Acta Pharmacologica Sinica Journal Impact Factor & Information

Publisher: Zhongguo yao li xue hui; Shanghai yao wu yan jiu suo; Zhongguo ke xue yuan, Nature Publishing Group

Journal description

Acta Pharmacologica Sinica, published monthly, is the official journal of the Chinese Pharmacological Society and Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences. APS was registered as an English international journal in 2000. APS has gained a well-earned reputation during the last two decades for its persisting in reporting researches of high scientific quality.The APS welcomes current original researches on all aspects of life sciences, both experimental and clinical, from any part of the world. Reviews based primarily on authors' own research of internationally important topics are especially welcome.

Current impact factor: 2.91

Impact Factor Rankings

2015 Impact Factor Available summer 2016
2014 Impact Factor 2.912
2013 Impact Factor 2.496
2012 Impact Factor 2.354
2011 Impact Factor 1.953
2010 Impact Factor 1.909
2009 Impact Factor 1.783
2008 Impact Factor 1.676
2007 Impact Factor 1.677
2006 Impact Factor 1.397
2005 Impact Factor 1.123
2004 Impact Factor 1.125
2003 Impact Factor 0.884
2002 Impact Factor 0.688
2001 Impact Factor 0.631
1996 Impact Factor 0.197

Impact factor over time

Impact factor

Additional details

5-year impact 2.83
Cited half-life 6.90
Immediacy index 0.37
Eigenfactor 0.01
Article influence 0.67
Website Acta Pharmacologica Sinica website
Other titles Acta pharmacologica Sinica (Online), APS, Acta pharmacologica Sinica, Zhongguo yao li xue bao
ISSN 1671-4083
OCLC 51169124
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Nature Publishing Group

  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 6 months embargo
  • Conditions
    • Authors retain copyright
    • Published source must be acknowledged and DOI cited
    • Must link to publisher version
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On author's personal website and institutional repository
    • If funding agency rules apply, authors may post authors version to their relevant funding body's archive, 6 months after publication
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Nature Publishing Group'
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Platycodin D, the main saponin isolated from Chinese herb Platycodonis Radix, exhibits anticancer activities against various cancer cell lines. Here we evaluated its anticancer action against human hepatocellular carcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo, and elucidated the relationship between platycodin D-induced apoptosis and autophagy. Methods: The viability of human hepatocellular carcinoma BEL-7402 cells was evaluated with MTT assay, and the apoptosis was examined using Annexin V/PI and Hoechst 33342 staining assays. Monodansylcadaverine (MDC) staining was used to label autophagic vacuoles. The proteins were detected using Western blot analysis. For studying its anticancer action in vivo, platycodin D (5, 10 mg· kg(-1)· d(-1)) was intraperitoneally injected to BEL-7402-bearing mice for 21 days. Results: Platycodin D (5-40 μmol/L) inhibited the cell proliferation in vitro with IC50 values of 37.70±3.99, 24.30±2.30 and 19.70±2.36 μmol/L at 24, 48 and 72 h, respectively. Platycodin D (5-20 μmol/L) dose-dependently increased BEL-7402 cell apoptosis, increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the levels of cleaved PARP and cleaved caspase-3, and decreased the level of Bcl-2. Furthermore, platycodin D (5-20 μmol/L) induced autophagy in BEL-7402 cells, as evidenced by formation of cytoplasmic vacuoles, increased amounts of LC3-II, and increased numbers of MDC-positive cells. Pretreatment with the autophagy inhibitor chloroquine (5 μmol/L) or BAF (50 nmol/L) significantly enhanced platycodin D-induced proliferation inhibition and apoptosis. Moreover, platycodin D (20 μmol/L) activated the ERK and JNK pathways in BEL-7402 cells, and simultaneous blockage of the two pathways effectively suppressed platycodin D-induced autophagy and enhanced platycodin D-induced apoptosis. In BEL-7402-bearing mice, platycodin D (10 mg•kg(-1)•d(-1)) significantly reduced relative tumor volume with decreased body weight. Conclusion: Platycodin D not only inhibits the proliferation of BEL-7402 cells but also suppresses BEL-7402 xenograft tumor growth. Platycodin D-induced cell proliferation inhibition and apoptosis are amplified by co-treatment with autophagy inhibitors.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.99
