Nitric oxide inhibits cardiac energy production via inhibition of mitochondrial creatine kinase. (1/1244)

Nitric oxide biosynthesis in cardiac muscle leads to a decreased oxygen consumption and lower ATP synthesis. It is suggested that this effect of nitric oxide is mainly due to the inhibition of the mitochondrial respiratory chain enzyme, cytochrome c oxidase. However, this work demonstrates that nitric oxide is able to inhibit soluble mitochondrial creatine kinase (CK), mitochondrial CK bound in purified mitochondria, CK in situ in skinned fibres as well as the functional activity of mitochondrial CK in situ in skinned fibres. Since mitochondrial isoenzyme is functionally coupled to oxidative phosphorylation, its inhibition also leads to decreased sensitivity of mitochondrial respiration to ADP and thus decreases ATP synthesis and oxygen consumption under physiological ADP concentrations.  (+info)

Comparison of synthetic saponin cholesterol absorption inhibitors in rabbits: evidence for a non-stoichiometric, intestinal mechanism of action. (2/1244)

The hypocholesterolemic activities of pamaqueside and tiqueside, two structurally similar saponins, were evaluated in cholesterol-fed rabbits. The pharmacological profiles of the saponins were virtually identical: both dose-dependently decreased the intestinal absorption of labeled cholesterol 25-75%, increased fecal neutral sterol excretion up to 2.5-fold, and decreased hepatic cholesterol content 10-55%. High doses of pamaqueside (>5 mg/kg) or tiqueside (>125 mg/kg) completely prevented hypercholesterolemia. Decreases in plasma and hepatic cholesterol levels were strongly correlated with increased neutral sterol excretion. Ratios of neutral sterol excreted to pamaqueside administered were greater than 1:1 at all doses, in opposition to the formation of a stoichiometric complex previously suggested for tiqueside and other saponins. Ratios in tiqueside-treated rabbits were less than unity, a reflection of its lower potency. Pamaqueside-treated rabbits exhibited a more rapid decline in plasma cholesterol concentrations than control animals fed a cholesterol-free diet, indicating that the compound also inhibited the absorption of biliary cholesterol. Intravenous administration of pamaqueside had no effect on plasma cholesterol levels despite plasma levels twice those observed in rabbits given pamaqueside orally. These data indicate that pamaqueside and tiqueside induce hypocholesterolemia by blocking lumenal cholesterol absorption via a mechanism that apparently differs from the stoichiometric complexation of cholesterol hypothesized for other saponins.  (+info)

Extraction and analysis of cosmetic active ingredients from an anti-cellulitis transdermal delivery system by high-performance liquid chromatography. (3/1244)

A new transdermal delivery system that controls cellulitis is evaluated using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detection. An extraction procedure and the validation of the analytical method to assay the active excipients from the Centella asiatica plant (asiaticoside, madacessic acid, and asiatic acid) are described. Excellent results ae obtained in terms of linearity, accuracy, and specificity of the analytical method.  (+info)

Effect of alpha-hederin on hepatic detoxifying systems in mice. (4/1244)

AIM: To examine whether alpha-hederin (Hed) modulates hepatic detoxifying systems as a means of hepatoprotection. METHODS: Mice were injected Hed 10 and 30 sc for 3 d, and liver cytosols were prepared 24 h after the last dose to study antioxidant enzymes and nonenzymatic defense components. RESULTS: Hed increased liver glutathione (GSH) content (20%), but had no effect on GSH peroxidase, GSH reductase, and GSH S-transferase. The activities of superoxide dismutase and quinone reductase were unaffected by Hed treatment. At the high dose of Hed, catalase activity was decreased by 20%. Hepatic content of metallothionein was dramatically increased (50-fold), along with elevations of hepatic Zn and Cu concentrations (25%-80%). Hed also increased ascorbic acid concentration (20%), but no effect on alpha-tocopherol in liver. CONCLUSION: Hed enhanced some nonenzymatic antioxidant components in liver, which play a partial role in Hed protection against hepatotoxicity produced by some chemicals.  (+info)

Effect of saponins of Panax notoginseng on synaptosomal 45Ca uptake. (5/1244)

