Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) signaling in keratinocytes plays an important role in mediating inflammatory conditions such as psoriasis and contact dermatitis. Illicium verum Hook. f. has been used in traditional medicine for treating skin inflammation, rheumatism, asthma, and bronchitis in Asia.
AIM OF THE STUDY:
To investigate the anti-inflammatory effects and regulatory mechanisms of Illicium verum extract (IVE) in the human keratinocyte cell line HaCaT.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
In this study, we examined the effect of IVE on IFN-γ-induced ICAM-1 expression in HaCaT cells. The levels of IFN-γ receptor α (IFN-γRα), phosphorylated Janus kinase 2 (pJak2), phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (pSTAT1), and suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) were analyzed by western blot. Expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on the HaCaT cells was determined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, western blot, and cell-surface enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The effects of IVE and its constituents on the adherence of T lymphocytes to IFN-γ-treated HaCaT cells were also investigated.
IVE significantly inhibited IFN-γ-induced mRNA and protein expression of ICAM-1. IVE inhibited IFN-γ-induced IFN-γRα, pJak2 and pSTAT1 expression in HaCaT cells. The expression of SOCS1 was up-regulated by treatment of IVE. In addition, IVE and its constituents (p-anisaldehyde and trans-anethole) effectively suppressed IFN-γ-induced adherence of Jurkat T cells to HaCaT cells and ICAM-1 expression on the cell surface.
These results indicate that the anti-inflammatory effects of IVE may contribute to therapeutic efficacy in IFN-γ-dependent inflammatory skin diseases by modulating the IFN-γ signal pathway
Ginseng, a plant tuber with medicinal properties is effective in treating and preventing influenza and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to a Georgia State University study.
According to the World Health Organization, seasonal influenza, a respiratory disease, causes about three to five million cases of severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Medical experts have claimed that existing influenza vaccines need to be updated as most of them provide no defense against pandemic strains and bird flu.
For example, the H1N1 influenza virus, also known as swine flu, surfaced in 2009 and spread rapidly to more than 74 countries.
On the other hand, there are no vaccines available for RSV, which is the major cause of inflammatory bronchiolitis pneumonia and viral death in infants and elderly adults.
For the study, the researchers analyzed red ginseng extract for positive effects on influenza A virus and RSV infection.
In the first experiment, the researchers found that red ginseng enhances the endurance of human lung epithelial cells infected with influenza virus and shortens gene expressions that cause inflammation.
Glomerular hypertrophy and hyperfiltration are the two major pathological characteristics of the early stages of diabetic nephropathy (DN), which are respectively related to mesangial cell (MC) proliferation and a decrease in calcium influx conducted by canonical transient receptor potential cation channel 6 (TRPC6). The marked increase in the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by hyperglycemia is the main sponsor of multiple pathological pathways in DN. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase is an important source of ROS production in MCs. Astragaloside IV (AS‑IV) is an active ingredient of Radix Astragali which has a potent antioxidative effect. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether high glucose (HG)‑induced NADPH oxidase activation and ROS production contribute to MC proliferation and the downregulation of TRPC6 expression; we also wished to determine the effects of AS‑IV on MCs under HG conditions.
Pasquale Valente's insight:
"Results suggest that AS‑IV inhibits HG‑induced mesangial cell proliferation and glomerular contractile dysfunction through the NADPH oxidase/ROS/Akt/nuclear factor‑κB (NF‑κB) pathway, providing a new perspective for the clinical treatment of DN."
