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1.  In Vivo Antioxidant and Hypolipidemic Effects of Fermented Mung Bean on Hypercholesterolemic Mice 
Legumes have previously been reported with hypolipidemic effect caused by the presence of flavonoid. This study was carried out to evaluate the antioxidant and hypolipidemic effects of fermented mung bean on hypercholesterolemic mice. Blood from all mice was collected and subjected to serum lipid and liver profiles biochemical analysis and quantitative RT-PCR for atherosclerosis related gene expressions. Besides, livers were collected for antioxidant assays and histopathology evaluation. Fermented mung bean was found to reduce the level of serum lipid and liver enzyme profiles of hypercholesterolemic mice. Furthermore, liver antioxidant and nitric oxide levels were also significantly restored by fermented mung bean in a dosage dependent manner. The gene expression study indicated that Apoe and Bcl2a1a were upregulated while Npy and Vwf expressions were downregulated after the treatment. The effects of fermented mung bean were greater than nonfermented mung bean. These results indicated that fermented mung bean possessed antioxidants that lead to its hypolipidemic effect on hypercholesterolemic mice.
PMCID: PMC4449930  PMID: 26074993
2.  In Vivo Hypocholesterolemic Effect of MARDI Fermented Red Yeast Rice Water Extract in High Cholesterol Diet Fed Mice 
Fermented red yeast rice has been traditionally consumed as medication in Asian cuisine. This study aimed to determine the in vivo hypocholesterolemic and antioxidant effects of fermented red yeast rice water extract produced using Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) Monascus purpureus strains in mice fed with high cholesterol diet. Absence of monacolin-k, lower level of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), higher content of total amino acids, and antioxidant activities were detected in MARDI fermented red yeast rice water extract (MFRYR). In vivo MFRYR treatment on hypercholesterolemic mice recorded similar lipid lowering effect as commercial red yeast rice extract (CRYR) as it helps to reduce the elevated serum liver enzyme and increased the antioxidant levels in liver. This effect was also associated with the upregulation of apolipoproteins-E and inhibition of Von Willebrand factor expression. In summary, MFRYR enriched in antioxidant and amino acid without monacolin-k showed similar hypocholesterolemic effect as CRYR that was rich in monacolin-k and GABA.
PMCID: PMC4083602  PMID: 25031606
3.  In Vivo Antistress and Antioxidant Effects of Fermented and Germinated Mung Bean 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:694842.
Mung bean has been traditionally used to alleviate heat stress. This effect may be contributed by the presence of flavonoids and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). On the other hand, fermentation and germination have been practised to enhance the nutritional and antioxidant properties of certain food products. The main focus of current study was to compare the antistress effect of none-process, fermented and germinated mung bean extracts. Acute and chronic restraint stresses were observed to promote the elevation of serum biochemical markers including cholesterol, triglyceride, total protein, liver enzymes, and glucose. Chronic cold restraint stress was observed to increase theadrenal gland weight, brain 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT), and malondialdehyde (MDA) level while reducing brain antioxidant enzyme level. However, these parameters were found reverted in mice treated with diazepam, high concentration of fermented mung bean and high concentration of germinated mung bean. Moreover, enhanced level of antioxidant on the chronic stress mice was observed in fermented and germinated mung bean treated groups. In comparison between germinated and fermented mung bean, fermented mung bean always showed better antistress and antioxidant effects throughout this study.
PMCID: PMC4022108  PMID: 24877129
4.  Updates on Antiobesity Effect of Garcinia Origin (−)-HCA 
Garcinia is a plant under the family of Clusiaceae that is commonly used as a flavouring agent. Various phytochemicals including flavonoids and organic acid have been identified in this plant. Among all types of organic acids, hydroxycitric acid or more specifically (−)-hydroxycitric acid has been identified as a potential supplement for weight management and as antiobesity agent. Various in vivo studies have contributed to the understanding of the anti-obesity effects of Garcinia/hydroxycitric acid via regulation of serotonin level and glucose uptake. Besides, it also helps to enhance fat oxidation while reducing de novo lipogenesis. However, results from clinical studies showed both negative and positive antiobesity effects of Garcinia/hydroxycitric acid. This review was prepared to summarise the update of chemical constituents, significance of in vivo/clinical anti-obesity effects, and the importance of the current market potential of Garcinia/hydroxycitric acid.
