Open AccessArticle
Androgen Receptor Expression in Thai Breast Cancer Patients
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(3), 15; doi:10.3390/medsci4030015 -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate prevalence and related factors of androgen receptor (AR) expression in Thai breast cancer patients. A descriptive study was done in 95 patients, who were admitted to Charoenkrung Pracharak Hospital, Bangkok (2011–2013). Statistical relationships were [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate prevalence and related factors of androgen receptor (AR) expression in Thai breast cancer patients. A descriptive study was done in 95 patients, who were admitted to Charoenkrung Pracharak Hospital, Bangkok (2011–2013). Statistical relationships were examined between AR protein expression, tumor status, and patient characteristics. Compared with those from Western countries, ethnic Thai patients were younger at age of diagnosis and had a higher proliferative index (high Ki-67 expression), which indicates unfavorable prognosis. In addition, 91% of the Thai breast tumors that were positive for any of the following receptors, estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) also expressed the AR protein, while in triple negative breast tumors only 33% were AR positive. ER and PR expression was positively related with AR expression, while AR expression was inversely correlated to Ki-67 expression. AR status was strongly correlated with ER and PR status in Thai patients. There is an inverse relationship between Ki-67 and AR, which suggests that AR may be a prognostic factor for breast cancer. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Neuroprotection by Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress-Induced HRD1 and Chaperones: Possible Therapeutic Targets for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(3), 14; doi:10.3390/medsci4030014 -
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are neurodegenerative disorders with a severe medical and social impact. Further insights from clinical and scientific studies are essential to develop effective therapies. Various stresses on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cause unfolded/misfolded proteins to aggregate, [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) are neurodegenerative disorders with a severe medical and social impact. Further insights from clinical and scientific studies are essential to develop effective therapies. Various stresses on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) cause unfolded/misfolded proteins to aggregate, initiating unfolded protein responses (UPR), one of which is the induction of neuronal cell death. Some of the pathogenic factors for AD and PD are associated with UPR. ER molecules such as ubiquitin ligases (E3s) and chaperones are also produced during UPR to degrade and refold aberrant proteins that accumulate in the ER. In this review, we examine the role of HMG-CoA reductase degradation protein 1 (HRD1) and the chaperone protein-disulfide isomerase (PDI), which are both produced in the ER in response to stress. We discuss the importance of HRD1 in degrading amyloid precursor protein (APP) and Parkin-associated endothelin receptor-like receptor (Pael-R) to protect against neuronal death. PDI and the chemical chaperone 4-phenyl-butyrate also exert neuroprotective effects. We discuss the pathophysiological roles of ER stress, UPR, and the induction and neuroprotective effects of HRD1 and PDI, which may represent significant targets for novel AD and PD therapies. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Alteration to Dopaminergic Synapses Following Exposure to Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS), in Vitro and in Vivo
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(3), 13; doi:10.3390/medsci4030013 -
Abstract
Our understanding of the contribution exposure to environmental toxicants has on neurological disease continues to evolve. Of these, Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been shown to have a strong environmental component to its etiopathogenesis. However, work is still needed to identify and characterize [...] Read more.
Our understanding of the contribution exposure to environmental toxicants has on neurological disease continues to evolve. Of these, Parkinson’s disease (PD) has been shown to have a strong environmental component to its etiopathogenesis. However, work is still needed to identify and characterize environmental chemicals that could alter the expression and function of the nigrostriatal dopamine system. Of particular interest is the neurotoxicological effect of perfluorinated compounds, such as perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), which has been demonstrated to alter aspects of dopamine signaling. Using in vitro approaches, we have elaborated these initial findings to demonstrate the neurotoxicity of PFOS to the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line and dopaminergic primary cultured neurons. Using an in vivo model, we did not observe a deficit to dopaminergic terminals in the striatum of mice exposed to 10 mg/kg PFOS for 14 days. However, subsequent exposure to the selective dopaminergic neurotoxin, 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) significantly reduced the expression of dopamine transporter (DAT) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and resulted in an even greater reduction in DAT expression in animals previously exposed to PFOS. These findings suggest that PFOS is neurotoxic to the nigrostriatal dopamine circuit and this neurotoxicity could prime the dopamine terminal to more extensive damage following additional toxicological insults. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Novel Somatic Copy Number Alteration Identified for Cervical Cancer in the Mexican American Population
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(3), 12; doi:10.3390/medsci4030012 -
Abstract
Cervical cancer affects millions of Americans, but the rate for cervical cancer in the Mexican American is approximately twice that for non-Mexican Americans. The etiologies of cervical cancer are still not fully understood. A number of somatic mutations, including several copy number [...] Read more.
