Histamine was first identified in 1910 as a physiologically active amine. It is now recognized for its multiple regulatory activities in the digestive, neuronal, and immune systems, and new roles are still being elucidated. Histamine exerts its effects through four distinct receptor subtypes. The histamine H4 receptor was identified in 2000 and is the most recently identified of the four histamine receptors. It is expressed primarily in immune cells and is involved in physiologic functions related to inflammation and allergy. Recently, the H4 receptor was highlighted as a promising therapeutic target in atopic dermatitis, asthma, and chronic arthritis. In fact, some H4 receptor antagonists have reached clinical trials for the treatment of asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis. Based on an initial assessment of its distribution, the H4 receptor has been referred to as the histamine receptor of the hematopoietic system. However, the H4 receptor has also been implicated in the regulation of other non-hematopoietic systems. Here, I review the expression and function of the identified histamine receptors, including the H4 receptor with a focus on articular and dermal tissues. In articular tissue, H4 receptor expression has been detected in synovial cells. Chondrocytes, a major cell source for cartilage tissue engineering, also express the H4 receptor. In skin, the H4 receptor is expressed in both the epidermis and dermis, with stronger receptor expression in the epidermis. Further understanding of the functions of H4 receptors in non-hematopoietic cells might lead to novel treatments for diseases with unmet medical needs.
The metal dissociation constants of bovine carbonic anhydrase II, bovine carboxypeptidase A, rat aminopeptidase B, and rat dipeptidyl peptidase III were measured using metal buffer solutions. The zinc dissociation constants of bovine carbonic anhydrase II, bovine carboxypeptidase A, rat aminopeptidase B, and rat dipeptidyl peptidase III were 5.8×10−14, 3.5×10−12, 3.7×10−13, and 1.9×10−13 M, respectively. The ternary complex between metal derivatives of bovine carbonic anhydrase and various chelating agents were characterized using the kinetic method and visible and magnetic circular dichroism spectra. The coordination geometry of the ternary complex was in the equilibrium state between the five and the tetrahedral coordination geometry. The equilibrium state depends on the character of ligands. Dipeptidyl peptidase III which has an abnormal zinc binding motif (HEXXXH) was characterized using the point mutation and computer simulation methods. The abnormal zinc binding motif (HEXXXH) of rat dipeptidyl peptidase III has a large helix part. It is generally known that the cupric derivatives of the zinc peptidase loses enzyme activity, but the cupric derivative of dipeptidyl peptidase III surprisingly has enzyme activity. The measurement of the electron paramagnetic resonance spectra of the cupric rat dipeptidyl peptidase III in the presence of the substrate showed that the coordination geometry is very flexible. The flexibility of the coordination geometry in the cupric rat dipeptidyl peptidase III is important for the expression of enzyme activity. Docking simulation was used to identify the substrate binding site of aminopeptidase B, which is a powerful tool to estimate substrate binding residues in enzymes.
This review describes my research for the past 39 years regarding the pharmacology of pain and analgesia. We have demonstrated that the descending noradrenergic system is involved in the analgesic effect of morphine injected into the nucleus reticularis gigantocellularis, and that noradrenaline exerts antinociception mediated by α-adrenoceptors. We have found that noxious mechanical and thermal stimuli to the skin increase the release of substance P and somatostatin, respectively, from the dorsal horn in situ, and that noradrenaline inhibits the release of substance P and glutamate from primary afferents. We developed an animal model of cancer pain using melanoma cells. We have shown that the suppression of cancer pain results in the inhibition of tumor growth and lung metastasis, and that melanoma cells release several algogenic substances including ATP, endothelin-1, and bradykinin. We investigated neuropathic allodynia induced by the chemotherapeutic drugs paciltaxel, oxaliplatin, vincristine, and bortezomib. Single administration of these drugs caused allodynia with similar time-courses. However, antiallodynic actions of adjuvant analgesics, including gabapentin and limaprost, were dependent on the chemotherapeutic drugs used. Limaprost experiments have revealed that a decrease in peripheral blood flow is involved in allodynia exacerbation after the administration of paciltaxel and oxaliplatin. We have developed animal models of herpetic pain and postherpetic neuralgia using herpes simplex virus 1. We have demonstrated that nitric oxide, prostaglandin E2, and galectin-3 are involved in herpetic allodynia, that risk factors associated with postherpetic allodynia include severe herpetic pain, nociceptin, and major histocompatibility complex, and that deafferentation and nitric oxide are involved in postherpetic allodynia.
