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Ancient Science of Life  1984;3(3):161-168.
Specific features of Soma plant are implict from various references in Rigveda enabling its identity as ephedra. Its juice is an energizer – cum – euphoriant contrary to the intoxicant sura. Sura is beer prepared from barely malt. Soma is the juice of ephedra rich in ephedrine which is antisomnalent. At least one use of soma has never been substituted, as the drink of longevity for a newly born child.
PMCID: PMC3331558  PMID: 22557400
Ancient Science of Life  1990;9(4):207-208.
Soma was originally Sauma as the Sanskrit form of the Avesta name Haoma. It is a loan word from the Chinese term, Hao-Ma, fire coloured hempior fibrous items like hemp and also coloured yellow with a tinge of brown. The Aryans as hunters took its juice as anti-fatigue drink. It was extolled as panacea and even as drink of longevity. The plant and its stalks were crushed between stones to produce juice. There arose different fractions and these have been given in a regular chart here.
PMCID: PMC3331339  PMID: 22557699
Ancient Science of Life  1987;7(2):105-109.
Ephedra was a source of anti-fatigue drink. In later period it became a drink of immortality and longevity. The use of Soma as the first drink of a newly born child is mentioned in Rigveda. The author identifies the Soma of Rigveda with the Ephedra and established its use in ancient Rome and also highlights here its continuity among Zorostrains.
PMCID: PMC3331384  PMID: 22557597
Ancient Science of Life  1984;4(2):116-122.
In China the antecedent of alchemy is represented by the god of longevity emerging from the peach. The first synthetic drug, Kim-Yeh, red colloidal gold, signified gold-cum -herbal juice. Kim-Yeh=Kimiya (Arabic) =chemeia (Greek). Translated this gave Chrusozomion=Gold Ferment, specifying the drug. Rasayana was translated as Chumeia, herbal juice-incorporate and signified the art alchemy. Chemeia was Chinese and Chumeia, Indian. Originally each signified both, a drug of longevity and the art, alchemy. Finally the art of making red gold was misunderstood as the art of making gold itself
PMCID: PMC3331503  PMID: 22557463
Ancient Science of Life  1985;5(2):98-103.
In this paper the author attempts to trace the ancient man and his conceptualism of drugs and cosmology by interpreting various classical texts related to that field.
PMCID: PMC3331453  PMID: 22557507
6.  Vulnerable salvation: Evangelical Protestant leaders and institutions, drug use and HIV and AIDS in the urban periphery of Rio de Janeiro 
Global public health  2011;6(SUP2):S243-S256.
This analysis focuses on the evangelical Protestant responses to drug use and HIV prevention, treatment and care in the urban periphery of Rio de Janeiro. We question how religious institutions, and the positions of pastors, create or reduce various elements of societal illness and vulnerability. We aim to show that the views of pastors may symbolise a form of social regulation that may have a meaningful social impact on drug use and HIV and AIDS. The interviews of 23 evangelical religious leaders were collected using a theoretical sample and analysed through a grounded theory approach. Two case studies of evangelical drug rehabilitation centres are derived from five qualitative interviews. Evangelical drug rehabilitation centres generally reflect pastors' discourses of reintegration into social networks including marriage, family, and employment. We found important differences in the discourses and practices in private versus state-funded rehabilitation centres that may reveal ways social and programmatic vulnerabilities may affect the efficacy of public health interventions.
PMCID: PMC3158949  PMID: 21512922
Evangelical Protestant religion; drug use; HIV and AIDS; vulnerability; Brazil
7.  Evaluation of comparative free-radical quenching potential of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) and Mandookparni (Centella asiatica) 
Ayu  2011;32(2):258-264.
