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1.  Cloning and characterization of porcine aquaporin 1 water channel expressed extensively in gastrointestinal system 
AIM: To clone and characterize the porcine aquaporins (AQPs) in the gastrointestinal system.
METHODS: A PCR-based cloning strategy and RACE were used to clone full-length AQP coding sequence from reversely transcribed pig liver cDNA. Stopped-flow light scattering and a YFP-based fluorescence method were used to measure the osmotic water permeability of erythrocytes and the stably transfected CHO cells. RT-PCR, Northern blot, and immunohistochemistry were used to determine the gastrointestinal expression and localization of cloned AQPs. Protein expression in transfected cells and red blood cells was analyzed by Western blot.
RESULTS: An 813 bp cDNA encoding a 271 amino acid porcine aquaporin (designated pAQP1) was cloned from liver mRNA (pAQP1 has a 93% identity with human AQP1 and contains two NPA motifs conserved in AQP family, one consensus sequence for N-linked glycosylation, and one mercury-sensitive site at cysteine 191). RT-PCR analysis revealed extensive expression of pAQP1 mRNA in porcine digestive glands and gut. Northern blot showed a single 3.0 kb transcript in selected digestive organs. pAQP1 protein was localized at central lacteals of the small intestine, microvessles of salivary glands, as well as epithelium of intrahepatic bile ducts by immunoperoxydase. High osmotic water permeability that is inhibitable by HgCl2 was detected in porcine erythrocytes and CHO cells stably transfected with pAQP1 cDNA. Immunoblot analysis of porcine erythrocytes and pAQP-transfected CHO cells revealed an unglycosylated 28 ku band and larger glycosylated proteins.
CONCLUSION: pAQP1 is the first porcine aquaporin that can be molecularly identified so far. The broad distribution of pAQP1 in epithelium and endothelium of porcine digestive organs may suggest an important role of channel-mediated water transport in fluid secretion/absorption as well as in digestive function and pathophysiology of the gastrointestinal system.
PMCID: PMC4087902  PMID: 16534851
Aquaporin; Molecular cloning; Porcine gastrointestinal organs; Water transport; Digestive function
2.  Postischemic Long-Term Treatment with Qiangli Tianma Duzhong Capsule Improves Brain Functional Recovery via the Improvement of Hemorrheology and the Inhibition of Platelet Aggregation in a Rat Model of Focal Cerebral Ischemia 
Qiangli Tianma Duzhong capsule (TMDZ), a Chinese herbal drug, is clinically used to improve functional outcome in patients with ischemic stroke in China. This study was conducted to establish whether postischemic long-term treatment with TMDZ could reduce the loss of injured hemisphere and confer the improvements of neurological outcome in chronic survival of rats with 2 h middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO)/reperfusion brain injury and its primary mechanisms. We found that TMDZ (44.5, 89, or 178 mg/kg), administered per os 6 h after the onset of ischemia and for 28 consecutive days, significantly improved the behavior deficits, beginning on day 7, and further improved later. TMDZ treatment also markedly reduced the tissue loss of the injured hemisphere and improved histopathology. In the meantime, TMDZ treatment could improve hemorrheology and inhibit platelet aggregation. These results provide the first evidence that post-ischemic long-term treatment with TMDZ confers the improvements of neurological outcome and the loss of injured hemisphere in an animal ischemic stroke model, and its mechanisms might be associated with the improvements of hemorrheology and the inhibition of platelet aggregation.
PMCID: PMC3830819  PMID: 24319485
3.  Antinociceptive and Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Orally Administrated Denatured Naja Naja Atra Venom on Murine Rheumatoid Arthritis Models 
To investigate the antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities of the denatured Naja Naja atra venom (NNAV) in rheumatoid arthritis-associated models, the denatured NNAV (heat treated; 30, 90, 270 μg/kg), the native NNAV (untreated with heat; 90 μg/kg), and Tripterygium wilfordii polyglycoside (TWP, 15 mg/kg) were administrated orally either prophylactically or therapeutically. We measured time of licking the affected paw in formaldehyde-induced inflammatory model, paw volume in egg-white-induced inflammation, and granuloma weight in formalin-soaked filter paper-induced granuloma. For adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rats, paw edema, mechanical withdrawal threshold, serum levels of TNF-α and IL-10, and histopathological changes of the affected paw were assessed. We found that the denatured NNAV (90, 270 μg/kg) significantly reduced time of licking paw, paw volume, and granuloma weight in above inflammatory models and also attenuated paw edema, mechanical hyperalgesia, and histopathology changes in AIA rats. Additionally, the increase in serum TNF-α and the decrease in serum IL-10 in AIA rats were reversed by the denatured NNAV. Although the native NNAV and TWP rendered the similar pharmacological actions on the above four models with less potency than that of the denatured NNAV, these findings demonstrate that oral administration of the denatured NNAV produces antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory activities on rheumatoid arthritis.
