Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1440-1681
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Article
1. The present study examined the origin of the 0.4 Hz rhythm in renal sympathetic nerve activity (RSNA) in rats. It was anticipated that, after elimination of 0.4 Hz oscillations of arterial pressure (AP) by α-adrenoceptor blockade, the persistence or disappearance of a 0.4 Hz rhythm in RSNA would point to an endogenous (central oscillator) or baroreflex origin, respectively. 2. Arterial pressure and RSNA were recorded in seven conscious rats, before and after acute α-adrenoceptor blockade with phentolamine (5 mg/kg, i.v.). In each condition, power and coherence spectra were calculated over 15 min periods of rest. 3. In control conditions, highly coherent AP and RSNA oscillations were observed near 0.4 Hz. After phentolamine administration, spectral power in the mid-frequency (0.27–0.74 Hz) band was significantly reduced for both AP and RSNA and maximum power was shifted towards 0.7 Hz. 4. The disappearance of the RSNA rhythm at 0.4 Hz after phentolamine administration favours the hypothesis of a baroreflex origin. The new oscillation near 0.7 Hz can derive either from the activity of a previously unrecognized central oscillator or from a faster feedback mechanism involving cotransmitters of noradrenaline acting with shorter time constants (e.g. ATP).
 
Article
1. The effects of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) inhibitors PD 98059 and U 0126, useful tools to investigate MAPK involvement in intracellular signal transduction pathways, were assessed on cardiomyocytes. 2. In rat freshly isolated ventricular myocytes, under current-clamp conditions, PD 98059 (40 µmol/L) shortened the action potential. Under whole-cell patch-clamp, this compound slowly induced a fast activating sustained outward K+ current that was sensitive to 1 mmol/L Ba2+, 100 µmol/L Gd3+, 3 mmol/L 4-aminopyridine and 100 µmol/L tetracain. The PD 98059-induced current was prevented by 40 µmol/L AACOCF3, a cytosolic phospholipase A2 inhibitor. 3. U 0126 (1 µmol/L), a recently developed highly potent p42/44 MAPK inhibitor, did not alter K+ currents. 4. PD 98059, but not U 0126, increased arachidonic acid content, probably as a consequence of its reported cyclo-oxygenase inhibitory effect. 5. These observations indicate that PD 98059 activates a TREK-1 like current. Thus, this MAPK inhibitor has to be used with caution because alterations in cell metabolism can be secondary to changes in electrophysiological behaviour.
 
Article
1. The effects of DC-015, a newly synthesized quinazoline derivative, on plasma lipids, lipoprotein levels and vascular reactivity were investigated in Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) and spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR). 2. The hypotensive effect of DC-015 was compared with prazosin in SHR. Intravenous administration of DC-015 and prazosin (both at 0.01, 0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg) induced dose-dependent reductions in mean arterial pressure (MAP) which reached a maximal effect 5 min after injection and persisted over 2 h in SHR. DC-015 decreased MAP with equal efficiency compared with prazosin. 3. The plasma levels of total cholesterol (CE), low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-CE and total triglyceride (TG) were markedly increased and the levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-CE were markedly decreased in both high fat-high cholesterol (HF-HC) diet fed WKY and SHR. 4. In HF-HC diet fed WKY and SHR, the total plasma CE, LDL-CE and total plasma TG were significantly reduced after oral administration of DC-015 (1 mg/kg, twice a day) for 4 weeks. Furthermore, DC-015 therapy was associated with increased HDL-CE levels and thus the ratio of total CE to HDL-CE was improved. The antihyperlipidaemic effect of prazosin was less than that of DC-015. 5. Significantly attenuated median effective concentration (EC50) values and augmented maximal responses for phenylephrine-induced contraction of aortic rings were observed in HF-HC diet fed WKY and SHR. Endothelium-dependent relaxation to acetylcholine was impaired while endothelium-independent relaxation to nitroglycerin was well preserved. 6. Oral administration of DC-015 (1 mg/kg, twice a day) for 4 weeks significantly augmented EC50 values and attenuated maximal responses for phenylephrine-induced contraction of aortic rings in HF-HC diet fed WKY and SHR. Prazosin (1 mg/kg, twice a day) showed a lesser extent of efficiency than DC-015 at normalization of vasorelaxation in HF-HC diet fed WKY and SHR. 7. It is concluded that DC-015, a potent antihypertensive agent, may have additional advantage in also reducing hyperlipidaemia.
 
Article
1. We investigated the effects of 1-(3-tert-butyl-2-hydroxy- 5-methoxyphenyl)-3-(3-pyridylmethyl)urea hydrochloride (T-0162), a novel low-molecular weight free radical scavenger, on the generation of superoxide anions and hydroxyl radicals in vitro and in vivo and on myocardial infarct (MI) size in an in vivo model of MI in rabbits. 2. It was found that T-0162 scavenged both superoxide anions and hydroxyl radicals in a concentration-dependent manner in vitro. 3. In an in vivo rabbit model with 30 min coronary occlusion and 30 min reperfusion, T-0162 scavenged hydroxyl radicals generated in the myocardium during reperfusion. 4. Anaesthetized open-chest Japanese white male rabbits were subjected to 30 min coronary occlusion and 48 h reperfusion. The control group (n = 10) was infused with 10% lecithin solution for 220 min from 10 min before occlusion to 180 min after reperfusion. The pretreatment group (n = 10) was infused with T-0162 dissolved in 10% lecithin solution for 220 min from 10 min before occlusion to 180 min after reperfusion at a rate of 400 μg/kg per min. The post-treatment group (n = 10) was injected with an i.v. bolus of 10 mg/kg T-0162 and was then infused with 400 μg/kg per min T-0162 for 190 min from 10 min before reperfusion to 180 min after reperfusion. After 48 h reperfusion, infarct size was measured histologically and expressed as a percentage of area at risk (AAR). 5. There was no significant difference in haemodynamic parameters among the three groups throughout the experimental period. The per cent infarct size of the AAR in the T-0162 groups (24.8±4.3 and 30.5±3.9% for pre- and post- treatment groups, respectively) was significantly reduced compared with control (44.7±4.1%; P < 0.05). There was no significant difference in the AAR among the three groups. 6. In conclusion, T-0162 reduces MI size through the inhibition of reperfusion injury.
 
Article
1. Two benzofuran-2-ethanolamines Ro 03-5255 (l-(5-acetylamino-benzo-furan-2-yl)-l-hydroxy-2-isopropylaminoethane) and Ro 03-7894 (l-(5-chlora-cetyl aminobenzofuran-2-yl)-l-hydroxy-2-isopropylaminoethane) which had previously been shown to exhibit respectively competitive and irreversible β-adrenoceptor antagonism in guinea-pig isolated atria, were compared in vivo using isoprenaline-induced tachycardia of anaesthetized guinea-pigs and heart rate and contractility (dp/dtmax) of open-chest anaesthetized guinea-pigs and of conscious cats. 2. In urethane-anaesthetized guinea-pigs doses of 3 mg/kg, s.c. of both antagonists produced significant blockade of the rate response to an 80% of maximum dose of isoprenaline after 4 h. In other experiments, guinea-pigs were pretreated with the antagonists and the responses to isoprenaline were then monitored. The slopes of the dose-response curves to isoprenaline were depressed for up to 24 h by Ro 03-7894 but this was not so with Ro 03-5255. 3. In conscious cats the course of blockade by Ro 03-7894 was followed in the same animals and was still evident after 48 h. In contrast, the β-adrenoceptor blockade produced by Ro 03-5255 was not evident 24 h after administration. 4. The persistence of blockade by Ro 03-7894 was consistent with the irreversible mode of action demonstrated in vitro.
 
Article
1. The anorexic agent mazindol and its major metabolite 46-034 (Sandoz) in high concentrations (>0·4 mM) abolished basal and insulin-stimulated conversion of 1-14C-glucose to 14CO2 by rat isolated fat cells. 2. High concentrations (1 mM) also inhibited specific binding of 125I-insulin to fat cells. 3. The observed effects appeared to be due in part to perturbation of the plasma membrane since there was a rise in the lactate dehydrogenase content of the incubation medium, increased 125I-insulin degradation and a reduction in cellular tritiated water space. 4. These effects are unlikely to be relevant to the therapeutic action of mazindol.
 
