The Traditional Chinese Medicine Fufang Shatai Heji (STHJ) Enhances Immune Function in Cyclophosphamide-Treated MiceRead the full article
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Effect of Hataedock Treatment on Epidermal Structure Maintenance through Intervention in the Endocannabinoid System
The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of Hataedock (HTD) on skin barrier maintenance through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) intervention in Dermatophagoides farinae-induced atopic dermatitis (AD) NC/Nga mice. Douchi (fermented Glycine max Merr.) extracts prepared for HTD were orally administered to NC/Nga mice at a 20 mg/kg dose. Then, Dermatophagoides farinae extract (DfE) was applied to induce AD-like skin lesions during the 4th–6th and 8th–10th weeks. Changes in the epidermal structure of the mice were observed by histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and TUNEL assay. The results showed that HTD significantly reduced the clinical scores () and effectively alleviated the histological features. In the experimental groups, increased expression of cannabinoid receptor type (CB) 1, CB2, and G protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) and distribution of filaggrin, involucrin, loricrin, and longevity assurance homolog 2 (Lass2) indicated that HTD maintained the epidermal barrier through intervening in the ECS. The expression of E-cadherin and glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) was increased, and the levels of cluster of differentiation 1a (CD1A) were low. Moreover, the apoptosis of inflammatory cells was elevated. The production of phosphorylated extracellular signal-related kinase (p-ERK), phosphorylated c-Jun amino-terminal kinase (p-JNK), and phosphorylated mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR) was low, and epidermal thickness was decreased. Besides, the expression levels of involucrin were measured by treating genistein, an active ingredient of Douchi extract, and palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), one of the ECS agonists. The results showed that genistein had a better lipid barrier formation effect than PEA. In conclusion, HTD alleviates the symptoms of AD by maintaining skin homeostasis, improving skin barrier formation, and downregulating inflammation, through ECS intervention.
Exercise Preconditioning Plays a Protective Role in Exhaustive Rats by Activating the PI3K-Akt Signaling Pathway
Objective. To investigate whether exercise preconditioning (EP) protects the rat heart from exhaustive exercise- (EE-) induced injury by inducing the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway. Methods. 84 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into 6 groups (n = 14 rats per group): control group (Con), exhaustive exercise group (EE), exercise preconditioning group (EP), exercise preconditioning + exhaustive exercise group (EP + EE), LY294002 (PI3K inhibitor) + exercise preconditioning + exhaustive exercise group (LY + EP + EE), and LY294002 group (LY). The Con and LY did not exercise. The remaining groups were subjected to treadmill running. The structure of myocardial tissue and serum biomarkers of myocardial injury were observed. Hemodynamic parameters were recorded with a pressure-volume catheter. TUNEL assay was used to detect the apoptosis of cardiac myocytes, and the level of mitochondrial membrane permeability transforming pore (mPTP) in myocardium was evaluated using ELISA. Pathway and apoptosis-related proteins in myocardium were assessed using western blotting. Results. Compared to the Con group, the EE group showed remarkable myocardial injury, such as cardiac dysfunction and myocardial apoptosis. Compared to the EE group, the injuries in the EP + EE group were improved. EP increased the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway and regulated Bcl-2 family to decrease the mPTP openness level. However, the cardioprotective effects of EP were attenuated when pretreated with the LY294002. Conclusions. EP protected the heart from EE-induced injury, and it may improve the cardiac function and reduce the cardiomyocyte apoptosis by activating the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway.
Clinical and Microbiological Evaluation of Brazilian Red Propolis Containing-Dentifrice in Orthodontic Patients: A Randomized Clinical Trial
Aim. To evaluate the efficacy of dentifrice containing brazilian red propolis (BRP) in adolescents under orthodontic treatment. Materials and Methods. This is a randomized, double-blind, clinical trial. A total of 92 participants free from caries were randomized into 2 groups; the first received fluoride dentifrice, and the second received fluoride dentifrice incorporated with BRP. The gingival bleeding index (GBI) was recorded, and saliva was collected on the baseline (D0) and after 28 days (D28) for microbiological analysis. Data from GBI and Colony Forming Units (CFU) (log10) were expressed as mean and standard deviation. Results. The two groups reduced GBI significantly, with no difference in the intergroup analysis. In the intragroup analysis, it was observed that G2 () had a significant reduction for Gram-negative bacteria, while there was significance () in the intergroup analysis when compared with G1. For S. mutans bacteria, it was observed that only G2 had a statistically significant reduction (), and there was significant reduction () in the intergroup analysis of the G2 group when compared with G1. Conclusions. Dentifrice containing BRP demonstrated better clinical and microbiological activity. Future studies are needed to better identify effects to establish the use of dentifrice containing propolis in biofilm control.
