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Concept: Superoxide dismutase


Thirdhand smoke (THS) is the accumulation of secondhand smoke on environmental surfaces. THS is found on the clothing and hair of smokers as well as on surfaces in homes and cars of smokers. Exposure occurs by ingestion, inhalation and dermal absorption. Children living in homes of smokers are at highest risk because they crawl on the floor, touch parents' clothing/hair and household objects. Using mice exposed to THS under conditions that mimic exposure of humans, we show that THS increases cellular oxidative stress by increasing superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) levels while reducing the activity of antioxidant enzymes catalase and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) that break down H2O2 into H2O and O2. This results in lipid peroxidation, protein nitrosylation and DNA damage. Consequences of these cell and molecular changes are hyperglycemia and insulinemia. Indeed, we found reduced levels of insulin receptor, PI3K, AKT, all important molecules in insulin signaling and glucose uptake by cells. To determine whether these effects on THS-induced insulin resistance are due to increase in oxidative stress, we treated mice exposed to THS with the antioxidants N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) and alpha-tocopherol (alpha-toc) and showed that the oxidative stress, the molecular damage, and the insulin resistance, were significantly reversed. Conversely, feeding the mice with chow that mimics “western diet”, which is known to increase oxidative stress, while exposing the mice to THS, further increased the oxidative stress and aggravated hyperglycemia and insulinemia. In conclusion, THS exposure results in insulin resistance in the form of non-obese type II diabetes (NODII) through oxidative stress. If confirmed in humans, these studies could have a major impact on how people view exposure to environmental tobacco toxins, in particular to children, elderly and workers in environments where tobacco smoke has taken place.

Concepts: Protein, Antioxidant, Redox, Oxidative stress, Reactive oxygen species, Superoxide dismutase, Hydrogen peroxide, Glutathione


Since gastrointestinal mucosa is constantly exposed to reactive oxygen species from various sources, the presence of antioxidants may contribute to the body’s natural defenses against inflammatory diseases. HYPOTHESIS: To define the polyphenols extracted from dried apple peels (DAPP) and determine their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory potential in the intestine. Caco-2/15 cells were used to study the role of DAPP preventive actions against oxidative stress (OxS) and inflammation induced by iron-ascorbate (Fe/Asc) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), respectively. RESULTS: The combination of HPLC with fluorescence detection, HPLC-ESI-MS TOF and UPLC-ESI-MS/MS QQQ allowed us to characterize the phenolic compounds present in the DAPP (phenolic acids, flavonol glycosides, flavan-3-ols, procyanidins). The addition of Fe/Asc to Caco-2/15 cells induced OxS as demonstrated by the rise in malondialdehyde, depletion of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, and alterations in the activity of endogenous antioxidants (SOD, GPx, G-Red). However, preincubation with DAPP prevented Fe/Asc-mediated lipid peroxidation and counteracted LPS-mediated inflammation as evidenced by the down-regulation of cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6), and prostaglandin E2. The mechanisms of action triggered by DAPP induced also a down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 and nuclear factor-κB, respectively. These actions were accompanied by the induction of Nrf2 (orchestrating cellular antioxidant defenses and maintaining redox homeostasis), and PGC-1α (the “master controller” of mitochondrial biogenesis). CONCLUSION: Our findings provide evidence of the capacity of DAPP to reduce OxS and inflammation, two pivotal processes involved in inflammatory bowel diseases.