Ayurvedic texts describe rejuvenate measures called Rasayana to impart biological sustenance to bodily tissues. Rasayana acting specifically on brain are called Medhya Rasayana. Brahmi is one of the most commonly practiced herbs for the same. Yet there exist a controversy regarding the exact plant species among Bacopa monnieri L. Penn (BM) and Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (CA) to be used as Brahmi in the formulations. Though the current literature available has suggested a very good nootropic potential of both the drugs, none of the studies have been carried out on comparative potential of these herbs to resolve the controversy. Free-radical scavenging potential for these plants is studied to find out their comparative efficacy. The study revealed a very good in vitro free-radical scavenging properties of aqueous and ethanolic extracts of both the plants as evidenced by FRAP, DPPH, reducing power, and antilipid peroxidation assays. It can be concluded from the studies that both the plants, although taxonomically totally different at family level, showed similar type of in vitro activities. The total phenolic and flavonoid contents also revealed a significant similarity in the two plants. The in vitro study supports the Ayurvedic concept of BM and CA having a similar potential.
PMCID: PMC3296351  PMID: 22408313
Bacopa; Brahmi; Centella; free-radical scavenging antioxidants
8.  Coronary Thrombosis Related to Use of Xenadrine® RFA 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2005;32(1):74-77.
Recently, ephedra was removed from the U.S. marketplace due to a heightened concern that dietary supplements containing ephedra may present “an unreasonable risk of illness or injury.” This is the 1st time the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has banned an herbal supplement, and the ban sheds light on the potential harm of nutritional supplements that are used for weight loss or as a boost to athletic performance. We report the case of a body builder who used Xenadrine® RFA, an ephedra-containing supplement, at recommended doses for nearly a year; he then experienced an acute myocardial infarction, which was documented to be secondary to thrombosis in situ. We ruled out other possible causes of myocardial infarction, as well a hypercoagulable state. There was no evidence of illicit drug use. Our report serves as a poignant reminder of the potential dangers of herbal supplementation, especially when used to heighten athletic performance.
PMCID: PMC555829  PMID: 15902827
Cardiovascular diseases/chemically induced/epidemiology; dietary supplements/adverse effects; drugs, Chinese herbal/adverse effects; ephedrine/adverse effects; human; male; myocardial infarction/chemically induced/epidemiology; thrombosis/chemically induced
9.  A comparative pharmacological evaluation of Taila (oil) and Ghrita (ghee) prepared with Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) 
Ayu  2010;31(4):504-508.
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia wild miers) is a well-known medicinal plant, which is abundantly used in different ayurvedic formulations utilizing varieties of media. The drug has properties like Rasayana (rejuvenating property), Krimighna (anthelmintics), and Kushtghna (used in skin disorders), as described in ayurvedic literature. Taila (oil) and Ghrita (ghee) are used as media in Ayurvedic Sneha (oleaginous) formulations. Both the test drugs, Guduchi Taila and Ghrita, are prescribed in Vatrakta (gout) and also indicated for Kushtha (skin disorder). With all these details, the Guduchi Taila and Guduchi Ghrita samples, prepared by using Taila and Ghrita as media, have been subjected to comparative pharmacological investigations, to assess the impact of the media on the expression of pharmacological activity. The formulations have been evaluated for immunomodulation, anti-inflammatory, and anti-stress activities. Both the formulations have been found to be active in most of the experiments, however, with the change of media, their results vary at different levels. Taila prepared from Guduchi was found to have an immunostimulating activity. The formulation prepared with Ghrita exhibited an anti-stress effect with an immunosuppressing activity.
PMCID: PMC3202249  PMID: 22048548
Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia wild miers); Guduchi Taila; Guduchi Ghrita; Immunomodulation; Anti-inflammatory; Anti-stress
10.  STEMI in a 24-Year-Old Man after Use of a Synephrine-Containing Dietary Supplement 
Texas Heart Institute Journal  2009;36(6):586-590.