Article
1. It has been reported that resveratrol exerts the inhibitory effects on aging through activation of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH)/asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) pathway involved in the high glucose-induced endothelial cell senescence. 2. The aims of this work were to explore whether BTM-0512, a novel derivative of resveratrol, was able to exert the beneficial effect on high glucose-induced cellular senescence through regulating the DDAH/ADMA pathway and to explore whether the regulatory effect of BTM-0512 on DDAH/ADMA pathway was related to the activation of SIRT1. 3. The senescence model of endothelial cells was induced by high glucose and the cells were collected for the determination of beta-galactosidase and DDAH activity, ADMA level, DDAH and SIRT1 mRNA expression. 4. The results showed that high glucose significantly increased the ratio of senescent cells concomitantly with the decreased DDAH activity, the downregulated DDAH2 and SIRT1 mRNA expressions and the increased ADMA levels, which were attenuated by pretreatment with BTM-0512. 5. The beneficial effects of BTM-0512 on high glucose-induced senescence were blocked by splimtomicin, the specific inhibitor of SIRT1, or by silencing DDAH2 expression. 6. The results suggest that BTM-0512 was able to exert the beneficial effects on high glucose-induced cellular senescence through regulating the DDAH/ADMA pathway, and its regulatory effect on DDAH/ADMA pathway was related to the activation of SIRT1.
 
Article
1. In the present study, we investigated the effect of 1-(3-tert-butyl-2-hydroxy-5-methoxyphenyl)-3-(3-pyridylmethyl) urea hydrocloride (T-0970), a novel water-soluble low-molecular weight free radical scavenger, on the generation of hydroxyl radicals in vivo and on myocardial infarct size in an in vivo model of myocardial infarction in rabbits. 2. T-0970 scavenged hydroxyl radicals generated in the myocardium during reperfusion, as assessed by using a microdialysis technique and HPLC in an in vivo model with 30 min coronary occlusion and 30 min reperfusion in rabbits. 3. Another group of rabbits was subjected to 30 min coronary occlusion and 48 h reperfusion. The control group (n = 10) was infused with saline for 190 min from 10 min before occlusion to 180 min after reperfusion. The treatment group (T-0970 group; n = 10) was injected with a bolus 2.5 mg/kg T-0970 and then infused with T-0970 for 190 min from 10 min before reperfusion to 180 min after reperfusion at a rate of 100 microg/kg per min. The T-0970 + CHE group (n = 5) was given chelerythrine (CHE; a selective inhibitor of protein kinase C (PKC); 5 mg/kg, i.v.) 10 min before the administration of T-0970. The T-0970 + 5-HD group (n = 5) was given 5-hydroxydecanoate (5-HD; an inhibitor of mitochondrial K(ATP) channels; 5 mg/kg, i.v.) 10 min before the administration of T-0970. The CHE and 5-HD groups were given CHE (5 mg/kg, i.v.) and 5-HD (5 mg/kg, i.v.) 20 min before reperfusion, respectively. After 48 h reperfusion, infarct size was measured histologically and expressed as a percentage of the area at risk (AAR). In another series of experiments, the control (n = 5) and T-0970 (n = 5) groups were killed 4 h after reperfusion following 30 min coronary occlusion and DNA fragmentation in myocytes was assessed using in situ dUTP nick end-labelling (TUNEL) at the light microscopic level. 4. Infarct size, as a percentage of AAR, in the T-0970 group was significantly reduced compared with the control group (21+/-4 vs 41+/-4%, respectively; P<0.05). This reduction of infarct size by T-0970 was abolished by pretreatment with CHE and 5-HD. Neither CHE nor 5-HD alone had any effect on infarct size. The percentage of infarcted myocytes with DNA fragmentation by TUNEL in the T-0970 group was significantly reduced compared with the number in the control group (4.0+/-1.5 vs 10.7+/-1.9%, respectively; P<0.05). 5. T-0970, a free radical scavenger, improved reperfusion injury. This effect seemed to be mediated by activation of PKC, the opening of mitochondrial K(ATP) channels and inhibition of DNA fragmentation.
 
Article
1. The efficacy of coumarin (1,2-benzopyrone) was examined for the regulation of hyperthyroidism in female rats. 2. Coumarin was administered (10 mg/kg per day for 15 days) to l-thyroxine (L-T(4))-induced hyperthyroid as well as to euthyroid rats and changes in serum concentrations of thyroid hormones and in associated parameters, such as serum cholesterol, activity of hepatic 5'-monodeiodinase (5'DI) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G-6-Pase), glycogen content, bodyweight and daily food consumption, were analysed. Simultaneously, changes in hepatic lipid peroxidation (LPO), reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were also investigated. 3. Although L-T(4) administration increased serum levels of thyroid hormones, the activity of hepatic 5'DI, G-6-Pase and LPO and daily food consumption, it decreased the level of serum cholesterol, hepatic glycogen content and the activities of anti-oxidant enzymes, such as SOD, CAT and GSH. 4. However, simultaneous administration of coumarin for 15 days to a group of hyperthyroid animals reversed most of the aforementioned changes, indicating its potential to ameliorate hyperthyroidism. Moreover, the drug did not increase, but rather decreased, hepatic LPO, suggesting its safe nature. 5. The present findings reveal a positive role for coumarin in the regulation of hyperthyroidism without any hepatotoxicity. It also appears that the test compound inhibits thyroid function at both a glandular level and at the level of peripheral conversion of T(4) to tri-iodothyronine.
 
Article
1. Accumulating evidence suggests that vitamin D and its analogues are renoprotective. However, the precise mechanisms and the molecular targets by which active vitamin D exerts its beneficial effects remain obscure. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the effect of active vitamin D on rats with puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) nephropathy, a model that is characterized by predominant podocyte injury. 2. The PAN nephropathy rats were created by a single intravenous injection of 100 mg/kg PAN. Changes in renal pathology and podocyte numbers were observed. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed to examine mRNA expression of nephrin, transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP)-7. Protein expression of nephrin, TGF-beta1, BMP-7 and p-Smad2/3 and p-Smad1/5/8 was examined by immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry and western blotting, respectively. Rats were treated with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) by gastric gavage at a dose of 2.5 microg/kg per day, starting 2 days before PAN injection and continuing throughout the experiment. 3. A single injection of PAN induced massive proteinuria and elevated serum creatinine on Day 7, both of which were significantly suppressed by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (1,25(OH)(2)D(3)). Immunofluorescence and real-time PCR of the podocyte-associated protein nephrin revealed reduced and discontinuous staining and this change was reversed by 1,25(OH)(2)D(3). In PAN nephropathy rats, TGF-beta1 and p-Smad2/3 expression was upregulated, whereas that of BMP-7 and p-Smad1/5/8 was downregulated. Treatment with 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) significantly restored BMP-7/Smad signalling while suppressing TGF-beta1/Smad signalling. 4. In conclusion, 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) can ameliorate podocyte damage and proteinuria induced by PAN. The beneficial effects of 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) on podocytes may be attributable, in part, to direct modulation of TGF-beta1/BMP-7 signalling.
 
Article
β-Glucans have been reported to be potent adjuvants in stimulating innate and adaptive immune responses. The aim of the present study was to determine the immunohematopoietic effects of Imunoglucan (HEBRON) following its oral administration to normal and Ehrlich ascites tumour (EAT)-bearing mice. Mice were treated with 250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg per day, p.o., Imunoglucan (β-1,3-glucan extracted from Saccharomyces cerevisae) for 18 consecutive days. Treatment started 10 days prior to and ended 8 days after tumour inoculation. At 500 and 1000 mg/kg per day, Imunoglucan enhanced the life span of EAT-bearing mice and prevented myelosuppression and splenomegaly caused by the tumour by increasing the number of granulocyte-macrophage progenitors in the bone marrow and increasing colony-stimulating activity in the serum. At 500 mg/kg, Imunoglucan restored the reduced ability of stromal cells to display myeloid progenitors in long-term bone marrow cultures of EAT-bearing mice and upregulated the production of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1α by these cells, consistent with a higher number of non-adherent cells. Moreover, 500 mg/kg Imunoglucan restored natural killer cell activity in tumour-bearing mice, consistent with the increased production of interferon (IFN)-γ observed. The results of the present study suggest that Imunoglucan given orally indirectly modulates immune activity and probably disengages tumour-induced suppression by producing a higher reserve of myeloid progenitors in the bone marrow in consequence of biologically active cytokine release (colony-stimulating factors, IL-1α, IL-6 and IFN-γ).
 
