Stroke is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. It is well known that hyperglycemia and/or diabetes potentially exacerbate the neuronal damage observed following ischemic stroke. Recent reports have shown that hyperglycemia/glucose intolerance may be induced by cerebral ischemic stress, and that normalization of blood glucose levels during the first 48 h of hospitalization appears to confer greater survival outcomes in stroke patients. However, the mechanisms underlying post-ischemic glucose intolerance remain unclear. Here, we review research to date on the mechanisms through which ischemic neuronal damage develops and on the role of post-ischemic glucose intolerance focusing on insulin and adiponectin signaling and communication between the brain and peripheral tissues. The relationship between ischemic neuronal damage and post-ischemic glucose intolerance is also discussed. With respect to therapeutic options, in addition to traditional post-stroke therapies, we also discuss the effect of anti-diabetic drugs and glucose-sensing neuropeptides on the development of the post-ischemic glucose intolerance and neuronal damage. In conclusion, we support the idea for focusing research on the development of post-ischemic glucose intolerance as a new therapeutic target for the stroke patients.
The heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) / carbon monoxide (CO) system has been presumed as a therapeutic target for preventing atherosclerosis. However, the exact mechanism(s) underlying this system remains largely undefined. This study aims to examine the influence of induction/inhibition of HO-1 on atherosclerotic plaque using pharmacological approaches and to elucidate potential mechanisms. Rabbits were randomly assigned to receive a standard diet (control group), high fat diet (HFD), HFD plus HO inducer hemin (HFD + H group), and HFD plus an HO inhibitor, zinc protoporphyrin-9 (ZnPP9, HFD + Z group). Atherosclerotic plaque was evaluated using oil red O staining and histological analyses. Immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and RT-PCR were employed to study the expression of HO-1 and endothelin-1 (ET-1). Levels of CO, nitric oxide (NO), eNOS/iNOS activities, NF-κB activity, and TNF-α level were determined. No significant differences of serum lipid levels were observed among the HFD, HFD + Z, and HFD + H groups. In rabbits, HFD induced typical atherosclerotic plaque and increased intima/media thickness ratio, which was markedly reduced in the HFD + H group and further aggravated in the HFD + Z group. Furthermore, hemin increased HO-1 expression, CO levels, and eNOS activity, while decreasing iNOS levels, ET-1 expression, NF-κB activity, and TNF-α level. ZnPP9 caused opposite effects. Induction of the endogenous HO-1/CO system by hemin can prevent atherosclerosis though increasing CO levels, regulating eNOS activity, NF-κB activity, TNF-α levels, and ET-1 levels in rabbits. Our results add new evidence for the importance of HO-1 in the genesis and development of atherosclerosis and provide several possible mechanisms underlying the anti-atherosclerosis effects of HO-1.
This study examined the activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase with matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP-13) production by a synthetic peptide derived from type II collagen (CB12-II) and its inhibition by high molecular weight hyaluronan (HA) in chondrocytes. When cartilage explants or isolated chondrocytes in monolayer were incubated with CB12-II, the peptide (50 μM, 72 h) activated p38 in association with enhanced MMP-13 production. Inhibition studies with SB203580 (0.1 – 1 μM) indicated the requirement of p38 for CB12-II–induced MMP-13 production. Pretreatment with 2700 kDa HA (1 mg/ml, 1 h) resulted in significant suppression of CB12-II–stimulated MMP-13 production in cartilage as well as in chondrocyte monolayer cultures. HA (1 mg/ml) suppressed p38 activation by CB12-II, leading to a decrease in MMP-13 production. The antibody (20 μg/ml) to intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), which has been recognized as a receptor of HA on chondrocytes, reversed the HA effect on CB12-II action. Thus, the present study clearly demonstrated that high molecular weight HA suppressed CB12-II–activated p38 via ICAM-1 in articular chondrocytes. HA could down-regulate the catabolic action of type II collagen fragments in osteoarthritic joints through the mechanism demonstrated in this study.