Cervical cancer affects millions of Americans, but the rate for cervical cancer in the Mexican American is approximately twice that for non-Mexican Americans. The etiologies of cervical cancer are still not fully understood. A number of somatic mutations, including several copy number alterations (CNAs), have been identified in the pathogenesis of cervical carcinomas in non-Mexican Americans. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate CNAs in association with cervical cancer in the Mexican American population. We conducted a pilot study of genome-wide CNA analysis using 2.5 million markers in four diagnostic groups: reference (n = 125), low grade dysplasia (cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN)-I, n = 4), high grade dysplasia (CIN-II and -III, n = 5) and invasive carcinoma (squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), n = 5) followed by data analyses using Partek. We observed a statistically-significant difference of CNA burden between case and reference groups of different sizes (>100 kb, 10–100 kb and 1–10 kb) of CNAs that included deletions and amplifications, e.g., a statistically-significant difference of >100 kb deletions was observed between the reference (6.6%) and pre-cancer and cancer (91.3%) groups. Recurrent aberrations of 98 CNA regions were also identified in cases only. However, none of the CNAs have an impact on cancer progression. A total of 32 CNA regions identified contained tumor suppressor genes and oncogenes. Moreover, the pathway analysis revealed endometrial cancer and estrogen signaling pathways associated with this cancer (p < 0.05) using Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG). This is the first report of CNAs identified for cervical cancer in the U.S. Latino population using high density markers. We are aware of the small sample size in the study. Thus, additional studies with a larger sample are needed to confirm the current findings. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Relationship between Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte Ratio and Inflammatory Markers in Sickle Cell Anaemia Patients with Proteinuria
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(3), 11; doi:10.3390/medsci4030011 -
Abstract
The renal functions and structure in sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients may be affected by chronic haemodynamic changes and consequences of vaso-occlusive events in the renal medulla. Few reports on neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte (PLR) ratios in SCA patients in Africans exist [...] Read more.
The renal functions and structure in sickle cell anaemia (SCA) patients may be affected by chronic haemodynamic changes and consequences of vaso-occlusive events in the renal medulla. Few reports on neutrophil-to-lymphocyte (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte (PLR) ratios in SCA patients in Africans exist in the literature. This study correlates the values of NLR and PLR with measured traditional inflammatory markers in SCA patients with and without proteinuria and impaired kidney function (defined in this study as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2. Full blood count, C-reactive protein (CRP), and fibrinogen were assayed in 150 SCA patients and 50 control subjects using Coulter Haematology analyser (CELL DYE 37000) and ELISA method, respectively. The NLR and PLR were calculated by dividing absolute neutrophil or platelet counts by absolute lymphocyte count. Fibrinogen, CRP, NLR, and PLR increased progressively (p < 0.001) in SCA patients with or without proteinuria, with the highest values seen in those with impaired renal function. NLR correlated positively with CRP and fibrinogen in SCA patients without proteinuria (p < 0.001), with proteinuria (p < 0.001), and impaired renal function (p < 0.05). A positive relationship was also observed between NLR and fibrinogen in the control subjects. The need to determine cut-off values for these leukocyte ratios to be used in identifying those patients at risk and in the general management of SCA patients is suggested. Full article
Open AccessArticle
First Evidence for the Disease-Stage, Cell-Type, and Virus Specificity of microRNAs during Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 Infection
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(2), 10; doi:10.3390/medsci4020010 -
Abstract
The potential involvement of host microRNAs (miRNAs) in HIV infection is well documented, and evidence suggests that HIV modulates and also dysregulates host miRNAs involved in maintaining the host innate immune system. Moreover, the dysregulation of host miRNAs by HIV also effectively [...] Read more.
