Approximately 100 years have passed since the Maillard reaction was first reported in the field of food chemistry as a condensation reaction between reducing sugars and amino acids. This reaction is thought to progress slowly primarily from glucose with proteins in vivo. An early-stage product, called the ”Amadori product”, is converted into advanced glycation end products. Those accumulate in the body in accordance with age, with such accumulation being enhanced by lifestyle-related diseases that result in the denaturation of proteins. Recent studies have demonstrated that intermediate carbonyls are generated by several pathways, and rapidly generate many glycation products. However, accurate quantification of glycation products in vivo is difficult due to instability and differences in physicochemical properties. In this connection, little is known about the relationship between the structure of glycation products and pathology. Furthermore, the interaction between proteins modified by glycation and receptors for advanced glycation end products is also known to induce the production of several inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, those inhibitors have been developed over the world to prevent lifestyle-related diseases. In this review, we describe the process of protein denaturation induced by glycation and discuss the possibility of using the process as a marker of age-related diseases.
Aging weakened innate and adaptive immunity both quantitatively and qualitatively. Some components in propolis could stimulate immune function in young animals or cultured immune cells in vitro. Few studies had been carried out in the aged. The present study was to evaluate the effects of Brazilian green propolis supplementation on the immunological parameters in aged mice. Eighty Kunming mice, aged 15–18 months, were randomly assigned to the control and three experimental groups supplemented with different doses (83.3, 157.4 and 352.9 mg/kg.bw respectively) of Brazilian green propolis. The experiment lasted for 4 weeks. Contents of total polyphenol, flavonoid, cinnamic acid and artepillin-C in Brazilian green propolis were analyzed. Splenic NK cytotoxic, T lymphocyte proliferation and antibody generation cells, as well as the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages, ear swelling, and serum contents of IgG, IgM, hemolysin and cytokines were measured. After 4 weeks of treatment, the phagocytosis of peritoneal macrophages was enhanced in 157.4 mg/kg and 352.9 mg/kg groups. Ear swelling increased in all propolis treatmented groups. Antibodies specific to sheep erythrocytes were higher in the groups receiving 157.4 and 352.9 mg/kg.bw than that of control group. IgG level dramatically increased in the groups receiving 83.3 and 157.4 mg/kg.bw in comparison to the control group. These results indicate that administration of Brazilian green propolis have a positive effect on innate and adaptive immunity in aged mice.
Oxidative stress is associated with both healthy aging and age-related disease states. In connection with oxidative stress, immunity is also a major component as a result of the chronic, low-grade inflammation associated with the development of tissue aging. Here we show that long-term treatment with the antioxidant tempol extends life-span in mice. Tempol-treated mice exhibited a reduction in mortality at 20 months. Tempol drinking did not have any effect on body weight, amount of visceral adipose tissue, or plasma biochemical parameters in aged mice. Body temperature of aged control mice (which drank only water) was significantly lower than young mice, but this reduction of body temperature was partially restored in aged mice which drank tempol. Plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances and C-reactive protein were significantly increased in the control aged mice compared with young mice, but levels of both were normalized by tempol drinking. One of the endogenous antioxidants, ascorbic acid, was significantly increased in the plasma of mice which consumed tempol. The proportion of CD4 lymphocytes in the blood of aged tempol-treated mice was partially increased in comparison to aged control mice. These results suggest that the reduction of mortality by tempol is due to amelioration of chronic inflammation and improved function of the immune system through antioxidant effects.
A dietary combination of sucrose and linoleic acid strongly contributes to the development of metabolic disorders in Zucker fatty rats. However, the underlying mechanisms of the metabolic disorders are poorly understood. We hypothesized that the metabolic disorders were triggered at a stage earlier than the 8 weeks we had previously reported. In this study, we investigated early molecular events induced by the sucrose and linoleic acid diet in Zucker fatty rats by comparison with other combinations of carbohydrate (sucrose or palatinose) and fat (linoleic acid or oleic acid). Skeletal muscle arachidonic acid levels were significantly increased in the sucrose and linoleic acid group compared to the other dietary groups at 4 weeks, while there were no obvious differences in the metabolic phenotype between the groups. Expression of genes related to arachidonic acid synthesis was induced in skeletal muscle but not in liver and adipose tissue in sucrose and linoleic acid group rats. In addition, the sucrose and linoleic acid group exhibited a rapid induction in endoplasmic reticulum stress and abnormal lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle. We concluded that the dietary combination of sucrose and linoleic acid primarily induces metabolic disorders in skeletal muscle through increases in arachidonic acid and endoplasmic reticulum stress, in advance of systemic metabolic disorders.
