The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) on a newly developed high-fat/Western-style diet-induced obesity and symptoms of metabolic syndrome. Male C57BL/6J mice were fed a high fat/Western-style (HFW; 60% energy as fat and lower levels of calcium, vitamin D3, folic acid, choline bitartrate, and fiber) or HFW with EGCG (HFWE; HFW with 0.32% EGCG) diet for 17 wk. As a comparison, two other groups of mice fed a low-fat (LF; 10% energy as fat) and high-fat (HF; 60% energy as fat) were also included. HFW group developed more body weight gain and severe symptoms of metabolic syndrome than the HF group. EGCG treatment significantly reduced body weight gain associated with increased fecal lipids, and decreased blood glucose and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels compared to the HFW group. Fatty liver incidence, liver damage and liver triglyceride levels were also decreased by EGCG treatment. Moreover, EGCG treatment attenuated insulin resistance and levels of plasma cholesterol, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), C-reactive protein (CRP), interlukin-6 (IL-6), and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF). Our results demonstrate that the HFW diet produces more severe symptoms of metabolic syndrome than the HF diet and EGCG treatment can alleviate these symptoms and body fat accumulation. The beneficial effects of EGCG are associated with decreased lipid absorption and reduced levels of inflammatory cytokines.
EGCG; high-fat/Western-style diet; obesity; metabolic syndrome; hepatic steatosis
Neurobehavioral stress has been shown to promote tumor growth and progression as well as dampen the immune system. In this study, we investigated whether inhibiting stress hormone production could inhibit the development of mammary carcinoma and metastasis in a rat model of breast carcinogenesis. To enhance β-endorphin (BEP), the endogenous opioid polypeptide that boosts immune activity and decreases stress, we generated - BEP neurons by in vitro differentiation from fetal neuronal stem cells and transplanted them into the hypothalami of rats subjected to breast carcinogenesis. BEP transplanted rats displayed a reduction in mammary tumor incidence, growth, malignancy rate, and metastasis compared to cortical cells transplanted rats. BEP neuron transplants also reduced inflammation and epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in the tumor tissues. In addition, BEP neuron transplants increased peripheral natural killer (NK) cell and macrophage activities, elevated plasma levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines and reduced plasma levels of inflammatory cytokines. Anti-metastatic effects along with stimulation of NK cells and macrophages could be reversed by treatment with the opiate antagonist naloxone, the β-receptor agonist metaproterenol, or the nicotine acetylcholine receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine. Together, our findings establish a protective role for BEP against the growth and metastasis of mammary tumor cells by altering autonomic nervous system activities that enhance innate immune function.
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of methylmercury (MeHg) neurotoxicity. Studies of mature neurons suggest that the mitochondrion may be a major source of MeHg-induced reactive oxygen species and a critical mediator of MeHg-induced neuronal death, likely by activation of apoptotic pathways. It is unclear, however, whether the mitochondria of developing and mature neurons are equally susceptible to MeHg. Murine embryonal carcinoma (EC) cells, which differentiate into neurons following exposure to retinoic acid, were used to compare the differentiation-dependent effects of MeHg on ROS production and mitochondrial depolarization. EC cells and their neuronal derivatives were pre-incubated with the ROS indicator 2’,7’-dichlorofluoroscin diacetate or tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester, an indicator of mitochondrial membrane potential, with or without cyclosporin A (CsA), an inhibitor of mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening, and examined by laser scanning confocal microscopy in the presence of 1.5 μM MeHg. To examine consequences of mitochondrial perturbation, immunohistochemical localization of cytochrome c (cyt c) was determined after incubation of cells in MeHg for 4 hours. MeHg treatment induced earlier and significantly higher levels of ROS production and more extensive mitochondrial depolarization in neurons than in undifferentiated EC cells. CsA completely inhibited mitochondrial depolarization by MeHg in EC cells but only delayed this response in the neurons. In contrast, CsA significantly inhibited MeHg-induced neuronal ROS production. Cyt c release was also more extensive in neurons, with less protection afforded by CsA. These data indicate that neuronal differentiation state influences mitochondrial transition pore dynamics and MeHg-stimulated production of ROS.