Article
1. The binding of 1,3-[3H]-dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine ([3H]-DPCPX), a specific adenosine A1 receptor antagonist, was examined in rat vas deferens membrane preparations using radioligand binding techniques. 2. 1,3-[3H]-Dipropyl-8-cyclopentylxanthine bound to these preparations with a KD of 1.07 +/- 0.14 nmol/L (n = 6). The density of [3H]-DPCPX binding sites was 133.38 +/- 5.57 fmol/mg protein. 3. Computer analysis indicated that nucleosides competed for [3H]-DPCPX binding at two distinct sites. The rank order of potency at the higher affinity site corresponded to R-phenylisopropyladenosine (R-PIA) > or = 2-chloroadenosine (2-CIADO) > or = cyclopentyladenosine (CPA) > or = N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine (NECA) > s-phenylisopropyladenosine (s-PIA). Ki values were in the low nmol/L range. The rank order of nucleoside potency at the lower affinity site corresponded to R-PIA > or = CPA > or = NECA > or = 2-CIADO > S-PIA. Ki values were in the low mumol/L range. 4. Nucleotides competed for [3H]-DPCPX binding at a single site only. The rank order of potency at this site corresponded to alpha, beta-methylene ATP > or = beta, gamma-methylene ATP > or = ATP. Ki values were in the high mumol/L range. The site seemed to correspond with one of the two binding sites predicted by nucleoside competition binding. 5. The ATP-regenerating compound myokinase did not significantly change the competition curve for ATP, indicating that the competition for [3H]-DPCPX binding observed in the presence of ATP was due to an effect of ATP per se and not to an action of a degradation product. 6. The results demonstrate that in rat vasa deferentia there exist two distinct binding sites for [3H]-DPCPX. One of these sites binds only nucleosides and may represent an adenosine A1 receptor, as usually defined. The other site binds both nucleosides and nucleotides and may represent an atypical adenosine A1 receptor, an atypical P2 or a P3 purinoceptor.
 
Article
1. Left ventricular interstitial adenosine and cardiac function were studied in open chest rats during adrenaline stimulation and P1-purinoceptor antagonism with 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine (8-CPT). 2. Cardiac microdialysate adenosine concentration was 0.10±0.01 μmol/L (n= 24) under basal conditions, giving an estimated interstitial adenosine concentration of 0.27 μmol/L. Stimulation with 3.2 and 8.0 μg/kg per min adrenaline increased the rate-pressure product (heart rate X systolic blood pressure) by 72 and 157%, respectively, and increased dialysate adenosine to 0.26±0.04 and 0.65±0.11 μmol/L (n= 12), respectively (interstitial concentrations of approximately 0.70 and 1.76 μmol/L). 3. Treatment with 60 μg/kg per min 8-CPT did not alter basal adenosine concentrations, but potentiated elevations in dialysate adenosine during infusion of 3.2 and 8.0 μg/kg per min adrenaline to 0.54±0.10 and 1.30±0.22 μmol/L, respectively (n= 12). Basal function and the response to 8.0 μg/kg per min adrenaline were unaltered by 8-CPT, whereas elevations in heart rate and rate-pressure product during stimulation with 3.2 μg/kg per min adrenaline were enhanced by 8-CPT (by up to 30%). 4. Studies in isolated hearts confirmed the inhibitory potency of 8-CPT at A1vs A2 P1-purinoceptors (e.g. pKB of 7.7±0.2 and 6.4±0.1 for 5′-N-ethyl carboxamidoadenosine-mediated bradycardia and vasodilatation, respectively; n= 6). Studies in intact animals verified effective A1 blockade by 60 μg/kg per min 8-CPT, but also revealed some inhibition of A2-mediated responses. 5. In conclusion, the data show that cardiac interstitial adenosine levels exist within a physiologically active range in vivo and increase dose-dependently during graded adrenaline stimulation. Adenosine receptor antagonism enhances elevations in interstitial adenosine and modifies functional responses to moderate, but not high, doses of adrenaline. Whether 8-CPT-dependent elevations in interstitial adenosine are due to A1 inhibition vs inhibition of A2-mediated vasodilatation requires further investigation.
 
Article
1. We have shown previously that 1,4-dihydro-2,6-dimethyl-4-(3-nitrophenyl)-3,5-pyridinedicarboxylic acid pentyl methyl ester (MN9202), a new 1,4-dihydropyridine Ca(2+) channel modulator, has significant hypotensive effects and favourable pharmacokinetic characteristics. As a chiral molecule, MN9202 has two optical isomers. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the pharmacological properties of the two enantiomers. 2. The two enantiomers, S-(-)- and R-(+)-MN9202, were obtained by HPLC. At 1 micromol/L, both racemic MN9202 and S-(-)-MN9202 decreased the contractility of rat ventricular myocytes by 54.0 and 64.4%, respectively, compared with control, whereas R-(+)-MN9202 enhanced cell shortening by 10.1%. At 1 micromol/L, racemic MN9202 markedly reduced calcium transient (CaT) and L-type Ca(2+) channel current (I(Ca,L)) by 60.0 and 50.7%, respectively, whereas the reductions in CaT and I(Ca,L) produced by 1 micromol/L S-(-)-MN9202 were greater still (62.2 and 65.7%, respectively). In contrast, 1 micromol/L R-(+)-MN9202 increased CaT and I(Ca,L) by 11.4 and 10.6%, respectively. Furthermore, findings from kinetics studies of I(Ca,L) revealed that the steady state inactivation curve of I(Ca,L) was shifted towards a hyperpolarizing potential by S-(-)-MN9202, but towards a depolarizing potential by R-(+)-MN9202. These results demonstrate different effects of R-(+)-MN9202 and S-(-)-MN9202. 3. In conclusion, the findings of the present study suggest that the chirality of MN9202 results in opposing pharmacological properties of its two enantiomers: S-(-)-MN9202 may be responsible for the therapeutic effects of racemic MN9202, whereas R-(+)-MN9202 contributes to it unwanted effects. The findings of the present study also indicate that MN9202 may be used as a new probe with which to investigate the structure-function relationships of Ca(2+) channels.
 
Article
1. The isolation and culture of neonatal cardiomyocytes causes changes in the metabolism of inositol(1,4,5) trisphosphate (Ins(1,4,5)P3) from primarily dephosphorylation in the intact tissue to a combination of phosphorylation and dephosphorylation in the cultured cells (Woodcock et al. 1992). 2. The content of Ins(1,4,5)P3 was found to be higher in intact heart tissue than in the isolated neonatal cells (10.9 +/- 1.3 and 0.5 +/- 0.1 pmol/mg tissue, mean +/- s.e.m., n = 4, P < 0.002, respectively). 3. Despite this difference, Ins(1,4,5)P3 receptors in intact tissue and in isolated cells were not different in terms of affinity (8.0 +/- 1.7 and 10.9 +/- 1.6 nmol/L, n = 3, respectively) or concentration (143.3 +/- 20.5 and 91.2 +/- 16.0 fmol/mg protein, n = 3, respectively). 4. Thus, while there appears to be a relationship between the tissue content of Ins(1,4,5)P3 and its metabolism, no relationship to the properties of Ins(1,4,5)P3 receptors could be demonstrated.
 
Article
1. The present review focuses on the role of the Ca2+- releasing second messenger inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) in initiating arrhythmias during early reperfusion following a period of myocardial ischaemia. 2. Evidence for an arrhythmogenic action of IP3 was provided by studies showing a correlation between the extent of the increase in IP3 and the incidence of arrhythmias in early reperfusion. In addition, phospholipase C inhibitors selective for thrombin receptor stimulation were anti-arrhythmic only when arrhythmias were thrombin initiated. 3. Mechanisms by which IP3 could initiate arrhythmias are discussed, with particular emphasis on the role of slow and unscheduled Ca2+ release. 4. The reperfusion-induced IP3 and arrhythmogenic responses can be initiated through either α1-adrenoceptors or thrombin receptors, but endothelin receptor stimulation was ineffective. Further studies have provided evidence that the noradrenaline-mediated response was mediated by α1A-receptors, while the α1B-adrenoceptor subtype appeared to be protective. 5. Reperfusion-induced IP3 responses could be inhibited by procedures known to reduce the incidence of arrhythmias under these conditions, including preconditioning, inhibiting Na+/H+ exchange or by dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. 6. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate generation in cardiomyocytes can be facilitated by raising intracellular Ca2+ and it seems likely that the rise in Ca2+ in ischaemia and reperfusion is responsible for the generation of IP3, which will, in turn, further exacerbate Ca2+ overload.
 
Article
1. The turnover rate of inositol (1,4,5) tris phosphate (Ins(1,4,5)P3) in noradrenaline-stimulated adult rat left atria was calculated from changes in specific activity and was found to equal 110 ct/min per mg tissue. In contrast, the isomers of inositol mono- and bis phosphates accumulated at a rate of 508 ct/min per mg. 2. Neomycin, which inhibits release of Ins (1,4,5)P3, inhibited the accumulation of inositol phosphates in noradrenaline-stimulated isolated neonatal cardiomyocytes but did not inhibit accumulation in left atria. 3. These data demonstrate that most of the inositol phosphates which accumulate in adult rat left atria do not derive from Ins (1,4,5) P3. 4. These data are best explained by a model in which noradrenaline stimulation results mainly in the breakdown of phosphatidylinositol(4)mono phosphate (PtIns(4)P1) to inositol(1,4)bis phosphate (Ins(1, 4)P2). Thus, heart tissue avoids the generation of Ins(1,4,5)P3.
 
