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Traditional Chinese medicinal herbs Cortex Moutan and Radix Salviae Milthiorrhizaeare are prescribed together for their putative cardioprotective effects in clinical practice. However, the rationale of the combined use remains unclear. The present study was designed to investigate the cardioprotective effects of paeonol and danshensu (representative active ingredient of Cortex Moutan and Radix Salviae Milthiorrhizae, respectively) on isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats and its underlying mechanisms. Paeonol (80 mg kg(-1)) and danshensu (160 mg kg(-1)) were administered orally to Sprague Dawley rats in individual or in combination for 21 days. At the end of this period, rats were administered isoproterenol (85 mg kg(-1)) subcutaneously to induce myocardial injury. After induction, rats were anaesthetized with pentobarbital sodium (35 mg kg(-1)) to record electrocardiogram, then sacrificed and biochemical assays of the heart tissues were performed. Induction of rats with isoproterenol resulted in a marked (P<0.001) elevation in ST-segment, infarct size, level of serum marker enzymes (CK-MB, LDH, AST and ALT), cTnI, TBARS, protein expression of Bax and Caspase-3 and a significant decrease in the activities of endogenous antioxidants (SOD, CAT, GPx, GR, and GST) and protein expression of Bcl-2. Pretreatment with paeonol and danshensu combination showed a significant (P<0.001) decrease in ST-segment elevation, infarct size, cTnI, TBARS, protein expression of Bax and Caspase-3 and a significant increase in the activities of endogenous antioxidants and protein expression of Bcl-2 and Nrf2 when compared with individual treated groups. This study demonstrates the cardioprotective effect of paeonol and danshensu combination on isoproterenol-induced myocardial infarction in rats. The mechanism might be associated with the enhancement of antioxidant defense system through activating of Nrf2 signaling and anti-apoptosis through regulating Bax, Bcl-2 and Caspase-3. It could provide experimental evidence to support the rationality of combinatorial use of traditional Chinese medicine in clinical practice. Source

Dysregulation of transcription factors (TFs) is associated with tumor progression, but little is known about TF expression patterns in the context of gastric cancer (GC) metastasis. Using array-based profile analysis, we found that 22 TFs showed differential activities between GC cell lines with low- and high-metastatic potential. Of this group of TFs, serum response factor (SRF) was significantly upregulated in metastatic GC cells. SRF expression was frequently elevated in a panel of metastatic GC cells and tissues, and high-level expression of SRF was significantly associated with a more aggressive phenotype and poor prognosis in patients with GC. In GC cell lines, overexpression of SRF potently promoted cell migration and invasion in vitro as well as the formation of intrahepatic and pulmonary metastases in vivo, whereas loss of SRF inhibited GC cell invasion and metastasis. We also performed a microRNA microarray to screen for transcriptional targets of SRF and found that SRF transactivates miR-199a-5p and miR-199a-3p by directly binding to their promoters. We further determined that overexpression of miR-199a-5p, but not miR-199a-3p, increased GC cell invasion and metastasis. In contrast, inhibition of miR-199a-5p impaired the metastatic potential of GC cells in vitro and in vivo, and E-cadherin was identified as a direct and functional target of miR-199a-5p in GC cells. Specifically, our results showed that SRF promotes GC metastasis and the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) though miR-199a-5p-mediated downregulation of E-cadherin. The present study thus provides insight into the specific biological behavior of SRF in GC metastasis. As increased activity of the SRF/miR-199a-5p/E-cadherin pathway appears to promote GC cell EMT and metastasis, these regulators may therefore be developed as therapeutic targets or biomarkers for GC progression.Cell Death and Differentiation advance online publication, 1 August 2014; doi:10.1038/cdd.2014.109. Source

Chen F.M.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University
Tissue engineering. Part B, Reviews

