SciCombinator

Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Journal: Frontiers in pharmacology

220

Nicotine cigarette smoke is a large public health burden worldwide, contributing to various types of disease. Anti-tobacco media campaigns and control programs have significantly reduced smoking in the United States, yet trends for menthol cigarette smoking have not been as promising. Menthol cigarette smoking is particularly prevalent among young adults and African Americans, with implications for long-term impacts on health care. Continuing high rates of menthol cigarette addiction call into question the role of menthol in nicotine addiction. To date, a biological basis for the high rate of addiction and relapse among menthol cigarette smokers has not been defined. Studies have demonstrated a role for menthol in the metabolism of nicotine in the body. More recent findings now reveal an interaction between menthol and the nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptor in cells. This receptor is central to the actions of nicotine in the brain, and plays an important role in nicotine addiction. The newly discovered effect of menthol on nACh receptors may begin to explain the unique addictive properties of menthol cigarettes.

Concepts: Smoking, Tobacco smoking, Cigarette, Nicotine, Addiction, Acetylcholine, Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

149

Considering the indigenous utilization of Quercus incana Roxb., the present study deals with the investigation of antioxidant, free radical scavenging activity, total phenolic content, and antimicrobial activity of Q. incana Roxb. In vitro antioxidant activity of the plant fractions were determined by 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl and nitric oxide scavenging method. Total phenolic contents were determined by gallic acid equivalent and antimicrobial activities were determined by agar well diffusion method. It was observed that Q. incana Roxb. showed significant antibacterial activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. n-Butanol fraction showed maximum activity against Micrococcus leuteus with 19 mm zone of inhibition. n-Butanol fraction of Q. incana Roxb. showed immense antifungal activity against Aspergillus niger (32 mm ± 0.55) and A. flavus (28 mm ± 0.45). Similarly n-butanol fraction showed relatively good antioxidant activity with IC50 value of 55.4 ± 0.21 μg/mL. The NO scavenging activity of ethyl acetate fraction (IC50 = 23.21 ± 0.31 μg/mL) was fairly good compared to other fractions. The current study of Q. incana Roxb. suggests the presences of synergetic action of some biological active compounds that may be present in the leaves of medicinal plant. Further studies are needed to better characterize the important active constituents responsible for the antimicrobial, antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity.

Concepts: Bacteria, Microbiology, Radical, Nitric oxide, Tannin, Gram-negative bacteria, Gallic acid, Gram-positive bacteria

147

Polygonum hydropiper is used as anti-cancer and anti-rheumatic agent in folk medicine. This study was designed to investigate the anti-angiogenic, anti-tumor, and cytotoxic potentials of different solvent extracts and isolated saponins. Samples were analyzed using GC, Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS) to identify major and bioactive compounds. Quantitation of antiangiogenesis for the plant’s samples including methanolic extract (Ph.Cr), its subsequent fractions; n-hexane (Ph.Hex), chloroform (Ph.Chf), ethyl acetate (Ph.EtAc), n-Butanol (Ph.Bt), aqueous (Ph.Aq), saponins (Ph.Sp) were performed using the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay. Potato disc anti-tumor assay was performed on Agrobacterium tumefaciens containing tumor inducing plasmid. Cytotoxicity was performed against Artemia salina and mouse embryonic fibroblast NIH/3T3 cell line following contact toxicity and MTT cells viability assays, respectively. The GC-MS analysis of Ph.Cr, Ph.Hex, Ph.Chf, Ph.Bt, and Ph.EtAc identified 126, 124, 153, 131, and 164 compounds, respectively. In anti-angiogenic assay, Ph.Chf, Ph.Sp, Ph.EtAc, and Ph.Cr exhibited highest activity with IC50 of 28.65, 19.21, 88.75, and 461.53 μg/ml, respectively. In anti-tumor assay, Ph.Sp, Ph.Chf, Ph.EtAc, and Ph.Cr were most potent with IC50 of 18.39, 73.81, 217.19, and 342.53 μg/ml, respectively. In MTT cells viability assay, Ph.Chf, Ph.EtAc, Ph.Sp were most active causing 79.00, 72.50, and 71.50% cytotoxicity, respectively, at 1000 μg/ml with the LD50 of 140, 160, and 175 μg/ml, respectively. In overall study, Ph.Chf and Ph.Sp have shown overwhelming results which signifies their potentials as sources of therapeutic agents against cancer.