Article
1. Male hypogonadism is a major problem that starts to affect middle-aged men and has adversely effects on human sexual life. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of strontium fructose 1,6-diphosphate (FDP-Sr) on male hypogonadism in rats. 2. The pharmacological model of testis dysfunction was created by administration of adenine (200 mg/kg per day, i.g.) for 30 days. Three doses of FDP-Srs (200, 100 and 50 mg/kg per day, i.g.) were administered in parallel with adenine. Finally, mating behaviour index (the mounting latency and the number of mounting events), the total number of spermatozoa and sperm motility, related enzyme function and gene regulation and the mRNA levels of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), cytochrome P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3beta-HSD), prepro-endothelin (ET)-1, endothelin-converting enzyme (ECE) and endothelin receptor A (ET(A)) were analysed. 3. The results showed that adenine significantly prolonged the mounting latency and decreased the number of mounting events, markedly reduced the total number of spermatozoa, slowed sperm motility and decreased testicular enzyme activity in the testes. At the mRNA level, adenine significantly downregulated serum testosterone, StAR, P450sc and 3beta-HSD. In parallel, adenine also targeted the ET-1 system, significantly downregulating mRNA levels of prepro-ET-1, ECE and ET(A). Administration of FDP-Sr dose-dependently reversed these effects. 4. In conclusion, adenine-induced testis dysfunction appears to be manifested as loss of sexual function in association with decreased spermatogenesis and reduced mRNA levels of steroidogenesis and the testicular ET-1 system. These abnormalities were significantly restored by FDP-Sr in a dose-dependent manner. These data indicate the possibility of using FDP-Sr to treat male hypogonadism.
 
Article
1. The effects of the essential oil of Croton nepetaefolius (EOCN) and its major constituent, 1,8-cineole, on the compound action potential (CAP) of nerve were investigated. 2. Experiments were performed in sciatic nerves dissected from Wistar rats, mounted in a moist chamber and stimulated at a frequency of 0.2 Hz, with electric pulses of 100 μs duration at 20-40 V. Evoked CAP were displayed on an oscilloscope and recorded on a computer. The CAP control parameters were as follows: peak-to-peak amplitude 8.1 ± 0.6 mV (n = 15); conduction velocity 83.3 ± 4.2 m/s (n = 15); chronaxie 58.0 ± 6.8 msec (n = 6); and rheobase 2.8 ± 0.1 V (n = 6). 3. Lower concentrations of EOCN (100 and 300 μg/mL) and 1,8-cineole (153 and 307 μg/mL; i.e. 1 and 2 mmol/L, respectively) had no significant effects on CAP control parameters throughout the entire recording period. However, at the end of 180 min exposure of the nerve to the drug, peak-to-peak amplitude was significantly (P < 0.05) reduced to 27.4 ± 6.7 and 1.7 ± 0.8% of control values by 500 and 1000 μg/mL EOCN, respectively (n = 6), and to 76.5 ± 4.4, 70.0 ± 3.9 and 14.8 ± 4.1% of control values by 614, 920 and 1227 μg/mL (i.e. 4, 6 and 8 mmol/L) 1,8-cineole, respectively (n = 6). Regarding conduction velocity, at the end of the 180 min exposure period, this parameter was significantly reduced to 85.8 ± 7.3 and 48.7 ± 12.3% (n = 6) of control values by 500 and 1000 μg/mL EOCN, respectively, and to 86.4 ± 4.5 and 76.1 ± 5.2% (n = 6) by 920 and 1227 μg/mL 1,8-cineole, respectively. Chronaxie and rheobase were significantly increased by the higher concentrations of both EOCN and 1,8-cineole. 4. It is concluded that EOCN and its main constituent 1,8-cineole block nerve excitability in a concentration-dependent manner, an effect that was totally reversible with 1,8-cineole but not with EOCN. This suggests that other constituents of EOCN, in addition to 1,8-cineole, may contribute to the mediation of this effect of EOCN.
 
Article
1. 1,8-Cineole is a non-toxic small terpenoid oxide believed to have medicinal properties in folk medicine. It has been shown to have various pharmacological effects, including blockade of the compound action potential (AP). In the present study, using intracellular recording techniques, we investigated the effects of 1,8-cineole on the electrophysiological parameters of neurons of the superior cervical ganglion (SCG) in rats. 2. 1,8-Cineole (0.1-6 mmol/L) showed reversible and concentration-dependent effects on various electrophysiological parameters. At 3 and 6 mmol/L, but not at 0.1 and 1 mmol/L, 1,8-cineole significantly diminished the input resistance (R(i)) and altered the resting potential (E(m)) to more positive values. At 6 mmol/L, 1,8-cineole completely blocked all APs within 2.7 +/- 0.6 min (n = 12). In neurons exposed to 3 and 1 mmol/L 1,8-cineole, the effects regarding excitability varied from complete AP blockade to minor inhibition of AP parameters. The depolarization of E(m) and the decrease in R(i) induced by 6 mmol/L 1,8-cineole were unaltered by 200 micromol/L niflumic acid, a well known blocker of Ca(2+)-activated Cl(-) currents. 3. Significant correlations (Pearson correlation test) were found between changes in E(m) and decreases in AP amplitude (r = -0.893; P < 0.00282) and maximum ascendant inclination (r = -0.799; P < 0.0173), but not for maximum descendant inclination (r = 0.598; P < 0.117). Application of current to restore the transmembrane potential equal to control E(m) values in the presence of 6 mmol/L 1,8-cineole resulted in the partial recovery of AP. 4. The present study shows that 1,8-cineole effectively blocks the excitability of SCG neurons, probably through various mechanisms, one of which acts indirectly via depolarization of the neuronal cytoplasmatic membrane.
 
Article
1. 1,8-Cineole is a terpenoid constituent of essential oils with anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the neural excitability, functions as an antinociceptive agent and has myorelaxant actions in guinea-pig airways. The aim of the present study was to investigate the mechanism underlying the myorelaxant effects of 1,8-cineole in guinea-pig isolated trachea from either naïve guinea-pigs or ovalbumin (OVA)-sensitized animals subjected to antigenic challenge. 2. Isometric recordings were made of the tone of isolated tracheal rings. Rings with an intact epithelium relaxed beyond basal tone in the presence of 1,8-cineole (6.5 x 10(-6) to 2 x 10(-2) mol/L) in a concentration-dependent manner (P < 0.001, anova) with a pD(2) value of 2.23 (95% confidence interval 2.10-2.37). Removal of the epithelium or pretreatment of intact tissue for 15 min with 50 micromol/L N(G)-nitro-l-arginine methyl ester, 5 mmol/L tetraethylammonium, 0.5 micromol/L tetrodotoxin or 5 micromol/L propranolol did not alter the potency (pD(2)) or the maximal myorelaxant effect (E(max)) of 1,8-cineole. 3. 1,8-Cineole also significantly decreased the Schultz-Dale contraction induced by OVA, mainly in preparations from OVA-sensitized animals submitted to antigen challenge. 1,8-Cineole decreased tracheal hyperresponsiveness to KCl and carbachol caused by antigen challenge and almost abolished the concentration-response curves to KCl, whereas it had little effect on the concentration-response curves to carbachol. Under Ca(2+)-free conditions and in the presence of 10(-4) mol/L acetylcholine, neither 1,8-cineole (6.5 x 10(-3) mol/L) nor verapamil (1 x 10(-5) mol/L) affected Ca(2+)-induced contractions, but they almost abolished Ba(2+)-induced contractions. 4. In conclusion, the findings of the present study show that 1,8-cineole is a tracheal myorelaxant that acts preferentially on contractile responses elicited electromechanically.
 
Article
1. Dmo1 (Diabetes Mellitus OLETF type I) is a major quantitative trait locus for dyslipidaemia, obesity and diabetes phenotypes of male Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats. 2. Our congenic lines, produced by transferring Dmo1 chromosomal segments from the non-diabetic Brown Norway (BN) rat into the OLETF strain, have confirmed the strong, wide-range therapeutic effects of Dmo1 on dyslipidaemia, obesity and diabetes in the fourth (BC4) and fifth (BC5) generations of congenic animals. Analysis of a relatively small number of BC5 rats (n = 71) suggested that the critical Dmo1 interval lies within a < 4.9 cM region between D1Rat461 and D1Rat459. 3. To confirm the assignment of the Dmo1 critical interval, we intercrossed BC5 animals to produce a larger study population (BC5:F1 males; n = 406). For the present study, we used bodyweight at 18 weeks of age as an index of obesity; this phenotype is representative of the closely associated dyslipidaemia and hyperglycaemia phenotypes. 4. Interval mapping assigned logarithm of odds (LOD) peaks at the D1Rat90 marker (LOD = 9.11). One LOD support interval lies within the < 1.7 cM region between D1Rat461 and D1Rat459. 5. This large intercross study confirms that Dmo1 is likely localized within the interval.
 