PMCID: PMC3748738  PMID: 23990846
5.  In Vivo Immunomodulation and Lipid Peroxidation Activities Contributed to Chemoprevention Effects of Fermented Mung Bean against Breast Cancer 
Mung bean has been reported to have antioxidant, cytotoxic, and immunomodulatory effects in vitro. Fermented products are reported to have enhanced immunomodulation and cancer chemopreventive effects. In this study, fermented mung bean treatments in vivo were studied by monitoring tumor development, spleen immunity, serum cytokine (interleukin 2 and interferon gamma) levels, and spleen/tumor antioxidant levels after injection with low and high risk 4T1 breast cancer cells. Pretreatment with fermented mung bean was associated with delayed tumor formation in low risk mice. Furthermore, this treatment was connected with higher serum anticancer cytokine levels, spleen T cell populations, splenocyte cytotoxicity, and spleen/tumor antioxidant levels. Histopathological evaluation of fermented mung bean treated tumor revealed lower event of mitotic division. On the other hand, antioxidant and nitric oxide levels that were significantly increased in the untreated mice were inhibited in the fermented mung bean treated groups. These results suggested that fermented mung bean has potential cancer chemoprevention effects through the stimulation of immunity, lipid peroxidation, and anti-inflammation.
PMCID: PMC3654717  PMID: 23710232
6.  Antihyperglycemic Effects of Fermented and Nonfermented Mung Bean Extracts on Alloxan-Induced-Diabetic Mice 
Mung bean was reported as a potential antidiabetic agent while fermented food has been proposed as one of the major contributors that can reduce the risk of diabetes in Asian populations. In this study, we have compared the normoglycemic effect, glucose-induced hyperglycemic effect, and alloxan-induced hyperglycemic effect of fermented and nonfermented mung bean extracts. Our results showed that fermented mung bean extracts did not induce hypoglycemic effect on normal mice but significantly reduced the blood sugar levels of glucose- and alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice. The serum levels of cholesterol, triglyceride (TG), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) were also lowered while insulin secretion and antioxidant level as measured by malonaldehyde (MDA) assays were significantly improved in the plasma of the fermented mung bean-treated group in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mouse. These results indicated that fermentation using Mardi Rhizopus sp. strain 5351 inoculums could enhance the antihyperglycemic and the antioxidant effects of mung bean in alloxan-treated mice. The improvement in the antihyperglycemic effect may also be contributed by the increased content of GABA and the free amino acid that are present in the fermented mung bean extracts.
PMCID: PMC3469204  PMID: 23091343
7.  Immunomodulatory Effect of Rhaphidophora korthalsii on Natural Killer Cell Cytotoxicity 
The in vivo immunomodulatory effect of ethanolic extracts from leaves of Rhaphidophora korthalsii was determined via immune cell proliferation, T/NK cell phenotyping, and splenocyte cytotoxicity of BALB/c mice after 5 consecutive days of i.p. administration at various concentrations. Splenocyte proliferation index, cytotoxicity, peripheral blood T/NK cell population, and plasma cytokine (IL-2 and IFN-γ) in mice were assessed on day 5 and day 15. High concentration of extract (350 μg/mice/day for 5 consecutive days) was able to stimulate immune cell proliferation, peripheral blood NK cell population, IL-2, and IFN- γ cytokines, as well as splenocyte cytotoxicity against Yac-1 cell line. Unlike rIL-2 which degraded rapidly, the stimulatory effect from the extract managed to last until day 15. These results suggested the potential of this extract as an alternative immunostimulator, and they encourage further study on guided fractionation and purification to identify the active ingredients that contribute to this in vitro and in vivo immunomodulatory activity.
PMCID: PMC3175394  PMID: 21941589
8.  Induction of Humoral and Cell-Mediated Immune Responses by Hepatitis B Virus Epitope Displayed on the Virus-Like Particles of Prawn Nodavirus 
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a deadly pathogen that has killed countless people worldwide. Saccharomyces cerevisiae-derived HBV vaccines based upon hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is highly effective. However, the emergence of vaccine escape mutants due to mutations on the HBsAg and polymerase genes has produced a continuous need for the development of new HBV vaccines. In this study, the “a” determinant within HBsAg was displayed on the recombinant capsid protein of Macrobrachium rosenbergii nodavirus (MrNV), which can be purified easily in a single step through immobilized metal affinity chromatography (IMAC). The purified protein self-assembled into virus-like particles (VLPs) when observed under a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Immunization of BALB/c mice with this chimeric protein induced specific antibodies against the “a” determinant. In addition, it induced significantly more natural killer and cytotoxic T cells, as well as an increase in interferon gamma (IFN-γ) secretion, which are vital for virus clearance. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that the MrNV capsid protein is a potential carrier for the HBV “a” determinant, which can be further extended to display other foreign epitopes. This paper is the first to report the application of MrNV VLPs as a novel platform to display foreign epitopes.
