Tokushima-shi, Japan
Tokushima-shi, Japan

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Yoshida I.,Shikoku Junior College | Ito C.,Tokushima University | Matsuda S.,Tokushima University | Tsuji A.,Tokushima University | And 2 more authors.
Bioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry | Year: 2017

To develop new whitening agents from natural products, we screened 80 compounds derived from crude drugs in Kampo medicine in a melanin synthesis inhibition assay using murine B16 melanoma cells. The screen revealed that treatment with alisol B, a triterpene from Alismatis rhizoma, significantly decreased both melanin content and cellular tyrosinase activity in B16 cells. However, alisol B did not directly inhibit mushroom tyrosinase activity in vitro. Therefore, we investigated the mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect of alisol B on melanogenesis. Alisol B suppressed mRNA induction of tyrosinase and its transcription factor, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). Furthermore, alisol B reduced the phosphorylation of CREB and maintained the activation of ERK1/2. These results suggest that the reduction in melanin production by alisol B is due to the downregulation of MITF through the suppression of CREB and activation of ERK and that alisol B may be useful as a new whitening agent. © 2017 Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry.


Morita K.,Shikoku University | Nishibori N.,Shikoku University | Nishibori N.,Shikoku Junior College | Kishibuchi R.,Shikoku University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Dietary Supplements | Year: 2016

Fermented brown rice with Aspergillus oryzae, designated as FBRA, is known to be commercially available dietary fiber-rich food, which is appreciated as prebiotics to improve intestinal microflora, and also shown to contain various biologically active substances including polyphenolic compounds. On the other hand, polyphenolic compounds have been suggested to stimulate the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene in connection with the expression of heme oxidase-1 (HO-1) gene in glial cells, thus resulting in the augmentation of BDNF production in the brain, thereby being anticipated to have a putative effect on the brain function. Then, the effect of FBRA extract on HO-1 and BDNF messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels in C6 glioma cells was examined, and the extract was shown to stimulate both HO-1 and BDNF gene transcription in the glioma cells. Further studies showed that the stimulatory effect of FBRA extract on BDNF gene transcription was almost completely suppressed by silencing HO-1 gene expression with an HO-1 antisense oligodeoxynucleotide and also inhibiting HO-1 activity with an inhibitor zinc protoporphyrin, thus suggesting that FBRA might have a potential ability to induce BDNF gene expression through HO-1 activity in glial cells. 2016 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC


Nishibori N.,Shikoku Junior College | Nishibori N.,Shikoku University | Kishibuchi R.,Shikoku University | Morita K.,Shikoku University
Journal of Dietary Supplements | Year: 2016

Soy pulp, called “okara” in Japanese, is known as a by-product of the production of bean curd (tofu), and expected to contain a variety of biologically active substances derived from soybean. However, the biological activities of okara ingredients have not yet been fully understood, and the effectiveness of okara as a functional food seems necessary to be further evaluated. Then the effect of okara extract on angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) activity was examined in vitro, and the extract was shown to cause the inhibition of ACE activity in a manner depending on its concentration. Kinetic analysis indicated that this enzyme inhibition was accompanied by an increase in the Km value without any change in Vmax. Further studies suggested that putative inhibitory substances contained in the extract might be heat stable and dialyzable, and recovered mostly in the peptide fraction obtained by a spin-column separation and a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) fractionation. Therefore, the extract was speculated to contain small-size peptides responsible for the inhibitory effect of okara extract on ACE activity, and could be expected to improve the hypertensive conditions by reducing the production of hypertensive peptide. 2016 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC


Morita K.,Shikoku University | Lee M.-S.,Korea Basic Science Institute | Her S.,Korea Basic Science Institute | Nishibori N.,Shikoku Junior College
Cell Biology International | Year: 2014

