Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(11), 19406-19416; doi:10.3390/ijms151119406 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Schizophrenia (SCZ) is a severe and debilitating mental disorder, and the specific genetic factors that underlie the risk for SCZ remain elusive. The autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2) gene has been reported to be associated with autism, suicide, alcohol consumption, and heroin dependence. We hypothesized that AUTS2 might be associated with SCZ. In the present study, three polymorphisms (rs6943555, rs7459368, and rs9886351) in the AUTS2 gene were genotyped in 410 patients with SCZ and 435 controls using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) and forced PCR-RFLP methods. We detected an association between SCZ and the rs6943555 genotype distribution (odds ratio (OR) = 1.363, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.848–2.191, p = 0.001). The association remained significant after adjusting for gender, and a significant effect (p = 0.001) was observed among the females. In the present study, rs6943555 was determined to be associated with female SCZ. Our results confirm previous reports which have suggested that rs6943555 might elucidate the pathogenesis of schizophrenia and play an important role in its etiology.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(11), 19394-19405; doi:10.3390/ijms151119394 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Catalpol is expected to possess diverse pharmacological actions including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and hypoglycemic properties. Matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is closely related to the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. In addition, microRNA-200 (miR-200) can modulate phenotype, proliferation, infiltration and transfer of various tumors. Here, OVCAR-3 cells were employed to investigate whether the effect of catalpol (25, 50 and 100 μg/mL) promoted apoptosis of ovarian cancer cells and to explore the potential mechanisms. Our results demonstrate that catalpol could remarkably reduce the proliferation and accelerate the apoptosis of OVCAR-3 cells. Interestingly, our findings show that catalpol treatment significantly decreased the MMP-2 protein level and increased the miR-200 expression level in OVCAR-3 cells. Further, microRNA-200 was shown to regulate the protein expression of MMP-2 in OVCAR-3 cells. It is concluded that catalpol suppressed cellular proliferation and accelerated apoptosis in OVCAR-3 ovarian cancer cells via promoting microRNA-200 expression levels and restraining MMP-2 signaling.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(11), 19389-19393; doi:10.3390/ijms151119389 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The special issue “Symbiotic Nitrogen Fixation in Legume Nodules: Metabolism and Regulatory Mechanisms” aims to investigate the physiological and biochemical advances in the symbiotic process with an emphasis on nodule establishment, development and functioning. The original research articles included in this issue provide important information regarding novel aspects of nodule metabolism and various regulatory pathways, which could have important future implications. This issue also included one review article that highlights the importance of using legume trees in the production of renewable biofuels.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(11), 19369-19388; doi:10.3390/ijms151119369 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: This paper provides an overview on steered fermentation processes to release phenolic compounds from plant-based matrices, as well as on their potential application to convert phenolic compounds into unique metabolites. The ability of fermentation to improve the yield and to change the profile of phenolic compounds is mainly due to the release of bound phenolic compounds, as a consequence of the degradation of the cell wall structure by microbial enzymes produced during fermentation. Moreover, the microbial metabolism of phenolic compounds results in a large array of new metabolites through different bioconversion pathways such as glycosylation, deglycosylation, ring cleavage, methylation, glucuronidation and sulfate conjugation, depending on the microbial strains and substrates used. A whole range of metabolites is produced, however metabolic pathways related to the formation and bioactivities, and often quantification of the metabolites are highly underinvestigated. This strategy could have potential to produce extracts with a high-added value from plant-based matrices.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(11), 19355-19368; doi:10.3390/ijms151119355 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Acute lung injury (ALI) and its severe manifestation of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are well-known illnesses. Uncontrolled and self-amplified pulmonary inflammation lies at the center of the pathology of this disease. Emodin, the bio-active coxund of herb Radix rhizoma Rhei, shows potent anti-inflammatory properties through inactivation of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB). The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of emodin on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI in mice, and its potential bio-mechanism. In our study, BALB/c mice were stimulated with LPS to induce ALI. After 72 h of LPS stimulation, pulmonary pathological changes, lung injury scores, pulmonary edema, myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, total cells, neutrophils, macrophages, TNF-α, IL-6 and IL-1β in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF), and MCP-1 and E-selectin expression were notably attenuated by emodin in mice. Meanwhile, our data also revealed that emodin significantly inhibited the LPS-enhanced the phosphorylation of NF-κB p65 and NF-κB p65 DNA binding activity in lung. Our data indicates that emodin potently inhibits LPS-induced pulmonary inflammation, pulmonary edema and MCP-1 and E-selectin expression, and that these effects were very likely mediated by inactivation of NF-κB in mice. These results suggest a therapeutic potential of emodin as an anti-inflammatory agent for ALI/ARDS treatment.
Int. J. Mol. Sci.2014, 15(11), 19342-19354; doi:10.3390/ijms151119342 (registering DOI) - published 24 October 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The effects of processed Aloe vera gel (PAG) on cyclophosphamide (CP)-induced immunotoxicity were examined in mice. Intraperitoneal injection of CP significantly reduced the total number of lymphocytes and erythrocytes in the blood. Oral administration of PAG quickly restored CP-induced lymphopenia and erythropenia in a dose-dependent manner. The reversal of CP-induced hematotoxicity by PAG was mediated by the functional preservation of Peyer’s patch cells. Peyer’s patch cells isolated from CP-treated mice, which were administered PAG, produced higher levels of T helper 1 cytokines and colony-stimulating factors (CSF) in response to concanavalin A stimulation as compared with those isolated from CP-treated control mice. PAG-derived polysaccharides directly activated Peyer’s patch cells isolated from normal mice to produce cytokines including interleukin (IL)-6, IL-12, interferon-γ, granulocyte-CSF, and granulocyte-macrophage-CSF. The cytokines produced by polysaccharide-stimulated Peyer’s patch cells had potent proliferation-inducing activity on mouse bone marrow cells. In addition, oral administration of PAG restored IgA secretion in the intestine after CP treatment. These results indicated that PAG could be an effective immunomodulator and that it could prevent CP-induced immunotoxic side effects.