Probiotic microorganisms have been documented over the past two decades to play a role in cholesterol-lowering properties via various clinical trials. Several mechanisms have also been proposed and the ability of these microorganisms to deconjugate bile via production of bile salt hydrolase (BSH) has been widely associated with their cholesterol lowering potentials in prevention of hypercholesterolemia. Deconjugated bile salts are more hydrophobic than their conjugated counterparts, thus are less reabsorbed through the intestines resulting in higher excretion into the feces. Replacement of new bile salts from cholesterol as a precursor subsequently leads to decreased serum cholesterol levels. However, some controversies have risen attributed to the activities of deconjugated bile acids that repress the synthesis of bile acids from cholesterol. Deconjugated bile acids have higher binding affinity towards some orphan nuclear receptors namely the farsenoid X receptor (FXR), leading to a suppressed transcription of the enzyme cholesterol 7-alpha hydroxylase (7AH), which is responsible in bile acid synthesis from cholesterol. This notion was further corroborated by our current docking data, which indicated that deconjugated bile acids have higher propensities to bind with the FXR receptor as compared to conjugated bile acids. Bile acids-activated FXR also induces transcription of the IBABP gene, leading to enhanced recycling of bile acids from the intestine back to the liver, which subsequently reduces the need for new bile formation from cholesterol. Possible detrimental effects due to increased deconjugation of bile salts such as malabsorption of lipids, colon carcinogenesis, gallstones formation and altered gut microbial populations, which contribute to other varying gut diseases, were also included in this review. Our current findings and review substantiate the need to look beyond BSH deconjugation as a single factor/mechanism in strain selection for hypercholesterolemia, and/or as a sole mean to justify a cholesterol-lowering property of probiotic strains.
The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of immune status, age and genetic background on the induction of oral tolerance to Actinomyces viscosus. Suppression of delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) response and antigen-specific serum antibody levels could be induced in DBA/2 mice intragastrically and systemically immunized with A. viscocus, suggesting the induction of oral tolerance. In contrast, this immune suppression could be abrogated if the animals had been systemically immunized prior to the induction of oral tolerance with the same bacterium. Long-term systemic immunization prior to intragastric immunization with A. viscocus suppressed DTH response only. Cell transfer of this group of animals also suppressed DTH response in the donors, indicating the action of suppressor cells for inhibition of DTH response. Furthermore, oral tolerance to A. viscocus failed to occur in mice aged at 3 days and 1, 2, 4, 6 and 36 weeks old. Mice bearing H-2(d) haplotype were the most susceptible to oral tolerization, followed by H-2(b) and H-2(k). Therefore, the results of the presence study suggest that the induction of oral tolerance to A. viscosus in mice may be dependence on the immune status and genetic background but not age.
Accurate identification and separation of non-classical Bordetella species is very difficult. These species have been implicated in animal infections. B. hinzii, a non-classical Bordetella, has been isolated from mice in experimental facilities recently. We isolated and characterized one non-classical Bordetella isolate from the trachea and lung of an ICR mouse. Isolate BH370 was initially identified as B. hinzii by 16S ribosomal DNA and ompA sequencing. Additionally, isolate BH370 also displayed antimicrobial sensitivity profiles similar to B. hinzii. However, analyses of nrdA sequences determined its identity as Bordetella genogroup 16. The isolation of BH370 from a healthy mouse suggests the possibility of it being a commensal. The nrdA gene was demonstrated to possess greater phylogenetic resolution as compared with 16S ribosomal DNA and ompA for the discrimination of non-classical Bordetella species.
