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Journal: Journal of biomedical science


BACKGROUND: Brazilin, isolated from the heartwood of Caesalpinia sappan L., has been shown to possess multiple pharmacological properties. METHODS: In this study, platelet aggregation, flow cytometry, immunoblotting analysis, and electron spin resonance (ESR) spectrometry were used to investigate the effects of brazilin on platelet activation ex vivo. Moreover, fluorescein sodium-induced platelet thrombi of mesenteric microvessels was also used in in vivo study. RESULTS: We demonstrated that relatively low concentrations of brazilin (1 to 10 muM) potentiated platelet aggregation induced by collagen (0.1 mug/ml) in washed human platelets. Higher concentrations of brazilin (20 to 50 muM) directly triggered platelet aggregation. Brazilin-mediated platelet aggregation was slightly inhibited by ATP (an antagonist of ADP). It was not inhibited by yohimbine (an antagonist of epinephrine), by SCH79797 (an antagonist of thrombin protease-activated receptor [PAR] 1), or by tcY-NH2 (an antagonist of PAR 4). Brazilin did not significantly affect FITC-triflavin binding to the integrin alphaIIbbeta3 in platelet suspensions. Pretreatment of the platelets with caffeic acid phenethyl ester (an antagonist of collagen receptors) or JAQ1 and Sam.Q4 monoclonal antibodies raised against collagen receptor glycoprotein VI and integrin alpha2beta1, respectively, abolished platelet aggregation stimulated by collagen or brazilin. The immunoblotting analysis showed that brazilin stimulated the phosphorylation of phospholipase C (PLC)gamma2 and Lyn, which were significantly attenuated in the presence of JAQ1 and Sam.Q4. In addition, brazilin did not significantly trigger hydroxyl radical formation in ESR analysis. An in vivo mouse study showed that brazilin treatment (2 and 4 mg/kg) significantly shortened the occlusion time for platelet plug formation in mesenteric venules. CONCLUSION: To the best of our knowledge, this study provides the first evidence that brazilin acts a novel collagen receptor agonist. Brazilin is a plant-based natural product, may offer therapeutic potential as intended anti-thrombotic agents for targeting of collagen receptors or to be used a useful tool for the study of detailed mechanisms in collagen receptors-mediated platelet activation.

Concepts: Signal transduction, Cell biology, In vivo, Platelet, Receptor antagonist, Serotonin, Inverse agonist, GPVI


BACKGROUND: Honokiol, a cell-permeable phenolic compound derived from the bark of magnolia trees and present in Asian herbal teas, has a unique array of pharmacological actions, including the inhibition of multiple autonomic responses. We determined the effects of honokiol on calcium signaling underlying transmission mediated by human M3 muscarinic receptors expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Receptor binding was determined in radiolabelled ligand binding assays; changes in intracellular calcium concentrations were determined using a fura-2 ratiometric imaging protocol; cytotoxicity was determined using a dye reduction assay. RESULTS: Honokiol had a potent (EC50 [almost equal to] 5 mumol/l) inhibitory effect on store operated calcium entry (SOCE) that was induced by activation of the M3 receptors. This effect was specific, rapid and partially reversible, and was seen at concentrations not associated with cytotoxicity, inhibition of IP3 receptor-mediated calcium release, depletion of ER calcium stores, or disruption of M3 receptor binding. CONCLUSIONS: It is likely that an inhibition of SOCE contributes to honokiol disruption of parasympathetic motor functions, as well as many of its beneficial pharmacological properties.

