We evaluated the antioxidative effects of astaxanthin through the changes in superoxide scavenging activity, levels of hydrogen peroxide and total hydroperoxides in human aqueous humor. The study subjects were 35 patients who underwent bilateral cataract surgery on one side before and the other side after intake of astaxanthin (6 mg/day for 2 weeks). Their aqueous humor was taken during the surgery and subjected to measurements of the three parameters. After astaxanthin intake, the superoxide scavenging activity was significantly (p<0.05) elevated, while the level of total hydroperoxides was significantly (p<0.05) lowered. There was a significant negative correlation between the superoxide scavenging activity and the level of total hydroperoxides (r = −0.485, p<0.01), but no correlations between the hydrogen peroxide level and the other two parameters. Astaxanthin intake clearly enhanced the superoxide scavenging activity and suppressed the total hydroperoxides production in human aqueous humor, indicating the possibility that astaxanthin has suppressive effects on various oxidative stress-related diseases.
Long-term exercise prior to brain ischemia enhances the activities of antioxidant enzymes and leads to a significant reduction in brain damage and neurological deficits in rats subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion. However, it has not been established whether relatively short-term exercise generates similar results following middle cerebral artery occlusion. We aimed to determine whether short-term exercise could reduce oxidative damage and prevent sensori-motor dysfunction. Male Wistar rats were subjected to perform daily exercise on a treadmill for 30 min at a speed of 15 m/min for 3 weeks, followed by a 90-min middle cerebral artery occlusion. Animals were assessed after middle cerebral artery occlusion for neurological deficits and sensori-motor function. Brain tissues were processed to evaluate infarct volume and oxidative damage. Oxidative stress was assessed using immunohistochemistry for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified proteins and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. Antioxidant enzymes were evaluated using immunohistochemistry for thioredoxin and activity assay for superoxide dismutase. Exercise for 3 weeks decreased the severity of paralysis and impairment in forelimb motor coordination. Furthermore, exercise had effect on superoxide dismutase and reduced the infarct volume and the number of cells immunopositive for 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal-modified proteins and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine. Our results suggest that pre-conditioning treadmill exercise for 3 weeks is useful for ameliorating ischemia-induced brain injury.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is well known as a strong risk factor for both of end-stage renal disease and cardiovascular disease. To clarify the association of polymorphisms in the genes encoding antioxidant enzymes (SOD2, CAT, GPx, TXNRD, SEPP1, SEP15 and SELS) with the risk of CKD in Japanese, we examined this association using the cross-sectional data of Japan Multi-Institutional Collaborative Cohort (J-MICC) Study. The subjects were 3,285 men and women, aged 35–69 years, selected from J-MICC Study participants for whom genotyping were conducted by multiplex polymerase chain reaction-based Invader assay. The prevalence of CKD was determined for CKD stages 3–5 (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2). When those with CAT C-262T C/C were defined as reference, those with CAT C-262T C/T demonstrated the OR for CKD of 0.67 (95% CI 0.43–1.06) with the marginally significant trend for decreased odds ratio with increasing numbers of T allele (p = 0.070). There were no significant associations between the other polymorphisms with CKD risk. The present study found a marginally significant trend of the decreased risk of CKD with increasing numbers of T allele of CAT, which may suggest the possibility of personalized risk estimation of this life-limiting disease in the near future.
Recent studies have indicated that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), particularly tolfenamic acid, can inhibit proliferation and induce apoptosis invarious cancer cells. Breast cancer represents one-third of all cancers diagnosed in women and is the second leading cause of cancer death in Western European and North American women. In the present study, we investigated the apoptotic effect of tolfenamic acid in MDA-MB-231 estrogen receptor-negative human breast carcinoma cells and in a xenograft tumor model. Treatment of cells with tolfenamic acid significantly decreased cell viability in a concentration-dependent manner. Notably, tolfenamic acid increased apoptosis-related proteins, such as p53 and p21, within 48 h. Furthermore, in vivo experiments showed that tolfenamic acid treatment resulted in a significant reduction in tumor volume over 5 weeks. Immunohistochemistry results showed that apoptosis-related protein induction by tolfenamic acid was significantly higher in the 50 mg/kg-treated group compared to the control group. Together, these results indicate that tolfenamic acid induces apoptosis in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and tumor xenograft model and it may be a potential chemotherapeutic agent against breast cancer.