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: We have reported novel anticancer bioactive peptides (ACBPs) that show tumor-suppressive activities in human gastric cancer, leukemia, nasopharyngeal cancer, and gallbladder cancer. In this study, we investigated the effects of ACBPs on human colorectal cancer and the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Cell growth and apoptosis of human colorectal tumor cell line HCT116 were measured using cell proliferation assay and flow cytometry, respectively. The expression levels of PARP, p53 and Mcl1A were assessed with Western blotting and immunohistochemistry. For evaluation of the in vivo antitumor activity of ACBPs, HCT116 xenograft nude mice were treated with ACBPs (35 μg/mL, ip) for 10 days. Results: Treatment of HCT116 cells with ACBPs (35 μg/mL) for 4-6 days significantly inhibited the cell growth. Furthermore, treatment of HCT116 cells with ACBPs (35 μg/mL) for 6-12 h significantly enhanced UV-induced apoptosis, increased the expression of PARP and p53, and decreased the expression of Mcl-1. Administration of ACBPs did not change the body weight of HCT116 xenograft nude mice, but decreased the tumor growth by approximately 43%, and increased the expression of PARP and p53, and decreased the expression of Mcl-1 in xenograft mouse tumor tissues. Conclusion: Administration of ACBPs inhibits human colorectal tumor cell growth and induces apoptosis in vitro and in vivo through modulating the PARP-p53-Mcl-1 signaling pathway.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.80
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex autoimmune disease characterized by the loss of tolerance to self-nuclear antigens. Accumulating evidence shows that Toll-like receptors (TLRs), previously proven to be critical for host defense, are implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases by recognition of self-molecules. Genome-wide association studies, experimental mouse models and clinical sample studies have provided evidence for the involvement of TLRs, including TLR2/4, TLR5, TLR3 and TLR7/8/9, in SLE pathogenesis. A number of downstream proteins in the TLR signaling cascade (such as MyD88, IRAKs and IFN-α) are identified as potential therapeutic targets for SLE treatment. Numerous antagonists targeting TLR signaling, including oligonucleotides, small molecular inhibitors and antibodies, are currently under preclinical studies or clinical trials for SLE treatment. Moreover, the emerging new manipulation of TLR signaling by microRNA (miRNA) regulation shows promise for the future treatment of SLE.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.91
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) plays an important role in the transport and metabolism of lipids. Recent studies show that bone mass is increased in young apoE(-/-) mice. In this study we investigated the bone phenotype and metabolism in aged apoE(-/-) mice. Methods: Femurs and tibias were collected from 18- and 72-week-old apoE(-/-) mice and their age-matched wild-type (WT) littermates, and examined using micro-CT and histological analysis. Serum levels of total cholesterol, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and bone turnover markers were measured. Cultured bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) from tibias and femurs of 18-week-old apoE(-/-) mice were used in experiments in vitro. The expression levels of Sirt1 and Runx2 in bone tissue and BMSCs were measured using RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Results: Compared with age-matched WT littermates, young apoE(-/-) mice exhibited high bone mass with increased bone formation, accompanied by higher serum levels of bone turnover markers OCN and TRAP5b, and higher expression levels of Sirt1, Runx2, ALP and OCN in bone tissue. In contrast, aged apoE(-/-) mice showed reduced bone formation and lower bone mass relative to age-matched WT mice, accompanied by lower serum OCN levels, and markedly reduced expression levels of Sirt1, Runx2, ALP and OCN in bone tissue. After BMSCs were exposed to ox-LDL (20 μg/mL), the expression of Sirt1 and Runx2 proteins was significantly increased at 12 h, and then decreased at 72 h. Treatment with the Sirt1 inhibitor EX527 (10 μmol/L) suppressed the expression of Runx2, ALP and OCN in BMSCs. Conclusion: In contrast to young apoE(-/-) mice, aged apoE(-/-) mice showe lower bone mass than age-matched WT mice. Long-lasting exposure to ox-LDL decreases the expression of Sirt1 and Runx2 in BMSCs, which may explain the decreased bone formation in aged apoE(-/-) mice.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.95