Different murine species differ in their susceptibility to systemic infection with Candida albicans, giving rise to varied host immune responses, and this is compounded by variations in virulence of the different yeast strains used. Hence, this study was aimed at elucidating the pathogenesis of a clinical C. albicans isolate (HVS6360) in a murine intravenous challenge model by examining the different parameters which included the counts of red blood cells and associated components as well as the organ-specific expression profiles of cytokines and chemokines. Kidneys and brains of infected mice have higher fungal recovery rates as compared to other organs and there were extensive yeast infiltration with moderate to severe inflammation seen in kidney and brain tissues. Red blood cells (RBCs) and haemoglobin (Hb) counts were reduced throughout the infection period. Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), chemokines and cytokine transcription profiles were varied among the different organs (kidney, spleen and brain) over 72 h post infections. Transcription of most of the PRRs, cytokines and chemokines were suppressed at 72 h post infection in spleen while continuous expression of PRRs, cytokines and chemokines genes were seen in brain and kidney. Reduction in red blood cells and haemoglobin counts might be associated with the action of extracellular haemolysin enzyme and haeme oxygenase of C. albicans in conjunction with iron scavenging for the fungal growth. Renal cells responsible for erythropoietin production may be injured by the infection and hence the combined effect of haemolysis plus lack of erythropoietin-induced RBC replenishment leads to aggravated reduction in RBC numbers. The varied local host immune profiles among target organs during systemic C. albicans infection could be of importance for future work in designing targeted immunotherapy through immunomodulatory approaches.
Mice experimentally envenomed with Hypnale hypnale venom (1× and 1.5×LD₅₀) developed acute kidney injury (AKI) principally characterized by raised blood urea and creatinine. Prolonged blood clotting time and hemorrhage in lungs implied bleeding tendency. Pallor noted in most renal cortices was suggestive of renal ischemia secondary to consumptive coagulopathy. Intravenous infusion of Hemato polyvalent antivenom following experimental envenoming effectively prevented death and AKI in all mice, supporting its potential therapeutic use in envenoming cases.
Management of severe tracheal anomalies remains a clinical challenge. Tissue engineering offers new hope in trachea reconstruction surgery. However to date no optimal technique achieved in the formation of human or animal trachea. The main problem lies on the biomaterial used and the complex city of forming trachea in vivo. This study was aimed at creating tissue-engineered trachea cartilage from easily accessible human and animal nasal septum cartilage using internal scaffold and biodegradable human and animal fibrin.
The pathogenicity of Malaysian isolates of Orientia tsutsugamushi was investigated by a mouse virulence assay. The isolates could be differentiated as low (4 isolates), moderately (3 isolates) and highly virulent (2 isolates) based on the different responses in infected mice. No direct correlation between severity of human scrub typhus infections and virulence of the O. tsutsugamushi in mice was observed. Mice infected with virulent strains of O. tsutsugamushi showed splenomegaly, ascitis accumulation and enlargement of kidneys and livers whereas avirulent O. tsutsugamushi strains were asymptomatic and exhibited ruffled fur for a short period after infection. There was low antibody response in mice infected with isolates of low pathogenicity as compared with those of highly virulent isolates. Upon dissection of the infected mice, enlargement of mouse organs such as spleen, kidney and liver was noted. Presence of rickettsemia in mice was confirmed by the growth of O. tsutsugamushi in the L929 cells when inoculated with blood from infected mice. O. tsutsugamushi was also cultured from the peritoneal exudates of the infected mice. However, DNA of O. tsutsugamushi was only detected in the peritoneal exudates (by PCR) and blood (by cell culture) and not from other tissue samples.
House dust mites and storage mites are well-known causes for allergenic diseases. The aim of this study was to investigate the immunogenic sites of Blomia tropicalis, Aleurogyphus ovatus and Glycycometus malaysiensis. The mites were maintained in a culture medium at 25ºC and 75% relative humidity. Mites were harvested either with heat escape or floatation method, purified, homogenized, quantified and used for the production of polyclonal antibody and immunostaining. For each species of mites, five male mice and five male rats were randomly selected and immunized intraperitoneally with respective crude mite extract at two-weekly intervals. Blomia tropicalis, A. ovatus or G. malaysiensis whole mites and paraffin-embedded mite sections were immunostained with the respective polyclonal antibody. The faecal pellets of mites were intensely stained for all the three species in the present study. The legs of sectioned A. ovatus were not immunogenic as compared with those of G. malaysiensis and B. tropicalis. The outer layer (cuticle) of whole mites and the eggs for these species were very immunogenic. Hence, the polyclonal antibodies obtained in this study may serve as potential tools in detecting the eggs and immature mites in environmental samples. Future studies should focus on the antigenic components of eggs since they were relatively abundant in dust and highly antigenic as seen in the present study.
