In the trend of biological science after the completion of the human genome project, appreciation of an organism as a system rather than the sum of many molecular functions is necessary. On the investigation of DNA damage and repair, therefore, the orientation toward systematic and comprehensive genome-scale approaches is rapidly growing. The immunoprecipitation-based technique combined with high-density microarrays is one of the promising methods to provide access to such novel research strategies. We propose this sort of research area as oxygenomics.
Diabetes is one of the most common metabolic disorders worldwide. It is a major health problem with its frequency increasing every day in most countries. The disease is generally believed to be incurable; and the few orthodox drugs available to manage the disease are not readily affordable to the poor. Based on the historical success of natural products as antidiabetic agents and the ever increasing need for new antidiabetics, a number of South African medicinal plants have been evaluated for their antidiabetic properties. In this article, we review the major studies conducted based on ethnobotanical surveys carried out between 2005 and 2008 in South Africa on plants that are traditionally used for the treatment of diabetes. Overall, the results of the studies conducted confirmed the potential of South African medicinal plants in antidiabetic drug discovery and identified a number of promising taxa for further in vivo investigation as plant-based antidiabetic agents.
Past studies have suggested that some carbon monoxide (CO) moves from blood haemoglobin to tissue cells and that mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase oxidizes CO to carbon dioxide (CO2). However, no study has demonstrated this redistribution and oxidization of CO under physiological conditions. The objective of this study was to trace the redistribution and oxidization of CO in the human body by detecting 13CO2 production after the inhalation of 13CO. In Experiment 1, we asked a healthy subject to inhale 50 ppm 13CO gas. In Experiment 2, we circulated heparinized human blood in a cardio-pulmonary bypass circuit and supplied 50 ppm 13CO gas to the oxygenator. We sequentially sampled exhaled and output gases and measured the 13CO2/12CO2 ratios. In Experiment 1, the exhaled 13CO2/12CO2 ratio increased significantly between 4 to 31 h of 13CO inhalation. In Experiment 2, the output 13CO2/12CO2 ratio showed no significant increase within 36 h of 13CO input. Experiment 1 demonstrated the oxidization of CO in the human body under physiological conditions. Experiment 2 confirmed that oxidization does not occur in the circulating blood and indicated the redistribution of CO from blood carboxyhaemoglobin to tissue cells.
Little is known about the postprandial remodelling of erythrocytes phospholipids (PLs) in type 2 diabetics (T2DM). Therefore, this study aims to compare the alterations of erythrocyte PLs in T2DM to those of healthy subjects after ingestion of a high-fat meal. Eleven T2DM and ten healthy subjects underwent a high-fat meal loading. Erythrocytes were isolated from blood obtained after fasting and 4 h after the meal. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy was initially used to screen erythrocyte PLs by monitoring C-H stretching vibrations. Phosphatidylcholine (PC) molecular species were further investigated by Liquid Chromatography-Electrospray Ionisation-Mass Spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS). For the control group, FTIR revealed postprandial changes in C-H stretching vibrations, particularly of the olefinic band. These findings were supported by LC-ESI-MS data, showing marked changes in PC molecular species, especially of the PC34:1 (where 34 and 1 mean the summed number of carbons and double bonds, respectively). However, similar changes of those were not apparent in the T2DM group. Our results reveal marked postprandial alterations of erythrocyte PC species in healthy subjects whereas only mild alterations are observed in T2DM. The discrepant effects of high-fat meal loading suggest abnormal PC remodelling in the diabetic erythrocyte that may affect its membrane fluidity and integrity.