Exposure to asbestos fibers increases the risk of mesothelioma in humans. One hypothetical carcinogenic mechanism is that asbestos fibers may directly induce mutations in mesothelial cells. Although the uptake of asbestos fibers by mesothelial cells is recognized, methods for the quantification of the uptake have not been well established. In the present study, we evaluated two distinct methods, using crocidolite fibers and MeT5A mesothelial cells. One method is histological evaluation using the cell-block technique, which allows for the direct cross-sectional observation of cells and fibers. We found the bright field observation with ×1000 magnification (oil-immersion) of the sample with Kernechtrot staining was most suitable for this purpose. The other method is flow cytometric analysis, which permits the evaluation of a much larger number of cells. We observed that the side scatter (SSC) increased with the intracellular fibers, and that the “mean SSC ratio (treated/control)” was useful for quantification. We could collect the cells with abundant internalized crocidolite fibers by sorting. Results of the two methodologies were correlated well in the experiments. The quantities of internalized fibers increased with incubation time and loaded dosage, but they were inversely associated with cellular density in culture.
The present study aimed to assess the effect of supplementation of omega-3 and/or vitamin C on serum interleukin-6 and high sensitivity C-reactive protein concentration and depression scores among shift workers in Shahid Tondgoyan oil refinery. The study design was randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial. Totally 136 shift workers with a depression score ≥10 in 21-item Beck Depression Rating Scale were randomly assigned to receive omega-3 (180 mg eicosapentaenoate acid and 120 mg docosahexaenoic acid) or/and vitamin C 250 mg or placebo twice daily (with the same taste and shape as omega-3 and vitamin C) for 60 days in four groups. Depression score, interleukin-6 and high sensitivity C-reactive protein were measured at baseline and after 60 days. This study showed that supplementation of omega-3 plus vitamin C is associated with a decrease in depression score (p<0.05). Supplementation of omega-3 without vitamin C, is associated with a reduction in depression score (p<0.0001) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein concentration (p<0.01). Therefore omega-3 supplementation showed a better effect on reducing depression score and high sensitivity C-reactive protein, but supplementation of vitamin C along with omega-3 did not have significant effect on change in C-reactive protein level compared to omega-3 alone. (Registration number: IRCT201202189056N1)
S-equol is a natural metabolite of the soy isoflavone, daidzein, produced by intestinal bacteria. S-equol has been shown to have greater estrogenic activity than other soy isoflavones and prevent bone loss in post-menopausal women. Estrogen regulates both bone remodeling and hemopoiesis in the bone marrow, these processes that communicate closely with each other. In this study, we investigated the effect of S-equol on bone mass and gene expression of bone marrow cells in ovariectomized (OVX) mice. Female ddY strain mice, aged 12 weeks, were either sham operated or OVX. The OVX mice were randomly divided into two groups: (1) OVX control and (2) OVX fed a 0.06% (w/w) S-equol supplemented diet. After 2 weeks, the trabecular bone volume of the femoral distal metaphysis was markedly reduced in OVX mice. However, treatment with equol was observed to ameliorate this. Expression of inflammatory-, osteoclastogenesis- and adipogenesis-related genes was increased in OVX mice compared with sham mice, and equol was observed to suppress their expression. The present study demonstrates that equol might ameliorate bone loss caused by estrogen deficiency through regulating hemopoiesis and production of inflammatory cytokines in bone marrow cells.
The fatty acid composition of serum phospholipids were analyzed in 20 patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis (11 with malnutrition and 9 with acceptable nutritional status); 25 healthy age and sex-matched adults were used as controls. Cirrhotic patients showed higher levels of palmitic acid and total saturated fatty acids than healthy subjects. Total n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and levels of linoleic, dihomo-gama linolenic, arachidonic, and docosahexaenoic acid were significantly lower (p<0.001) in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis compared to healthy controls. Significant changes were also found between patients stratified according to nutritional status. In particular, the sum of n-3 PUFA was significantly lower (p<0.001) and ratio of n-6/n-3 fatty acids was higher (p<0.01) in malnourished patients when compared to the patients with acceptable nutritional status. Furthermore, important changes in the levels of saturated fatty acids, palmitoleic and oleic acid and long-chain PUFA were found in well-nourished patients with alcoholic cirrhosis as well. Our present data confirmed evidence that malnutrition is one of the factors that led to lower levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis. PUFA supplementation in the latter needs further investigation.