This study was conducted to examine the potential for implantation and sustainable fetal development of mouse embryos cultured from the pronuclear to blastocyst stage. Pronuclear embryos from ICR mice (Harlan Sprague-Dawley) were cultured in Sydney IVF sequential media (Cook) to the blastocyst stage in medium only or co-cultured with autologous cumulus cells. We also experimented with co-culture in 100 µL drops. Drop co-culture produced blastocyst formation rates with a mean of 47.0%, which was significantly higher (P < 0.05) compared to embryos cultured in identical culture conditions except without cumulus cells at 27.3%. Blastocysts obtained in vitro in Cook medium only and co-cultured in Cook medium with cumulus cells were transferred to pseudopregnant females of ICR strain. The day of blastocyst transfer into surrogate females was designated as post-transfer of blastocyst day 1 (PT 1). The implantation and fetal development was compared to embryo transfer of in vivo derived blastocysts, which served as controls. There were no statistical differences for implantation and fetal development rates for blastocysts cultured in vitro in either Cook medium only or co-culture in Cook medium with cumulus cells compared to in vivo-derived blastocysts. The advantage of the co-culture system is in generating more blastocysts available for transfer.
Potential tumor imaging radiopharmaceutical agents have been prepared by attaching a cisplatin derivative to a ligand capable of forming a stable complex with 99mTc. Three new organometallic compounds, with iminodiacetic acid as the 99mTc chelating group and 2,3-diaminopropionamide as the platinum complexing group, have been prepared and characterized. Preliminary biodistribution studies in tumor bearing mice support the utility of this approach.
The spray-dried Vernonia amygdalina water extract was evaluated for antidiabetic effect using normoglycaemic, glucose induced hyperglycaemic and streptozotocin induced diabetic mice. This effect was compared with an oral dose of Momordica charantia. Besides, acute toxicity of the extract was also evaluated at concentration 2000 and 5000 mg/kg body weight. The extract was able to reduce blood glucose level in glucose and streptozotocin induced hyperglycaemic mice without causing hypoglycemic effect on fasting normoglycaemic mice. Moreover, mice appeared to be normal and no mortality was observed in the acute toxicity study after treated with up to 5000mg/kg of extract. These results indicated that the spray-dried Vernonia amygdalina water extract was a potential antidiabetic agent which does not induce hypoglycemic and acute toxicity on normal subject.
Mast cells are part of the immune system and characteristically contain histamine- and heparin-rich basophilic granules. While these cells are usually associated with allergy and anaphylaxis, they also promote wound healing and angiogenesis and confer protection against pathogens. The presence of these cells is sometimes indicative of a poor prognosis, especially in skin cancer, pancreatic cancer, and lymphoma. Toluidine blue staining of acid-fast granules is an established method for the identification and quantification of mast cells. Generating detailed information on the location of mast cells within tissues is problematic using this technique and often requires serial sections from adjacent tissue to be separately stained with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E). Staining serial sections is not always possible, particularly if the sample is very small or rare. In such cases, a method of simultaneously identifying and localizing mast cells in a tissue would be advantageous. Toluidine blue and H&E are not commonly combined because H&E includes repetitive washes in water, which may affect the efficacy of the aqueous-soluble toluidine blue. We have developed and tested a novel staining technique that integrates toluidine blue between hematoxylin and eosin in one simple procedure. This protocol works on both frozen and formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue and readily allows for the identification of purple-stained mast cells against a clean H&E background. This facilitates a more accurate localization and proper counting of mast cells in normal and affected tissue.
