Pantetheinase is an enzyme hydrolyzing pantetheine, an intermediate of the coenzyme A degradation pathway. Pantetheinase has long been considered as the enzyme that recycles pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) generated during coenzyme A breakdown. Genetic analyses showed that mammals have multiple genes known as vanin family genes. Recent studies using mice lacking the vanin-1 gene (pantetheinase gene) suggest that pantetheinase is actively involved in the progression of inflammatory reactions by generating cysteamine. Additional studies using human leukocytes demonstrate that human neutrophils have abundant pantetheinase proteins on the surface and inside the cells. The second pantetheinase protein, GPI-80/VNN2, is suggested to work as a modulator of the function of Mac-1 (CD11b/CD18), an adhesion molecule important to neutrophil functions. This review delineates the characteristics of the pantetheinase/vanin gene family and how they affect inflammation.
Neural aging as a progressive loss of function involves central and peripheral post-mitotic neurons and neural stem cells (NSCs). It promotes neurodegeneration, impairs neurogenesis, and can be considered a cause of cognitive impairment and sensory and motor deficits in the elderly. Age-related morphological atrophic changes and cellular alterations are addressed by neural aging mechanisms. Neurogenesis declines during aging through several mechanisms such as an increase in quiescence state, changes in lineage fate, telomerase dysfunction, the failure of the DNA repair system, increased apoptosis, and the impairment of self-renewal. The self-renewal transcriptional factor Sox2 has been correlated with retrotransposon L1 and certain cell-cycle– and epigenetic-related factors, which are sometimes considered age-related factors in NSC aging. As neurogenesis decreases, non-mitotic neurons undergo neurodegeneration by oxidative stress, sirtuin, insulin signaling and mTOR alteration, mitochondrial dysfunction, and protein misfolding and aggregation. As neurodegeneration and impaired neurogenesis promote the nervous system aging process, the identification of neuronal anti-aging is required to raise life expectancy. The role of melatonin in increasing neurogenesis and protecting against neurodegeneration has been investigated. Here, we review nervous system aging that is correlated with mechanisms of neurodegeneration and the impairment of neurogenesis and evaluate the effects of melatonin on these processes.
The article evaluated the inhibitory action of procaine on wild-type and mutated HERG potassium channel current (IHERG) to determine whether mutations in the S6 region are important for the inhibition of IHERG by procaine. HERG channels (WT, Y652A, and F656A) were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and studied using the standard two-microelectrode voltage-clamp technique. The results revealed that WT HERG is blocked in a concentration-, voltage-, and state-dependent manner by procaine ([IC50] = 34.79 μM). The steady state activation curves slightly move to the negative, while inactivation parameters move to the positive in the presence of procaine. Time-dependent test reveals that voltage-dependent IHERG blockade occurs extremely rapidly. Furthermore, the mutation to Ala of Y652 and F656 produce about 11-fold and 18-fold increases in IC50 for IHERG blockade, respectively. Simultaneously, for Y652A, the steady state activation and inactivation parameters are shifted to more positive values after perfusion of procaine. Conclusively, procaine state-dependently inhibits HERG channels (WT, Y652A, and F656A). The helix residues Y652 and F656 in the S6 transmembrane domain might play a role in interaction of the drug with the channel.