The potential involvement of host microRNAs (miRNAs) in HIV infection is well documented, and evidence suggests that HIV modulates and also dysregulates host miRNAs involved in maintaining the host innate immune system. Moreover, the dysregulation of host miRNAs by HIV also effectively interferes directly with the host gene expression. In this study, we have simultaneously evaluated the expression of host miRNAs in both CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells derived from HIV-positive (HIV+) individuals (viremic and aviremic individuals while receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), therapy-naïve long-term non-progressors (LTNP), and HIV-negative (HIV–) healthy controls. miRNAs were run on Affymetrix V2 chips, and the differential expression between HIV+ and HIV− samples, along with intergroup comparisons, was derived using PARTEK software, using an FDR of 5% and an adjusted p-value < 0.05. The miR-199a-5p was found to be HIV-specific and expressed in all HIV+ groups as opposed to HIV– controls. Moreover, these are the first studies to reveal clearly the highly discriminatory miRNAs at the level of the disease state, cell type, and HIV-specific miRNAs. Full article
Open AccessArticle
A Soxhlet Extract of Gongronema latifolium Retains Moderate Blood Glucose Lowering Effect and Produces Structural Recovery in the Pancreas of STZ-Induced Diabetic Rats
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(2), 9; doi:10.3390/medsci4020009 -
Abstract
Background: Gongronema latifolium Benth. (GL) possesses considerable glucose lowering effects able to be utilized on a large-scale. This paper investigates the effects of a Soxhlet extract on hyperglycemia, Langerhans islets and glucose uptake by abdominal muscles. Methods: Ethanol and a Soxhlet apparatus [...] Read more.
Background: Gongronema latifolium Benth. (GL) possesses considerable glucose lowering effects able to be utilized on a large-scale. This paper investigates the effects of a Soxhlet extract on hyperglycemia, Langerhans islets and glucose uptake by abdominal muscles. Methods: Ethanol and a Soxhlet apparatus were used to obtain GL ethanolic Soxhlet extract (GLES). It was then administered to randomly-segregated male Sprague-Dawley, normal and STZ-induced diabetic rats, using oral gavage to evaluate blood glucose levels (BGLs), serum lipid profile, insulin levels and the pancreas post-treatment. Results: GLES significantly (p < 0.05) decreased BGLs of normal rats in glucose tolerance testing at a dose of 2 g/kg b.w. but failed to do so in diabetic rats undergoing acute 7-h treatment. Given twice-daily, 1 g/kg b.w. of GLES moderately controlled diabetic BGLs starting from day 10. After 14 days of treatment, 1 g/kg and 0.5 g/kg b.w. of GLES caused 44% and 50% respective increases in the average area of Langerhans islets compared to DC. Using isolated rat abdominal muscle, GLES was found to be a mild insulin-sensitizer. GC-MS analysis revealed the presence of the known glucose-lowering phytosterol, Sitostenone. Conclusion: Despite retaining moderate antidiabetic activity, Soxhlet extraction of Gongronema latifolium probably leads to the destruction of active heat-liable compounds. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Chemo-Immunotherapy Using Lentinan for the Treatment of Gastric Cancer with Liver Metastases
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(2), 8; doi:10.3390/medsci4020008 -
Abstract
Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment option for advanced gastric cancer when the tumor is inoperable. Despite recent advances in chemotherapeutic agents, the prognosis of unresectable or recurrent gastric cancer remains [...] Read more.
Gastric cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide. Systemic chemotherapy is the main treatment option for advanced gastric cancer when the tumor is inoperable. Despite recent advances in chemotherapeutic agents, the prognosis of unresectable or recurrent gastric cancer remains extremely poor. In Japan, combination therapy including S-1 and cisplatin is the standard first-line treatment for advanced gastric cancer; however, the five-year survival rate remains very low. Lentinan, the backbone of beta-(1,3)-glucan with beta-(1,6) branches, an active ingredient purified from Shiitake mushrooms, has been approved as a biological response modifier for the treatment of gastric cancer. This agent has been used in combination with oral fluoropyrimidines to improve the overall survival of gastric cancer patients. A retrospective chart review on 138 metastatic gastric cancer patients receiving chemotherapy was performed in Nagoya Memorial Hospital from 1 September 2010 to 31 August 2015. 12 patients with liver metastases were treated by lentinan in combination with S-1-based chemotherapy. The rate of objective response was 42% (5/12) and the disease control rate was 83% (10/12) in response to chemo-immunotherapy using lentinan, with a median overall survival of 407 days (95% CI: 207–700 days). Full article
Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Electrolytes Imbalance and Dyslipidemia in Diabetic Patients
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(2), 7; doi:10.3390/medsci4020007 -
Abstract
Electrolytes and Lipids have always played significant roles, and changes in their concentrations gives good indications of disease progression in a number of non-communicable diseases. Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disorder in the community. Diabetics may suffer from electrolyte disorders [...] Read more.
