A porous liquid containing empty cavities has been successfully fabricated by surface engineering of hollow structures with suitable corona and canopy species. By taking advantage of the liquid-like polymeric matrices as a separation medium and the empty cavities as gas transport pathway, this unique porous liquid can function as a promising candidate for gas separation. Moreover, such a facile synthetic strategy can be further extended to the fabrication of other types of nanostructure-based porous liquid, opening up new opportunities for preparation of porous liquids with attractive properties for specific tasks.
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a natural polyphenolic compound that exists in Polygonum cuspidatum, grapes, peanuts and berries, as well as their manufactured products, especially red wine. Resveratrol is a pharmacologically active compound that interacts with multiple targets in a variety of cardiovascular disease models to exert protective effects or induce a reduction in cardiovascular risks parameters. This review attempts to primarily serve to summarize the current research findings regarding the putative cardioprotective effects of resveratrol and the molecular pathways underlying these effects. One intent is to hopefully provide a relatively comprehensive resource for clues that may prompt ideas for additional mechanistic studies which might further elucidate and strengthen the role of the stilbene family of compounds in cardiovascular disease and cardioprotection. Model systems that incorporate a significant functional association with tissues outside of the cardiovascular system proper, such as adipose (cell culture, obesity models) and pancreatic (diabetes) tissues, were reviewed, and the molecular pathways and/or targets related to these models and influenced by resveratrol are discussed. Because the body of work encompassing the stilbenes and other phytochemicals in the context of longevity and the ability to presumably mitigate a plethora of afflictions is replete with conflicting information and controversy, especially so with respect to the human response, we tried to remain as neutral as possible in compiling and presenting the more current data with minimal commentary, permitting the reader free reign to extract the knowledge most helpful to their own investigations.
The rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (LC), also known as chuanxiong, is a very common herb widely used to treat cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. It is also used as a major ingredient in soups for regular consumption to promote good health. To study the protective effect of LC ethanolic extract (LCEE, 600 mg per kg per day, p.o.) on the integrity of the vascular system, ovariectomized (OVX) rats were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) plus LCEE for 12 weeks. The animal model was used to mimic the dyslipidemic condition seen in postmenopausal women. LCEE was found significantly to reduce the body weight gain, improve serum lipid profiles (by lowering total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol but raising high density lipoprotein cholesterol) and protect vascular endothelium in the HFD-fed OVX rats. It is postulated that LCEE could exert its vascular protective effect through multiple targets by (1) improving serum lipid profiles to reduce the detrimental effects of cholesterol; (2) reducing the ROS level in the body via enhancing the hepatic anti-oxidative activity or antioxidant level to scavenge the reactive oxygen species generated in the postmenopausal hypercholesterolemic condition; (3) stimulating eNOS-derived nitric oxide production; (4) counteracting the up-regulation of inflammatory cytokine (TNF-?, VCAM-1 and ICAM-1) expressions so as to reduce endothelium damage.
Hyperlipidemia, characterized by the abnormal blood lipid profiles, is one of the dominant factors of many chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases (CVD). For the low cost, effectiveness, and fewer side effects, the popularity of using traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to handle hyperlipidemia is increasing and its role in health care has been recognized by the public at large. Despite the importance of TCM herbs and formulations, there is no comprehensive review summarizing their scientific findings on handling hyperlipidemia. This review summarizes the recent experimental and clinical results of nine representative single Chinese herbs and seven classic TCM formulae that could improve lipid profiles so as to help understand and compare their underlying mechanisms. Most of single herbs and formulae demonstrated the improvement of hyperlipidemic conditions with multiple and diverse mechanisms of actions similar to conventional Western drugs in spite of their mild side effects. Due to increasing popularity of TCM, more extensive, well-designed preclinical and clinical trials on the potential synergistic and adverse side effects of herb-drug interactions as well as their mechanisms are warranted. Hyperlipidemic patients should be warned about the potential risks of herb-drug interactions, particularly those taking anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs.
Abstract Oxidative stress is considered an important factor that promotes cell death in response to a variety of pathophysiological conditions. This study investigated the antioxidant properties of allicin, the principle ingredient of garlic, on preventing oxidative stress-induced injury. The antioxidant capacities of allicin were measured by using 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) free radical scavenging assay and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2)-induced cell damage on H9c2 cardiomyoblasts. Allicin (0.3-10??M) pre-incubation could concentration-dependently attenuate the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) increase induced by H2O2 on H9c2 cells. It could also protect H9c2 cells against H2O2-induced cell damage. However, the DPPH free radical scavenging activity of allicin was shown to be low. Therefore, it is believed that the protective effect of allicin on H9c2 cells could inhibit intracellular ROS production instead of scavenging extracellular H2O2 or free radicals. For the observed protective effect on H9c2 cells, allicin might also be effective in reducing free radical-induced myocardial cell death in ischemic condition.
The hip of Rosa multiflora Thunb. (HRM) has been traditionally used as a dietary supplement and a herbal remedy for the treatment of various diseases, including inflammation, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain, in China. The current study was to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the petroleum ether extractive of HRM (PEE) on type II collagen-induced rheumatoid arthritis (CIA) in male Wistar rats. In addition, the anti-inflammatory mechanism(s) of PEE on type II CIA was explored.
In ischemic disorders such as chronic wounds and myocardial ischemia, there is inadequate tissue perfusion due to vascular insufficiency. Besides, it has been observed that prolonged use of anti-angiogenic agents in cancer therapy produces cardiovascular toxicity caused by impaired vessel integrity and regeneration. In the present study, we used VEGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor II (VRI) to chemically induce vascular insufficiency in zebrafish in vivo and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro to further study the mechanisms of vascular morphogenesis in these pathological conditions. We also explored the possibility of treating vascular insufficiency by enhancing vascular regeneration and repair with pharmacological intervention. We observed that pretreatment of VRI induced blood vessel loss in developing zebrafish by inhibiting angiogenesis and increasing endothelial cell apoptosis, accompanied by down-regulation of kdr, kdrl and flt-1 genes expression. The VRI-induced blood vessel loss in zebrafish could be restored by post-treatment of calycosin, a cardiovascular protective isoflavone. Similarly, VRI induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis in HUVEC which could be rescued by calycosin post-treatment. Further investigation of the underlying mechanisms showed that the PI3K/AKT/Bad cell survival pathway was a main contributor of the vascular regenerative effect of calycosin. These findings indicated that the cardiovascular toxicity in anti-angiogenic therapy was mainly caused by insufficient endothelial cell survival, suggesting its essential role in vascular integrity, repair and regeneration. In addition, we showed that VRI-induced blood vessel loss in zebrafish represented a simple and effective in vivo model for studying vascular insufficiency and evaluating cancer drug vascular toxicities.