Billions of dollars are spent annually in the United States in the largely unregulated market of dietary supplements. Many of these supplements are marketed as weight-loss and athletic-performance-enhancement products. The association of various ephedra-containing products with adverse cardiovascular events has led to a ban on the sale of these products by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The result has been the emergence of new formulations marketed for weight loss and athletic-performance enhancement that are “ephedra-free” but contain other sympathomimetic substances, the safety of which has not been established.
We present the case of a previously healthy 24-year-old man who presented with an ST-segment-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) within hours of taking the ephedra-free product Nutrex Lipo-6x®. Emergent coronary angiography revealed the presence of extensive, diffuse thrombus in the left anterior descending coronary artery. The patient had no risk factors for coronary artery disease or myocardial infarction; this includes the absence of a hypercoagulable state and the absence of a history of illicit drug use. This case of STEMI—associated as it is with the use of a synephrine-containing product by a person without risk factors for coronary artery disease—is to our knowledge the 1st reported in the literature. We discuss the patient's evaluation and clinical course, and we review the literature with respect to synephrine-containing dietary supplements. On the basis of synephrine's chemical composition and mechanism of action, we propose a direct association between this patient's use of Nutrex Lipo-6x® and his STEMI.
PMCID: PMC2801940  PMID: 20069086
Citrus/adverse effects; coronary vasospasm/complications/etiology; dietary supplements/adverse effects/poisoning; myocardial infarction/chemically induced; plant preparations; synephrine; weight loss/drug effects; United States Food and Drug Administration
11.  Long-range signaling in growing neurons after local elevation of cyclic AMP-dependent activity 
The Journal of Cell Biology  1994;127(6):1693-1701.
Cyclic AMP-dependent activity at the growth cone or the soma of cultured Xenopus spinal neurons was elevated by local extracellular perfusion of the neuron with culture medium containing 8-bromoadenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (8-br-cAMP) or forskolin. During local perfusion of one of the growth cones of multipolar neurons with these drugs, the perfused growth cone showed further extension, while the distant, unperfused growth cones were inhibited in their growth. Local perfusion of the growth cone with culture medium or local perfusion with 8-br-cAMP at a cell-free region 100 microns away from the growth cone did not produce any effect on the extension of the growth cone. Reduced extension of all growth cones was observed when the perfusion with 8-br-cAMP was restricted to the soma. The distant inhibitory effect does not depend on the growth of the perfused growth cone since local coperfusion of the growth cone with 8-br-cAMP and colchicine inhibited growth on both perfused and unperfused growth cones, while local perfusion with colchicine alone inhibited only the perfused growth cone. The distant inhibitory effect was abolished when the perfusion of 8-br-cAMP was carried out together with kinase inhibitor H- 8, suggesting the involvement of cAMP-dependent protein kinase and/or its downstream factors in the long-range inhibitory signaling. Uniform exposure of the entire neuron to bath-applied 8-br-cAMP, however, led to enhanced growth activity at all growth cones. Thus, local elevation of cAMP-dependent activity produces long-range and opposite effects on distant parts of the neuron, and a cytosolic gradient of second messengers may produce effects distinctly different from those following uniform global elevation of the messenger, leading to differential growth regulation at different regions of the same neuron.
PMCID: PMC2120268  PMID: 7798321
12.  Studies on Brahma rasayana in male swiss albino mice: Chromosomal aberrations and sperm abnormalities 
Ayurveda, the Indian holistic healthcare system encompasses traditional medicines with a principle of creating harmony and maintaining balance within the natural rhythms of the body. Rasayana is one of the branches of Ayurveda frequently used as rejuvenant therapy to overcome many discomforts and prevent diseases. It has been reported that rasayanas have immunomodulatory, antioxidant and antitumor functions. However, the genotoxic potential of many rasayanas remains to be evaluated. The present study was undertaken to assess the role of Brahma rasayana(BR) on genotoxicity in vivo in a mouse test system. The older mice (9 months) were orally fed with rasayana for 8 weeks. The treated groups showed no signs of dose-dependent toxicity at the dosage levels tested. The body weight loss/gain and feed consumption were unaffected at tested doses. Furthermore, sperm abnormalities and chromosomal aberrations were insignificant in the treatment group when compared to controls. However, there was a marginal increase in sperm count in the BR treated animals. These findings clearly indicate that there are no observed adverse genotoxic effects elicited by BR in experimental animals such as mice.