PMCID: PMC4292494  PMID: 25416760
9.  Water extract of brewers’ rice induces apoptosis in human colorectal cancer cells via activation of caspase-3 and caspase-8 and downregulates the Wnt/β-catenin downstream signaling pathway in brewers’ rice-treated rats with azoxymethane-induced colon carcinogenesis 
Brewers’ rice, is locally known as temukut, is a mixture of broken rice, rice bran, and rice germ. The current study is an extension of our previous work, which demonstrated that water extract of brewers’ rice (WBR) induced apoptosis in human colorectal cancer (HT-29) cells. We also identified that brewers’ rice was effective in reducing the tumor incidence and multiplicity in azoxymethane (AOM)-injected colon cancer rats. Our present study was designed to identify whether WBR confers an inhibitory effect via the regulation of upstream components in the Wnt signaling pathway in HT-29 cells. To further determine whether the in vitro mechanisms of action observed in the HT-29 cells inhibit the downstream signaling target of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway, we evaluated the mechanistic action of brewers’ rice in regulating the expressions and key protein markers during colon carcinogenesis in male Sprague–Dawley rats.
The mRNA levels of several upstream-related genes in the Wnt signaling pathway in HT-29 cells treated with WBR were determined by quantitative real-time PCR analyses. Caspase-3 and −8 were evaluated using a colorimetric assay. Male Sprague–Dawley rats were administered two intraperitoneal injections of AOM in saline (15 mg/kg body weight) over a two-week period and received with 10, 20, and 40 % (w/w) brewers’ rice. The expressions and protein levels of cyclin D1 and c-myc were evaluated by immunohistochemical staining and western blotting, respectively.
The overall analyses revealed that the treatment of HT-29 cells with WBR inhibited Wnt signaling activity through upregulation of the casein kinase 1 (CK1) and adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) mRNA levels. We discovered that the treatment of HT-29 cells with WBR resulted in the induction of apoptosis by the significant activation of caspase-3 and −8 activities compared with the control (P < 0.05). In vivo analyses indicated that brewers’ rice diminished the β-catenin, cyclin D1, and c-myc protein levels.
We provide evidence that brewers’ rice can induce apoptosis and inhibit the proliferation of HT-29 cells through regulation of caspase-dependent pathways and inhibit the Wnt/β-catenin downstream signaling pathway in vivo. We suggest that brewers’ rice may be a useful dietary agent for colorectal cancer.
PMCID: PMC4487214  PMID: 26122204
Brewers’ rice; Colorectal cancer; Wnt signaling; Cyclin D1; c-myc
10.  Induction of Apoptosis in MCF-7 Cells via Oxidative Stress Generation, Mitochondria-Dependent and Caspase-Independent Pathway by Ethyl Acetate Extract of Dillenia suffruticosa and Its Chemical Profile 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(6):e0127441.
Dillenia suffruticosa, which is locally known as Simpoh air, has been traditionally used to treat cancerous growth. The ethyl acetate extract of D. suffruticosa (EADs) has been shown to induce apoptosis in MCF-7 breast cancer cells in our previous study. The present study aimed to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in EADs-induced apoptosis and to identify the major compounds in the extract. EADs was found to promote oxidative stress in MCF-7 cells that led to cell death because the pre-treatment with antioxidants α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid significantly reduced the cytotoxicity of the extract (P<0.05). DCFH-DA assay revealed that treatment with EADs attenuated the generation of intracellular ROS. Apoptosis induced by EADs was not inhibited by the use of caspase-inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK, suggesting that the cell death is caspase-independent. The use of JC-1 dye reflected that EADs caused disruption in the mitochondrial membrane potential. The related molecular pathways involved in EADs-induced apoptosis were determined by GeXP multiplex system and Western blot analysis. EADs is postulated to induce cell cycle arrest that is p53- and p21-dependent based on the upregulated expression of p53 and p21 (P<0.05). The expression of Bax was upregulated with downregulation of Bcl-2 following treatment with EADs. The elevated Bax/Bcl-2 ratio and the depolarization of mitochondrial membrane potential suggest that EADs-induced apoptosis is mitochondria-dependent. The expression of oxidative stress-related AKT, p-AKT, ERK, and p-ERK was downregulated with upregulation of JNK and p-JNK. The data indicate that induction of oxidative-stress related apoptosis by EADs was mediated by inhibition of AKT and ERK, and activation of JNK. The isolation of compounds in EADs was carried out using column chromatography and elucidated using the nuclear resonance magnetic analysis producing a total of six compounds including 3-epimaslinic acid, kaempferol, kaempferide, protocatechuic acid, gallic acid and β-sitosterol-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside. The cytotoxicity of the isolated compounds was determined using MTT assay. Gallic acid was found to be most cytotoxic against MCF-7 cell line compared to others, with IC50 of 36 ± 1.7 μg/mL (P<0.05). In summary, EADs generated oxidative stress, induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7 cells by regulating numerous genes and proteins that are involved in the apoptotic signal transduction pathway. Therefore, EADs has the potential to be developed as an anti-cancer agent against breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4457850  PMID: 26047480