Electrolytes and Lipids have always played significant roles, and changes in their concentrations gives good indications of disease progression in a number of non-communicable diseases. Diabetes mellitus is the most common metabolic disorder in the community. Diabetics may suffer from electrolyte disorders due to complications of diabetes mellitus and the medication they receive. Serum glucose, electrolytes (Na+, K+, Cl and Ca++), and lipid profiles (total cholesterol, triglyceride, and HDL-c) were determined in 100 diabetics and in non-diabetic subjects. All the diabetic patients had a significant (p < 0.001) increase in glucose, total cholesterol, triglyceride, chloride and calcium levels. There was significant (p < 0.001) decrease in the serum levels of Na+ and K+ in all diabetics. It was concluded that differences in lipids and electrolytes found in diabetics may have great potential as a diagnostic tool in clinical practice and have a significant effect upon the risk of contracting many diseases. Full article
Open AccessReview
Clinical Significance of IgG Avidity Testing and Other Considerations in the Diagnosis of Congenital Cytomegalovirus Infection: A Review Update
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(1), 5; doi:10.3390/medsci4010005 -
Abstract
Prompt and accurate laboratory testing of women before or during antenatal days is necessary for detecting humoral immunological responses against cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and assessing risk of congenital transmission. CMV is the most common viral etiology with the greatest propensity to induce [...] Read more.
Prompt and accurate laboratory testing of women before or during antenatal days is necessary for detecting humoral immunological responses against cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and assessing risk of congenital transmission. CMV is the most common viral etiology with the greatest propensity to induce neonatal pathologies. Most healthcare facilities in developing countries rely solely on anti-CMV IgM and IgG assays in diagnosing CMV infections. However, these parameters have some worrisome limitations. This study reviewed the significance of IgG avidity testing as a highly sensitive and specific tool that improves decisions regarding diagnosis of maternal and congenital CMV infections. We conducted this review from relevant published articles using an extensive literature search made through PubMed, Scopus and Google scholar on the concepts of congenital CMV (CCMV) transmission and clinical significance of IgG avidity testing in diagnosis of CCMV infections. Findings from our review revealed that IgG avidity testing in some developed societies was frequently utilized to resolve dilemmas associated with serodiagnosis of CMV infections, however, there is paucity of information in regards to its use in developing countries. The non-inclusion of IgG avidity testing during serological investigations of CMV could be a reason why congenital CMV infections and associated pathologies often go underdiagnosed in developing countries. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Acute and Sub-Acute Toxicity Evaluation of the Methanolic Extract of Alstonia scholaris Stem Bark
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(1), 4; doi:10.3390/medsci4010004 -
Abstract
Alstonia scholaris has been used by traditional medicine practitioners since the medieval ages for the treatment of diseases. The aim of this research was to evaluate the acute and sub-acute oral toxicity of its methanolic extract. The acute toxicity test was conducted [...] Read more.
