[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Vitex agnus-castus (VAC) is a plant that has recently been used to treat the symptoms of menopause, by its actions on the central nervous system. However, little is known about its actions on disturbances in lipid metabolism and nonalcoholic fat liver disease (NAFLD), frequently associated with menopause. Ovariectomized (OVX) rats exhibit increased adiposity and NAFLD 13 weeks after ovary removal and were used as animal models of estrogen deficiency. The rats were treated with crude extract (CE) and a butanolic fraction of VAC (ButF) and displayed the beneficial effects of a reduction in the adiposity index and a complete reversion of NAFLD. NAFLD reversion was accompanied by a general improvement in the liver redox status. The activities of some antioxidant enzymes were restored and the mitochondrial hydrogen peroxide production was significantly reduced in animals treated with CE and the ButF. It can be concluded that the CE and ButF from Vitex agnus-castus were effective in preventing NAFLD and oxidative stress, which are frequent causes of abnormal liver functions in the postmenopausal period.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sorghum, pearl millet, and Brachiaria ruziziensis have similar characteristics which have led to their use for mulch formation in no-till systems. This study was carried out to evaluate the potential of these three species as straw suppliers to suppress weed emergence. Initial findings led to the conclusion that both pearl millet and Brachiaria ruziziensis have similar or superior potential as weed suppressors, compared to sorghum straw, a species with recognized allelopathic potential. Subsequently, new trials were conducted under greenhouse conditions by sowing weed species in pots, followed by covering of the soil with the straw under evaluation. Independent experiments were conducted for Euphorbiaheterophylla and Bidens pilosa. In each experiment, the factors analyzed were type of straw (pearl millet and B. ruziziensis), amount of straw (equivalent to 4 and 8 t ha-1 dry mass) and irrigation method (surface and subsurface). Both pearl millet and B. ruziziensis have shown to be species that can be cultivated to produce straw with allelopathic potential. These effects were effective in suppressing the emergence or early growth of E. heterophylla and B. pilosa. There was no difference in the suppression of emergence of these species when the soil cover level was alternated between 4 and 8 t ha-1 dry mass.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is well known that hyperglycaemia is the initiating cause of tissue damage associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus and that enhanced hepatic gluconeogenesis may account for the increase in blood glucose levels. The purpose of this work was to investigate the possible actions and mechanisms of three related citrus flavanones, namely hesperidin, hesperetin and naringenin, on hepatic gluconeogenesis and related parameters using isolated perfused rat liver. Hesperetin and naringenin (but not hesperidin) inhibited gluconeogenesis from lactate plus pyruvate, alanine and dihydroxyacetone. The inhibitory effects of these flavanones on gluconeogenesis from lactate and pyruvate (hesperetin IC50 75.6μM; naringenin IC50 85.5μM) as well as from alanine were considerably more pronounced than those from dihydroxyacetone. The main cause of gluconeogenesis inhibition is the reduction of pyruvate carboxylation by hesperetin (IC50 134.2μM) and naringenin (IC50 143.5μM) via inhibition of pyruvate transport into the mitochondria. Secondary causes are likely inhibition of energy metabolism, diversion of glucose 6-phosphate for glucuronidation reactions and oxidation of NADH by flavanone phenoxyl radicals. The influence of the structural differences between hesperetin and naringenin on their metabolic effects was negligible. Analytical evidence indicated that the presence of a rutinoside moiety in hesperidin noticeably decreases its metabolic effects, confirming that hesperetin and naringenin interact with intracellular enzymes and mitochondrial or cellular membranes better than hesperidin. Thus, the inhibition of the gluconeogenic pathway by citrus flavanones, which was similar to that of the drug metformin, may represent an attractive novel treatment strategy for type 2 diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Citrus flavonoids have a wide range of biological activities and positive health effects on mammalian cells because of their antioxidant properties. However, they also act as prooxidants and thus may interfere with metabolic pathways. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the effects of three citrus flavanones, hesperidin, hesperetin, and naringenin, on several parameters linked to fatty acid oxidation in mitochondria, peroxisomes, and perfused livers of rats. When exogenous octanoate was used as substrate, hesperetin and naringenin reduced the mitochondrial NADH/NAD(+) ratio and stimulated the citric acid cycle without significant changes on oxygen uptake or ketogenesis. When fatty acid oxidation from endogenous sources was evaluated, hesperetin and naringenin strongly reduced the mitochondrial NADH/NAD(+) ratio. They also inhibited both oxygen uptake and ketogenesis and stimulated the citric acid cycle. Hesperidin, on the other hand, had little to no effect on these parameters. These results confirm the hypothesis that citrus flavanones are able to induce a more oxidised state in liver cells, altering parameters related to hepatic fatty acid oxidation. The prooxidant effect is most likely a consequence of the ability of these substances to oxidise NADH upon production of phenoxyl radicals in the presence of peroxidases and hydrogen peroxide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estrogen deficiency accelerates the development of several disorders including visceral obesity and hepatic steatosis. The predisposing factors can be exacerbated by drugs that affect hepatic lipid metabolism. The aim of the present work was to determine if raloxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) used extensively by postmenopausal women, affects hepatic fatty acid oxidation pathways. Fatty acids oxidation was measured in the livers, mitochondria and peroxisomes of ovariectomized (OVX) rats. Mitochondrial and peroxisomal β-oxidation was inhibited by raloxifene at a concentration range of 2.5 to 25μM. In perfused livers, raloxifene reduced the ketogenesis from endogenous and exogenous fatty acids and increased the β-hydroxybutyrate/acetoacetate ratio. An increase in (14)CO(2) production without a parallel increase in the oxygen consumption indicated that raloxifene caused a diversion of NADH from the mitochondrial respiratory chain to another oxidative reaction. It was found that raloxifene has a strong ability to react with H(2)O(2) in the presence of peroxidase. It is likely that the generation of phenoxyl radical derivatives of raloxifene in intact livers led to the co-oxidation of NADH and a shift of the cellular redox state to an oxidised condition. This change can perturb other important liver metabolic processes dependent on cellular NADH/NAD(+) ratio.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Toxicology Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present work was to investigate Ca(2+) transport and distribution under the conditions of the intact rat liver in health and disease (adjuvant-induced arthritis). The multiple-indicator dilution technique was used with the simultaneous injection of (45)Ca(2+) and indicators into the portal vein under defined conditions and analysis of the outflow profiles by means of a space-distributed variable transit time model. The best description of the (45)Ca(2+) outflow profiles corresponds to a model that assumes rapid distribution of (45)Ca(2+) between the vascular space and the cell surface and a slower transfer into the hepatocytes. In kinetic terms two distinct cellular pools were distinguishable, the cytosol and the endoplasmic reticulum. The concentration of Ca(2+) in the cytosol was much lower than in the vascular space and in the endoplasmic reticulum. The most prominent modification observed in the livers of arthritic rats was the increased Ca(2+) concentration in the hormone-sensitive cellular pool. Furthermore, reduced rates of Ca(2+) influx and efflux between the hormone-sensitive cellular pool and the cytosolic space were also detected in combination with a significantly reduced expression of the sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA2) protein. All these observations mean that in livers from arthritic rats more time is required to replenish the hormone sensitive Ca(2+) stores.
No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study investigated the allelopathic potential of both aqueous fraction of Bracharia ruziziensis L. straws and trans-aconitic acid, a component of aqueous fraction on growth and physiological processes of the weed Ipomoea triloba L. Both aqueous fraction and aconitic acid at 250-2000 ppm concentrations influenced the germination and growth of I. triloba and caused similar changes in the respiratory activity of primary roots. They reduced KCN-sensitive respiration and increased the KCN-insensitive respiration. The highest concentration of both aqueous fraction and trans-aconitic acid increased the malondialdehyde and conjugated diene content in the primary roots of seedlings. The oxygen consumption from citrate oxidation in mitochondria isolated from primary roots was not affected. Thus, the water soluble compounds of B. ruziziensis were phytotoxic to I. triloba, inducing perturbations in respiratory activity and lipid peroxidation. Although trans-aconitic acid exerted similar effects to the aqueous fraction, it is not the main compound responsible for the effects of aqueous fraction in I. triloba, because its content is very little in this fraction.