Semen Astragali Complanati (SAC), the dried ripe seed of Flatstem Milkvetch (Astragalus complanatus Bunge) (Leguminosae), is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) for treating muscle, liver, kidney, blood, skin and reproductive system diseases.
Post-menopause, there is an increase in body weight, visceral adiposity, and risk of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which leads to various cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Some natural products have proven useful for counteracting the detrimental effects of menopause. The rhizome of Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (LC) is a well-known medicinal herb widely used in Chinese communities for the treatment of CVDs. The hepatic and vascular protective effects of LC ethanolic extract under postmenopausal conditions were investigated on ovariectomized (OVX) rats supplemented with or without LC ethanolic extract (600 mg/kg body weight/day, p.o.) or 17?-estradiol (1 mg/kg body weight/day, p.o.) for 12 weeks. The current findings demonstrated that consumption of LC ethanolic extract could reduce the body weight gain, improve serum lipid profile (lowering low density lipoprotein cholesterol but raising high density lipoprotein cholesterol), combat NAFLD, and protect vascular endothelium in the OVX rats. The beneficial effects of LC may be associated with its antioxidant or vasorelaxant compounds, which enhance the levels of hepatic antioxidant enzymes and up-regulate endothelial nitric oxide synthase mRNA expression, respectively. Taken together, LC may be a promising natural supplement for postmenopausal women to prevent NAFLD and CVDs.
The poor prognostic outcome of breast cancer is largely due to its resistance to cancer therapies. Development of therapeutic agents that can inhibit growth and induce apoptosis in breast cancer cells can help solve the problem. Emodin is an active anthraquinone that has been reported to have diverse biological effects.
This study investigated the mechanism of the cytotoxic effect of emodin, an active anthraquinone, on human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells. In vitro growth inhibition and suppression on colony forming were used to evaluate the effects of emodin on A549 cells. Emodins ability in changing the expressions of apoptosis-related genes was studied by real-time RT-PCR. Emodin could significantly inhibit the growth of A549 cells with IC50 = 16.85 ?g/ml (~60 ?M). It also concentration dependently inhibited the colony-forming ability of A549 cells with IC50 = 7.60 ?g/ml (~30 ?M). Hallmarks of apoptosis, such as single-strand DNA breakage and DNA fragmentation, were observed in A549 cells treated with emodin. Emodin (72 h) treatment could up-regulate the gene expression of FASL (p < 0.05) and down-regulate the gene expression of C-MYC (p < 0.01), but induce no significant changes in the gene expressions of MCL1, GAPDH, BAX and CCND1. These results suggest that emodin could induce growth inhibition and apoptosis in A549 cells through modifying the extrinsic apoptotic pathways and the induction of cell cycle arrest.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in postmenopausal women. Danshen, the dried root of Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, has been used clinically in China to treat CVD and dyslipidemia in postmenopausal women, and its major active ingredients have been found to have an estrogenic effect. The aim of this study was to elucidate the underlying mechanism of danshens protective effects on vascular function in an ovariectomized (OVX) hyperlipidemic rat model.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been widely used in China for thousands of years to treat and prevent diseases. TCM has been proven safe and effective, and it is being considered as one of the important types of complementary and alternative medicine and receives increasing attention worldwide. The dried root of Polygonum cuspidatum Sieb. et Zucc. (also known as "Hu Zhang" in Chinese) is one of the medicinal herbs listed in the Pharmacopoeia of the Peoples Republic of China. Hu Zhang is widely distributed in the world. It can be found in Asia and North America and is used as folk medicine in countries such as Japan and Korea. In China, Hu Zhang is usually used in combination with other TCM herbs. The therapeutic uses of those Hu Zhang-containing TCM prescriptions or formulations are for treating cough, hepatitis, jaundice, amenorrhea, leucorrhea, arthralgia, burns and snake bites. Recent pharmacological and clinical studies have indicated that Hu Zhang has antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective functions. This review gives a summary of the reported therapeutic effects of the active compounds and the different extracts of Hu Zhang.
The king of herbs, Panax ginseng, has been used widely as a therapeutic agent vis-à-vis its active pharmacological and physiological effects. Based on Chinese pharmacopeia Ben Cao Gang Mu and various pieces of literature, Panax ginseng was believed to exert active vascular protective effects through its antiobesity and anti-inflammation properties. We investigated the vascular protective effects of ginseng by administrating ginseng extracts to rats after the induction of diabetes. We found that Panax ginseng can restore diabetes-induced impaired vasorelaxation and can reduce serum triglyceride but not cholesterol level in the diabetic rats. The ginseng extracts also suppressed the expression of atherosclerosis-related genes and altered the expression of lipid-related genes. The results provide evidence that Panax ginseng improves vascular dysfunction induced by diabetes and the protective effects may possibly be due to the downregulation of atherosclerosis-related genes and altered lipid metabolism, which help to restore normal endothelium functions.
Functional foods have become an increasingly popular alternative to prevent diseases and maintain body health status. Gui-ling-gao (GLG, also known as turtle jelly) is a well-known traditional functional food popular in Southern China and Hong Kong. This study aimed to investigate the antioxidative and anti-apoptotic effects of GLG, a traditional Chinese functional food, on preventing oxidative stress-induced injury in H9c2 cardiomyocytes. In this study, the antioxidative capacities of GLG were measured by using both a cell-free assay [2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl)hydrazyl assay] and biological methods [2,2-azobis(2-amidinopropane)-induced haemolysis assay and H(2)O(2)-induced cell damage on H9c2 cardiomyocytes]. Additionally, the total phenolic content was measured using the Folin-Ciocalteu method. Furthermore, the anti-apoptotic effect of GLG was evaluated by nuclear staining and a DNA fragmentation assay. GLG was found to have good antioxidant activities and high total phenolic content. In H(2)O(2)-induced cell damage on H9c2 cells, GLG was demonstrated to ameliorate the apoptotic effects, such as nuclear condensations, increased intracellular caspase-3 activity and inter-nucleosomal DNA cleavage, induced by H(2)O(2). The present study demonstrated for the first time that GLG possesses anti-apoptotic potential in vitro and this effect may be mediated, in part, by its antioxidative function. Additionally, the antioxidative capacities of GLG were proved both chemically and biologically. This study provides scientific evidence to prove the anecdotal health-beneficial claim that the consumption of GLG could help the body to handle endogenous toxicants such as free radicals.