Alcohol drinking and smoking contain the risk of a carcinogenesis. Acetaldehyde is content in cigarette smoke and an ethanol metabolite. However the clear evidence for reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation by acetaldehyde in gastric cells in vitro is none. In this study, we elucidated acetaldehyde is an oxidative stress inducer on rat gastric epithelial cells by electron paramagnetic resonance measurement in living cells. We also confirmed whether acetaldehyde-induced cellular ROS was derived from mitochondria or not. The results of cellular ROS determination showed that an increment of cellular ROS was shown for 15 min in living cells from exposing 0.1% (v/v) acetaldehyde. Lipid peroxidation in cellular membrane also induced by 0.1% ethanol and the tendency is same in the results of cellular ROS determination. JC-1 stained showed the decrement of mitochondrial membrane potential. These results indicated that acetaldehyde is not merely a necrotizing factor for gastric epithelial cells, but also an oxidative stress inducer via injured mitochondria.
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is a mechanism critical to the anti-atherogenic property of HDL. Although citrulline contributes to the amelioration of atherosclerosis via endothelial nitric oxide production, it remains unclear whether it affects RCT. This study was undertaken to clarify the effects of citrulline on expressions of specific transporters such as ATP binding cassette transporters (ABC)A1 and ABCG1, and the cholesterol efflux from macrophages to apolipoprotein (apo) A-I or HDL in vitro and ex vivo. Citrulline increased ABCA1 and ABCG1 mRNA and protein levels in THP-1 macrophages, translating into enhanced apoA-I- and HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux. In the human crossover study, 8 healthy male volunteers (age 30–49 years) consumed either 3.2 g/day citrulline or placebo for 1 week. Citrulline consumption brought about significant increases in plasma levels of citrulline and arginine. Supporting the in vitro data, monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) differentiated under autologous post-citrulline sera demonstrated enhancement of both apoA-I- and HDL-mediated cholesterol efflux through increased ABCA1 and ABCG1 expressions, compared to MDM differentiated under pre-citrulline sera. However, the placebo did not modulate these parameters. Therefore, in addition to improving endothelium function, citrulline might have an anti-atherogenic property by increasing RCT of HDL.
It is well recognized that adverse events in utero impair fetal development and lead to the development of obesity and metabolic syndrome in adulthood. To investigate the mechanisms linking impaired fetal growth to increased cholesterol, an important clinical risk factor characterizing the metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, we examined the impact of maternal undernutrition on tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)/c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway and the cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) expression in the livers of the offspring with a protein restriction model. The male offspring with intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) caused by the isocaloric low-protein diet showed decreased liver weight at birth and augmented circulation and hepatic cholesterol levels at 40 weeks of age. Maternal undernutrition significantly upregulated cytokine TNF-α expression and JNK phospholytion levels in the livers from fetal age to adulthood. Elevated JNK phospholytion could be linked to downregulated hepatocyte nuclear factor-4α and CYP7A1 expression, subsequently led to higher hepatic cholesterol. This work demonstrated that intrauterine malnutrition-induced IUGR might result in intrinsic disorder in hepatic TNF-α/CYP7A1 signaling, and contribute to the development of hypercholesterolemia in later life.
Strawberries contain anthocyanins and ellagitanins which have antioxidant properties. We determined whether the consumption of strawberries increase the plasma antioxidant activity measured as the ability to decompose 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) in healthy subjects. The study involved 10 volunteers (age 41 ± 6 years, body weight 74.4 ± 12.7 kg) that consumed 500 g of strawberries daily for 9 days and 7 matched controls. Fasting plasma and spot morning urine samples were collected at baseline, during fruit consumption and after a 6 day wash-out period. DPPH decomposition was measured in both deproteinized native plasma specimens and pretreated with uricase (non-urate plasma). Twelve phenolics were determined with HPLC. Strawberries had no effect on the antioxidant activity of native plasma and circulating phenolics. Non-urate plasma DPPH decomposition increased from 5.7 ± 0.6% to 6.6 ± 0.6%, 6.5 ± 1.0% and 6.3 ± 1.4% after 3, 6 and 9 days of supplementation, respectively. The wash-out period reversed this activity back to 5.7 ± 0.8% (p<0.01). Control subjects did not reveal any changes of plasma antioxidant activity. Significant increase in urinary urolithin A and 4-hydroxyhippuric (by 8.7- and 5.9-times after 6 days of supplementation with fruits) was noted. Strawberry consumption can increase the non-urate plasma antioxidant activity which, in turn, may decrease the risk of systemic oxidants overactivity.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) plays a crucial role in cancer metastasis. In this study, we evaluated the effect of heat treatment on tumor growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1)-induced EMT in pancreatic cancer cells and tried to ascertain the mechanism related to any observed effects. Human pancreatic cancer cell lines (BxPC-3, PANC-1 and MIAPaCa-2) were stimulated by TGF-β1, and evaluated for morphological changes using immunofluorescence and EMT-related factors (i.e., E-cadherin, Vimentin, Snail or ZEB-1) using RT-PCR. To examine the effect of heat on EMT, the cancer cells were heat-treated at 43°C for 1 h then stimulated with TGF-β1. We then evaluated whether or not heat treatment changed the expression of EMT-related factors and cell migration and also whether Smad activation was inhibited in TGF-β signaling. After being treated with TGF-β1, pancreatic cancer cells resulted in EMT and cell migration was enhanced. Heat treatment inhibited TGF-β1-induced changes in morphology, inhibited the expression of EMT-related factors, and attenuated TGF-β1-induced migration in pancreatic cancer cells. Additionally, we observed that heat treatment blocked TGF-β1-induced phosphorylation of Smad2 in PANC-1 cells. Our results suggest that heat treatment can suppress TGF-β1-induced EMT and opens the possibility of a new therapeutic use of hyperthermia as a potential treatment for cancer metastasis.
