Journal of Pharmacological Sciences
Online ISSN : 1347-8648
Print ISSN : 1347-8613
ISSN-L : 1347-8613
Volume 101 , Issue 4
Showing 1-15 articles out of 15 articles from the selected issue
Current Perspectives
  • Taka-aki Koshimizu, Gozoh Tsujimoto
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 261-266
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    P2X receptors belong to a unique family of ligand-gated channels in terms of their molecular architecture, in which the channel subunit has two transmembrane alpha-helixes with a large extracellular loop keeping amino- and carboxy-termini in the cytoplasm. Post-transcriptional modifications of P2X receptors could diversify cellular responsiveness induced by extracellular ATP in anterior pituitary cells and other cell types. Recently, we found a spliced variant P2X2 transcript, termed P2X2e, in mouse pituitary. The P2X2e has a shorter cytoplasmic carboxy-terminal tail than those of full-length P2X2a or splice variant P2X2b subunits. Although ATP induced rapid responses in all homomeric P2X2 channels, the current induced by P2X2e declined significantly faster than those by P2X2a or P2X2b. In this article, we summarize functional alterations of P2X2 receptors after splicing reactions. Combinations of different P2X2 subunit carboxy-termini to form homomeric and heteromeric channels could be a molecular mechanism for promoting functional diversities of ATP-induced cellular signals.
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  • Soken Tsuchiya, Yasushi Okuno, Gozoh Tsujimoto
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 267-270
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous small noncoding RNAs (20 – 23 nucleotides) that negatively regulate the gene expressions at the posttranscriptional level by base pairing to the 3' untranslated region of target messenger RNAs. Hundreds of miRNAs have been identified in humans and evolutionarily conserved from plants to animals. It is revealed that miRNAs regulate various physiological and pathological pathways such as cell differentiation, cell proliferation, and tumoriogenesis. By the computational analysis, it is predicted that 30% of protein-encoding genes are regulated by miRNAs. In this review, we discuss recent remarkable advances in the miRNA biogenetic and functional mechanisms and the involvements of miRNAs in cell differentiation, especially in hematopoietic lineages, and cancer. These evidences offer the possibility that miRNAs would be potentially useful for drug discovery.
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Critical Review
  • Ka Bian, Yan Ke, Yoshinori Kamisaki, Ferid Murad
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 271-279
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The role of nitric oxide (NO) in cellular signaling has become one of the most rapidly growing areas in biology during the past two decades. As a gas and free radical with an unshared electron, nitric oxide participates in various biological processes. The interaction between NO and proteins may be roughly divided into two categories. In many instances, NO mediates its biological effects by activating guanylyl cyclase and elevates intracellular cyclic GMP synthesis from GTP. However, the list of cGMP-independent effects of NO is also growing at a rapid rate. In this review, the importance and relevance of nitrotyrosine formation are stressed. The utilization of intact cell cultures, tissues, and cell-free preparations along with the use of pharmacological, biochemical, and molecular biological approaches to characterize, purify, and reconstitute these NO regulatory pathways could lead to the development of new therapies for various pathological conditions that are characterized by unbalanced production of NO.
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Full Papers
  • Kyoko Miyasaka, Shigeki Nomoto, Minoru Ohta, Setsuko Kanai, Takao Kane ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 280-285
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats lack cholecystokinin-A receptor (CCK-AR) because of a genetic abnormality. We observed that body temperature homeostasis in response to changes in ambient temperature was deteriorated in OLETF rats, while the functions of the signal outputs from the hypothalamus to effectors were not impaired. Deteriorated homeostasis was also seen in CCK-AR deficient (−/−) mice. In the present study, we examined whether the sensory pathway involved in transmitting signals about temperature from the skin to the brain was impaired in OLETF rats. To elucidate the involvement of CCK-AR function, we conducted the same experiment in CCK-AR(−/−) mice. Responses to thermal pain were assessed using the Hargreaves’ plantar test apparatus. Shortening of withdrawal latency was observed in OLETF rats compared to control rats, indicating thermal hyperalgesia. Behavioral responses following paw withdrawal were disturbed in OLETF rats. The 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid contents in the hippocampus and frontal cortex of OLETF rats were significantly higher than in those of the controls. CCK-AR(−/−) mice did not show any differences from wild-type mice. In conclusion, OLETF rats showed thermal hyperalgesia and disturbed responses to thermal pain, and an alteration of 5-HT function might have a role in this disturbance.