11.  Potential recombinant vaccine against influenza A virus based on M2e displayed on nodaviral capsid nanoparticles 
Influenza A virus poses a major threat to human health, causing outbreaks from time to time. Currently available vaccines employ inactivated viruses of different strains to provide protection against influenza virus infection. However, high mutation rates of influenza virus hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N) glycoproteins give rise to vaccine escape mutants. Thus, an effective vaccine providing protection against all strains of influenza virus would be a valuable asset. The ectodomain of matrix 2 protein (M2e) was found to be highly conserved despite mutations of the H and N glycoproteins. Hence, one to five copies of M2e were fused to the carboxyl-terminal end of the recombinant nodavirus capsid protein derived from Macrobrachium rosenbergii. The chimeric proteins harboring up to five copies of M2e formed nanosized virus-like particles approximately 30 nm in diameter, which could be purified easily by immobilized metal affinity chromatography. BALB/c mice immunized subcutaneously with these chimeric proteins developed antibodies specifically against M2e, and the titer was proportional to the copy numbers of M2e displayed on the nodavirus capsid nanoparticles. The fusion proteins also induced a type 1 T helper immune response. Collectively, M2e displayed on the nodavirus capsid nanoparticles could provide an alternative solution to a possible influenza pandemic in the future.
PMCID: PMC4396508  PMID: 25897220
matrix 2 ectodomain; nodavirus capsid; virus-like particle; fusion protein; subunit vaccine; immunogenicity
12.  Differential modulation of immune response and cytokine profiles in the bursae and spleen of chickens infected with very virulent infectious bursal disease virus 
Very virulent infectious bursal disease virus (vvIBDV) induces immunosuppression and inflammation in young birds, which subsequently leads to high mortality. In addition, infectious bursal disease (IBD) is one of the leading causes of vaccine failure on farms. Therefore, understanding the immunopathogenesis of IBDV in both the spleen and the bursae could help effective vaccine development. However, previous studies only profiled the differential expression of a limited number of cytokines, in either the spleen or the bursae of Fabricius of IBDV-infected chickens. Thus, this study aims to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo immunoregulatory effects of vvIBDV infection on macrophage-like cells, spleen and bursae of Fabricius.
The viral load was increased during the progression of the in vitro infection in the HD11 macrophage cell line and in vivo, but no significant difference was observed between the spleen and the bursae tissue. vvIBDV infection induced the expression of pro-inflammatory and Th1 cytokines, and chemokines from HD11 cells in a time- and dosage-dependent manner. Furthermore, alterations in the lymphocyte populations, cytokine and chemokine expression, were observed in the vvIBDV-infected spleens and bursae. A drastic rise was detected in numbers of macrophages and pro-inflammatory cytokine expression in the spleen, as early as 2 days post-infection (dpi). On 4 dpi, macrophage and T lymphocyte infiltration, associated with the peak expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the bursae tissues of infected chickens were observed. The majority of the significantly regulated pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, in vvIBDV-infected spleens and bursae, were also detected in vvIBDV-infected HD11 cells. This cellular infiltration subsequently resulted in a sharp rise in nitric oxide (NO) and lipid peroxidation levels.
This study suggests that macrophage may play an important role in regulating the early expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, first in the spleen and then in the bursae, the latter tissue undergoing macrophage infiltration at 4 dpi.
PMCID: PMC4395976  PMID: 25884204
vvIBDV; Viral load; GeXP; Real-time PCR; Pro-inflammatory cytokines; Chemokines
13.  Rapid growth and osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells isolated from human bone marrow 
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are involved in bone formation in the embryo, bone repair and remodeling. The differentiation of these cells is a complex multistep pathway that involves discrete cellular transitions and is similar to that which occurs during hematopoiesis. MSCs have self-renewal capacity without differentiation in long-term culture. In the present study, MSCs were isolated from human bone marrow and characterized by the presence of cluster of differentiation 105 marker using the labeled streptavidin biotin method. The MSCs were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium supplemented with fetal bovine serum, ascorbic acid, β-glycerol phosphate and dexamethasone to differentiate into osteoblasts. Biological in vitro analysis showed the rapid proliferation of the MSCs. Further evaluation of specific osteogenic markers using von Kossa staining and the alkaline phosphate assay demonstrated that the MSCs were stimulated to differentiate into osteoblast-lineage cells. This mesengenic potential indicated that the bone marrow-derived cells were multipotent MSCs. The findings of this study show that bone marrow can be a legitimate source of MSCs for the production of osteoblasts for utilization in bone replacement therapy.