Many human diseases have been reported to be associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. Therefore, mitochondrial therapy would be expected to be useful and productive in the treatment of various diseases. To achieve such an innovative therapy, it will be necessary to deliver therapeutic agents into mitochondria. However, only a limited number of methods are available for accomplishing this. We previously developed the MITO-Porter, a liposome-based carrier that permits macromolecular cargos to be transported into mitochondria via membrane fusion. Intracellular observations using the green fluorescence protein as a model macromolecule confirmed the mitochondrial delivery of a macromolecule by the MITO-Porter. Moreover, when we attempted the mitochondrial delivery of bongkrekic acid (BKA), an antiapoptosis agent, the MITO-Porter enhanced the antiapoptosis effect compared with naked BKA. To construct a device with enhanced performance, the MITO-Porter was coated with cell membrane-fusogenic outer envelopes to produce the dual function (DF)-MITO-Porter. Intracellular observations indicated that the DF-MITO-Porter was more effective in delivering exogenous macromolecules into mitochondria than the conventional MITO-Porter. Furthermore, when biomacromolecules were delivered using the DF-MITO-Porter to estimate the mitochondrial gene targeting of the carrier, the results confirmed that the MITO-Porter system has the potential for use in therapies aimed at mitochondrial DNA. This paper sumarizes our findings on mitochondrial drug delivery systems that are directed toward mitochondrial medicine development and mitochondrial gene therapy. It is expected that the MITO-Porter system will open new research areas in mitochondrial drug delivery systems and have a significant impact on the medical and life sciences.
Innate immunity is induced after sensing microbial components by pattern-recognition receptors and functions as a first line of host defense against microbes. However, innate immunity is also induced after sensing host-derived stimulatory substances such as monosodium urate crystals and causes the development of inflammatory diseases, such as gout. Therefore, a better understanding of innate immunity is required for the development of effective therapeutic treatments for infectious and inflammatory diseases. This paper summarizes recent findings on regulation of the innate immune response. Accumulating evidence has shown that the intracellular degradation system is critically involved in various cellular processes. We focused on the intracellular degradation system and have revealed the molecular mechanisms underlying regulation of the innate immune response. Ubiquitin-proteasome, autophagy and phagocyte-specific proteases most certainly regulate the innate immune response induced by infection of microbes and exposure to host-derived stimulatory substances. Therefore, intracellular degradation systems would be attractive therapeutic targets for the treatment of immune-related diseases.
Primary afferent nerve fibers are highly associated with visceral hypersensitivity state of inflammatory bowel disease. Hypersensitivity of afferent fibers occurs during inflammation, and therefore to gain insight into the alteration of receptors and channels, we examined receptors such as 5-HT receptors and transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1 (TRPV1), which are expressed in primary afferent neurons. The current study was designed to investigate the time-dependent dynamic changes of 5-HT3 receptors, 5-HT4 receptors, TRPV1 channels, and 5-HT regulatory factors in DSS-induced colitis model mice. Colitis was induced by 3% dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) solution given as drinking water in C57BL/6J mice. Immunohistochemical analysis and visceromotor responses to colorectal distension were measured during induction of DSS colitis (day 0, 4 and 7). Progress of the inflammation led to down regulation of serotonin transporter immunoreactivities with concomitant increases in 5-HT and tryptophan hydroxylase-1 positive cell numbers. TRPV1-expressing nerve fibers gradually increased during DSS treatment. Abundant non-neuronal TRPV1-immunopositive cell like structure was observed on day 7 of DSS treatment, but not on day 4. The number of 5-HT3 receptor-expressing nerve fibers increased in mucosa on day 7. On the other hand, 5-HT4 receptor-expressing nerve fibers decreased on day 7. TRPV1 antagonist and 5-HT3 receptor antagonist attenuated the visceral hyperalgesia to control level in the DSS-induced colitis model. We made the novel observations of increased neuronal/non-neuronal TRPV1 channel and 5-HT3 receptor expression, and decreased 5-HT4 receptor expression in mucosa. Moreover, we show that a correlation existed between the mucosal changes and visceral hypersensitivity in experimental colitis.