Methylmercury; Neurotoxicity; Mitochondrial Permeability Transition; Reactive Oxygen Species; Apoptosis
The tea polyphenol (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) has been studied for chronic disease preventive effects, and is marketed as part of many dietary supplements. However, case reports have associated the use of green tea-based supplements with liver toxicity. We studied the hepatotoxic effects of high dose EGCG in male CF-1 mice. A single dose of EGCG (1500 mg/kg, i.g.) increased plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) by 138-fold and reduced survival by 85%. Once-daily dosing with EGCG increased hepatotoxic response. Plasma ALT levels were increased 184-fold following two once-daily doses of 750 mg/kg, i.g. EGCG. Moderate to severe hepatic necrosis was observed following treatment with EGCG. EGCG hepatotoxicity was associated with oxidative stress including increased hepatic lipid peroxidation (5-fold increase), plasma 8-isoprostane (9.5-fold increase) and increased hepatic metallothionein and γ-histone 2AX protein expression. EGCG also increased plasma interleukin-6 and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1. Our results indicate that higher bolus doses of EGCG are hepatotoxic to mice. Further studies on the dose-dependent hepatotoxic effects of EGCG and the underlying mechanisms are important given the increasing use of green tea dietary supplements, which may deliver much higher plasma and tissue concentrations of EGCG than tea beverages.
green tea; (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate; hepatotoxicity; mouse; oxidative stress
Phenethylisothiocyanate (PEITC) is produced by Brassica food plants. PEO is a PEITC Essential Oil containing >95% natural PEITC. PEITC is known to produce various health benefits but its effect in alleviation of ulcerative colitis signs is unknown.
In two efficacy studies (acute and chronic) oral administration of PEO was effective at remitting acute and chronic signs of ulcerative colitis (UC) in mice. Disease activity, histology and biochemical characteristics were measured in the treated animals and were compared with appropriate controls. PEO treatment significantly improved body weights and stool consistency as well as decreased intestinal bleeding. PEO treatment also reduced mucosal inflammation, depletion of goblet cells and infiltration of inflammatory cells. Attenuation of proinflammatory interleukin1β production was observed in the colons of PEO-treated animals. Expression analyses were also carried out for immune function related genes, transcription factors and cytokines in lipopolysaccharide-activated mouse macrophage cells. PEO likely affects an intricate network of immune signaling genes including a novel concentration dependent reduction of total cellular Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) as well as nuclear phosphorylated-STAT1 (activated form of STAT1). A PEO-concentration dependent decrease of mRNA of C-X-C motif ligand 10 (a STAT1 responsive chemokine) and Interleukin 6 were also observed.
PEO might be a promising candidate to develop as a treatment for ulcerative colitis patients. The disease attenuation by PEO is likely associated with suppression of activation of STAT1 transcription and inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
We previously demonstrated that oxidative stress subsequent to gastroesophageal reflux is an important driving force of esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC) formation in the esophagogastroduodenal anastomosis (EGDA) rat model. The present study investigated the possible tumor inhibitory effects of two antioxidants, α-tocopherol (389 ppm and 778 ppm), N-acetylcysteine (NAC, 500 ppm and 1,000 ppm), and their combination (389 ppm and 500 ppm, respectively), as well as an antacid therapeutic agent, omeprazole (1,400 ppm). The rats were fed experimental diets two weeks after EGDA. All the animals were sacrificed 40 weeks after EGDA and the esophagi were harvested for histopathological examination. α-Tocopherol dose-dependently decreased the incidence of EAC (P=0.03), with 778 ppm α-tocopherol reducing the incidence of EAC to 59% (16/27) in comparison to 84% (26/31) in the control group (P=0.04). Supplementation of α-tocopherol also increased the serum concentration of α-tocopherol. NAC at 500 ppm and 1,000 ppm did not significantly decrease EAC incidence; however, the combination of α-tocopherol 389 ppm and NAC 500 ppm significantly reduced the incidence of EAC to 55% (15/27) (P=0.02). α-Tocopherol alone or in combination with NAC significantly reduced the number of infiltrating cells positively stained for 4-hydroxynonenal. Omeprazole showed only a slight non-significant inhibitory effect at the dose given. Our results suggest that supplementation with α-tocopherol inhibits the development of EAC in the rat EGDA model and similar inhibitory effect can be achieved when a lower dose of α-tocopherol is used in combination with NAC.
