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  1. Nurul Aiezzah Z, Noor E, Hasidah MS
    Trop Biomed, 2010 Dec;27(3):624-31.
    PMID: 21399604 MyJurnal
    Malaria, caused by the Plasmodium parasite is still a health problem worldwide due to resistance of the pathogen to current anti-malarials. The search for new anti-malarial agents has become more crucial with the emergence of chloroquine-resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains. Protein kinases such as mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), MAPK kinase, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and glycogen synthase kinase- 3(GSK-3) of parasitic protozoa are potential drug targets. GSK-3 is an enzyme that plays a vital role in multiple cellular processes, and has been linked to pathogenesis of several diseases such as type II diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. In the present study, the antiplasmodial property of LiCl, a known GSK-3 inhibitor, was evaluated in vivo for its antimalarial effect against mice infected with Plasmodium berghei. Infected ICR mice were intraperitoneally administered with LiCl for four consecutive days before (prophylactic test) and after (suppressive test) inoculation of P. berghei-parasitised erythrocytes. Results from the suppressive test (post-infection LiCl treatment) showed inhibition of erythrocytic parasitemia development by 62.06%, 85.67% and 85.18% as compared to nontreated controls for the 100 mg/kg, 300 mg/kg and 600 mg/kg dosages respectively. Both 300 mg/kg and 600 mg/kg LiCl showed similar significant (P<0.05) suppressive values to that obtained with chloroquine-treated mice (86% suppression). The prophylactic test indicated a significantly (P<0.05) high protective effect on mice pre-treated with LiCl with suppression levels relatively comparable to chloroquine (84.07% and 86.26% suppression for the 300 mg/kg and 600 mg/kg LiCl dosages respectively versus 92.86% suppression by chloroquine). In both the suppressive and prophylactic tests, LiCl-treated animals survived longer than their non-treated counterparts. Mortality of the non-treated mice was 100% within 6 to 7 days of parasite inoculation whereas mice administered with LiCl survived beyond 9 days. Healthy non-infected mice administered with 600 mg/ kg LiCl for four consecutive days also showed decreased mortality compared to animals receiving lower doses of LiCl; three of the seven mice intraperitoneally injected with the former dose of LiCl did not survive more than 24 h after administration of LiCl whereas animals given the lower LiCl doses survived beyond four days of LiCl administration. To date, no direct evidence of anti-malarial activity in vivo or in vitro has been reported for LiCl. Evidence of anti-plasmodial activity of lithium in a mouse infection model is presented in this study.
  2. Maniam P, Nurul Aiezzah Z, Mohamed R, Embi N, Hasidah MS
    Trop Biomed, 2015 Mar;32(1):36-48.
    PMID: 25801253
    Increased susceptibility of diabetics to melioidosis, a disease caused by the Burkholderia pseudomallei bacterium is believed to be attributed to dysfunction of the innate immune system. However, the underlying mechanism of the innate susceptibility is not well-understood. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) plays an important role in the innate inflammatory response caused by bacterial pathogens. The present study was conducted to investigate the effects of GSK3β inhibition by LiCl on levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines; and the activity of transcription factor NF-κB in B. pseudomallei-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) derived from diabetic-induced and normal Sprague Dawley rats. In addition, the effects of LiCl on intracellular bacterial counts were also investigated. Infection of PBMC from diabetic and normal rats with B. pseudomallei resulted in elevated levels of cytokines (TNF-α, IL-12 and IL-10) and phosphorylation of NF-κB in both cell types. Intracellular bacterial counts decreased with time in both cell types during infection. However bacterial clearance was less prominent in diabetic PBMC. Burkholderia pseudomallei infection also caused inactivation (Ser9 phosphorylation) of GSK3β in normal PBMC, an effect absent in infected diabetic PBMC. Inhibition of GSK3β by LiCl lowered the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-12) in both normal and diabetic PBMC. Similarly, phosphorylated NF- κB (pNF-κB) levels in both cell types were decreased with LiCl treatment. Also, LiCl was able to significantly decrease the intracellular bacterial count in normal as well as diabetic PBMC. Interestingly, the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in both normal and diabetic PBMC were further elevated with GSK3β inhibition. More importantly, GSK3β in infected diabetic PBMC was inactivated as in their non-diabetic counterparts upon LiCl treatment. Taken together, our results suggest that inhibition of dysregulated GSK3β in diabetic PBMC resulted in the inactivation of NF-κB and modulation of inflammatory cytokine levels. This is evidence that dysregulation of GSK3β is a contributing factor in the molecular basis of innate dysfunction and susceptibility of diabetic host to melioidosis infection.