Elevated tissue levels of prostaglandin E2, produced by cyclooxygenase (COX), are an early event in colorectal cancer (CRC). Data suggest the efficacy of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as cancer preventives, in the inhibition of COX activity; however, side effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pose unacceptable limitations. Ginger has been reported to have anti-inflammatory activities with significant CRC preventive potential. We investigated whether consumption of 2.0 g ginger daily regulated the level of two key enzymes that control prostaglandin E2 production, COX-1 and NAD(+)-dependent 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase (15-PGDH). Thirty participants at normal and 20 participants at increased risk for CRC were randomized and given 2.0 g/day ginger or placebo for 28 days. Flexible sigmoidoscopy was used to obtain colon biopsies at baseline and the end of the study. Tissue levels of COX-1 and 15-PGDH were assessed using western blotting
The use of medicinal plants in treating illnesses has been reported since ancestral times. In the case of hepatic diseases, several species such asSilybum marianum, Phyllanthus niruri, and Panus giganteus (Berk.) have been shown to ameliorate hepatic lesions. Silymarin is a natural compound derived from the species Silybum marianum, which is commonly known as Milk thistle. This plant contains at least seven flavoligands and the flavonoid taxifolin. The hepatoprotective and antioxidant activity of silymarin is caused by its ability to inhibit the free radicals that are produced from the metabolism of toxic substances such as ethanol, acetaminophen, and carbon tetrachloride. The generation of free radicals is known to damage cellular membranes and cause lipoperoxidation. Silymarin enhances hepatic glutathione and may contribute to the antioxidant defense of the liver. It has also been shown that silymarin increases protein synthesis in hepatocytes by stimulating RNA polymerase I activity. A previous study on humans reported that silymarin treatment caused a slight increase in the survival of patients with cirrhotic alcoholism compared with untreated controls.
Presently alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is the most widely used vegetarian LC3PUFA, but only marginal amounts are converted into eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA); both of which are strongly related to human health. Currently, fish oils represent the most prominent dietary sources of EPA and DHA; however, these are unsuitable for vegetarians. Alternative sources include flaxseed, echium, walnut, and algal oil but their conversion to EPA and DHA must be considered. The present systematic review sets out to collate information from intervention studies examining the bioavailability of alternative vegetarian long chain omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC3PUFA) sources. Ten key papers published over the last 10 years were identified with seven intervention studies reporting that ALA from nut and seed oils was not converted to DHA at all. Three studies showed that ingestion of micro-algae oil led to significant increases in blood erythrocyte and plasma DHA. Further work is now needed to identify optimal doses of alternative vegetarian LC3PUFAs and how these can be integrated within daily diets. The potential role of algal oils appears to be particularly promising and an area in which further research is warranted
The central analgesic mechanism ofacupuncture for migraine remains poorly understood.
Acupuncture has been shown to become a recommended treatment for migraine sufferers.
However, a single acupuncture stimulus cannot be indicative of the cumulative effects of acupuncture treatment.
Prof. Fanrong Liang and colleagues from Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine recruited migraine sufferers receiving 1 month of acupuncture treatment and explored the central analgesic mechanism of the cumulative effects of acupuncture for migraine.
The aim of their study was to examine changes in brain functional activity and central networks in subjects with migraine undergoing acupuncture at Shaoyang uncommon acupoints.
This trial has been registered on http://www.clinicaltrial.gov/ and provides a further explanation of the central analgesic mechanism by which acupuncture at Shaoyang acupoints treats migraine.
These findings are published in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 8, No. 28, 2013)
In experiments on mice that normally develop Alzheimer’s symptoms less than a year after birth, a daily dose of the compound prevented the progressive memory and learning impairments.
The drug, however, did not alter the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, accumulations of proteins that are commonly blamed for Alzheimer’s disease. The new finding suggests a way to treat Alzheimer’s symptoms independently of targeting amyloid plaques.
The aim of this systematic review is to analyse trial data on the effectiveness of a herbal medicine (Gan Mai Da Zao (GMDZ) decoction) in treating depression.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS:
12 databases will be searched from their inception: PubMed, EMBASE, AMED, the Cochrane Library, five Korean medical databases (KoreaMed, DBpia, OASIS, the Research Information Service System (RISS) and the Korean Studies Information Service System (KISS)) and three Chinese medical databases (China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), the Wanfang Database and the Chinese Scientific Journals Database (VIP)). Randomised clinical trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs using a GMDZ decoction for any type of depression will be considered. The selection of the studies, data abstraction and validations will be performed independently by two researchers.