Well-refined wiring of neural circuits is fundamental to proper brain function. Aberrantly formed neural circuits may induce epileptiform discharges of neurons. Therefore, elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of aberrant neural circuitry will advance the understanding and prevention of epilepsy. The dentate gyrus has been suggested to serve as a gate that prevents the propagation of epileptiform activity from the entorhinal cortex to the hippocampus. Within the dentate gyrus is the dentate granule cell layer, which consists of densely packed granule cells that maintain intrinsically low-firing properties and rarely exhibit burst discharges synchronized with other neurons. Additionally, granule cells form abundant synaptic inputs to inhibitory interneurons in the dentate hilus, a fraction of which provide feedback inhibition back to the granule cells. Network reorganization of the dentate gyrus in patients with temporal lobe epilepsy and in corresponding animal models was reported. Specifically, mossy fiber sprouting and the emergence of ectopic granule cells contribute to the observed phenotypes. This paper reviews the expanding literature on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the formation of aberrant hippocampal networks and their role in epileptogenesis.
Tissue-resident mast cells are derived from circulating committed progenitors, which are originated from pluripotent hematopoietic stem cells in bone marrow. These progenitors migrate into extravascular tissues, where they undergo differentiation and maturation into tissue-specific mast cell phenotypes. When activated by antigen or microenvironmental factors, mast cells release various biologically active products, including pre-formed mediators stored in secretory granules, de novo synthesized lipid mediators, and newly transcribed cytokines and chemokines, thereby promoting anaphylactic inflammation as well as other acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, I will highlight the newest understanding of the phospholipase A2 (PLA2)-driven lipid networks in the maturation and effector functions of mast cells and attendant allergic responses. Group III secreted PLA2, the sole mammalian homolog of the potent extrinsic anaphylaxis inducer bee venom PLA2, regulates mast cell maturation through the paracrine prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) circuit. While cytosolic PLA2α is essential for the generation of PGD2 and leukotriene C4 by mast cells, it is also functionally coupled, through the arachidonic acid transfer mechanism, with PGE2 synthase in stromal fibroblasts to provide anti-anaphylactic PGE2. In addition, the roles of two particular mast cell maturation-responsible genes, NDRG1 and NLRP3, in mast cells will be discussed.
We have recently developed target-specific derivatization methods for determining the metabolites in human nails. The nails can be used to obtain physiologic information and may serve as noninvasive biosamples for the diagnosis of chronic disease. Certain endogenous biogenic D,L-amino acids, polyamines, and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) have been detected in human nails. By identifying biological trace components in human samples, we tested the possibility of using these new methods to diagnose chronic disease, i.e., diabetes and lung cancer. When comparing the index from diabetic patients to that from healthy volunteers, there was no significant difference in the content of L-amino acids, methylglyoxal, and glyoxal in the nails. However, a statistically significant correlation was observed between the D/L-amino acid concentration ratios (Ala, Val, Ile, Leu; p<0.01), and 3-deoxyglucosone concentrations (p<0.001). Additionally, in the lung cancer patient group, as compared with healthy volunteers, the concentrations of spermine showed a statistically significant (p<0.05) correlation. This review describes our current target-specific derivatization UPLC-ESI-MS methods for the determination of metabolites and related compounds, e.g., D,L-amino acids, polyamines, and AGEs, in human nails. Advanced applications of human nails as new, noninvasively obtained biosamples for the diagnosis of chronic disease are also described.