PMCID: PMC4473366  PMID: 26136960
bone marrow; cell differentiation; mesenchymal stem cell; osteoblast
14.  In vivo antitumor and antimetastatic effects of flavokawain B in 4T1 breast cancer cell-challenged mice 
Flavokawain B (FKB) is a naturally occurring chalcone that can be isolated through the root extracts of the kava-kava plant (Piper methysticum). It can also be synthesized chemically to increase the yield. This compound is a promising candidate as a biological agent, as it is reported to be involved in a wide range of biological activities. Furthermore, FKB was reported to have antitumorigenic effects in several cancer cell lines in vitro. However, the in vivo antitumor effects of FKB have not been reported on yet. Breast cancer is one of the major causes of cancer-related deaths in the world today. Any potential treatment should not only impede the growth of the tumor, but also modulate the immune system efficiently and inhibit the formation of secondary tumors. As presented in our study, FKB induced apoptosis in 4T1 tumors in vivo, as evidenced by the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling and hematoxylin and eosin staining of the tumor. FKB also regulated the immune system by increasing both helper and cytolytic T-cell and natural killer cell populations. In addition, FKB also enhanced the levels of interleukin 2 and interferon gamma but suppressed interleukin 1B. Apart from that, FKB was also found to inhibit metastasis, as evaluated by clonogenic assay, bone marrow smearing assay, real-time polymerase chain reaction, Western blot, and proteome profiler analysis. All in all, FKB may serve as a promising anticancer agent, especially in treating breast cancer.
PMCID: PMC4358690  PMID: 25834398
flavokawain B; kava-kava; 4T1; cancer; metastasis
15.  Antileukemic effect of zerumbone-loaded nanostructured lipid carrier in WEHI-3B cell-induced murine leukemia model 
Cancer nanotherapy is progressing rapidly with the introduction of many innovative drug delivery systems to replace conventional therapy. Although the antitumor activity of zerumbone (ZER) has been reported, there has been no information available on the effect of ZER-loaded nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) (ZER-NLC) on murine leukemia cells. In this study, the in vitro and in vivo effects of ZER-NLC on murine leukemia induced with WEHI-3B cells were investigated. The results from 3-[4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl]-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide, Hoechst 33342, Annexin V, cell cycle, and caspase activity assays showed that the growth of leukemia cells in vitro was inhibited by ZER-NLC. In addition, outcomes of histopathology, transmission electron microscopy, and Tdt-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling analyses revealed that the number of leukemia cells in the spleen of BALB/c leukemia mice significantly decreased after 4 weeks of oral treatment with various doses of ZER-NLC. Western blotting and reverse-transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays confirmed the antileukemia effects of ZER-NLC. In conclusion, ZER-NLC was shown to induce a mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic pathway in murine leukemia. Loading of ZER in NLC did not compromise the anticancer effect of the compound, suggesting ZER-NLC as a promising and effective delivery system for treatment of cancers.
PMCID: PMC4354694  PMID: 25767386
zerumbone-loaded nanostructured lipid carrier; leukemia; WEHI-3B cells; BALB/c mice; apoptosis; mitochondrial pathway
16.  Cytotoxic Effects of Biosynthesized Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Murine Cell Lines 
The aim of this study is to evaluate the in vitro cytotoxic activity and cellular effects of previously prepared ZnO-NPs on murine cancer cell lines using brown seaweed (Sargassum muticum) aqueous extract. Treated cancer cells with ZnO-NPs for 72 hours demonstrated various levels of cytotoxicity based on calculated IC50 values using MTT assay as follows: 21.7 ± 1.3 μg/mL (4T1), 17.45 ± 1.1 μg/mL (CRL-1451), 11.75 ± 0.8 μg/mL (CT-26), and 5.6 ± 0.55 μg/mL (WEHI-3B), respectively. On the other hand, ZnO-NPs treatments for 72 hours showed no toxicity against normal mouse fibroblast (3T3) cell line. On the other hand, paclitaxel, which imposed an inhibitory effect on WEHI-3B cells with IC50 of 2.25 ± 0.4, 1.17 ± 0.5, and 1.6 ± 0.09 μg/mL after 24, 48, and 72 hours treatment, respectively, was used as positive control. Furthermore, distinct morphological changes were found by utilizing fluorescent dyes; apoptotic population was increased via flowcytometry, while a cell cycle block and stimulation of apoptotic proteins were also observed. Additionally, the present study showed that the caspase activations contributed to ZnO-NPs triggered apoptotic death in WEHI-3 cells. Thus, the nature of biosynthesis and the therapeutic potential of ZnO-NPs could prepare the way for further research on the design of green synthesis therapeutic agents, particularly in nanomedicine, for the treatment of cancer.