Concepts: Receptor, Cell signaling, Acetylcholine, G protein coupled receptors, Metabotropic receptor, Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor, Oxybutynin, Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M3


BACKGROUND: In Oncology, the resistance of the cancerous cells to chemotherapy continues to be the principal limitation. The nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-kappaB) transcription factor plays an important role in tumor escape and resistance to chemotherapy and this factor regulates several pathways that promote tumor survival including some antiapoptotic proteins such as Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL. In this study, we investigated, in U937 human leukemia cells, the effects of Pentoxifylline (PTX) and the MG132 proteasome inhibitor, drugs that can disrupt the NF-kappaB pathway. For this, we evaluated viability, apoptosis, cell cycle, caspases-3, -8, -9, cytochrome c release, mitochondrial membrane potential loss, p65 phosphorylation, and the modification in the expression of pro- and antiapoptotic genes, and the Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL antiapoptotic proteins. RESULTS: The two drugs affect the viability of the leukemia cells in a time-dependent manner. The greatest percentage of apoptosis was obtained with a combination of the drugs; likewise, PTX and MG132 induce G1 phase cell cycle arrest and cleavage of caspases -3,-8, -9 and cytochrome c release and mitochondrial membrane potential loss in U937 human leukemia cells. In these cells, PTX and the MG132 proteasome inhibitor decrease p65 (NF-kappaB subunit) phosphorylation and the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL. We also observed, with a combination of these drugs overexpression of a group of the proapoptotic genes BAX, DIABLO, and FAS while the genes BCL-XL, MCL-1, Survivin, IkappaB, and P65 were downregulated. CONCLUSIONS: The two drugs used induce apoptosis per se, this cytotoxicity was greater with combination of both drugs. These observations are related with the caspases -9, -3 cleavage and G1 phase cell cycle arrest, and a decrease in p65 phosphorylation and Bcl-2 and Bcl-XL proteins. As well as this combination of drugs promotes the upregulation of the proapoptotic genes and downregulation of antiapoptotic genes. These observations strongly confirm antileukemic potential.

Concepts: DNA, Cell nucleus, Gene expression, Cell, Cancer, Apoptosis, Cell cycle, Bcl-2


Hematological and biochemical abnormalities are among the most common clinicopathological manifestations of HIV patients on ART. Consequently, the development and assessment of indigenous antiretroviral drugs with minimal abnormalities becomes a necessity. The objective of this investigation was to assess potential haematological and biochemical abnormalities that may be associated with the administration of Winniecure ART in HIV patients undergoing treatment in Nigeria. Fifty (50) confirmed HIV positive ART naive patients aged 36 +/- 10 were observed for haematological and biochemical responses for 12 weeks. Haematological responses were assessed thrice at 6 weeks interval using coulter Ac-T differential analyser and biochemical indicators (bilirubin, creatine, urea, amylase, ALT, ALP, AST, albumin) assayed spectrophotometrically.

Concepts: Antiretroviral drug, HIV, AIDS, Protease inhibitor, Viral load, Hepatitis, Assessment, Antiretroviral drugs


Autologous adipose stromal vascular fractions (SVFs) containing adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ASCs) are currently being used in clinical settings for various orthopedic applications for human patients. Due to its potential capability of regenerating cartilage, bone, and tendons, autologous adipose SVFs are being tried in treating patients with osteoarthritis (OA), chondromalacia, meniscus tear, osteonecrosis of the femoral head, and tendon injuries. Here, we have reviewed available human clinical studies with regard to patient applications of autologous adipose SVF containing ASCs, specifically assessing effectiveness and safety in the field of orthopedic disorders. All studies reviewed in this article presents potential benefits of autologous adipose SVF in various orthopedic applications without any serious side effects.

Concepts: Bone, Clinical trial, Collagen, Extracellular matrix, Effectiveness, Cartilage, Ligament, Tendon


Oil emulsions are commonly used as vaccine delivery platforms to facilitate slow release of antigen by forming a depot at the injection site. Antigen is trapped in the aqueous phase and as the emulsion degrades in vivo the antigen is passively released. DepoVax™ is a unique oil based delivery system that directly suspends the vaccine components in the oil diluent that forces immune cells to actively take up components from the formulation in the absence of passive release. The aim of this study was to use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with additional biological markers to evaluate and understand differences in clearance between several different delivery systems used in peptide-based cancer vaccines.