Polyamines are widely distributed in living organisms, and considered to play a potential role in various cellular processes. The effects of polyamines on gene expression as well as cell proliferation have been suggested to be closely associated with the physiological and pathological functions. However, it seems necessary to investigate their potential roles in the regulation of cellular metabolism and functions. Previously, glial cells have been suggested to be involved in the protection and preservation of neuronal functions, probably through the production of neurotrophic factors in the brain. On the other hand, neuroactive 5α-reduced steroids promote glial cell differentiation, resulting in enhancement of their ability to produce brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Based on these findings, polyamines are assumed to stimulate the expression of the gene encoding steroid 5α-reductase (5α-R), which can induce the production of neuroactive 5α-reduced steroids in glial cells. The effects of polyamines on 5α-R mRNA levels in C6 glioma cells were examined as a model experiment. In consequence, spermine (SPM) and spermidine (SPD), but not putrescine (PUT), have been shown to elevate 5α-R mRNA levels without activating the 5α-R promoter. Furthermore, SPM increased 5α-R mRNA levels under the conditions in which the mRNA biosynthesis was inhibited. Therefore, it can be speculated that polyamines increase 5α-R mRNA levels as a consequence of suppressing the degradation of mRNA. © 2014 International Federation for Cell Biology.


Itoh M.,Shikoku University | Nishibori N.,Shikoku Junior College | Sagara T.,Shikoku Junior College | Horie Y.,Kohken Co. Inc. | And 2 more authors.
Phytotherapy Research | Year: 2012

Brown rice fermented with Aspergillus oryzae, designated as FBRA, is a dietary fiber-rich food, and fully appreciated as one of the prebiotics, which are generally considered to be beneficial to the health of the body, because of stimulating the growth and/or the activity of bacteria in the digestive system. To assess the effectiveness of FBRA as a functional food, the direct effect of FBRA extract on human colorectal tumor cells was examined. The exposure of HCT116 cells to FBRA extract reduced their viabilities in a concentration- dependent manner, and the reduction of the cell viability might be attributed to the induction of apoptosis probably through the oxidative damage to the cells. Further studies showed that FBRA extract caused a significant elevation of Bax protein and a slight reduction of Bcl2 protein levels, and furthermore caused the activation of caspase-3 in the cells. Thus, it seems reasonable to conclude that FBRA extract can exert oxidative damage to the cells, resulting in apoptotic cell death by activating the mitochondrial pathway in human colorectal tumor cells. Therefore, daily intake of FBRA can be expected to be beneficial for preventing carcinogenesis and/or suppressing tumor growth in the digestive tract. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Morita K.,Shikoku University | Itoh M.,Shikoku University | Itoh M.,Tokushima University | Nishibori N.,Shikoku Junior College | And 2 more authors.
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology | Year: 2014

Blue-green algae are known to contain biologically active proteins and non-protein substances and considered as useful materials for manufacturing the nutritional supplements. Particularly, Spirulina has been reported to contain a variety of antioxidants, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C, thereby exerting their protective effects against the oxidative damage to the cells. In addition to their antioxidant actions, polyphenolic compounds have been speculated to cause the protection of neuronal cells and the recovery of neurologic function in the brain through the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in glial cells. Then, the protein-deprived extract was prepared by removing the most part of protein components from aqueous extract of Spirulina platensis, and the effect of this extract on BDNF gene transcription was examined in C6 glioma cells. Consequently, the protein-deprived extract was shown to cause the elevation of BDNF mRNA levels following the expression of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in the glioma cells. Therefore, the non-protein components of S. platensis are considered to stimulate BDNF gene transcription through the HO-1 induction in glial cells, thus proposing a potential ability of the algae to indirectly modulate the brain function through the glial cell activity. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Sagara T.,Shokei College | Nishibori N.,Shikoku Junior College | Kishibuchi R.,Shikoku University | Itoh M.,Shikoku University | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Phycology | Year: 2015