Recent studies have demonstrated that the botulinum neurotoxins inhibit the release of acetylcholine, glutamate, GABA, and glycine in central nerve system (CNS) neurons. The Na+ current (INa) is of major interest because it acts as the trigger for many cellular functions such as transmission, secretion, contraction, and sensation. Thus, these observations raise the possibility that A type neurotoxin might also alter the INa of neuronal excitable membrane. To test our idea, we examined the effects of A type neurotoxins on INa of central and peripheral neurons. The neurotoxins in femtomolar to picomolar concentrations produced substantial decreases of the neuronal INa, but interestingly the current inhibition was saturated at about maximum 50% level of control INa. The inhibitory pattern in the concentration–response curve for the neurotoxins differed from tetrodotoxin (TTX), local anesthetic, and antiepileptic drugs that completely inhibited INa in a concentration-dependent manner. We concluded that A type neurotoxins inhibited membrane Na+-channel activity in CNS neurons and that INa of both TTX-sensitive and -insensitive peripheral dorsal ganglion cells were also inhibited similarly to a maximum 40% of the control by the neurotoxins. The results suggest evidently that A2NTX could be also used as a powerful drug in treating epilepsy and several types of pain.
As a traditional Chinese medicine, dragon’s blood (DB) is widely used in treating various pains for thousands of years due to its potent anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. In the present study, we observed that intragastric administration of DB at dosages of 0.14, 0.56, and 1.12 g/kg potently inhibited paw edema, hyperalgesia, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) protein expression, or preprotachykinin-A mRNA expression in carrageenan-inflamed or sciatic nerve–injured (chronic constriction injury) rats, respectively. A short-term (15 s or 10 min) pre-exposure of cultured rat dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons to DB (0.3, 3, and 30 μg/ml) or its component cochinchinenin B (CB; 0.1, 1, and 10 μM) blocked capsaicin-evoked increases in both the intracellular calcium ion concentration and the substance P release. Moreover, a long-term (180 min) exposure of cultured rat DRG neurons to DB or CB significantly attenuated bradykinin-induced substance P release. These findings indicate that DB exerts anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects by blocking the synthesis and release of substance P through inhibition of COX-2 protein induction and intracellular calcium ion concentration. Therefore, DB may serve as a promising potent therapeutic agent for treatment of chronic pain, and its effective component CB might partly contribute to anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play an important role in degeneration of the matrix associated with bone and cartilage. Regulation of osteoclast activity is essential in the treatment of bone disease, including osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Polyphenols in green tea, particularly epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), inhibit MMPs expression and activity. However, the effects of the black tea polyphenol, theaflavin-3,3′-digallate (TFDG), on osteoclast and MMP activity are unknown. Therefore, we examined whether TFDG and EGCG affect MMP activity and osteoclast formation and differentiation in vitro. TFDG or EGCG (10 and 100 μM) was added to cultures of rat osteoclast precursors cells and mature osteoclasts. Numbers of multinucleated osteoclasts and actin rings decreased in polyphenol-treated cultures relative to control cultures. MMP-2 and MMP-9 activities were lower in TFDG- and EGCG-treated rat osteoclast precursor cells than in control cultures. MMP-9 mRNA levels declined significantly in TFDG-treated osteoclasts in comparison to control osteoclasts. TFDG and EGCG inhibited the formation and differentiation of osteoclasts via inhibition of MMPs. TFDG may suppress actin ring formation more effectively than EGCG. Thus, TFDG and EGCG may be suitable agents or lead compounds for the treatment of bone resorption diseases.
