[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The liver is the central metabolic organ which regulates several key aspects of lipid metabolism. The liver changes with age leading to an impaired ability to respond to hepatic insults and an increased incidence of liver disease in the elderly. Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) null mice have proved to be a very popular model to study spontaneous atherosclerosis, but recently it has been demonstrated that in ApoE-/- mice liver there are enzymatic and structural alterations, normally linked to the age. The purpose of this study was to consider ApoE-/- mice as a model for oxidative stress induced hepatic disease and to clarify how ApoE inactivation accelerates the aging process and causes liver disease.We used ApoE null mice and control mice at different ages (6 weeks and 15 months).Liver morphological damage as well as proteins involved in oxidative stress and liver ageing were all analyzed.Our study showed that ApoE null mice develop important age-related changes including oxidative stress, pseudocapillarization, increased polyploidy, decreased hepatocyte number and increased nuclear size. Our findings provide evidence that hypercholesterolemic ApoE-/- mice are more likely to develop severe liver injury, suggesting that in addition to vascular disease, increased cholesterol products and oxidative stress may also play a role in accelerating the progression of aging in the liver.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we hypothesized that melatonin administration can minimize alterations in aorta morphology in an animal model of obesity (ob/ob mice). The animals were divided into four groups: (i) control lean mice, (ii) control lean mice treated with melatonin, (iii) ob/ob mice and (iv) ob/ob mice treated with melatonin. The synthetic melatonin was dissolved in 1% ethanol and added to the drinking water from postnatal week 5-13 at a final dose of 100mg/kg body weight/day. Compared with the obese mice, melatonin intake was associated with a significant decrease in body weight and water consumption. Histological analysis showed that the aortic wall of ob/ob mice had a high Tunica media/lumen ratio and that the elastic fibers in the media layer appeared disrupted and degraded. Moreover, the aorta of ob/ob mice displayed a higher degree of collagen accumulation in the Tunica media compared to the normal aorta. The aorta of ob/ob mice treated with melatonin had a lower Tunica media/lumen ratio and collagen accumulation in comparison with untreated ob/ob mice. Our results showed that whereas melatonin had no apparent histological effects on the aorta in lean mice with normal weight, its administration in ob/ob mice can lead to a reduction in body weight and can ameliorate aorta histopathological dysfunction. This experimental study indicates an apparent protective role for melatonin on the aorta in obesity and melatonin could possibly be an effective tool in the management of obesity-related vascular complications.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several pathological conditions, including hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes, ischemia/reperfusion injury and nicotine-induced vasculopathy, are associated with vascular endothelial dysfunction characterized by altered secretory output of endothelial cells. Therefore there is a search for molecules and interventions that could restore endothelial function, in particular augmenting NO production, reducing the generation of free radicals and vasoconstrictors and preventing undesired inflammation. The pineal hormone melatonin exhibits several endothelium protective properties: it scavenges free radicals, activates antioxidant defence enzymes, normalizes lipid and blood pressure profile and increases NO bioavailability. Melatonin improved vascular function in experimental hypertension, reducing intimal infiltration and restoring NO production. Melatonin improved the NO pathway also in animal models for the study of diabetes and prevented NO down-regulation and adhesive molecules up-regulation in nicotine-induced vasculopathy. The protection against endothelial damage, vasoconstriction, platelet aggregation and leukocyte infiltration might contribute to the beneficial effects against ischemia-reperfusion injury by melatonin. Therefore, melatonin administration has endothelium-protective potential in several pathological conditions. Nevertheless, it still needs to be established, whether melatonin is able to revert already established endothelial dysfunction in these conditions.
