The influence of soil texture (silt, sand and laterite) and flotation solutions (saturated NaCl, sucrose, NaNO3, and ZnSO4) upon the recovery of Toxocara ova from seeded soil samples with the centrifugal flotation technique was investigated. Soil samples of different texture were artificially seeded with Toxocara spp. ova and subjected to a centrifugal flotation technique which used various flotation solutions. The results showed significant (P < 0.001) interactions between the soil types and the flotation solutions. The highest percentage of ova recovery was obtained with silty soil (34.9-100.8%) with saturated NaCl as the flotation solution (45.3-100.8%). A combination of washing of soil samples with 0.1% Tween 80, and flotation using saturated NaCl and a 30 min coverslip recovery period was used to study the prevalence of contamination of soil samples. Forty-six soil samples were collected from up to 24 public parks/playgrounds in urban areas of Petaling Jaya and suburban areas of Serdang. The prevalence of Toxocara species in the urban and suburban areas was 54.5% and 45.8% respectively.
Zingiber zerumbet (L) Smith is part of the Zingiberaceae family, one of the largest families of the plant kingdom. Z. zerumbet is a perennial, aromatic and tuberose plant that grows in humid locations where its center of distribution is located in the South-East Asia region. This plant has been traditionally used in foods and beverages and for ornamental purposes. Although many studies have reported on the biomedical applications of Z. zerumbet, the anti-allergic effects of Z. zerumbet and its major bioactive compounds have not yet been summarized in detail. Many major metabolites that have been reported to contain anti-allergic properties are terpene compounds which can be found in the essential oil extracted from the rhizomes of Z. zerumbet, such as zerumbone, limonene, and humulene. The rhizome is among the part of Z. zerumbet that has been widely used for many studies due to its exceptional biomedical applications. Most of these studies have shown that the essential oil, which can be obtained through hydro-distillation of the rhizomes from Z. zerumbet, is enriched with various active metabolites. Therefore, this mini-review provides an overview of the main aspects related to the anti-allergic and immunomodulatory properties of the major bioactive compounds found in the essential oils extracted from the rhizomes of Z. zerumbet, with the aim of demonstrating the importance of essential oil extracted from the rhizomes of Z. zerumbet and its bioactive compounds in the treatment of allergy and allergy-related diseases, in addition to other widely reported and extensively studied biomedical applications.
Cardamonin, a chalcone isolated from the fruits of a local plant Alpinia rafflesiana, has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity in cellular models of inflammation. In this report, we evaluated the ability of cardamonin to suppress both NO and PGE2 synthesis, iNOS and COX-2 expression and enzymatic activity, and key molecules in the NF-kappaB pathway in order to determine its molecular target. Cardamonin suppressed the production of NO and PGE2 in interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)- and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced RAW 264.7 cells. This inhibition was demonstrated to be caused by a dose-dependent down-regulation of both inducible enzymes, iNOS and COX-2, without direct effect upon iNOS or COX-2 enzyme activity. Subsequently we determined that the inhibition of inducible enzyme expression was due to a dose-dependent inhibition of phosphorylation and degradation of I-kappaBalpha, which resulted in a reduction of p65NF-kappaB nuclear translocation. We conclude that cardamonin is a potential anti-inflammatory drug lead that targets the NF-kappaB pathway.
An experiment was conducted with the objective to enhance mucosal immunity against ovalbumin (OVA) by co-administration of OVA with an aqueous extract from the fruit of Solanum torvum (STE). Five groups of female ICR mice aged approximately 8 weeks at the commencement of the experiment were caged in groups of eight and received various treatments. The treatments included OVA alone, OVA with cholera toxin (CT), and OVA with various doses of STE. Mice were primed intraperitoneally with 500 microg of OVA alone or co-administered with 0.1 microg CT, or with 1 microg STE. All mice were boosted orally via gastric intubation 14 days after priming with 10 mg OVA alone, or co-administered with 10 microg CT or with 10 mg, 1 mg or 0.1 mg STE. One week later all mice were killed and organs obtained for analysis of the immune response. Intestinal, faecal and pulmonary OVA-specific sIgA concentration was significantly increased (p<0.05) in mice that received booster combinations of OVA/CT and OVA with all extract doses (p<0.05). Specific serum IgG titres did not differ significantly between groups. It is concluded that STE can significantly enhance secretory immunity in the intestine to OVA with mucosal homing to the lungs. The adjuvant effect of STE is comparable to that of CT.