Increases in serum phosphorus levels and dietary phosphorus intake induces vascular calcification, arterial sclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Limiting phosphorus intake is advisable, however, no assessment methods are capable of estimating dietary phosphorus intake. We hypothesized that urinary phosphorus excretion can be translated into estimation of dietary phosphorus intake, and we evaluated whether a 24-h urine collection method could estimate dietary phosphorus intake. Thirty two healthy subjects were recruited for this study. Subjects collected urine samples over 24 h and weighed dietary records. We calculated dietary protein intake and phosphorus intake from dietary records and urine collection, and investigated associations between the two methods in estimating protein and phosphorus intake. Significant positive correlations were observed between dietary records and UC for protein and phosphorus intake. The average intakes determined from dietary records were significantly higher than from urine collection for both protein and phosphorus. There was a significant positive correlation between both the phosphorus and protein difference in dietary records and urine collection. The phosphorus-protein ratio in urine collection was significantly higher than in dietary records. Our data indicated that the 24-h urine collection method can estimate the amount of dietary phosphorus intake, and the results were superior to estimation by weighed dietary record.
Photodynamic therapy using hematoporphyrin and its derivatives is clinically useful for cancer treatments. It has been reported that cancer cells incorporate hematoporphyrin and its derivatives via heme carrier protein 1, which is a proton-coupled folate transporter. However, the mechanism of this protein expression has not been elucidated. In general, the concentration of reactive oxygen species in cancer cells is higher than that in normal cells. We previously reported that reactive oxygen species from mitochondria involved in the expression of peptide transporter 1 and accelerate the uptake of 5-aminolevulinic acid, which is a precursor of protoporphyrin IX. We suggested mitochondrial reactive oxygen species also regulated the expression of heme carrier protein 1. In this study, we used a rat gastric mucosal cell line RGM1 and its cancer-like mutated cell line RGK1. We clarified the expression of heme carrier protein 1 increased in cancer cells and it decreased in manganese superoxide dismutase expressed cancer cells. In addition, the uptake level of hematoporphyrin and photodynamic therapeutic effect were also decreased in manganese superoxide dismutase expressed cancer cells in comparison with cancer cells. Thus, we concluded that mitochondrial reactive oxygen species regulated heme carrier protein 1 expression and photodynamic therapeutic effect.
Fifteen years of undergraduate medical education curriculum reform at Saga Medical School was evaluated by measuring medical students’ communication and interpersonal skills with a patient satisfaction questionnaire developed by the American Board of Internal Medicine. A multiphase cross-sectional study was conducted at the General Medicine Clinic of Saga Medical School Hospital in phase I (1998–1999), phase II (2001–2002), and phase III (2009–2010). A total of 1,963 patient ratings for 437 medical students’ performance was analyzed. The average scores of phases II and III were significantly higher than for phase I. The average score of female students showed a significant difference between phases I and II, but no difference between phases II and III. The average score of male students showed no difference between phases I and II, but significant difference between phases II and III. The phase II curriculum introduced basic clinical skills and examination and improved female students’ performance. The phase III curriculum was effective for male students because it emphasized the clinical skill program more and introduced problem-based learning. Curriculum reform at Saga Medical School is considered to have made good progress in improving students’ clinical competence and patient-centered attitudes.