Astaxanthin (ATX), a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment, is a powerful biological antioxidant. In the present study, we investigated whether ATX pharmacologically offers neuroprotection against oxidative stress by cerebral ischemia. We found that the neuroprotective efficacy of ATX at the dose of 30 mg/kg (n = 8) was 59.5% compared with the control group (n = 3). In order to make clear the mechanism of ATX neuroprotection, the up-regulation inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and heat shock proteins (HSPs) together with the oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) in SH-SY5Y cells were also investigated. The induction of various factors involved in oxidative stress processes such as iNOS was suppressed by the treatment of ATX at 25 and 50 μM after OGD-induced oxidative stress. In addition, Western blots showed that ATX elevated of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1; Hsp32) and Hsp70 protein levels in in vitro. These results suggest that the neuroprotective effects of ATX were related to anti-oxidant activities in global ischemia.
The involvement of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the pathophysiology of Sjögren’s syndrome (SS), an autoimmune disorder, and irradiation-induced impairments in salivary secretion has been reported. Meanwhile, the strong antioxidant astaxanthin (Ast) has been suggested to have therapeutic effects on various diseases. In the present study, we examined the ROS scavenging capacity of Ast using a human salivary gland epithelial cell line (HSY) and investigated the effects of Ast on salivary secretion in a mouse model of irradiation-induced salivary gland dysfunction. Furthermore, we performed a clinical study of Ast in six SS patients and six normal individuals, quantifying the volume of saliva secretion and the level of oxidative stress markers in the saliva. Ast partially suppressed hydrogen peroxide-induced ROS in HSY cells. The mouse model demonstrated that the pre-administration of Ast resulted in the suppression of irradiation-induced hyposalivation. Furthermore, the administration of Ast appeared to increase salivary output in both the SS and normal groups. The level of oxidative stress marker, hexanoyl-lysine, in the saliva was reduced after Ast intake. These results suggest that Ast might act as an ROS scavenger, providing benefits to SS patients with impaired salivary secretion.
Recently, it is suggested that the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) may contribute to the occurrence of cardiovascular events, while the formation of atherosclerotic lesions is related to inflammation. Loxoprofen sodium, a non-selective NSAID, becomes active after metabolism in the body and inhibits the activation of cyclooxygenase. We fed apoE−/− mice a western diet from 8 to 16 weeks of age and administered loxoprofen sodium. We measured atherosclerotic lesions at the aortic root. We examined serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides with HPLC, platelet aggregation, and urinary prostaglandin metabolites with enzyme immune assay. Atherosclerotic lesion formation was reduced to 63.5% and 41.5% as compared to the control in male and female apoE−/− mice treated with loxoprofen sodium respectively. Urinary metabolites of prostaglandin E2, F1α, and thromboxane B2, and platelet aggregation were decreased in mice treated with loxoprofen sodium. Serum levels of cholesterol and triglycerides were not changed. We conclude that loxoprofen sodium reduced the formation of early to intermediate atherosclerotic lesions at the proximal aorta in mice mediated by an anti-inflammatory effect.
Recently, it has been reported that α-tocopherol (α-Toc) is effective for amelioration of liver damage. However, it is unknown whether other vitamin E analogs are effective. In this study, we investigated the effects of γ-tocopherol (γ-Toc) and tocotrienols (T3) in rats with fatty liver. Rats fed a vitamin E-deficient diet for four weeks were divided into eight groups: Control, carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), α-Toc, α-Toc + CCl4, γ-Toc, γ-Toc + CCl4, T3 mix, T3 mix + CCl4. After a 24 h fast, the rats were administered 20 mg of each of the vitamin E analogs, respectively. Moreover, the CCl4 group were given 0.5 ml/kg body weight corn oil preparation containing CCl4 6 h after vitamin E administration. We measured the activities of aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) in plasma, and the contents of triglyceride (TG), total cholesterol (T-Chol) and vitamin E analogs in the liver. Also, we determined the hepatic expression of mRNA for inflammatory cytokines. The liver TG content in the γ-Toc + CCl4 and T3 mix + CCl4 groups was decreased in comparison with the CCl4 group. Moreover, ALT activity in the T3 mix + CCl4 group was significantly lower than CCl4 group. These findings suggest that γ-Toc and T3 are effective for amelioration of fatty liver.
