Phospholipid hydroperoxide glutathione peroxidase (PHGPx) is an intracellular antioxidant enzyme that directly reduces peroxidized phospholipids. PHGPx is transcribed from one gene into three types of mRNA, mitochondrial, non-mitochondrial and nucleolar PHGPx by alternative transcription. In this review, we focus on our recent experiments on the regulation of promoter activity of the types of PHGPx and on the novel strategy of functional analysis of a PHGPx knockout mice model using the transgenic rescue method and Cre-LoxP system. PHGPx is especially high in testis and spermatozoa. A deficiency is implicated in human infertility. We established spermatocyte-specific PHGPx knockout (KO) mice using a Cre-loxP system. Targeted disruption of all exons of the PHGPx gene in mice by homologous recombination caused embryonic lethality at 7.5 days post coitum. The PHGPx-loxP transgene rescued PHGPx KO mice from embryonic lethality. These rescued floxed PHGPx mice were mated with spermatocyte specific Cre expressing mice. All the spermatocyte-specific PHGPx KO male mice were infertile and displayed a significant decrease in the number of spermatozoa and significant reductions in forward motility by mitochondrial dysfunction of spermatozoa. These results demonstrate that depletion of PHGPx in spermatozoa may be one of the causes of male infertility in mice and humans.
Nitric oxide (NO), produced by inducible NO synthase (iNOS) during infection, plays a crucial role in host defense mechanisms. Salmonella typhimurium infection in mice is associated with excessive production of NO from iNOS as a host defense response. An important cytoprotective and antimicrobial function of NO is mediated by induction of heme oxygenase (HO)-1. The signaling mechanism of NO-dependent HO-1 induction has remained unclear, however. We recently discovered a nitrated cyclic nucleotide, 8-nitroguanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-nitro-cGMP), which is formed via guanine nitration with NO and reactive oxygen species. iNOS-dependent 8-nitro-cGMP formation and HO-1 induction were identified in Salmonella-infected mice. Extensive apoptosis observed with iNOS-deficient macrophages infected with Salmonella was remarkably suppressed via HO-1 induced by 8-nitro-cGMP formed in cells. This cytoprotective signaling appears to be mediated by the reaction of 8-nitro-cGMP with protein sulfhydryls to generate a novel post-translational modification named protein S-guanylation. We also found that 8-nitro-cGMP specifically S-guanylates Keap1, a negative regulator of transcription factor Nrf2, which in turn up-regulates transcription of HO-1. Here, we discuss the unique mechanism of NO-mediated host defense that operates via formation of a novel signaling molecule - 8-nitro-cGMP - during microbial infections.
Two vitamins and proline (CB6Pro), three nutrients essential for bone collagen, were used in combination to a 1000 mg calcium/250 IU vitamin D (Ca/D) daily supplement to treat osteopenia as a preventive measure against osteoporosis later in life. Middle-aged women not using estrogen were screened for osteopenia using the WHO criteria and divided into three groups (n = 20 each): 1) placebo healthy controls with normal bone mineral density (BMD); 2) control Ca/D-treated osteopenic patients; and 3) Ca/D + CB6Pro-treated osteopenic patients. The three groups were comparable at baseline except for BMD. After one-year treatment, cortical diaphyseal BMD remained constant in each group, but trabecular bone loss persisted (at 5 lumbar sites) in osteopenic group 2. No further bone loss was detected in osteopenic group 3. A loss of 2% was evidenced in the placebo group at one lumbar site. Markers of bone formation (which increase in coupling to resorption) decreased significantly in both osteopenic groups. Although biomarkers of resorption did not change, hormone (PTH and 1,25(OH)2D3)-induced osteoclastic activity was significantly reduced. No decline in BMD occurred at any bone site in osteopenic group 3, highlighting the importance of improving the quality of bone matrix concomitantly to mineral replacement.
Chronic exposure to elevated levels of free fatty acids (FFA) causes β-cell dysfunction and may induce β-cell apoptosis in type 2 diabetes. The execution of β-cell apoptosis occurs through activation of mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs). Ginsenoside Rg3 (Rg3), one of the active ingredients of ginseng saponins, has not been known about the effects on β-cell apoptosis mediated with FFA. The aims of this study were to investigate the in vitro protective effects of Rg3 on MIN6N8 mouse insulinoma β-cells against FFA-induced apoptosis, as well as the modulating effects on p44/42 MAPK activation. Our results showed that Rg3 inhibited the palmitate-induced apoptosis through modulating p44/42 MAPK activation. We conclude that Rg3 has the potential role in suppressing the progression of type 2 diabetes by inhibiting FFA-mediated loss of β-cells.