Coloring Activities for Anxiety Reduction and Mood Improvement in Taiwanese Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Study
To investigate the effect of mandala coloring, plaid pattern coloring, and free-form drawing activities on anxiety and mood in older Taiwanese adults. A total of 120 older adults aged 55 years to 75 years were recruited from 18 community-based learning centers for older adults in southern Taiwan. They were randomly assigned to engage in one of the following four activities for 20 minutes: (1) mandala coloring group, (2) plaid pattern coloring group, (3) free-form drawing group, and (4) reading group (control). Information on sociodemographic, lifestyle, and perceived health status was collected at the baseline. In addition, anxiety levels, measured using the 20-item State-Trait Anxiety Inventory–State Anxiety Scale (STAI-S), were ascertained at the baseline (T1), after a brief anxiety induction (T2), and at the end of the assigned activity (T3). The mean anxiety levels among the four groups at T3 were analyzed using analysis of covariance, followed by Šidák multiple comparison test, as appropriate. The mean age of the 120 study participants was 65.1 years and 73.3% were females. A significantly lower anxiety level was observed only in the mandala coloring group (least square mean = 28.2; 95% confidence interval = 24.7–31.7) compared with the control group (least square mean = 36.0; 95% confidence interval = 32.9–39.2) (, partial eta-squared = 0.113). Furthermore, when the STAI-S was analyzed at the item level, the mandala coloring group was significantly different from the control group in the following six feelings: calmed down, safe, at ease, rested, satisfied, and I feel good. In conclusion, short-term mandala coloring activity could significantly alleviate self-induced anxiety in community-dwelling older adults. Further studies on the long-term effects of mandala coloring activity in improving the emotional well-being of older adults are warranted.
Preliminary Antimicrobial Profile of Solanum incanum L.: A Common Medicinal Plant
Medicinal plants and plant remedies have been in use in Ethiopia for centuries. Studies on ethnobotany, ethnomedicine, and ethnoveterinary estimate that nearly 80% of Ethiopians use some type of medicinal plants and plant remedies. Medicinal plants are regarded as the most important and sometimes the only source of therapeutics in the country. Some 800 plant species are used as sources of medicine to treat about 300 physical and mental disorders. However, because these plant species are not adequately studied, there is a big limitation in their documentation, profiling, and management. Moreover, there is a continuous loss of knowledge about medicinal plants because the communities and people are adopting new lifestyles. Hence, this article reports the finding of a study aimed at providing the gross phytochemical characteristics and antimicrobial activities of ethanol and aqueous extracts of fruit, leaf, and stem of Solanum incanum L. against two Gram-negative (Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhi) and two Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria for developing gross antimicrobial profile of the plant. Phytochemical screening of fruit, leaf, and stem extracts of S. incanum has shown that it is the source of alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, glycosides, terpenoids, and steroids. According to agar disc-diffusion tests, 100 mg/mL extracts of the plant produced bacterial growth inhibition zones of 0.00 to 16.06 mm. Ethanol and aqueous leaf extracts produced inhibition zones ranging from 11.34 to 16.06 mm against all bacterial species. The greatest inhibition zone of 16.06 mm was recorded in E. coli subjected to ethanol leaf extract. The same extract resulted in a growth inhibition zone of 16.04 mm in S. aureus. The greatest growth inhibition zones in B. subtilis (13.34 mm) and S. typhi (11.56 mm) were observed with ethanol leaf and fruit extracts, respectively. Aqueous leaf extracts produced growth inhibition zones ranging from 10.45 mm (for S. typhi) to 14.02 mm (for E. coli). Ethanol leaf extracts resulted in the lowest Minimum Inhibition Concentration (MIC) of 1.56 mg/mL in E. coli and S. aureus. Therefore, fruits, leaves, and stems of S. incanum can be regarded as good sources of some bioactive compounds. The findings are important for taking measures for conservation and sustainable use of the plant as well as for further elucidation of its phytochemistry and antimicrobial efficacy of its constituents.
N-Butanol Extract of Gastrodia elata Suppresses Inflammatory Responses in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Macrophages and Complete Freund’s Adjuvant- (CFA-) Induced Arthritis Rats via Inhibition of MAPK Signaling Pathway
Gastrodia elata is a traditional herbal medicine that has been used for centuries to treat rheumatism. Previous studies have confirmed that ethanol extracts of Gastrodia elata have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activities, and the n-butanol fraction exerts a higher inhibitory effect. However, the in vivo anti-inflammatory effects of Gastrodia elata have not been evaluated. Thus, we assessed the therapeutic effect of the n-butanol extract of Gastrodia elata (BGE) on complete Freund’s adjuvant- (CFA-) induced arthritis rats which were separated into six groups (NOR; MODEL; CFA + dexamethasone (DEX); CFA + 25, 50, 100 mg/kg BGE). The paw swelling, joint radiology, and histology were used to analyze the effect of BGE on delaying the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. Furthermore, serum levels of inflammatory cytokines were analyzed via ELISA. In addition, the effect of BGE on nitric oxide (NO) production, expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2(COX-2), and inflammatory cytokines were detected in lipopolysaccharide- (LPS-) stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage cells. Lastly, the impacts of BGE on the activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) pathway in CFA rats and LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophage were examined by western blot analysis. The results show that BGE can significantly reduce paw swelling without losing the body weight of rats. Imaging assessment confirms that BGE can protect cartilage from destruction, as well as reducing inflammatory cell infiltration and synovial proliferation. Moreover, BGE suppresses the production of inflammatory cytokines in serum and inhibits the activation of the phosphorylation of p38 and ERK in CFA rats. BGE was also demonstrated to decrease the production of NO and inflammatory cytokines in LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. The effect of BGE in LPS-induced expression leads to reduced p38 and ERK phosphorylation and also downregulates the protein expression of iNOS and COX-2. Taken together, BGE exhibits a potential therapeutic effect on CFA rats, and its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects were possibly exerted by regulation of ERK/p38MAPK.