Concepts: Inflammation, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Oxidative phosphorylation, Reactive oxygen species, Superoxide dismutase, Quercetin, Prostaglandin


BACKGROUND: This study examined the effects of bovine colostrum on exercise –induced modulation of antioxidant parameters in the skeletal muscles in mice. Adult male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into four groups (control, colostrum alone, exercise and exercise with colostrum) and each group had three subgroups (day 0, 21 and 42). Colostrum groups of mice were given a daily oral supplement of 50 mg/kg body weight of bovine colostrum and the exercise group of mice were made to exercise on the treadmill for 30 minutes per day. Total antioxidants, lipid hydroperoxides, xanthine oxidase and super oxide dismutase level was assayed from the homogenate of hind limb skeletal muscles. RESULTS: Exercise—induced a significant oxidative stress in skeletal muscles as evidenced by the elevated lipid hydroperoxides and xanthine oxidase levels. There was a significant decrease in skeletal muscle total antioxidants and superoxide dismutase levels. Daily colostrum supplement significantly reduced the lipid hydroperoxides and xanthine oxidase enzyme level and increased the total antioxidant levels in the leg muscle. CONCLUSION: Thus, the findings of this study showed that daily bovine colostrum supplementation was beneficial to the skeletal muscle to reduce the oxidant-induced damage during muscular exercise.

Concepts: Metabolism, Antioxidant, Oxidative stress, Reactive oxygen species, Superoxide dismutase, Glycogen, Muscular system, Superoxide


Boric acid is widely used as an insecticide, acaricide, herbicide, and fungicide and also during various industrial processings. Hence, numerous populations are subjects to this toxic compound. Its action on animals is still not fully known and understood. We examined the effect of boric acid on larvae of greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella). The chemical appeared to be toxic for larvae, usually in a concentration-dependent manner. Exposed groups revealed increased lipid peroxidation and altered activity of catalase, superoxide dismutase, glutathione S-transferase, and glutathione peroxidase. We also observed changes of ultrastructure, which were in tune with biochemical assays. We suggest that boric acid has a broad mode of action, which may affect exposed larvae, and even if sublethal, they may lead to disturbances within exposed populations.

Concepts: Metabolism, Antioxidant, Reactive oxygen species, Superoxide dismutase, Glutathione, Moth, Pyralidae, Galleria mellonella


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease with a poor prognosis. Survival and quality of life of ALS patients have improved through the implementation of multidisciplinary approaches, the use of percutaneous gastrostomy and of noninvasive (NIV) or invasive ventilation. The question of whether or not to propose invasive ventilation (by tracheostomy: TPPV) to ALS patients remains a matter of debate.

Concepts: Medical terms, Superoxide dismutase, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Neurodegenerative disorders, Lou Gehrig, Stephen Hawking


Recent advances in understanding amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have delivered new questions. Disappointingly, the initial enthusiasm for transgenic mouse models of the disease has not been followed by rapid advances in therapy or prevention. Monogenic models may have inadvertently masked the true complexity of the human disease. ALS has evolved into a multisystem disorder, involving a final common pathway accessible via multiple upstream aetiological tributaries. Nonetheless, there is a common clinical core to ALS, as clear today as it was to Charcot and others. We stress the continuing relevance of clinical observations amid the increasing molecular complexity of ALS.

Concepts: Medicine, Molecular biology, Death, Superoxide dismutase, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig, Jean-Martin Charcot, Stephen Hawking


Astragalus membranaceus (AM) is a Chinese traditional herb which has been reported to have broad positive effects on many diseases, including hepatitis, heart disease, diabetes and skin disease. AM can promote cell proliferation, increase the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and inhibit apoptosis by regulating the transcription of proto-oncogenes controlling cell death. While AM is included in some commercially available “testosterone boosting supplements”, studies directly testing ability of AM to modulate testosterone production are lacking. In the present study, we examined the effects of AM on Leydig cell function in vitro.