Mulberry leaves are rich in 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ), an inhibitor of α-glucosidase. We previously showed that DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract suppressed elevation of postprandial blood glucose in humans. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract on plasma lipid profiles in humans. An open-label, single-group study was conducted in 10 subjects with initial serum triglyceride (TG) level ≥200 mg/dl. Subjects ingested capsules containing DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract at 12 mg three times daily before meals for 12 weeks. Our findings showed a modest decrease in serum TG level and beneficial changes in the lipoprotein profile following 12-week administration of DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract. No significant changes in hematological or biochemical parameters were observed during the study period; no adverse events associated with DNJ-rich mulberry leaf extract occurred.
Alleviated melanin formation in the skin through inhibition of tyrosine-tyrosinase reaction is one of the major targets of cosmetics for whitening ability. Since melanin has a pivotal role for photoprotection, there are pros and cons of inhibition of melanin formation. This study applying electron spin resonance (ESR)-spin trapping method revealed that •H and •OH are generated through tyrosine-tyrosinase reaction. When deuterium water was used instead of H2O, the signal of 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO)-H (a spin adduct of DMPO and •H) greatly decreased, whilst DMPO-OH (a spin adduct of DMPO and •OH) did not. Thus, it is suggested that •H was derived from H2O, and •OH through oxidative catalytic process of tyrosine to dopaquinone. Our study suggests that tyrosinase inhibitors might contribute to alleviate the oxidative damage of the skin by inhibiting •OH generation via the enzyme reaction.
Dietary conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has been reported to exhibit a number of therapeutic effects in animal models and patients, such as anti-hypertensive, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-arteriosclerotic, anti-carcinogenic, and anti-diabetic effects. However, the underlying mechanism is not well-characterized. In the present study, the effects of cis(c)9, trans(t)11-CLA on the differentiation of mouse 3T3-L1 preadipocytes into mature adipocytes were examined. Treatment with c9, t11-CLA in the presence of insulin, dexamethasone, and 3-isobutyl-1-methyl-xanthine (differentiation cocktail) significantly stimulated the accumulation of triacylglycerol. The microscopic observation of cells stained by Oil Red O demonstrated that c9, t11-CLA increases the amount and proportion of small mature adipocytes secreting adiponectin, a benign adipocytokine, when compared to the differentiation cocktail alone. Furthermore, c9, t11-CLA increased bioactive peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) levels in a nuclear extract of 3T3-L1 cells, suggesting the enhancing effect of this fatty acid on the nuclear transmission of PPARγ, a master regulator of adipocyte differentiation, in 3T3-L1 cells. These results suggest that the therapeutic effects of c9, t11-CLA on lifestyle-related diseases are partially due to the enhanced formation of small adipocytes from preadipocytes via PPARγ stimulation.
The present study investigated the effect of folic acid supplementation on the Notch signaling pathway and cell proliferation in rat embryonic neural stem cells (NSCs). The NSCs were isolated from E14–16 rat brain and grown as neurospheres in serum-free suspension culture. Individual cultures were assigned to one of 3 treatment groups that differed according to the concentration of folic acid in the medium: Control (baseline folic acid concentration of 4 mg/l), low folic acid supplementation (4 mg/l above baseline, Folate-L) and high folic acid supplementation (40 mg/l above baseline, Folate-H). NSCs were identified by their expression of immunoreactive nestin and proliferating cells by incorporation of 5'bromo-2'deoxyuridine. Cell proliferation was also assessed by methyl thiazolyl tetrazolium assay. Notch signaling was analyzed by real-time PCR and western blot analyses of the expression of Notch1 and hairy and enhancer of split 5 (Hes5). Supplementation of NSCs with folic acid increased the mRNA and protein expression levels of Notch1 and Hes5. Folic acid supplementation also stimulated NSC proliferation dose-dependently. Embryonic NSCs respond to folic acid supplementation with increased Notch signaling and cell proliferation. This mechanism may mediate the effects of folic acid supplementation on neurogenesis in the embryonic nervous system.