The dried ripe seed of Raphanus sativus L., commonly known as radish seed (or Raphani Semen), is used as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to treat constipation, chronic tracheitis, and hypertension. The major active compounds in Raphani Semen are alkaloids, glucosinolates, brassinosteroids, and flavonoids. Fatty acids are its main nutritional contents. Raphani Semen has been demonstrated to have beneficial effects on hypertension, obesity, diabetes mellitus, constipation, and cough. So far, there is no report about the adverse/toxic effects of this herb on humans. However, Raphani Semen processed by roasting was reported to exhibit some adverse effects on mice. Additionally, erucic acid, the main fatty acid in Raphani Semen, was shown to enhance the toxicity of doxorubicin. Thus, Raphani Semen has a potential risk of causing toxicity and drug interaction. In summary, Raphani Semen is a valuable TCM herb with multiple pharmacological effects. More studies on Raphani Semen could help better understand its pharmacological mechanisms so as to provide clear scientific evidence to explain its traditional uses, to identify its therapeutic potential on other diseases, and to understand its possible harmful effects.
Statins (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors) consumption provides beneficial effects on cardiovascular systems. However, effects of statins on vascular KATP channel gatings are unknown.
Panax ginseng (Ginseng), Rhodiola rosea (Hong Jing Tian) and Schisandra chinensis (Wu Wei Zi) are well-known herbs in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Recently, there have been a number of studies on these three herbs. This review discusses their active components and major pharmacological effects. For P. ginseng, it has been shown to have an anti-inflammatory activity, affects pulmonary function and erectile dysfunction, improves cognition in patients with Alzheimers disease and promotes sexual arousal in menopausal women as well as prevents cancer. For R. rosea, its effectiveness in alleviating depression and reducing fatigue is summarized in this review. Additionally, anti-cancer and other clinical effects of S. chinensis are also discussed. These three herbs are considered as adaptogens as they bear multiple functions and their effects were found to be very different in patients depending on the circumstances (age, gender, environment, diet, season, etc.). Thus, in most cases, the art of the TCM practitioner is to prescribe these herbs after a complete evaluation of overall heath status of the patients.
Although zebrafish has become a popular animal model for drug discovery and screening, drug metabolism in zebrafish remains largely unknown. In this study, we probed the metabolic capability of zebrafish larvae with calycosin, one of the major isoflavone constituents of Radix Astragali that was previously demonstrated to be angiogenic in the zebrafish model. The metabolism of calycosin and accumulation of its metabolites in zebrafish larvae were determined using an LC-MS/MS method. Calycosin showed a slow but steady decrease from the culture medium as well as a steady accumulation in zebrafish larvae. Calycosin underwent major conjugation and minor oxidation in zebrafish larvae. A total of ten calycosin metabolites formed from glucuronidation, glucosylation, sulfation, oxidation or a combination of two of these metabolisms were identified, most of which were reported for the first time. Most metabolites increased steadily in the larvae over 24-h experimental period. The dominant phase II conjugation of calycosin in zebrafish larvae matched well with existing knowledge of isoflavone metabolism in mammalians. The findings shed a light in certain degree of similarity of phase II drug metabolism between zebrafish larvae and mammals and warrant further investigation on feasibility of adopting the zebrafish larvae as a whole-organism model for examining drug metabolism.
Angiogenesis plays an important role in a wide range of physiological processes and many diseases are associated with the dysregulation of angiogenesis. The commonly used Chinese herbal medicine Radix Astragali (known as Huang qi in Chinese) is a potential candidate for treating this type of disease. Calycosin, a major isoflavonoid in Radix Astragali, was identified in our earlier study and shown to induce angiogenesis in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro and in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Using zebrafish as a testing model, we investigated the angiogenic effect of calycosin on the subintestinal vessels (SIVs) in zebrafish embryos. Our findings using transcriptional profiling by deep sequencing, and confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), demonstrate that calycosin modulated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and ErbB signaling pathways. The inhibitory effects of calycosin-induced phenotypic responses by several pathway-specific inhibitors (VRI, SU5402, MEK1/2 Inhibitor, Wortmannin and LY294002) further identified the potential involvement of VEGF(R) and FGF(R) signaling pathways in the angiogenic activities of calycosin. We present a comprehensive framework of study using fluorescence microscopy, transcriptomics and qPCR to demonstrate the proangiogenic effects of calycosin in vivo. The data have elucidated the connection between morphological observations and genomic evidence, indicating the potential roles of several key signaling pathways in angiogenesis.
Astragaloside IV (AS-IV) is a natural product isolated from the Chinese medical herb, Radix Astragali, which has been reported to be a potential candidate for treating diseases associated with abnormal angiogenesis; however, the effect of AS-IV on angiogenesis and its underlying mechanisms are yet to be fully elucidated. In the present study, we investigated the angiogenic effect of AS-IV in vitro using human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and in vivo using zebrafish. AS-IV was found to stimulate the proliferation and migration of HUVECs in an XTT assay and a wound healing migration assay, respectively. Moreover, AS-IV stimulated the invasive ability of HUVECs and significantly increased the mean tube length of HUVECs in Matrigel. AS-IV induced an angiogenic response in HUVECs and enhanced mRNA expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and a VEGF receptor known as kinase?domain region/fetal liver kinase-1/VEGF receptor 2 (KDR/Flk-1/VEGFR2), as well as activation of Akt as demonstrated by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. The AS-IV-induced proliferation of HUVECs was capable of being suppressed by a KDR inhibitor (SU5416) and an Akt inhibitor (SH-6). AS-IV also rescued blood vessel loss in Tg (fli-1:EGFP) zebrafish. Altogether, our results suggest that AS-IV exerts potential pro-angiogenic effects in vitro and in vivo, and that its pro-angiogenic activity probably involves both VEGF- and Akt-dependent signaling pathways.