PMCID: PMC3149391  PMID: 21829300
Aging; Brahma rasayana; chromosomal aberrations; genotoxicity; sperm abnormalities
13.  Altered growth, differentiation, and responsiveness to epidermal growth factor of human embryonic mesenchymal cells of palate by persistent rubella virus infection. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1986;77(5):1613-1621.
We previously demonstrated that human embryonic mesenchymal cells derived from the palate (HEMP cells) retain alkaline phosphatase (ALP) content and capacity for collagen synthesis after long-term culture, and their growth is markedly stimulated by epidermal growth factor (EGF). There was a dramatic decrease in ALP content and capacity to synthesize collagen in HEMP cells (HEMP-RV cells) persistently infected with rubella virus (RV). EGF increased ALP activity and decreased collagen synthesis in HEMP cells, whereas EGF showed no effect on these activities in HEMP-RV cells. Growth of HEMP-RV cells was slightly reduced compared with that of HEMP cells. EGF stimulated growth of HEMP cells and to a lesser extent of HEMP-RV cells. Binding of 125I-EGF to cell-surface receptors in HEMP-RV cells was, to our surprise, twice as much as that in HEMP cells. However, internalization of bound 125I-EGF in HEMP-RV cells was profoundly diminished. Thus, persistent RV infection causes not only changes in HEMP cell growth and differentiation but a decrease in or loss of HEMP cell responsiveness to EGF. The effects of persistent RV infection on palatal cell differentiation as well as growth may be responsible for the pathogenesis of congenital rubella. Furthermore, since HEMP cells appear to be closely related to osteoblasts, these results suggest a mechanism for RV-induced osseous abnormalities manifested in congenital rubella patients.
PMCID: PMC424565  PMID: 3009547
15.  A New Euphoriant for Depressive Mental States 
British Medical Journal  1947;1(4512):918-922.
PMCID: PMC2053573  PMID: 20248139
17.  Letter: Euphoriant elixirs. 
British Medical Journal  1973;4(5891):552.
PMCID: PMC1587457  PMID: 4128000
18.  Euphoriant Effects of “Preludin” 
British Medical Journal  1957;2(5043):508-509.
PMCID: PMC1962212  PMID: 13460295
Ancient Science of Life  1987;7(1):45-48.
This article traces the history of the Khat which is an intoxicant and also a sexual depressant. The author establishes that its origion is Abyssinia and it is brought to Arabia where it is commonly used even by Muslims. If Khat is consumed in excess it may impair the health but moderate quantity is beneficial.
PMCID: PMC3331378  PMID: 22557587
The Journal of Cell Biology  1972;55(1):205-220.
The fine structure of a physiologically identified motor neuron in the segmental ganglion of the leech central nervous system and the morphology of synapses on it were studied after injection of the fluorescent dye Procion yellow as a marker. The injected cell and its processes within the neuropil were located in thick or thin sections with fluorescence optics after initial fixation with glutaraldehyde and brief treatment with osmium tetroxide. The same or adjacent thin sections could then be examined in the electron microscope. Comparison with uninjected cells showed that the general features of the injected cell are retained although some organelles are distorted. The main features of the geometry of this neuron are the same from animal to animal: a single large process runs from the soma through the neuropil to bifurcate and enter the contralateral roots. Within the neuropil the main process gives off long branches (up to 150 µ), but these are greatly outnumbered by short branches and spines, one or a few microns in length, which were not appreciated in previous light microscope studies after injection of Procion yellow. Serial thin sections of selected areas along the main process within the neuropil showed that there are synapses on most of the shorter branches and spines; occasional synaptic contacts were also made on the main process itself and on longer branches. At least two morphologically distinct types of synapse could be recognized. A minimum estimate of the total number of synapses on the motor cell is 300, based on their occurrence in reconstructed segments.
