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1.  The intrinsic microglial molecular clock controls synaptic strength via the circadian expression of cathepsin S 
Scientific Reports  2013;3:2744.
Microglia are thought to play important roles in the maintenance of neuronal circuitry and the regulation of behavior. We found that the cortical microglia contain an intrinsic molecular clock and exhibit a circadian expression of cathepsin S (CatS), a microglia-specific lysosomal cysteine protease in the brain. The genetic deletion of CatS causes mice to exhibit hyperlocomotor activity and removes diurnal variations in the synaptic activity and spine density of the cortical neurons, which are significantly higher during the dark (waking) phase than the light (sleeping) phase. Furthermore, incubation with recombinant CatS significantly reduced the synaptic activity of the cortical neurons. These results suggest that CatS secreted by microglia during the dark-phase decreases the spine density of the cortical neurons by modifying the perisynaptic environment, leading to downscaling of the synaptic strength during the subsequent light-phase. Disruption of CatS therefore induces hyperlocomotor activity due to failure to downscale the synaptic strength.
PMCID: PMC3783043  PMID: 24067868
2.  Ozagrel hydrochloride, a selective thromboxane A2 synthase inhibitor, alleviates liver injury induced by acetaminophen overdose in mice 
BMC Gastroenterology  2013;13:21.
Overdosed acetaminophen (paracetamol, N-acetyl-p-aminophenol; APAP) causes severe liver injury. We examined the effects of ozagrel, a selective thromboxane A2 (TXA2) synthase inhibitor, on liver injury induced by APAP overdose in mice.
Hepatotoxicity was induced to ICR male mice by an intraperitoneal injection with APAP (330 mg/kg). The effects of ozagrel (200 mg/kg) treatment 30 min after the APAP injection were evaluated with mortality, serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and hepatic changes, including histopathology, DNA fragmentation, mRNA expression and total glutathione contents. The impact of ozagrel (0.001-1 mg/mL) on cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) activity in mouse hepatic microsome was examined. RLC-16 cells, a rat hepatocytes cell line, were exposed to 0.25 mM N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), a hepatotoxic metabolite of APAP. In this model, the cytoprotective effects of ozagrel (1–100 muM) were evaluated by the WST-1 cell viability assay.
Ozagel treatment significantly attenuated higher mortality, elevated serum alanine aminotransferase levels, excessive hepatic centrilobular necrosis, hemorrhaging and DNA fragmentation, as well as increase in plasma 2,3-dinor thromboxane B2 levels induced by APAP injection. Ozagrel also inhibited the hepatic expression of cell death-related mRNAs induced by APAP, such as jun oncogene, FBJ osteosarcoma oncogene (fos) and C/EBP homologous protein (chop), but did not suppress B-cell lymphoma 2-like protein11 (bim) expression and hepatic total glutathione depletion. These results show ozagrel can inhibit not all hepatic changes but can reduce the hepatic necrosis. Ozagrel had little impact on CYP2E1 activity involving the NAPQI production. In addition, ozagrel significantly attenuated cell injury induced by NAPQI in RLC-16.
We demonstrate that the TXA2 synthase inhibitor, ozagrel, dramatically alleviates liver injury induced by APAP in mice, and suggest that it is a promising therapeutic candidate for the treatment of APAP-induced liver injury.
PMCID: PMC3568068  PMID: 23363429
3.  IL-6 Receptor Is a Possible Target against Growth of Metastasized Lung Tumor Cells in the Brain 
In the animal model of brain metastasis using human lung squamous cell carcinoma-derived cells (HARA-B) inoculated into the left ventricle of the heart of nude mice, metastasized tumor cells and brain resident cells interact with each other. Among them, tumor cells and astrocytes have been reported to stimulate each other, releasing soluble factors from both sides, subsequently promoting tumor growth significantly. Among the receptors for soluble factors released from astrocytes, only IL-6 receptor (IL-6R) on tumor cells was up-regulated during the activation with astrocytes. Application of monoclonal antibody against human IL-6R (tocilizumab) to the activated HARA-B cells, the growth of HARA-B cells stimulated by the conditioned medium of HARA-B/astrocytes was significantly inhibited. Injecting tocilizumab to animal models of brain metastasis starting at three weeks of inoculation of HARA-B cells, two times a week for three weeks, significantly inhibited the size of the metastasized tumor foci. The up-regulated expression of IL-6R on metastasized lung tumor cells was also observed in the tissue from postmortem patients. These results suggest that IL-6R on metastasized lung tumor cells would be a therapeutic target to inhibit the growth of the metastasized lung tumor cells in the brain.
PMCID: PMC3565278  PMID: 23271367
brain metastasis; tumor microenvironment; lung cancer; HARA-B cells; anti-IL-6R antibody; astrocytes
4.  Molecular basis for the dosing time-dependency of anti-allodynic effects of gabapentin in a mouse model of neuropathic pain 
Molecular Pain  2010;6:83.