Sulfonylurea is one of the commonly used anti-diabetic drugs that stimulate insulin secretion from β-cells. Despite their glucose lowering effects in type 2 diabetes mellitus, long-term treatment brought on secondary failure characterized by β-cell exhaustion and apoptosis. ER stress induced by Ca2+ depletion in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is speculated be one of the causes of secondary failure, but it remains unclear. Glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) has anti-apoptotic effects in β-cells after the induction of oxidative and ER stress. In this study, we examined the anti-apoptotic action of a GLP-1 analogue in β-cell lines and islets against ER stress induced by chronic treatment of sulfonylurea. HIT-T15 and dispersed islet cells were exposed to glibenclamide for 48 h, and apoptosis was evaluated using Annexin/PI flow cytometry. Expression of the ER stress–related molecules and sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) 2/3 was determined by real-time PCR and western blot analysis. Chronic exposure to glibenclamide increased apoptosis by depletion of ER Ca2+ concentration through reduced expression of SERCA 2/3. Pretreatment with Exendin-4 had an anti-apoptotic role through ER stress modulation and ER Ca2+ replenishing by SERCA restoration. These findings will further the understanding of one cause of glibenclamide-induced β-cell loss and therapeutic availability of GLP-1–based drugs in secondary failure by sulfonylurea during treatment of diabetes.
Our recent study showed a possibility that newly developed A2 type botulinum toxin (A2NTX) inhibits both spontaneous and evoked transmitter release from inhibitory (glycinergic or GABAergic) and excitatory (glutamatergic) nerve terminals using rat spinal sacral dorsal commissural nucleus neurons. In the present study, to determine the modulatory effect of A2NTX on glycinergic and glutamatergic release probabilities, we tested the effects of A2NTX on a single inhibitory or excitatory nerve ending adherent to a dissociated neuron that was activated by paired-pulse stimuli by using the focal electrical stimulation technique. The results of the present paired-pulse experiments showed clearly that A2NTX enhanced paired-pulse facilitation of evoked glycinergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents and glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic currents and increased the failure rate (Rf) of the first postsynaptic currents (P1) and both the responses. These effects of A2NTX on the amplitude and Rf of the P1 and the second postsynaptic currents (P2) and paired-pulse ratio were rescued by application of 4-aminophthalimide. In summary, the present results showed that A2NTX acts purely presynaptically and inhibits the release machinery of transmitters such as glycine and glutamate, and the transmitter release machinery became less sensitive to intracellular free-Ca2+ in A2NTX poisoned nerve terminals.
Overstimulation of cAMP-activated Cl− secretion can cause secretory diarrhea. Isoliquiritigenin (ISLQ) is a plant-derived chalcone that has a wide range of biological activities. The present study thus aimed to investigate the effect of ISLQ on cAMP-activated Cl− secretion in human intestinal epithelium, especially the underlying mechanism and therapeutic application. Short-circuit current analysis of human intestinal epithelial (T84) cell monolayers revealed that ISLQ dose-dependently inhibited cAMP-activated Cl− secretion with an IC50 of approximately 20 μM. ISLQ had no effect on either basal short-circuit current or Ca2+-activated Cl− secretion. Apical Cl− current analysis of T84 cell monolayers indicated that ISLQ blocked mainly the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) Cl− channels, but not other unidentified cAMP-dependent Cl− channels. ISLQ did not affect intracellular cAMP levels or cell viability. ISLQ completely abolished the cholera toxin-induced transepithelial Cl− secretion in T84 cells and reduced the cholera toxin-induced intestinal fluid secretion in mouse closed loop models by 90%. Similarly, ISLQ completely inhibited the cAMP-activated apical Cl− current across monolayers of Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells and retarded cyst growth in MDCK cyst models by 90%. This study reveals a novel action of ISLQ as a potent CFTR inhibitor with therapeutic potential for treatment of cholera and polycystic kidney disease.