The human protection of telomeres 1 (hPOT1) protein, a single-strand telomeric DNA binding protein, plays an important role in telomere protection and telomere length regulation. However, its effect on invasion of gastric cancer remains unclear.
Ischemic heart disease is a major cause of death in the world. Common therapies, such as primary coronary angioplasty and thrombolysis, are applied to restore blood supply to the heart, limit infarct size and reduce mortality. However, the restoration of blood supply would generate reactive oxygen species in damaged sites of the myocardium, intensifying the damage to the cardiac tissues. Radix Scutellariae baicalensis (Huangqin) is a well-known herb in traditional Chinese medicine with high antioxidant power. In this study, extract of the dry root of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Sb) was confirmed to have a high content of flavonoids and phenolic compounds. The cardioprotective effects of the Sb extracts (3, 30 and 300 mg/kg) were evaluated in myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injuried rats. The results showed that animals that had received five-day pretreatment of the Sb extract (30 mg/kg) had a significant reduction in myocardial infarct size and a marked increase in the activity of catalase in the liver. The Sb extract could additionally enhance acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation. It was proposed that the Sb extract exerted its cardioprotection by stimulating the catalase activity and improving vascular elasticity.
The anticancer effects of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) have attracted the attention of the public vis-à-vis existing cancer therapies with various side effects. Lycium barbarum fruit, commonly known as Gou Qi Zi in China, is a potential anticancer agent/adjuvant. Its major active ingredients, L. barbarum polysaccharides (LBP), scopoletin and 2-O-?-D-glucopyranosyl-L-ascorbic acid (AA-2?G), are found to have apoptotic and antiproliferative effects on cancer cell lines. Moreover, LBP also contributes to bodys immunomodulatory effects and enhances effects of other cancer therapies. It is not known whether there are any undesirable effects. Further studies on its pharmacological mechanisms and toxicology could facilitate a safe usage of this TCM herb.
Panax notoginseng is commonly used for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases in China. The present study investigates the effects of three different saponin fractions (ie total saponins, PNS; protopanaxadiol-type saponin, PDS; and protopanaxatriol-type saponin, PTS) and two major individual ingredients (ie ginsenoside Rg1 and Rb1) from P. notoginseng on the endothelial inflammatory response in vitro and in vivo.
Grifola frondosa (Polyporaceae), maitake, is a widely consumed edible mushroom in some Asian countries. The fruit bodies and mycelia of maitake have shown different bioactive compounds with anticancer and other therapeutic properties.
The extract of?Curcuma longa, better known as turmeric, was orally administered to experimental rats that were fed a high-cholesterol diet to investigate whether it could regulate plasma lipids and cholesterol levels and possibly improve hepatic conditions. With turmeric supplements, rats showed a significant decrease in total plasma cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol but an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol when compared with rats that were fed a high-cholesterol diet alone. Fatty liver developed in hypercholesterolemic rats with the high-cholesterol diet treatment, and this condition was markedly improved when rats were provided with turmeric supplements at 100 mg/kg or 300 mg/kg of body mass. The turmeric treatment resulted in a significant decrease in the total amount of hepatic lipid. Histological staining of liver tissues with Sudan III and hematoxylin showed that rats fed with a high-cholesterol diet alone had more and larger granular fat bodies than rats having turmeric extract supplementation in their high-cholesterol diet. Reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction was used to assess the expression levels of enzymes involved in fat metabolism and cellular homeostasis in experimental rat livers. The results showed that rats fed a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with turmeric extract had a significant increase in the expression of cholesterol 7 ?-hydroxylase, hemeoxygenase 1, and low-density lipoprotein receptors but a significant decrease in 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase level when compared with rats fed a normal or high-cholesterol diet, showing that turmeric prevents hypercholesterolemia and the formation of fatty liver by the modulation of expressions of enzymes that are important to cholesterol metabolism.
We evaluated the role(s) of monoamine oxidase (MAO)-mediated H?O? generation on 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-induced tension development of isolated basilar artery of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats.
Pyrus bretschneideri Rehd., as a pharmaceutical supplement, is widely used in northern China to treat respiratory diseases. Our previous studies showed the ethanol extract of P. bretschneideri had significant anti-inflammatory activity. To isolate and identify the active ingredients, the ethanol extract was separated into petroleum ether, ethyl acetate, n-butanol, and aqueous fractions. The bioactivity of each fraction was investigated using an in vivo model. Results showed that the ethyl acetate fraction exhibited the strongest anti-inflammatory effect. Subsequently, this fraction was subjected to separation and purification using silica gel column chromatography, C18-ODS, and recrystallization, leading to two sterols and two triterpenes, which were identified as ?-sitosterol, daucosterol, oleanolic acid, and ursolic acid. Moreover, all of the isolated compounds could significantly inhibit the ear edema induced by xylene. These results indicated that P. bretschneideri had good anti-inflammatory effects and the constituents ?-sitosterol, daucosterol, oleanolic acid, and ursolic acid might well account for it.
In Chinese communities, regular consumption of Chinese-medicated diets (CMD) (usually in the form of soup) is a traditional practice to promote health and prevent disease development. The overall improvement of health conditions is believed to be correlated with the anti-oxidant potentials of these herbs. Huangqin, roots of Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi (Lamiaceae), is one of the herbs commonly used in CMD. In this study, the anti-oxidant capacities of Huangqin extracts (water, ethanol and ether extracts) were evaluated and compared to commonly used CMD herbs, Heshouwu, roots of Polygonum multiflorum Thunb (Polygonaceae) and Renshen (or Ginseng), roots of Panax ginseng CA Meyer (Araliaceae). The anti-oxidant capacities were measured by using both cell-free assay [ferric reducing/anti-oxidant power (FRAP)] and biological methods [2,2-azobis-(2-amidinopropane) (AAPH)-induced haemolysis assay and H(2)O(2)-induced cell damage on H9C2 cells]. Additionally, the total phenolic content was measured using Folin-Ciocalteu methods. Water extract of Huangqin has the highest anti-oxidant activities compared to the ethanol and ether extracts. A positive relationship between the anti-oxidant effects and total phenolic contents of extracts was demonstrated. This shows that Huangqin could be an effective dietary anti-oxidant that can be consumed regularly as a functional food for the prevention of oxidant/free radical-related diseases.
