Thiazolidinediones, peroxisome proliferators-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) ligands, have been recognized as a potential therapeutic agents for the treatment of pathological neovascularization. In the present study, we examined the molecular mechanism by which troglitazone (TROG), a PPARγ agonist, exerts its inhibitory action in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced angiogenesis signaling. In an in vitro angiogenesis model using human umbilical vein endothelial cells, TROG (20 μM) significantly suppressed VEGF-induced cell proliferation and invasion of the cells into the Matrigel basement membrane, which was not reversed by treatment with PPAR antagonists, GW9662 (10 μM) and bisphenol A diglycidyl ether (10 μM). TROG also blocked VEGF-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and its downstream extracellular signal–regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, and this inhibitory effect was not reversed by GW9662 (10 μM). The antiangiogenic activity of TROG correlated with suppression of VEGF-induced matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and membrane type 1 (MT1)-MMP expression. In addition, the effects of TROG on VEGF-induced MMP-2 and MT1-MMP expression were comparable to those of the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenylene iodium (10 μM) and ERK inhibitor PD98056 (10 μM). Furthermore, in an in vivo angiogenesis system using a chick chorioallantoic membrane model, TROG dose-dependently inhibited VEGF-induced angiogenesis, which was similar to the inhibitory effect of N-acetylcysteine on VEGF-induced angiogenesis. The results suggest that the inhibitory effects of TROG on VEGF-induced angiogenesis were mediated through the suppression of VEGF-induced ROS production and ERK phosphorylation.
We investigated whether oral administration of curcumin suppressed type II collagen–induced arthritis (CIA) in mice and its effect and mechanism on matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1 and MMP-3 production in CIA mice, RA fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS), and chondrocytes. CIA in mice was suppressed by oral administration of curcumin in a dose-dependent manner. Macroscopic observations were confirmed by histological examinations. Histological changes including infiltration of immune cells, synovial hyperplasia, cartilage destruction, and bone erosion in the hind paw sections were extensively suppressed by curcumin. The histological scores were consistent with clinical arthritis indexes. Production of MMP-1 and MMP-3 were inhibited by curcumin in CIA hind paw sections and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α–stimulated FLS and chondrocytes in a dose-dependent manner. As for the mechanism, curcumin inhibited activating phosphorylation of protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ) in CIA, FLS, and chondrocytes. Curcumin also suppressed the JNK and c-Jun activation in those cells. This study suggests that the suppression of MMP-1 and MMP-3 production by curcumin in CIA is mediated through the inhibition of PKCδ and the JNK/c-Jun signaling pathway.
The present study investigated an ethanol extract of the aerial part of Aralia cordata Thunb. (Araliaceae) for possible neuroprotective effects on neurotoxicity induced by amyloid β (Aβ) protein (25 – 35) in cultured rat cortical neurons and antidementia activity in mice. Exposure of cultured cortical neurons to 10 μM Aβ(25 – 35) for 36 h induced neuronal apoptotic death. At 1 – 10 μg/ml, A. cordata inhibited neuronal death, elevation of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i), glutamate release into the medium, and generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by Aβ(25–35) in primary cultures of rat cortical neurons. Memory loss induced by intracerebroventricular injection of ICR mice with 15 nmol Aβ(25–35) was inhibited by chronic treatment with A. cordata (50 and 100 mg/kg, p.o. for 7 days) as measured by a passive avoidance test, and corresponding reductions were observed in brain cholinesterase activity and neuronal death measured histologically in the hippocampal region. Oleanolic acid isolated from A. cordata also inhibited neuronal death, elevation of [Ca2+]i, glutamate release, and generation of ROS induced by Aβ(25–35) in cultured rat cortical neurons, suggesting that the neuroprotective effect of A. cordata may be, at least in part, attributable to this compound. From these results, we suggest that the antidementia effect of A. cordata is due to its neuroprotective effect against Aβ(25–35)-induced neurotoxicity and that A. cordata may have a therapeutic role in preventing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
The present study was undertaken to explore the possible involvement of alterations in the mitochondrial energy-producing ability in the development of the right ventricular failure in monocrotaline-administered rats. The rats at the 6th week after subcutaneous injection of 60 mg/kg monocrotaline revealed marked myocardial hypertrophy and fibrosis, that is, severe cardiac remodeling. The time-course study on the cardiac hemodynamics of the monocrotaline-administered rat by the cannula and echocardiographic methods showed a reduction in cardiac double product, a decrease in cardiac output index, and an increase in the right ventricular Tei index, suggesting that the right ventricular failure was induced at the 6th week after monocrotaline administration in rats. The mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate of the right ventricular muscle isolated from the monocrotaline-administered animal was decreased, which was associated with a reduction in myocardial high-energy phosphates. Furthermore, the decrease in mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate was inversely related to the increase in the right ventricular Tei index of the monocrotaline-administered rats. These results suggest that impairment of the mitochondrial energy-producing ability is involved in the development of the right ventricular failure in monocrotaline-induced pulmonary hypertensive rats.
