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Journal: Inflammopharmacology


The present work reports the purification and partial characterization of an antibacterial lectin (EmaL) obtained from Eugenia malaccensis seeds as well as the evaluation of its effect in the daily topical treatment of repairing process of cutaneous wounds in mice.

Concepts: Present, Wound healing, Healing, Eugenia


Aloe vera gel is widely used in the treatment of an array of disturbances, especially skin disorders. The wound-healing effects have been attributed to its moisturizing and anti-inflammatory effects as well as its beneficial effect on the maturation of collagen. The aim of the present study is to compare the effects of topically applied extracts of Aloe ferox with that of Aloe vera on the symptoms as well as IgE levels of a mouse model of atopic dermatitis (AD). Mice were sensitized and challenged with 2,4-dinitrochlorobenzene and treated afterwards for 10 consecutive days with the gels of either A. ferox or A. vera applied topically to the affected areas. A placebo gel was used for the control mice. Blood was collected at the beginning and end of the treatment period to measure serum IgE levels. Although the gels of both the Aloe species inhibited the cutaneous inflammatory response as well as serum IgE levels in the rats, the extracts of A. ferox were superior to that of A. vera in reducing IgE levels. The gels of A. ferox and A. vera, applied topically, may be a safe and useful alternative to antihistamines and topical corticosteroids, for the treatment of patients suffering from recurring chronic AD.

Concepts: Inflammation, Asthma, Anti-inflammatory, Topical, Aloe


BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION: In 1991, a deceased human male was found frozen in a glacier pool in the Italian Alps in north west Italy, and is now carefully preserved in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, in Bolzano, Italy. The bodily tissues of the 5,300 year old male (colloquially referred to as the Iceman or Ötzi) were well preserved despite damage related to freezing, and glacial movement. Associated articles of well-preserved clothing, tools, weapons and other devices were also present and have been studied in detail. Clinical examination and imaging investigations have also shown that the Icemen had experienced possible illnesses in his lifetime and had identifiable areas of arthritis and musculoskeletal injury. This report includes some key observations on the musculoskeletal state of Ötzi and reference to the involvement of tattoo markings. Some aspects about the aetiology of his abnormalities and inflammatory arthritis are considered along with possible treatments that he might have employed. METHODS AND RESULTS: We (WFK and MK) undertook a clinical musculoskeletal examination of the Iceman, details of which with available photographs and radiographic imaging pertaining to the musculoskeletal findings of the Iceman are reported here. The skin of the Iceman has numerous linear carbon tattoos, which are not of a decorative type. These have been presumed to possibly be “medicinal” tattoos administered for therapeutic reasons and may have been used in acupuncture-like treatment of pain. Spinal imaging identified areas of spinal damage and our observations have provided clues as to possible sites of spinal initiated pain and hence sites for administration of the “medicinal” tattoos. We observed body areas of the Iceman, in which imaging demonstrated arthritis and other forms of long-term musculoskeletal damage, but which do not have adjacent or corresponding “medicinal” tattoos. We contend that the back and leg “medicinal” tattoos correspond directly to sites of chronic right knee and right ankle pain, and left thoracolumbar pain. They also correspond to lower lumbar and sciatic referred radicular pain which may have a contributory cause related to the presence of a transitional lumbar 5 vertebra. Using recent published data (Keller et al. in Nature Commun 3:698, 2012. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1701 ) of the genome structure of the Iceman, we suggest some potential causes of the osteoarthritis or inflammatory joint injury may relate to presence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) infection. We speculate on possible medical applications of natural products for self-medication. CONCLUSIONS: These observations highlight several diagnostic features of musculoskeletal conditions in the Iceman with the possibility that tattoos may have been used for diagnosis or location of his painful states. The origins of his musculoskeletal conditions are unclear but there are indications that Lyme disease and CHD may have been factors. The associations or use of natural products may give insights into their applications at the time of the life of the Iceman.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Lyme disease, Pain, Arthritis, Borrelia burgdorferi, Borrelia, Ötzi the Iceman, Bolzano


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a painful, chronic disorder and there is currently an unmet need for effective therapies that will benefit a wide range of patients. The research and development process for therapies and treatments currently involves in vivo studies, which have the potential to cause discomfort, pain or distress. This Working Group report focuses on identifying causes of suffering within commonly used mouse and rat ‘models’ of RA, describing practical refinements to help reduce suffering and improve welfare without compromising the scientific objectives. The report also discusses other, relevant topics including identifying and minimising sources of variation within in vivo RA studies, the potential to provide pain relief including analgesia, welfare assessment, humane endpoints, reporting standards and the potential to replace animals in RA research.