PMCID: PMC3619627  PMID: 23634171
4.  Involvement of cholinergic system in suppression of formalin-induced inflammatory pain by cobratoxin 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2011;32(10):1233-1238.
To investigate the analgesic effect of cobratoxin (CTX), a long-chain α-neurotoxin from Thailand cobra venom, in a rat model of formalin-induced inflammatory pain.
Inflammatory pain was induced in SD rats via injecting 5% formalin (50 μL) into the plantar surface of their right hind paw. CTX and other agents were ip administered before formalin injection. The time that the animals spent for licking the injected paw was counted every 5 min for 1 h.
CTX (25, 34, and 45 μg/kg) exhibited a dose-dependent analgesic effect during the phase 1 (0–15 min) and phase 2 (20–60 min) response induced by formalin. Pretreatment with naloxone (0.5 or 2.5 mg/kg) did not block the analgesic effect of CTX. Pretreatment with atropine at 5 mg/kg, but not at 2.5 mg/kg, antagonized the analgesic effect of CTX. Treatment with the nonselective nAChR antagonist mecamylamine (3 mg/kg) inhibited the analgesic effects of CTX in Phase 1 and Phase 2 responses, while with the selective α7-nAChR antagonist methyllycaconitine (3 mg/kg) antagonized the effect of CTX only in the Phase 1 response. Treatment with the α7-nAChR agonist PNU282987 (3 mg/kg) significantly reduced the formalin-induced phase 2 pain response, but only slightly reduced the Phase 1 pain response.
The results suggest that CTX exerts an antinociceptive effect in formalin-induced inflammatory pain, which appears to be mediated by mAChR and α7-nAChR.
PMCID: PMC4010082  PMID: 21841815
cobratoxin; formalin; inflammatory pain; cholinergic receptors; α7-nAChR
5.  Halococcus qingdaonensis sp. nov., a halophilic archaeon isolated from a crude sea-salt sample 
A Gram-negative, extremely halophilic, coccoid archaeal strain, CM5T, was isolated from a crude sea-salt sample collected near Qingdao, China. The organism grew optimally at 35–40 °C and pH 6.0 in the presence of 20 % (w/v) NaCl. Its colonies were red in colour and it could use glucose as a sole carbon source for growth. The 16S rRNA gene sequence of CM5T was most closely related to those of Halococcus species. Its pattern of antibiotic susceptibility was similar to those of other described Halococcus species. Biochemical tests revealed no sign of H2S production or gelatin liquefaction. The main polar lipids of strain CM5T were phosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol methylphosphate and sulfated diglycosyl diether. No phosphatidylglycerol sulfate was present. The DNA G+C content of strain CM5T was 61.2 mol% and it gave DNA–DNA reassociation values of 33.7, 57.1 and 29.6 %, respectively, with Halococcus salifodinae DSM 8989T, Halococcus dombrowskii DSM 14522T and Halococcus morrhuae ATCC 17082T. Based on its morphological and chemotaxonomic properties and phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequence data, we propose that CM5T should be classified within a novel species, Halococcus qingdaonensis sp. nov., with strain CM5T (=CGMCC 1.4243T=JCM 13587T) as the type strain.
PMCID: PMC3182530  PMID: 17329792
6.  Suppression of complete Freund's adjuvant-induced adjuvant arthritis by cobratoxin 
Acta Pharmacologica Sinica  2009;30(2):219-227.
Cobratoxin (CTX), the long-chain α-neurotoxin from Thailand cobra venom, has been demonstrated to have analgesic action in rodent pain models. The present study evaluated the anti-inflammatory and anti-nociceptive effects of CTX on adjuvant arthritis (AA) in rats.
Arthritis was induced by injection of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) in rats. Paw swelling and hyperalgesia of AA rats were measured at various times after CFA administration. Tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-1 (IL-1), interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) levels in serum were determined with ELISA. Histopathological changes in synoviocytes were examined under a microscope. Involvement of the cholinergic system in the effects of CTX was examined by pretreatment of animals with the α7 nicotinic receptor (α7-nAChR) antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA).
CFA induced marked paw swelling and reduced thresholds of mechanical and cold-induced paw withdrawal. The levels of TNF-α, IL-1 and IL-2 in the serum of AA rats were increased, whereas the level of IL-10 was decreased. Histopathological examination of synoviocytes showed pronounced inflammation and accumulation of collagen. The administration of CTX (17.0 μg/kg, ip) significantly reduced paw swelling and mechanical and thermal hyperalgesia. CTX also reduced the production of TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-2 but increased the production of IL-10 and altered pathohistological changes. The analgesic and anti-inflammatory efficacy of CTX was significantly reduced by MLA (3 mg/kg, sc).
These results indicate that CTX has a beneficial effect on CFA-induced arthritis by modulating the production of inflammatory cytokines. α7-nAChR appears to mediate the anti-nociceptive and anti-inflammatory actions of CTX.
PMCID: PMC4002463  PMID: 19169271
cobratoxin; adjuvant arthritis; anti-inflammatory; anti-nociception; α7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptor

Results 1-6 (6)