European Journal of Pharmacology (v.801, #C)

JTE-852, a novel spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor, blocks mediator secretion from mast cells with immunoglobulin E crosslinking by Toshinobu Kato; Hidenori Iwasaki; Hatsue Kobayashi; Naoki Miyagawa; Akira Matsuo; Takahiro Hata; Mutsuyoshi Matsushita (1-8).
Mast cells stimulated by immunoglobulin E (IgE)-crosslinking secrete mediators, which are mainly categorized into three groups: granule contents, arachidonate metabolites, and cytokines. These mediators play important roles in pathogenesis of allergic diseases; indeed, some conventional drugs which target the mediators are used in clinical practices. However, these drugs are not yet sufficient enough in their efficacy. That is because most of them are blockers of single mediators and are unable to prevent simultaneously various reactions caused by the three group mediators. Spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) is a non-receptor protein tyrosine kinase. In mast cells, Syk locates at almost top of the signal cascades induced by IgE-crosslinking and plays pivotal roles in secretion of the three groups of mediators. Therefore, inhibition of Syk would suppress the secretion of all the mediators from mast cells and be a promising-treatment strategy for allergic diseases. In the present study, we characterized pharmacological profiles of JTE-852, which was identified as a novel Syk inhibitor. JTE-852 inhibited kinase activity of Syk in an adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP)-competitive fashion. JTE-852 also blocked the secretion of granule contents, arachidonate metabolites, and cytokines from mast cells stimulated by IgE-crosslinking, with similar potencies. The results suggest that JTE-852 is supposed to prevent various allergic reactions caused by the three group mediators in vivo. In fact, oral gavage of JTE-852 attenuated an allergic reaction mediated by histamine, which is a representative of the three groups of mediators. JTE-852 is expected to be a novel, highly-efficacious, and orally available anti-allergic drug.
Keywords: Spleen tyrosine kinase; JTE-852; Mast cell; IgE-crosslinking; Mediator; Allergy;

Morin activates the Nrf2-ARE pathway and reduces oxidative stress-induced DNA damage in pancreatic beta cells by Pachamuthu Vanitha; Sankareswaran Senthilkumar; Sireesh Dornadula; Sundaramurthy Anandhakumar; Palanisamy Rajaguru; Kunka Mohanram Ramkumar (9-18).
Oxidative stress is an important factor contributing to the pathogenesis of diabetes and its complications. In our earlier study, we demonstrated the antidiabetic efficacy of morin by regulating key enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism in diabetic rats. The present study was designed to assess the antigenotoxic potential of morin in pancreatic β-cells, using the COMET assay. To explore its potential mechanisms of action, three genotoxic agents, H2O2 which induces DNA damage by the generation of reactive oxygen species, streptozotocin (STZ) by RNS and Methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) by DNA alkylation was used. We found that STZ and H2O2- induced genotoxicity was dose dependently reduced by morin as assessed by DNA tail length, tail moment, DNA content and olive moment. Since the protective property was found to be specific against oxidative DNA damage, we explored the molecular mechanism underlying morin-induced Nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) activation in pancreatic β-cells as assessed by ARE-driven downstream target genes with Luciferase reporter assay. In addition, morin inhibited intracellular free radical generation as assessed by using DCFDA and increased the intra cellular antioxidants viz, superoxide dismutase and catalase in INS-1E cells. In addition, morin attenuated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion following exposure to oxidative stress by STZ (P<0.05). Collectively, our data provide evidence that morin protects pancreatic β-cells against oxidative stress-induced DNA damage by activating the Nrf2 signaling pathwayDisplay Omitted
Keywords: Antioxidant; Beta cells; Comet assay; Diabetes; DNA damage; Morin;

Characterization of 6-methoxyflavanone as a novel anxiolytic agent: A behavioral and pharmacokinetic approach by Shehla Akbar; Fazal Subhan; Nasiara Karim; Urooj Aman; Sami Ullah; Muhammad Shahid; Nisar Ahmad; Khwaja Fawad; Robert D.E. Sewell (19-27).
Benzodiazepines are regularly prescribed for treatment of anxiety though there are side effects. Flavonoids have selective affinity for GABAA receptors implicated in anxiolytic-like activity in rodents, but are devoid of the unwanted side effects of benzodiazepines. In this study, 6-methoxyflavanone (6-MeOF), a positive allosteric modulator of γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) responses at human recombinant GABAA receptors, was evaluated for its behavioral profile in the elevated plus-maze as well as the staircase- plus and open-field tests in mice. In addition, the distribution of 6-MeOF in selected brain areas involved in anxiety (amygdala and cerebral cortex) was also examined using a validated high performance liquid chromatography ultraviolet detection (HPLC/UV) method. 6-MeOF (10, 30 and 50 mg/kg) exerted an anxiolytic-like effect, increasing entries and time spent in the open arm and the central platform, as well as head-dipping frequency in the mouse elevated plus-maze assay. It also decreased rearing incidence without suppressing the number of steps ascended in the staircase test. Whereas, in the open-field anxiety test, 6-MeOF had no effect on locomotor activity at lower doses, a decrease was observed at the highest dose (100 mg/kg). 6-MeOF additionally produced an anxiolytic-like increase in the time spent at the center of the open-field apparatus. These effects were preferentially antagonized by pentylenetetrazole (15 mg/kg). Furthermore, pharmacokinetic studies disclosed a rapid appearance of 6-MeOF in the plasma and discrete brain areas. Taken together, our findings suggest that 6-MeOF readily crosses the blood brain barrier (BBB) generating anxiolytic activity, mediated through the GABAergic system.
Keywords: 6-Methoxyflavanone (PubChem CID: 97860); Flavonoid; 6-Methoxyflavanone; anxiety; GABAA receptors; elevated plus-maze; staircase anxiety test;

