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1.  Ethanol Extracts of Fruiting Bodies of Antrodia cinnamomea Suppress CL1-5 Human Lung Adenocarcinoma Cells Migration by Inhibiting Matrix Metalloproteinase-2/9 through ERK, JNK, p38, and PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathways 
Cancer metastasis is a primary cause of cancer death. Antrodia cinnamomea (A. cinnamomea), a medicinal mushroom in Taiwan, has shown antioxidant and anticancer activities. In this study, we first observed that ethanol extract of fruiting bodies of A. cinnamomea (EEAC) exerted a concentration-dependent inhibitory effect on migration and motility of the highly metastatic CL1-5 cells in the absence of cytotoxicity. The results of a gelatin zymography assay showed that A. cinnamomea suppressed the activities of matrix metalloproteinase-(MMP-) 2 and MMP-9 in a concentration-dependent manner. Western blot results demonstrated that treatment with A. cinnamomea decreased the expression of MMP-9 and MMP-2; while the expression of the endogenous inhibitors of these proteins, that is, tissue inhibitors of MMP (TIMP-1 and TIMP-2) increased. Further investigation revealed that A. cinnamomea suppressed the phosphorylation of ERK1/2, p38, and JNK1/2. A. cinnamomea also suppressed the expressions of PI3K and phosphorylation of Akt. Furthermore, treatment of CL1-5 cells with inhibitors specific for PI3K (LY 294002), ERK1/2 (PD98059), JNK (SP600125), and p38 MAPK (SB203580) decreased the expression of MMP-2 and MMP-9. This is the first paper confirming the antimigration activity of this potentially beneficial mushroom against human lung adenocarcinoma CL1-5 cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC3291113  PMID: 22454661
2.  Hispolon Protects against Acute Liver Damage in the Rat by Inhibiting Lipid Peroxidation, Proinflammatory Cytokine, and Oxidative Stress and Downregulating the Expressions of iNOS, COX-2, and MMP-9 
The hepatoprotective potential of hispolon against carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced liver damage was evaluated in preventive models in rats. Male rats were intraperitoneally treated with hispolon or silymarin once daily for 7 consecutive days. One hour after the final hispolon or silymarin treatment, the rats were injected with CCl4. Administration with hispolon or silymarin significantly decreased the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels in serum and increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and glutathione (GSH) content and decreased the malondialdehyde (MDA) content in liver compared with CCl4-treated group. Liver histopathology also showed that hispolon reduced the incidence of liver lesions induced by CCl4. In addition, hispolon decreased nitric oxide (NO) production and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α), inducible NO synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) activation in CCl4-treated rats. We also examined the involvement of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 in the development of CCl4-induced liver damage in rats. Hispolon inhibited the expression of MMP-9 protein, indicating that MMP-9 played an important role in the development of CCl4-induced rat liver damage. Therefore, we speculate that hispolon protects rats from liver damage through their prophylactic redox balancing ability and anti-inflammation capacity.
PMCID: PMC3195309  PMID: 22013489
3.  Anti-Restenotic Roles of Dihydroaustrasulfone Alcohol Involved in Inhibiting PDGF-BB-Stimulated Proliferation and Migration of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells 
Marine Drugs  2015;13(5):3046-3060.
Dihydroaustrasulfone alcohol (DA), an active compound firstly isolated from marine corals, has been reported to reveal anti-cancer and anti-inflammation activities. These reported activities of DA raised a possible application in anti-restenosis. Abnormal proliferation and migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and the stimulation of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB play major pathological processes involved in the development of restenosis. Experimental results showed that DA markedly reduced balloon injury-induced neointima formation in the rat carotid artery model and significantly inhibited PDGF-BB-stimulated proliferation and migration of VSMCs. Our data further demonstrated that translational and active levels of several critical signaling cascades involved in VSMC proliferation, such as extracellular signal-regulated kinase/mitogen-activated protein kinases (ERK/MAPK), phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, and signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT), were obviously inhibited. In addition, DA also decreased the activation and expression levels of gelatinases (matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9) involved in cell migration. In conclusion, our findings indicate that DA can reduce balloon injury-neointimal hyperplasia, the effect of which may be modulated through suppression of VSMC proliferation and migration. These results suggest that DA has potential application as an anti-restenotic agent for the prevention of restenosis.
PMCID: PMC4446617  PMID: 25988521
dihydroaustrasulfone alcohol; anti-restenosis; neointimal hyperplasia; marine origin
4.  Deep Sea Water Prevents Balloon Angioplasty-Induced Hyperplasia through MMP-2: An In Vitro and In Vivo Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e96927.