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Neferine is an isoquinoline alkaloid isolated from seed embryos of Nelumbo nucifera (Gaertn), which has a variety of biological activities. In this study we examined the effects of neferine on Kv4.3 channels, a major contributor to the transient outward current (Ito) in rabbit heart, and on ex vivo electrophysiology of rabbit hearts. Methods: Whole-cell Kv4.3 currents were recorded in HEK 293 cells expressing human cardiac Kv4.3 channels using patch-clamp technique. Arterially perfused wedges of rabbit left ventricles (LV) were prepared, and transmembrane action potentials were simultaneously recorded from epicardial (Epi) and endocardial (Endo) sites with floating microelectrodes together with transmural electrocardiography (ECG). Results: Neferine (0.1-100 μmol/L) dose-dependently and reversibly inhibited Kv4.3 currents (the IC50 value was 8.437 μmol/L, and the maximal inhibition at 100 μmol/L was 44.12%). Neferine (10 μmol/L) caused a positive shift of the steady-state activation curve of Kv4.3 currents, and a negative shift of the steady-state inactivation curve. Furthermore, neferine (10 μmol/L) accelerated the inactivation but not the activation of Kv4.3 currents, and markedly slowed the recovery of Kv4.3 currents from inactivation. Neferine-induced blocking of Kv4.3 currents was frequency-dependent. In arterially perfused wedges of rabbit LV, neferine (1, 3, and 10 μmol/L) dose-dependently prolonged the QT intervals and action potential durations (APD) at both Epi and Endo sites, and caused dramatic increase of APD10 at Epi sites. Conclusion: Neferine inhibits Kv4.3 channels likely by blocking the open state and inactivating state channels, which contributes to neferine-induced dramatic increase of APD10 at Epi sites of rabbit heart.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.83
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: The mitochondrial targeted 2C-type serine/threonine protein phosphatase (PP2Cm) is encoded by the gene PPM1K and is highly conserved among vertebrates. PP2Cm plays a critical role in branched-chain amino acid catabolism and regulates cell survival. Its expression is dynamically regulated by the nutrient environment and pathological stresses. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying the regulation of PPM1K gene expression. In this study, we aimed to reveal how PPM1K expression is affected by miRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation. Methods: Computational analysis based on conserved miRNA binding motifs was applied to predict the candidate miRNAs that potentially affect PPM1K expression. Dual-luciferase reporter assay was performed to verify the miRNAs' binding sites in the PPM1K gene and their influence on PPM1K 3'UTR activity. We further over-expressed the mimics of these miRNAs in human and mouse cells to examine whether miRNAs affected the mRNA level of PPM1K. Results: Computational analysis identified numerous miRNAs potentially targeting PPM1K. Luciferase reporter assays demonstrated that the 3'UTR of PPM1K gene contained the recognition sites of miR-204 and miR-211. Overexpression of these miRNAs in human and mouse cells diminished the 3'UTR activity and the endogenous mRNA level of PPM1K. However, the miR-22 binding site was found only in human and not mouse PPM1K 3'UTR. Accordingly, PPM1K 3'UTR activity was suppressed by miR-22 overexpression in human but not mouse cells. Conclusion: These data suggest that different miRNAs contribute to the regulation of PP2Cm expression in a species-specific manner. miR-204 and miR-211 are efficient in both mouse and human cells, while miR-22 regulates PP2Cm expression only in human cells.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.119
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: TPN729MA is a novel selective PDE5 inhibitor currently under clinical development in China for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. In this study we characterized its preclinical pharmacokinetics (PK) and predict its human PK using a physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. Methods: The preclinical PK of TPN729MA was studied in rats and dogs. Human clearance (CL) values for TPN729MA were predicted from various allometric methods and from intrinsic CL determined in human liver microsomes. Human PK and plasma concentration versus time profiles of TPN729MA were predicted by using a PBPK model in GastroPlus. Considering the uncertainties in the prediction, a preliminary human study was conducted in 3 healthy male volunteers with an oral dose of 25 mg. Results: After a single intravenous administration of TPN729MA at a dose of 1 mg/kg in rats and 3 mg/kg in dogs, the plasma CL was 69.7 mL·min(-1)·kg(-1) in rats and 26.3 mL·min(-1)·kg(-1) in dogs, and the steady-state volumes of distribution (Vss) were 7.35 L/kg in rats and 6.48 L/kg in dogs. The oral bioavailability of TPN729MA was 10% in rats and above 34% in dogs. Profiles of predicted plasma concentration versus time were similar to those observed in humans at 25 mg, and the predicted Tmax, Cmax and AUC values were within 2-fold of the observed values. Conclusion: TPN729MA demonstrates good preclinical PK. This compound is a valuable candidate for further clinical development. This study shows the benefits of using a PBPK model to predict PK in humans.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.118