AIM: To explore the calcium uptake antagonism of saponins of Panax notoginseng (PNS). METHODS: Synaptosomes were prepared from rat cerebral cortex by using differential Ficoll gradients. The effects of PNS on synaptosomal 45Ca uptake were measured in vitro or after acute treatment. RESULTS: PNS 50-800 mg.L-1 produced a concentration-rated inhibition of Ca2+ uptake [IC50 = 111 (46-176) mg.L-1]. Both initial and maximal uptake were inhibited. Similar effect was obtained after acute PNS treatment with 200 i.p. The blocking effect of PNS was reversed by calcium in media. CONCLUSION: PNS is a calcium channel blocker in neurons.  (+info)

Novel techniques for in vivo hemolysis studies in guinea pigs. (6/1244)

The in vivo toxic-hemolytic studies using small experimental animals are complicated by difficulties in preventing hemolysis during repeated collection of blood specimens and in measuring hemoglobin concentration in small amounts of plasma sample. To solve these problems we tried to develope the new techniques for the in vivo hemolysis studies using guinea pigs. The hemolysis accident was minimized to 2.75 mg/dl by collecting the blood directly into heparinized microhematocrit tubes by small longitudinal incision in the auricular artery. The hemoglobin in a small amount of sample (10 microliters) was determined by the new analytical system using a microflow spectrophotometer with a modified cyanmethemoglobin method. The standard curve of the hemoglobin concentration in the system revealed a line of Y = 1.8X + 0.79 (r = 0.999), CV < 1% with a minimum detectable concentration of 1.25 mg/dl. By using the new techniques, it was found that the plasma hemoglobin concentration in normal animals were 7.27 +/- 0.44 mg/dl (mean +/- S.E.). The in vivo hemolytic activity of saponin was observed dose-dependently at doses of 30-50 mg/kg, i.v. in the guinea pigs. It is concluded that the present techniques are useful for in vivo hemolytic studies in small experimental animals such as guinea pigs.  (+info)

The hemolytic activity of bracken extracts in guinea pigs. (7/1244)

This study was conducted to elucidate the hemolytic activity of a new toxic substance in bracken fern. A crude extract (CE) was prepared from the methanol extracts of bracken by the column chromatography. When the CE was injected subcutaneously in guinea pigs, the hemoglobinuria and hemolysis were observed within 6 hr, and 3 days later edema and hemorrhages in the urinary bladder were observed. The CE was then fractionated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and three (HF, BF and CF) of the fractions showed the toxic activities in guinea pigs. The HF caused the hemolysis, whereas both the BF and the CF caused the hemorrhagic cystitis without any hemolytic activities. The HF was further fractionated by the HPLC, resulting of the 3 fractions (HF-I, II and III). The hemolysis was caused only with the HF-II, and HF-II as well as HF did not cause the hemorrhagic cystitis. HPLC analysis revealed that both BF and CF contains braxin B and braxin C, respectively, and both HF and HF-II do not contain braxin A, B or C. These facts suggest that bracken fern contains a new toxic substance (hemolysin) which induces the acute hemolysis in guinea pigs.  (+info)

Immune-stimulating complexes induce an IL-12-dependent cascade of innate immune responses. (8/1244)

The development of subunit vaccines requires the use of adjuvants that act by stimulating components of the innate immune response. Immune-stimulating complexes (ISCOMS) containing the saponin adjuvant Quil A are potential vaccine vectors that induce a wide range of Ag-specific responses in vivo encompassing both humoral and CD4 and CD8 cell-mediated immune responses. ISCOMS are active by both parenteral and mucosal routes, but the basis for their adjuvant properties is unknown. Here we have investigated the ability of ISCOMS to recruit and activate innate immune responses as measured in peritoneal exudate cells. The i.p. injection of ISCOMS induced intense local inflammation, with early recruitment of neutrophils and mast cells followed by macrophages, dendritic cells, and lymphocytes. Many of the recruited cells had phenotypic evidence of activation and secreted a number of inflammatory mediators, including nitric oxide, reactive oxygen intermediates, IL-1, IL-6, IL-12, and IFN-gamma. Of the factors that we investigated further only IL-12 appeared to be essential for the immunogenicity of ISCOMS, as IL-6- and inducible nitric oxide synthase knockout (KO) mice developed normal immune responses to OVA in ISCOMS, whereas these responses were markedly reduced in IL-12KO mice. The recruitment of peritoneal exudate cells following an injection of ISCOMS was impaired in IL-12KO mice, indicating a role for IL-12 in establishing the proinflammatory cascade. Thus, ISCOMS prime Ag-specific immune responses at least in part by activating IL-12-dependent aspects of the innate immune system.  (+info)