The antinociceptive effect of the ethanolic extract of Melastoma malabathricum (MME) was investigated using acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing test and hot-plate test in mice. It was demonstrated that the extract (30-300 mg/kg, i.p.) strongly and dose-dependently inhibited the acetic acid-induced writhing with an ED(50) of 100 (78-160) mg/kg i.p. It also significantly increased the response latency period to thermal stimuli. Furthermore, the nonselective opioid receptor antagonist, naloxone blocked the antinociceptive effect of the extract in both tests, suggesting that M. malabathricum may act both at peripheral and central levels.
The effects of early age feed restriction and heat conditioning on heat shock protein (HSP) 70 expression, antibody production, resistance to infectious bursal disease (IBD), and growth of heat-stressed male broiler chickens were investigated. Chicks were divided into 4 groups: 60% feed restriction on d 4,5, and 6 (FR); exposure to 36 +/- 1 degrees C for 1 h from d 1 to 21 (HT); combination of FR and HT (FRHT); and control. From d 35 to 50, heat stress was induced by exposing birds to 38 +/- 1 degrees C and 80% RH for 2 h/d. On d 36, each bird was administered 10 times the normal dose of live IBD vaccine. After heat exposure, the FRHT birds had higher HSP 70 density (d 41) and weight gain (from d 35 to 49) and lower bursal histological score (BHS) (d 51) than their HT and control counterparts. The HSP 70 expression and BHS of FR birds were not significantly different from those of the other 3 groups during the heat exposure period. Heat shock protein 70 and BHS data were negatively correlated (r = -0.33, P = 0.0008). We concluded that FRHT could improve weight gain and resistance to IBD in male broiler chickens under heat stress conditions. The improved heat tolerance and disease resistance in FRHT birds could be attributed to better HSP 70 response.
A study to determine the immunoglobulin and cellular responses in the respiratory tract of goats following intranasal exposures to formalin-killed Pasteurella haemolytica A2 was carried out. Forty-two goats were divided into two groups. Goats in Group 1 were subjected to double intranasal exposures to formalin-killed P. haemolytica A2 while goats in Group 2 were the unexposed control. Prior to and at weekly intervals post-exposure, three goats from each group were killed, serum samples were collected while the lungs were flushed with 50 ml normal saline before the right apical lobes were fixed in 10% buffered formalin. Both serum and lung lavage fluid were subjected to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to determine the levels of IgA, IgM and IgG while the formalin-fixed tissues were examined histologically. IgA levels in the lung lavage fluid increased rapidly to reach a significantly (p < 0.05) high level as early as Week 2 post-exposure and remained significantly (p < 0.05) high throughout the study period. The IgM levels increased at an intermediate rate to reach a significantly (p < 0.05) high level at Week 3 post-exposure before they decreased to an insignificant (p > 0.05) level the following week and the weeks thereafter. IgG levels increased gradually and only reached a significantly (p < 0.01) high level at Weeks 5 and 6 of the study. The size of the bronchus-associated lymphoid tissue (BALT) and the number of lymphocytes in BALT increased significantly from Week 2 and remained high thereafter. However, differences in the numbers of BALT were insignificant (p > 0.05) initially before becoming significantly (p < 0.05) high at Weeks 5 and 6. The BALT responses were parallel to those of imunoglobulins in the lung lavage fluid.
This study was conducted to determine whether early age feed restriction improves heat tolerance in female broiler chickens. Chicks were brooded for 3 wk and then maintained at 24+/-1 C. On Day 0, chicks were assigned to one of four feeding regimens; each regimen was applied to four cages of chicks. The feeding regimens were 1) ad libitum feeding (ALF); 2) 40% feed restriction at 4, 5, and 6 d of age (F40); 3) 60% feed restriction at 4, 5, and 6 d of age (F60); and (4) 80% feed restriction at 4, 5, and 6 d of age (F80). From 35 to 41 d of age, all birds were exposed to 38+/-1 C for 2 h/d. Serum concentrations of glucose were elevated by the heat challenge, but were not affected by the feeding regimen. The heat treatment resulted in hypocholesteremia among ALF and F80 chicks, whereas the concentrations increased and remained constant in the F60 and F40 birds, respectively. Subjecting chicks to F60 improved growth and survivability and reduced heterophil to lymphocyte ratios (H/L) in response to the heat treatment as compared with the ALF and F80 regimens. The survivability rate and H/L of F40 chicks were similar to those attained by chicks on other regimens. Newcastle disease antibody titer of ALF birds declined with duration of heat treatment. It is concluded that the F60 regimen is beneficial for alleviating, at least in part, the detrimental effects of heat stress in female broiler chickens.