We studied the effects of antipsychotics and a hypnotic on sleep disturbance in schizophrenia using an animal model of the disease. Electrodes for the electroencephalogram (EEG) and electromyogram (EMG) were chronically implanted into the cortex and the dorsal neck muscle of rats. EEG and EMG were recorded with an electroencephalograph for 6 h (10:00 – 16:00). SleepSign ver. 2.0 was used for EEG and EMG analysis. Haloperidol and olanzapine had an antagonizing effect on the increases in sleep latency and total awake time and the decrease in total non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep time induced by MK-801. Olanzapine also antagonized the decrease in total rapid eye movement (REM) sleep time induced by MK-801. Aripiprazole antagonized only the increase in sleep latency induced by MK-801, whereas, risperidone, quetiapine, and flunitrazepam had no effect in the changes of sleep-wake pattern induced by MK-801. Olanzapine increased delta activity and decreased beta activity during NREM sleep. In contrast, flunitrazepam had an opposite effect. It was clarified that haloperidol and olanzapine were effective for decrease of sleep time in this animal model of schizophrenia. In addition, aripiprazole showed a sleep-inducing effect in schizophrenia model rat. On the other hand, flunitrazepam showed no beneficial effect on sleep disturbance in schizophrenia model rat.
Recent clinical studies on chronic kidney disease (CKD) reported that renal dysfunction was a critical risk factor for cardiovascular events (CVE), which lead us to reconsider the effect of cardioprotective agents on the kidney. Glomerulonephritis, which is the major cause of CKD, is characterized by mesangial cell proliferation and extracellular matrix deposition. Nicorandil, a therapeutic drug for angina and acute heart failure, have been reported to show antiproliferative activity in mesangial cells. In this study, we first investigated the in vivo effects of nicorandil in anti-Thy1 nephritis rats. In male F344 rats, anti-Thy1 nephritis was induced by the injection of an anti-Thy1 antibody. From three days before induction, nicorandil (10, 30 mg/kg per day) was administered in the drinking water for 12 consecutive days. Anti-Thy1 nephritis resulted in a significant increase in proteinuria and glomerular mesangial cell proliferation. In nephritis rats, nicorandil (30 mg/kg per day) significantly suppressed increase in proteinuria, mesangial cell proliferation (the number of glomerular cell and glomerular area), and renal hypertrophy without affecting blood pressure. Nicorandil significantly prevented the overexpression of type I collagen, fibronectin, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β, and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) mRNA. These results suggest that nicorandil may have renoprotective effects in mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis.
Morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl are clinically prescribed drugs for the management of severe pain. We investigated whether these opioids possess different efficacy profiles on several types of pain in mouse pain models. When the three opioids were tested in the femur bone cancer model, all of them significantly reversed guarding behavior, whereas the effects on limb-use abnormality and allodynia-like behavior differed among the opioids. Particularly, although oxycodone (5 – 20 mg/kg) and fentanyl (0.2 mg/kg) significantly reversed limb-use abnormality, not even a high dose of morphine (50 mg/kg) could reverse it. When the effects of these opioids were examined in a sciatic nerve ligation (SNL) model of neuropathic pain, oxycodone was the most effective, producing an antinociceptive effect without affecting the withdrawal threshold of sham-treated animals. When the effects of these opioids were examined with the tail-flick test using naive animals, oxycodone, morphine, and fentanyl exhibited antinociceptive effects on thermal nociception. These results show that the three opioids exhibit different efficacy outcomes in multiple pain models and that the efficacy profile of oxycodone does not overlap those of morphine and fentanyl.