Molecular docking, synthesis and biological screening of mefenamic acid derivatives as anti-inflammatory agents by Jignasa K. Savjani; Suja Mulamkattil; Bhavesh Variya; Snehal Patel (28-34).
Drug induced gastrointestinal ulceration, renal side effects and hepatotoxicity are the main causes of numerous Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs). Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors discovered to decrease the gastrointestinal issues, but unfortunately, most of them are associated with major cardiovascular adverse effects. Along these lines, various new strategies and frameworks were developed wherein basic alterations of the present medications were accounted for. The aim of the study was to prepare derivatives of mefenamic acid to evaluate anti-inflammatory activity with fewer adverse reactions. In this study, molecular docking investigations of outlined derivatives were done utilizing Protein Data Bank (PDB ID-4PH9). Synthesis of heterocyclic compounds was carried out utilizing Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide/4-Dimethylaminopyridine (DCC/DMAP) coupling. Acute toxicity prediction was performed using free online GUSAR (General Unrestricted Structure-Activity Relationships) software. The study indicated most of the compounds under safe category. In-vitro pharmacological assessment of heterocyclic compounds was done for COX-1 and COX-2 enzymes for the determination of selectivity. In vivo pharmacological screening for anti-inflammatory activity and ED50 value were determined utilizing carrageenan induced rat paw edema. Gastro intestinal safety study was carried out on selected compounds and found to be devoid of any gastric ulcer toxicity. Most of the compounds indicated high scores as compared to standard during molecular modelling, analysis and displayed interactions with active amino acids of a COX-2 enzyme. The pharmacological screening uncovered that compound substituted with p-bromophenyl indicated maximum potency.Anti-inflammatory activity with IC50=2.13 μM.Display Omitted
Keywords: Acute toxicity study; Anti-inflammatory agents; COX-2 inhibitors; Gastro intestinal safety study; GUSAR; Molecular modelling;

G-protein coupled receptor 119 (GPR119) receptor is a rhodopsin-like, class A Gαs-coupled receptor, predominantly expressed in pancreatic islet cells and intestinal entero-endocrine cells. GPR119 has been emerged as a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes. In this study, we investigated the effect of APD668, a GPR119 agonist alone and in combination with linagliptin, a DPPIV inhibitor on oral fat tolerance test. Our findings demonstrate that APD668, a GPR119 agonist inhibits the intestinal triglyceride absorption after acute fat load in mice. Single dose administration of APD668 increases incretin secretion and enhances total PYY levels in presence of fat load in mice. We found that, the anti-dyslipidemic action of APD668 was reversed in presence of exendin-3 in oral fat tolerance test. In addition, our results showed that exendin-3 (9−39) failed to block the effect of APD668 on gastric emptying indicating that gastric emptying effects of APD668 are indeed mediated through GPR119 receptor dependent mechanism. Combined administration of APD668 and linagliptin significantly increased plasma active GLP-1 levels in-vivo and showed improvement in fat tolerance. However, APD668 failed to show anti-dyslipidemic activity in tyloxapol-induced hyperlipidemia in mice. Furthermore, we investigated the chronic effects of APD668 on hepatic steatosis in high trans-fat diet fed steatohepatitis model in mice. Oral administration of APD668 in HTF diet fed mice ameliorated hepatic endpoints such as plasma ALT, AST, liver weight and steatosis. These findings suggest that GPR119 agonists may represent a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of dyslipidemia and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.
Keywords: GPR119 agonist; GLP-1; Triglyceride; Gastric emptying; NAFLD; NASH;

