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1.  Roles and Regulation of Ketogenesis in Cultured Astroglia and Neurons Under Hypoxia and Hypoglycemia 
ASN NEURO  2014;6(5):1759091414550997.
Exogenous ketone bodies (KBs), acetoacetate (AA), and β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) act as alternative energy substrates in neural cells under starvation. The present study examined the endogenous ketogenic capacity of astroglia under hypoxia with/without glucose and the possible roles of KBs in neuronal energy metabolism. Cultured neurons and astroglia were prepared from Sprague-Dawley rats. Palmitic acid (PAL) and l-carnitine (LC) were added to the assay medium. The 4- to 24-hr production of AA and BHB was measured using the cyclic thio-NADH method. 14C-labeled acid-soluble products (KBs) and 14CO2 produced from [1-14C]PAL were also measured. l-[U-14C]lactic acid ([14C]LAC), [1-14C]pyruvic acid ([14C]PYR), or β-[1-14C]hydroxybutyric acid ([14C]BHB) was used to compare the oxidative metabolism of the glycolysis end products with that of the KBs. Some cells were placed in a hypoxic chamber (1% O2). PAL and LC induced a higher production of KBs in astroglia than in neurons, while the CO2 production from PAL was less than 5% of the KB production in both astroglia and neurons. KB production in astroglia was augmented by the AMP-activated protein kinase activators, AICAR and metformin, as well as hypoxia with/without glucose. Neuronal KB production increased under hypoxia in the absence of PAL and LC. In neurons, [14C]LAC and [14C]PYR oxidation decreased after 24 hr of hypoxia, while [14C]BHB oxidation was preserved. Astroglia responds to ischemia in vitro by enhancing KB production, and astroglia-produced KBs derived from fatty acid might serve as a neuronal energy substrate for the tricarboxylic acid cycle instead of lactate, as pyruvate dehydrogenase is susceptible to ischemia.
PMCID: PMC4187005  PMID: 25290061
acetoacetate; AMP-activated protein kinase; β-hydroxybutyrate; ketone bodies; long-chain fatty acids; palmitic acid
2.  Effect of lansoprazole on the epigastric symptoms of functional dyspepsia (ELF study): A multicentre, prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial 
Since the publication of the Rome III criteria for functional dyspepsia (FD), the evidence about the efficacy of half-dose of proton pump inhibitors for dyspepsia symptoms have been limited.
To examine the efficacy of lansoprazole for functional dyspepsia (FD) diagnosed with the Rome III criteria by the multicentre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study in Japan.
A total of 54 FD participants were randomized to lansoprazole 15 mg once daily or placebo for a 4-week double-blind treatment period. The primary efficacy endpoint was an overall dyspeptic symptom relief rate evaluated by 5-point Likert scale scores. The alteration of dyspeptic symptom scores during the study period was also assessed.
At week 4, the overall dyspeptic symptom relief rates were higher in the lansoprazole group (30.4%) than in the placebo group (6.7%) (p = 0.045). The scores for epigastric pain (p = 0.045) and epigastric burning (p = 0.03) were significantly improved in the lansoprazole group compared to the placebo group, whereas the improvement of the scores for postprandial fullness (p = 0.81) and early satiation (p = 0.33) was not different between lansoprazole and placebo groups.
Lansoprazole 15 mg ameliorates dyspeptic symptoms, particularly the epigastric pain syndrome-related symptoms of FD.
PMCID: PMC4040742  PMID: 24917996
Functional dyspepsia; lansoprazole; proton pump inhibitor; Rome III
3.  Astroglial pentose phosphate pathway rates in response to high-glucose environments 
ASN NEURO  2012;4(2):e00078.
ROS (reactive oxygen species) play an essential role in the pathophysiology of diabetes, stroke and neurodegenerative disorders. Hyperglycaemia associated with diabetes enhances ROS production and causes oxidative stress in vascular endothelial cells, but adverse effects of either acute or chronic high-glucose environments on brain parenchymal cells remain unclear. The PPP (pentose phosphate pathway) and GSH participate in a major defence mechanism against ROS in brain, and we explored the role and regulation of the astroglial PPP in response to acute and chronic high-glucose environments. PPP activity was measured in cultured neurons and astroglia by determining the difference in rate of 14CO2 production from [1-14C]glucose and [6-14C]glucose. ROS production, mainly H2O2, and GSH were also assessed. Acutely elevated glucose concentrations in the culture media increased PPP activity and GSH level in astroglia, decreasing ROS production. Chronically elevated glucose environments also induced PPP activation. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed that chronic high-glucose environments induced ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress (presumably through increased hexosamine biosynthetic pathway flux). Nuclear translocation of Nrf2 (nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45 subunit-related factor 2), which regulates G6PDH (glyceraldehyde-6-phosphate dehydrogenase) by enhancing transcription, was also observed in association with BiP (immunoglobulin heavy-chain-binding protein) expression. Acute and chronic high-glucose environments activated the PPP in astroglia, preventing ROS elevation. Therefore a rapid decrease in glucose level seems to enhance ROS toxicity, perhaps contributing to neural damage when insulin levels given to diabetic patients are not properly calibrated and plasma glucose levels are not adequately maintained. These findings may also explain the lack of evidence for clinical benefits from strict glycaemic control during the acute phase of stroke.