Article
Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The exact mechanism mediating the negative influence of hyperglycaemia on renal function remains unclear, although several hypotheses have been postulated. The cellular mechanisms include glucose-induced excessive formation of reactive oxygen species, increased glucose flux through the polyol pathway and formation of advanced glycation end-products. The renal effects in vivo of each and every one of these mechanisms are even less clear. However, there is growing evidence that hyperglycaemia results in altered renal oxygen metabolism and decreased renal oxygen tension and that these changes are linked to altered kidney function. Clinical data regarding renal oxygen metabolism and oxygen tension are currently rudimentary and our present understanding regarding renal oxygenation during diabetes is predominantly derived from data obtained from animal models of experimental diabetic nephropathy. This review will present recent findings regarding the link between hyperglycaemia and diabetes-induced alterations in renal oxygen metabolism and renal oxygen availability. A possible link between reduced renal oxygen tension and the development of diabetic nephropathy includes increased polyol pathway activity and oxidative stress, which result in decreased renal oxygenation and subsequent activation of hypoxia-inducible factors. This initiates increased gene expression of numerous genes known to be involved in development of diabetic nephropathy.
 
Article
1. Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal autosomal dominant disorder in which there is progressive neurodegeneration producing motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. The dynamic mutation that causes the disease is common to numerous other brain disorders, which may share similar pathogenic mechanisms. 2. Much progress has been made in the past decade in understanding how a trinucleotide (CAG) repeat expansion, encoding an expanded polyglutamine tract in the huntingtin protein, induces dysfunction at molecular and cellular levels. The present review integrates various lines of experimental evidence in an attempt to move towards a unifying mechanistic framework, which may explain the pathogenesis of HD, from molecular through to neuronal network and behavioural levels. 3. Recent evidence, using transgenic mouse models, also suggests that environmental factors can modify the onset and progression of HD. The effects of specific environmental manipulations are discussed in the context of gene–environment interactions and experience-dependent plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain, particularly the cerebral cortex.
 
Article
It has been suggested recently that molecules expressed both in the pancreas and hypothalamus, such as mu-opioid receptor 1 (OPRM1), could form an integrated brain-liver system, which may sense glucose levels and therefore contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the present study, we tested associations between OPRM1 gene polymorphisms (rs1799971, 102T/C and rs0648007G/A) and indices of glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity (IS) and insulin secretion derived from plasma measures obtained in a fasting state and following a 75 g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in 749 subjects from the Quebec Family Study (QFS). Polymorphisms were tested for association with glucose tolerance (normal vs IFG and T2DM combined) by calculating a chi(2) statistic and corresponding P values, whereas associations with quantitative measures of glucose tolerance, IS and insulin secretion were tested using mixed linear models implemented in the MIXED procedure of sas (SAS Institute, Cary, NC, USA). Associations were found between 102T/C OPRM1 and indices of glucose tolerance and IS. Compared with T/T homozygotes, carriers of the OPRM1 C-102 variant exhibited a better glucose tolerance with a lower (P = 0.006) glucose area under the curve (AUC) following the OGTT and a better IS with a higher (P = 0.03) value of the Cederholm index, a numerical index of the curve relating glucose uptake to the log(10) plasma insulin levels during the OGTT. The results of the present study reveal that the 102T/C OPRM1 gene polymorphism is associated with a better glucose tolerance and improved IS, both of which suggest a potential protective effect of this variant on T2DM risk.
 
Article
SUMMARY 1. The effects on the coronary circulation of intravenous injections of nifedipine were compared with those of glyceryl trinitrate in conscious dogs using chronically implanted Doppler flow probes. 2. Each drug causes a fall in arterial pressure and a rise in heart rate, circumflex flow and circumflex conductance. 3. Dose-response curves for peak changes in these variables are quantitatively similar for each drug (six dogs); threshold effects occur with about 0.25 μg/kg, and maximal effects with about 16 μg/kg. However, the change in circumflex conductance induced by 8 μg/kg of nifedipine last on the average of 3.5 min, whereas the effects of circumflex conductance induced by the same dose of glyceryl trinitrate last 1 min. 4. The effects of 8 μg/kg of each drug were investigated in 5 dogs treated with propranolol, and propranolol plus atropine. The findings suggest that the rise in heart rate elicited by both drugs is mediated entirely through autonomic mechanisms, whereas 80% of the increase in conductance elicited by both drugs is due to their direct vasodilator action and 20% is attributable to autonomic mechanisms. 5. The administration of nifedipine into the buccal cavity in doses suggested for clinical use rapidly induces a fall in arterial pressure and a rise in heart rate, coronary flow, cardiac output and cardiac work; these effects may persist for longer than 1 h. 6. It is concluded that nifedipine is a potent, long acting coronary and systemic vasodilator in the unanaesthetized dog. It appears to have haemodynamic effects which resemble those of glyceryl trinitrate in some respects but not in others.
 
Article
1. Sevoflurane produces QT prolongation on the electrocardiogram, predominantly via inhibition of the slow delayed rectifier K(+) current. DPI 201-106 is an experimental drug that produces QT prolongation by reducing Na(+) channel inactivation, thereby mimicking congenital long QT syndrome type 3 (LQT3). The present study explores the electrophysiological consequences of administration of sevoflurane in the presence of impaired Na(+) channel activity. 2. We examined the effects of sevoflurane and DPI 201-106, alone and in combination, on the cardiac action potential of guinea-pig ventricular myocytes using standard microelectrode techniques. 3. Both sevoflurane and DPI-201-106 prolonged action potential duration, with the combination of the two drugs producing greater than additive effects. Similarly, instability and triangulation of the action potential waveform, measures of pro-arrhythmia, were more pronounced when both drugs were combined. 4. Sevoflurane treatment significantly alters cardiac action potential waveforms when administered in the presence of impaired Na(+) channel inactivation. These results indicate the potential for ventricular arrhythmia when sevoflurane is administered to LQT3 patients and suggests caution when using sevoflurane in this population.
 
Article
1. The antiarrhythmic properties of 5-(3-tert-butylamino-2-hydroxy)propoxy-3,4-dihydrocarbostyril hydrochloride (opc-1085) were compared with those of propranolol and pindolol using various kinds of preparations for experimental arrhythmia in dogs. 2. Although OPC-1085 was the most potent drug to antagonize adrenaline-induced arrhythmia in animals anaesthetized with either pentobarbitone sodium or halothane, it was scarcely effective on ouabain-induced arrhythmia in pentobarbitone sodium anaesthetized animals. 3. When these compounds were administered intravenously to conscious dogs 24 h after two-stage ligation of the anterior descending artery, ectopic ventricular beats of coronary ligation-induced arrhythmia were reduced while regular sinus beats were simultaneously increased. 4. OPC-1085 was very effective on aconitine-induced arrhythmia in dogs anaesthetized with pentobarbitone sodium. The effective dose was similar to that of propranolol but about fifteen times less than that of pindolol. 5. It is concluded that different potencies among these beta-adrenoreceptor antagonists against various kinds of experimental arrhythmias cannot be simply deduced from any one of the following properties; beta-adrenoreceptor antagonism, intrinsic myocardial stimulation, local anaesthetic and so-called quinidine-like effects.
 
Article
1. To investigate the pharmacological effects of T-1095, this novel derivative of phlorizin was administered to GK rats for 8 weeks. T-1095 treatment significantly lowered plasma glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) levels, but did not significantly affect bodyweight. 2. T-1095 treatment did not affect 3.3 mmol/L glucose-induced insulin secretion in the isolated perfused pancreas of GK rats. 3. The peak insulin release in T-1095-treated GK rats was significantly higher during the first phase than in untreated GK rats (3–4 min after beginning 16.7 mmol/L glucose perfusion). The total amount of insulin secreted during the first phase in T-1095-treated GK rats was significantly higher than in untreated GK rats (35.3 ± 1.4 vs 27.3 ± 2.5 ng in T-1095-treated compared with untreated rats, respectively). 4. During the second phase, insulin release in T-1095-treated GK rats was somewhat higher than in untreated GK rats (7–30 min after beginning 16.7 mmol/L glucose perfusion). The total amount of insulin secreted during the second phase in T-1095-treated GK rats was significantly higher than in untreated GK rats (88.2 ± 6.1 vs 68.1 ± 5.7 ng, respectively). 5. The total amount of insulin secreted during perfusion in T-1095-treated GK rats was significantly higher than in untreated GK rats (123.5 ± 7.3 vs 95.4 ± 7.7 ng, respectively). 6. These data show that the metabolic indices, plasma glucose and HbA1c levels and insulin secretion are significantly improved by T-1095 treatment in GK rats, which are spontaneously diabetic rats, suggesting its usefulness as a novel oral therapeutic antidiabetic agent.
 