PMCID: PMC4345278  PMID: 25784947
17.  Antioxidant effects of pineapple vinegar in reversing of paracetamol-induced liver damage in mice 
Chinese Medicine  2015;10:3.
Pineapple (Ananas comosus) was demonstrated to be hepatoprotective. This study aims to investigate the reversing effects of pineapple vinegar on paracetamol-induced liver damage in murine model.
Pineapple juice was fermented via anaerobic and aerobic fermentation to produce pineapple vinegar. Male BALB/c mice (n = 70) were separated into 7 treatment groups (n = 10). Pineapple vinegar (0.08 and 2 mL/kg BW) and synthetic vinegar were used to treat paracetamol-induced liver damage in mice. The hepatoprotective effects were determined by serum biochemistry profiles (aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and triglyceride (TG)), liver antioxidant levels (ferric-reducing ability plasma (FRAP), superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), nitric oxide (NO), and reduced glutathione assays (GSH)) and histopathological examination with hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The effects were further evaluated by the expression levels of iNOS, NF-κB, and cytochrome P450 2E1 by quantitative real-time PCR and Western blot analyses. Vinegar samples were also tested for in vitro antioxidant (FRAP, 2,2-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), and total phenolic content (TPC)). Soluble phenolic acid contents in the samples were identified by HPLC.
Pineapple vinegar contained 169.67 ± 0.05 μg GAE/mL of TPC, with 862.61 ± 4.38 μg/mL gallic acid as the main component. Oral administration of pineapple vinegar at 2 mL/kg BW reduced serum enzyme biomarker levels, including AST (P = 0.008), ALT (P = 0.006), ALP (P= 0.002), and TG (P = 0.006) after 7 days of paracetamol treatment. Liver antioxidant levels such as hepatic glutathione (P = 0.003), SOD (P < 0.001), lipid peroxidation (P = 0.002) and FRAP (P <0.001) were restored after the treatment. Pineapple vinegar reduced the expressions of iNOS (P = 0.003) and NF-kB (P = 0.003) and the level of NO (P = 0.003) significantly. Pineapple vinegar also downregulated liver cytochrome P450 protein expression.
Oral administration of pineapple vinegar at 0.08 and 2 mL/kg BW reduced serum enzyme biomarker levels, restored liver antioxidant levels, reduced inflammatory factor expressions, and down regulated liver cytochrome P450 protein expression in paracetamol-induced liver damage in mice.
PMCID: PMC4333164  PMID: 25699088
18.  Nordamnacanthal potentiates the cytotoxic effects of tamoxifen in human breast cancer cells 
Oncology Letters  2014;9(1):335-340.
Tamoxifen (TAM) is the mainline drug treatment for breast cancer, despite its side effects and the development of resistance. As an alternative approach, in the present study a novel combination therapy was established through combining TAM with nordamnacanthal (NDAM) in order to investigate the additive effect of these drugs in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells. A significant dose-dependent reduction in cell viability and an increase in apoptosis were observed in the MCF-7 cells cotreated with TAM and NDAM compared with the untreated control cells or the cells treated with TAM and NDAM alone (P<0.05). The cytotoxic influence of the combination of TAM and NDAM was found to be two-fold that of the individual agents. Annexin V/propidium iodide double-staining revealed the typical nuclear features of apoptosis. Furthermore, an increase in the proportion of apoptotic, Annexin V-positive cells was observed with the combination therapy. Moreover, this apoptotic induction was associated with a collapse of the mitochondrial membrane potential and the generation of reactive oxygen species. To the best of our knowledge, the findings of the present study are the first to suggest that combining TAM with NDAM may be a potential combination therapy for the treatment of breast cancer and may have the potential to minimize or eliminate the side effects associated with high doses of TAM.
PMCID: PMC4247001  PMID: 25435988
tamoxifen; nordamnacanthal; MCF-7; breast cancer; combination treatment; apoptosis
19.  Antistress and antioxidant effects of virgin coconut oil in vivo 
Virgin coconut oil (VCO) has been consumed worldwide for various health-related reasons and some of its benefits have been scientifically evaluated. Medium-chain fatty acids were found to be a potential antidepressant functional food; however, this effect had not been evaluated in VCO, which is rich in polyphenols and medium-chain fatty acids. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antistress and antioxidant effects of VCO in vivo, using mice with stress-induced injury. The antistress effect of VCO (administered per os, at a dose of 10 ml/kg body weight) was evaluated using the forced swim test and chronic cold restraint stress models. VCO was able to reduce immobility time and restore oxidative stress in mice post-swim test. Furthermore, mice treated with VCO were found to exhibit higher levels of brain antioxidants, lower levels of brain 5-hydroxytryptamine and reduced weight of the adrenal glands. Consequently, the serum cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose and corticosterone levels were also lower in VCO-treated mice. These results suggest the potential value of VCO as an antistress functional oil.