1. This study was conducted to determine the effect of early-age food restriction on heat shock protein (hsp) 70 synthesis in the brains of female broiler chickens exposed to high ambient temperatures. 2. Chicks were brooded for 3 weeks and then maintained at 24+/-1 degrees C. 3. On d 0, chicks were assigned to one of 4 feeding regimens; each regimen was applied to 4 cages of chicks. The regimens were: (1) ad libitum feeding (AL); (2) 80% food restriction at 4, 5 and 6 d of age (F80); (3) 60% food restriction at 4, 5, and 6 d of age (F60); and (4) 40% food restriction at 4, 5 and 6 d of age (F40). From d 35 to d 41, all chicks were subjected to 38+/-1 degrees C for 2 h/d. 4. One day following food restriction (d 7), hsp 70 expression in the brain samples of F60 and F40 chicks was augmented but not those fed AL and F80. 5. Prior to the heat challenge (d 35), all chicks had similar hsp 70 response. Irrespective of feeding regimen, there was a marked increase in hsp 70 expression after 4 d of heat treatment (d 38). Following 7 d of heat exposure (d 41), except for the F60 chicks, the augmented hsp 70 expression in the brains of AL, F80 and F40 birds was not maintained. 6. Enhancement of hsp 70 expression was noted in birds subjected to F60, but not AL, F80 or F40, throughout the period of heat exposure.
The outer membrane proteins (OMP) were extracted from the P. haemolytica A2, A7 and A9 to determine their potential as immunogens and their capability for cross-protection. Sixty lambs of approximately 9 months old were divided into four main groups. Animals in Group 1 were vaccinated with 2ml vaccine containing 100microg/ml of the outer membrane proteins of P. haemolytica A2. Animals in Group 2 were similarly vaccinated with the OMPs of P. haemolytica A7 while Group 3 with OMPs of P. haemolytica A9. Animals in Group 4 were unvaccinated control. During the course of the study, serum was collected to evaluate the antibody levels toward each OMP. There appeared to be good immune responses. However, high antibody levels did not necessarily result in good protection of the animals, particularly against cross-infection with P. haemolytica A9 in animals vaccinated with the OMPs of P. haemolytica A2. It seemed that the antibody responses were more specific toward the homologous challenge but generally did not cross-protect against heterologous serotype challenge. However, the OMPs of P. haemolytica A7 produced good in vivo cross-protection and excellent correlations when good antibody responses against all serotypes led to successful reductions of the extent of lung lesions following homologous and heterologous challenge exposures. Thus, the OMPs of P. haemolytica A7 was effective in protecting animals against homologous and heterologous infection by live P. haemolytica A2, A7 and A9.
Endothelial cells lining the inner vascular wall form a monolayer that contributes to the selective permeability of endothelial barrier. This selective permeability is mainly regulated by an endothelium-specific adherens junctional protein, known as vascular endothelial-cadherin (VE-cadherin). In endothelial cells, the adherens junction comprises of VE-cadherin and its associated adhesion molecules such as p120, α-catenin, and β-catenin, in which α-catenin links cytoplasmic tails of VE-cadherin to actin cytoskeleton through β-catenin. Proinflammatory stimuli such as lipopolysaccharide (LPS) are capable of attenuating vascular integrity through the disruption of VE-cadherin adhesion in endothelial cells. To date, numerous studies demonstrated the disruption of adherens junction as a result of phosphorylation-mediated VE-cadherin disruption. However, the outcomes from these studies were inconsistent and non-conclusive as different cell fractions were used to examine the effect of LPS on the disruption of VE-cadherin. By using Western Blot, some studies utilized total protein lysate and reported decreased protein expression while some studies reported unchanged expression. Other studies which used membrane and cytosolic fractions of protein extract demonstrated decreased and increased VE-cadherin expression, respectively. Despite the irregularities, the results of immunofluorescence staining are consistent with the formation of intercellular gap. Besides that, the overall underlying disruptive mechanisms of VE-cadherin remain largely unknown. Therefore, this mini review will focus on different experiment approaches in terms of cell fractions used in different human endothelial cell studies, and relate these differences to the results obtained in Western blot and immunofluorescence staining in order to give some insights into the overall differential regulatory mechanisms of LPS-mediated VE-cadherin disruption and address the discrepancy in VE-cadherin expression.
Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is one of the mechanisms that contribute to bronchial remodelling which underlie chronic inflammatory airway diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and asthma. Bronchial EMT can be triggered by many factors including transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1). The majority of studies on TGFβ1-mediated bronchial EMT used BEGM as the culture medium. LHC-9 medium is another alternative available which is more economical but a less common option. Using normal human bronchial epithelial cells (BEAS-2B) cultured in BEGM as a reference, this study aims to validate the induction of EMT by TGFβ1 in cells cultured in LHC-9. Briefly, the cells were maintained in either LHC-9 or BEGM, and induced with TGFβ1 (5, 10 and 20 ng/ml) for 48 h. EMT induction was confirmed by morphological analysis and EMT markers expression by immunoblotting. In both media, cells induced with TGFβ1 displayed spindle-like morphology with a significantly higher radius ratio compared to non-induced cells which displayed a cobblestone morphology. Correspondingly, the expression of the epithelial marker E-cadherin was significantly lower, whereas the mesenchymal marker vimentin expression was significantly higher in induced cells, compared to non-induced cells. By contrast, a slower cell growth rate was observed in LHC-9 compared to that of BEGM. This study demonstrates that neither LHC-9 nor BEGM significantly influence TGFβ1-induced bronchial EMT. However, LHC-9 is less optimal for bronchial epithelial cell growth compared to BEGM. Thus, LHC-9 may be a more cost-effective substitute for BEGM, provided that time is not a factor.
A sensitive and accurate high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet/visible light detection (HPLC-UV/VIS) method for the quantification of 2,6-bis-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-cyclohexanone (BHMC) in rat plasma was developed and validated. BHMC and the internal standard, harmaline, were extracted from plasma samples by a simple liquid-liquid extraction using 95% ethyl acetate and 5% methanol. Plasma concentration of BHMC and internal standard were analyzed by reversed phase chromatography using a C₁₈ column (150 × 4.6 mm I.D., particle size 5 µm) and elution with a gradient mobile phase of water and methanol at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min. Detection of BHMC and internal standard was done at a wavelength of 380 nm. The limit of quantification was 0.02 µg/mL. The calibration curves was linear (R² > 0.999) over the concentration range of 0.02-2.5 µg/mL. Intra- and inter-day precision were less than 2% coefficient of variation. The validated method was then applied to a pharmacokinetic study in rats by intravenous administration of BHMC at a single dose of 10 mg/kg. Pharmacokinetic parameters such as half-life, maximum plasma concentration, volume of distribution, clearance and elimination rate constant for BHMC were calculated.
L-Glutamate plays a crucial role in neuronal cell death, which is known to be associated with various neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Huntington's diseases. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of biochanin A, a phytoestrogen compound found mainly in Trifolium pratense, against L-glutamate-induced cytotoxicity in a PC12 cell line. Exposure of the cells to 10 mM L-glutamate was found to significantly increase cell viability loss and apoptosis, whereas pretreatment with various concentrations of biochanin A attenuated the cytotoxic effects of L-glutamate. Specifically, the pretreatment led to not only decreases in the release of lactate dehydrogenase, the number of apoptotic cells, and the activity of caspase-3 but also an increase in the total glutathione level in the L-glutamate-treated PC12 cells. These results indicate that biochanin A may be able to exert neuroprotective effects against L-glutamate-induced cytotoxicity. Furthermore, our findings also imply that biochanin A may act as an antiapoptotic agent in order to perform its protective function.