Article
1. Irinotecan (also known as CPT-11) is a water soluble, semi-synthetic analogue of 20(S)camptothecin (CPT) with promising activity against a range of tumour types. 2. As with all other active analogues of CPT, irinotecan causes cell toxicity by stabilizing a ternary complex between the nuclear enzyme topoisomerase I (topo I) and doublestranded DNA. This leads to replication fork-arrest, double DNA strand breaks and, possibly, illegitimate recombination of vital genes. 3. This activity is much greater for its metabolite SN-38 and irinotecan is widely considered to be a prodrug of SN-38. 4. The anti-topo I activity of CPT is stereoselective at C-20 and irinotecan is synthesized from 20(S)CPT to ensure maximal activity. In aqueous solutions, the lacton ring of CPT under goes reversible and spontaneous hydrolysis to a ring-opened and inactive carboxylate form. In patients, it has been shown that the lactone is the predominant form of SN-38 in plasma, whereas the opposite is true for irinotecan. 5. The transformation of irinotecan to SN-38 is catalysed by carboxylesterases. However, this conversion appears relatively inefficient in man. 6. Irinotecan and SN-38 show evidence of other metabolic reactions (type I and II), some of which could be subject to pharmacogenetic variablity. 7. Therapy with irinotecan is associated with unusual toxicities, such as an acute cholinergic-like syndrome and delayed onset diarrhoea. Although the mechanism for the diarrhoea remains to be defined, the cholinergic toxicity appears to be due to an inhibition of acetylcholinesterase.
 
Article
1. The rat hippocampus 1l-β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11-HSD) displays a different substrate specificity to that of other tissues. S1 nuclease analysis was used to determine whether the hippocampal messenger RNA is different from that found in other tissues. 2. SI nuclease analysis using probes spanning the full length cDNA demonstrated that there were no differences in sequence between the hippocampal 11-HSD and the enzyme originally cloned from the liver. 3. These results suggest that there may be multiple 11-HSD isoforms in the hippocampus with different substrate specificities.
 
Article
1. There are two functionally different isoforms of the insulin receptor in humans and rats. We hypothesized that a change in their relative proportion could be of relevance to insulin resistance in hypertension. 2. A reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction technique was established for the detection of mRNA for the exon 11+ and exon 11—isoforms and the proportion of each was determined in 3, 6, 9 and 12 week old spontaneously hypertensive rats and Wistar-Kyoto rats, as well as adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH)-induced hypertensive rats and controls. 3. The proportion of the exon 11+ form (∼95%) and exon 11—form (∼5%) was similar in the liver of all rats studied. 4. We conclude that there is no change in insulin receptor isoform expression in the liver in the models of hypertension studied.
 
Article
1. The enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11 beta HSD) converts glucocorticoids to their inactive 11-keto metabolites. The ubiquitous expression of the NADP-dependent isoform (11 beta HSD1) suggest an important role in modulating glucocorticoid action, but little is known about 11 beta HSD1 gene expression and enzymatic activity in the rat heart. 2. In the present study rat cardiac 11 beta HSD1 activity and ontogeny of gene expression have been characterized. The addition of NADP, but not NAD, to heart homogenates resulted in significant increases in the metabolism of both corticosterone and cortisol, with the former substrate displaying far greater metabolism. Both 11 beta HSD1 gene expression and enzyme activity increased in parallel from low levels at 1 week of age to maximal levels at 8 weeks, with no further change by 16 weeks of age. 3. We also compared the activity of 11 beta HSD1 in the hearts of male and female spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) with normotensive Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) controls. Enzyme activity in the pooled atria of female SHR was significantly higher than in male SHR atria (7.6 +/- 0.6% conversion of corticosterone vs 4.5 +/- 0.5%; P < 0.05). The left ventricles of female WKY rats contained significantly less 11 beta HSD activity than either male WKY rats or female SHR (8.6 +/- 0.8% conversion vs 17 +/- 1.4 and 13.6 +/- 0.5%, respectively; P < 0.05). In the right ventricle, female WKY rats also had significantly less enzyme activity than either female SHR or male WKY rats (4.9 +/- 0.7 vs 10.0 +/- 1.7 and 10.2 +/- 1.4%; P < 0.05). 4. These results clearly show that the rat heart contains significant amounts of the 11 beta HSD1 enzyme and that this activity is sexually dimorphic. Furthermore, significant differences were observed between a normotensive and hypertensive strain of rat. The relevance of these observations to the aetiology and maintenance of hypertension remains to be explored.
 
Article
1. In previous studies, baseline and ACTH-stimulated hormone levels, plus HLA genotyping, have been used to detect heterozygous carriers in congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) due to 21-hydroxylase deficiency (21-OHDS). 2. In the present study similar parameters were determined in a family of four including two children with CAH due to 11 beta-hydroxylase deficiency (11-OHDS), and a family of twelve including three sibs (two females, one genotypically male) with CAH due to 17 alpha-hydroxylase deficiency (17-OHDS). 3. HLA typing showed affected sibs with 11-OHDS to differ in one of their haplotypes. No significant differences in basal and ACTH-stimulated steroid levels were seen between the parents (obligate heterozygotes) and the general population. 4. In 17-OHDS, affected members differed from one another in one to two haplotypes; one patient had identical HLA profiles with two of the normal siblings, as did the genotypically male patient with two others; each of the other healthy siblings had one haplotype found in two of the affected subjects. The genes responsible for 11-OHDS and 17-OHDS--in contrast with 21-OHDS--do not appear to be HLA-linked. However, the measurement of ACTH-stimulated corticosterone levels may be useful, since the gene responsible for 17-OHDS seems to be expressed hormonally in the heterozygous state.
 
Article
1. The enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II (11 beta HSD2) confers specificity on the non-specific mineralocorticoid receptor by converting cortisol to cortisone. 2. We have examined the localization of this enzyme in the human skin, myocardium and saphenous vein by immunohistochemical techniques. 3. High amounts of 11 beta HSD2 immunoreactivity were found in smooth muscle cells in the arterioles of the skin, heart and saphenous vein. Lower amounts of staining were also found in longitudinal and concentric smooth muscle cells lining the lumen of the saphenous vein.
 
Article
Members of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel superfamily are present in vascular smooth muscle cells and play important roles in the regulation of vascular contractility. The TRPC3 and TRPC6 channels are activated by stimulation of several excitatory receptors in vascular smooth muscle cells. Activation of these channels leads to myocyte depolarization, which stimulates Ca2+ entry via voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCC), leading to vasoconstriction. The TRPV4 channels in arterial myocytes are activated by epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, and activation of the channels enhances Ca2+ spark and transient Ca2+-sensitive K+ channel activity, thereby hyperpolarizing and relaxing vascular smooth muscle cells. The TRPC6 and TRPM4 channels are activated by mechanical stimulation of cerebral artery myocytes. Subsequent depolarization and activation of VDCC Ca2+ entry is directly linked to the development of myogenic tone in vitro and to autoregulation of cerebral blood flow in vivo. These findings imply a fundamental importance of TRP channels in the regulation of vascular smooth muscle tone and suggest that TRP channels could be important targets for drug therapy under conditions in which vascular contractility is disturbed (e.g. hypertension, stroke, vasospasm).
 
Article
1. We investigated the effects of direct blockade of angiotensin II (AngII) by a potent, non-peptide angiotensin II type 1 (AT1) receptor antagonist, TCV 116, on the development of cardiac hypertrophy in salt-loaded Dahl salt-sensitive rats. 2. Six week old male Dahl salt-sensitive rats (n= 44) were fed a 4% salt diet and were simultaneously given various doses of TCV 116 orally for 7 weeks. Each control group received vehicle alone. 3. Dietary high salt intake elevated blood pressure continuously and caused left ventricular hypertrophy in rats treated with vehicle. TCV 116 had a minor effect on the rise in blood pressure. Left ventricular mass (left ventricular weight/body-weight) decreased slightly but not significantly, in rats treated with 3mg/kg per day of TCV 116 (n= 8). Higher doses of TCV 116 (6 and 10 mg/kg per day; n= 8 each) did not show a decrease in left ventricular mass compared with the vehicle control. 4. These results suggest that AngII blockade has only minor effects on hypertension and on cardiac hypertrophy in salt-loaded Dahl salt-sensitive rats and that the renin-angiotensin system may not contribute to the development of cardiac hypertrophy in Dahl salt-sensitive rats on a moderately high-salt diet.
 