Neuropathic pain is characterized by hypersensitivity to innocuous stimuli (tactile allodynia) that is nearly always resistant to NSAIDs or even opioids. Gabapentin, a GABA analogue, was originally developed to treat epilepsy. Accumulating clinical evidence supports the effectiveness of this drug for diverse neuropathic pain. In this study, we showed that the anti-allodynic effect of gabapentin was changed by the circadian oscillation in the expression of its target molecule, the calcium channel α2δ-1 subunit.
Mice were underwent partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSL) to create a model of neuropathic pain. The paw withdrawal threshold (PWT) in PSL mice significantly decreased and fluctuated with a period length about 24 h. The PWT in PSL mice was dose-dependently increased by intraperitoneal injection of gabapentin, but the anti-allodynic effects varied according to its dosing time. The protein levels of α2δ-1 subunit were up-regulated in the DRG of PSL mice, but the protein levels oscillated in a circadian time-dependent manner. The time-dependent oscillation of α2δ-1 subunit protein correlated with fluctuations in the maximal binding capacity of gabapentin. The anti-allodynic effect of gabapentin was attenuated at the times of the day when α2δ-1 subunit protein was abundant.
These findings suggest that the dosing time-dependent difference in the anti-allodynic effects of gabapentin is attributable to the circadian oscillation of α2δ-1 subunit expression in the DRG and indicate that the optimizing its dosing schedule helps to achieve rational pharmacotherapy for neuropathic pain.
PMCID: PMC3009974  PMID: 21108841
5.  Effect of Dosing Schedule on Pharmacokinetics of Alpha Interferon and Anti-Alpha Interferon Neutralizing Antibody in Mice 
The influences of dosing time and dosing schedule on the plasma alpha interferon (IFN-α) concentration and the production of anti-IFN-α neutralizing antibodies were investigated in ICR male mice adapted to cycles of 12 h of light and 12 h of dark. In mice pretreated with IFN-α for 21 days, the plasma IFN-α concentrations were significantly lower than those in control mice (P < 0.01). The clearance of IFN-α and its volume of distribution obtained at steady state were significantly higher in the animals with IFN-α pretreatment than in the mice without IFN-α pretreatment. The area under the concentration-time curve and the mean residence time of IFN-α were significantly smaller in IFN-α-pretreated animals than in control animals. The plasma IFN-α levels (measured 2 h after dosing) were significantly lower in mice treated daily with IFN-α, while the anti-IFN-α neutralizing antibody levels (measured 24 h after dosing) were significantly increased on days 15 and 21 of treatment. Plasma IFN-α levels were significantly decreased in association with the production of anti-IFN-α neutralizing antibodies in mice treated with IFN-α daily at either 0900 or 2100 h. By contrast, the plasma IFN-α levels (measured 2 h after dosing) remained stable in mice treated with IFN-α at 0900 h on alternate days, while they were significantly lower after 21 days of treatment in mice treated with IFN-α at 2100 h on alternate days. These changes were associated with a significant increase in the levels of anti-IFN-α neutralizing antibodies in the latter group. The present findings suggest that an appropriate dosing schedule and/or dosing time for IFN-α may reduce the level of production of anti-IFN-α neutralizing antibodies in experimental and clinical situations.
PMCID: PMC90257  PMID: 11120962
6.  Close Association between Clearance of Recombinant Human Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) and G-CSF Receptor on Neutrophils in Cancer Patients 
Recombinant human granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (rhG-CSF) is used to counter chemotherapy-induced neutropenia. Our previous study showed an inverse correlation between serum rhG-CSF levels and the number of circulating neutrophils in cancer patients (H. Takatani, H. Soda, M. Fukuda, M. Watanabe, A. Kinoshita, T. Nakamura, and M. Oka, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 40:988–991, 1996). The aim of this study was to clarify the relationship between rhG-CSF clearance and G-CSF receptors on circulating neutrophils. In five cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, a bolus dose of rhG-CSF (5 μg/kg) was injected intravenously during defined phases of posttreatment neutropenia and neutrophilia. Serum rhG-CSF levels were measured by a chemiluminescence enzyme immunoassay and analyzed by moment analysis. G-CSF receptors on neutrophils were detected by flow cytometry with biotinylated rhG-CSF. rhG-CSF clearance was significantly higher at neutrophilia than at neutropenia (1,497 ± 132 versus 995 ± 266 ml/h; P < 0.01). The percentage of G-CSF receptor-positive neutrophils, reflecting the number of G-CSF receptors per cell, was low at neutropenia without rhG-CSF therapy (44.5% ± 22.1%) and high at neutrophilia with rhG-CSF therapy (73.0% ± 11.4%; P < 0.01). rhG-CSF clearance closely correlated with the percentage of G-CSF receptor-positive neutrophils (r2 = 0.91; P < 0.0001) and neutrophil count (r2 = 0.72; P < 0.005). Our results indicate that, in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, rhG-CSF increases the number of G-CSF receptors per cell as well as circulating neutrophil counts, resulting in modulation of its own clearance.
PMCID: PMC89014  PMID: 9869559

Results 1-6 (6)