Arctium lappa, commonly known as burdock, is being promoted/recommended as a healthy and nutritive food in Chinese societies. Burdock has been used therapeutically in Europe, North America and Asia for hundreds of years. The roots, seeds and leaves of burdock have been investigated in view of its popular uses in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). In this review, the reported therapeutic effects of the active compounds present in the different botanical parts of burdock are summarized. In the root, the active ingredients have been found to "detoxify" blood in terms of TCM and promote blood circulation to the skin surface, improving the skin quality/texture and curing skin diseases like eczema. Antioxidants and antidiabetic compounds have also been found in the root. In the seeds, some active compounds possess anti-inflammatory effects and potent inhibitory effects on the growth of tumors such as pancreatic carcinoma. In the leaf extract, the active compounds isolated can inhibit the growth of micro-organisms in the oral cavity. The medicinal uses of burdock in treating chronic diseases such as cancers, diabetes and AIDS have been reported. However, it is also essential to be aware of the side effects of burdock including contact dermatitis and other allergic/inflammatory responses that might be evoked by burdock.
Epoxyeicosatrienoic acids (EETs) induce vasorelaxation, probably through G protein-coupled receptors. The identity of these receptors is unclear, but it has been reported that EETs may bind to peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) and E-prostanoid (EP) receptors. Therefore, we studied whether PPARs or EP receptors were involved in 14,15-EET-induced vasorelaxation. Isometric tensions of rat mesenteric arteries were measured. The vasorelaxant effect of 14,15-EET was inhibited by NF449 (G(s)-protein inhibitor), Rp-cAMP (cAMP antagonist) and KT5720 (PKA inhibitor), suggesting that the effect of 14,15-EET was mediated through G(s) protein-coupled receptors which were linked to the cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway. Pretreatments with MK886 (PPAR(alpha) antagonist) and GW9662 (PPAR(gamma) antagonist) did not influence 14,15-EET-induced vasorelaxation. The vasorelaxant effect of 14,15-EET was inhibited by AH6809 (EP(2) receptor antagonist), whereas SC19220 (EP(1) receptor antagonist), L798106 (EP(3) receptor antagonist) and GW627368X (EP(4) receptor antagonist) had no effect. The effect of 14,15-EET and the mechanism involved was mimicked by prostaglandin E(2) (an EP(2) receptor agonist). The 14,15-EET-induced relaxation was slightly potentiated in the presence of indomethacin (cyclooxygenase inhibitor which block PGE(2) synthesis). Binding study showed that the amount of 14,15-EET bound to the cell membrane of rat mesenteric arterial smooth muscle cells was much higher than that bound to the nuclear membrane. The binding of 14,15-EET to the cell membrane was attenuated by AH6809 and siRNA against EP(2) receptors. In conclusion, our study has demonstrated that 14,15-EET exerts relaxant effects on rat mesenteric arteries, at least partly via the stimulation of EP(2) receptors. This subsequently leads to activation of cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway in vascular smooth muscle cells.
To determine the expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein(GFAP) and vascular endothelial growth factor(VEGF) in the hippocampus of rats with Alzheimers disease(AD), and to determine the effect of butylphthalide on them and its significance.
Uridine monophosphate (UMP) kinase converts UMP to the corresponding UDP in the presence of metal ions and ATP and is allosterically regulated by nucleotides such as UTP and GTP. Although the UMP kinase reported to date is Mg(2+)-dependent, we found in this study that the UMP kinase of Helicobacter pylori had a preference for Mn(2+) over Mg(2+), which may be related to a conformational difference between the Mn(2+)-bound and Mg(2+)-bound UMP kinase. Similar to previous findings, the UMP kinase activity of H. pylori UMP kinase was inhibited by UTP and activated by GTP. However, a relatively low GTP concentration (0.125 mM) was required to activate H. pylori UMP kinase to a level similar to other bacterial UMP kinases using a higher GTP concentration (0.5 mM). In addition, depending on the presence of either Mg(2+) or Mn(2+), a significant difference in the level of GTP activation was observed. It is therefore hypothesized that the Mg(2+)-bound and Mn(2+)-bound H. pylori UMP kinase may be activated by GTP through different mechanisms.
The demand of greater accuracy in intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT) has driven the development of more advanced verification systems. The purpose of this study is to investigate the differences in verification accuracy in terms of the position error detected between cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and electronic portal imaging device (EPID) in the IMRT of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Two groups of NPC patients (n = 22 and n = 28) verified by CBCT (G1-CB), EPID (G1-EP), and EPID (G2-EP) only, respectively, were recruited. The positional errors between the G1-CB group and the G2-EP group were compared. In addition, the magnitudes of the position errors of EPID taken in the same session of the CBCT, but after necessary corrections (G1-EP), were analyzed. In the CBCT group, 455 CBCT images (G1-CB) and 206 EPID images (G1-EP) were collected, whereas 319 EPID images (G2-EP) for the EPID group, were recorded. The median position errors detected in CBCT were between 0.80 and 0.90 mm in the antero-posterior (A-P), left-right (L-R), and supero-inferior (S-I) directions, whereas those of the EPID were all 0.50 mm. The magnitude of position deviation detected by the CBCT was higher than that of the EPID and their differences were extremely significant (p < 0.001). The frequencies in the G2-EP group with position errors greater than the tolerance (2 mm) were 32, 42, and 27 in the A-P, L-R, and S-I directions, respectively, which accounted for 16.5%, 21.6%, and 13.9% of the total number of EPID. There was difference in verification capability between the CBCT and EPID when applied to IMRT of NPC patients. Because an average of 1 of 6 verifications in EPID was inferior to that of the CBCT, verification by CBCT is recommended.
Angiogenesis plays an important role in a wide range of physiological processes, and many diseases are associated with the dysregulation of angiogenesis. Radix Astragali is a Chinese medicinal herb commonly used for treating cardiovascular disorders and has been shown to possess angiogenic effect in previous studies but its active constituent and underlying mechanism remain unclear. The present study investigates the angiogenic effects of calycosin, a major isoflavonoid isolated from Radix Astragali, in vitro and in vivo.
To determine the expression of S100-beta protein and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) in hippocampal astrocytes of rats with Alzheimer disease (AD) model rats, and observe the effect of butylphthalide on their expression.
To determine the effect of butylphthalide on the expressions of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and extra-cellular signal regulated kinases (ERKs) in the brain tissue of rats with Alzheimers disease (AD).
