending on ethnic difference and gender. Our objective was to determine vitamin K intake in Korean adults, examine correlation between vitamin K intake and bone mineral density. This study analyzed raw data from the fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey for adults (2,785 men, 4,307 women) aged over 19 years. Cross-sectional analyses showed only positive association between vitamin K intake and femur bone mineral density in men after adjusting bone-related factors. However, women in high tertiles of vitamin K intake had a significantly higher bone mineral density both in femur and lumber as compared to women in lowest tertiles (p<0.05). The risk for osteoporosis was decreased as vitamin K intake increased in women, but this effect was not persisted after adjusting factors. The findings of this study indicate that low dietary vitamin K intake was associated with low bone mineral density in subjects. From these results we may suggest an increase in dietary vitamin K intakes for maintaining bone mineral density. (2010-02CON-21-C, 2011-02CON-06-C)
Chlorella is a unicellular green alga, which contains a variety of nutrients including amino acids, dietary fibers, n-3 unsaturated fatty acid, vitamins, and minerals. We previously demonstrated that Chlorella-derived multicomponent supplementation decreases arterial stiffness in young men. However, mechanisms underlying the reduction in arterial stiffness by Chlorella-derived supplementation and the effect in middle-aged and older individuals have remained unexplored. This study tested our hypothesis that Chlorella-derived supplementation improves arterial stiffness via an increase in nitric oxide (NO, a endothelium-derived relaxing factor) production in middle-aged and older individuals. Thirty-two subjects between 45 and 75 years of age assigned to placebo and Chlorella groups in a double-blinded manner and took respective tablets for 4 weeks. Before and after the supplementations, brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV, an index of arterial stiffness) and plasma nitrite/nitrate (NOx, end product of NO) concentration were measured. There was no difference in baPWV between before and after the placebo intake, but baPWV decreased after the Chlorella supplementation. Changes in baPWV with the Chlorella supplementation were correlated with those in plasma NOx concentration. We concluded that Chlorella-derived multicomponent supplementation decreases arterial stiffness in middle-aged and older individuals. It may be associated with increase in NO production by vascular endothelium.
Proton pump inhibitors are the first-line treatment for reflux esophagitis. Because severe reflux esophagitis has very low prevalence in Japan, little is known about the effectiveness of proton pump inhibitors in these patients. This prospective multicenter study assessed the effectiveness of proton pump inhibitors for severe reflux esophagitis in Japan. Patients with modified Los Angeles grade C or D reflux esophagitis were treated with daily omeprazole (10 or 20 mg), lansoprazole (15 or 30 mg), or rabeprazole (10, 20, or 40 mg) for 8 weeks. Healing was assessed endoscopically, with questionnaires administered before and after treatment to measure the extent of reflux and dyspepsia symptoms. Factors affecting healing rates, including patient characteristics and endoscopic findings, were analyzed. Of the 115 patients enrolled, 64 with grade C and 19 with grade D reflux esophagitis completed the study. The healing rate was 67.5% (56/83), with 15 of the other 27 patients (55.6%) improving to grade A or B. No patient characteristic or endoscopic comorbidity was significantly associated with healing rate. Reflux and dyspepsia symptoms improved significantly with treatment. The low healing rate suggests the need of endoscopic examination to assess healing of reflux esophagitis at the end of therapy. (UMIN000005271)
Botulinum toxin injection is an accepted treatment modality for esophageal achalasia in western countries. This pilot study aimed to clarify the effectiveness of botulinum toxin injection for esophageal achalasia in Japanese patients. We enrolled 10 patients diagnosed with esophageal achalasia between 2008 and 2014. A total of 100 U botulinum toxin A was divided into eight aliquots and injected around the esophagogastric junction. We compared the lower esophageal sphincter pressure before and 1 week after treatment. Scores of subjective symptoms for esophageal achalasia were assessed using a visual analog scale (VAS) before and after 1 week of follow-up of treatment. Barium passage was improved in barium esophagography and passage of contrast agent was also improved. Mean Eckardt score was reduced from 5.5 to 1.6 after treatment (p<0.001). By esophageal manometric study, mean lower esophageal sphincter pressure was reduced from 46.9 to 29.1 mmHg after treatment (p = 0.002). One week after treatment, mean VAS score was reduced from 10 to 3.9 (p<0.001). There were no side effects in any cases. Botulinum toxin injection for esophageal achalasia was safe and effective with few complications. Therefore, botulinum toxin could be used as minimally invasive therapy for esophageal achalasia in Japan.
The beneficial effect of dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibition on diet-induced extra-pancreatic effects, especially on liver tissue remains poorly understood. Thus, we made the experimental designs as follows; five-week-old male ob/ob mice, which develop type 2 diabetic mellitus and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by taking a high-carbohydrate diet (HCD), were divided into a group in which a HCD was given for 8 weeks as control, and another in which a HCD added with 0.0018% sitagliptin was given for 8 weeks. Hepatic steatosis was seen in all mice, but the mean grade of steatosis in the sitagliptin-administrated mice was significantly decreased. The acetyl-CoA concentrations were lower in sitagliptin-administrated mice, although the differences were not significant. However, the malonyl-CoA concentrations were significantly lower in sitagliptin-administrated mice. The expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase 1 was inhibited in sitagliptin-administrated mice, irrespective of expressions of carbohydrate responsive element-binding protein (ChREBP) or sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP)-1c. In conclusion, sitagliptin may affect the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease by inhibiting the production of malonyl-CoA and thus synthesis of fatty acids in the liver.