Major facts about the development of restenosis include vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) proliferation and migration. A previous study showed that in vitro treatment with magnesium chloride has the potential to affect the proliferation and migration of VSMCs. Magnesium is the major element in deep sea water (DSW) and is a biologically active mineral. It is unclear whether DSW intake can prevent abnormal proliferation and migration of VSMCs as well as balloon angioplasty-induced neointimal hyperplasia. Thus, we attempted to evaluate the anti-restenotic effects of DSW and its possible molecular mechanisms. Several concentrations of DSW, based on the dietary recommendations (RDA) for magnesium, were applied to a model of balloon angioplasty in SD rats. The results showed that DSW intake markedly increased magnesium content within the vascular wall and reduced the development of neointimal hyperplasia. The immunohistochemical analysis also showed that the expression of proteins associated with cell proliferation and migration were decreased in the balloon angioplasty groups with DSW supplement. Furthermore, in vitro treatment with DSW has a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on serum-stimulated proliferation and migration of VSMCs, whose effects might be mediated by modulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling and of the activity of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). Our study suggested that DSW intake can help prevent neointimal hyperplasia (or restenosis), whose effects may be partially regulated by magnesium and other minerals.
PMCID: PMC4019650  PMID: 24824358
5.  The Functional Influences of Common ABCB1 Genetic Variants on the Inhibition of P-glycoprotein by Antrodia cinnamomea Extracts 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89622.
Antrodia cinnamomea is a traditional healthy food that has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, and anticacer effects. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the ethanolic extract of A. cinnamomea (EEAC) can affect the efflux function of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and the effect of ABCB1 genetic variants on the interaction between EEAC and P-gp. To investigate the mechanism of this interaction, Flp-In™-293 cells stably transfected with various genotypes of human P-gp were established and the expression of P-gp was confirmed by Western blot. The results of the rhodamine 123 efflux assay demonstrated that EEAC efficiently inhibited wild-type P-gp function at an IC50 concentration of 1.51±0.08 µg/mL through non-competitive inhibition. The IC50 concentrations for variant-type 1236T-2677T-3435T P-gp and variant-type 1236T-2677A-3435T P-gp were 5.56±0.49 µg/mL and 3.33±0.67 µg/mL, respectively. In addition, the inhibition kinetics of EEAC also changed to uncompetitive inhibition in variant-type 1236T-2677A-3435T P-gp. The ATPase assay revealed that EEAC was an ATPase stimulator and was capable of reducing verapamil-induced ATPase levels. These results indicate that EEAC may be a potent P-gp inhibitor and higher dosages may be required in subjects carrying variant-types P-gp. Further studies are required to translate this basic knowledge into clinical applications.
PMCID: PMC3934917  PMID: 24586917
6.  Deep Sea Water Modulates Blood Pressure and Exhibits Hypolipidemic Effects via the AMPK-ACC Pathway: An in Vivo Study  
Marine Drugs  2013;11(6):2183-2202.
Deep sea water (DSW), originally pumped from the Pacific Rim off the coast of Hualien County (Taiwan), and its mineral constituents, were concentrated by a low-temperature vacuum evaporation system to produce a hardness of approximately 400,000 mg/L of seawater mineral concentrate. The primary composition of this seawater mineral concentrate was ionic magnesium (Mg2+), which was approximately 96,000 mg/L. Referring to the human recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, we diluted the mineral concentrate to three different dosages: 0.1 × DSW (equivalent to 3.75 mg Mg2+/kg DSW); 1 × DSW (equivalent to 37.5 mg Mg2+/kg DSW); and 2 × DSW (equivalent to 75 mg Mg2+/kg DSW). Additionally, a magnesium chloride treatment was conducted for comparison with the DSW supplement. The study indicated that 0.1 × DSW, 1 × DSW and 2 × DSW decreased the systolic and diastolic pressures in spontaneous hypertensive rats in an eight-week experiment. DSW has been shown to reduce serum lipids and prevent atherogenesis in a hypercholesterolemic rabbit model. Our results demonstrated that 1 × DSW and 2 × DSW significantly suppressed the serum cholesterol levels, reduced the lipid accumulation in liver tissues, and limited aortic fatty streaks. These findings indicated that the antiatherogenic effects of DSW are associated with 5′-adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) stimulation and the consequent inhibition of phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC) in atherosclerotic rabbits. We hypothesize that DSW could potentially be used as drinking water because it modulates blood pressure, reduces lipids, and prevents atherogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3721228  PMID: 23774889
deep sea water; atherosclerosis; HMG-CoA reductase; AMP-activated protein kinase; acetyl-CoA carboxylase
8.  Antihyperlipidemic and Antioxidant Effects of C-phycocyanin in Golden Syrian Hamsters Fed with a Hypercholesterolemic Diet 
Hyperlipidemia and oxidation play major roles upon cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). C-phycocyanin (CPC), the major component in blue-green algae, possesses antiinflammatory and radical scavenging properties. Herein we aimed to investigate the effect of CPC upon lipid metabolism and its antioxidant effects. Golden Syrian hamsters were randomly assigned to five groups: (1) control; (2) 0.2% cholesterol; (3) 0.2% cholesterol+ 1% lopid; (4) 0.2% cholesterol+ 0.25% CPC; and (5) 0.2% cholesterol+ 1.25% CPC. All animals were sacrificed after 8-week feeding. Serum cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), glutamate-oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), and glutamate-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) were examined. The diene conjugation in the Cu2+-mediated oxidation of LDL was measured. The protein levels of several antioxidative enzymes including catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutases (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) of liver were assayed. HepG2 cells were cultured in medium containing various concentrations of CPC (0, 1, 15, and 30 μM). The mRNA concentrations of LDL receptor, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase, SOD-1 and GPx of HepG2 cells in each group were analyzed. CPC was effective in lowering serum cholesterol, total cholesterol (TC), TG, LDL, GOT, and GPT. CPC was found to decrease the malondialdehyde (MDA) equivalents and delay the diene conjugation in the Cu2+-mediated oxidation of LDL. CPC increase the enzyme expressions of CAT, SOD, and GPx. CPC concentrations were positively correlated with the mRNA level of LDL receptor while the mRNA levels of HMG CoA reductase, SOD-1, and GPx in HepG2 cells were not affected. The lipid-lowering and antioxidation effects of CPC suggest its roles in prevention of CVD and atherosclerotic formation.