Concepts: Cell, Arthropod, Crustacean, Cytotoxicity, Solvent, Toxicity, Branchiopoda, Artemia salina

147

The Fritillaria imperialis is an ornamental flower that can be found in various parts of the world including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Himalayas. The use of this plant as traditional remedy is widely known. This study aims to unveil the anti-cancer potentials of Isopimara-7,15-Dien-19-Oic Acid, extracted from the bulbs of F. imperialis in cervical cancer cell line, HeLa cells. Flow cytometry analysis of cell death, gene expression analysis via cDNA microarray and protein array were performed. Based on the results, Isopimara-7,15-Dien-19-Oic acid simultaneously induced cell death and promoted cell survival. The execution of apoptosis was apparent based on the flow cytometry results and regulation of both pro and anti-apoptotic genes. Additionally, the regulation of anti-oxidant genes were up-regulated especially thioredoxin, glutathione and superoxide dismutase- related genes. Moreover, the treatment also induced the activation of pro-survival heat shock proteins. Collectively, Isopimara-7,15-Dien-19-Oic Acid managed to induce cellular stress in HeLa cells and activate several anti- and pro survival pathways.

Concepts: DNA, Protein, Gene, Cell nucleus, Gene expression, Cell, Organism, Cell biology

58

Ayahuasca is an Amazonian psychoactive brew of two main components. Its active agents are β-carboline and tryptamine derivatives. As a sacrament, ayahuasca is still a central element of many healing ceremonies in the Amazon Basin and its ritual consumption has become common among the mestizo populations of South America. Ayahuasca use amongst the indigenous people of the Amazon is a form of traditional medicine and cultural psychiatry. During the last two decades, the substance has become increasingly known among both scientists and laymen, and currently its use is spreading all over in the Western world. In the present paper we describe the chief characteristics of ayahuasca, discuss important questions raised about its use, and provide an overview of the scientific research supporting its potential therapeutic benefits. A growing number of studies indicate that the psychotherapeutic potential of ayahuasca is based mostly on the strong serotonergic effects, whereas the sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) agonist effect of its active ingredient dimethyltryptamine raises the possibility that the ethnomedical observations on the diversity of treated conditions can be scientifically verified. Moreover, in the right therapeutic or ritual setting with proper preparation and mindset of the user, followed by subsequent integration of the experience, ayahuasca has proven effective in the treatment of substance dependence. This article has two important take-home messages: (1) the therapeutic effects of ayahuasca are best understood from a bio-psycho-socio-spiritual model, and (2) on the biological level ayahuasca may act against chronic low grade inflammation and oxidative stress via the Sig-1R which can explain its widespread therapeutic indications.

Concepts: Scientific method, Amazon River, South America, Amazon Basin, Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Peru, Amazon Rainforest, Dimethyltryptamine

20

Cocoa is a food relatively rich in polyphenols, which makes it a potent antioxidant. Due to its activity as an antioxidant, as well as through other mechanisms, cocoa consumption has been reported to be beneficial for cardiovascular health, brain functions, and cancer prevention. Furthermore, cocoa influences the immune system, in particular the inflammatory innate response and the systemic and intestinal adaptive immune response. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that a cocoa-enriched diet modifies T cell functions that conduce to a modulation of the synthesis of systemic and gut antibodies. In this regard, it seems that a cocoa diet in rats produces changes in the lymphocyte composition of secondary lymphoid tissues and the cytokines secreted by T cells. These results suggest that it is possible that cocoa could inhibit the function of T helper type 2 cells, and in line with this, the preventive effect of cocoa on IgE synthesis in a rat allergy model has been reported, which opens up new perspectives when considering the beneficial effects of cocoa compounds. On the other hand, cocoa intake modifies the functionality of gut-associated lymphoid tissue by means of modulating IgA secretion and intestinal microbiota. The mechanisms involved in these influences are discussed here. Further research may elucidate the cocoa compounds involved in such an effect and also the possible medical approaches to these repercussions.