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Allelopathy Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of therapeutic doses of Cimicifuga racemosa on cardiovascular parameters and on liver lipid metabolism and redox status in an animal model of estrogen deficiency associated with hypertension, a condition that could make the liver more vulnerable to drug-induced injuries. Female Wistar rats were subjected to the surgical procedures of bilateral ovariectomy (OVX) and induction of renovascular hypertension (two-kidneys, one-clip; 2K1C). These animals (OVX + 2K1C) were treated with daily doses of a C. racemosa extract, using a dose that is similar to that recommended to postmenopausal women (0.6 mg/kg), over a period of 15 days. The results were compared to those of untreated OVX + 2K1C, OVX, and control rats. The treatment with C. racemosa caused a significant reduction in blood pressure. In the liver, treatment did not prevent the development of steatosis, and it reduced the mitochondrial and peroxisomal capacity to oxidize octanoyl-CoA compared to the untreated animals. In addition, C. racemosa caused numerous undesirable effects on the liver redox status: it increased the mitochondrial reactive oxygen species generation, an event that was not accompanied by an increase in the activity of superoxide dismutase, and it induced a decrease in peroxisomal catalase activity. Although the reduced glutathione content had not been affected, a phenomenon that probably reflected the restoration of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity by C. racemosa, oxidative damage was evidenced by the elevated level of thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances found in the liver of treated animals.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2012 · Free Radical Biology and Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The action of quercetin on oxygen uptake by uncoupled rat liver mitochondria was measured. Quercetin clearly inhibited oxygen uptake with several substrates. With 300 μM quercetin the inhibition degrees with the following substrates were: citrate, 73%; α-hydroxybutyrate, 68%; β-ketoglutarate, 67%; isocitrate, 41%, α-glycerophosphate, 38%. With fumarate, oxaloacetate and succinate no significant inhibition was found. Quercetin also inhibited oxygen uptake during the oxidation of various activated fatty acids with well-defined concentration dependencies. The degrees of inhibition with 300 μM quercetin were: octanoyl-carnitine, 83%; octanoyl-CoA, 82%; palmitoyl-CoA, 74%; oleoyl-CoA, 74%; palmitoyl-carnitine, 70%; and stearoyl-CoA, 67%. An action of quercetin on the fatty acyl-carnitine transferases is unlikely because octanoyl-CoA permeates the inner mitochondrial membrane as easily as octanoyl-carnitine or long-chain fatty acyl-carnitines and oxygen uptake with octanoyl-CoA was equally inhibited. Although direct action on dehydrogenases cannot be ruled out, the inhibition of NADH-oxidase activity suggests inhibitory effects on electron flow probably by acting on the respiratory chain complex I. This assumption was corroborated by experiments with disrupted mitochondria in which the effects of quercetin on membrane-bound enzymatic activities were measured. Quercetin did not affect succinate-oxidase activity, but inhibited NADH-oxidase activity in a dose dependent manner. There is also the possibility of generation of prooxidant metabolites in the respiratory chain by quercetin which could lead to a competition for NADH between the respiratory chain and the quercetin metabolites, anticipating NADH oxidation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The flavonolignan silibinin, which is a mixture of two diastereoisomers, silybin A and silybin B, is a component of the extract obtained from the fruit and seeds of the variegated milk thistle (Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (Asteraceae)), known as silymarin. Among the therapeutic properties credited to silibinin, its antihyperglycaemic action has been extensively explored. Silibinin is structurally related to the flavonoids quercetin and fisetin, which have been previously demonstrated to be very active on liver metabolic processes related to glycaemic regulation. The aim of the present work was to investigate the effects of silibinin on metabolic pathways responsible for the maintenance of glycaemia, particularly glycogenolysis and gluconeogenesis, in the perfused rat liver. The activities of some key enzymes in these pathways and on parameters of energy metabolism in isolated mitochondria were also examined. At a concentration range of 50-300μM, silibinin inhibited gluconeogenesis in the fasted condition and inhibited glycogenolysis and glycolysis in the fed condition. The mechanisms by which silibinin exerted these actions were multiple and complex. It inhibited the activity of glucose 6-phosphatase, inhibited the pyruvate carrier, and reduced the efficiency of mitochondrial energy transduction. It can also act by reducing the supply of NADH for gluconeogenesis and mitochondria through its pro-oxidative actions. In general, the effects and the potency of silibinin were similar to those of quercetin and fisetin. However, silibinin exerted some distinct effects such as the inhibitory effect on oxygen consumption in the fed condition and a change in the energy status of the perfused livers. It can be concluded that the effects of silibinin on liver glucose metabolism may explain its antihyperglycaemic property. However, this effect was, in part, secondary to impairment in cellular energy metabolism, a finding that should be considered in its therapeutic usage.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Chemico-biological interactions