Chronic administration of clenbuterol (CB), a lipophilic β2-adrenoceptor (β2-AR) agonist, induces skeletal muscle hypertrophy and slow-to-fast fiber–type transitions in mammalian species, but the mechanism and pathophysiological roles of these changes have not been explored. Here, we examined the effects of CB not only on masseter muscle mass, fiber diameter, and myosin heavy chain (MHC) composition, but also on daily muscle activity, a factor influencing muscle phenotype, by means of electromyogram analysis in rats. MHC transition towards faster isoforms was induced by 2-week CB treatment. In addition, daily duty time was increased at 1 day, 1 week, and 2 weeks after the start of CB treatment and its increase was greater at high activity level (6-fold) than at low activity level (2-fold). In order to examine whether these effects of CB were mediated through muscle or CNS β2-AR stimulation, we compared these effects of CB with those of salbutamol (SB), a hydrophilic β2-AR agonist. SB treatment induced masseter hypertrophy and MHC transition, like CB, but did not increase daily activity. These results suggest that CB-mediated slow-to-fast MHC transition with hypertrophy was induced through direct muscle β2-AR stimulation, but the increase of daily duty time was mediated through the CNS. [Supplementary Figures: available only at http://dx.doi.org/10.1254/jphs.12271FP]
The compound LASSBio-788 (N-Allyl (2-thienylidene) 3,4-methylenedioxybenzoylhydrazine) is a thienylacylhydrazone derivative shown to have antiplatelet, vasodilatory, and anti-inflammatory properties in vitro. We hypothesize that LASSBio-788 may exert beneficial effects on atherosclerosis. Male wistar rats were divided into 4 groups: Control group received standard rat chow, hypercholesterolemic group (HC) and HC+788 (compound LASSBio-788 group) received hypercholesterolemic diet for 45 days. HC+788 group received compound LASSBio-788 (100 μmol/kg) once daily in the last 15 days. LASSBio-788 reduced the levels of total cholesterol (109.1 ± 4.3 vs. 361.0 ± 12.8 mg/dl), triglycerides (66.1 ± 1.1 vs. 186.9 ± 17.7 mg/dl), LDLc (63.2 ± 6.1 vs. 330.9 ± 9.7 mg/dl), VLDLc (9.8 ± 1.1 vs. 45.0 ± 4.6 mg/dl) and malondialdehyde (4.8 ± 0.3 vs. 9.4 ± 0.5 nmol/ml) compared to the HC group. LASSBio-788 presented antiplatelet properties and decreased inflammatory markers levels. LASSBio-788 promoted a decrease in contractile response to phenylephrine and an improvement in endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant response by increasing two-fold the expression of nitric oxide synthase (eNOS). Our results suggest that the compound LASSBio-788 represents a new multi-targeted drug candidate for the treatment of atherosclerosis.
Tolvaptan, a non-peptide V2-receptor antagonist, is a newly developed diuretic agent. Recently, we reported that tolvaptan has diuretic as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic actions in chronic heart failure. In this study, we investigated whether tolvaptan has a cardioprotective effect in acute heart failure after myocardial infarction (MI). After MI induction, rats were randomized into 6 groups as follows: vehicle group, group treated with 15 mg∙kg−1∙day−1 furosemide, 2 groups treated with 3 or 10 mg∙kg−1∙day−1 tolvaptan, and 2 groups treated with 15 mg∙kg−1∙day−1 furosemide combined with 3 or 10 mg∙kg−1∙day−1 tolvaptan. Each agent was administered for 2 weeks, and blood pressure levels and infarct sizes were similar in all MI groups. Lower left ventricular end-systolic volumes and greater improvement of left ventricular ejection fraction were observed in the tolvaptan-treated groups compared with the vehicle group. In contrast, furosemide alone did not improve them. Sirius red staining revealed that tolvaptan significantly repressed MI-induced interstitial fibrosis in the left ventricle. MI-induced mRNA expressions related to cardiac load, inflammation, and fibrosis were significantly attenuated in the combination group. The combination treatment also repressed MI-induced mineralocorticoid receptor expression. Tolvaptan, or combination of furosemide and tolvaptan, may improve cardiac function in acute MI.
Azelastine is a second generation histamine H1–receptor antagonist used as an anti-asthmatic and anti-allergic drug that can induce QT prolongation and torsades de pointes. We investigated the acute effects of azelastine on human ether-a-go-go-related gene (hERG) channels, action potential duration (APD), and L-type (ICa,L) and T-type Ca2+ current (ICa,T) to determine the electrophysiological basis for its proarrhythmic potential. Azelastine increased the APD at 90% of repolarization concentration dependently, with an IC50 of 1.08 nM in guinea-pig ventricular myocytes. We examined the effects of azelastine on the hERG channels expressed in Xenopus oocytes and HEK293 cells using two-microelectrode voltage-clamp and patch-clamp techniques. Azelastine induced a concentration-dependent decrease of the hERG current amplitude at the end of the voltage steps and tail currents. The IC50 for the azelastine-induced block of the hERG currents expressed in HEK293 cells was 11.43 nM, while the drug inhibited ICa,L and ICa,T with IC50 values of 7.60 and 26.21 μM, respectively. The S6 domain mutations, Y652A partially attenuated and F656A abolished hERG current block. These results suggest that azelastine is a potent blocker of hERG channels rather than ICa,L or ICa,T, providing molecular mechanisms for the arrhythmogenic side effects during the clinical administration of azelastine.