Concepts: Immune system, Oncology, Vaccine, Vaccination, Brain tumor, Nuclear magnetic resonance, Magnetic resonance imaging


Immunotherapy has recently emerged as the fourth pillar of cancer treatment, joining surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. While early immunotherapies focused on accelerating T-cell activity, current immune-checkpoint inhibitors take the brakes off the anti-tumor immune responses. Successful clinical trials with PD-1 monoclonal antibodies and other immune-checkpoint inhibitors have opened new avenues in cancer immunology. However, the failure of a large subset of cancer patients to respond to these new immunotherapies has led to intensified research on combination therapies and predictive biomarkers. Here we summarize the development of PD-1-blockade immunotherapy and current issues in its clinical use.

Concepts: Immune system, Antibody, Medicine, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Immunology, Humoral immunity, Immunity


Non-healing ulcers are a major health problem worldwide and have great impact at personal, professional and social levels, with high cost in terms of human and material resources. Recalcitrant non-healing ulcers are inevitable and detrimental to the lower limb and are a major cause of non-traumatic lower limb amputations. Application of autologous Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) has been a major breakthrough for the treatment of non-healing and diabetic foot ulcers, as it is an easy and cost-effective method, and provides the necessary growth factors that enhance tissue healing. PRP is a conglomeration of thrombocytes, cytokines and various growth factors which are secreted by α-granules of platelets that augment the rate of natural healing process with decrease in time. The purpose of this case series was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of autologous platelet rich plasma for the treatment of chronic non-healing ulcers on the lower extremity.

Concepts: Blood, Wound healing, Cell biology, Platelet, Serotonin, Limb, Blood products, Diabetic foot


The prevalence of psychiatric disorders which are characterized by cognitive decline is increasing at an alarming rate and account for a significant proportion of the global disease burden. Evidences from human and animal studies indicate that neurocognitive development is influenced by various environmental factors including nutrition. It has been established that nutrition affects the brain throughout life. However, the mechanisms through which nutrition modulates mental health are still not well understood. It has been suggested that the deficiencies of both vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids can have adverse effects on cognition and synaptic plasticity. Studies indicate a need for supplementation of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce the risk of cognitive decline, although the results of intervention trials using these nutrients in isolation are inconclusive. In the present article, we provide an overview of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids, the possible mechanisms and the evidences through which vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids modulate mental health and cognition. Understanding the role of vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids on brain functioning may provide important clues to prevent early cognitive deficits and later neurobehavioral disorders.

Concepts: Psychology, Brain, Nutrition, Fatty acid, Essential fatty acid, Omega-3 fatty acid, Vitamin, Cognition


Recent studies reported the critical role of the intrauterine environment of a fetus in growth or the development of disease in adulthood. In this article we discussed the implications of salt restriction in growth of a fetus and the development of growth-related disease in adulthood. Salt restriction causes retardation of fatal growth or intrauterine death thereby leading to low birth weight or decreased birth rate. Such retardation of growth along with the upregulation of the renin angiotensin system due to salt restriction results in the underdevelopment of cardiovascular organs or decreases the number of the nephron in the kidney and is responsible for onset of hypertension in adulthood. In addition, gestational salt restriction is associated with salt craving after weaning. Moreover, salt restriction is associated with a decrease in insulin sensitivity. A series of alterations in metabolism due to salt restriction are probably mediated by the upregulation of the renin angiotensin system and an epigenetic mechanism including proinflammatory substances or histone methylation. Part of the metabolic disease in adulthood may be programmed through such epigenetic changes. The modification of gene in a fetus may be switched on through environment factors or life style after birth. The benefits of salt restriction have been assumed thus far; however, more precise investigation is required of its influence on the health of fetuses and the onset of various diseases in adulthood.

Concepts: Kidney, Pregnancy, Embryo, Fetus, Abortion, Renin-angiotensin system, Gestational age, Renin