The effects of folic acid (5.7 and 71 microg/kg, 4 weeks) consumption on the beta-adrenoceptors (beta-ARs)-elicited lipolysis in vitro of the abdominal adipocytes of lean/control (+m/+db) and obese/diabetic (+db/+db) mice (female) were investigated. beta-AR agonists (salbutamol, a beta(2)-AR agonist; BRL 37344 and CGP 12177, beta(3)-AR agonists; adrenaline, a beta-AR agonist)-mediated lipolysis, beta(2)-, and beta(3)-ARs protein expression of the adipose tissues after folic acid consumption were evaluated. Our results demonstrate that a smaller magnitude of the basal (spontaneous) and the beta-AR agonists-triggered lipolysis was observed in +db/+db mice, and folic acid supplementation (71 microg/kg) resulted in an improvement of both the baseline and the beta-ARs-mediated lipolysis. In controls, a lower beta(2)-and beta(3)-ARs protein expression of the adipose tissues was detected in +db/+db mice, compared to +m/+db mice. In both strains fed with folic acid (71 microg/kg), a reduction of beta(2)-AR protein expression was observed compared to the respective controls. In +db/+db mice, folic acid (5.7 and 71 microg/kg) consumption caused a dose-dependent increase of beta(3)-AR protein expression compared to controls. We demonstrate that lipolysis elicited by beta-AR (beta(2)- and beta(3)-ARs) agonists was blunted in +db/+db mice. Folic acid consumption has significant modulatory effects on beta-ARs protein expression and lipolysis.
Hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for the development and progression of cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis. A major active ingredient, scutellarin, from the plant Erigeron breviscapus was investigated for its hypocholesterolemic and atheroscleroprotective effects (30 and 100 mg/kg/day, P. O.). The serum lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and low density lipoprotein cholesterol) was monitored and aortic functions in Sprague-Dawley rats fed with normal diet, atherogenic diet or atherogenic diet plus oral administration of either scutellarin or simvastatin (a positive control) were tested. It was found that scutellarin markedly attenuated the increased serum total cholesterol induced by atherogenic diet. It caused a significant reduction in the atherogenic index. In addition, scutellarin administration could significantly enhance acetylcholine-induced nitrate/nitrite production, increase the gene expression of endothelial nitric oxide synthase and improve acetylcholine-induced endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation in rat isolated aortas. These data revealed that scutellarin could reduce the atherogenic properties of dietary cholesterol in rats. However, whether scutellarins atheroscleroprotective potential targets endothelial function directly or indirectly on its antioxidative activity remains to be determined.
It is generally accepted that the clinical efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) arises mainly from the inhibition of cyclooxygenase (COX). However, more evidence has suggested that certain pharmacological actions of NSAIDs may be mediated by COX-independent mechanisms. The present study investigated the effects of NSAIDs on adenosine uptake in human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs). Among the NSAIDs tested (all at 100 microM), aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen had no effect on [(3)H]adenosine uptake. Piroxicam inhibited [(3)H]adenosine uptake by 30%, while etodolac, indomethacin, ketoprofen, mefenamic acid and sulindac inhibited [(3)H]adenosine by 13-18%. Sulindac sulfide, an active metabolite of sulindac, inhibited [(3)H]adenosine uptake and [(3)H]nitrobenzylmercaptopurine ribonucleoside (NBMPR) binding of HASMCs with IC(50) values of 40.67+/-4.82 and 24.19+/-3.76 muM, respectively. Kinetic studies revealed that sulindac sulfide was a competitive inhibitor of adenosine uptake. Using the nucleoside-transporter-deficient PK15NTD cells that stably express equilibrative nucleoside transport (ENT) 1 and ENT2, it was found that the inhibitory effect of sulindac sulfide on ENT1 was greater than that on ENT2. Sulindac sulfide increased the extracellular adenosine level. In addition, it inhibited the proliferation of HASMCs and this anti-proliferative effect could be abolished by adenosine A(2B) receptor antagonist. Our results suggest that sulindac sulfide may exert pharmacological effects through the inhibition of adenosine uptake, which modulates the availability of adenosine in the vicinity of adenosine receptors.
Rheum officinale Baill. (Da Huang) is one of the herbs commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine formulae against cancer. The traditional decoction is similar to the water extract used in the present study.
We investigated the role(s) of monoamine oxidases (MAOs) on the altered 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT, serotonin)-induced tension development of the isolated umbilical artery of preeclamptic pregnancy of Chinese women. An enhanced 5-HT-induced tension development of the umbilical artery of preeclamptic pregnancy was observed when compared with that of normal pregnancy. The enhanced component of 5-HT-induced tension development was eradicated by clorgyline (a MAO-A inhibitor). Blockade of eNOS (endothelial isoform nitric oxide synthase) (N(omega)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester), 5-HT transporter (citalopram), 5-HT receptor subtypes (5HT2B, SB 204741; 5-HT2C, RS 102221; 5-HT7, SB 269970), and endothelium denudation of the umbilical artery of normal pregnancy mimicked the enhanced 5-HT-induced tension development as observed in the preeclamptic tissues. In contrast, no apparent changes in 5-HT-induced tension development of the umbilical artery of preeclamptic pregnancy were observed with the same pharmacological manipulations. A decreased protein expression levels of MAO-A and eNOS (no iNOS and MAO-B expression was detected) and no change in caveolin-1 and 5-HT transporter expression were demonstrated in the umbilical artery (endothelium intact) lysate of preeclamptic pregnancy, compared to that of the umbilical artery of normal pregnancy. Thus, in the umbilical artery of preeclamptic pregnancy, a decrease of MAO-A and eNOS protein expression levels are probably associated with, or responsible for, the exaggerated 5-HT-induced tension development.