PMCID: PMC3924977  PMID: 24716154
Atherosclerosis; C-phycocyanin; Cholesterol; Lipid; Reactive oxygen species
9.  A Chinese herbal formula "Gan-Lu-Yin" suppresses vascular smooth muscle cell migration by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinase-2/9 through the PI3K/AKT and ERK signaling pathways 
This study was to explore the effects of Gan-Lu-Yin (GLY) on the migration of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) induced by fetal bovine serum and on neointima formation in a rat model of carotid artery balloon injury.
VSMCs were treated with different concentrations of GLY, and then analyzed with Flow cytometric analysis, zymography, transwell, and western blotting. SD rats received balloon-injury were analyzed with H&E staining.
Our results showed that GLY significantly decreased the thickness of neointima. The inhibition by non-cytoxic doses of GLY of VSMCs migration was through its negative regulatory effects on phosphorylated ERK1/2, PI3K/AKT, and FAK. The data showed that GLY can inhibit the migration of VSMCs cells, and might block injury-induced neointima hyperplasia via the inhibition of VSMCs migration, without inducing apoptosis.
These observations provide a mechanism of GLY in attenuating cell migration, thus as a potential intervention for restenosis.
PMCID: PMC3475136  PMID: 22920190
Chinese herbs; Gan-Lu-Yin; Migration; Restenosis; Vascular smooth muscle cell
10.  Antinociceptive Activities and the Mechanisms of Anti-Inflammation of Asiatic Acid in Mice 
Asiatic acid (AA), a pentacyclic triterpene compound in the medicinal plant Centella asiatica, was evaluated for antinociceptive and anti-inflammatory effects. Treatment of male ICR mice with AA significantly inhibited the numbers of acetic acid-induced writhing responses and the formalin-induced pain in the late phase. In the anti-inflammatory test, AA decreased the paw edema at the 4th and 5th h after λ-carrageenan (Carr) administration and increased the activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in the liver tissue. AA decreased the nitric oxide (NO), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) levels on serum level at the 5th h after Carr injection. Western blotting revealed that AA decreased Carr-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase (COX-2), and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) expressions at the 5th h in the edema paw. An intraperitoneal (i.p.) injection treatment with AA also diminished neutrophil infiltration into sites of inflammation as did indomethacin (Indo). The anti-inflammatory mechanisms of AA might be related to the decrease in the level of MDA, iNOS, COX-2, and NF-κB in the edema paw via increasing the activities of CAT, SOD, and GPx in the liver.
PMCID: PMC3092715  PMID: 21584194
11.  Analgesic Effects and the Mechanisms of Anti-Inflammation of Hispolon in Mice 
Hispolon, an active ingredient in the fungi Phellinus linteus was evaluated with analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects. Treatment of male ICR mice with hispolon (10 and 20 mg/kg) significantly inhibited the numbers of acetic acid-induced writhing response. Also, our result showed that hispolon (20 mg/kg) significantly inhibited the formalin-induced pain in the later phase (P<.01). In the anti-inflammatory test, hispolon (20 mg/kg) decreased the paw edema at the fourth and fifth hour after λ-carrageenin (Carr) administration, and increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and glutathione reductase (GRx) in the liver tissue. We also demonstrated that hispolon significantly attenuated the malondialdehyde (MDA) level in the edema paw at the fifth hour after Carr injection. Hispolon (10 and 20 mg/kg) decreased the nitric oxide (NO) levels on both the edema paw and serum level at the fifth hour after Carr injection. Also, hispolon (10 and 20 mg/kg) diminished the serum TNF-α at the fifth hour after Carr injection. The anti-inflammatory mechanisms of hispolon might be related to the decrease in the level of MDA in the edema paw by increasing the activities of SOD, GPx and GRx in the liver. It probably exerts anti-inflammatory effects through the suppression of TNF-α and NO.
PMCID: PMC3136186  PMID: 19349477

Results 1-11 (11)