PMCID: PMC2108746  PMID: 4569409
21.  Synaptic and voltage-gated currents in interplexiform cells of the tiger salamander retina 
The Journal of General Physiology  1990;95(4):755-770.
We have correlated the membrane properties and synaptic inputs of interplexiform cells (IPCs) with their morphology using whole-cell patch-clamp and Lucifer yellow staining in retinal slices. Three morphological types were identified: (a) a bistratified IPC with descending processes ramifying in both sublaminas a and b of the inner plexiform layer (IPL), and an ascending process that branched in the outer plexiform layer (OPL) and originated from the soma, (b) another bistratified IPC with descending processes ramifying in both sublaminas a and b, and an ascending process that branched in the OPL and originated directly from IPC processes in the IPL, and (c) a monostratified IPC with a descending process ramifying over large lateral extents within the most distal stratum of the IPL, and sending an ascending process to the OPL with little branching. Similar voltage- gated currents were measured in all three types including: (a) a transient inward sodium current, (b) an outward potassium current, and (c) an L-type calcium current. All cells generated multiple spikes with frequency increasing monotonically with the magnitude of injected current. The IPCs that send their descending processes into both sublaminas of the IPL (bistratified) receive excitatory synaptic inputs at both light ON and OFF that decay with a time constant of approximately 1.3 s. Slowly decaying excitation at both ON and OFF suggests that bistratified IPCs may spike continuously in the presence of a dynamic visual environment.
PMCID: PMC2216332  PMID: 2159975
22.  Isolation of Drosophila melanogaster Testes 
The testes of Drosophila melanogaster provide an important model for the study of stem cell maintenance and differentiation, meiosis, and soma-germline interactions. Testes are typically isolated from adult males 0-3 days after eclosion from the pupal case. The testes of wild-type flies are easily distinguished from other tissues because they are yellow, but the testes of white mutant flies, a common genetic background for laboratory experiments are similar in both shape and color to the fly gut. Performing dissection on a glass microscope slide with a black background makes identifying the testes considerably easier. Testes are removed from the flies using dissecting needles. Compared to protocols that use forceps for testes dissection, our method is far quicker, allowing a well-practiced individual to dissect testes from 200-300 wild-type flies per hour, yielding 400-600 testes. Testes from white flies or from mutants that reduce testes size are harder to dissect and typically yield 200-400 testes per hour.
PMCID: PMC3197105  PMID: 21610676
The Journal of comparative neurology  2010;518(21):4463-4478.
Human genetic findings and murine neuroanatomical expression mapping have intersected to implicate Met receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in the development of forebrain circuits controlling social and emotional behaviors that are atypical in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). To clarify roles for Met signaling during forebrain circuit development in vivo, we generated mutant mice (Emx1Cre/Metfx/fx) with an Emx1-Cre-driven deletion of signaling-competent Met in dorsal pallially-derived forebrain neurons. Morphometric analyses of Lucifer Yellow-injected pyramidal neurons in postnatal day 40 anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) revealed no statistically significant changes in total dendritic length, but a selective reduction in apical arbor length distal to the soma in Emx1Cre/Metfx/fx neurons relative to wild type, consistent with a decrease in the total tissue volume sampled by individual arbors in the cortex. The effects on dendritic structure appear to be circuit-selective, as basal arbor length was increased in Emx1Cre/Metfx/fx layer 2/3 neurons. Spine number was not altered on Emx1Cre/Metfx/fx pyramidal cell populations studied, but spine head volume was significantly increased (~20%). Cell-nonautonomous, circuit-level influences of Met signaling on dendritic development were confirmed by studies of medium spiny neurons (MSN), which do not express Met, but receive Met-expressing corticostriatal afferents during development. Emx1Cre/Metfx/fx MSN exhibited robust increases in total arbor length (~20%). Like in the neocortex, average spine head volume was also increased (~12%). These data demonstrate that a developmental loss of presynaptic Met receptor signaling can affect postsynaptic morphogenesis and suggest a mechanism whereby attenuated Met signaling could disrupt both local and long-range connectivity within circuits relevant to ASD.
