[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neglected agricultural products (NAPs) are defined as discarded material in agricultural production. Corn cobs are a major waste of agriculture maize. Here, a methanolic extract from corn cobs (MEC) was obtained. MEC contains phenolic compounds, protein, carbohydrates (1.4:0.001:0.001). We evaluated the in vitro and in vivo antioxidant potential of MEC. Furthermore, its antiproliferative property against tumor cells was assessed through MTT assays and proteins related to apoptosis in tumor cells were examined by western blot. MEC showed no hydroxyl radical scavenger capacity, but it showed antioxidant activity in Total Antioxidant Capacity and DPPH scavenger ability assays. MEC showed higher Reducing Power than ascorbic acid and exhibited high Superoxide Scavenging activity. In tumor cell culture, MEC increased catalase, metallothionein and superoxide dismutase expression in accordance with the antioxidant tests. In vivo antioxidant test, MEC restored SOD and CAT, decreased malondialdehyde activities and showed high Trolox Equivalent Antioxidant Capacity in animals treated with CCl4. Furthermore, MEC decreased HeLa cells viability by apoptosis due an increase of Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, caspase 3 active. Protein kinase C expression increased was also detected in treated tumor cells. Thus, our findings pointed out the biotechnological potential of corn cobs as a source of molecules with pharmacological activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although soybean isoflavones naturally accumulate in their conjugated forms, the beneficial effects on human health of soybean-containing foods have been credited to their aglycone forms. In the present study we analyzed the effects of a chemical agent, sodium nitroprusside (SNP), in eliciting the exudation of non-conjugated isoflavones from intact soybean seeds, embrionary axes and cotyledons. The isoflavones in the exudates were determined by high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The effect of the exudates on the emission of nitric oxide (NO) and on the proliferation of breast carcinoma cells (MCF-7) was also evaluated. SNP elicitation increased the production of the aglycone forms dose- and time-dependently. Exudates of embrionary axes and cotyledons stimulated NO emission and showed biphasic effects on viability of MCF-7 cells. At lower concentrations both extracts presented proliferative effects (10-25%), and at higher concentrations inhibited (15%) cell proliferation. The biphasic effect might be due to the action of isoflavone aglycones in activating estrogen receptors which in turn stimulate the production of NO. Overall, the results suggest that soybean extracts enriched in isoflavone aglycones by elicitation with SNP could be exploited as a functional ingredient in the food industry.
Revista Brasileira de Farmacognosia 02/2013; 23(1):86-93. · 0.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melanoma is one of the most aggressive skin cancers due to its high capacity to metastasize. Treatment of metastatic melanomas is challenging for clinicians, as most therapeutic agents have failed to demonstrate improved survival. Thus, new candidates with antimetastatic activity are much needed. Riboavin (RF) is a component of the vitamin B complex and a potent photosensitizer. Previously, our group showed that the RF photoproducts (iRF) have potential as an antitumoral agent. Hence, we investigated the capacity of iRF on modulating melanoma B16F10 cells aggressiveness in vitro and in vivo. iRF decreases B16F10 cells survival by inhibiting mTOR as well as Src kinase. Moreover, melanoma cell migration was disrupted after treatment with iRF, mainly by inhibition of metalloproteinase (MMP) activity and expression, and by increasing TIMP expression. Interestingly, we observed that the Hedgehog (HH) pathway was inhibited by iRF. Two mediators of HH signaling, GLI1 and PTCH, were downregulated, while SUFU expression (an inhibitor of this cascade) was enhanced. Furthermore, inhibition of HH pathway signaling by cyclopamine and Gant 61 potentiated the antiproliferative action of RF. Accordingly, when a HH ligand was applied, the effect of iRF was almost completely abrogated. Our findings indicate that Hedgehog pathway is involved on the modulation of melanoma cell aggressiveness by iRF. Moreover, iRF treatment decreased pulmonary tumor formation in a murine experimental metastasis model. Research to clarify the molecular action of flavins, in vivo, is currently in progress. Taken together, the present data provides evidence that riboflavin photoproducts may provide potential candidates for improving the efficiency of melanoma treatment.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e54269. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nanocapsules containing poly(d,l-lactide) shell and retinyl palmitate core have been prepared by the pre-formed polymer interfacial deposition method. Dynamic light scattering measurements yielded an average hydrodynamic diameter of ∼220nm and a polydispersity index of ∼0.12. Small-angle neutron scattering experiments revealed the presence of two populations of nanocapsules of core diameters ∼192 and 65nm. Freeze fracture transmission electron microscopy showed a polydisperse population of nanocapsules (NC), with a poly(d,l-lactide) shell thickness between 11 and 3nm. For comparison purposes, nanoemulsions (NE, no polymer) and nanospheres (NS, polymer matrix) were also prepared. Each type of nanoparticles exhibited a different morphology (when examined by electron microscopy), in particular NC showed deformability by capillary adhesion. All three types of nanoparticles successfully encapsulated the poorly water-soluble molecules baicalein and benzophenone-3. The thermal behavior of the various nanoparticles was different to a physical mixture of its individual components. Cytotoxicity and phototoxicity assays, performed in human keratinocytes (HaCaT) and murine fibroblasts (BALB/c 3T3), showed that the NC were only cytotoxic at high concentrations. In vitro release studies of benzophenone-3, by the dialysis bag method using NC and NS, showed a sustained release; however, permeation studies using plastic surgery human abdominal skin in Franz diffusion cells showed that a higher amount of benzophenone-3 from NC penetrated into the skin, most probably due to the deformable nature of these nanoparticles.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 05/2012; 382(1):36-47. · 3.55 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tretinoin (TRE) or all-trans retinoic acid is employed in the topical treatment of various skin diseases including acne and psoriasis. However, its use is strongly limited by side effects and high chemical instability. TRE encapsulation in nanostructured systems reduces these problems. Chitosan is a biopolymer that exhibits a number of interesting properties such as bioadhesion and antibacterial activity. The aim of this work was to prepare and characterize solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) containing TRE, with and without addition of chitosan, to assess their in vitro cytotoxicity in keratinocytes and to evaluate their antibacterial activity against bacteria related to acne. SLN without (SLN-TRE) and with (SLN-chitosan-TRE) chitosan were prepared by hot high pressure homogenization. The hydrodynamic mean diameter and zeta potential were 162.7±1.4 nm and -31.9±2.0 mV for SLN-TRE, and 284.8±15.0 nm and 55.9±3.1 mV for SLN-chitosan-TRE. The SLN-chitosan-TRE exhibited high encapsulation efficiency, high physical stability in the tested period (one year), were not cytotoxic to keratinocytes and showed high antibacterial activity against P. acnes and S. aureus. Therefore chitosan-SLN can be good candidates to encapsulate TRE and to increase its therapeutic efficacy in the topical treatment of acne.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The interest in developing new sunscreens is increasing due to the harmful effects of UV radiation on the skin, such as erythema, accelerated skin ageing (photoageing) and the induction of skin cancer. However, many molecular sunscreens penetrate into the skin causing photoallergies, phototoxic reactions and skin irritation. Thus, the aim of this work was the preparation and characterization of polymeric and solid lipid nanoparticles to act carriers of benzophenone-3 (BZ3), aiming to improve the safety of sunscreen products by increasing the sun protection factor (SPF), decreasing BZ3 skin penetration and decreasing BZ3 concentration in sunscreen formulation. BZ3 was encapsulated in poly(epsilon-caprolactone) (PCL) nanoparticles by the nanoprecipitation method and in solid lipid nanoparticles (SLN) by the hot high pressure homogenization method. The particles were stable for 40 days. The BZ3 encapsulated in PCL nanoparticles was released faster than BZ3 encapsulated in SLN. The sun protection factor increased when BZ3 was encapsulated in both nanostructures. However, BZ3 encapsulated in PCL nanoparticles decreased its skin permeation more than SLN-BZ3. Furthermore, BZ3 encapsulated in SLN did not exhibit cytotoxic or phototoxic effects in human keratinocytes (HaCaT cells) and BABL/c 3T3 fibroblasts, whereas PCL nanoparticles with BZ3 showed phototoxic potential in HaCaT cells. Nevertheless, BZ3 free and encapsulated in PCL nanoparticles or in SLN did not show allergic reactions in mice. Our results suggest that these nanostructures are interesting carriers for sunscreen.
Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 03/2011; 11(3):1880-6. · 1.15 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent years, the interest in nanostructured systems to drug delivery has increased because they offer several advantages over conventional dosage forms. Solid Lipid Nanoparticles (SLN) have been highlighted among these systems because they have advantages such as high physical stability, protection against drug degradation and ease of scale-up and manufacturing, without using organic solvent. The aim of this work was to evaluate the potential of SLN, by in vitro cytotoxicity assays, for dermal drug delivery. SLN of three different lipids were prepared by hot high pressure homogenization and the cytotoxicity was assessed by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol- 2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide (MTT) test in mouse 3T3 fibroblasts and human HaCaT keratinocytes. SLN showed no cytotoxic potential suggesting a great potential for dermal application.
Journal of Physics Conference Series 01/2011; 304(1).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MC3T3-E1 cells grown in the presence of ascorbic acid and β-glycerophosphate (AA/β-GP) express alkaline phosphatase and produce an extensive collagenous extracellular matrix. Differentiated MC3T3-E1 cells are more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress than undifferentiated cells. In this study, we compared the profile of antioxidant enzymes and molecular markers of apoptosis in undifferentiated and differentiated MC3T3-E1 cells (cell differentiation was induced by treatment with AA/β-GP). Differentiated osteoblasts showed lower expression and activity of catalase, glutathione S-transferase and glutathione peroxidase. The total superoxide dismutase activity and the expression of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase were also lower, while the expression of Mn superoxide dismutase was higher in differentiated osteoblasts. The level of malondialdehyde, a widely used marker for oxidative stress, was lower in the AA/β-GP group compared with control cells, but this difference was not significant. Western blotting showed that treatment with AA/β-GP increased the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio used as an index of cellular vulnerability to apoptosis. In addition, the activities of caspases 3, 8 and 9 and cleaved poly (ADP) ribose polymerase were significantly higher in differentiated cells. These findings provide new insights into how changes in the activities of major antioxidant enzymes and in the signaling pathways associated with apoptosis may influence the susceptibility of bone cells to oxidative stress.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Photoderivatives of riboflavin can modulate the proliferation and survival of cancer cells. In this work, we examined the influence of riboflavin and photoderivatives on osteoblast differentiation induced by ascorbic acid and β-glycerophosphate. These compounds decreased the osteoblast proliferation, increased the alkaline phosphatase activity, promoted a reduction in matrix metalloproteinase-2 activity and the decreased in the OPG/RANKL ratio. The effects of flavins on osteoblasts were unrelated to the antioxidant activity of these compounds. The biological activity of osteogenic medium containing riboflavin and its photoderivatives involved the activation of different signaling pathways (AKT, FAK, CaMKII), caspases-3, -8 and -9, and up-regulation of the expression and/or stabilization of osteoblastic transcription factors (Runx2 and β-catenin). These findings suggest a potential use of flavins as adjuvants to improve bone metabolism.
Toxicology in Vitro 10/2010; 24(7):1911-9. · 2.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Riboflavin is a potent photosensitizer as well as part of the vitamin B complex. Recently we demonstrated that the products generated by irradiation of riboflavin have potential as anti-leukaemic therapy. The possible action, however, of the riboflavin photoproducts in solid cancers has not been addressed. Hence, we investigated the effects of irradiated riboflavin on androgen-independent human prostate cancer cells (PC3), a known model for solid tumour cells with an exceptional resistance to therapy. Our results show that riboflavin photoproducts are cytotoxic to these cells in a FasL-Fas-dependent manner. Furthermore, irradiated riboflavin inhibited matrix-degrading proteases, caused downregulation of VEGF and upregulation of TIMP1 suggesting anti-metastatic potential. Together, these results show that the anti-neoplastic action of riboflavin photoproducts is not limited to haematological malignancies, warranting clinical studies in solid tumours.
Cancer Letters 01/2008; 258(1):126-34. · 5.02 Impact Factor