Concepts: Cancer, Death, Luteinizing hormone, Superoxide dismutase, Testosterone, Sertoli cell, Puberty, Leydig cell


The increasing applicability of antifungal treatments, the limited range of available drug classes and the emergence of drug resistance in Candida spp. suggest the need for new treatment options. To explore the applicability of C. albicans photoinactivation, we examined nine structurally different imidazoacridinone derivatives as photosensitizing agents. The most effective derivatives showed a >104-fold reduction of viable cell numbers. The fungicidal action of the three most active compounds was compared at different radiant powers(3.5 to 63 mW/cm2), and this analysis indicated that 7 mW/cm2 was the most efficient. The intracellular accumulation of these compounds in fungal cells correlated with the fungicidal activity of all 9 derivatives. The lack of effect of verapamil, an inhibitor targeting Candida ABC efflux pumps, suggests that these imidazoacridinones are not substrates for ABC transporters. Thus, unlike azoles, a major class of antifungals used against Candida, ABC transporter-mediated resistance is unlikely. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR)-spin trapping data suggested that the fungicidal light-induced action of these derivatives might depend on the production of superoxide anion. The highest generation rate of superoxide anion was observed for 1330H, 1610H, and 1611. Singlet oxygen production was also detected upon the irradiation of imidazoacridinone derivatives with UV laser light, with a low to moderate yield, depending on the type of compound. Thus, imidazoacridinone derivatives examined in the present study might act via mixed type I/type II photodynamic mechanism. The presented data indicate lack of direct correlation between the structures of studied imidazoacridinones, cell killing ability, and ROS production. However, we showed for the first time that for imidazoacridinones not only intracellular accumulation is necessary prerequisite of lethal photosensitization of C. albicans, but also localization within particular cellular structures. Our findings present IA derivatives as efficient antifungal photosensitizers with a potential to be used in local treatment of Candida infection.

Concepts: Oxygen, Fungus, Reactive oxygen species, Superoxide dismutase, Oxide, Candida albicans, Candidiasis


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal and incurable neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain. In particular, autosomal dominant mutations in the superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene are responsible for ~20% of all familial ALS cases. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-CRISPR-associated (Cas9) genome editing system holds the potential to treat autosomal dominant disorders by facilitating the introduction of frameshift-induced mutations that can disable mutant gene function. We demonstrate that CRISPR-Cas9 can be harnessed to disrupt mutant SOD1 expression in the G93A-SOD1 mouse model of ALS following in vivo delivery using an adeno-associated virus vector. Genome editing reduced mutant SOD1 protein by >2.5-fold in the lumbar and thoracic spinal cord, resulting in improved motor function and reduced muscle atrophy. Crucially, ALS mice treated by CRISPR-mediated genome editing had ~50% more motor neurons at end stage and displayed a ~37% delay in disease onset and a ~25% increase in survival compared to control animals. Thus, this study illustrates the potential for CRISPR-Cas9 to treat SOD1-linked forms of ALS and other central nervous system disorders caused by autosomal dominant mutations.

Concepts: Central nervous system, Nervous system, Spinal cord, Gene, Brain, Superoxide dismutase, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Atrophy


Over-expression of mutant copper, zinc superoxide dismutase (SOD) in mice induces ALS and has become the most widely used model of neurodegeneration. However, no pharmaceutical agent in 20years has extended lifespan by more than a few weeks. The Copper-Chaperone-for-SOD (CCS) protein completes the maturation of SOD by inserting copper, but paradoxically human CCS causes mice co-expressing mutant SOD to die within two weeks of birth. Hypothesizing that co-expression of CCS created copper deficiency in spinal cord, we treated these pups with the PET-imaging agent CuATSM, which is known to deliver copper into the CNS within minutes. CuATSM prevented the early mortality of CCSxSOD mice, while markedly increasing Cu, Zn SOD protein in their ventral spinal cord. Remarkably, continued treatment with CuATSM extended the survival of these mice by an average of 18months. When CuATSM treatment was stopped, these mice developed ALS-related symptoms and died within 3months. Restoring CuATSM treatment could rescue these mice after they became symptomatic, providing a means to start and stop disease progression. All ALS patients also express human CCS, raising the hope that familial SOD ALS patients could respond to CuATSM treatment similarly to the CCSxSOD mice.

Concepts: Spinal cord, Superoxide dismutase, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Zinc, Copper, Motor neuron, SOD1, Copper deficiency