The abnormal accumulation of iron in the brain has been suggested to be toxic to neuronal cells and proposed as a possible cause of neurodegenerative disorders. Particularly, studies on the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases have suggested that the excessive accumulation of iron in the specific brain regions may be responsible for neurodegenerative changes associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. As a part of studies searching for natural substances protecting neuronal cells against the iron-evoked toxic injury, an aqueous extract containing the non-protein components of the cyanobacterium Arthrospira (Spirulina) platensis, designated “the protein-deprived extract”, was prepared, and its effect on the iron-evoked damage to PC12 cells was examined in an in vitro model experiment. The protein-deprived extract caused a protective effect against the iron-evoked damage to PC12 cells as a consequence of preventing the free radical-evoked DNA degradation. Further studies showed that the extract has antioxidant and free radical-scavenging activities, which might be based on polyphenolic compounds in the extract. Thus, polyphenolic compounds contained in A. platensis are suggested to be potentially active substances responsible for the protective effect of Arthrospira extract against the iron-evoked neurotoxicity and possibly for the protection of neurodegenerative disorders induced by excessive iron accumulation in the brain. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.


PubMed | Shikoku Junior College and Shikoku University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of dietary supplements | Year: 2016

Soy pulp, called okara in Japanese, is known as a by-product of the production of bean curd (tofu), and expected to contain a variety of biologically active substances derived from soybean. However, the biological activities of okara ingredients have not yet been fully understood, and the effectiveness of okara as a functional food seems necessary to be further evaluated. Then the effect of okara extract on angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) activity was examined in vitro, and the extract was shown to cause the inhibition of ACE activity in a manner depending on its concentration. Kinetic analysis indicated that this enzyme inhibition was accompanied by an increase in the Km value without any change in Vmax. Further studies suggested that putative inhibitory substances contained in the extract might be heat stable and dialyzable, and recovered mostly in the peptide fraction obtained by a spin-column separation and a high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) fractionation. Therefore, the extract was speculated to contain small-size peptides responsible for the inhibitory effect of okara extract on ACE activity, and could be expected to improve the hypertensive conditions by reducing the production of hypertensive peptide.


PubMed | Hiroshima University, Shikoku Junior College and Tokushima University
Type: | Journal: Bioscience, biotechnology, and biochemistry | Year: 2017

To develop new whitening agents from natural products, we screened 80 compounds derived from crude drugs in Kampo medicine in a melanin synthesis inhibition assay using murine B16 melanoma cells. The screen revealed that treatment with alisol B, a triterpene from Alismatis rhizoma, significantly decreased both melanin content and cellular tyrosinase activity in B16 cells. However, alisol B did not directly inhibit mushroom tyrosinase activity in vitro. Therefore, we investigated the mechanism underlying the inhibitory effect of alisol B on melanogenesis. Alisol B suppressed mRNA induction of tyrosinase and its transcription factor, microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF). Furthermore, alisol B reduced the phosphorylation of CREB and maintained the activation of ERK1/2. These results suggest that the reduction in melanin production by alisol B is due to the downregulation of MITF through the suppression of CREB and activation of ERK and that alisol B may be useful as a new whitening agent.


PubMed | Shikoku Junior College
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of applied toxicology : JAT | Year: 2013

Palytoxin (PTX) is a potent marine toxin that causies serious damage to various tissues and organs. It has been reported to affect the transport of cations across the plasma membranes, which is commonly recognized as being the principal mechanism of its highly toxic action on mammals, including humans. However, although some marine toxins have been shown to cause toxic effects on the nervous system by interfering with the transmission of nerve impulses, the effect of PTX on neuronal cells has not yet been fully elucidated. Therefore, the toxic action of PTX on PC12 cells was examined as an in vitro model experiment to elucidate the neurotoxic properties of this toxin, and PTX was shown to reduce the viability of PC12 cells in a concentration-dependent manner. The cytotoxic action of PTX was not significantly altered by the presence of the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine and reduced-form glutathione in the cultures. Fluorescence staining of the cells and the electrophoretic analysis of genomic DNA showed that PTX failed to cause chromatin condensation and DNA fragmentation within the cells. On the other hand, the exposure to PTX caused positive staining of the cytoplasmic space of the cells with propidium iodide and the release of lactate dehydrogenase into the culture medium. Based on these observations, PTX is considered to cause cell death as a consequence of disrupting the plasma membranes, thus causing nonoxidative necrotic damage to PC12 cells.

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