Sustained virologic response with peg-interferon and ribavirin combination therapy for 48 weeks is still inadequate. Our study examined whether short-term administration of retinol clinically influences the anti-viral activity of interferon early during interferon and ribavirin combination therapy. The control group received 6 MIU of interferon α-2b every day for two weeks and then 3 times a week for 22 weeks intramuscularly plus 600 mg or 800 mg per day of ribavirin orally for 24 weeks. The retinol group, in addition to above treatment, received retinol 30,000 units per day orally for 3 weeks from one week before the start of interferon α-2b plus ribavirin combination therapy. The hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA negativity rate at 1 week after the end of interferon α-2b and ribavirin combination therapy was 46.7% (28/60) for the retinol group and 31.7% (19/60) for the control group, which was significantly higher for the retinol group. The level of serum HCV RNA in the retinol group was significantly lower at 1 week after beginning treatment as compared to the control group (p<0.01). Furthermore, serum 2,5'AS protein at 1 week after beginning treatment was significantly higher in the retinol group (p = 0.0002). The results suggest that retinol supplement increases the antiviral effect of interferon α-2b plus ribavirin only during the administration of IFN α-2b, ribavirin and retinol in patients with chronic hepatitis C.
Polaprezinc, a chelate compound consisting of zinc and l-carnosine, is clinically used as a medicine for gastric ulcers. It has been shown that induction of heat shock protein (HSP) is involved in protective effects of polaprezinc against gastric mucosal injury. In the present study, we investigated whether polaprezinc and its components could induce HSP70 and prevent acetaminophen (APAP) toxicity in mouse primary cultured hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were treated with polaprezinc, zinc sulfate or l-carnosine at the concentration of 100 μM for 9 h, and then exposed to 10 mM APAP. Polaprezinc or zinc sulfate increased cellular HSP70 expression. However, l-carnosine had no influence on it. Pretreatment of the cells with polaprezinc or zinc sulfate significantly suppressed cell death as well as cellular lipid peroxidation after APAP treatment. In contrast, pretreatment with polaprezinc did not affect decrease in intracellular glutathione after APAP. Furthermore, treatment with KNK437, an HSP inhibitor, attenuated increase in HSP70 expression induced by polaprezinc, and abolished protective effect of polaprezinc on cell death after APAP. These results suggested that polaprezinc, in particular its zinc component, induces HSP70 expression in mouse primary cultured hepatocytes, and inhibits lipid peroxidation after APAP treatment, resulting in protection against APAP toxicity.
It has been reported that Ocimum sanctum L. (OS) leaves decrease serum lipid profile in normal and diabetic animals. No experimental evidences support the anti-hyperlipidemic and antioxidative actions against hypercholesterolemia. Moreover the identity of the specific chemical ingredients in OS leaves responsible for these pharmacological effects are unknown. Since OS leaves are rich in essential oil (EO). Therefore the present study was conducted to investigate the anti-hyperlipidemic and antioxidative activities of EO extracted from OS leaves in rats fed with high cholesterol (HC) diet. EO was extracted by the hydrodistillation method and the chemical constituents were then identified by Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry. The experiment was performed in Male Wistar rats fed with 2.5 g%(w/w) of cholesterol diet for seven weeks. During the last 3 weeks, rats were daily fed with EO. The results showed that phenyl propanoid compounds including eugenol and methyl eugenol were the major constituents of EO. EO suppressed the high serum lipid profile and atherogenic index as well as serum lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase MB subunit without significant effect on high serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and alkaline phosphatase in rats fed with HC diet. In addition, EO was found to decrease the high levels of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) without impacting catalase (CAT) in the cardiac tissue while in the liver, it decreased high level of TBARS without significantly effecting GPx, SOD and CAT. Histopathological results confirmed that EO preserved the myocardial tissue. It can be concluded that EO extracted from OS leaves has lipid-lowering and antioxidative effects that protect the heart against hypercholesterolemia. Eugenol that is contained in EO likely contribute to these pharmacological effects.
Previously, our group reported that sulforaphane (SFN), a naturally occurring chemopreventive agent from cruciferous vegetables, effectively inhibits the proliferation of KB and YD-10B human oral squamous carcinoma cells by causing apoptosis. In this study, treatment of 20 and 40 μM of SFN for 12 h caused a cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase. Cell cycle arrest induced by SFN was associated with a significant increase in the p21 protein level and a decrease in cyclin B expression, but there was no change in the cyclin A protein level. In addition, SFN increased the p21 promoter activity significantly. Furthermore, SFN induced p21 protein expression in a nude mouse xenograft model suggesting that SFN is a potent inducer of the p21 protein in human oral squamous carcinoma cells. These findings show that SFN is a promising candidate for molecular-targeting chemotherapy against human oral squamous cell carcinoma.