Folic acid supplementation provides beneficial effects on endothelial functions in patients with hyperhomocysteinemia. However, its effects on vascular functions under diabetic conditions are largely unknown. Therefore, the effect(s) of folic acid (5.7 and 71 microg/kg/day for 4 weeks) on aortic relaxation was investigated using obese/diabetic (+db/+db) mice and lean littermate (+db/+m) mice. Acetylcholine-induced relaxation in +db/+db mice was less than that observed in +db/+m mice. The reduced relaxation in +db/+db mice was restored by consumption of 71 microg/kg folic acid. Acetylcholine-induced relaxation (with and without folic acid treatment) was sensitive to N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, 2-(4-morpholinyl)-8-phenyl-4H-1-benzopyran-4-one, geldanamycin and triciribine. In addition, acetylcholine-induced relaxation was attenuated by resistin. The plasma level of resistin in +db/+db mice was sevenfold higher than that measured in +db/+m mice, and the elevated plasma level of resistin in +db/+db mice was reduced by 25% after treatment with 71 microg/kg folic acid. Folic acid slightly increased the ratio of reduced glutathione to oxidized glutathione in +db/+db mice. Moreover, folic acid caused a reduction in PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) expression, an increase in the phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS(Ser1177)) and Akt(Ser473), and an enhanced interaction of heat shock protein 90 (HSP90) with eNOS in both strains, with greater magnitude observed in +db/+db mice. In conclusion, folic acid consumption improved blunted acetylcholine-induced relaxation in +db/+db mice. The mechanism may be, at least partly, attributed to enhancement of PI3K/HSP90/eNOS/Akt cascade, reduction in plasma resistin level, down-regulation of PTEN and slight modification of oxidative state.
We evaluated the vasorelaxation effects of formononetin, an isoflavone/phytoestrogen found abundantly in Astragalus mongholicus Bunge, on rat isolated aorta and the underlying mechanisms involved. Cumulative administration of formononetin, genistein, daidzein and biochanin A relaxed phenylephrine-preconstricted aorta. Formononetin and biochanin A caused a similar magnitude of relaxation whereas daidzein was least potent. Mechanical removal of endothelium, L-NAME (100 microM) and methylene blue (10 microM) suppressed formononetin-induced relaxation. Formononetin increased endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS), but not inducible NO synthase, activity with an up-regulation of eNOS mRNA and p-eNOS(Ser1177) protein expression. In endothelium-denuded preparations, formononetin-induced vasorelaxation was significantly reduced by glibenclamide (3 microM) and iberiotoxin (100 nM), and a combination of glibenclamide (3 microM) plus iberiotoxin (100 nM) abolished the relaxation. In contrast, formononetin-elicited endothelium-independent relaxation was not altered by ICI 182,780 (10 microM, an estrogen receptor (ER alpha/ER beta) antagonist) or mifepristone (10 microM, a progesterone receptor antagonist). In single aortic smooth muscle cells, formononetin caused opening of iberiotoxin-sensitive Ca(2+)-activated K(+) (BK(Ca)) channels and glibenclamide-sensitive adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-dependent K(+) (K(ATP)) channels. Thus, our results suggest that formononetin caused vascular relaxation via endothelium/NO-dependent mechanism and endothelium-independent mechanism which involves the activation of BK(Ca) and K(ATP) channels.
Consumption of functional foods for lowering serum cholesterol has globally gained acceptance by the general public. Turtle jelly (TJ), also called gui-ling-gao, is a popular traditional functional food in southern China. The hypocholesterolemic effect of consuming TJ was investigated in rats fed with normal diet, high-cholesterol diet or high-cholesterol diet supplemented with simvastatin (3?mg/kg bw per day, p.o.) or TJ (3.3 or 10?mL/kg bw per day, p.o.) for 30 days. TJ markedly reversed the increased serum total cholesterol, increased high-density lipoprotein, and decreased high-density lipoprotein induced by hypercholesterolemic diet with a dose-dependent improvement on the atherogenic index. It also demonstrated good hepatoprotective function by reducing fat depositions and overall lipid contents in the liver and increasing the activities of hepatic antioxidative enzymes. The blunted nitric oxide/endothelium-mediated aortic relaxation in rats fed with hypercholesterolemic diet was partially restored after TJ consumption. It is postulated that the hypocholesterolemic effect is the primary beneficial effect given by TJ; it then leads to secondary beneficial effects such as vasoprotective and hepatoprotective functions. The results revealed that TJ could block the downregulation of LDLR and PEPCK and upregulation of PPAR? mRNA and protein expressions in the livers of rats fed with hypercholesterolemic diet.
Context: Apoptotic neuronal cell death plays an important role in Parkinsons disease (PD), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder. Luteolin, a flavonoid, has been shown to possess various pharmacological properties including strong antioxidant capacity.
Some of the major components of Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza), a widely used Chinese herbal medicine rich in phenolic acids, are thermosensitive and may degrade to other phenolic acids during extractions with heating. The chemical profiles of Danshen water-extract may vary with different heat water extraction at different temperatures, affecting the composition and bioactivity of the extracts. In this study, six water-extracts of Danshen obtained from heat reflux water extraction and microwave-assisted extraction with water (MAE-W) at different temperatures were tested for their composition and pharmacological effects. Among these extracts, the third-round MAE-W (100°C) extract had the highest phenolic acids and tanshinones contents, with the strongest antioxidant activity in 2,2-diphenyl-1-(2,4,6-trinitrophenyl) hydrazyl (DPPH) assay and ferric reducing/antioxidant potential (FRAP) assay. This extract also showed the strongest inhibitory effects on 2,2-azobis-2-amidinopropane (AAPH)-induced hemolysis in human red blood cells, hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis in rat heart H9c2 cells and the highest relaxation effects on rat basilar artery. The antioxidant effects of Danshen water-extracts linearly correlated to their relaxation effects (r=0.895-0.977). Through multiple linear regression analysis, danshensu was found to be the most significant marker in the antioxidant and vasodilation effects of Danshen water-extract, while tanshinone IIA as the marker on hydrogen peroxide-induced apoptosis in rat heart H9c2 cells. Danshensu is, therefore, a useful marker for the quality control of Danshen water-extracts in antioxidant and vasodilation, while tanshinone IIA for anti-apoptotic potential of different extracts.
To gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms regulating pupal diapause of the onion maggot Delia antiqua, PCR-based suppressive subtractive hybridization was performed to identify genes involved in summer and/or winter diapause. A total of 209 unique sequences were obtained including 89 in forward library for winter diapausing pupae and 120 in the reverse library for summer diapausing pupae. 76.4% (68/89) and 68.3% (82/120) unique sequences had significant hits to non-redundant proteins database. Gene functional annotation showed these non-redundant sequences are involved in stress response and innate immunity, metabolism and energy, information processing and regulation, binding, food storage, morphogenesis and development, cell skeleton and cycle, protein synthesis and folding. Approximately 28.2% (59/209) transcripts showed no significant similarity to any other sequence in the public databases, probably representing unique genes of the onion maggot. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed that the relative expression levels of 18 genes were comparable between summer and winter diapause. This study elucidates the temporal expression of diapause-related genes in onion maggot, also provides new insights into the differences in the physiological changes in summer and winter pupae. Functional characterization of some candidate genes will further enhance the understanding of the generating, maintaining, and breaking mechanism of diapause.