PMCID: PMC3310304  PMID: 22300409
astrocyte; diabetes mellitus; ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress; glucose metabolism; Kelch-like enoyl-CoA hydratase-associated protein 1 (Keap1)/nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45 subunit-related factor 2 (Nrf2); pentose phosphate pathway (PPP); 6-AN, 6-aminonicotinamide; [14C]deoxyglucose, 2-deoxy-d-[1-14C]glucose; AGE, advanced glycation end-product; Ara-C, cytosine arabinoside; BiP, immunoglobulin heavy-chain-binding protein; CMRglc, cerebral metabolic rate of glucose; CMRoxy, cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen; DAPI, 4′,6-diamino-2-phenylindole; DBSS, Dulbecco's balanced salt solution; DMEM, Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; G6PDH, glyceraldehyde-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; H2DCFDA, 2′,7′-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate; Keap1, Kelch-like enoyl-CoA hydratase-associated protein 1; MCB, monochlorobimane; Nrf2, nuclear factor-erythroid 2 p45 subunit-related factor 2; PERK, double-stranded-RNA-dependent protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase; PFA, paraformaldehyde; PLL, poly-l-lysine; PPP, pentose phosphate pathway; ROS, reactive oxygen species; sulforaphane, 1-isothiocyanato-(4R,S)-(methylsulfinyl)butane
5.  Evaluation of Antibiotic Therapy for Eradication of “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii”▿  
Triple-agent therapy with lansoprazole (15 mg/kg)-clarithromycin (50 mg/kg)-amoxicillin (50 mg/kg) twice daily for 7 days fully cleared “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” from infected mouse stomachs. Moreover, gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma-like lesions in the stomach nearly disappeared in the treated mice 4 months after the therapy.
PMCID: PMC2493118  PMID: 18490502
6.  “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” from a Cynomolgus Monkey Induces Gastric Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue Lymphomas in C57BL/6 Mice▿  
Infection and Immunity  2006;75(3):1214-1222.
Both Helicobacter pylori and “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” infections are associated with peptic ulcers, gastric adenocarcinoma, and gastric mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas. However, good animal models of H. pylori clinical diseases are rare. In this study, we aimed to establish an animal model of “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” gastric MALT lymphoma. We used a urease-positive gastric mucosal and mucus homogenate from a cynomolgus monkey maintained in C57BL/6 mouse stomachs. The bacterium in the homogenate was identified as “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” based on a DNA sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA and urease genes. Mucosal and mucus homogenates were used to inoculate C57BL/6 mice, which were then examined for 24 months. We observed a gradual increase in the surface area of protrusive lesions in almost all infected C57BL/6 mouse fundic stomachs 6 months after infection. Light microscopic observations revealed an accumulation of B lymphocytes along with destruction of glandular elements and the presence of lymphoepithelial lesions consistent with low-grade MALT lymphomas. Electron microscopic observation revealed numerous “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” bacilli in the fundic glandular lumen, the intracellular canaliculi, and the cytoplasm of intact cells, as well as damaged parietal cells. In conclusion, “Candidatus Helicobacter heilmannii” induced gastric MALT lymphomas in almost 100% of infected C57BL/6 mice after a 6-month period associated with the destruction of parietal cells.
PMCID: PMC1828597  PMID: 17194807
7.  New Pharmaceutical Treatment of Gastric MALT Lymphoma: Anti-angiogenesis Treatment using VEGF Receptor Antibodies and Celecoxib 
Current Pharmaceutical Design  2014;20(7):1097-1103.
In addition to eradication of Helicobacter pylori, chemotherapy with anticancer agents, and radiation therapy, the treatment with molecular target drugs including rituximab, a CD20 antagonist, is one of the promising new regimens. The mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphoma is histologically characterized by rich distribution of the microvascular network consisting of the immature capillaries, lymphatics and venules, and this microvascular network could be the target of the new pharmacotherapy in addition to the direct action on the accumulated B lymphocytes. We have established the animal model of the gastric MALT lymphoma by the Helicobacter heilmannii (H. heilmannii) peroral infection of C57BL/6 mice. The disease induced by this model is very similar to the human counterpart, because of the lymphoepithelial lesion characteristic of the human MALT lymphoma as well as the rich vascularization and localization of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors, Flt-1, Flk-1 and Flt-4. By administering VEGF receptor antibodies or celecoxib, one of the cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors, we were able to induce a significant decrease in the size of the tumor and the apoptotic changes of the endothelial cells of the microvascular network. These antiangiogenic strategies were suggested to be candidates for the new pharmacological treatment of gastric MALT lymphoma, when other treatments are not effective.
PMCID: PMC4260359  PMID: 23782142
Gastric MALT lymphoma; angiogenesis; lymphangiogenesis; VEGF; Flt-1; Flk-1; Flt-4; celecoxib.

Results 1-7 (7)