We investigated energy expenditure in hospitalized patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), and determined optimal energy requirements for nutritional therapy. Sixteen patients (5 women and 11 men, mean age 36 year old, mean BMI 18.7 kg/m2) and 8 healthy volunteers were enrolled in this study. Measured resting energy expenditure (mREE) levels were determined by indirect calorimetry. The mREEs in CD patients were significantly higher than those of healthy controls (24.4 ± 2.4 kcal/kg/day vs 21.3 ± 1.7 kcal/kg/day). However, mREEs in CD patients were significantly lower than predicted REEs (pREEs) calculated by the Harris-Benedict equation (26.4 ± 2.5 kcal/kg/day). Furthermore, mREE/pREE values were lower in undernourished patients than in well-nourished patients. CD patients had hyper-metabolic statuses evaluated by mREE/body weight, but increased energy expenditure did not contribute to weight loss in these patients. In conclusion, nutritional therapy with 25–30 kcal/ideal body weight/day (calculated by mREE × active factor) may be optimal for active CD patients, while higher energy intake values pose the risk of overfeeding.
More elderly patients now undergo gastrointestinal endoscopy following recent advances in endoscopic techniques. In this study, we conducted a high-risk survey of endoscopies in Japan, using a questionnaire administered prior to upper gastrointestinal tract endoscopy (UGITE), and identified anticholinergic agents and glucagon preparations as high-risk premedication. We also evaluated the cardiovascular effects of anticholinergic agents and glucagon through measurements of plasma levels of human atrial natriuretic peptide (hANP) and human brain natriuretic peptide (hBNP). The subjects were 1480 patients who underwent UGITE. Nurses administered a pre-endoscopy questionnaire, questioning subjects regarding heart disease, hypertension, glaucoma, and urinary difficulties as risk factors for anticholinergic agents, and Diabetes mellitus as a risk factor for glucagon preparations. Evaluation of subjects divided into under 65 and over 65 age groups revealed that in subjects aged 65 and over, risk factors for anticholinergic agents were significantly more high than those for glucagon. Analysis of the cardiovascular effects of anticholinergic agents and glucagon, in the elderly patients showed that hANP levels were significantly higher following administration of anticholinergic agents, but the change was not significant for glucagon premedication. Taking a detailed history before UGITE with the aid of a questionnaire at the same time as informed consent is obtained, is extremely useful in terms of risk management and selection of the appropriate premedication.
Clinical and experimental studies showed that the reflux of bile into the stomach contributes to the induction of intestinal metaplasia of the stomach and gastric carcinogenesis. Caudal-type homeobox 2 (Cdx2) plays a key role in the exhibition of intestinal phenotypes by regulating the expression of intestine-specific genes such as goblet-specific gene mucin 2 (MUC2). We investigated the involvement of the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), a nuclear receptor for bile acids, in the chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA)-induced expression of Cdx2 and MUC2 in normal rat gastric epithelial cells (RGM-1 cells). RGM-1 cells were treated with CDCA or GW4064, an FXR agonist, in the presence or absence of guggulsterone, an FXR antagonist. CDCA induced dose-dependent expression of Cdx2 and MUC2 at both the mRNA and protein levels. The maximum stimulation of Cdx2 and MUC2 mRNA induced by CDCA was observed at 3 h and by 6 h, respectively. GW4064 also induced expression of these molecules. The effects of CDCA and GW4064 on expression of Cdx2 and MUC2 were abolished by guggulsterone. These findings suggest that bile acids may induce gastric intestinal metaplasia and carcinogenesis through the FXR.
Citrus bioflavonoids may offer some protection against the early stage of diabetes mellitus and the development of complications. We investigated the effect of hesperidin on blood glucose levels, hepatic glucose-regulating enzyme activities, serum insulin and adiponectin levels, serum and hepatic lipid levels, and parameters of bone loss in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced marginal type 1 diabetic rats. Weanling male rats were randomly assigned to experimental 3 groups: a control (C) group, a STZ induced marginal type 1 diabetes (S) group, and a diabetes and hesperidin group, and fed their respective diets for 4 weeks. STZ injection increased blood glucose in rats, but the increase was marginal. Serum and hepatic lipids, serum adiponectin and insulin levels were significantly changed by STZ injection. Dietary hesperidin (10 g/kg diet) decreased blood glucose by altering the activity of glucose-regulating enzymes, and normalized the lipids and adiponectin levels, but did not change bone parameters in the marginal type 1 diabetic rats. Hesperidin showed both hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects but did not affect bone tissue and bone metabolic makers in STZ-injected marginal diabetic weanling rats without any body weight loss due to STZ injection.