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  • Kouichi Adachi, Hideto Miwa, Haruko Kusumoto, Seiichiro Shimazu, Tomoy ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 286-292
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
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    Selegiline is used an adjunct to L-DOPA therapy. We investigated extracellular striatal dopamine (DA) level in awake rats treated with L-DOPA and/or selegiline using a microdialysis method. Rats given 10 mg/kg, i.p. per day selegiline for 7 days were administered with a single dose of 100 mg/kg, i.p. L-DOPA 0 (3 h), 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, or 28 days after the last selegiline treatment. Carbidopa was administered 0.5 h before L-DOPA administration. The significant increase in basal DA level before L-DOPA treatment persisted until 1 day after the last selegiline treatment, and the significant decrease in basal DOPAC level persisted for more than 28 days. Thus, selegiline affected DA catabolism for more than 28 days. Total monoamine oxidase (MAO) and MAO-B activities at day 0 decreased by 22% and 5.7%, respectively. The significant enhancement of L-DOPA-induced increase in DA level was observed until 3 days after the last selegiline treatment. Next, the effects of reducing L-DOPA dose by 25% were examined 3 h after the last selegiline treatment. A dose-dependent decrease in DA level was observed, indicating that DA level in selegiline-treated rats can be controlled by L-DOPA dose.
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  • Makoto Shigeto, Masashi Katsura, Masafumi Matsuda, Seitaro Ohkuma, Koh ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 293-302
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    To demonstrate an involvement of ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel-independent pathways in the first phase of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) from pancreatic β cells, the time course of GSIS from MIN6 cells was analyzed at 30-s sample intervals. GSIS was biphasic with the first phase being observed 120 to 390 s after glucose addition, peaking at 180 s, and with a shoulder at 240 to 330 s. Both 10 μM diazoxide and 3 μM verapamil completely inhibited tolbutamide- or glibenclamide-induced insulin secretion and suppressed the peak of the first phase of GSIS, but did not result in complete suppression. The shoulder following the peak was suppressed by 1 μM dantrolene. The peak, but not shoulder, disappeared under the extracellular Ca2+-free condition. A significant amount of insulin secretion remained even in the combined presence of verapamil and dantrolene. The Na+ channel blocker tetrodotoxin (30 nM) nearly completely inhibited the first phase release. These results suggest that the first phase of GSIS from MIN6 cells depends on both Ca2+-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The former mechanism includes the extracellular Ca2+ influx via L-type voltage-dependent calcium channel and intracellular Ca2+ release from endoplasmic reticulum via ryanodine receptors, and the latter mechanism involves the pathways associated with Na+ channels.
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  • Tomoyuki Matsuda, Mie Ito, Sayoko Ishimaru, Noriko Tsuruoka, Tomoaki S ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 303-310
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Mechanisms for the atria-specific action potential-prolonging action of NIP-142 ((3R*,4S*)-4-cyclopropylamino-3,4-dihydro-2,2-dimethyl-6-(4-methoxyphenylacetylamino)-7-nitro-2H-1-benzopyran-3-ol), a benzopyran compound that terminates experimental atrial arrhythmia, was examined. In isolated guinea-pig atrial tissue, NIP-142 reversed the shortening of action potential duration induced by either carbachol or adenosine. These effects were mimicked by tertiapin, but not by E-4031. NIP-142 concentration-dependently blocked the human G protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium channel current (GIRK1/4 channel current) expressed in HEK-293 cells with an EC50 value of 0.64 μM. At higher concentrations, NIP-142 blocked the human ether a go-go related gene (HERG) channel current with an EC50 value of 44 μM. In isolated guinea-pig papillary muscles, NIP-142 had no effect on the negative inotropic effect of carbachol under β-adrenergic stimulation, indicating lack of effect on the muscarinic receptor and Gi protein. These results suggest that NIP-142 directly inhibits the acetylcholine-activated potassium current.
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  • Ryosuke Nakano, Eiji Kurosaki, Akiyoshi Shimaya, Masayuki Shibasaki
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 311-317
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    The novel hypoglycemic agent YM440 ((Z)-1,4-bis{4-[(3,5-dioxo-1,2,4-oxadiazolidin-2-yl)methyl] phenoxy}but-2-ene) is a ligand of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) γ. YM440 has unique pharmacological profiles both in vitro and in vivo, but, it is not clear whether the compound has a significant effect on hepatic or peripheral insulin response throughout the body. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of YM440 on hepatic and peripheral insulin resistance in Zucker fatty (ZF) rats using the euglycemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamp technique. Treatment of ZF rats with YM440 (300 mg/kg per day) for 2 weeks significantly decreased plasma concentrations of glucose and insulin without inducing obesity. YM440 caused a 2-fold increase in the glucose infusion rate during euglycemic clamping compared with the vehicle control. YM440 also decreased the percent change in hepatic glucose production rate caused by intravenous insulin infusion in ZF rats. YM440 had no significant effect on the glucose disposal rate. These results indicate that YM440 ameliorates hepatic, but not peripheral insulin resistance in ZF rats. These findings strongly suggest that the main target organ of YM440 is the liver, unlike other PPARγ agonist.
