(1/12) Dynamics of a mutualism in a multi-species context.

Despite recent findings that mutualistic interactions between two species may be greatly affected by species external to the mutualism, the implications of such multi-species interactions for the population dynamics of the mutualists are virtually unexplored. In this paper, we ask how the mutualism between the shoot-base boring weevil Apion onopordi and the rust fungus Puccinia punctiformis is influenced by the dynamics of their shared host plant Cirsium arvense, and vice versa. In particular, we hypothesized that the distribution of the weevil's egg load between healthy and rust-infected thistles may regulate the abundance of the mutualists and their host plant. In contrast to our expectations we found that the dynamics of the mutualists are largely determined by the dynamics of their host. This is, to our knowledge, the first demonstration that the dynamics of a mutualism are driven by a third, non-mutualistic species.  (+info)

(2/12) Flavonoid compounds from the flowers of Cirsium rivulare (Jacq.) All.

Seven flavonoid compounds: tricin, apigenin, luteolin, hispidulin, acacetin 7-O-beta-D-rutinoside (linarin), apigenin 7-O-beta-D-glucuronide and apigenin 7-O-beta-D-glucoside were isolated from the flowers of Cirsium rivulare (Jacq.) All. Their structure were determined by chemical and spectroscopic methods (UV, 1H NMR, 13C NMR) and comparison data of the literature. Six of them were isolated for the first time from this plant.  (+info)

(3/12) Genome size variation in Central European species of Cirsium (Compositae) and their natural hybrids.

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Nuclear DNA amounts of 12 diploid and one tetraploid taxa and 12 natural interspecific hybrids of Cirsium from 102 populations in the Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary were estimated. METHODS: DAPI and PI flow cytometry were used. KEY RESULTS: 2C-values of diploid (2n = 34) species varied from 2.14 pg in C. heterophyllum to 3.60 pg in C. eriophorum (1.68-fold difference); the 2C value for the tetraploid C. vulgare was estimated at 5.54 pg. The DNA contents of hybrids were located between the values of their putative parents, although usually closer to the species with the smaller genome. Biennial species of Cirsium possessed larger nuclear DNA amounts than their perennial relatives. Genome size was negatively correlated with Ellenberg's indicator values for continentality and moisture and with eastern limits of distribution. A negative relationship was also detected between the genome size and the tendency to form natural interspecific hybrids. On the contrary, C-values positively corresponded with the spinyness (degree of spinosity). AT frequency ranged from 48.38 % in C. eriophorum to 51.75 % in C. arvense. Significant intraspecific DNA content variation in DAPI sessions was detected in C. acaule (probably due to the presence of B-chromosomes), and in tetraploid C. vulgare. Only the diploid level was confirmed for the Pannonian C. brachycephalum, generally considered to be tetraploid. In addition, triploidy was discovered for the first time in C. rivulare. CONCLUSIONS: Considerable differences in nuclear DNA content exist among Central European species of Cirsium on the diploid level. Perennial soft spiny Cirsium species of wet habitats and continental distributions generally have smaller genomes. The hybrids of diploid species remain diploid, and their DNA content is smaller than the mean of the parents. Species with smaller genomes produce interspecific hybrids more frequently.  (+info)

(4/12) Pectolinarin and Pectolinarigenin of Cirsium setidens Prevent the Hepatic Injury in Rats Caused by D-Galactosamine via an Antioxidant Mechanism.

To identify the hepatoprotective component from the leaves of Cirsium setidens (Compositae), the methanolic extract was divided into two fractions, chloroform and butanol fractions, and their hepatoprotective efficacy was evaluated in a rat model of hepatic injury caused by D-galactosamine (GalN). Hepatoprotective activity was measured by the activity of serum aspartate transaminase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Glutathione metabolism was measured via biochemical parameters such as glutathione (GSH), glutathione reductase (GR), gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS), glutathione S-transferase (GST), and superoxide dismutase (SOD) levels. We subjected the butanol fraction, which had higher activity, to column chromatography to yield pectolinarin, which was further hydrolyzed to yield pectolinarigenin. Administration (10, 20 mg/kg, p.o.) of the main flavonoid glycoside component, pectolinarin, and its aglycone, pectolinarigenin, for 2 weeks significantly decreased the activity levels of AST, ALT, ALP and LDH, indicating that the two compounds have hepatoprotective activity. Pectolinarin and pectolinarigenin also increased activity levels of GSH, GR, GCS, and GST, as well as SOD. The significant effect was only seen in SOD activity. This suggests that the two components exhibit hepatoprotective activity mainly via SOD antioxidant mechanism.  (+info)

(5/12) Anti-inflammatory activity of pectolinarigenin and pectolinarin isolated from Cirsium chanroenicum.