Concepts: Immune system, White blood cell, Antibody, Bacteria, Innate immune system, Allergy, T helper cell, Adaptive immune system

11

Besides demonstrated efficacy, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) hold other advantages over earlier antidepressants such as greater tolerability and a wider range of clinical applications. However, there is a growing body of clinical evidence which suggests that SSRIs could, in some cases, be associated with a withdrawal reaction upon cessation of regular use. In addition to sensory and gastrointestinal-related symptoms, the somatic symptoms of the SSRI discontinuation syndrome include dizziness, lethargy, and sleep disturbances. Psychological symptoms have also been documented, usually developing within 1-7 days following SSRI discontinuation. The characteristics of the discontinuation syndrome have been linked to the half-life of a given SSRI, with a greater number of reports emerging from paroxetine compared to other SSRIs. However, many aspects of the neurobiology of the SSRI discontinuation syndrome (or SSRI withdrawal syndrome) remain unresolved. Following a comprehensive overview of the clinical evidence, we will discuss the underlying pathophysiology of the SSRI discontinuation syndrome and comment on the use of animal models to better understand this condition.

Concepts: Antidepressant, Citalopram, Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, Sertraline, Tricyclic antidepressant, Reuptake inhibitor, Venlafaxine, SSRI discontinuation syndrome

10

Some patients experience statin-induced side effects or prefer nutraceutical approaches for the treatment of dyslipidemia. This has led to a search for alternative therapeutic approaches for dyslipidemia management. In recent studies Citrus bergamia (known as Bergamot) juice was able to reduce serum levels of lipids. Such benefit may be attributed to high amounts of flavonoids contained in Bergamot fruit juice (neoeriocitrin, neohesperidin, naringin). The aim of the present study was to fully investigate the effects of a Bergamot extract on cardio-metabolic parameters, including plasma lipids, atherogenic lipoproteins and subclinical atherosclerosis.

Concepts: Cholesterol, Myocardial infarction, Atherosclerosis, Familial hypercholesterolemia, Atheroma, Citrus, LDL, Bergamot orange

9

The mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is a tropical fruit native to Southeast Asia and has long been reported to contain multiple health promoting properties. This fruit is an abundant source of xanthones, a class of polyphenolic compounds with a distinctive tricyclic aromatic ring system and is largely responsible for its biological activities including anti-cancer activity. Herein we describe the anti-cancer activity and mechanisms of mangosteen polyphenolic xanthones including α-Mangostin against breast cancer and prostate cancer. So far, extracts and individual xanthones have been found to induce apoptosis and inhibit proliferation on cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Based on the reported findings there is clear evidence that these polyphenols target multiple signaling pathways involved in cell cycle modulation and apoptosis. Further work is required to understand its potential for health promotion and potential drug discovery for prostate and breast cancer chemoprevention.

Concepts: Cancer, Breast cancer, Metastasis, Apoptosis, Chemotherapy, BRCA2, Garcinia, Purple Mangosteen

8

Despite enormous efforts that have been made in the search for novel drugs and treatments, cancer continues to be a major public health problem. Moreover, the emergence of resistance to cancer chemotherapy often prevents complete remission. Researchers have thus turned to natural products mainly from plant origin to circumvent resistance. Pectin and pH- or heat-modified pectin have demonstrated chemopreventive and antitumoral activities against some aggressive and recurrent cancers. The focus of this review is to describe how pectin and modified pectin display these activities and what are the possible underlying mechanisms. The failure of conventional chemotherapy to reduce mortality as well as serious side effects make natural products, such as pectin-derived products, ideal candidates for exerting synergism in combination with conventional anticancer drugs.

Concepts: Immune system, Cancer, Breast cancer, Oncology, Chemotherapy, Cell cycle, Leukemia, Lymphoma