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  • Shojiro Isomoto, Atsushi Kawakami, Tatsuya Arakaki, Shunichi Yamashita ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 318-324
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Antiarrhythmic drugs may induce cellular apoptosis in the heart. By using representatives of 5 different categories of antiarrhythmic drugs, that is, pilsicainide, propranolol, nifekalant, verapamil, and amiodarone, we investigated whether these ion channel blockers or β-antagonists affect cardiac apoptosis in cell cultures. Cultured H9c2 cells were treated with the drugs at varying concentrations. To determine the degree of apoptosis, the percentage of hypodiploid cells, mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm), and activities of caspases were measured quantitatively. At 24 h after administration, only amiodarone induced apoptosis in the H9c2 cells. Amiodarone at a concentration of 14.8 μM or higher decreased ΔΨm and activated caspase-2 within 3 h of administration, and it caused the appearance of hypodiploid cells and activation of caspases-3 and -9 at 6 h or later. Thus, amiodarone, but none of the other antiarrhythmic drugs tested, possesses a pro-apoptotic effect, mainly via the mitochondrial pathway, suggesting that this effect is distinct from the blocking action of Na+, K+, and Ca2+ channels or the β-adrenergic receptor. Furthermore, induction of apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner by amiodarone indicates the importance of monitoring the serum concentration in order to avoid its adverse effects.
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  • Atsushi Takiguchi, Takayoshi Masuoka, Yasuko Yamamoto, Azusa Mikami, C ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 325-328
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Triazolam caused no significant increase in the total error at 0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg. However, at 0.2 mg/kg, it caused a significant increase in total error. Almost the same findings were observed with brotizolam and rilmazafone. That is, at 0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg of brotizolam, 0.5 and 1.0 mg/kg of rilmazafone caused no significant increase in the total error. However, brotizolam at 1.0 mg/kg and rilmazafone at 2.0 mg/kg caused a significant increase in total error. Triazolam (0.05 mg/kg) and ethanol (1.0 g/kg) showed no significant effect on the numbers of errors when used alone separately, but the simultaneous use of triazolam and ethanol caused a significant increase in total error. Almost the same findings were observed with the coadministration of brotizolam (0.2 mg/kg) or rilmazafone (0.5 mg/kg) with ethanol. These results clearly indicate that all the short-acting benzodiazepines used in the study showed potentiation by ethanol in spatial memory deficits in mice.
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  • Zehra Kurcer, Engin Sahna, Ercument Olmez
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 329-334
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In this study, the effects of reduced melatonin concentrations in the long-term period of pinealectomy on mean arterial blood pressure (BP) and vascular responses in isolated rat thoracic aorta were investigated. Rats were pinealectomized (Px) two months before the beginning of the studies. Rings of endothelium-intact and -denuded rat arteries were mounted in isolated tissue baths for the measurements of isometric contractile force. No significant difference was determined between the arterial BP of Px (88.1 ± 1.9 mmHg) and control (83.8 ± 1.2 mmHg) rats. All arteries isolated from control and Px rats showed essentially identical contractions in response to phenylephrine, serotonin, calcium, clonidine, vasopressin, and angiotensin-II. Only endothelin-1 (ET-1)-induced contractions in the endothelium-denuded vessels isolated from Px rats were found to be increased to some extent. Pinealectomy did not affect acetylcholine or sodium nitroprusside-induced relaxation in the rat aorta either. These data suggest that reduced melatonin levels two months after pinealectomy did not modify either the vascular reactivity to various vasoconstrictor agents except the partially increased contractile responses to ET-1 in the endothelium-denuded thoracic aortas of Px rats or the endothelium-dependent and -independent relaxations in rat thoracic aorta. Restoration of the increased vascular responses to some vasoconstrictor agents, which were reported previously, may be the reason of why the hypertension is temporary following pinealectomy.