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Xuezhikang (XZK), an extract of red yeast rice, has been widely used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat cardiovascular disease. Three fractions F1, F2 and F3 (primarily containing isoflavones, monacolins or phytosterols, respectively) are extracted from Xuezhikang capsules. In this study we evaluated the lipid-lowering effects of these fractions and explored the potential mechanisms of actions. Methods: Mice treated with a high-fat diet (HFD) were orally adminis¬tered lovastatin (10 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)), XZK (1200 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)), F1 (27.5 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)), F2 (11.3 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) or F3 (35 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1)) for 10 weeks. Lipids were measured using commercial enzymatic kits, and the mRNA and protein levels of genes involved in cholesterol and bile acid homeostasis were evaluated using qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis, respectively. Results: XZK increased the fecal excretion of lipids and bile acids, reduced serum TC, TG and LDL-C levels by 40%, 55% and 46%, respectively, and increased serum HDL-C by 31%. Administration of F1 repressed serum TC and TG by 24% and 52%, respectively, and elevated hepatic synthesis of CYP7A1. It also increased hepatic elimination of bile acids in the fecal excretions by 79% through upregulating BSEP and downregulating NTCP. Administration of F3 decreased serum TC, TG and LDL-C levels by 33%, 29% and 39%, respectively, and increased serum HDL-C by 28%, sig¬nificantly reduced intestinal absorption of cholesterol by inhibiting the transcription of NPC1L1, and elevated excretion of TC, FC and CE by 96%, 72% and 101%, respectively. Administration of F2 showed pharmacological effects similar to those of lovastatin. Conclusion: Isoflavones and phytosterols in XZK exert cholesterol-lowering effects in HFD mice through mechanisms that differ from those of lovastatin. Isoflavones and phytosterols act in a complimentary manner: through enhancing the elimination of bile acids and reducing intestinal cholesterol absorption, respectively.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.98
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for the treatment of diabetic erectile dysfunction (ED) is hampered by apoptosis of the transplanted cells. In diabetic ED, there is increased oxidative stress and decreased NO in the corpora cavernosa, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) induce apoptosis of the transplanted cells. In this study we examined whether and how autophagy was involved in ROS-induced apoptosis of MSCs. Methods: Mouse C3H10 MSCs were treated with H2O2 to simulate the high oxidative condition in diabetic ED. Cell viability was measured using MTT assay. Apoptosis was analyzed by flow cytometry. Apoptosis- and autophagy-related proteins were detected with Western blot assays. Intracellular autophagosome accumulation was studies using transmission electron microscopy. Results: Treatment of MSCs with H2O2 (50-400 μmol/L) inhibited the cell viability in concentration- and time-dependent manners. Furthermore, H2O2 (300 μmol/L) induced apoptosis, as well as activated autophagy in MSCs. Pretreatment with lysosome inhibitor chloroquine (10 μmol/L) or PI3K inhibitor 3-methyladenine (3MA, 5 mmol/L) significantly enhanced H2O2-induced cell death. Pretreatment with JNK inhibitor SP600125 (10 μmol/L) abrogated H2O2-induced accumulation of LC3-II, and attenuated H2O2-induced reduction of Bcl-2 levels in MSCs. Conclusion: ROS induce autophagy to counteract apoptosis in MSCs by activation of JNK. Thus, augmentation of autophagy may reduce apoptosis, prolonging MSC survival and improving MSC-based therapeutic efficacy for diabetic ED.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.101