We investigated the anti-vasospastic potential of fasudil’s active metabolite, hydroxyfasudil, a Rho-kinase inhibitor, after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and also its effect on hemorheological abnormalities following cerebral ischemia. Chronic cerebral vasospasm was produced using a two-hemorrhage canine model. On day 7, angiographic vasospasm was observed in all animals, and intravenous administration of hydroxyfasudil (3 mg·kg−1·30 min−1) significantly reversed the vasospasm (predose diameter of the basilar artery, 57.9% ± 2.0% of the baseline before the injection of blood; postdose diameter, 64.5% ± 1.9%). The viscosity of whole blood was significantly increased 24 h after 1 h middle cerebral artery occlusion in rats. Hydroxyfasudil (3 and 10 mg/kg, i.p.) significantly decreased blood viscosity. The specificity of hydroxyfasudil was examined against a panel of 17 protein kinases using ELISA analysis. Hydroxyfasudil inhibited Rho-kinase α and β at a concentration of 10 μM by 97.6% and 97.7%, respectively. No other protein kinase was inhibited with 10 μM hydroxyfasudil by over 40%. The present results indicate hydroxyfasudil is a selective inhibitor of Rho-kinase. The results also suggest that hydroxyfasudil contributes to the potency of fasudil to prevent cerebral vasospasm and hyperviscosity and suggest the potential utility of hydroxyfasudil as a therapeutic agent for patients with SAH.
Cistanche deserticola MA (C. deserticola) has been widely used as a laxative herbal in herbal medicine for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome or constipation, and echinacoside (ECH) is one of the major bioactive ingredients in this herbal. Our aim was to investigate the effect of ECH on intestinal epithelial cell growth and death. MODE-K, an intestinal epithelial cell line, was used as an in vitro model of the intestine. Cell proliferation was measured by methylthiazol tetrazolium (MTT) assay. Cell apoptosis was determined with Annexin-V staining. Here we showed that in cultured MODE-K cells, ECH significantly stimulated cell proliferation and enhanced cell survival by reducing cell apoptosis in the presence of H2O2 or the mixture of pro-inflammatory cytokines, while transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expression was up-regulated in a dose-dependent manner. Knockdown of TGF-β1 expression disrupted both the proliferative and cytoprotective activities of ECH, which was further confirmed by neutralization of TGF-β1 activity using anti–TGF-β1 antibody. These data suggest that ECH as one of bioactive ingredients in herbal C. deserticola and others may improve mucosal tissue repair by stimulating intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and preventing cell death via up-regulation of TGF-β.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family, has potent neuroprotective effects against brain injury. We recently reported that glucose intolerance/hyperglycemia could be induced by ischemic stress (i.e., post-ischemic glucose intolerance) following ischemic neuronal damage. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the effects of BDNF on the development of post-ischemic glucose intolerance and ischemic neuronal damage. Male ddY mice were subjected to middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) for 2 h. On day 1, the expression levels of BDNF were significantly decreased in the cortex, hypothalamus, liver, skeletal muscle, and pancreas. The expression levels of tyrosine kinase B receptor, a BDNF receptor, decreased in the hypothalamus and liver and increased in the skeletal muscle and pancreas, but remained unchanged in the cortex. Intrahypothalamic administration of BDNF (50 ng/mouse) suppressed the development of post-ischemic glucose intolerance on day 1 and neuronal damage on day 3 after MCAO. In the liver and skeletal muscle, the expression levels of insulin receptors decreased, while gluconeogenic enzyme levels increased on day 1 after MCAO. These changes completely recovered to normal levels in the presence of BDNF. These results indicate that regulation of post-ischemic glucose intolerance by BDNF may suppress ischemic neuronal damage.
Histamine H1 receptor (H1R) expression influences the severity of allergy symptoms. We examined the effect of inverse agonists on H1R gene expression. Two inverse agonists (carebastine and mepyramine), but not the neutral antagonist oxatomide, decreased inositol phosphate accumulation. The inverse agonists also decreased H1R gene expression and down-regulated H1R mRNA below basal expression, while basal H1R mRNA expression was maintained after oxatomide treatment. These results suggest that inverse agonists more potently alleviate allergy symptoms by not only inhibiting stimulus-induced up-regulation of H1R gene expression but also by suppressing basal histamine signaling through their inverse agonistic activity.