  3. Tay TF, Maheran M, Too SL, Hasidah MS, Ismail G, Embi N
    Trop Biomed, 2012 Dec;29(4):551-67.
    PMID: 23202600
    The disease melioidosis, caused by the soil bacteria Burkholderia pseudomallei, often manifests as acute septicemia with high fatality. Glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) plays a key role during the inflammatory response induced by bacteria. We used a murine model of acute melioidosis to investigate the effects of LiCl, a GSK3 inhibitor on experimental animal survivability as well as TNF-α, IL-1β, IFN-γ, IL-10 and IL-1Ra cytokine levels in blood, lung, liver and spleen of B. pseudomallei-infected mice. Our results showed that administration of 100 μg/g LiCl improved survivability of mice infected with 5 X LD50 of B. pseudomallei. Bacterial counts in spleen, liver and lungs of infected mice administered with LiCl were lower than non-treated controls. Our data also revealed that GSK3β is phosphorylated in the spleen, liver and lung of animals infected with B. pseudomallei. However in infected animals administered with LiCl, higher levels of pGSK3 were detected in the organs. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β and IFN-γ) and anti-inflammatory cytokines (IL-10 and IL-1Ra) in sera and organs tested were elevated significantly following B. pseudomallei infection. With GSK3β inhibition, pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β) were significantly decreased in all the samples tested whilst the levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines, IL-10 (spleen and lung) and IL-1Ra (spleen, liver and sera) were further elevated. This study represents the first report implicating GSK3β in the modulation of cytokine production during B. pseudomallei infection thus reiterating the important role of GSK3β in the inflammatory response caused by bacterial pathogens.
  4. Suhaini S, Liew SZ, Norhaniza J, Lee PC, Jualang G, Embi N, et al.
    Trop Biomed, 2015 Sep;32(3):419-33.
    PMID: 26695202 MyJurnal
    Gleichenia truncata is a highland fern from the Gleicheniaceae family known for its traditional use among indigenous communities in Asia to treat fever. The scientific basis of its effect has yet to be documented. A yeast-based kinase assay conducted in our laboratory revealed that crude methanolic extract (CME) of G. truncata exhibited glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK3)-inhibitory activity. GSK3β is now recognized to have a pivotal role in the regulation of inflammatory response during bacterial infections. We have also previously shown that lithium chloride (LiCl), a GSK3 inhibitor suppressed development of Plasmodium berghei in a murine model of malarial infection. The present study is aimed at evaluating G. truncata for its anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory effects using in vivo malarial and melioidosis infection models respectively. In a four-day suppressive test, intraperitoneal injections of up to 250 mg/kg body weight (bw) G. truncata CME into P.berghei-infected mice suppressed parasitaemia development by >60%. Intraperitoneal administration of 150 mg/kg bw G. truncata CME into Burkholderia pseudomallei-infected mice improved survivability by 44%. G. truncata CME lowered levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IFN-γ) in serum and organs of B. pseudomallei-infected mice. In both infections, increased phosphorylations (Ser9) of GSK3β were detected in organ samples of animals administered with G. truncata CME compared to controls. Taken together, results from this study strongly suggest that the anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory effects elicited by G. truncata in part were mediated through inhibition of GSK3β. The findings provide scientific basis for the ethnomedicinal use of this fern to treat inflammation-associated symptoms.
  5. Zaid OI, Abd Majid R, Sabariah MN, Hasidah MS, Al-Zihiry K, Yam MF, et al.
    Asian Pac J Trop Med, 2015 Jul;8(7):507-12.
    PMID: 26276279 DOI: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2015.06.007
    OBJECTIVE: To explore whether its antiplasmodium effect of andrographolide is attributed to its plausible effect on the plasma membrane of both Plasmodium falciparum infected and non-infected RBCs.