Article
1. Butyrate, a bacteria fermentative product in the colonic lumen, has been shown to produce a wide variety of biological effects in human cancer cells in vitro. However, there are pharmacological drawbacks associated with the use of butyrate therapy and there are limited published data on the structure-activity relationship of butyrate analogues in colorectal cancer cells. Previously, we determined structure-activity relationship using HT-29 human colorectal cancer cells. However, it was viewed as important to explore similar relationships in another colorectal cancer cell line. 2. Therefore, in the present study, the in vitro structure-activity relationship of butyrate analogues was examined by investigating their effects on apoptosis, cell proliferation, histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) leakage as a measure of cell toxicity in HCT-116 human colorectal cancer cells. 3. Of the 32 analogues tested, only 4-benzoylbutyrate, 3-benzo-ylpropionate, 4-(4-nitrophenyl)butyrate and 3-(4-fluorobenzoyl)propionate exhibited comparable biological effects to butyrate. The common structural properties of the compounds of interest were to lack amino or hydroxyl substitutions at the 2-, 3- and/or 4-position of the aliphatic moiety of butyrate. 4. The present study reveals a dissociation between the induction of apoptosis, inhibition of cell proliferation, HDAC activity and LDH leakage. The results indicate differential responses of butyrate analogues in HT-29 and HCT-116 colorectal cancer cells.
 
Article
1. Endothelial nitric oxide synthase (NOS3) is important for vascular homeostasis. The role of protein kinase G (PKG) in regulation of NOS3 activity was studied in primary cultures of newborn lamb lung microvascular endothelial cells (LMVEC). 2. We determined the presence of PKG in fetal and neonatal LMVEC as well as subcellular localization of PKG isoforms in the neonatal cells by fluorescence immunohistochemistry. We used diaminofluorescein (DAF) fluorophore to measure nitric oxide (NO) production from neonatal LMVEC. We confirmed that NO measured was from constitutive NOS3 by inhibiting it with NOS inhibitors. 3. To identify a role for PKG in basal NO production, we measured NO release from LMVEC cells using 4-amino-5-methylamino-2',7'-difluorofluorescein (DAF-FM; 0.5-0.8 micromol/L) with and without prior stimulation with the PKG activator 8-bromo-cGMP (8-Br-cGMP; 0.3 and 3 micromol/L) or prior PKG inhibition with beta-phenyl-1,N2-etheno-8-bromoguanosine-3',5'-cyclic monophosphorothionate (BPC; 0.3 and 3 micromol/L). With the same drugs, we determined the role of PKG on cellular expression of NOS3 and serine 116 phosphorylated NOS (pSer116-NOS) by qualitative and quantitative immunofluorescence assays, as well as western blotting. 4. Because PKG 1 beta was distributed throughout the cytosol in a punctate expression, we used 2 mmol/L cyclodextrin, a cholesterol extractor, to determine a role for lipid vesicles in PKG regulation of NO production. 5. Protein kinase G 1 beta gave a punctate appearance, indicating its presence in intracellular vesicles. Nitric oxide production decreased by approximately 20% with 300 nmol/L and 3 micromol/L 8-Br cGMP (P < 0.05) and increased by 20.8 +/- 3.7% with 3 micromol/L BPC (P < 0.001), indicating that both stimulated and basal PKG activity has inhibitory effects on basal NOS3 function. Nitric oxide synthase immunofluorescence and immunoblot expression were decreased and pSer116-NOS immunofluorescence was increased by 800 nmol/L 8-Br-cGMP and 170 micromol/L (Z)-1-[2-(2-aminoethyl)-N-(2-ammonio-ethyl)amino]diazen-1-ium-1, 2-diolate (DETANONOate). The effect of cyclodextrin indicated that cholesterol extraction interfered with PKG inhibition of NOS. Further examination of pSer116-NOS by immunohistochemistry showed it abundant in the endoplasmic reticulum and colocalized with PKG 1 beta, especially in nuclear vesicles. 6. We conclude that endothelial PKG is involved in endogenous regulation of basal NOS3 activity with the involvement of lipid structures, the endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleus. Protein kinase G 1 beta is colocalized with pSer116-NOS, indicating that PKG action may involve serine 116 phosphorylation on NOS.
 
Article
1. The role of the brain renin-angiotensin system in the pathogenesis of genetic hypertension was evaluated using a specific non-peptide angiotensin II type-1 receptor antagonist, TCV-116. 2. CV-11974 (active metabolite of TCV-116) was acutely injected either intravenously (i.v.) or intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.) in male spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR; 12 week old). In separate groups of nephrectomized and sham-operated SHR, graded doses of CV-11974 were administered either i.v. or i.c.v. for 2 days using an osmotic minipump. In another group, the effects of nephrectomy on the depressor effect of chronic treatment with CV-11974 were investigated. Haemodynamics at three points: before infusion, before nephrectomy and 48 h after nephrectomy, were monitored. 3. Acute i.v. injection of CV-11974 decreased blood pressure in the presence of the kidney. Prolonged i.c.v. administration of the drug for 2 days decreased blood pressure even at the lowest dosage, which had no hypotensive effects when given i.v. The hypotensive effect of centrally administered CV-11974 was noted even 48 h after bilateral nephrectomy. 4. These results suggest that the brain renin-angiotensin system has a primary role in the maintenance of hypertension after eliminating the circulating renin-angiotensin system in SHR.
 
Article
1. To determine whether total interruption of the local cardiac renin-angiotensin system by angiotensin II (AngII) receptor antagonist limits myocardial ischaemia, intracoronary (i.e.) or intravenous (i.v.) infusion of Angll receptor antagonists was compared in ischaemic dogs. 2. Dogs subjected to 90min coronary artery occlusion and 270 min reperfusion assigned to saline (n= 10) or i.e. low dose (LD, n= 10), i.v. low dose (n= 10) or i.v. high dose (HD, n= 10) of AngII AT1-receptor antagonist, CV-11974. The CV-11974 was infused from 15 min pre-occlusion for 180 min. Cardiac and regional function, area at risk and infarct size were measured. 3. Although i.e. CV-11974 did not cause systemic haemodynamic changes, it abolished reduction in coronary blood flow induced by i.e. AngII injection. Elevation in LV end-diastolic pressure during ischaemia was smaller in both i.e. and i.v.-HD CV-11974 dogs than in i.v.-LD and control dogs. Regional wall thickening was not different among the four groups. With comparable area at risk, i.e. CV-11974 reduced infarct size to the same extent as i.v.-HD CV-11974 (18 vs 21%), which was smaller than i.v.-LD CV or the controls (38 and 42%). 4. The results indicate that AngII receptor antagonist can reduce ischaemia-reperfusion injury in experimental ischaemia. These cardioprotective effects might be mediated through direct inhibition of local angiotensin action in the heart. Local cardiac AngII formation may play a crucial role in cardiac injury during ischaemia and reperfusion.
 
Article
1. We previously reported loss of heterozygosity (LOH) at region q13 of chromosome 11 in five aldosterone-producing tumours (APT) using restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis, including two from patients with familial hyperaldosteronism. 2. In the present study, microsatellite markers were used to examine 33 informative paired blood and tumour DNA samples from patients with APT for LOH at three loci that map to chromosome 11q13. 3. LOH at one or more loci was detected in seven (21.2%) tumour DNA samples. 4. This study provides further support that mutations at 11q13 may be involved in the underlying pathophysiology of aldosterone-producing tumours of the adrenal cortex.
 
Article
1. One of the major causes of metabolic syndrome is elevated 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 (11β-HSD1) in the liver and adipose tissue. High 11β-HSD1 expression contributes significantly to the diabetic phenotype in db/db mice. The purpose of the present study was to test the effect of the pharmacological inhibition of 11β-HSD1 inhibition by carbenoxolone in db/db mice, a genetic model of diabetes. 2. Inhibition of 11β-HSD1 by carbenoxolone was evaluated in liver homogenates obtained from untreated mice. At 0.4, 0.8, 1.6 and 3.2 μmol/L, carbenoxolone reduced the conversion of cortisone to cortisol by 21%, 48%, 82% and 95%, respectively. 3. In another series of experiments in which female db/db mice were dosed orally with carbenoxolone (10, 25 and 50 mg/kg, twice daily) for 10 days, dose-dependent decreases were observed in 11β-HSD1 activity in the brain, adipose and liver. In the case of 10 mg/kg carbenoxolone, the effects were not significant. In addition, the bodyweight of female db/db mice was reduced by 10% and 13% following treatment with 10 and 50 mg/kg carbenoxolone, respectively. Carbenoxolone treatment dose-dependently improved fat mass, energy expenditure, the serum lipid profile, serum leptin and insulin and glucose tolerance. Furthermore, 50 mg/kg carbenoxolone reduced both phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (PEPCK) and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) activity in the liver by 75% and 52%, respectively. These decreases were associated with increased glucokinase protein expression and activity in the liver. 4. Carbenoxolone inhibition of 11β-HSD1 in the liver, adipose and brain significantly improves the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in db/db mice. These improvements can be attributed to increased energy expenditure, decreased activity of the gluconeogenic enzymes PEPCK and G6Pase in the liver and improved glucokinase function in the liver and pancreas.
 