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Recent evidence shows that cultured mycelium Cordyceps sinensis (CMCS) effectively protects against liver fibrosis in mice. Here, we investigated whether the anti-fibrotic action of CMCS was related to its regulation of the activity of hepatic natural killer (NK) cells in CCl4-treated mice. Methods: C57BL/6 mice were injected with 10% CCl4 (2 ml/kg, ip) 3 times per week for 4 weeks, and received CMCS (120 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), ig) during this period. In another part of experiments, the mice were also injected with an NK cell-deleting antibody ASGM-1 (20 μg, ip) 5 times in the first 3 weeks. After the mice were sacrificed, serum liver function, and liver inflammation, hydroxyproline content and collagen deposition were assessed. The numbers of hepatic NK cells and expression of NKG2D (activation receptor of NK cells) on isolated liver lymphocytes were analyzed using flow cytometry. Desmin expression and cell apoptosis in liver tissues were studied using desmin staining and TUNEL assay, respectively. The levels of α-SMA, TGF-β, RAE-1δ and RAE-1ε in liver tissues were determined by RT-qPCR. Results: In CCl4-treated mice, CMCS administration significantly improved liver function, attenuated liver inflammation and fibrosis, and increased the numbers of hepatic NK cells and expression level of NKG2D on hepatic NK cells. Furthermore, CMCS administration significantly decreased desmin expression in liver tissues, and increased TUNEL staining adjacent to hepatic stellate cells. Injection with NK cell-deleting ASGM-1 not only diminished the numbers of hepatic NK cells, but also greatly accelerated liver inflammation and fibrosis in CCl4-treated mice. In CCl4-treated mice with NK cell depletion, CMCS administration decelerated the rate of liver fibrosis development, and mildly upregulated the numbers of hepatic NK cells but without changing NKG2D expression. Conclusion: CMCS allevi¬ates CCl4-induced liver inflammation and fibrosis via promoting activation of hepatic NK cells. CMCS partially reverses ASGM-1-induced depletion of hepatic NK cells.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.129
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Aconiti Lateralis Radix Preparata is a traditional Chinese medicine used to treat chronic arthritis and is highly effective against rheumatoid arthritis. However, the effects of aconine, a derivative of aconitum alkaloids, on osteoclasts, which can absorb bone, remain unknown. Here, we investigated the effects of aconine on osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption in vitro. Methods: The viability of mouse leukemic monocyte/macrophage cell line RAW264.7 was measured using CCK-8 assays. Osteoclast differentiation was induced by incubation of RAW264.7 cells in the presence of RANKL, and assessed with TRAP staining assay. Bone resorption was examined with bone resorption pits assay. The expression of relevant genes and proteins was analyzed using RT-PCR and Western blots. The activation of NF-κB and nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) was examined using stable NF-κB and NFATc1 luciferase reporter gene systems, RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Results: Aconine (0.125, 0.25 μmol/L) did not affect the viability of RAW264.7 cells, but dose-dependently inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclast formation and bone resorptive activity. Furthermore, aconine dose-dependently inhibited the RANKL-induced activation of NF-κB and NFATc1 in RAW264.7 cells, and subsequently reduced the expression of osteoclast-specific genes (c-Src, β3-Integrin, cathepsin K and MMP-9) and the expression of dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein (DC-STAMP), which played an important role in cell-cell fusion. Conclusion: These findings suggest that aconine inhibits RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation in RAW264.7 cells by suppressing the activation of NF-κB and NFATc1 and the expression of the cell-cell fusion molecule DC-STAMP.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.85
