Most bacteria have developed a hemoprotein degradation system to acquire iron from their hosts. Bacillus subtilis HmoB, a heme monooxygenase, is involved in the degradation of heme and subsequent release of iron. HmoB contains a C-terminal ABM domain, which is similar in sequence and structure to other heme monooxygenases. Heme degradation assay showed that highly conserved residues (N70, W128, and H138) near the heme-binding site were critical for activity of HmoB. However, HmoB was shown to be different from other bacterial heme oxygenases due to its longer N-terminal region and formation of a biological monomer instead of a dimer. The degradation product of B. subtilis HmoB was identified as staphylobilin from mass spectrometric analysis of the product and release of formaldehyde during degradation reaction.
The effects of a ?-dunnione compound MB12662 on the gastric secretion and ulcers were investigated in rats. In order to assess the effects of MB12662 on the gastric secretion and acidity, rats were subjected to pylorus ligation operation, and 6 hours later, gastric fluid was collected. Treatment with MB12662 reduced the gastric fluid volume to 47.3% of control level and increased pH. In an alcohol-induced ulcer model, rats were orally administered 3 mL/kg of ethanol, and 1 hour later, the ulcer lesions ware measured under a stereomicroscope. MB12662 reduced ulcer index in a dose-dependent manner which was much stronger than a proton-pump inhibitor pantoprazole. In a stress-induced ulcer model, rats were subjected to water-immersion restraint stress, and 5 hours later, the ulcer lesions ware examined. MB12662 also attenuated the stress-induced gastric lesions, although the efficacy of MB12662 was lower than that of pantoprazole. Therefore, it is suggested that MB12662 could be a candidate compound for the prevention or treatment of gastric ulcers induced by gastric over-secretion and alcoholic hangover.
Aging is characterized by progressive loss of cognitive and memory functions as well as decrease in physical activities. In the present study, a human neural stem cell line (F3 NSC) over-expressing choline acetyltransferase (F3.ChAT), an enzyme responsible for acetylcholine synthesis, was generated and transplanted in the brain of 18-month-old male ICR mice. Four weeks post-transplantation, neurobehavioral functions, expression of ChAT enzyme, production of acetylcholine and neurotrophic factors, and expression of cholinergic nervous system markers in transplanted animals were investigated. F3.ChAT NSCs markedly improved both the cognitive function and physical activity of aging animals, in parallel with the elevation of brain acetylcholine level. Transplanted F3 and F3.ChAT cells were found to differentiate into neurons and astrocytes, and to produce ChAT proteins. Transplantation of the stem cells increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and nerve growth factor (NGF), enhanced expression of Trk B, and restored host microtubule-associated protein 2 and cholinergic nervous system. The results demonstrate that human NSCs over-expressing ChAT improve cognitive function and physical activity of aging mice, not only by producing ACh directly but also by restoring cholinergic neuronal integrity, which might be mediated by neurotrophins BDNF and NGF.
According to a high anti-osteoporotic efficacy of Sigma Anti-bonding Molecule Calcium Carbonate (SAC), repeated-dose toxicities of SAC were investigated to assess its feasibility as drug or functional food ingredient. Male ICR mice were given drinking water containing 0.006, 0.02 or 0.06% SAC for 4 weeks. SAC feeding decreased the body weights and feed and water consumptions of mice in a dose-dependent manner, especially, leading to severe emaciation and 70% death in 3 weeks in the high-dose (0.06%) group. Not only kidney and heart weights, but also the levels of blood urea nitrogen, creatinine, aspartate transaminase, and creatine phospokinase significantly increased after SAC administration, indicative of nephrotoxicity and cardiotoxicity. Such renal and cardiac toxicities were also confirmed by microscopic findings, exhibiting renal crystals and cardiac fibrosis, which may be due to the insoluble crystal formation and calcium overload, respectively. In conclusion, it is suggested that no observed adverse effect level of SAC is lower than 0.006% in mice, and that a long-term intake may cause serious adverse effects on renal and cardiac functions.