Dengue virus (DENV) has emerged as a major economic concern in developing countries, with 2.5 billion people believed to be at risk. Vascular endothelial cells (ECs) lining the circulatory system from heart to end vessels perform crucial functions in the human body, by aiding gas exchange in lungs, gaseous, nutritional and its waste exchange in all tissues, including the blood brain barrier, filtration of fluid in the glomeruli, neutrophil recruitment, hormone trafficking, as well as maintenance of blood vessel tone and hemostasis. These functions can be deregulated during DENV infection. In this study, BALB/c mice infected with DENV serotype 2 were analyzed histologically for changes in major blood vessels in response to DENV infection. In the uninfected mouse model, blood vessels showed normal architecture with intact endothelial monolayer, tunica media, and tunica adventitia. In the infected mouse model, DENV distorted the endothelium lining and disturbed the smooth muscle, elastic laminae and their supporting tissues causing vascular structural disarrangement. This may explain the severe pathological illness in DENV-infected individuals. The overall DENV-induced damages on the endothelial and it's supporting tissues and the dysregulated immune reactions initiated by the host were discussed.
Chronic stress has been associated with impairment of memory, learning, and social cognition. In animal studies, chronic stress has been shown to impair rodent sociability behaviour which mimics social withdrawal as observed in depression patients. The effect of chronic stress on social recognition, however, is uncertain. Moreover, with reference to spatial learning and memory, the effect of chronic stress is dependent on the type of behavioural task: an appetitively or aversively motivated tasks. The effect of chronic stress was consistent in impairing spatial learning and memory in the appetitive task; however, the effect was inconsistent in an aversive task like the Morris water maze. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effect of chronic restraint stress on sociability and social recognition by using a modified protocol of the three-chamber paradigm and the effect of chronic restraint stress on spatial learning and memory by using the Morris water maze test in young adult C57BL/6J male mice. The present report also describes a modified protocol of the three-chamber paradigm. Our modification is based on measurement of sniffing behaviour, which is a direct social interaction that represents sociability. We used the chronic restraint stress paradigm for 6 h/day for 21 days to induce depression-like symptoms in male C57BL/6J mice which were validated by forced-swim test. We observed that the stressed group had impairments in their sociability behaviour but that social recognition was not affected. Furthermore, we confirmed that chronic stress produced no significant impairment in spatial learning and memory of the mice in the water maze.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of memory and other cognitive abilities. AD is associated with aggregation of amyloid-β (Aβ) deposited in the hippocampal brain region. Our previous work has shown that tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) supplementation was able to attenuate the blood oxidative status, improve behavior, and reduce fibrillary-type Aβ deposition in the hippocampus of an AD mouse model. In the present study, we investigate the effect of 6 months of TRF supplementation on transcriptome profile in the hippocampus of APPswe/PS1dE9 double transgenic mice. TRF supplementation can alleviate AD conditions by modulating several important genes in AD. Moreover, TRF supplementation attenuated the affected biological process and pathways that were upregulated in the AD mouse model. Our findings indicate that TRF supplementation can modulate hippocampal gene expression as well as biological processes that can potentially delay the progression of AD.
In order to prevent common hypersensitivity reactions to paclitaxel injections (Taxol), we previously reported an ionic liquid-mediated paclitaxel (IL-PTX) formulation with small particle size and narrow size distribution. The preliminary work showed high PTX solubility in the IL, and the formulation demonstrated similar antitumor activity to Taxol, while inducing a smaller hypersensitivity effect in in vitro cell experiments. In this study, the stability of the IL-PTX formulation was monitored by quantitative HPLC analysis, which showed that IL-PTX was more stable at 4 °C than at room temperature. The in vivo study showed that the IL-PTX formulation could be used in a therapeutic application as a biocompatible component of a drug delivery system. To assess the in-vivo biocompatibility, IL or IL-mediated formulations were administered intravenously by maintaining physiological buffered conditions (neutral pH and isotonic salt concentration). From in vivo pharmacokinetics data, the IL-PTX formulation was found to have a similar systemic circulation time and slower elimination rate compared to cremophor EL mediated paclitaxel (CrEL-PTX). Furthermore, in vivo antitumor and hypersensitivity experiments in C57BL/6 mice revealed that IL-PTX had similar antitumor activity to CrEL-PTX, but a significantly smaller hypersensitivity effect compared with CrEL-PTX. Therefore, the IL-mediated formulation has potential to be an effective and safe drug delivery system for PTX.