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: To investigate the mechanisms underlying the activation of ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP) by iptakalim in cultured rat mesenteric microvascular endothelial cells (MVECs). Methods: Whole-cell KATP currents were recorded in MVECs using automated patch clamp devices. Nucleotides (ATP, ADP and UDP) were added to the internal perfusion system, whereas other drugs were added to the cell suspension on NPC-1 borosilicate glass chips. Results: Application of iptakalim (10, 100 μmol/L) significantly increased the whole-cell KATP currents, which were prevented by the specific KATP blocker glibenclamide (1.0 μmol/L). The opening of KATP channels by iptakalim depended upon the intracellular concentrations of ATP or NDPs: iptakalim activated KATP channels when the intracellular ATP or NDPs were at 100 or 1000 μmol/L, and was ineffective when the non-hydrolysable ATP analogue ATPγS (1000 μmol/L) was infused into the cells. In contrast, the KATP opener pinacidil activated KATP channels when the intracellular concentrations of ATP or NDPs ranged from 10 to 5000 μmol/L, and even ATPγS (1000 μmol/L) was infused into the cells. Conclusion: Iptakalim activates KATP channels in the endothelial cells of resistance blood vessels with a low metabolic status, and this activation is dependent on both ATP hydrolysis and ATP ligands.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.97
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Carvacrol (2-methyl-5-isopropylphenol), a phenolic monoterpene in the essential oils of the genera Origanum and Thymus, has been shown to exert a variety of therapeutic effects. Here we examined whether carvacrol protected neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against Fe(2+)-induced apoptosis and explored the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells were incubated with Fe(2+) for 24 h, and the cell viability was assessed with CCK-8 assay. TUNEL assay and flow cytometric analysis were performed to evaluate cell apoptosis. The mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and NF-κB p65 were determined using qPCR. The expression of relevant proteins was determined using Western blot analysis or immunofluorescence staining. Results: Treatment of SH-SY5Y cells with Fe(2+) (50-200 μmol/L) dose-dependently decreased the cell viability, which was significantly attenuated by pretreatment with carvacrol (164 and 333 μmol/L). Treatment with Fe(2+) increased the Bax level and caspase-3 activity, and decreased the Bcl-2 level, resulting in cell apoptosis. Furthermore, treatment with Fe(2+) significantly increased the gene expression of IL-1β, IL-6 and TNF-α, and induced the nuclear translocation of NF-κB. Treatment with Fe(2+) also significantly increased the phosphorylation of p38, ERK, JNK and IKK in the cells. Pretreatment with carvacrol significantly inhibited Fe(2+)-induced activation of NF-κB, expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, and cell apoptosis. Moreover, pretreatment with carvacrol inhibited Fe(2+)-induced phosphorylation of JNK and IKK, but not p38 and ERK in the cells. Conclusion: Carvacrol protects neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against Fe(2+)-induced apoptosis, which may result from suppressing the MAPK/JNK-NF-κB signaling pathways.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.90
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: To evaluate the SimCYP simulator ethnicity-specific population model for predicting the pharmacokinetics of midazolam, a typical CYP3A4/5 substrate, in Chinese after oral administration. Methods: The physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model for midazolam was developed using a SimCYP population-based simulator incorporating Chinese population demographic, physiological and enzyme data. A clinical trial was conducted in 40 Chinese subjects (the half was females) receiving a single oral dose of 15 mg midazolam. The subjects were separated into 4 groups based on age (20-50, 51-65, 66-75, and above 76 years), and the pharmacokinetics profiles of each age- and gender-group were determined, and the results were used to verify the PBPK model. Results: Following oral administration, the simulated profiles of midazolam plasma concentrations over time in virtual Chinese were in good agreement with the observed profiles, as were AUC and Cmax. Moreover, for subjects of varying ages (20-80 years), the ratios of predicted to observed clearances were between 0.86 and 1.12. Conclusion: The SimCYP PBPK model accurately predicted the pharmacokinetics of midazolam in Chinese from youth to old age. This study may provide novel insight into the prediction of CYP3A4/5-mediated pharmacokinetics in the Chinese population relative to Caucasians and other ethnic groups, which can support the rational design of bridging clinical trials.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.122