The objective was to confirm the anti-obesity activity of a silk peptide (SP) and a silkworm pupa peptide (SPP) in rats fed a high-fat diet (HFD) and to elucidate their action mechanism(s) in a preadipocyte culture system.
Periventricular leukomalacia, specifically characterized as white matter injury, in neonates is strongly associated with the damage of pre-myelinating oligodendrocytes. Clinical data suggest that hypoxia-ischemia during delivery and intrauterine or neonatal infection-inflammation are important factors in the etiology of periventricular leukomalacia including cerebral palsy, a serious case exhibiting neurobehavioral deficits of periventricular leukomalacia. In order to explore the pathophysiological mechanisms of white matter injury and to better understand how infectious agents may affect the vulnerability of the immature brain to injury, novel animal models have been developed using hypoperfusion, microbes or bacterial products (lipopolysaccharide) and excitotoxins. Such efforts have developed rat models that produce predominantly white matter lesions by adopting combined hypoxia-ischemia technique on postnatal days 1-7, in which unilateral or bilateral carotid arteries of animals are occluded (ischemia) followed by 1-2 hour exposure to 6-8% oxygen environment (hypoxia). Furthermore, low doses of lipopolysaccharide that by themselves have no adverse-effects in 7-day-old rats, dramatically increase brain injury to hypoxic-ischemic challenge, implying that inflammation sensitizes the immature central nervous system. Therefore, among numerous models of periventricular leukomalacia, combination of hypoxia-ischemia-lipopolysaccharide might be one of the most-acceptable rodent models to induce extensive white matter injury and ensuing neurobehavioral deficits for the evaluation of candidate therapeutics.
Since cyclophosphamide is metabolically activated to teratogenic acrolein and cytotoxic phosphoramide mustard by cytochrome P-450 type 2B (CYP2B), we assessed the effects of licorice, a CYP2B inducer, on the fetal defects induced by cyclophosphamide.
The anti-obesity activities of Rapha diet® preparation containing silkworm pupa peptide, Garcinia cambogia, white bean extract, mango extract, raspberry extract, cocoa extract, and green tea extract were investigated in mice with dietary obesity. Male C57BL/6 mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) containing 3% Rapha diet® preparation for 8 weeks, and blood and tissue parameters of obesity were analyzed. The HFD markedly enhanced body weight gain by increasing the weights of epididymal, perirenal, and mesenteric adipose tissues. The increased body weight gain induced by HFD was significantly reduced by feeding Rapha diet® preparation, in which decreases in the weight of abdominal adipose tissue and the size of abdominal adipocytes were confirmed by microscopic examination. Long-term feeding of HFD increased blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels, leading to hepatic lipid accumulation. However, Rapha diet® preparation not only reversed the blood lipid levels, but also attenuated hepatic steatosis. The results indicate that Rapha diet® preparation could improve HFD-induced obesity by reducing both lipid accumulation and the size of adipocytes.
Anti-inflammatory effects of Houttuynia cordata supercritical extract (HSE) were investigated in rat carrageenan-air pouch model. Oral administration of HSE (50-200 mg/kg) suppressed carrageenan-induced exudation and albumin leakage, as well as inflammatory cell infiltration at a high dose (200 mg/kg). Intraperitoneal injection of dexamethasone (2 mg/kg) only decreased exudation and cell infiltration, while indomethacin (2 mg/kg, i.p.) reduced exudate volume and albumin content without influence on the cell number. HSE lowered tumor-necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and nitric oxide (NO), as well as prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)). Dexamethasone only reduced TNF-? and NO, while indomethacin decreased PGE(2). The results indicate that HSE exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting both TNF-?-NO and cyclooxygenase-2-PGE(2) pathways.