Alstonia scholaris has been used by traditional medicine practitioners since the medieval ages for the treatment of diseases. The aim of this research was to evaluate the acute and sub-acute oral toxicity of its methanolic extract. The acute toxicity test was conducted using Sprague Dawley (SD) rats. The methanolic extract of Alstonia scholaris stem bark (ASME) was administrated in a single dose of 2000 mg/kg via oral gavage; and the animals were observed for any behavioral changes or mortality. In the sub-acute toxicity study, SD rats received three doses of ASME (250, 500 and 1000 mg/kg) for 28 days via oral gavage. During these 28 days of treatment, the rats were observed weekly for toxicity symptoms. Following the 28-day treatment, the rats were sacrificed for hematological, biochemical and histopathology studies. In the acute toxicity study, Alstonia scholaris was found to be non-toxic at a dose of 2000 mg/kg b.w. In the sub-acute toxicity study, significant variations in body weight, hematological and biochemical parameters were observed in the experimental groups at the dose of 500 and 1000 mg/kg with the death of two female rats being recorded at the highest dose (1000 mg/kg b.w.). Histopathological studies revealed slight degeneration (lesion) and centrilobular necrosis in the liver, which was most expressed in the highest-dose group. These results demonstrate that, while a single dose and short term oral intake of Alstonia scholaris bark extract caused no toxicity up to a dose of 2000 mg/kg b.w., toxic effects manifested in the long term treatment at the highest dose (500 and 1000 mg/kg). The long-term toxic effect was found to be associated with alterations in hematological compositions and end-organ damage to the liver. Thus, prolonged use of high doses of ASME orally should be discouraged and lower doses encouraged. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Targeting in Cancer Therapies
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(1), 6; doi:10.3390/medsci4010006 -
Abstract Drug developers recruit and combine principles, procedures and strategies from chemistry, pharmacology, nanotechnology and biotechnology, focusing on the generation of functional vehicles as nano-carriers of drugs for improved stability and enhanced intracellular delivery.[...] Full article
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Open AccessReview
Insights into Putative Health Implications of Gelam (Melaleuca cajuputi) Honey: Evidence from In-Vivo and In-Vitro Studies
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(1), 3; doi:10.3390/medsci4010003 -
Abstract
Honey has been used as a therapeutic agent since ancient times for health maintenance and the treatment of various ailments. In modern days, researchers reappraised the therapeutic values of honey, such as anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, and wound healing properties. These [...] Read more.
Honey has been used as a therapeutic agent since ancient times for health maintenance and the treatment of various ailments. In modern days, researchers reappraised the therapeutic values of honey, such as anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, anti-tumor, and wound healing properties. These findings supported its applications in the modern healthcare system as complementary medicine. Gelam honey (GH) is a monofloral Malaysian honey which has been proven to have considerable health benefits. This paper presents a state of the art review on the therapeutic values of GH. A descriptive elucidation is performed to elaborate a wide spectrum of biological activities of GH using evidence from a considerable body of literature. The compositional and physiochemical characteristics of GH have contributed substantially to its putative biological properties. A brief explanation will be presented on GH attributes to familiarize readers with this novel natural health product. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Medical Sciences in 2015
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(1), 2; doi:10.3390/medsci4010002 -
Abstract The editors of Medical Sciences would like to express their sincere gratitude to the following reviewers for assessing manuscripts in 2015. [...] Full article
Open AccessReview
Parkinson Disease-Mediated Gastrointestinal Disorders and Rational for Combinatorial Therapies
Med. Sci. 2016, 4(1), 1; doi:10.3390/medsci4010001 -
Abstract
A gradual loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells gives rise to a common neurodegenerative Parkinson’s disease (PD). This disease causes a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain and initiates a cascade of complications in the rest of the body that appears as distressing symptoms [...] Read more.
A gradual loss of dopamine-producing nerve cells gives rise to a common neurodegenerative Parkinson’s disease (PD). This disease causes a neurotransmitter imbalance in the brain and initiates a cascade of complications in the rest of the body that appears as distressing symptoms which include gait problems, tremor, gastrointestinal (GI) disorders and cognitive decline. To aid dopamine deficiency, treatment in PD patients includes oral medications, in addition to other methods such as deep brain stimulation and surgical lesioning. Scientists are extensively studying molecular and signaling mechanisms, particularly those involving phenotypic transcription factors and their co-regulatory proteins that are associated with neuronal stem cell (SC) fate determination, maintenance and disease state, and their role in the pathogenesis of PD. Advancement in scientific research and “personalized medicine” to augment current therapeutic intervention and minimize the side effects of chemotherapy may lead to the development of more effective therapeutic strategies in the near future. This review focuses on PD and associated GI complications and summarizes the current therapeutic modalities that include stem cell studies and combinatorial drug treatment. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Effects of the ABCB1 (1199G > A) Polymorphism on Steroid Sex Hormone-Induced P-Glycoprotein Expression, ATPase Activity, and Hormone Efflux
Med. Sci. 2015, 3(4), 124-137; doi:10.3390/medsci3040124 -
Abstract
This study examined how the 1199G > A polymorphism in the ABCB1 gene encoding P-glycoprotein (P-gp) affects the protein’s expression, ATPase activity, and ability to pump female steroid sex hormones out of LLC-PK1 cells. The ABCB1 (1199G) or ABCB1 (1199A) allele was [...] Read more.