The management of periodontal tissue defects that result from periodontitis represents a medical and socioeconomic challenge. Concerted efforts have been and still are being made to accelerate and augment periodontal tissue and bone regeneration, including a range of regenerative surgical procedures, the development of a variety of grafting materials, and the use of recombinant growth factors. More recently, tissue-engineering strategies, including new cell- and/or matrix-based dimensions, are also being developed, analyzed, and employed for periodontal regenerative therapies. Tissue engineering in periodontology applies the principles of engineering and life sciences toward the development of biological techniques that can restore lost alveolar bone, periodontal ligament, and root cementum. It is based on an understanding of the role of periodontal formation and aims to grow new functional tissues rather than to build new replacements of periodontium. Although tissue engineering has merged to create more opportunities for predictable and optimal periodontal tissue regeneration, the technique and design for preclinical and clinical studies remain in their early stages. To date, the reconstruction of small- to moderate-sized periodontal bone defects using engineered cell-scaffold constructs is technically feasible, and some of the currently developed concepts may represent alternatives for certain ideal clinical scenarios. However, the predictable reconstruction of the normal structure and functionality of a tooth-supporting apparatus remains challenging. This review summarizes current regenerative procedures for periodontal healing and regeneration and explores their progress and difficulties in clinical practice, with particular emphasis placed upon current challenges and future possibilities associated with tissue-engineering strategies in periodontal regenerative medicine. Source

Zhang H.-M.,PLA Fourth Military Medical University | Zhang Y.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Journal of Pineal Research

Melatonin (N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine), an indoleamine produced in many organs including the pineal gland, was initially characterized as a hormone primarily involved in circadian regulation of physiological and neuroendocrine function. Subsequent studies found that melatonin and its metabolic derivatives possess strong free radical scavenging properties. These metabolites are potent antioxidants against both ROS (reactive oxygen species) and RNS (reactive nitrogen species). The mechanisms by which melatonin and its metabolites protect against free radicals and oxidative stress include direct scavenging of radicals and radical products, induction of the expression of antioxidant enzymes, reduction of the activation of pro-oxidant enzymes, and maintenance of mitochondrial homeostasis. In both in vitro and in vivo studies, melatonin has been shown to reduce oxidative damage to lipids, proteins and DNA under a very wide set of conditions where toxic derivatives of oxygen are known to be produced. Although the vast majority of studies proved the antioxidant capacity of melatonin and its derivatives, a few studies using cultured cells found that melatonin promoted the generation of ROS at pharmacological concentrations (μm to mm range) in several tumor and nontumor cells; thus, melatonin functioned as a conditional pro-oxidant. Mechanistically, melatonin may stimulate ROS production through its interaction with calmodulin. Also, melatonin may interact with mitochondrial complex III or mitochondrial transition pore to promote ROS production. Whether melatonin functions as a pro-oxidant under in vivo conditions is not well documented; thus, whether the reported in vitro pro-oxidant actions come into play in live organisms remains to be established. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

In vitro hypoxic preconditioning (HP) of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) could ameliorate their viability and tissue repair capabilities after transplantation into the injured tissue through yet undefined mechanisms. There is also experimental evidence that HP enhances the expression of both stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) receptors, CXCR4 and CXCR7, which are involved in migration and survival of MSCs in vitro, but little is known about their role in the in vivo therapeutic effectiveness of MSCs in renal ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Here, we evaluated the role of SDF-1-CXCR4/CXCR7 pathway in regulating chemotaxis, viability and paracrine actions of HP-MSCs in vitro and in vivo. Compared with normoxic preconditioning (NP), HP not only improved MSC chemotaxis and viability but also stimulated secretion of proangiogenic and mitogenic factors. Importantly, both CXCR4 and CXCR7 were required for the production of paracrine factors by HP-MSCs though the former was only responsible for chemotaxis while the latter was for viability. SDF-1α expression was upregulated in postischemic kidneys. After 24 h systemical administration following I/R, HP-MSCs but not NP-MSCs were selectively recruited to ischemic kidneys and this improved recruitment was abolished by neutralization of CXCR4, but not CXCR7. Furthermore, the increased recruitment of HP-MSCs was associated with enhanced functional recovery, accelerated mitogenic response, and reduced apoptotic cell death. In addition, neutralization of either CXCR4 or CXCR7 impaired the improved therapeutic potential of HP-MSCs. These results advance our knowledge about SDF-1-CXCR4/CXCR7 axis as an attractive target pathway for improving the beneficial effects of MSC-based therapies for renal I/R. Source

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