The anti-inflammatory effects of fuciodan and Cistanche tubulosa (CT) extract were investigated in vitro macrophage culture system and in vivo carrageenan-induced air pouch inflammation model. CT extract inhibited nitric oxide production from activated RAW 264.7 macrophage cells, while fucoidan was inactive. In vivo air pouch inflammation model, carrageenan-induced vascular exudation and increased nitric oxide and prostaglandin E(2) concentrations in the exudates were synergistically suppressed by co-administration of fucoidan or CT extract. Moreover, tissue inflammation was substantially attenuated by the combinational therapy. However, there was no synergistic effect against the inflammatory cell infiltration, although fucoidan and CT extract each markedly reduced the cell numbers. Therefore, it is suggested that fucoidan blocks infiltration of inflammatory cells, while CT extract inhibits activation of the cells, and that their combinational treatment could be a promising candidate for the relief of various types of inflammation.
Effects of egg york containing IgY specific for Helicobacter pylori on the bacterial growth and intragastric infection were investigated in comparison with a proton-pump inhibitor pantoprazole. For in vitro anti-bacterial activity test, H. pylori (1×10(8) CFU/mL) was incubated with a serially diluted IgY for 3 days. As a result, IgY fully inhibited the bacterial growth at 16 mg/mL, which was determined to a minimal inhibitory concentration. In vivo elimination study, male C57BL/6 mice were infected with the bacteria by intragastric inoculation (1×10(8) CFU/mouse) 3 times at 2-day intervals, and 2 weeks later, orally treated twice a day with 50, 100, 200 or 500 mg/kg IgY for 18 days. After the final administration, biopsy sample of the gastric mucosa was assayed for the bacterial identification via urease, oxidase, catalase, nitrate reduction and H(2)S tests in addition to microscopic examination for mucosal inflammation. In CLO kit test, 75, 50, 12.5 and 12.5% of the animals revealed positive reaction following treatment with 50, 100, 200 and 500 mg/kg IgY, respectively, resulting in a superior efficacy at 200 mg/kg than 30 mg/kg pantoprazole that displayed 75% elimination. The CLO test results were confirmed by bacterial identification. Microscopic examination revealed that H. pylori infection caused severe gastric mucosal inflammation, which were not observed in the CLO-negative mice following treatment with IgY or pantoprazole. Taken together, IgY inhibited the growth of H. pylori, and improved gastritis and villi injuries by eliminating the bacteria from the stomach. The results indicate that IgY could be a good candidate overcoming tolerance of antibiotics for the treatment of H. pylori-mediated gastric ulcers.
The effects of polarized-light therapy (PLT) on high-cholesterol diet (HCD)-induced hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis were investigated in comparison with that of lovastatin in rabbits. Hypercholesterolemia was induced by feeding male New Zealand white rabbits with 1% cholesterol in diet for 2 weeks and maintained with 0.5% cholesterol for 6 weeks, followed by normal diet for 2 weeks for recovery. Lovastatin (0.002% in diet) or daily 5-min or 20-min PLT on the outside surface of ears was started 2 weeks after induction of hypercholesterolemia. Hypercholesterolemic rabbits exhibited great increases in serum cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) levels, and finally severe atheromatous plaques formation covering 57.5% of the arterial walls. Lovastatin markedly reduced both the cholesterol and LDL, but the reducing effect (47.5%) on atheroma formation was relatively low. By comparison, 5-min PLT preferentially decreased LDL, rather than cholesterol, and thereby potentially reduced the atheroma area to 42.2%. Notably, 20-min PLT was superior to lovastatin in reducing both the cholesterol and LDL levels as well as the atheromatous plaque formation (26.4%). In contrast to the increases in blood alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase following lovastatin treatment, PLT did not cause hepatotoxicity. In addition, PLT decreased platelets and hematocrit level. The results indicate that PLT attenuates atherosclerosis not only by lowering blood cholesterol and LDL levels, but also by improving blood flow without adverse effects. Therefore, it is suggested that PLT could be a safe alternative therapy for the improvement of hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis.
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