Depression is associated with a substantial increase in the risk of developing heart failure and is independently associated with increased cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Inversely, cardiovascular disease can lead to severe depression. Thus, therapy with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is strongly recommended to reduce cardiovascular diseaseinduced morbidity and mortality. However, molecular mechanisms to support evidence-based SSRI treatment of cardiovascular disease have not been elucidated. We recently found very high expression of the sigma-1 receptor, an orphan receptor, in rat heart tissue and defined the cardiac sigma-1 receptor as a direct SSRI target in eliciting cardioprotection in both pressure overload (PO)induced and transverse aortic constriction (TAC)-induced myocardial hypertrophy models in rodents. Our findings suggest that SSRIs such as fluvoxamine protect against PO- and TAC-induced cardiac dysfunction by upregulating sigma-1 receptor expression and stimulating sigma-1 receptormediated Akt-eNOS signaling. Here, we discuss the association of depression and cardiovascular diseases, the protective mechanism of SSRIs in heart failure patients, and the pathophysiological relevance of sigma-1 receptors to progression of heart failure. These findings should promote development of clinical therapeutics targeting the sigma-1 receptor in cardiovascular diseases.
Schizophrenia is a multifactorial psychiatric disorder in which both genetic and environmental factors play a role. Genetic [e.g., Disrupted-inschizophrenia 1 (DISC1), Neuregulin-1 (NRG1)] and environmental factors (e.g., maternal viral infection, obstetric complications, social stress) may act during the developmental period to increase the incidence of schizophrenia. In animal models, interactions between susceptibility genes and the environment can be controlled in ways not possible in humans; therefore, such models are useful for investigating interactions between or within factors in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of schizophrenia. We provide an overview of schizophrenic animal models investigating interactions between or within factors. First, we reviewed gene-environment interaction animal models, in which schizophrenic candidate gene mutant mice were subjected to perinatal immune activation or adolescent stress. Next, environment–environment interaction animal models, in which mice were subjected to a combination of perinatal immune activation and adolescent administration of drugs, were described. These animal models showed interaction between or within factors; behavioral changes, which were obscured by each factor, were marked by interaction of factors and vice versa. Appropriate behavioral approaches with such models will be invaluable for translational research on novel compounds, and also for providing insight into the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of schizophrenia.
Aggressive tumor growth and diffuse tissue invasion are hallmarks of malignant glioma. Embelin is an active compound identified as a novel XIAP inhibitor from the Embelia ribes that exhibits various medicinal effects including anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities. In the present study, we investigated whether embelin could have a therapeutic effect in glioma. We found that embelin suppressed proliferation of human glioma cells, but not in normal immortalized human astrocytes. In addition, embelin induced apoptosis in human glioma cells by inhibiting NF-κB, which is a crucial transcription factor associated with several human diseases including cancer and controls multiple genes involved in tumor progression such as cell proliferation and survival. Intriguingly, embelin had no inhibitory effect on XIAP in glioma cells even though discovered as an XIAP inhibitor, but instead inhibited NF-κB activity by reducing nuclear translocation of p65 through decreasing phosphorylation and proteasomal degradation of IκBα in glioma cells. Furthermore, p65 overexpression decreased embelin-induced apoptosis in glioma cells. Taken together these results indicate that embelin could be a potent novel therapeutic modality for glioma via blocking cancer cell proliferation and inducing apoptosis by inhibiting NF-κB activity.
Pseudolaric acid B (PAB) is the primary biologically active compound isolated from the root bark of P. kaempferi Gordon. Our previous study demonstrated that PAB induced mitotic catastrophe in L929 cells and indicated that only a small percentage (12%) of the cells undergoing mitotic catastrophe displayed an apoptotic phenotype after PAB treatment for 72 h. In this study, we found that a minority of the cells undergoing mitotic catastrophe ended in apoptosis, and a majority of them entered a period of senescence. Further data confirmed that PAB induced autophagy, reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, and mitochondrial dysfunction in L929 cells. Subsequently, we found that autophagy inhibitors significantly delayed the senescence process, indicating that autophagy facilitated senescence. Moreover, ROS scavenger significantly decreased the autophagic level and improved mitochondrial function. Additionally, autophagy inhibitors effectively reduced ROS levels and ameliorated mitochondrial function. In conclusion, autophagy promoted senescence via enhancement of ROS generation and mitochondrial dysfunction in PAB-treated L929 cells.