    METHODS: Anti-plasmodium effect of andrographolide against Plasmodium falciparum strains was screened using the conventional malaria drug sensitivity assay. The drug was incubated with uninfected RBCs to monitor its effect on their morphology, integrity and osmotic fragility. It was incubated with the plasmodium infected RBCs to monitor its effect on the parasite induced permeation pathways. Its effect on the potential of merozoites to invade new RBCs was tested using merozoite invasion assay.

    RESULTS: It showed that at andrographolide was innocuous to RBCs at concentrations approach its therapeutic level against plasmodia. Nevertheless, this inertness was dwindled at higher concentrations.

    CONCLUSIONS: In spite of its success to inhibit plasmodium induced permeation pathway and the potential of merozoites to invade new RBCs, its anti-plasmodium effect can't be attributed to these functions as they were attained at concentrations higher than what is required to eradicate the parasite. Consequently, other mechanisms may be associated with its claimed actions.

  6. Zaid OI, Majid RA, Hasidah MS, Sabariah MN, Al-Zihiry K, Rahi S, et al.
    Pharmacogn Mag, 2017 Jan;13(Suppl 1):S48-S55.
    PMID: 28479726 DOI: 10.4103/0973-1296.203982
    BACKGROUND: Emergence of chloroquine (CQ) resistance among different strains of Plasmodium falciparum is the worst catastrophe that has ever perplexed the dedicated efforts to eradicate malaria. This urged the scientists to search for new alternatives or sensitizers to augment its antiplasmodium effect.

    MATERIALS AND METHOD: In this experiment, the potential of embelin, isolated from Embelia ribes, to inhibit the growth and sensitize CQ action was screened using SYBRE-green-I based drug sensitivity and isobologram assays, respectively. Its effect on red blood cells stability was screened to assess its safety. To explore its molecular mechanism, its effect on plasmodial Hemozoin and the in vitro β-hematin formation was screened as well. Furthermore, its anti-oxidant activity was measured using the conventional in vitro tests and its molecular characters were obtained using Molispiration program.

    RESULTS: The results showed that its anti-plasmodial effect was weaker than CQ but synergism was obtained when they were combined at ratios lower than 5:5 CQ/embelin. Furthermore, β-hematin formation was inhibited by embelin without showing any synergism after mixing with CQ.

    CONCLUSION: Overall, embelin is not ideal to be suggested as a conventional antiplasmodium but it has a potential to ameliorate CQ resistance. Furthermore, its action is not related to its impact on hemozoin formation. Further, investigations are recommended to illustrate its detailed mechanism of action. Abbreviation used: CQ-DV-PBS-HEPES: Chloroquine-Digestive vacuole-Phosphate-buffer-saline-4-(2-hydroxyethyl-1-piperazin-ethan-sulphoni-acid), EDTA: Ethylen-diamin-tetra-acetic-acid, g.m.wt: Gram molecular weight, cMCM: Complete-malaria-culture-medium, Hct: Hematocrite, PRBCs: Parasitized-redblood-cells, nRBCs: Normal-red-blood-cells, RT: Room temperature, IC: Inhibitory concentration, FIC: Fractional inhibitory concentration, iCM: Incomplete-culturemedium, BSA: Bovin serum albumin, MTT: 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, DPPH: 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazy, BHT: Butylatedhydroxyl-toleuen, PSA: Polar surface area, ClogP: Log partition coefficient (octanol/water), GPCR: G-protein-coupled-receptors, DMSO: Dimethylsulphoxide, NaOH: Sodium hydroxide.

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