This study examined how the 1199G > A polymorphism in the ABCB1 gene encoding P-glycoprotein (P-gp) affects the protein’s expression, ATPase activity, and ability to pump female steroid sex hormones out of LLC-PK1 cells. The ABCB1 (1199G) or ABCB1 (1199A) allele was transfected into cells, which were incubated for 48 h with various hormone concentrations, then analyzed by Western blotting to examine expression of P-gp protein and by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to examine expression of mRNA. Cells were also compared in terms of their transepithelial permeability to steroid sex hormones in the presence and absence of the specific P-gp inhibitor GF120918. P-gp ATPase activity induced by steroid sex hormones was also assayed. Estriol and ethynyl estradiol up-regulated levels of ABCB1 mRNA in a concentration-dependent manner, with ABCB1 (1199A) mRNA showing greater up-regulation than ABCB1 (1199G) mRNA. Estrone, estriol, and ethynyl estradiol were substrates of both types of P-gp in transepithelial permeability assays, and the ABCB1 (1199A) protein showed a significantly higher net efflux ratio for estrone (13.4 vs. 7.4, p < 0.005), estriol (5.6 vs. 3.3, p < 0.05), and ethynyl estradiol (12.7 vs. 5.3, p < 0.005). Induction of P-gp ATPase activity by ethynyl estradiol and progesterone increased with increasing hormone concentration, and the magnitude of stimulation was greater for ABCB1 (1199A) P-gp than for ABCB1 (1199G) P-gp. These results indicate that the ABCB1 (1199G > A) polymorphism influences steroid sex hormone-induced expression and function of P-gp, which may help to explain inter-patient differences in P-gp-mediated chemotherapy resistance in vivo. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Immunomodulatory Potential of the Polysaccharide-Rich Extract from Edible Cyanobacterium Nostoc commune
Med. Sci. 2015, 3(4), 112-123; doi:10.3390/medsci3040112 -
Abstract
A dry sample of Nostoc commune from an organic farm in Pingtung city (Taiwan) was used to prepare polysaccharide-rich (NCPS) extract. The conditioned medium (CM) from NCPS-treated human peripheral blood (PB)-mononuclear cells (MNC) effectively inhibited the growth of human leukemic U937 cells [...] Read more.
A dry sample of Nostoc commune from an organic farm in Pingtung city (Taiwan) was used to prepare polysaccharide-rich (NCPS) extract. The conditioned medium (CM) from NCPS-treated human peripheral blood (PB)-mononuclear cells (MNC) effectively inhibited the growth of human leukemic U937 cells and triggered differentiation of U937 monoblast cells into monocytic/macrophagic lines. Cytokine levels in MNC-CMs showed upregulation of granulocyte/macrophage-colony stimulatory factor and IL-1β and downregulation of IL-6 and IL-17 upon treatment with NCPS. Moreover, murine macrophage RAW264.7 cells treated with NCPS exhibited the stimulatory effects of nitric oxide and superoxide secretion, indicating that NCPS might activate the immunity of macrophages. Collectively, the present study demonstrates that NCPS from N. commune could be potentially used for macrophage activation and consequently inhibited the leukemic cell growth and induced monocytic/macrophagic differentiation. Full article
Open AccessReview
A Review of the Uses and Medicinal Properties of Dennettia tripetala (Pepperfruit)
Med. Sci. 2015, 3(4), 104-111; doi:10.3390/medsci3040104 -
Abstract
Dennettia tripetala (commonly known as Pepperfruit) is widely consumed by the inhabitants of West Africa due to its distinctive spicy taste. It is also used traditionally as a remedy for cough, fever, toothache, diabetes, and nausea. The highly nutritious fruit is rich [...] Read more.