We recently developed a novel cognitive enhancer, ST101 (spiro[imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-3,2-indan]-2(3H)-one), that activates T-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs). Here, we address whether T-type VGCC activation with ST101 mediates its cognitive effects in vivo and the relevance of T-type VGCC activation to acetylcholine (ACh) release in the hippocampus. Acute intraperitoneal administration of ST101 (1 mg/kg, i.p.) improved memory-related behaviors in both olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) and scopolamine-treated mice. Effects of ST101 administration were abolished by both intraperitoneal and intracerebroventricular pre-administration of the T-type VGCC inhibitor mibefradil. Acute administration of ST101 enhanced basal and nicotine-induced ACh release in the dorsal hippocampus in both OBX and sham-treated mice. Enhanced ACh release was abolished by infusion with mibefradil (10 μM) but not with the L-type VGCC inhibitor nifedipine (10 μM). As expected, significantly reduced CaMKIIα, PKCα, and ERK phosphorylation was restored by acute ST101 administration in the OBX mouse hippocampal CA1 region. Enhancement of CaMKIIα and PKCα but not ERK phosphorylation was inhibited by mibefradil (20 mg/kg, i.p.) preadministration. Increased CaMKIIα and PKCα phosphorylation was confirmed by increased phosphorylation of GluR1, synapsin I, and NR1. Taken together, stimulation of T-type VGCCs is critical for the enhanced hippocampal ACh release and improved cognitive function seen following ST101 administration.
Cholinergic nerve–mediated excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) in the longitudinal muscle of mouse ileum were characterized by using M2 or M3 muscarinic receptor–knockout (KO) mice and 1-[β-[3-(4-methoxyphenyl) propoxy]-4-methoxyphenethyl]-1H-imidazole hydrochloride (SK&F 96365) and pertussis toxin (PTX). EJPs evoked by electrical field stimulation (EFS) in wild-type preparations, initially determined to be cholinergic in origin using tetrodotoxin, atropine, and eserine, were profoundly depressed after SK&F 96365 treatment known to block muscarinic receptor–operated cation channels. A similar depression of the EJPs was also observed by PTX treatment, which is predicted to disrupt M2-mediated pathways linked to cation channel activation. In M2-KO mouse preparations, cholinergic EJPs were evoked by EFS with their relative amplitude of 20% – 30% to the wild-type EJP and strongly inhibited by SK&F 96365. No cholinergic EJP was seen in M3-KO as well as M2/M3 double-KO preparations. The results suggest that the wild-type cholinergic EJP is not a simple mixture of M2 and M3 responses, but due to synergistic activation of cation channels by both M2 and M3 receptors in the murine ileal longitudinal muscle.
We have demonstrated previously that the ketamine-induced discriminative stimulus effect is likely to reflect the phencyclidine-like psychotomimetic effects. Therefore, the present study was designed to investigate the effects of the antipsychotics and 5-HT2 receptor antagonist on the discriminative stimulus effects of ketamine in rats. While sulpiride did not attenuate the discriminative stimulus effects of ketamine, both clozapine and ketanserin attenuated those of ketamine, suggesting that the discriminative stimulus effects of ketamine are mediated by multiple receptors, especially the 5-HT2 receptor, but not the D2 receptor. Furthermore, our findings imply that atypical antipsychotics could be useful for the treatment of psychotomimetic effects induced by ketamine.
Effects of chlorogenic acid on surfactant-induced itching were studied in mice. Topical application of sodium laurate increased hind-paw scratching, an itch-related response, 2 h after application, which was inhibited by topical post-treatment with chlorogenic acid. Sodium laurate increased the histamine content and 53-kDa l-histidine decarboxylase in the epidermis, which were also inhibited by post-treatment with chlorogenic acid. These results suggest that topical chlorogenic acid is effective in the prevention of itching induced by anionic surfactants. The inhibitory activity of chlorogenic acid may be due to the inhibition of an increase in histamine in the epidermis.