Concepts: Medicine, Rheumatoid arthritis, In vivo, Pain, Rat, Mouse, Suffering, Pain management


Paracetamol is used worldwide for its analgesic and antipyretic actions. It has a spectrum of action similar to that of NSAIDs and resembles particularly the COX-2 selective inhibitors. Paracetamol is, on average, a weaker analgesic than NSAIDs or COX-2 selective inhibitors but is often preferred because of its better tolerance. Despite the similarities to NSAIDs, the mode of action of paracetamol has been uncertain, but it is now generally accepted that it inhibits COX-1 and COX-2 through metabolism by the peroxidase function of these isoenzymes. This results in inhibition of phenoxyl radical formation from a critical tyrosine residue essential for the cyclooxygenase activity of COX-1 and COX-2 and prostaglandin (PG) synthesis. Paracetamol shows selectivity for inhibition of the synthesis of PGs and related factors when low levels of arachidonic acid and peroxides are available but conversely, it has little activity at substantial levels of arachidonic acid and peroxides. The result is that paracetamol does not suppress the severe inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and acute gout but does inhibit the lesser inflammation resulting from extraction of teeth and is also active in a variety of inflammatory tests in experimental animals. Paracetamol often appears to have COX-2 selectivity. The apparent COX-2 selectivity of action of paracetamol is shown by its poor anti-platelet activity and good gastrointestinal tolerance. Unlike both non-selective NSAIDs and selective COX-2 inhibitors, paracetamol inhibits other peroxidase enzymes including myeloperoxidase. Inhibition of myeloperoxidase involves paracetamol oxidation and concomitant decreased formation of halogenating oxidants (e.g. hypochlorous acid, hypobromous acid) that may be associated with multiple inflammatory pathologies including atherosclerosis and rheumatic diseases. Paracetamol may, therefore, slow the development of these diseases. Paracetamol, NSAIDs and selective COX-2 inhibitors all have central and peripheral effects. As is the case with the NSAIDs, including the selective COX-2 inhibitors, the analgesic effects of paracetamol are reduced by inhibitors of many endogenous neurotransmitter systems including serotonergic, opioid and cannabinoid systems. There is considerable debate about the hepatotoxicity of therapeutic doses of paracetamol. Much of the toxicity may result from overuse of combinations of paracetamol with opioids which are widely used, particularly in USA.

Concepts: Rheumatology, Cyclooxygenase, Enzyme inhibitor, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Paracetamol, Diclofenac, Aspirin, COX-2 inhibitor


Obesity means the accumulation of excessive fat that may interfere with the maintenance of optimal state of health. Obesity causes cardiac and vascular disease through well-known mediators such as hypertension, type-2 diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia, but there are evidences for other mediators such as chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and thrombosis. The decreased levels of antioxidants factors and nitric oxide predispose to further cardiovascular adverse events. To reduce the risks, antioxidants can help by neutralizing the free radicals and protecting from damage by donating electrons. Having the capacity, vitamin C protects from oxidative stress, prevention of non-enzymatic glycosylation of proteins, and enhances arterial dilation through its effect on nitric oxide release. It also decreases lipid peroxidation, and alleviates inflammation. The anti-inflammatory property of vitamin C could be attributed to ability to modulate the NF-kB DNA binding activity and down-regulation in the hepatic mRNA expression for the interleukins and tumor factors.

