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1.  Brazilin Ameliorates High Glucose-Induced Vascular Inflammation via Inhibiting ROS and CAMs Production in Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:403703.
Vascular inflammatory process has been suggested to play a key role in the initiation and progression of atherosclerosis, a major complication of diabetes mellitus. Recent studies have shown that brazilin exhibits antihepatotoxic, antiplatelet, cancer preventive, or anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, we investigated whether brazilin suppresses vascular inflammatory process induced by high glucose (HG) in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC). HG induced nitrite production, lipid peroxidation, and intracellular reactive oxygen species formation in HUVEC cells, which was reversed by brazilin. Western blot analysis revealed that brazilin markedly inhibited HG-induced phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase. Besides, we investigated the effects of brazilin on the MAPK signal transduction pathway because MAPK families are associated with vascular inflammation under stress. Brazilin blocked HG-induced phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase and transcription factor NF-κB. Furthermore, brazilin concentration-dependently attenuated cell adhesion molecules (ICAM-1 and VCAM-1) expression induced by various concentrations of HG in HUVEC. Taken together, the present data suggested that brazilin could suppress high glucose-induced vascular inflammatory process, which may be closely related with the inhibition of oxidative stress, CAMs expression, and NF-κB activation in HUVEC. Our findings may highlight a new therapeutic intervention for the prevention of vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3955648  PMID: 24716195
2.  Wave-Induced Flow in Meridians Demonstrated Using Photoluminescent Bioceramic Material on Acupuncture Points 
The mechanisms of acupuncture remain poorly understood, but it is generally assumed that measuring the electrical conductivity at various meridians provides data representing various meridian energies. In the past, noninvasive methods have been used to stimulate the acupuncture points at meridians, such as heat, electricity, magnets, and lasers. Photoluminescent bioceramic (PLB) material has been proven to weaken hydrogen bonds and alter the characteristics of liquid water. In this study, we applied the noninvasive PLB technique to acupuncture point irradiation, attempting to detect its effects by using electrical conductivity measurements. We reviewed relevant literature, searching for information on meridians including their wave-induced flow characteristics.
PMCID: PMC3838801  PMID: 24307911
3.  Waist circumference and risk of elevated blood pressure in children: a cross-sectional study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:613.
Increasing childhood obesity has become a major health threat. This cross-sectional study reports associations between schoolchildren's waist circumference (WC) and risk of elevated blood pressure.
We measured height, weight, neck and waist circumference, and blood pressure in regular health examinations among children in grade 1 (ages 6-7 years) at six elementary schools in Taipei County, Taiwan. Elevated blood pressure was defined in children found to have mean systolic or diastolic blood pressure greater than or equal to the gender-, age-, and height-percentile-specific 95th-percentile blood pressure value.
All 2,334 schoolchildren were examined (response rate was 100% in the six schools). The mean of systolic and diastolic blood pressure increased as WC quartiles increased (p < 0.0001). The prevalence of elevated blood pressure for boys and girls within the fourth quartile of waist circumference was 38.9% and 26.8%, respectively. In the multivariate logistic regression analyses, the adjusted odds ratios of elevated blood pressure were 1.78 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.13-2.80), 2.45 (95% CI = 1.56-3.85), and 6.03 (95% CI = 3.59-10.1) for children in the second, third, and fourth waist circumference quartiles compared with the first quartile. The odds ratios for per-unit increase and per increase of standard deviation associated with elevated blood pressure were 1.14 (95% CI = 1.10-1.18) and 2.22 (95% CI = 1.76-2.78), respectively.
Elevated blood pressure in children was associated with waist circumference. Not only is waist circumference easier to measure than blood pressure, but it also provides important information on metabolic risk. Further research is needed on effective interventions to identify and monitor children with increased waist circumference to reduce metabolic and blood pressure risks.
PMCID: PMC3160994  PMID: 21810218
Children; obesity; elevated blood pressure; waist circumference
4.  Protective effect of guggulsterone against cardiomyocyte injury induced by doxorubicin in vitro 
Doxorubicin (DOX) is an effective antineoplastic drug; however, clinical use of DOX is limited by its dose-dependent cardiotoxicity. It is well known that reactive oxygen species (ROS) play a vital role in the pathological process of DOX-induced cardiotoxicity. For this study, we evaluated the protective effects of guggulsterone (GS), a steroid obtained from myrrh, to determine its preliminary mechanisms in defending against DOX-induced cytotoxicity in H9C2 cells.
In this study, we used a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release measurements, and Hoechst 33258 staining to evaluate the protective effect of GS against DOX-induced cytotoxicity in H9C2 cells. In addition, we observed the immunofluorescence of intracellular ROS and measured lipid peroxidation, caspase-3 activity, and apoptosis-related proteins by using Western blotting.
The MTT assay and LDH release showed that treatment using GS (1–30 μM) did not cause cytotoxicity. Furthermore, GS inhibited DOX (1 μM)-induced cytotoxicity in a concentration-dependent manner. Hoechst 33258 staining showed that GS significantly reduced DOX-induced apoptosis and cell death. Using GS at a dose of 10–30 μM significantly reduced intracellular ROS and the formation of MDA in the supernatant of DOX-treated H9C2 cells and suppressed caspase-3 activity to reference levels. In immunoblot analysis, pretreatment using GS significantly reversed DOX-induced decrease of PARP, caspase-3 and bcl-2, and increase of bax, cytochrome C release, cleaved-PARP and cleaved-caspase-3. In addition, the properties of DOX-induced cancer cell (DLD-1 cells) death did not interfere when combined GS and DOX.
These data provide considerable evidence that GS could serve as a novel cardioprotective agent against DOX-induced cardiotoxicity.
PMCID: PMC3493356  PMID: 22920231
Guggulsterone; Doxorubicin; Cardiotoxicity; Cytokines; Reactive oxygen species

Results 1-4 (4)