PMCID: PMC4247320  PMID: 25452773
antioxidant; depression; medium-chain fatty acids
20.  Flavokawain A Induces Apoptosis in MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 and Inhibits the Metastatic Process In Vitro 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(10):e105244.
The kava-kava plant (Piper methsyticum) is traditionally known as the pacific elixir by the pacific islanders for its role in a wide range of biological activities. The extract of the roots of this plant contains a variety of interesting molecules including Flavokawain A and this molecule is known to have anti-cancer properties. Breast cancer is still one of the leading diagnosed cancers in women today. The metastatic process is also very pertinent in the progression of tumorigenesis.
MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 cells were treated with several concentrations of FKA. The apoptotic analysis was done through the MTT assay, BrdU assay, Annexin V analysis, cell cycle analysis, JC-1 mitochondrial dye, AO/PI dual staining, caspase 8/9 fluorometric assay, quantitative real time PCR and western blot. For the metastatic assays, the in vitro scratch assay, trans-well migration/invasion assay, HUVEC tube formation assay, ex vivo rat aortic ring assay, quantitative real time PCR and western blot were employed.
We have investigated the effects of FKA on the apoptotic and metastatic process in two breast cancer cell lines. FKA induces apoptosis in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB231 in a dose dependent manner through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway. Additionally, FKA selectively induces a G2/M arrest in the cell cycle machinery of MDA-MB231 and G1 arrest in MCF-7. This suggests that FKA's anti-cancer activity is dependent on the p53 status. Moreover, FKA also halted the migration and invasion process in MDA-MB231. The similar effects can be seen in the inhibition of the angiogenesis process as well.
FKA managed to induce apoptosis and inhibit the metastatic process in two breast cancer cell lines, in vitro. Overall, FKA may serve as a promising candidate in the search of a new anti-cancer drug especially in halting the metastatic process but further in vivo evidence is needed.
PMCID: PMC4186755  PMID: 25286005
21.  Acute Toxicity Study of Zerumbone-Loaded Nanostructured Lipid Carrier on BALB/c Mice Model 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:563930.
Zerumbone- (ZER-) loaded nanostructure lipid carrier (NLC) (ZER-NLC) prepared for its antileukemia effect in vitro was evaluated for its toxicological effects by observing changes in the liver, kidney, spleen, lung, heart, and brain tissues, serum biochemical parameters, total haemogram, and bone marrow stem cells. The acute toxicity study for ZER-NLC was conducted by orally treating BALB/c mice with a single dose with either water, olive oil, ZER, NLC, or ZER-NLC for 14 days. The animals were observed for clinical and behavioral abnormalities, toxicological symptoms, feed consumption, and gross appearance. The liver, kidney, heart, lung, spleen, and brain tissues were assessed histologically. Total haemogram was counted by hemocytometry and microhematocrit reader. Bone marrow examination in terms of cellular morphology was done by Wright staining with bone marrow smear. Furthermore, serum biochemical parameters were determined spectrophotometrically. Grossly all treated mice, their investigated tissues, serum biochemical parameters, total haemogram, and bone marrow were normal. At oral doses of 100 and 200 mg/kg ZER-NLC there was no sign of toxicity or mortality in BALB/c mice. This study suggests that the 50% lethal dose (LD50) of ZER-NLC is higher than 200 mg/kg, thus, safe by oral administration.
PMCID: PMC4172924  PMID: 25276798
22.  Anti-Inflammatory and Antinociceptive Activities of Untreated, Germinated, and Fermented Mung Bean Aqueous Extract 
Evaluation of anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities of untreated mung bean (MB), germinated mung bean (GMB), and fermented mung bean (FMB) was performed on both in vitro (inhibition of inflammatory mediator, nitric oxide(NO)) and in vivo (inhibition of ear oedema and reduction of response to pain stimulus) studies. Results showed that both GMB and FMB aqueous extract exhibited potent anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive activities in a dose-dependent manner. In vitro results showed that GMB and FMB were potent inflammatory mediator (NO) inhibitors at both 2.5 and 5 mg/mL. Further in vivo studies showed that GMB and FMB aqueous extract at 1000 mg/kg can significantly reduce ear oedema in mice caused by arachidonic acid. Besides, both 200 mg/kg and 1000 mg/kg concentrations of GMB and FMB were found to exhibit potent antinociceptive effects towards hotplate induced pain. With these, it can be concluded that GMB and FMB aqueous extract exhibited potential anti-inflammatory and antinociceptive effects.