Concepts: Nutrition, Atherosclerosis, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, Glucose, Antioxidant, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome


Oxidative stress has a key role in the pathogenesis of type II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and its vascular complications. Antioxidant therapy has been suggested as a potential approach to blunt T2DM development and progression. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of supplementation with curcuminoids, which are natural polyphenolics from turmeric, on oxidative indices in diabetic individuals.

Concepts: Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus


There is a growing body of evidence that plant polyphenols such as resveratrol, anthocyanins, catechins, and terpenes like taxol are effectively used in the treatment of chronic conditions including cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinsonism, diabetes, aging, etc. The link between oxidative stress and inflammation is well accepted. Thus, the mechanism of action of these natural products is partly believed to be through their significant antioxidant properties. The main constituent of green tea, with clinical significance, is epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It has been associated with antitumor, anti-Alzheimer, and anti-aging properties, improve redox status at the tissue level possibly preventing system level structural damage. This review focuses on EGCG and its potential therapeutic role in health and disease.

Concepts: Medicine, Death, Antioxidant, Catechin, Green tea, Tannin, Polyphenol, Epigallocatechin gallate


Mental health is closely linked to physical health. Depression (e.g., major depression) is highly prevalent worldwide and a major cause of disability. In a subgroup with treatment-resistant depression, standard pharmacotherapy interventions provide small if any incremental improvement in patient outcomes and may also require the application of an alternate approach. Therefore, in addition to the standard pharmacotherapies prescribed, patients will also be advised on the benefits of psychological counseling, electroconvulsive therapy, and transcranial magnetic stimulation or increasing physical activity and reducing harmful substance consumption. Numerous nutraceuticals have a beneficial role in treatment-resistant depression and include, herbal medicines of which Hypericum perforatum is the best studied, omega-3 fatty acid preparations, S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAMe), various mineral formulations (e.g., magnesium) and folate (singly or in combination with B group vitamins) are prescribed to a lesser extent. Furthermore, a largely neglected area of research activity has been the role of live probiotic cultures that contribute to repairing dysbiosis (a leaky gut barrier abnormality) in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). In this commentary, we build a hypothesis that in addition suggests that GIT metabolites that are elaborated by the microbiome cohort may provide novel and significant avenues for efficacious therapeutic interventions for mood disorders. We posit that the microbiome in the gastrointestinal tract is implicit as an important participant for the amelioration of adverse mood conditions via the diverse metabolic activities provided by live beneficial bacteria (probiotics) as an active adjuvant treatment. This activity is in part triggered by a controlled release of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and hence further questions the antioxidant/oxidative stress postulate.

Concepts: Metabolism, Nutrition, Fatty acid, Triglyceride, Omega-3 fatty acid, Probiotic, Major depressive disorder, Mood disorder


Cannabinoids affect immune responses in ways that may be beneficial for autoimmune diseases. We sought to determine whether chronic Cannabis use differentially modulates a select number of immune parameters in healthy controls and individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS cases). Subjects were enrolled and consented to a single blood draw, matched for age and BMI. We measured monocyte migration isolated from each subject, as well as plasma levels of endocannabinoids and cytokines. Cases met definition of MS by international diagnostic criteria. Monocyte cell migration measured in control subjects and individuals with MS was similarly inhibited by a set ratio of phytocannabinoids. The plasma levels of CCL2 and IL17 were reduced in non-naïve cannabis users irrespective of the cohorts. We detected a significant increase in the endocannabinoid arachidonoylethanolamine (AEA) in serum from individuals with MS compared to control subjects, and no significant difference in levels of other endocannabinoids and signaling lipids irrespective of Cannabis use. Chronic Cannabis use may affect the immune response to similar extent in individuals with MS and control subjects through the ability of phytocannabinoids to reduce both monocyte migration and cytokine levels in serum. From a panel of signaling lipids, only the levels of AEA are increased in individuals with MS, irrespective of Cannabis use or not. Our results suggest that both MS cases and controls respond similarly to chronic Cannabis use with respect to the immune parameters measured in this study.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Chemotherapy, Immunology, Interferon, Multiple sclerosis, Lupus erythematosus