Frontiers in bioscience (Elite edition) 01/2013; E5:119-129.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well-known that nephrotic syndrome and chronic renal failure are associated with lipid and lipoprotein abnormalities. For a long time, it has been thought that hyperlipidemia is a secondary and insignificant condition of these renal injuries. Recently, it has been shown that dyslipidaemia may contribute to the development and progression of chronic kidney disease. Apolipoprotein E (apoE) null mice are a very popular model for studying spontaneous hypercholesterolemia, but only limited data are available for the role of apolipoprotein E in kidney disease. The purpose of this study is to evaluate kidney disease in apolipoprotein E deficient mice. For this study, apoE null mice and control mice at different ages (6 weeks and 15 months) were used. Kidney morphological damage and proteins involved in oxidative stress and aging (TNF-α and NF-kB) were analyzed. ApoE deficient mice have morphological alterations that are the hallmark of kidney pathogenesis, which increase with the age of the animals. In apoE null mice kidneys, there is also increased oxidative stress as compared to control mice at the same age and fewer antioxidant enzymes. Our findings add to the growing list of protective effects that apoE possesses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ATP plays an important role as an endogenous pain mediator generating and/or modulating pain signaling from the periphery to the central nervous system. The aim of this study was to analyze the role of peripheral purinergic receptors in modulation of the nitroxidergic system at a trigeminal ganglia level by monitoring changes in nitric oxide synthase isoforms. We also evaluated Fos-positive neurons in brainstem (spinal trigeminal nucleus) and pain-related behavior. We found that local administration of the P2 purinergic receptor antagonist pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS) decreased face-rubbing activity, nitric oxide synthase isoform expression in trigeminal ganglia, and Fos expression in spinal trigeminal nucleus after subcutaneous injection of formalin. These results suggest a role for peripheral P2 purinergic receptors in orofacial pain transmission through modulation of the nitroxidergic system. .
Journal of Neuroscience Research 09/2010; 88(12):2715-26. · 2.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent evidence suggest that ATP plays a role as an endogenous pain mediator generating and/or modulating pain signaling from the periphery to the spinal cord. In this study we evaluated the effects of intraperitoneal administration of P2 receptor antagonist, pyridoxalphosphate-6-azophenyl-2',4'-disulphonic acid (PPADS), evaluating pain related behaviours and monitoring the expression of Fos, a marker of activated neurons, in an experimental mouse model of neuropathic pain (sciatic nerve tying). The PPADS administration decreased both tactile allodynia and thermal hyperalgesia in a time and dose dependent manner. The dose of 25 mg/kg PPADS completely reversed nociceptive hypersensitivity. Moreover, non-noxious stimulation induced an increase of Fos positive neurons in the spinal cord of animals with tying of sciatic nerve. PPADS administration partially reversed this increase. These results suggest that PPADS reduces neuronal activation at spinal cord level and that P2 receptors are involved in the retrograde signalling progress exciting sensory spinal neurons.
Brain Research 04/2008; 1199:74-81. · 2.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of an ayurvedic compound (MAK-5) alone or together with nerve growth factor (NGF) on the neurite outgrowth of PC12 cells was studied. PC12 cells treated with NGF alone showed a clear neurite outgrowth with a decrease of the proliferation at the dose higher than 5 ng/ml. MAK-5 alone does not induce significant neurite outgrowth in the PC12 cells and does not decrease the proliferation. The PC12 cells treated with NGF supplemented with MAK-5 showed a well-evident morphological differentiation also at low doses of NGF (less than 5 ng/ml), however, the proliferation does not decrease. We suggest that MAK-5 could contain some differentiating agents that are able to potentiate NGF inducing neuronal differentiation in PC12 cells without decreasing the cell proliferation.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 09/2004; 93(2-3):161-6. · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have evaluated the expression of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR subtypes 2/3, 4 and 5) in rat thymus under normal and experimental conditions after 2 and 21 days of cyclosporine-A treatment. In normal rats, immunohistochemical analysis showed that expression of mGluRs was high in dendritic cells and lymphocytes of the medulla whereas it was weak in lymphocytes of the cortex. However, there were some differences in the expression of mGluRs subtypes. mGluR5 showed strong expression in lymphocytes of medulla and dendritic cells. mGluR2/3 and mGluR4 were moderately expressed in lymphocytes and dendritic cells of the medulla and weakly in cortical lymphocytes. Immunoblotting showed moderate levels of mGluR2/3 and mGluR4 and strong levels of mGluRS. After 2 days of cyclosporine-A treatment, we observed by immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting a distinct decrease in all mGluRs and their expression had almost completely disappeared after 21 days of treatment. The results clearly indicate that: 1) mGluR2/3, 4 and 5 are widely expressed in thymic cells; 2) the mGluR5 subtype is expressed most strongly in medullary cells; and 3) cyclosporine-A rapidly inhibits expression of all mGluR subtypes after 2 days of treatment and their complete disappearance after prolonged treatment. These findings may indicate a possible mechanism by which cyclosporine-A produces its immunosupressive effects.