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Setsunan University, offers the Self-improvement and Participatory Career Development Education Program: Internship and Volunteer Training Experience for Pharmacy Students to third-year students. We previously reported that the training experience was effective in cultivating important attributes among students, such as a willingness to learn the aims of pharmacists, an awareness of their own role as healthcare workers, and a desire to reflect on their future careers and lives. A follow-up survey of the participants was carried out three years after the training experience. The questionnaire verified that the training experience affected attendance at subsequent lectures and course determination after graduation. We confirmed the relationship between the participants' degree of satisfaction with the training experience and increased motivation for attending subsequent lectures. Through the training experience, participants discovered future targets and subjects of study. In addition, they became more interested in subsequent classroom lessons and their future. The greater the participants' degree of satisfaction with their training experience, the more interest they took in practical training and future courses. The present study clarified that the training experience was effective in cultivating important attributes such as a willingness to learn and an interest in future courses. Moreover, the training positively affected the course determination after graduation.
Carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) is one of the most important cellulose derivatives and used in the fields of food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and paint. Fibrous CMC is used an antiadhesive material to prevent postoperative wound adhesions. The degree of substitution and distribution of the substituent (i.e., the carboxymethyl group) are the most important parameters for the function of CMC. Thus, CMC used for antiadhesive material must be carefully evaluated, because the CMC product is retained in patients' bodies over the long term. Although identification tests of CMC are defined in the Japanese Pharmacopoeia, it is difficult to evaluate its structure using those tests. In the present study, we propose improved methods for evaluating CMC products by analyzing monosaccharides after hydrolysis.
Recently, the procedure for surgical hand hygiene has been switching to a two-stage method and hand-rubbing method from the traditional hand-scrubbing method. Both the two-stage and hand-rubbing methods use alcohol-based hand-rubbing after hand washing. The former requires 5 min of antiseptic hand washing, and the latter 1 min of nonantiseptic hand washing. For a prolonged bactericidal effect in terms of surgical hand hygiene, chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) has been noted due to its residual activity. However, no detailed study comparing the disinfection efficacy and prolonged effects according to different contents of CHG and the usage of alcohol-based hand-rubbing has been conducted. The glove juice method is able to evaluate disinfection efficacy and prolonged effects of the disinfectants more accurately because it can collect not only transitory bacteria but also normal inhabitants on hands. In the present study, we examined the disinfection efficacy and prolonged effects on alcohol-based hand-rubbing containing CHG by six hand-rubbing methods and three two-stage methods using the glove juice method. In both methods, 3 mL (one pump dispenser push volume) alcohol-based hand-rubbing solution containing 1% (w/v) CHG showed the highest disinfection efficacy and prolonged effects, and no significant difference was found between the hand-rubbing and two-stage methods. In the two methods of hand hygiene, the hand-rubbing method was able to save time and cost. Therefore, the data strongly suggest that the hand-rubbing method using a one pump dispenser push volume of alcohol-based hand-rubbing solution containing 1% (w/v) CHG is suitable for surgical hand hygiene.
Under the six-year pharmaceutical education system that was initiated in April 2006, students who had completed the course in March 2012 became the first graduates. The six-year system encourages students to develop a well-rounded personality, a deep sense of ethics, knowledge required for health care professionals, abilities to identify and solve problems, and practical skills required in clinical settings, as well as basic knowledge and skills. Under the new education system based on the “pharmaceutical education model core curriculums” and “practical training model core curriculums”, general pharmaceutical education is implemented in each college, and five-month practical training is conducted in clinical settings. Clinical tasks experienced by students for the first time are expected to significantly influence their motivation to learn and future prospects. In the present survey research, students who had completed practical training evaluated the training program, and correspondence and logistic regression analyses of the results were conducted to examine the future effects and influences of the training on the students. The results suggest that the students viewed the practical training program positively. In addition, clinical experience during the training sessions not only influenced their decisions on future careers, but also significantly increased their motivation to learn. Furthermore, their motivation for learning was increased most by the enthusiasm of pharmacists who advised them in clinical settings, rather than the training program itself. To improve pharmaceutical clinical learning, it is important to develop teaching and working environments for pharmacists in charge of advising students in clinical training.