Secretagogin is a six EF-hand calcium-binding protein that can identify granule cells in the dentate gyrus of hippocampus. The aim of this study was to determine if secretagogin can be detected in human blood cells. Eight adult males were recruited for blood analysis. Whole blood was separated into plasma, peripheral mononuclear cells and erythrocytes with Ficoll-Paque and probed for secretagogin using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. While secretagogin mRNA was detected in both peripheral mononuclear cells and erythrocytes using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, SCGN protein was only detected in erythrocytes. Interestingly, peripheral mononuclear cells secretagogin mRNA expression levels showed significant negative correlation with age. This begets the question on the function of secretagogin in blood cells and if it is correlated to neurodegeneration associated with ageing. This remains our impetus for further research.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a category of chronic noncommunicable diseases causing high global mortality and has been a heavy social burden in many countries. In the search of chemicals that arise from natural food source, allicin is one such ingredient from garlic that was discovered with the potential to provide beneficial effects to the cardiovascular system. From the pharmacokinetic studies, allicin is known to be hydrophobic and can be readily absorbed through the cell membrane without inducing any damage to the phospholipid bilayer and then rapidly metabolized to exert pharmacological effects that are important to the cardiovascular system. It was found to provide cardio-protective effects by inducing vasorelaxation and alleviating various pathological conditions of CVD, including cardiac hypertrophy, angiogenesis, platelet aggregation, hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia. Allicin was also discovered to further protect the cardiovascular system by enhancing the antioxidant status by lowering the level of reactive oxygen species and stimulating the production of glutathione. Other pharmacological benefits such as anticancer and antimicrobial activities were also discussed. It is concluded that allicin can be potentially developed into a health product for the cardiovascular system.
1. It is well documented that both acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked arterial relaxation and brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilatation are blunted in hypercholesterolaemic patients. However, there are no simple diagnostic methods to detect the pathology of blood vessels of patients. 2. To establish the use of serum nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity as a diagnostic parameter for impaired vasorelaxation, animals with different levels of vascular healthiness were made by feeding Sprague-Dawley rats a normal diet, a high-cholesterol diet (HCD) or an HCD supplemented with 10 mg/kg per day, p.o., simvastatin, a cholesterol-lowering drug, for 30 days. Serum total cholesterol levels, serum NOS activity and ACh-induced vasorelaxation of the isolated aorta were determined at the end of the experiment. 3. Consumption of HCD for 30 days resulted in an increase in serum total cholesterol, attenuated ACh-induced nitric oxide/endothelium-dependent aortic relaxation and decreased NOS activity. Concomitant administration of simvastatin lowered the elevated blood cholesterol levels with complete reversal of the attenuated ACh-induced aortic relaxation and serum NOS activity. An attempt was made to correlate serum NOS activity and the magnitude of ACh-elicited vascular relaxation among the different groups. A positive correlation (r = 0.8329; P < 0.001; n = 30) was found between serum NOS activity and vascular relaxation. 4. This finding is a good foundation for the development of a simple and low-cost alternative for diagnosing vascular diseases and evaluating the effectiveness of drugs on the vascular system in patients.
Hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Natural compounds have been proved to be useful in lowering serum cholesterol to slow down the progression of cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In the present study, the hypocholesterolemic and hepatoprotective effects of the dietary consumption of chlorogenic acid were investigated by monitoring plasma lipid profile (total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein) in Sprague-Dawley rats fed with a normal diet, a high-cholesterol diet or a high-cholesterol diet supplemented with chlorogenic acid (1 or 10 mg/kg/day p.o.) for 28 days. Chlorogenic acid markedly altered the increased plasma total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein but decreased high-density lipoprotein induced by a hypercholesterolemic diet with a dose-dependent improvement on both atherogenic index and cardiac risk factor. Lipid depositions in liver were attenuated significantly in hypercholesterolemic animals supplemented with chlorogenic acid. It is postulated that hypocholesterolemic effect is the primary beneficial effect given by chlorogenic acid, which leads to other secondary beneficial effects such as atheroscleroprotective, cardioprotective and hepatoprotective functions. The hypocholesterolemic functions of chlorogenic acid are probably due to the increase in fatty acids unitization in liver via the up-regulation of peroxisome proliferation-activated receptor ? mRNA.
An extract of Curcuma longa was tested in hypercholesterolemic rats to investigate its potential therapeutic effect on vascular conditions. Four experimental groups were used: normal diet (ND) control group, high cholesterol diet (HCD) group, and HCD subgroups supplemented with turmeric extract at 100 or 300?mg/kg of body weight (HCD100Tur and HCD300Tur groups, respectively). Turmeric extract was fed orally to animals, and dietary treatments lasted for 28 days. Hypercholesterolemia developed in the HCD, HCD100Tur, and HCD300Tur rats. Segments of the thoracic aorta were isolated, and an organ bath experiment was used to assess the vasorelaxation capability among all rats. Rats fed only HCD showed a marked decrease in acetylcholine-induced vasorelaxation compared with ND control rats. The HCD100Tur and HCD300Tur rats showed significant improvement in vasorelaxation compared with HCD rats. When vasorelaxation was induced by high concentrations of sodium nitroprusside, no differences in vasorelaxation were observed among the four groups of rats. A mechanistic study showed that HCD100Tur and HCD300Tur rats had significantly higher levels of the antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase than HCD rats. The transcript levels of heat shock protein 70 (hsp70), bcl2, bax-?, caspase (casp3), and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase in aortic tissues indicated that hypercholesterolemia significantly increased the expression of bax-? and casp3 but down-regulated bcl2 expression compared with the control group. Turmeric increased the expression of hsp70 and bcl2 but greatly reduced casp3 expression, indicating that turmeric improves vasorelaxation of the aorta in hypercholesterolemic rats by increasing antioxidant enzyme activities and likely suppressing apoptosis.
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