esophageal adenocarcinoma; inhibition; α-tocopherol; N-acetylcysteine; omeprazole
Administration of 0.4% clofibrate in the diet stimulated estradiol (E2)-induced mammary carcinogenesis in the August-Copenhagen Irish (ACI) rat without having an effect on serum levels of E2. This treatment stimulated by several-fold the NAD(P)H-dependent oxidative metabolism of E2 and oleyl-CoA-dependent esterification of E2 to 17β-oleyl-estradiol by liver microsomes. Glucuronidation of E2 by microsomal glucuronosyltransferase was increased moderately. In contrast, the activity of NAD(P)H quinone reductase 1 (NQO1), a representative monofunctional phase 2 enzyme, was significantly decreased in liver cytosol of rats fed clofibrate. Decreases in hepatic NQO1 in livers of animals fed clofibrate were noted before the appearance of mammary tumors. E2 was delivered in cholesterol pellets implanted in 7 to 8 week old female ACI rats. The animals received AIN-76A diet containing 0.4% clofibrate for 6, 12 or 28 weeks. Control animals received AIN-76A diet. Dietary clofibrate increased the number and size of palpable mammary tumors but did not alter the histopathology of the E2-induced mammary adenocarcinomas. Collectively, these results suggest that the stimulatory effect of clofibrate on hepatic esterification of E2 with fatty acids coupled with the inhibition of protective phase 2 enzymes, may in part, enhance E2-dependent mammary carcinogenesis in the ACI rat model.
beast cancer; clofibrate (2-(4-chlorophenoxy)-2-methyl-propanoic acid, ethyl ester); estradiol
In this study, we investigated the effects of the major green tea polyphenol, (−)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), on high-fat–induced obesity, symptoms of the metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver in mice. In mice fed a high-fat diet (60% energy as fat), supplementation with dietary EGCG treatment (3.2 g/kg diet) for 16 wk reduced body weight (BW) gain, percent body fat, and visceral fat weight (P < 0.05) compared with mice without EGCG treatment. The BW decrease was associated with increased fecal lipids in the high-fat–fed groups (r2 = 0.521; P < 0.05). EGCG treatment attenuated insulin resistance, plasma cholesterol, and monocyte chemoattractant protein concentrations in high-fat–fed mice (P < 0.05). EGCG treatment also decreased liver weight, liver triglycerides, and plasma alanine aminotransferase concentrations in high-fat–fed mice (P < 0.05). Histological analyses of liver samples revealed decreased lipid accumulation in hepatocytes in mice treated with EGCG compared with high-fat diet-fed mice without EGCG treatment. In another experiment, 3-mo-old high-fat–induced obese mice receiving short-term EGCG treatment (3.2 g/kg diet, 4 wk) had decreased mesenteric fat weight and blood glucose compared with high-fat–fed control mice (P < 0.05). Our results indicate that long-term EGCG treatment attenuated the development of obesity, symptoms associated with the metabolic syndrome, and fatty liver. Short-term EGCG treatment appeared to reverse preexisting high-fat–induced metabolic pathologies in obese mice. These effects may be mediated by decreased lipid absorption, decreased inflammation, and other mechanisms.