In order to identify the active anti-inflammatory ingredient(s) in Cirsium chanroenicum (Compositae), its methanol extract and several solvent fractions were prepared; the methanol extract and the ethylacetate fraction inhibited cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-mediated prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)-mediated leukotriene (LT) production in lipopolysaccharide-treated RAW 264.7 cells and A23187-treated rat basophilic leukemia (RBL-1) cells, respectively. Further bioactivity-guided fractionation of the ethylacetate fraction using column chromatography led to the isolation of pectolinarigenin (5,7-dihydroxy-4',6-dimethoxyflavone), along with pectolinarin [pectolinarigenin 7-rhamnosyl-(1-->6)-glucoside]. Pectolinarigenin strongly inhibited COX-2-mediated PGE2 and 5-LOX-mediated LT production at >1 microM, indicating that it is a dual inhibitor of COX-2/5-LOX. However, pectolinarigenin did not affect COX-2 expression or nuclear transcription factor (NF-kappaB) activation. In addition, in vivo studies demonstrated that oral administration of these two compounds at 20-100 mg/kg resulted in similar inhibitory activities against several animal models of inflammation/allergy: arachidonic acid-induced mouse ear edema, carrageenan-induced mouse paw edema and passive cutaneous anaphylaxis. All of these results suggest that pectolinarigenin and pectolinarin possess anti-inflammatory activity and that they may inhibit eicosanoid formation in inflammatory lesions. These activities certainly contribute to the anti-inflammatory mechanism of C. chanroenicum.  (+info)

(6/12) Body fat mass reduction and up-regulation of uncoupling protein by novel lipolysis-promoting plant extract.

We have found natural products exhibiting lipolysis-promoting activity in subcutaneous adipocytes, which are less sensitive to hormones than visceral adipocytes. The activities and a action mechanisms of a novel plant extract of Cirsium oligophyllum (CE) were investigated in isolated adipocytes from rat subcutaneous fat, and its fat-reducing effects by peroral administration and topical application were evaluated in vivo. CE-induced lipolysis was synergistically enhanced by caffeine, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor, and was reduced by propranolol, a beta adrenergic antagonist. The peroral administration of 10% CE solution to Wistar rats for 32 days reduced body weight gain, subcutaneous, and visceral fat weights by 6.6, 26.2, and 3.0%, respectively, as compared to the control group. By the topical application of 2% of this extract to rats for 7 days, weight of subcutaneous fat in the treated skin was reduced by 23.2%. This fat mass reduction was accompanied by the up-regulation of uncoupling protein 1 (UCP), a principal thermogenic mitochondrial molecule related to energy dissipating, in subcutaneous fat and UCP3 in skin except for the fat layer. These results indicate that CE promotes lipolysis via a mechanism involving the beta adrenergic receptor, and affects the body fat mass. This fat reduction may be partially due to UCP up-regulation in the skin including subcutaneous fat. This is the first report showing that repeated lipolysis promotion through CE administration may be beneficial for the systematic suppression of body fat accumulation or the control of fat distribution in obesity.  (+info)

(7/12) Performance of host-races of the fruit fly, Tephritis conura on a derived host plant, the cabbage thistle Cirsium oleraceum: implications for the original host shift.


(8/12) Cirsium japonicum flavones enhance adipocyte differentiation and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells.

Cirsium japonicum flavones have been demonstrated to possess anti-diabetic effects in diabetic rats, but the functional mechanism remains unknown. The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) plays an important role in glucose and lipid homeostasis. In this study, we report the effects of Cirsium japonicum flavones (pectolinarin and 5,7-dihydroxy-6,4-dimethoxy flavone) on PPARgamma activation, adipocyte differentiation, and glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells. Reporter gene assays and Oil Red O staining showed that Cirsium japonicum flavones induced PPARgamma activation and enhanced adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, Cirsium japonicum flavones increased the expression of PPARgamma target genes, such as adiponectin and glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), and enhanced the translocation of intracellular GLUT4 to the plasma membrane. In mature 3T3-L1 adipocytes, Cirsium japonicum flavones significantly enhanced the basal and insulin-stimulated glucose uptake. The flavones-induced effects in 3T3-L1 cells were abolished by the PPARgamma antagonist, GW9662, and by the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor, wortmannin. This study suggests that Cirsium japonicum flavones promote adipocyte differentiation and glucose uptake by inducing PPARgamma activation and then modulating the insulin signaling pathway in some way, which could benefit diabetes patients.  (+info)