PMCID: PMC4089844  PMID: 25045389
23.  Induction of cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in caspase-3 deficient MCF-7 cells by Dillenia suffruticosa root extract via multiple signalling pathways 
Dillenia suffruticosa root dichloromethane extract (DCM-DS) has been reported to exhibit strong cytotoxicity towards breast cancer cells. The present study was designed to investigate the cell cycle profile, mode of cell death and signalling pathways of DCM-DS-treated human caspase-3 deficient MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
Dillenia suffruticosa root was extracted by sequential solvent extraction. The anti-proliferative activity of DCM-DS was determined by using MTT assay. The mode of cell death was evaluated by using inverted light microscope and Annexin-V/PI-flow cytometry analysis. Cell cycle analysis and measurement of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) were performed by using flow cytometry. MCF-7 cells were co-treated with antioxidants α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid to evaluate whether the cell death was mainly due to oxidative stress. GeXP-based multiplex system was employed to investigate the expression of apoptotic, growth and survival genes in MCF-7 cells. Western blot analysis was performed to confirm the expression of the genes.
DCM-DS was cytotoxic to the MCF-7 cells in a time-and dose-dependent manner. The IC50 values of DCM-DS at 24, 48 and 72 hours were 20.3 ± 2.8, 17.8 ± 1.5 and 15.5 ± 0.5 μg/mL, respectively. Cell cycle analysis revealed that DCM-DS induced G0/G1 and G2/M phase cell cycle arrest in MCF-7 cells at low concentration (12.5 and 25 μg/mL) and high concentration (50 μg/mL), respectively. Although Annexin-V/PI-flow cytometry analysis has confirmed that DCM-DS induced apoptosis in MCF-7 cells, the distinct characteristics of apoptosis such as membrane blebbing, chromatin condensation, nuclear fragmentation and formation of apoptotic bodies were not observed under microscope. DCM-DS induced formation of ROS in MCF-7 cells. Nevertheless, co-treatment with antioxidants did not attenuate the cell death at low concentration of DCM-DS. The pro-apoptotic gene JNK was up-regulated whereby anti-apoptotic genes AKT1 and ERK1/2 were down-regulated in a dose-dependent manner. Western blot analysis has confirmed that DCM-DS significantly up-regulated the expression of pro-apoptotic JNK1, pJNK and down-regulated anti-apoptotic AKT1, ERK1 in MCF-7 cells.
DCM-DS induced cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in MCF-7 cells via multiple signalling pathways. It shows the potential of DCM-DS to be developed to target the cancer cells with mutant caspase-3.
PMCID: PMC4096536  PMID: 24947113
Dillenia suffruticosa; Dichloromethane extract; Cell cycle; Apoptosis; Oxidative stress
24.  Biomedical Properties of a Natural Dietary Plant Metabolite, Zerumbone, in Cancer Therapy and Chemoprevention Trials 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:920742.
Zerumbone (ZER) is a naturally occurring dietary compound, present in many natural foods consumed today. The compound derived from several plant species of the Zingiberaceae family that has been found to possess multiple biomedical properties, such as antiproliferative, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities. However, evidence of efficacy is sparse, pointing to the need for a more systematic review for assessing scientific evidence to support therapeutic claims made for ZER and to identify future research needs. This review provides an updated overview of in vitro and in vivo investigations of ZER, its cancer chemopreventive properties, and mechanisms of action. Therapeutic effects of ZER were found to be scientifically plausible and could be explained partially by in vivo and in vitro pharmacological activities. Much of the research outlined in this paper will serve as a foundation to explain ZER anticancer bioactivity, which will open the door for the development of strategies in the treatment of malignancies using ZER.
PMCID: PMC4082908  PMID: 25025076
25.  Application of PCR-ELISA in Molecular Diagnosis 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:653014.
Polymerase chain reaction-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (PCR-ELISA) is an immunodetection method that can quantify PCR product directly after immobilization of biotinylated DNA on a microplate. This method, which detects nucleic acid instead of protein, is a much more sensitive method compared to conventional PCR method, with shorter analytical time and lower detection limit. Its high specificity and sensitivity, together with its semiquantitative ability, give it a huge potential to serve as a powerful detection tool in various industries such as medical, veterinary, and agricultural industries. With the recent advances in PCR-ELISA, it is envisaged that the assay is more widely recognized for its fast and sensitive detection limit which could improve overall diagnostic time and quality.
PMCID: PMC4058250  PMID: 24971343

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