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  • Yonggui Wu, Guozhong Wu, Xiangming Qi, Hui Lin, Hao Qian, Jijia Shen, ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 335-343
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    In vitro studies have shown that activation of protein kinase C (PKC) is a key mediator of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) in a range of cell types and in response to high glucose, however, its role in the in vivo setting has not been clearly delineated. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were treated with the PKC-β isoform inhibitor LY333531 for 8 weeks. LY333531 treatment significantly attenuated increased urinary albumin excretion rate and glomerular volume and tubulointerstitial injury index as well as elevated PKC activity and PKC-β protein expression in the kidney. Level of malondialdehyde was markedly higher and antioxidant enzyme activity such as superoxide diamutase and catalase as well as glutathione peroxidase were significantly lower in the kidney from diabetic rats than that of the control group. LY333531 administration could remit these changes. Increased macrophages recruitment as well as ICAM-1 and MCP-1 protein expression in the kidney were significantly inhibited by LY333531 in diabetic rats. It is concluded that mechanism of renoprotection of LY333531 may be correlated, at least partly, with suppression of increased macrophages recruitment and overexpression of ICAM-1 and MCP-1 in diabetic rats.
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  • Takanori Kusuyama, Takashi Omura, Daisuke Nishiya, Soichiro Enomoto, R ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 344-349
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    Circulating bone marrow-derived vascular progenitor cells contribute to angiogenesis, atherosclerosis, and the response to vascular injury. These vascular progenitor cells consist of two cell groups, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and smooth muscle progenitor cells (SMPCs). Although HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) have been reported to inhibit atherosclerosis partially by increased EPCs, the effects of statins on SMPCs are unclear. Therefore, we investigated the relationship between EPCs and SMPCs and whether pravastatin has atheroprotective effects on SMPCs. Peripheral mononuclear cells (MNCs) were isolated and cultured on fibronectin-coated dishes in SMPC medium. MNCs were stained with acetylated low density lipoprotein and lectin, or α-smooth muscle actin, and cell numbers were counted. mRNA expression and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein synthesis of MNCs were evaluated. Pravastatin significantly increased the number of EPC and decreased the number of SMPC. mRNA expression of VEGF, endothelial nitric oxide synthase, VEGF receptor-2 (KDR), and Akt were up-regulated, and VEGF secretion was increased by pravastatin. The present study demonstrated that pravastatin has promotive effects on the differentiation from MNCs to EPC cells, while inhibitory effects to SMPC cells. Our findings suggest a previously unreported mechanism of the effect of statin therapy on vascular progenitor cells.
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  • Takashi Shishikura, Keiko Shito, Mitsuhiro Uchida, Tsuneyoshi Inaba
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 350-355
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    We established a new and facile model to investigate allergic mechanism and assess the effect of antiallergic compounds. Male Wistar rats were actively or passively sensitized. Active sensitization was performed by injection of both dinitrophenylated-ovalbumin (DNP-OA) and Bordetella pertussis. Nine days later, DNP-OA was injected into the right hind footpad. This antigen challenge induced a biphasic footpad swelling that consisted of an early-phase (EPR) and a late-phase response (LPR). In rats passively sensitized with rat anti-DNP-OA serum, DNP-OA induced only EPR. The EPR was suppressed by disodium cromoglycate, a mast cell stabilizer, but not by cyclosporin A, an immunosuppressant, while the LPR was suppressed by cyclosporin A. Furthermore, to investigate these two allergic responses determined by the interactions between the hapten and the carrier proteins, two distinct haptenated antigens were created. DNP-Ascaris (DNP-As) induced a marked EPR and LPR in DNP-As-sensitized rats. However, DNP-As induced only EPR in DNP-OA-sensitized rats, indicating that the usage of the same carrier protein in both sensitization and challenge was necessary for induction of LPR. These data suggest that this actively sensitization model in which EPR and LPR are functionally distinguishable should be useful for evaluating the efficacy of antiallergic compounds.
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Short Communication
  • Iyuki Namekata, Toru Kawanishi, Naoko Iida-Tanaka, Hikaru Tanaka, Koki ...
    2006 Volume 101 Issue 4 Pages 356-360
    Published: 2006
    Released: August 19, 2006
    [Advance publication] Released: August 05, 2006
    JOURNALS FREE ACCESS
    We developed a method to quantitatively evaluate the potency of Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCX) inhibitors with fluorescence microscopy in NCX1-transfected HEK 293 cells. The reverse mode and forward mode NCX activities were measured as the ascending slope of the early phase increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration after change to low Na+ extracellular solution and the descending rate (inverse of the exponential time constant) on return to normal solution, respectively. Both modes of NCX were inhibited by SEA0400 (2-[4-[(2,5-difluorophenyl)methoxy]phenoxy]-5-ethoxyaniline) and KB-R7943 (2-[2-[4-(4-nitrobenzyloxy)phenyl]ethyl]isothiourea methanesulfonate), and the concentration-inhibition relationships for both inhibitors were in good agreement with those previously reported in voltage clamped cardiomyocytes.
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