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: To character the specific metabolomics profiles in the sera of Chinese patients with mild persistent asthma and to explore potential metabolic biomarkers. Methods: Seventeen Chinese patients with mild persistent asthma and age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled. Serum samples were collected, and serum metabolites were analyzed using GC-MS coupled with a series of multivariate statistical analyses. Results: Clear intergroup separations existed between the asthmatic patients and control subjects. A list of differential metabolites and several top altered metabolic pathways were identified. The levels of succinate (an intermediate in tricarboxylic acid cycle) and inosine were highly upregulated in the asthmatic patients, suggesting a greater effort to breathe during exacerbation and hypoxic stress due to asthma. Other differential metabolites, such as 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and phenylalanine, were also identified. Furthermore, the differential metabolites possessed higher values of area under the ROC curve (AUC), suggesting an excellent clinical ability for the prediction of asthma. Conclusion: Metabolic activity is significantly altered in the sera of Chinese patients with mild persistent asthma. The data might be helpful for identifying novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for asthma.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; 36(11):1356-1366. DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.102
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Radiation-induced brain injury (RIBI) is the most common and severe adverse effect induced by cranial radiation therapy (CRT). In the present study, we examined the effects of the traditional Chinese medicine Shenqi Fuzheng Injection (SFI) on RIBI in mice, and explored the underlying mechanisms. Methods: C57BL/6J mice were subjected to a single dose of 20-Gy CRT. The mice were treated with SFI (20 mL·kg-1·d-1, ip) for 4 weeks. Morris water maze test was used to assess the cognitive changes. Evans blue leakage and a horseradish peroxidase (HRP) assay were used to evaluate the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The expression of inflammatory factors and microglial activation in brain tissues were detected using RT-PCR, Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining. Results: CRT caused marked reductions in the body weight and life span of the mice, and significantly impaired their spatial learning. Furthermore, CRT significantly increased the BBB permeability, number of activated microglia, expression levels of TNF-α and IL-1β, and the levels of phosphorylated p65 and PIDD-CC (the twice-cleaved fragment of p53-induced protein with a death domain) in the brain tissues. Four-week SFI treatment (administered for 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after CRT) not only significantly improved the physical status, survival, and spatial learning in CRT-treated mice, but also attenuated all the CRT-induced changes in the brain tissues. Four-week SFI pretreatment (administered for 4 weeks before CRT) was less effective. Conclusion: Administration of SFI effectively attenuates irradiation-induced brain injury via inhibition of the NF-κB signaling pathway and microglial activation.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 11/2015; 36(11):1288-1299. DOI:10.1038/aps.2015.69
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved and lysosome-dependent process for degrading and recycling cellular constituents. Autophagy is activated following an ischemic insult or preconditioning, but it may exert dual roles in cell death or survival during these two processes. Preconditioning or lethal ischemia may trigger autophagy via multiple signaling pathways involving endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, AMPK/TSC/mTOR, Beclin 1/BNIP3/SPK2, and FoxO/NF-κB transcription factors, etc. Autophagy then interacts with apoptotic and necrotic signaling pathways to regulate cell death. Autophagy may also maintain cell function by removing protein aggregates or damaged mitochondria. To date, the dual roles of autophagy in ischemia and preconditioning have not been fully clarified. The purpose of the present review is to summarize the recent progress in the mechanisms underlying autophagy activation during ischemia and preconditioning. A better understanding of the dual effects of autophagy in ischemia and preconditioning could help to develop new strategies for the preventive treatment of ischemia.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 03/2015; 36(4). DOI:10.1038/aps.2014.151