The findings will be disseminated to appropriate audiences via peer-reviewed publication and conference presentations.
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of death among men in the United States.
Some 230,000 American men will be diagnosed this year, and more than 29,000 will die from it. Sadly, the remarkably misleading conclusions of a prostate cancer study published last summer caused men pointless confusion and concern … and scared them away from healthful fish and fish oil. ... Overall, the evidence from cells, animals, and human studies supports the likely, plausible prospect that omega-3-rich diets help protect men’s prostates from cancer and/or slow its spread.
The prestigious journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America this week published an article by a research team led by University of Delaware biochemist Sharon Rozovsky, examining proteins containing selenium and their antioxidant role in human health.
Astragali radix Antiasthmatic Decoction (AAD), a traditional Chinese medication, is found effective in treating allergic diseases and chronic cough. The purpose of this study is to determine whether this medication could suppress allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and remodeling in mice, and its possible mechanisms.
A mouse model of chronic asthma was used to investigate the effects of AAD on the airway lesions. Mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA), and the extent of AHR and airway remodeling were characterized. Cells and cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) were examined.
AAD treatment effectively decreased OVA-induced AHR, eosinophilic airway inflammation, and collagen deposition around the airway. It significantly reduced the levels of IL-13 and TGF-β1, but exerted inconsiderable effect on INF-γ and IL-10.
AAD greatly improves the symptoms of allergic airway remodeling probably through inhibition of Th2 cytokines and TGF-β1.
"Treatment with various doses of SLN and GLN significantly reduced ALT, AST, ALP, and TBARS levels and increased GSH, SOD, and CAT levels. Our findings indicated that SLN and GLN have hepatoprotective effects against oxidative stress of the liver."
Pasquale Valente's insight:
"findings strongly suggest that the combination of drugs at higher doses, that is, SLN (200 mg/kg) and GLN (50 mg/kg), may have synergistic activity and confer the best hepatoprotective effects. "
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is often caused by accidents that damage the brain. TBI can induce glutamate excitotoxicity and lead to neuronal and glial cell death. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of cell death during the secondary damage caused by TBI in vivo and in vitro, as well as the protective effect of resveratrol (RV).
Pasquale Valente's insight:
the results indicated that resveratrol may serve as a potential therapeutic agent in the treatment of Traumatic brain injury (TBI).
The European Journal of Heart Failure has published data from one of the most robust studies to date on coenzyme Q10.
This ten year study conclusively showed that CoQ10 supplementation significantly improves survival for even the most severe heart failure patients while radically reducing incidences of hospitalization.1
This new study shows that CoQ10 supplementation can restore deficient CoQ10 levels in patients with moderate-to-severe heart failure, extend lifespan, and improve quality of life.1
The compelling results from this 10-year-long study found that patients who took 100 mg of CoQ10 three times daily were…
Significantly less likely to die from heart failure,Less than half as likely to die from any cause at all, andHalf as likely to have a major adverse cardiac event during the study period, compared with control subjects.1
After only three months of supplementation, the researchers detected a trend towards reduced levels of a blood marker of heart failure severity that is released from over-worked heart muscle cells.1,2 At two years, significantly more treated patients had improved measurements of heart function than did placebo recipients.1
This impressive study demonstrates how CoQ10 offers important heart health benefits and how essential it is to cardiac patients. Ideally, the practice of cardiology will soon include CoQ10 as part of their protocol to improve the lives of those living with heart failure.
Nigella sativa, an established historical and religion-based remedy for a wide range of health problems, is a herbal medicine known to have antioxidant and neuroprotective effects. This present study investigated the effect of Nigella sativa oil (NSO) administration on the spatial memory performance (SMP) of male adult rats using eight-arm radial arm maze (RAM). Twelve Sprague Dawley rats (7-9 weeks old) were force-fed daily with 6.0 μ L/100 g body weight of Nigella sativa oil (NSO group; n = 6) or 0.1 mL/100 g body weight of corn oil (control) (CO group; n = 6) for a period of 20 consecutive weeks. For each weekly evaluation of SMP, one day food-deprived rats were tested by allowing each of them 3 minutes to explore the RAM for food as their rewards. Similar to the control group, the SMP of the treated group was not hindered, as indicated by the establishment of the reference and working memory components of the spatial memory. The results demonstrated that lesser mean numbers of error were observed for the NSO-treated group in both parameters as compared to the CO-treated group. NSO could therefore enhance the learning and memory abilities of the rats; there was a significant decrease in the overall mean number of working memory error (WME) in the NSO-treated group.