The developing brain is highly sensitive to methylmercury (MeHg). Still, the initial changes in cell proliferation that may contribute to long-term MeHg effects are largely undefined. Our previous studies with growth factors indicate that acute alterations of G1/S phase transition can permanently affect cell numbers and organ size. Therefore, we determined whether an environmental toxicant could also impact brain development with rapid (6-7h) effects on DNA synthesis and cell cycle machinery in neuronal precursors. In vivo studies in newborn rat hippocampus and cerebellum, two regions of postnatal neurogenesis, were followed by in vitro analysis of two precursor models, cortical and cerebellar cells, focusing on the proteins that regulate G1/S transition. In postnatal day 7 (P7) pups, a single subcutaneous injection of MeHg (3μg/g) acutely (7h) decreased DNA synthesis in the hippocampus by 40% and produced long-term (2 weeks) reductions in total cell number, estimated by DNA quantification. Surprisingly, cerebellar granule cells were resistant to MeHg effects in vivo at comparable tissue concentrations, suggesting region-specific differences in precursor populations. In vitro, MeHg altered proliferation and cell viability, with DNA synthesis selectively inhibited at an early timepoint (6h) corresponding to our in vivo observations. Considering that G1/S regulators are targets of exogenous signals, we used a well-defined cortical cell model to examine MeHg effects on relevant cyclin dependent kinases (CDK) and CDK inhibitors. At 6h, MeHg decreased by 75% levels of cyclin E, a cell cycle regulator with roles in proliferation and apoptosis, without altering p57, p27, or CDK2 nor levels of activated caspase 3. In aggregate, our observations identify the G1/S transition as an early target of MeHg toxicity and raise the possibility that cyclin E degradation contributes to both decreased proliferation and eventual cell death.
Mercury; neurogenesis; neural stem cell; cell cycle; cyclin E; cell survival; cerebral cortex; cerebellar granule precursors; hippocampus; proliferation
ts1 is a temperature-sensitive mutant of Moloney murine leukemia virus that induces a rapid spongiform encephalopathy in mice infected as newborns. The pathological features include the formation of ubiquitinated inclusions resembling Lewy bodies. To determine how perturbation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway might affect ts1-mediated neurodegeneration, the virus was introduced into transgenic mice in which the assembly of ubiquitin chains was compromised by the expression of dominant-negative mutant ubiquitin. The onset of symptoms was greatly delayed in a transgenic mouse line expressing K48R mutant ubiquitin; no such delay was observed in mice expressing a wild-type ubiquitin transgene or K63R mutant ubiquitin. The extended latency was found to correlate with a delayed increase in viral titers. Pathological findings in K48R transgenic mice at 60 days were found to be similar to those in the other strains at 30 days, suggesting that while delayed, the neurodegenerative process in K48R mice was otherwise similar. These data demonstrate the sensitivity of retroviral replication to the partial disruption of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis in vivo, a finding that may have therapeutic potential.
At the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), the National Toxicology Program organized an independent and open peer review to evaluate the scientific evidence on low-dose effects and nonmonotonic dose-response relationships for endocrine-disrupting chemicals in mammalian species. For this peer review, "low-dose effects" referred to biologic changes that occur in the range of human exposures or at doses lower than those typically used in the standard testing paradigm of the U.S. EPA for evaluating reproductive and developmental toxicity. The demonstration that an effect is adverse was not required because in many cases the long-term health consequences of altered endocrine function during development have not been fully characterized. A unique aspect of this peer review was the willing submission of individual animal data by principal investigators of primary research groups active in this field and the independent statistical reanalyses of selected parameters prior to the peer review meeting by a subpanel of statisticians. The expert peer-review panel (the panel) also considered mechanistic data that might influence the plausibility of low-dose effects and identified study design issues or other biologic factors that might account for differences in reported outcomes among studies. The panel found that low-dose effects, as defined for this review, have been demonstrated in laboratory animals exposed to certain endocrine-active agents. In some cases where low-dose effects have been reported, the findings have not been replicated. The shape of the dose-response curves for reported effects varied with the end point and dosing regimen and were low-dose linear, threshold-appearing, or nonmonotonic. The findings of the panel indicate that the current testing paradigm used for assessments of reproductive and developmental toxicity should be revisited to see whether changes are needed regarding dose selection, animal-model selection, age when animals are evaluated, and the end points being measured following exposure to endocrine-active agents.