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: To study the effects of tanshinone IIA (TIIA) on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced acute lung injury in mice and the underlying mechanisms. Methods: Mice were injected with LPS (10 mg/kg, ip), then treated with TIIA (10 mg/kg, ip). Seven hours after LPS injection, the lungs were collected for histological study. Protein, LDH, TNF-α and IL-1β levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in lungs were measured. Cell apoptosis and Bcl-2, caspase-3, NF-κB and HIF-1α expression in lungs were assayed. Results: LPS caused marked histological changes in lungs, accompanied by significantly increased lung W/D ratio, protein content and LDH level in BALF, and Evans blue leakage. LPS markedly increased neutrophil infiltration in lungs and inflammatory cytokines in BALF. Furthermore, LPS induced cell apoptosis in lungs, as evidenced by increased TUNEL-positive cells, decreased Bcl-2 content and increased cleaved caspase-3 content. Moreover, LPS significantly increased the expression of NF-κB and HIF-1α in lungs. Treatment of LPS-injected mice with TIIA significantly alleviated these pathological changes in lungs. Conclusion: TIIA alleviates LPS-induced acute lung injury in mice by suppressing inflammatory responses and apoptosis, which is mediated via inhibition of the NF-κB and HIF-1α pathways.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 12/2014; 36(2). DOI:10.1038/aps.2014.112
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neurotrophins are involved in many physiological and pathological processes in the nervous system. They regulate and modify signal transduction, transcription and translation in neurons. It is recently demonstrated that the neurotrophin expression is regulated by microRNAs (miRNAs), changing our views on neurotrophins and miRNAs. Generally, miRNAs regulate neurotrophins and their receptors in at least two ways: (1) miRNAs bind directly to the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of isoform-specific mRNAs and post-transcriptionally regulate their expression; (2) miRNAs bind to the 3' UTR of the regulatory factors of neurotrophins and regulate their expression. On the other hand, neurotrophins can regulate miRNAs. The results of BNDF research show that neurotrophins regulate miRNAs in at least three ways: (1) ERK stimulation enhances the activation of TRBP (HIV-1 TAR RNA-binding protein) and Dicer, leading to the upregulation of miRNA biogenesis; (2) ERK-dependent upregulation of Lin28a (RNA-binding proteins) blocks select miRNA biogenesis; (3) transcriptional regulation of miRNA expression through activation of transcription factors, including CREB and NF-κB. These regulatory processes integrate positive and negative regulatory loops in neurotrophin and miRNA signaling pathways, and also expand the function of neurotrophins and miRNAs. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the regulatory networks between neurotrophins and miRNAs in brain diseases and cancers, for which novel cutting edge therapeutic, delivery and diagnostic approaches are emerging.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 12/2014; 36(2). DOI:10.1038/aps.2014.135
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aim: Interferon-γ inducible protein 16 (IFI16), a DNA sensor for DNA double-strand break (DSB), is expressed in most human hepatocellular carcinoma cell (HCC) lines. In this study we investigated the re-localization of chromatin-bound IFI16 by Nutlin-3, a DNA damage agent, in HCC cells in vitro, and the potential mechanisms. Methods: Human HCC SMMC-7721 (wild-type TP53), Huh-7 (mutant TP53), Hep3B (null TP53) and normal fetal liver L02 cell lines were examined. DSB damage in HCC cells was detected via γH2AX expression and foci formation assay. The expression of IFI16 and IFNB mRNA was measured using RT-PCR, and subcellular localization and expression of the IFI16 protein were detected using chromatin fractionation, Western blot analysis, and fluorescence microscopy. Results: Treatment of SMMC-7721 cells with Nutlin-3 (10 μmol/L) or etoposide (40 μmol/L) induced significant DSB damage. In SMMC-7721 cells, Nutlin-3 significantly increased the expression levels of IFI16 and IFNB mRNA, and partially redistributed chromatin-bound IFI16 protein to the cytoplasm. These effects were blocked by pretreatment with pifithrin-α, a p53 inhibitor. Furthermore, Nutlin-3 did not induce ectopic expression of IFI16 protein in Huh-7 and Hep3B cells. Moreover, the association of IFI16 with chromatin and Nutlin-3-induced changes in localization were not detected in L02 cells. Conclusion: Nutlin-3 regulates the subcellular localization of IFI16 in HCC cells in vitro in a p53-dependent manner.
    Acta Pharmacologica Sinica 12/2014; 36(2). DOI:10.1038/aps.2014.106