Permeation of the small intestinal mucosa is a key mechanism in the induction of enteropathy. We investigated the effect of rebamipide in healthy subjects with diclofenac-induced small intestinal damage and permeability. In this crossover study, each treatment period was 1 week with a 4-week washout period. Diclofenac (75 mg/day) and omeprazole (20 mg/day) plus rebamipide (300 mg/day) or placebo were administered. Capsule endoscopy and a sugar permeability test were performed on days 1 and 7 in each period. Ten healthy subjects were enrolled. Small intestinal injuries were observed on day 7 in 6 of 10 subjects in both groups. Urinary excretion of administered lactulose increased from 0.30% to 0.50% of the initial dose during the first treatment period in the placebo group, and from 0.13% to 0.33% in the rebamipide group. Despite recovery from small-intestinal mucosal damage, the increased permeability in both groups resulted in sustained high levels of lactulose (0.50% to 1.06% in the placebo group and 0.33% to 1.12% in the rebamipide group) through the 4-week washout period. Diclofenac administration induced enteropathy and hyperpermeability of the small intestine. The sustained hyperpermeability during the washout period may indicate the presence of invisible fragility.
Recent studies have suggested that decrease in Helicobacter pylori infection may predispose to allergic diseases. However, there are few reports of the relationships of eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs), especially eosinophilic gastroenteritis (EGE), with H. pylori infection. We investigated the possible influence of H. pylori infection on EGIDs in Japanese patients. We performed a case-control study to investigate the prevalence of H. pylori infection in patients with EGIDs. Eighteen with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and 22 with EGE were enrolled. For each patient, 3 age- and gender-matched normal controls (n = 120) were randomly selected from a population who received a medical check-up between April 2010 and December 2011 at the Shimane Institute of Health Science. The mean ages of the EoE and EGE patients were 50.9 ± 17 and 49.2 ± 20 years, respectively. Males were more frequently seen in the EoE group, while there was no significant gender difference in regard to EGE. Of the patients with EoE, 22.3% were infected with H. pylori, as compared to 55.5% of their age- and sex-matched normal controls. The odds ratio for EoE patients to have an H. pylori infection was 0.22 (p<0.05). In addition, 22.7% of the patients with EGE and 48.5% of their matched controls were infected with H. pylori, with odds ratio for EGE patients to have an H. pylori infection shown to be 0.31 (p<0.05). In conclusion, the prevalence of H. pylori infection was significantly lower in EGE and EoE patients in Japan as compared to normal control subjects.
Static electric field therapy by high voltage alternating current (EF-HVAC) is a traditional complementary Japanese medicine used for headache, shoulder stiffness, chronic constipation and insomnia. Open-label studies and clinical experience in Japan have suggested that this electric field therapy is safe and effective in treating chronic arthritis. We evaluated the efficacy of EF-HVAC therapy in a randomized, double-blinded, sham-controlled trial in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in community-based general physician centers. Thirty patients fulfilling American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for RA were treated with EF-HVAC therapy with the LEGACIS PLUS System (COCOROCA Corp., Tokyo, Japan) or sham therapy for 12 weeks and followed for 4 weeks without treatment. The disease activity score 28 (DAS28-CRP), visual analogue scale for pain (VAS), modified health assessment questionnaire (MHAQ), and inflammatory parameters were used as the outcome variable. Twenty four patients (n = 12 in each group) were analyzed by a per protocol analysis. Although a significant reduction in DAS28-CRP was observed in EF-HVAC group at 8 and 12 weeks compared to before treatment, there were no significant differences in DAS28-CRP scores during treatment between two groups. The scale of VAS was also significantly decreased by the treatment with EF-HVAC compared to before treatment, in addition, the scale of VAS in EF-HVAC group was significantly lower than sham group at 8 and 12 weeks. Changes in another parameters including MHAQ were not significant between before and after treatment, or by all comparative study between two groups. There were no adverse events related the treatment. In conclusion, the EF-HVAC therapy has a beneficial effect on the improvement to subjective pain of RA.
This study assessed the endocrine pancreatic responses to liraglutide (0.9 mg once a day) during normal living conditions in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes. The study included 14 hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes. Meal tests were performed after improvement of glycemic control achieved by two weeks of multiple insulin injection therapy and after approximately two weeks of liraglutide treatment. Continuous glucose monitoring was performed to compare daily variation in glycemic control between multiple insulin injection therapy and liraglutide treatment. Liraglutide reduced plasma glucose levels after the test meals (60–180 min; p<0.05), as a result of significant increases in insulin secretion (0–180 min; p<0.05) and decreases in the incremental ratio of plasma glucagon (15–60 min; p<0.05). Continuous glucose monitoring showed that liraglutide treatment was also associated with a decrease in glucose variability. We also demonstrated that optimal glycemic control seen as a reduction in 24-h mean glucose levels and variability was obtained only with liraglutide monotherapy. In conclusion, liraglutide treatment increases insulin secretion and suppresses glucagon secretion in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes under normal living conditions. The main therapeutic advantages of liraglutide are its use as monotherapy and its ability to decrease glucose variability.
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