The aim of this study was to classify antiarrhythmic drugs based on their effectiveness on 6 in vivo arrhythmia models, mainly using dogs. The models were produced by two-stage coronary ligation, digitalis, halothane-adrenaline, programmed electrical stimulation in old myocardial infarction dogs, coronary artery occlusion/reperfusion, or chronic atrioventricular block. Na+-channel–blocking drugs suppressed two-stage coronary ligation and digitalis arrhythmias. Ca2+-channel blockers and β-blockers suppressed halothane-adrenaline arrhythmia. Positive inotropic drugs aggravated halothane-adrenaline arrhythmia, but did not aggravate digitalis arrhythmia. K+-channel blockers suppressed programmed electrical stimulation induced arrhythmia, but induced torsades de pointes type arrhythmia in chronic atrioventricular block dogs and aggravated halothane-adrenaline arrhythmia. Na+/H+-exchange blockers suppressed coronary artery occlusion/reperfusion arrhythmias. This classification may be useful for predicting the clinical effectiveness in the preclinical stage of drug development.
CaV1.2 (α1c) is a pore-forming subunit of the voltage-dependent L-type calcium channel and is expressed in many tissues. The β and α2/δ subunits are auxiliary subunits that affect the kinetics and the expression of CaV1.2. In addition to the β and α2/δ subunits, several molecules have been reported to be involved in the regulation of CaV1.2 current. Calmodulin, CaBP1 (calcium-binding protein-1), CaMKII (calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II), AKAPs (A-kinase anchoring proteins), phosphatases, Caveolin-3, β2-adrenergic receptor, PDZ domain proteins, sorcin, SNARE proteins, synaptotagmin, CSN5, RGK family, and AHNAK1 have all been reported to interact with CaV1.2 and the β subunit. This review focuses on the effect of these molecules on CaV1.2 current.
A large number of plants belonging to the Hypericum family are known to possess strong antitumor properties. The methanol extract of H. hookerianum Wight and Arnott stem (MEHH) exhibited potent in vitro cytotoxic activity against various cancerous cell lines. In the present study, the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) standardized MEHH was tested for in vivo antitumor properties against Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) tumor bearing mice at 100, 200, and 400 mg/kg body weight doses given orally once daily for 14 days. The results indicate that administration of the extract not only increased the survival of animals with ascites tumor, decreased the body weight induced by the tumor burden, and reduced packed cell volume and viable tissue cell count, but also altered many hematological parameters changed during tumor progression, indicating the potent antitumor nature of the extract. Among the three doses tested, the 200 mg/kg body weight dose was found to be the most potent.
We previously demonstrated that the Kampo formula chotosan (CTS) ameliorated spatial cognitive impairment via central cholinergic systems in a chronic cerebral hypoperfusion (P2VO) mouse model. In this study, the object discrimination tasks were used to determine if the ameliorative effects of CTS on P2VO-induced cognitive deficits are a characteristic pharmacological profile of this formula, with the aim of clarifying the mechanisms by which CTS enhances central cholinergic function in P2VO mice. The cholinesterase inhibitor tacrine (THA) and Kampo formula saikokeishito (SKT) were used as controls. P2VO impaired object discrimination performance in the object recognition, location, and context tests. Daily administration of CTS (750 mg/kg, p.o.) and THA (2.5 mg/kg, i.p.) improved the object discrimination deficits, whereas SKT (750 mg/kg, p.o.) did not. In ex vivo assays, tacrine but not CTS or SKT inhibited cortical cholinesterase activity. P2VO reduced the mRNA expression of m3 and m5 muscarinic receptors and choline acetyltransferase but not that of other muscarinic receptor subtypes in the cerebral cortex. Daily administration of CTS and THA but not SKT reversed these expression changes. These results suggest that CTS and THA improve P2VO-induced cognitive impairment by normalizing the deficit of central cholinergic systems and that the beneficial effect on P2VO-induced cognitive deficits is a distinctive pharmacological characteristic of CTS.