Article
1. 11 beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11-HSD) activity in mesenteric arteries of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats was determined and expressed as the percentage conversion of [3H]-corticosterone to [3H]-11-dehydrocorticosterone. 2. 11-HSD activity was significantly decreased in mesenteric arteries of both 4 and 9 week old SHR (8.4 +/- 0.8%, 5.0 +/- 1.5%, respectively) compared with WKY rats (12.4 +/- 0.6%, 15.8 +/- 0.7%, respectively; P < 0.05). 3. Total RNA from rat vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMC) and endothelial cells (EC) were prepared with selective precipitation in 3 mol/L LiCl/6 mol/L urea. The expression of 11-HSD mRNA was confirmed in the rat VSMC but its mRNA expression was not detected in EC, using northern blot analysis. 4. The results in this study indicate that 11-HSD in the vascular wall may play a role in the pathogenesis of hypertension in SHR.
 
Article
1. Phorbol-12,13-dibutyrate (PDBu) is an activator of protein kinase C (PKC) that causes contractions in both physiological salt solutions and Ca(2+)-depleted solutions. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that Rho-kinase plays a role in Ca(2+)-independent contractions induced by PDBu in vascular smooth muscles. 2. In Ca(2+)-free solution, 0.1 and 1 micromol/L PDBu induced contraction and myosin light chain (MLC(20)) phosphorylation, both of which were approximately 40% of responses obtained in normal Krebs' solution. Hydroxyfasudil (H1152; 1 micromol/L), an inhibitor of Rho-kinase, but not ML7 (10 micromol/L), an inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase, inhibited Ca(2+)-independent contractions induced by PDBu. 3. In Ca(2+)-free solution, PDBu increased phosphorylation of myosin phosphatase targeting subunit 1 (MYPT1) and CPI-17 (PKC-potentiated inhibitory protein for heterotrimeric myosin light chain phosphatase of 17 kDa). This action was inhibited by H1152, with the phosphorylation of CPI-17 almost completely abolished by 1 micromol/L Ro31-8220, an inhibitor of PKC. 4. In Ca(2+)-free solution, PDBu increased the amount of GTP-RhoA (an activated form of RhoA). This increase was blocked by the PKC inhibitor Ro31-8220, but not by the Rho kinase inhibitor H1152. 5. In conclusion, RhoA/Rho-kinase plays an important role in Ca(2+)-independent contractions induced by PDBu in vascular smooth muscles. The results of the present study suggest that PDBu induces Ca(2+)-independent contractions by inhibiting myosin light chain phospatase (MLCP) through activation of GTP-RhoA and subsequent phosphorylation of MYPT1 and CPI-17.
 
Article
1. Phorbol esters, activators of protein kinase C (PKC), have been widely used to investigate the role of PKC in the regulation of smooth muscle contraction. However, limited studies have so far been made of the sensitivity of the contraction induced by phorbol esters to relaxant drugs. We therefore examined the relaxant effects of the K+ channel openers, cromakalim and pinacidil, on the tonic contraction of canine isolated coronary artery rings induced by phorbol 12,13-dibutylate (PDBu). 2. In rings contracted with 10−7mol/L PDBu, cromakalim and pinacidil, as well as nifedipine, produced a concentration-dependent relaxation. At their maximum effects, both cromakalim and nifedipine caused a partial relaxation, whereas pinacidil produced nearly a full relaxation. 3. The relaxant effects of cromakalim and pinacidil were effectively antagonized by the ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker, glibenclamide (10−6mol/L). 4. In the presence of nifedipine, high K+ was ineffective while PDBu (10−7mol/L) still induced a tonic contraction. This PDBu-induced contraction was inhibited by concentrations of cromakalim and pinacidil higher than those needed in the absence of nifedipine. 5. In rings partially depolarized with 35mmol/L KCl, the ability of cromakalim to inhibit PDBu-induced contractions in the presence of nifedipine was completely abolished. Under the same conditions, the relaxant response to pinacidil, unlike cromakalim, was inhibited only partially. 6. These results suggest that cromakalim inhibits PDBu-induced contractions through an opening of K+ channels. Pinacidil does so by a mechanism shared with cromakalim as well as by another that is independent of this K+ channel opening action. These multiple modes of action may confer on pinacidil a vasorelaxant activity greater than that of cromakalim.
 
Article
1. The effects of KAD-1229 (a novel non-sulphonylurea agent), voglibose (an α-glucosidase inhibitor) and nateglinide (a non-sulphonylurea antihyperglycaemic agent) on hyperglycaemia induced by a meal load were assessed in diabetic rats. 2. KAD-1229 suppressed the increase in plasma glucose levels seen after a meal load and the area under the curve for plasma glucose levels (AUCglucose) up to 5 h after the meal load. 3. Voglibose also suppressed the increase in plasma glucose levels; however, a significant decrease in AUCglucose following voglibose was not observed. 4. Nateglinide suppressed the increase in plasma glucose levels at 30 min and 1 h after the meal load; however, plasma glucose levels was above control thereafter and the AUCglucose was not decreased. 5. The results indicate that KAD-1229 has an antihyperglycaemic effect and KAD-1229 is suggested to be a suitable agent for controlling post-prandial hyperglycaemia.
 
Article
1. We examined the effects of a selective endothelin A (ETA)-receptor antagonist, BQ-123, on the development of hypertension and organ damage in stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP) given 1% NaCl for 6 weeks. 2. BQ-123 at doses of 0.7, 2.1 and 7.1 mg/day was continuously administered for 6 weeks to 8 week old salt-loaded SHRSP, who were given water containing 1% NaCl for the following 6 weeks, via a subcutaneous osmotic minipump. 3. Development of high blood pressure was accelerated in salt-loaded SHRSP compared with that in non-salt-loaded SHRSP. After 6 weeks of salt-loading, incidence of cerebral infarction, renal sclerosis and renal fibrosis were greater in salt-loaded than non-salt-loaded SHRSP. 4. BQ-123 attenuated the age-related rise in blood pressure in a dose-dependent manner. The effect coincided with reduction in the incidence of cerebral infarction and prevention of renal sclerosis and fibrosis. Kidney function was improved as observed by an increase in glomerular filtration rate and decreases in urinary protein excretion, blood urea nitrogen and fractional sodium excretion. Furthermore, BQ-123 prevented increases in the heart weight/bodyweight ratio and aortic wall thickness in salt-loaded SHRSP. 5. These results suggest that endogenous endothelin-1 (ET-1) and ETA-receptors may be, at least in part, involved in the pathogenesis of hypertension and organ damage in salt-loaded SHRSP.
 
Article
1. (—)[125I]-Cyanopindolol (CYP) binding to non-β-adrenoceptor sites in dog kidney was characterized in homogenate preparations and their distribution in sections determined using autoradiography. 2. In homogenate studies, (—)[125I]-CYP bound to a single population of non-interacting sites (Bmax= 5.45, s.e.m. = 1.00 fmol/mg wet weight; nH = 0.99, s.e.m. = 0.01) with high affinity (KD= 3.84, s.e.m. = 0.76 nmol/l, n= 4). 3. In competition studies, compounds selective for α- and β-adrenoceptors, muscarinic cholinoceptors and receptors for 5-HT, histamine and benzodiazepines, calcium channel antagonists, catecholamine uptake inhibitors, MAO inhibitors and adrenergic neurone blockers were ineffective at concentrations of 10 μmol/l. 4. Compounds selective for dopamine D1-receptors (fluphenazine, SCH 23390 and SK & F 82526) and D2-receptors (pimozide, domperidone, spiperone, haloperidol, sulpiride, cis- and trans-flupenthixol) competed with similar affinities (5–25 μmol/l) for (—)[125I]-CYP binding. 5. In autoradiographic studies, (—) [125I]-CYP binding to non-β-adrenoceptor sites was localized over glomeruli, juxtaglomerular apparatus, distal tubules, blood vessels and medullary rays and tubules. 6. It is concluded that in dog kidney, (—)[125I]-CYP binds to a site closely associated with dopamine receptors.
 
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