We investigated the effects of Evodiae Fructus and synephrine, one of the components of Evodiae Fructus, on blood vessels. We found that Evodiae Fructus (1 × 10−6 – 3 × 10−4 g/mL) had constrictive effects on rat aorta. The vasoconstrictive effects of Evodiae Fructus were significantly inhibited by pretreatment with prazosin (adrenergic α1-receptor antagonist), BRL15572 [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)1D antagonist], and ketanserin (5-HT2A antagonist), but its vasoconstrictive effects were not inhibited by pretreatment with SB216641 (5-HT1B antagonist) or propranolol (adrenergic β-receptor antagonist). These results suggest that Evodiae Fructus constricts rat aorta via adrenergic and serotonergic receptors. We also investigated the constrictive effects of synephrine on blood vessels. The vasoconstrictive effects of synephrine (1 × 10−7 – 3 × 10−5 mol/L) were significantly inhibited by pretreatment with prazosin, BRL15572, and ketanserin. However, its constrictive effects were not inhibited by pretreatment with SB216641 and propranolol. The pA2 values of prazosin or ketanserin were nearly equal between Evodiae Fructus and synephrine. Because the constrictive effects of both Evodiae Fructus and synephrine were exerted via adrenergic α1-receptors and serotonergic (5-HT1D and 5-HT2A) receptors, synephrine may be one of the important components in the constrictive effects of Evodiae Fructus.
Recent studies indicate a role of chymase in the regulation of angiotensin II (AngII) formation in cardiovascular and renal tissues. We investigated a possible contribution of chymase to AngII formation and to renal fibrosis in unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO). Eight-week-old Syrian hamsters were subjected to UUO and treated with vehicle, the specific chymase inhibitor (CI) 4-[1-(4-methyl-benzo[b]thiophen-3-ylmethyl)-1H-benzimidazol-2-ylsulfanyl]-butyric acid (50 mg/kg, twice a day, p.o.), or the selective AT1-receptor blocker olmesartan (10 mg/kg per day, p.o.) for 14 days. UUO-induced renal interstitial fibrosis was associated with increases in renal mRNA levels of α-smooth muscle actin (SMA), type I collagen, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β. The UUO hamsters showed markedly higher AngII contents and increased AT1-receptor mRNA level in the obstructed kidney than sham-operated ones. In contrast, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) protein expression was significantly lower in UUO hamsters. In UUO hamsters, treatment with CI or olmesartan significantly decreased AngII levels in renal tissue and mRNA levels of α-SMA, type I collagen, and TGF-β and ameliorated tubulointerstitial injury. On the other hand, neither CI nor olmesartan changed systolic blood pressure, renal ACE, and AT1-receptor protein levels. These data suggest that chymase-dependent intrarenal AngII formation contributes to the pathogenesis of interstitial fibrosis in obstructed kidneys of hamsters.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with high mortality and morbidity, mainly due to coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis, although female gender is a protective factor in the development of, for example, atherosclerosis and hypertension. Our main aim was to investigate gender differences in endothelial function in aortas from type 2 diabetic model mice. The nonfasting plasma glucose level was significantly elevated in diabetic mice (both males and females). The plasma insulin level was not different between controls and diabetics (either gender). The plasma adiponectin level was decreased by diabetes, and was lower in males. In control aortas (from males or females), the clonidine-induced relaxation was abolished by Akt-inhibitor treatment. In diabetic males (versus both control males and diabetic females): a) the clonidine- and insulin-induced endothelium-dependent aortic relaxations were impaired, but the acetylcholine (ACh)–induced and sodium nitroprusside (SNP)–induced aortic relaxations were not, b) the norepinephrine (NE)–induced aortic contractile response was enhanced, c) systemic blood pressure was elevated, and d) the clonidine-stimulated Ser-473 phosphorylation of Akt in the aorta was decreased. These results suggest that endothelial functions dependent on the Akt pathway are abrogated by type 2 diabetes only in male mice.