Licocoumarone isolated from Glycyrrhiza uralensis selectively alters LPS-induced inflammatory responses in RAW 264.7 macrophages by Lehao Wu; Yunpeng Fan; Chao Fan; Yang Yu; Lei Sun; Yu Jin; Yan Zhang; Richard D. Ye (46-53).
The effects of licocoumarone (LC) isolated from Glycyrrhiza uralensis were studied in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 macrophages. Our study demonstrated that LC dose-dependently attenuated LPS-induced NO production by down-regulating iNOS expression. Additionally, the treatment with LC inhibited LPS-induced expression of cytokines including IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-10, but not TNF-α, at both mRNA and protein levels. Similar suppressive effects of LC were observed on LPS-stimulated murine peritoneal macrophages as well. Furthermore, LC significantly reduced LPS-stimulated NF-κB activation by inhibition of IκBα degradation and p65 phosphorylation. The results from NF-κB-luc reporter gene assay further support the inhibitory effect of LC on NF-κB activation. Further studies showed that LC also interfered with the MAPKs and STAT3 signaling pathways, which are typical inflammatory signaling pathways triggered by LPS. Taken together, these results show that LC attenuates LPS-induced cytokine gene expression in RAW 264.7 macrophages through mechanisms that involve NF-κB, MAPKs and STAT3 signaling pathways, but the pattern of inhibition differs from that of a global immunosuppresant. Our study indicates that LC is a functional constituent of Glycyrrhiza uralensis with potential implications in infectious and immune-related diseases.
Keywords: Licocoumarone; Glycyrrhiza uralensis; NF-κB; MAPKs; STAT3;

Chronic restraint stress (CRS) is known to cause various behavioural and biochemical alterations, leading to several negative health outcomes. The present study was designed to explore the impact of inhibiting Renin angiotensin aldosterone system (RAAS) and inflammatory pathways in stress pathophysiology. In the present study, male LACA mice were subjected to restraint stress daily for 30 days. Losartan, nimesulide, ramipril, minocycline and their combinations were administered 45 min prior to restraint stress daily and their effects were observed. Restraint stressed mice depicted depression like behavior along with increased oxidative stress markers in their brains. CRS induced insulin resistance depicted by hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hypercholesteremia, increased glycosylated hemoglobin and HOMA-IR. Besides, treatment with losartan, nimesulide, ramipril and minocycline significantly restored the behavioural and biochemical alterations and improved insulin sensitivity in stressed mice. Combination treatments synergistically reversed depression like behavior and decreased plasma glucose levels. Moreover they restored insulin levels, glycosylated hemoglobin levels and HOMA-IR values to the normal. This study signifies the synergistic effect of simultaneously blocking RAS and inflammatory pathways in stress pathophysiology.
Keywords: Chronic restraint stress; Renin angiotensin aldosterone system; HPA axis; Insulin resistance; Inflammation;

Traditional Chinese medicines (TCM) have been proven to prevent osteoporosis, but their clinical applications are not widely recognized due to their complicated ingredients. Psoralidin, a prenylated coumestan, has been reported to prevent bone loss of ovariectomized rats, but detailed mechanisms are still not clear. In current study, we found that both psoralidin and coumestrol promoted osteoblast proliferation and differentiation, as evidenced by improvements in cell proliferation and alkaline phosphatase activity; increased formation of ALP colonies and calcified nodules; enhanced secretion of collagen-I, BMP-2, osteocalcin and osteopontin; and stimulation of the expression of IGF-1, β-catenin, Runx-2, Osterix, and OPG, as well as the mRNA ratio of OPG/RANKL, while significantly decreasing the expression of RANKL. In addition, both psoralidin and coumestrol inhibited osteoclast formation and osteoclastic bone resorption, as demonstrated by the lower tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity and smaller area, with fewer resorption pits formed. Interestingly, psoralidin showed much stronger effects than coumestrol at enhancing osteoblast proliferation/differentiation or inhibiting osteoclast differentiation and bone resorption. Moreover, we found that both psoralidin and coumestrol suppressed COX-2 and ROS production in rat osteoblastic calvarias cells, and psoralidin showed stronger effects than coumestrol. Furthermore, we detected that by blocking estrogen receptors with ICI 182.780 (an estrogen receptor antagonist), the osteoprotective effects of psoralidin and coumestrol were also blocked. Our findings demonstrated that psoralidin and coumestrol exert their bone-protective effects by enhancing bone formation of osteoblasts and inhibiting bone resorption of osteoclasts. These roles might be mediated by their antioxidant activity and transduced through estrogen receptor signaling.
Keywords: Psoralidin; Coumestrol; Isopentenyl group; Osteoblasts; Osteoclasts;

Troxerutin exerts neuroprotection in 6-hydroxydopamine lesion rat model of Parkinson’s disease: Possible involvement of PI3K/ERβ signaling by Tourandokht Baluchnejadmojarad; Nida Jamali-Raeufy; Sedigheh Zabihnejad; Nafiseh Rabiee; Mehrdad Roghani (72-78).
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease with progressive loss of mesencephalic dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra and with multiple incapacitating motor and non-motor symptoms. Troxerutin is a natural bioflavonoid with nephro- and hepato-protective, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. In this study, we evaluated its possible neuroprotective effect in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) rat model of PD. Intrastriatal 6-OHDA-lesioned rats were pretreated with troxerutin at a dose of 150 mg/kg/day for 1 week. Results showed that troxerutin mitigates apomorphine-induced motor asymmetry and lowered the latency to initiate and the total time in the narrow beam task and this beneficial effect was lost following central application of estrogen receptor β (ERβ) antagonist or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor. In addition, troxerutin reduced striatal malondialdehyde (MDA) as an index of lipid peroxidation, reactive oxygen species, glial fibrillary acid protein (GFAP) as a marker of astrogliosis, and DNA fragmentation as an apoptotic marker with no significant alteration of catalase activity and nitrite level. Meanwhile, troxerutin was capable to prevent loss of nigral tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons. These findings indicate neuroprotective potential of troxerutin in 6-OHDA rat model of PD through mitigation of apoptosis, astrogliosis, and oxidative stress and part of its effect is dependent on PI3K/ERβ signaling.
Keywords: Troxerutin; 6-hydroxydopamine; Parkinson’s disease; Oxidative stress; Apoptosis;

Effects of nebulised magnesium sulphate on inflammation and function of the guinea-pig airway by Dawn L. Turner; William R. Ford; Emma J. Kidd; Kenneth J. Broadley; Colin Powell (79-85).
Magnesium sulphate is a potential treatment for acute severe asthma. However, the mechanisms and dose-response relationships are poorly understood. The first objective of this study was to examine whether inhaled magnesium sulphate exerts bronchodilator activity measured as bronchoprotection against histamine-induced bronchoconstriction in conscious guinea-pigs alone and combined with salbutamol. Secondly, we examined whether inhaled magnesium sulphate inhibits airways inflammation and function in models of neutrophilic and eosinophilic lung inflammation induced, respectively, by inhaled lipopolysaccharide or the inhaled antigen, ovalbumin (OVA). Airway function was measured in conscious guinea-pigs as specific airway conductance (sGaw) by whole-body plethysmography. Anti-inflammatory activity was measured against lung inflammatory cell influx induced by OVA inhalation in OVA-sensitised animals or by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure of non-sensitised animals. Airway function (sGaw) was measured over 24 h after OVA exposure. Airway hyperresponsiveness to inhaled histamine and inflammatory cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were recorded 24 h after OVA or LPS challenge. Histamine-induced bronchoconstriction was inhibited by inhaled magnesium sulphate or salbutamol alone and in combination, they produced synergistic bronchoprotection. LPS-induced neutrophil influx was inhibited by 6 days pretreatment with magnesium sulphate. Early and late asthmatic responses in OVA sensitised and challenged animals were attenuated by magnesium sulphate. Lung inflammatory cells were increased by OVA, macrophages being significantly reduced by magnesium sulphate. Nebulised magnesium sulphate protects against histamine-induced bronchoconstriction in conscious guinea-pigs and exerts anti-inflammatory activity against pulmonary inflammation induced by allergen (OVA) or LPS. These properties of magnesium sulphate explain its beneficial actions in acute asthma.
Keywords: Magnesium sulphate; Asthma; Bronchoprotection; Guinea-pigs; Airways inflammation; Lipopolysaccharide;

n-Propyl gallate is a synthetic phenolic antioxidant with potential anti-inflammatory effects. However, the underlying mechanism remains largely unknown. In the present study, we showed that n-propyl gallate increases the expression and activity of the heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), a stress-inducible protein with potent anti-inflammatory activity, in RAW264.7 macrophages. The inhibition of the HO-1 activity by treatment with zinc (II) protoporphyrin IX (ZnPP) or by knockdown of the HO-1 expression with small interference RNA significantly reversed the inhibitory effect of n-Propyl gallate on activations of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). An additional mechanism study using inhibitors of signaling kinases revealed the involvement of protein kinase Cδ (PKCδ) in the expression of HO-1 induced by n-Propyl gallate. Consistent with these results, n-Propyl gallate increased the intracellular levels of phosphorylated PKCδ in concentration- and time-dependent manners. The inhibitory effects of n-Propyl gallate on LPS-induced iNOS expression and nitric oxide production were also significantly attenuated by pretreatment with the PKCδ inhibitor, rottlerin, or by transfection with PKCδ (K376R), a kinase-inactive form of PKCδ. Taken together, these findings provide the first evidence that n-Propyl gallate exerts its anti-inflammatory effect through PKCδ-mediated up-regulation of HO-1 in macrophages.
Keywords: n-Propyl gallate; HO-1; PKCδ; iNOS; Anti-inflammatory; Macrophages;