Histamine is a major mediator in allergy acting mainly through the histamine H1 receptor (H1R). Although H1R up-regulation has been suggested as an important step for induction of allergic symptoms, little is known about the regulation of H1R level. Here we report that the activation of H1R up-regulates H1R through augmentation of H1R mRNA expression in HeLa cells. Histamine stimulation significantly increased both H1R promoter activity and mRNA level without alteration in mRNA stability. H1R protein was also up-regulated by histamine. An H1R antagonist but not histamine H2 receptor antagonist blocked histamine-induced up-regulation of both promoter activity and mRNA expression. A protein kinase C (PKC) activator, phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate, increased H1R mRNA expression, whereas an activator of PKA or PKG (8-Br-cAMP or 8-Br-cGMP, respectively) did not. Furthermore, histamine-induced up-regulation of both promoter activity and mRNA level were completely suppressed by the PKC inhibitor Ro-31-8220. H1R antagonists have long been thought to block H1R and inhibit immediate allergy symptoms. In addition to this short-term effect, our data propose their long-term inhibitory effect against allergic diseases by suppressing PKC-mediated H1R gene transcription. This finding provides new insights into the therapeutic target of H1R antagonist in allergic diseases.
A mechanism by which fibrates control stearoyl-CoA desaturase (SCD) in the liver was studied. Treatment of rats with 2-(4-chlorophenoxy)-2-methylpropionic acid (clofibric acid) or feeding of a fat-free diet markedly elevated hepatic activity of SCD. Both the treatment with clofibric acid and the feeding of the fat-free diet caused an increase in the steady-state level of SCD1 mRNA and enhanced transcriptional rate. The half-lives of SCD for control rats, rats treated with clofibric acid rats, and rats fed the fat-free diet were estimated to be 2.0, 3.9, and 1.9 h, respectively. Activity of palmitoyl-CoA chain elongase (PCE) was increased by both clofibric acid treatment and feeding of the fat-free diet as was observed with SCD. Steady-state level of rat fatty acid elongase 2 mRNA was increased by the treatment with clofibric acid or feeding of fat-free diet, although the transcriptional rate was not altered. Different from SCD, PCE was highly stable and its half-life was not changed by either clofibric acid or fat-free diet. These results strongly suggest that the decreased degradation of SCD is responsible for the increase in its activity in addition to increased transcription of SCD1 in the rats treated with clofibric acid.
Long-acting Ca2+-channel blockers have been reported to be effective in treating ischemic heart disease. However, their effects on cardiac remodeling after myocardial infarction (MI) are still unclear. We performed this study to examine the effect of azelnidipine on left ventricular (LV) remodeling, including systolic and diastolic dysfunction, in rats with MI. MI was induced by ligation of the left anterior descending artery. The rats were then separated into 3 groups: a sham-operated group (n = 9), untreated MI group (n = 10), and azelnidipine-treated MI group (n = 10). Four weeks after MI, hemodynamic measurements and Doppler echocardiographic assessment were performed. LV weight and LV end-diastolic dimension were significantly higher in the untreated MI group than in the sham-operated group. Azelnidipine significantly prevented the increases in these parameters. Azelnidipine also improved the ejection fraction (42 ± 3%, P<0.05) and the E wave to A wave ratio (3.2 ± 0.5, P<0.05), compared with the untreated MI group (31 ± 3% and 5.3 ± 0.8, respectively). In conclusion, azelnidipine can prevent LV remodeling and improve systolic and diastolic function after MI. Administration of long-acting Ca2+-channel blockers after MI is an effective strategy for treating MI.
We investigated the effects of α1- and β2-adrenergic agonists on hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)-stimulated mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) isoforms in primary cultures of adult rat hepatocytes. Hepatocytes were isolated and cultured with HGF (5 ng/ml) and/or α- and β-adrenergic agonists. Phosphorylated MAPK isoforms (p42 and p44 MAPK) were detected by Western blotting analysis using anti-phospho-MAPK antibody. The results show that HGF increased phosphorylation of p42 MAPK by 2.2-fold within 3 min. The HGF-induced MAPK activation was abolished by AG1478 treatment (10−7 M). The MEK (MAPK kinase) inhibitor PD98059 (10−6 M) completely inhibited the HGF-dependent increase in MAPK activity. Phenylephrine (10−6 M) and metaproterenol (10−6 M) alone had no effect in the absence of HGF, but significantly increased p42 MAPK induction by HGF. Moreover, the cell-permeable cAMP analog, 8-bromo cAMP (10−7 M), and phorbol 12-myristate 13 acetate (10−7 M) potentiated HGF-induced MAPK phosphorylation. The effects of these analogs were antagonized by the protein kinase A (PKA) inhibitor H-89 (10−7 M) and the protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor sphingosine (10−6 M), respectively. These results suggest that direct or indirect activation of both PKA and PKC represent a positive regulatory mechanism for stimulating MAPK induction by HGF.
