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1.  Gelam Honey Attenuates the Oxidative Stress-Induced Inflammatory Pathways in Pancreatic Hamster Cells 
Purpose. Type 2 diabetes consists of progressive hyperglycemia and insulin resistance, which could result from glucose toxicity, inflammatory cytokines, and oxidative stress. In the present study we investigated the effect of Gelam honey and quercetin on the oxidative stress-induced inflammatory pathways and the proinflammatory cytokines. Methods. HIT-T15 cells were cultured and preincubated with the extract of Gelam honey (20, 40, 60, and 80 μg/mL), as well as quercetin (20, 40, 60, and 80 μM), prior to stimulation by 20 and 50 mM glucose. Results. HIT-T15 cells cultured under hyperglycemic condition showed a significant increase in the inflammatory pathways by phosphorylating JNK, IKK-β, and IRS-1 at Ser307 (p < 0.05). There was a significant decrease in the phosphorylation of Akt at Ser473 (p < 0.05). Pretreatment with Gelam honey and quercetin reduced the expression of phosphorylated JNK, IKK-β, and IRS-1, thereby significantly reducing the expression of proinflammatory cytokines like TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-1β (p < 0.05). At the same time there was a significant increase in the phosphorylated Akt showing the protective effects against inflammation and insulin resistance (p < 0.05). In conclusion, our data suggest the potential use of the extract from Gelam honey and quercetin in modulating the inflammation induced insulin signaling pathways.
PMCID: PMC4808561  PMID: 27034691
2.  Molecular Mechanisms of Diabetic Retinopathy, General Preventive Strategies, and Novel Therapeutic Targets 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:801269.
The growing number of people with diabetes worldwide suggests that diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME) will continue to be sight threatening factors. The pathogenesis of diabetic retinopathy is a widespread cause of visual impairment in the world and a range of hyperglycemia-linked pathways have been implicated in the initiation and progression of this condition. Despite understanding the polyol pathway flux, activation of protein kinase C (KPC) isoforms, increased hexosamine pathway flux, and increased advanced glycation end-product (AGE) formation, pathogenic mechanisms underlying diabetes induced vision loss are not fully understood. The purpose of this paper is to review molecular mechanisms that regulate cell survival and apoptosis of retinal cells and discuss new and exciting therapeutic targets with comparison to the old and inefficient preventive strategies. This review highlights the recent advancements in understanding hyperglycemia-induced biochemical and molecular alterations, systemic metabolic factors, and aberrant activation of signaling cascades that ultimately lead to activation of a number of transcription factors causing functional and structural damage to retinal cells. It also reviews the established interventions and emerging molecular targets to avert diabetic retinopathy and its associated risk factors.
PMCID: PMC4106080  PMID: 25105142
3.  Differential expression and role of hyperglycemia induced oxidative stress in epigenetic regulation of β1, β2 and β3-adrenergic receptors in retinal endothelial cells 
BMC Medical Genomics  2014;7:29.
Aberrant epigenetic profiles are concomitant with a spectrum of developmental defects and diseases. Role of methylation is an increasingly accepted factor in the pathophysiology of diabetes and its associated complications. This study aims to examine the correlation between oxidative stress and methylation of β1, β2 and β3-adrenergic receptors and to analyze the differential variability in the expression of these genes under hyperglycemic conditions.
Human retinal endothelial cells were cultured in CSC complete medium in normal (5 mM) or high (25 mM) glucose to mimic a diabetic condition. Reverse transcription PCR and Western Blotting were performed to examine the expression of β1, β2 and β3-adrenergic receptors. For detections, immunocytochemistry was used. Bisulfite sequencing method was used for promoter methylation analysis. Apoptosis was determined by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay. Dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) assay was used to measure reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the cells.
β1 and β3-adrenergic receptors were expressed in retinal endothelial cells while β2-adrenergic receptor was not detectable both at protein and mRNA levels. Hyperglycemia had no significant effect on β1 and β2-adrenergic receptors methylation and expression however β3-adrenergic receptors showed a significantly higher expression (p < 0.05) and methylation (p < 0.01) in high and low glucose concentration respectively. Apoptosis and oxidative stress were inversely correlated with β3-adrenergic receptors methylation with no significant effect on β1 and β2-adrenergic receptors. β2-adrenergic receptor was hypermethylated with halted expression.
Our study demonstrates that β1 and β3-adrenergic receptors expressed in human retinal endothelial cells. Oxidative stress and apoptosis are inversely proportional to the extent of promoter methylation, suggesting that methylation loss might be due to oxidative stress-induced DNA damage.