Anethole, the major component of the essential oil of star anise, has been reported to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and anesthetic properties. In this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory effects of anethole in a mouse model of acute lung injury induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
BALB/C mice were intraperitoneally administered anethole (62.5, 125, 250, or 500 mg/kg) 1 h before intratracheal treatment with LPS (1.5 mg/kg) and sacrificed after 4 h. The anti-inflammatory effects of anethole were assessed by measuring total protein and cell levels and inflammatory mediator production and by histological evaluation and Western blot analysis.
LPS significantly increased total protein levels; numbers of total cells, including macrophages and neutrophils; and the production of inflammatory mediators such as matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and nitric oxide (NO) in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Anethole (250 mg/kg) decreased total protein concentrations; numbers of inflammatory cells, including neutrophils and macrophages; and the inflammatory mediators MMP-9, TNF-α and NO. In addition, pretreatment with anethole decreased LPS-induced histopathological changes. The anti-inflammatory mechanism of anethole in LPS-induced acute lung injury was assessed by investigating the effects of anethole on NF-κB activation. Anethole suppressed the activation of NF-κB by blocking IκB-α degradation.
These results, showing that anethole prevents LPS-induced acute lung inflammation in mice, suggest that anethole may be therapeutically effective in inflammatory conditions in humans.
Pasquale Valente's insight:
Anethole (250 mg/kg) decreased total protein concentrations; numbers of inflammatory cells, including neutrophils and macrophages; and the inflammatory mediators MMP-9, TNF-α and NO.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the accumulation of β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) and loss of neurons. Recently, a growing body of evidences have indicated that as a herbal compound naturally derived from grapes, resveratrol modulates the pathophysiology of AD, however, with a largely unclear mechanism. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the protection of resveratrol against the neurotoxicity of β-amyloid peptide 25-35 (Aβ(25-35)) and further explore its underlying mechanism in the present study. PC12 cells were injuried by Aβ(25-35), and resveratrol at different concentrations was added into the culture medium. We observed that resveratrol increased cell viability through the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) colorimetric assays. Flow cytometry indicated the reduction of cell apoptosis by resveratrol. Moreover, resveratrol also stabilized the intercellular Ca(2+) homeostasis and attenuated Aβ(25-35) neurotoxicity. Additionally, Aβ(25-35)-suppressed silent information regulator 1 (SIRT1) activity was significantly reversed by resveratrol, resulting in the downregulation of Rho-associated kinase 1 (ROCK1). Our results clearly revealed that resveratrol significantly protected PC12 cells and inhibited the β-amyloid-induced cell apoptosis through the upregulation of SIRT1. Moreover, as a downstream signal molecule, ROCK1 was negatively regulated by SIRT1. Taken together, our study demonstrated that SIRT1-ROCK1 pathway played a critical role in the pathomechanism of AD.
Pasquale Valente's insight:
"results clearly revealed that resveratrol significantly protected PC12 cells and inhibited the β-amyloid-induced cell apoptosis through the upregulation of SIRT1. "
A compound derived from a traditional Chinese herbal medicine has been found effective at alleviating pain, pointing the way to a new nonaddictive analgesic for acute inflammatory and nerve pain, according to UC Irvine pharmacology researchers.
Pasquale Valente's insight:
"Corydalis is a flowering herbal plant that grows in Siberia, Northern China and Japan. People utilize its root extract to alleviate menstrual cramps, chest pain and abdominal pain. It’s been previously studied for its analgesic properties, but this is the first time DHCB has been identified, extracted and tested."