The importance of aldose reductase (AR) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic complications, although the alterations in the expression and activity of AR during hyperglycemia in the heart have not been well characterized. We investigated the expression and enzyme activity of AR in a murine diabetic model. Three weeks after the induction of hyperglycemia with streptozotocin, the level of AR mRNA was significantly reduced in the cardiac ventricles of BDF-1 mice. In contrast, the activity of AR was significantly elevated in the heart without any significant change in the protein level. In these mice, the level of cardiac thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances was unaltered, whereas the level of reduced glutathione (GSH) was significantly increased. Daily administration of insulin for 3 weeks completely normalized the level of AR mRNA and the enzyme activity. On the other hand, daily administration of an antioxidant, N-acetylcysteine significantly reduced the level of AR mRNA in the heart with a concomitant elevation in the enzyme activity. These results suggest that the activity of AR in the heart is affected by GSH dynamics. Augmented AR activity at the early stage of hyperglycemia may perturb glycolysis and affect cardiac performance.
Stretch-activated cation channels (SACs) have been observed in many types of smooth muscle cells. However, the molecular identity and activation mechanisms of SACs remain poorly understood. We report that TRPM4-like cation channels are activated by membrane stretch in rat cerebral artery myocytes (CAMs). Negative pressure (≥20 mmHg, cell-attached mode) activated single channels (approximately 20 pS) in isolated CAMs. These channels were permeable to Na+ and Cs+ and inhibited by Gd3+ (30 μM) and DIDS (100 μM). The effect of negative pressure was abolished by membrane excision, but subsequent application of Ca2+ (>100 nM) to the intracellular side of the membrane restored single channel activity that was indistinguishable from SACs. Caffeine (5 mM), which depletes SR Ca2+-stores, first activated and then abolished SACs. Tetracaine (100 μM), a ryanodine receptor antagonist, inhibited SACs. Overexpression of hTRPM4B in HEK293 cells resulted in the appearance of cation channels that were activated by both negative pressure and Ca2+ and which had very similar biophysical and pharmacological properties as compared with SACs in CAMs. These studies indicate that TRPM4-like channels in CAMs can be activated by membrane stretch, possibly through ryanodine receptor activation, and this may contribute to the depolarization and concomitant vasoconstriction of intact cerebral arteries following mechanical stimulation.
Although spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) has crucial roles in various cells, its function on vascular smooth muscle contraction has not been determined. In the present study, we performed experiments to determine if Syk contributes to the endothelin-1 (ET-1)-mediated contraction in rat aortic smooth muscle. ET-1-induced contraction of aortic strips was inhibited by piceatannol, PD98059, and SB203580, inhibitors of Syk, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2), and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), respectively. Piceatannol also attenuated high K+-induced contraction. ET-1 dose-dependently enhanced the activity of Syk and this was inhibited by piceatannol in both rat aortic strip and rat aortic smooth muscle cells. The phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), but not that of ERK1/2, in response to ET-1 was inhibited by both piceatannol and SB203580. These results suggest that Syk may play an important role in the regulation of aortic smooth muscle contraction induced by ET-1, which may be mediated by the p38 MAPK/HSP27 signaling pathway.
Edaravone, a radical scavenger, prevents ischemia/reperfusion injury in the brain, but the detailed mechanism is not known. This study examines the effect of edaravone on mitochondrial permeability transition pore (PTP) in rat brain. Edaravone at 10 – 100 μM inhibited Ca2+- and H2O2-induced swelling of mitochondria isolated from rat brain. Addition of Ca2+ generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) in isolated mitochondria. Edaravone (10 – 100 μM) inhibited Ca2+-induced generation of ROS. These results suggest that edaravone inhibits opening of mitochondrial PTP in the brain, and they imply that inhibition of mitochondrial PTP may account for the neuroprotective effect of edaravone.