The increasing prevalence of neurodegenerative diseases has prompted investigation into innovative therapeutics over the last two decades. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are among the therapeutic choices to control and suppress the symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases. However, NSAIDs-associated gastropathy has hampered their long term usage despite their clinical advancement. On the natural end of the treatment spectrum, our group has shown that cardamonin (2',4'-dihydroxy-6'-methoxychalcone) isolated from Alpinia rafflesiana exerts potential anti-inflammatory activity in activated macrophages. Therefore, we further explored the anti-inflammatory property of cardamonin as well as its underlying mechanism of action in IFN-γ/LPS-stimulated microglial cells. In this investigation, cardamonin shows promising anti-inflammatory activity in microglial cell line BV2 by inhibiting the secretion of pro-inflammatory mediators including nitric oxide (NO), prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). The inhibition of NO and PGE(2) by cardamonin are resulted from the reduced expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2), respectively. Meanwhile the suppressive effects of cardamonin on TNF-α, IL-1β and IL-6 were demonstrated at both protein and mRNA levels, thus indicating the interference of upstream signal transduction pathway. Our results also validate that cardamonin interrupts nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) signalling pathway via attenuation of NF-κB DNA binding activity. Interestingly, cardamonin also showed a consistent suppressive effect on the cell surface expression of CD14. Taken together, our experimental data provide mechanistic insights for the anti-inflammatory actions of cardamonin in BV2 and thus suggest a possible therapeutic application of cardamonin for targeting neuroinflammatory disorders.
The immunoregulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been demonstrated on a wide range of cells. Here, we describe the modulatory effects of mouse bone marrow-derived MSC on BV2 microglia proliferation rate, nitric oxide (NO) production and CD40 expression. Mouse bone marrow MSC were co-cultured with BV2 cells at various seeding density ratios and activated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). We show that MSC exert an anti-proliferative effect on microglia and are potent producers of NO when stimulated by soluble factors released by LPS-activated BV2. MSC suppressed proliferation of both untreated and LPS-treated microglia in a dose-dependent manner, significantly reducing BV2 proliferation at seeding density ratios of 1:0.2 and 1:0.1 (p
Alpinia conchigera Griff. (Zingiberaceae), locally known to the Malays as "lengkuas ranting", is native to Peninsular Malaysia. The Malays traditionally used it to treat infection and rashes, and as a health drink. This study evaluated the analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities of the ethanol extract of A. conchigera rhizomes in mice and rats, respectively. The analgesic activity was elucidated using the acetic acid-induced writhing test, hot plate test, and formalin test, while the anti-inflammatory activity was determined using carrageenan-induced paw edema. The extract (30, 100, and 300 mg/kg) given intraperitoneally (i.p.) exhibited antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities in all tests used. The range of percentage of analgesia obtained for all doses of extract in the writhing test was 50-92%, and in the early and late phases of the formalin test was 25-62% and 63-98%, respectively. In addition, naloxone (5 mg/kg) given subcutaneously (s.c.) was found to reverse the extract (300 mg/kg)-induced antinociceptive activity in the writhing, hot plate, and formalin tests. Based on the results obtained, it can be concluded that the ethanol extract of A. conchigera rhizomes possessed a peripheral and central antinociceptive activity that was mediated, in part, via the opioid receptor, as well as anti-inflammatory activity.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been widely used for the treatment of inflammation. However, despite their effectiveness, most NSAIDs cause various side effects that negatively affect the management of inflammation and, in part, pain. Thus, there is a need to search for new anti-inflammatory agents with few, or no, side effects. Natural products of plant, animal, or microorganism origin have been good sources of new bioactive compounds. The present study was carried out to evaluate the acute and chronic anti-inflammatory activities of the essential oil of the rhizomes of Zingiber zerumbet (Zingiberaceae) using the carrageenan-induced paw edema and cotton pellet-induced granuloma tests, respectively. The effect of the essential oil on inflammatory- and noninflammatory-mediated pain was also assessed using the formalin test. Essential oil of Z. zerumbet, at doses of 30, 100, and 300 mg/kg, was administered intraperitoneally to rats. The substance exhibited significant anti-inflammatory activity both in acute and chronic animal models. The essential oil also inhibited inflammatory- and noninflammatory-mediated pain when assessed using the formalin test. In conclusion, the essential oil of Z. zerumbet possessed anti-inflammatory activity, in addition to its antinociceptive activity, which may explain its traditional uses to treat inflammatory-related ailments.