Dennettia tripetala (commonly known as Pepperfruit) is widely consumed by the inhabitants of West Africa due to its distinctive spicy taste. It is also used traditionally as a remedy for cough, fever, toothache, diabetes, and nausea. The highly nutritious fruit is rich in protein, carbohydrates, as well as the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E. The plant possesses phytochemicals that have been shown to elicit antimicrobial, insecticidal, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory properties. The plant has also been shown to possess chemotherapeutic, antihyperglycemic, and antioxidant properties. In addition, D. tripetala finds application in food preservation and seasoning. This review is the first attempt to pool together scientific evidence for the ethnomedicinal uses of D. tripetala. A critique of the literature is provided, as well as suggestions for future studies that can pave the way for further discoveries on the medicinal effects of D. tripetala. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Serious Drug-Drug Interactions in the Prescriptions of Diabetic Patients
Med. Sci. 2015, 3(4), 93-103; doi:10.3390/medsci3040093 -
Abstract
A large number of drugs are introduced every year, and newer interactions between medications are increasingly reported. Clinically significant drug interactions can occur when two or more drugs are taken in combination. With the continuing increase in the list of drugs capable [...] Read more.
A large number of drugs are introduced every year, and newer interactions between medications are increasingly reported. Clinically significant drug interactions can occur when two or more drugs are taken in combination. With the continuing increase in the list of drugs capable of interactions, detection of these interactions from prescriptions becomes more important to ensure effective patient care. The aim of this study is to identify the possible drug interactions in the prescriptions of diabetic inpatients and to make physicians aware of these interactions to prevent the occurrence of clinically adverse effects. In a specially designed and validated data entry format, data for the following criteria were collected: drugs prescribed, major drug class prescribed, pharmacological classification of the observed drug interaction, and frequently occurring drug interactions. All the possible drug interactions were identified and evaluated using standard drug interaction reference books and databases. During the study period, 50 prescriptions of diabetic inpatients were screened randomly. Out of these prescriptions, 35 (70%) prescriptions had at least one possible drug-drug interaction. The major classes of drugs causing interactions included cardiac drugs (92%), analgesic drugs (66%), antibiotic drugs (52%), antidiabetic drugs (26%), diuretic drugs (26%), and antipsychotic drugs (24%). This study showed that 34 (68%) of the above prescriptions had minor interactions, 33(66%) had moderate interactions, and 10 (20%) had severe interactions. Of these, the drugs prescribed specifically for diabetes caused only nine moderate interactions. Thus, screening of prescriptions by the clinical pharmacist will help to minimize clinical occurrence of major/severe drug interactions in diabetic patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Ameliorative Effect of Gallic Acid on Cyclophosphamide-Induced Oxidative Injury and Hepatic Dysfunction in Rats
Med. Sci. 2015, 3(3), 78-92; doi:10.3390/medsci3030078 -
Abstract
Cyclophosphamide (CP), a bifunctional alkylating agent used in chemotherapy has been reported to induce organ toxicity mediated by generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. Gallic acid (GA), a phenolic substance, is a natural antioxidant with proven free radical scavenging activity [...] Read more.
Cyclophosphamide (CP), a bifunctional alkylating agent used in chemotherapy has been reported to induce organ toxicity mediated by generation of reactive oxygen species and oxidative stress. Gallic acid (GA), a phenolic substance, is a natural antioxidant with proven free radical scavenging activity and offers protection against oxidative damage. This research study was designed to investigate the ameliorative effect of GA against CP-induced toxicity in rats. Twenty-five male Wistar rats (180–200 g) were randomized into five treatment groups: (A) control, (B) CP, 2 mg/kg body weight (b.w.), (C) pre-treatment with GA (20 mg/kg b.w.) for seven days followed by CP (2 mg/kg b.w.) for seven days, (D) co-treatment with GA (20 mg/kg b.w) and CP (2 mg/kg b.w.) for seven days, and (E) GA (20 mg/kg b.w.) for seven days. CP induced marked renal and hepatic damages as plasma levels of urea, creatinine, bilirubin and activities of AST, ALT, ALP and GGT were significantly elevated (p < 0.05) in the CP-treated group relative to control. In addition, hepatic levels of GSH, vitamin C and activities of SOD, catalase and GST significantly reduced in the CP-treated group when compared with control. This was accompanied with a significant increase in hepatic lipid peroxidation. The restoration of the markers of renal and hepatic damages as well as antioxidant indices and lipid peroxidation by pre- and co-treatment with GA clearly shows that GA offers ameliorative effect by scavenging the reactive oxygen species generated by CP. This protective effect may be attributed to the antioxidant property of gllic acid. Full article
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