PMCID: PMC4050418  PMID: 24885710
Expression; Methylation; ROS; Adrenergic receptors; Retinal endothelial cells
4.  The health-related quality of life among pre-diabetics and its association with body mass index and physical activity in a semi-urban community in Malaysia- a cross sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:298.
People with pre-diabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Measurements of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among pre-diabetics enable the health care providers to understand their overall health status and planning of interventions to prevent type 2 diabetes. Therefore we aimed to determine the HRQOL and physical activity level; and its association with Body Mass Index (BMI) among pre-diabetics.
This was a cross sectional study carried out in two primary care clinics in a semi-urban locality of Ampangan, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires assessing the demographic characteristics, medical history, lifestyle and physical activity. The Short Form 36-items health survey was used to measure HRQOL among the pre-diabetics. Data entry and analysis were performed using the SPSS version 19.
A total of 268 eligible pre-diabetics participated in this study. The prevalence of normal weight, overweight and obesity were 7.1%, 21.6% and 71.3% respectively. Their mean (SD) age was 52.5 (8.3) years and 64.2% were females. Among the obese pre-diabetics, 42.2% had both IFG and IGT, 47.0% had isolated IFG and 10.8% had isolated IGT, 36.2% had combination of hypertension, dyslipidemia and musculoskeletal diseases. More than 53.4% of the obese pre-diabetics had family history of diabetes, 15.7% were smokers and 60.8% were physically inactive with mean PA of < 600 MET-minutes/week. After adjusted for co-variants, Physical Component Summary (PCS) was significantly associated with BMI categories [F (2,262) = 11.73, p < 0.001] where pre-diabetics with normal weight and overweight had significantly higher PCS than those obese; normal vs obese [Mdiff = 9.84, p = 0.006, 95% CIdiff = 2.28, 17.40] and between overweight vs obese [Mdiff = 8.14, p < 0.001, 95% CIdiff = 3.46, 12.80].
Pre-diabetics who were of normal weight reported higher HRQOL compared to those overweight and obese. These results suggest a potentially greater risk of poor HRQOL among pre-diabetics who were overweight and obese especially with regard to the physical health component. Promoting recommended amount of physical activity and weight control are particularly important interventions for pre-diabetics at the primary care level.
PMCID: PMC3976088  PMID: 24684809
Pre-diabetes; Health-related quality of life; Body mass index; Physical activity
5.  Prevalence of Abnormal Glucose Tolerance and Risk Factors in Urban and Rural Malaysia 
Diabetes Care  2011;34(6):1362-1364.
To determine the prevalence of prediabetes and diabetes among rural and urban Malaysians.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted among 3,879 Malaysian adults (1,335 men and 2,544 women). All subjects underwent the 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT).
The overall prevalence of prediabetes was 22.1% (30.2% in men and 69.8% in women). Isolated impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) were found in 3.4 and 16.1% of the study population, respectively, whereas 2.6% of the subjects had both IFG and IGT. Based on an OGTT, the prevalence of newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes was 12.6% (31.0% in men and 69.0% in women). The prediabetic subjects also had an increased prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors.
The large proportion of undiagnosed cases of prediabetes and diabetes reflects the lack of public awareness of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3114358  PMID: 21498788
6.  Use of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) and impaired glucose tolerance in the screening of undiagnosed diabetes in the Malaysian population 
Although HbA1C is widely accepted as a useful index of mean blood glucose in type 2 diabetic patients its usefulness as screening test for diabetes has been controversial. The present study was undertaken to determine whether the level of HbA1C predicted diabetes in a prediabetic group of subjects. Plasma lipids, oral glucose tolerance, HbA1C was determined in 90 normal control subjects, 57 offspring of one type 2 diabetes mellitus parent and 11 diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus individuals. The mean age of participants was 44.5 yrs (not significantly different amongst the three groups) and the mean body mass index was 26.8 (not significantly different amongst the three groups). Two hours after a 75 g glucose challenge, the offspring had a significantly higher plasma glucose level (mean = 7.1 mmol/L, p value = 0.002) than the normals. Similarly the HbA1C values were higher in the offspring than in the normals (mean = 5.78%, p value = 0.016). Besides the significantly higher values for oral glucose tolerance test and HbA1C, the diabetics also were significantly higher for triglycerides (mean = 2.25mmol/L), total cholesterol (mean = 6.24mmol/L) and systolic blood pressure (mean = 138.45mm Hg) than the offspring (P value = 0.031, 0.006, 0.010) and the normals (P value = 0.026, 0.018, 0.002) respectively. The mean values of diastolic blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol were not significantly different amongst the three groups.
PMCID: PMC3453455  PMID: 23105763
Diabetes mellitus; HbA1C; Prediabetic; Fasting blood glucose; Insulin resistance

Results 1-6 (6)