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, simvastatin, atorvastatin, ezetimibe, and ezetimibe + simvastatin combination were administered to arthritic rats, first to determine their effects on the inflammatory response, employing a low-dose adjuvant-induced arthritis model in rats. Arthritis was induced by the subcutaneous injection of a suspension of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (100 μg) in mineral oil [complete Freund’s adjuvant used (CFA)] into the plantar surface of the hind paws. Simvastatin40mg/kg, atorvastatin10mg/kg, ezetimibe10mg/kg, ezetimibe10mg/kg + simvastatin20mg/kg or 40mg/kg were given intragastrically and the treatment began on the day of CFA injection and continued daily up to the 28th day after arthritis induction. The ezetimibe + simvastatin combination was more effective in reducing the inflammatory response in arthritic rats than in atorvastatin, simvastatin, or ezetimibe monotherapy. The observed effect seems to be cholesterol-independent as there were no changes in plasma cholesterol levels. In spite of the benefits on joint lesions, treatment with ezetimibe + simvastatin combination caused a marked increment in liver, kidneys, spleen size, and plasma transaminases activities. Therefore, animals treated with the ezetimibe10mg/kg + simvastatin40mg/kg combination were also submitted to liver perfusion experiments. In this regard, ezetimibe + simvastatin did not improve the liver metabolic alterations seen in control arthritic rats, on the contrary, a worsening was observed in liver production of glucose from alanine, as well as in oxygen uptake. All of these metabolic changes appear to be induced by treatment with ezetimibe + simvastatin combination, as the same metabolic effects were observed in normal and treated arthritic animals.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Fundamental and Clinical Pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this work was to determine if mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Using a model of obesity induced by the neonatal treatment of rats with monosodium L-glutamate (MSG), several parameters of liver mitochondrial function and their impact on liver redox status were evaluated. Specifically, fatty acid β-oxidation, oxidative phosphorylation and Ca(2+)-induced mitochondrial permeability transition were assessed in isolated liver mitochondria, and reduced glutathione (GSH), linked thiol contents and the activities of several enzymes involved in the control of redox status were measured in the liver homogenate. Our results demonstrate that liver mitochondria from MSG-obese rats exhibit a higher β-oxidation capacity and an increased capacity for oxidising succinate, without loss in the efficiency of oxidative phosphorylation. Also, liver mitochondria from obese rats were less susceptible to the permeability transition pore (PTP) opening induced by 1.0 μM CaCl(2). Cellular levels of GSH were unaffected in the livers from the MSG-obese rats, whereas reduced linked thiol contents were increased. The activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, glutathione reductase and glutathione peroxidase were increased, while catalase activity was unaffected and superoxide dismutase activity was reduced in the livers from the MSG-obese rats. In this model of obesity, liver fat accumulation is not a consequence of mitochondrial dysfunction. The enhanced glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity observed in the livers of MSG-obese rats could be associated with liver fat accumulation and likely plays a central role in the mitochondrial defence against oxidative stress.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · Experimental and Molecular Pathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tibolone is a synthetic steroid that has been extensively prescribed to treat climacteric symptoms and to prevent postmenopausal osteoporosis. Because menopause is a condition associated with increased incidence of metabolic disturbances and hepatic steatosis, the aim of this work was to evaluate the actions of tibolone on the liver. The effects of tibolone on glucose and fatty acid metabolism and on several parameters linked to mitochondrial energy metabolism, including the induction of cellular oxidative stress, were investigated in livers from female Wistar rats. Tibolone was assayed at concentrations ranging from 5 to 100 μM. In perfused livers, tibolone inhibited oxygen uptake, stimulated glycogenolysis and glycolysis, and inhibited gluconeogenesis from L-lactate and ketogenesis from exogenous octanotate. Tibolone also caused pronounced increases in both the cytosolic and mitochondrial NADH/NAD+ratios. In isolated mitochondria, tibolone inhibited oxygen uptake due to β-hydroxybutyrate and fatty acid oxidation without affecting the succinate oxidation. The inhibitory action of tibolone at complex I of the mitochondrial respiratory chain was suggested by the inhibition of the NADH-oxidase activity. Tibolone also induced oxidative stress in both perfused livers and isolated mitochondria, as indicated by the increased production of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. These metabolic alterations may increase the risk of metabolic disturbances during tibolone administration, particularly in the postmenopausal condition.
