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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Aging; Brahma rasayana; chromosomal aberrations; genotoxicity; sperm abnormalities
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
mouse; retina; ganglion cell; glaucoma; optic nerve; neuropathy; yellow fluorescent protein
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.
Bacopa; Brahmi; Centella; free-radical scavenging antioxidants
Ayuveda “the science of life” deals with various dimensions of human being. In this age old science, psychological factors have been given equal importance as physiological factors in the etiology of various diseases. Though there are so many rejuvenation therapies, Achara Rasayana is mainly advocated for psychosomatic disorders. Chittodvega (anxiety neurosis) is one among those psychological diseases in which, the code of conduct (Achara Rasayana) plays an important role in both etiology as well as treatment. Here an attempt has been taken to clarify the role of Achara Rasayana in the disease Chittodvega.
Oxidative damage caused by free radicals plays an important role in the causation and progression of many diseases, including aging. Free-radical damage is countered by many mechanisms, including both active antioxidant enzymatic activity in our body and passive antioxidants. Antioxidant response of our body can accommodate increased oxidative damage in diseased states to a level but beyond that level, additional antioxidants are required to combat the increased stress. Apart from the regular dietary sources of antioxidants, many traditional herbal medicines demonstrate a potential to boost antioxidant activity. Rasayana chikitsa that deals with rejuvenation and revitalization is a branch of the Indian traditional medical system of ayurveda. We review some select herbs described in rasayana chikitsa that have been assessed by modern means for stimulating intrinsic antioxidant responses in humans. A critical evaluation of rasayana chikitsa will likely provide urgently needed, actual stimulants of our physiological antioxidant responses and not just more passive antioxidants to add to an already large catalog.
antioxidants; central nervous system; reactive oxygen species; traditional medicine; ayurveda; rasayana chikitsa; aging; herbs
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine has given great emphasis to the promotion of health. Rasayana is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda which refers to rejuvenant therapy. It has been reported that rasayanas have immuno-modulatory, antioxidant and antitumor functions, however, the genotoxic potential and modulation of DNA repair of many rasayanas have not been evaluated.
The present study assessed the role of Brahmarasayana (BR) on Ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS)-and Methyl methanesulfonate (MMS)-induced genotoxicity and DNA repair in in vivo mouse test system. The mice were orally fed with BR (5 g or 8 mg / day) for two months and 24 h later EMS or MMS was given intraperitoneally. The genotoxicity was analyzed by chromosomal aberrations, sperm count, and sperm abnormalities.
The results have revealed that BR did not induce significant chromosomal aberrations when compared to that of the control animals (p >0.05). On the other hand, the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations induced by EMS (240 mg / kg body weight) or MMS (125 mg / kg body weight) were significantly higher (p<0.05) to that of the control group. The treatment of BR for 60 days and single dose of EMS or MMS on day 61, resulted in significant (p <0.05) reduction in the frequency of chromosomal aberrations in comparison to EMS or MMS treatment alone, indicating a protective effect of BR. Constitutive base excision repair capacity was also increased in BR treated animals.
The effect of BR, as it relates to antioxidant activity was not evident in liver tissue however rasayana treatment was observed to increase constitutive DNA base excision repair and reduce clastogenicity. Whilst, the molecular mechanisms of such repair need further exploration, this is the first report to demonstrate these effects and provides further evidence for the role of brahmarasayana in the possible improvement of quality of life.
DNA damage and repair; Anti clastogenicity; Rasayana
Effect of sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea) hay amendment on nematode community structure in the soil surrounding roots of yellow squash (Cucurbita pepo) infected with root-knot nematodes was examined in two greenhouse experiments. Soils were from field plots treated long-term (LT) with yard-waste compost or no yard-waste compost in LT experiment, and from a short-term (ST) agricultural site in ST experiment. Soils collected were either amended or not amended with C. juncea hay. Nematode communities were examined 2 months after squash was inoculated with Meloidogyne incognita. Amendment increased (P < 0.05) omnivorous nematodes in both experiments but increased only bacterivorous nematodes in ST experiment (P < 0.05), where the soil had relatively low organic matter (<2%). This effect of C. juncea amendment did not occur in LT experiment, in which bacterivores were already abundant. Fungivorous nematodes were not increased by C. juncea amendment in either experiment, but predatory nematodes were increased when present. Although most nematode faunal indices, including enrichment index, structure index, and channel index, were not affected by C. juncea amendment, structure index values were affected by previous soil organic matter content. Results illustrate the importance of considering soil history (organic matter, nutrient level, free-living nematode number) in anticipating changes following amendment with C. juncea hay.
community structure indices; Cucurbita pepo; Meloidogyne incognita; organic amendments; squash; sunn hemp
Intracellular and extracellular potentials were simultaneously recorded from the soma and different parts of the axon of the giant cell of Aplysia. Evidence was obtained that for all modes of stimulation the spike originates in the axon at some distance from the cell body. The conduction of the spike is blocked at a distance of 200 to 300 µ from the soma for the antidromic spike, closer to the soma for an orthodromic spike. This event is recorded in the soma as a small or A spike. After some delay, a spike is initiated in the resting part of the axon and in the axon hillock; the soma is invaded only afterwards. The response of these three parts of the neuron is recorded in the soma as the big or S spike.
Short oligonucleotide mass analysis (SOMA) is a technique by which small sequences of mutated and wild-type DNA, produced by PCR amplification and restriction digestion, are characterized by HPLC-electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. We have adapted the method to specifically detect two common point mutations at codon 12 of the c-K-ras gene. Mutations in DNA from 121 colon tumor samples were identified by SOMA and validated by comparison with sequencing. SOMA correctly identified 26 samples containing the 12GAT mutation and four samples containing the 12AGT mutation. Sequencing did not reveal mutant DNA in three samples out of the 26 samples shown by SOMA to contain the 12GAT mutation. In these three samples, the presence of mutant DNA was confirmed by SOMA analysis after selective PCR amplification in the presence of BstN1 restriction enzyme. Additional mutations in codons 12 and 13 were revealed by sequencing in 24 additional samples, and their presence did not interfere with the correct identification of G to A or G to T mutations in codon 12. These results provide the basis for a sensitive and specific method to detect c-K-ras codon 12-mutated DNA at levels below 10–12% of wild-type DNA.
A study has been made of Aplysia nerve cells, mainly in the pleural ganglia, in which the main axon divides into at least two branches in the neighbourhood of the soma. Conduction between these branches was investigated by intracellular recordings from the soma following antidromic stimulation via the nerves containing the axonal branches. It has been shown that transmission between separate branches need not involve discharge of the soma but only of the axonal region between the soma and the origin of the branches. In some cells, the spike may fail to invade the other axonal branch, whereas transmission in the opposite direction is readily achieved. Often spikes in none of the branches are transmitted to the others, unless facilitated. Indications about the geometry of the neuron in the vicinity of the soma may be obtained from the study of the relative size of the A spikes originated in different branches. These observations, together with the presence of different sizes of A spikes, produced by orthodromic stimulation, provide evidence that spikes initiated at separate axonal "trigger zones" of Aplysia neurons may be conducted selectively to the effectors or other neurons innervated by the particular branch.