PMCID: PMC2952412  PMID: 20853516
24.  Semi-automated, Quantitative Analysis of Retinal Ganglion Cell Morphology in Mice Selectively Expressing Yellow Fluorescent Protein 
Experimental eye research  2011;96(1):107-115.
The development of transgenic mouse lines that selectively label a subset of neurons provides unique opportunities to study detailed neuronal morphology and morphological changes under experimental conditions. In the present study, a mouse line in which a small number of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) express yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) under control of the Thy-1 promoter was used (Feng et al., 2000). We characterized the number, distribution by retinal region and eccentricity of YFP-labeled RGCs using fluorescence microscopy and StereoInvestigator software (MicroBrightField, VT, USA). Then, we captured images of 4–6 YFP-expressing RGCs from each of 8 retinal regions by confocal microscopy, producing 3-dimensional and flattened data sets. A new semi-automated method to quantify the soma size, dendritic length and dendritic arbor complexity was developed using MetaMorph software (Molecular Devices, PA, USA). Our results show that YFP is expressed in 0.2% of all RGCs. Expression of YFP was not significantly different in central versus peripheral retina, but there were higher number of YFP expressing RGCs in the temporal quadrant than in the nasal. By confocal-based analysis, 58% of RGCs expressing YFP did so at a high level, with the remainder distributed in decreasing levels of brightness. Variability in detailed morphometric parameters was as great between two fellow retinas as in retinas from different mice. The analytic methods developed for this selective YFP expressing RGC model permit quantitative comparisons of parameters relevant to neuronal injury.
PMCID: PMC3419383  PMID: 22210127
mouse; retina; ganglion cell; glaucoma; optic nerve; neuropathy; yellow fluorescent protein
25.  Retinal Ganglion Cell Morphology after Optic Nerve Crush and Experimental Glaucoma 
To study sequential changes in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) morphology in mice after optic nerve crush and after induction of experimental glaucoma.
Nerve crush or experimental glaucoma was induced in mice that selectively express yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) in RGCs. Mice were euthanized 1, 4, and 9 days after crush and 1, 3, and 6 weeks after induction of glaucoma by bead injection. All YFP-RGCs were identified in retinal whole mounts. Then confocal images of randomly selected RGCs were quantified for somal fluorescence brightness, soma size, neurite outgrowth, and dendritic complexity (Sholl analysis).
By 9 days after crush, 98% of RGC axons died and YFP-RGCs decreased by 64%. After 6 weeks of glaucoma, 31% of axons died, but there was no loss of YFP-RGC bodies. All crush retinas combined had significant decreases in neurite outgrowth parameters (P ≤ 0.036, generalized estimating equation [GEE] model) and dendritic complexity was lower than controls (P = 0.017, GEE model). There was no change in RGC soma area after crush. In combined glaucoma data, the RGC soma area was larger than control (P = 0.04, GEE model). At 3 weeks, glaucoma RGCs had significantly larger values for dendritic structure and complexity than controls (P = 0.044, GEE model), but no statistical difference was found at 6 weeks.
After nerve crush, RGCs and axons died rapidly, and dendritic structure decreased moderately in remaining RGCs. Glaucoma caused an increase in RGC dendrite structure and soma size at 3 weeks.
Retinal ganglion cell morphology after optic nerve crush and experimental glaucoma.
PMCID: PMC3630905  PMID: 22589442

Results 1-25 (87958)