No preview · Article · Jul 2011 · European journal of pharmacology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The relationships between changes in energy metabolism and the antioxidant defense system in the weed species Ipomoea triloba L. during seed germination and early seedling growth were investigated. The effects of some common allelochemicals on these parameters also were studied. Respiratory activity and the activities of alcohol dehydrogenase, superoxide dismutase, catalase, guaicol peroxidase, ascorbate peroxidase, glutathione reductase, and lipoxygenase were measured. Mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation resumed shortly after the seed imbibition period, as indicated by considerable KCN-sensitive respiratory activity in embryos of I. triloba. The occurrence of superoxide dismutase, catalase, guaicol peroxidase, and lipoxygenase activities in the embryos, along with significant KCN-insensitive respiration, suggest that production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is initiated as soon as mitochondrial respiration is resumed. All assayed antioxidant enzymes were present in the embryos except ascorbate peroxidase, which appeared only in primary roots. The activities of antioxidant enzymes increased after completion of germination, especially in primary roots. Superoxide dismutase, catalase, and guaicol peroxidase probably were the crucial enzymes involved in the neutralization of ROS, since they had higher levels of activity compared with other enzymes, such as ascorbate peroxidase and glutathione reductase. When seeds were grown in the presence of α-pinene, coumarin, quercetin, and ferulic acid, there was an additional increase in activities of antioxidant enzymes, as well as increases in lipoxygenase activity and KCN-insensitive respiration, suggesting a further increase in ROS generation. The antioxidant defense system of I. triloba was not effective in preventing lipid peroxidation caused by α-pinene. The data indicate that during seed germination and initial growth of I. triloba, a period when antioxidant enzyme activity increases to counteract the harmful ROS effects produced during mitochondrial metabolism resumption, the presence of allelochemicals, which cause further oxidative stress, may leave the seeds/seedlings more vulnerable to cellular dysfunction and cell death.
No preview · Article · May 2011 · Journal of Chemical Ecology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of this work was to evaluate if the fat liver accumulation interferes with intracellular calcium fluxes and the liver glycogenolytic response to a calcium-mobilizing α(1)-adrenergic agonist, phenylephrine. The animal model of monosodium L-glutamate (MSG)-induced obesity was used. The adult rats develop obesity and steatosis. Calcium fluxes were evaluated through measuring the (45)Ca(2+) uptake by liver microsomes, inside-out plasma membrane, and mitochondria. In the liver, assessments were performed on the calcium-dependent glycogenolytic response to phenylephrine and the glycogen contents. The Ca(2+) uptake by microsomes and plasma membrane vesicles was reduced in livers from obese rats as a result of reduction in the Ca(2+)-ATPase activities. In addition, the plasma membrane Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase was reduced. All these matched effects could contribute to elevated resting intracellular calcium levels in the hepatocytes. Livers from obese rats, albeit smaller and with similar glycogen contents to those of control rats, released higher amounts of glucose in response to phenylephrine infusion, which corroborates these observations. Mitochondria from obese rats exhibited a higher capacity of retaining calcium, a phenomenon that could be attributed to a minor susceptibility of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flavonols, which possess the B-catechol ring, as quercetin, are capable of producing o-hemiquinones and to oxidize NADH in a variety of mammalian cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether fisetin affects the liver energy metabolism and the mitochondrial NADH to NAD+ ratio. The action of fisetin on hepatic energy metabolism was investigated in the perfused rat liver and isolated mitochondria. In isolated mitochondria, fisetin decreased the respiratory control and ADP/O ratios with the substrates α-ketoglutarate and succinate. In the presence of ADP, respiration of isolated mitochondria was inhibited with both substrates, indicating an inhibitory action on the ATP-synthase. The stimulation of the ATPase activity of coupled mitochondria and the inhibition of NADH-oxidase activity pointed toward a possible uncoupling action and the interference of fisetin with mitochondrial energy transduction mechanisms. In livers from fasted rats, fisetin inhibited ketogenesis from endogenous sources. The β-hydroxybutyrate/ acetoacetate ratio, which reflects the mitochondrial NADH/NAD+ redox ratio, was also decreased. In addition, fisetin (200 μM) increased the production of (14)CO2 from exogenous oleate. The results of this investigation suggest that fisetin causes a shift in the mitochondrial redox potential toward a more oxidized state with a clear predominance of its prooxidant activity.
No preview · Article · Mar 2011 · Journal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology