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High-fat/high-sucrose diet results in higher bone mass in aged rats.

Intake of high-fat/high-sucrose (HFS) diet or high fat diet influences bone metabolism in young rodents, but its effects on bone properties of aged rodents still remain unclear. This study aimed to examine the effects of HFS diet intake on trabecular bone architecture (TBA) and cortical bone geometry (CBG) in aged rats. Fifteen male Wistar rats over 1 year were randomly divided into two groups. One group was fed a standard laboratory diet (SLD) and the other group was fed a HFS diet for six months. The femur/tibia, obtained from both groups at the end of experimental period, were scanned by micro-computed tomography for TBA/CBG analyses. Serum biochemical analyses were also conducted. Body weight was significantly higher in the HFS group than in the SLD group. In both femur and tibia, the HFS group showed higher trabecular/cortical bone mass in reference to bone mineral content, volume bone mineral density and TBA/CBG parameters compared with the SLD group. In addition, serum calcium, inorganic phosphorus, total protein, triacylglycerol, HDL and TRACP-5b levels were significantly higher in the HFS group than in the SLD group. There were good correlations between body weight and bone parameters in the femur and tibia. These results suggest that HFS diet intake results in higher bone mass in aged rats. Such effects of HFS diet intake might have been induced by increased body weight.

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Abrogation of carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity in Sprague-Dawley rats by Ajwa date fruit extract through ameliorating oxidative stress and apoptosis.

Ajwa, a variety of date palme Phoenix dactylifera L., has long been used and considered as one of the most popular fruits in the North Africa and Middle East region. For Muslims this fruit is of religious importance and is mentioned several times in Quran. Besides being a part of the Arabian essential diet, dates have been used traditionally for number of complications. This study aimed to evaluate the possible potential of Ajwa date extract to guard against carbon tetrachloride (CCL4)-induced liver damage in rats. Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were given Ajwa date extract and silymarin (a standard reference drug) at doses of 300 & 50mg/kg, p.o., respectively for 2 weeks before CCl4 (2 ml/kg, s. c., twice weekly for 8 consecutive weeks), and concomitantly administered with CCl4 for 8 consecutive weeks. Like silymarin, Ajwa date extract produced significant decrease in serum levels of alanine transaminase (ALT), aspartate transaminase (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), total cholesterol, triglycerides (TG) and LDL-cholesterol as well as lipid peroxides measured as malondialdehyde (MDA), hydroxyproline and caspase-3 contents of liver tissue with marked increase in serum albumin, HDL-cholesterol and reduced glutathione (GSH) content as well as enzyme activities of super oxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione-S-transferase (GST). In conclusion, Ajwa date extract afforded significant protection against CCl4-induced hepatocellular injury; an effect that could be attributed to its antioxidant, antiapoptotic and antifibrotic activities.

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Defective insulin signaling and the protective effects of dimethyldiguanide during follicular development in the ovaries of polycystic ovary syndrome.

It is established that the physiological effects of insulin are primarily mediated by the insulin signaling pathway. However, a defective insulin signaling is closely associated with the clinical manifestations of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), which include excess androgen levels, insulin resistance and anovulation, and is involved in the pathophysiology of PCOS at the molecular level. Dimethyldiguanide (DMBG) has been widely employed to alleviate reproduction dysfunction in women with PCOS, however, the exact mechanism of this effect remains unclear. The objective of the present study was to investigate the effects of DMBG on the expression of the insulin signaling pathway in the ovaries of rats with PCOS, and to identify the potential underlying molecular mechanisms of these effects in PCOS. In the present study, a PCOS rat model was induced by letrozole, and successful establishment of the model was confirmed by examining ovarian histology and determining serum testosterone levels, by hematoxylin and eosin staining and ELISA, respectively. Subsequently, the expression of two key elements of insulin signaling, insulin receptor substrate (IRS)‑2 and phosphatidylinositol 3‑kinase (PI3K), was determined by immunohistochemistry and western blot analysis. The results demonstrated that IRS‑2 and PI3K expression was markedly decreased in PCOS ovaries, which was rescued by DMBG treatment. These results indicate that IRS‑2/PI3K signaling may be involved in the development of PCOS and the therapeutic effects of DMBG on PCOS. To further confirm the effects of DMBG on insulin signaling expression during this process, the expression of an additional two downstream proteins, phosphoinositide‑dependent kinase‑1 (PDK‑1) and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), was also investigated in the present study, and the results demonstrated that the expression of PDK‑1 and mTOR was significantly reduced in PCOS ovaries and increased following DMBG treatment, further indicating that altered insulin signaling may have an important role in the development and treatment of PCOS. In conclusion, the results of the present study indicate that the reduced expression of proteins involved in insulin signaling may contribute to the development of the clinical features of PCOS, and DMBG reverses reduced expression of insulin signaling components, by a mechanism that is yet to be determined, to attenuate certain symptoms of PCOS, such as obesity. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to provide data regarding the detailed changes of insulin signaling during the development and treatment of PCOS, and may provide an important reference for clinical PCOS treatment.

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Therapeutic effects of Syzygium mundagam bark methanol extract on type-2 diabetic complications in rats.

Plants are considered as one of the best sources of diabetic therapy. Being a reliable and sustainable medicinal hub, this study directs the use of Syzygium mundagam in exploring the antidiabetic property. Streptozotocin-Nicotinamide (STZ-NA) induced diabetic rats were treated with Syzygium mundagam bark methanol extract (SMBM). Based on acute toxicity study, the doses of the extract were fixed as 100 and 200mg/kg. Glibenclamide was used as reference drug. The blood glucose level and body weight of the rats were monitored for 28days. After the treatment, rats were sacrificed and the blood biochemical, serum and histopathological parameters were analysed. The in vivo antioxidant levels in liver and kidney were also estimated. SMBM extract (200mg/kg) could significantly reduce the blood glucose level from 580.60mg/dL to 237.60mg/dL on day 28. An accelerated reduction in body weight was observed in diabetic control rats and inhibited by the extract during the study. The haematological parameters were normal compared to normal rats. The values of serum parameters like triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), cholesterol and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) were close to the values of normal rats. After the treatment, Superoxide dismutase (SOD), Glutathione (GSH) and Glutathione reductase (GR) levels in liver and kidney were found accountable for their antioxidant properties during diabetic condition. The degree of protection set by SMBM extract was clear enough in the histopathology of liver, kidney and pancreas. The phenolic compounds studied in SMBM can be related to these activities. This study proves the ability of Syzygium mundagam to combat the diabetic condition and provides an insight on hidden properties of plants which can be utilized as novel drugs for existing disease complications.

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Hypolipidemic Effect of Red Gram (Cajanus cajan L.) Prebiotic Oligosaccharides in Wistar NIN Rats.

The hypolipidemic effect of red gram prebiotics of raffinose family oligosaccharides was studied in Wistar National Institute of Nutrition male rat strain. The study consisted of 36 rats randomly divided into three groups of 12 rats each. For 16 weeks, Group I was fed with the control diet; Group II was fed with a diet containing 3% standard raffinose as the reference group; Group III received the diet containing 3% red gram prebiotics. The results showed that the gain in body weight was low in the red gram prebiotics-supplemented group followed by the control group; highest increase of body weight was seen in the raffinose standard-fed group. Serum glucose levels of the red gram prebiotic-fed group decreased 14.92% compared to the control group and increased 2.07% compared to the reference group. The decrease in serum triglycerides (TG) levels of the red gram prebiotic-fed groups was 32.76% compared to the control group and 33.64% compared to the reference group. Decrease in the serum TC of the red gram-fed animals was 18.51% and 4.63% compared to the control group and the reference group, respectively. Increase in the level of serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in the red gram-fed animals was 18.51% compared to the control group and 4.63% compared to the reference group. The present study can be a proof for the use of prebiotics as a preventive measure for overweight and obesity in humans, and legume prebiotics can be explored as a novel prebiotic product in the consumer market.

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p-Coumaric acid, a dietary polyphenol ameliorates inflammation and curtails cartilage and bone erosion in the rheumatoid arthritis rat model.

This study was designed to explore the underlying mechanism of p-coumaric acid (CA), a dietary polyphenol in adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rat model with reference to synovitis and osteoclastogenesis. Celecoxib (COX-2 selective inhibitor) (5 mg/kg b.wt) was used as a reference drug. CA remarkably suppressed the paw edema, body weight loss and inflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and MCP-1) in serum and ankle joint of arthritic rats. Consistently, CA reduced the expression of osteoclastogenic factors (RANKL and TRAP), pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-17), and inflammatory enzymes (iNOS and COX-2) in arthritic rats. However, OPG expression was found elevated. Besides, the abundance of transcription factors (NF-κB-p65, and p-NF-κB-p65, NFATc-1, and c-Fos) and MAP kinases (JNK, p-JNK, and ERK1/2) expression was alleviated in CA administered arthritic rats. In addition, CA truncated osteoclastogenesis by regulating the RANKL/OPG imbalance in arthritic rats and suppressing the RANKL-induced NFATc-1 and c-Fos expression in vitro. Radiological (CT and DEXA scan) and histological assessments authenticated that CA inhibited TRAP, bone destruction and cartilage degradation in association with enhanced bone mineral density. Taken together, our findings suggest that CA demonstrated promising anti-arthritic effect and could prove useful as an alternative drug in RA therapeutics. © 2017 BioFactors, 43(5):698-717, 2017.

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Elevated levels of liver methylglyoxal and d-lactate in early-stage hepatitis in rats.

Methylglyoxal (MGO) is highly cytotoxic and its levels are elevated in diabetes, nephropathy and atherosclerosis. However, it has never been studied in liver disease. For this reason, we aimed to assess the levels of MGO and its metabolite d-lactate in an early hepatitis model. Wistar rats were administered CCl4 (0.75 mL/kg, i.p.) to induce hepatitis. In either CCl4 -treated or untreated rats, alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase levels did not change over the course of the study, indicating that significant liver damage did not occur following CCl4 treatment. However, the levels of MGO and d-lactate were higher in the livers of CCl4 -treated animals than in untreated animals (MGO: 128.2 ± 18.8 and 248.1 ± 64.9 μg/g protein, p < 0.01; d-lactate: 0.860 ± 0.040 and 1.293 ± 0.078 μmol/g protein, respectively p < 0.01). Furthermore, in untreated and treated animals, serum d-lactate levels were 57.65 ± 2.59 and 92.16 ± 16.69 μm and urine d-lactate levels were 1.060 ± 0.007 and 1.555 ± 0.366 μmol/mg UCr, respectively (p < 0.01). These data show that in this model of early-stage liver damage, the levels of MGO and its metabolite d-lactate are elevated and that d-lactate could be useful as a reference marker for the early stage of hepatitis.

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Anti-inflammation compounds from the seedpods of Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre guided by the bioactivity and UPLC-HRESIMS.

Pongamia pinnata (Linn.) Pierre has anti-inflammatory activity and could significantly decrease serum tumor necrosis factor-α and IL-10 in arthritic rats. Previous research indicated the typical chemical constituent in P. pinnata is furanoflavone. Guided by anti-inflammatory active assay and UPLC-HRESIMS chromatography, 22 compounds were isolated from the ethanol extract of P. pinnata seedpods. One novel furanoflavone, 4'-hydroxypinnatin, was elucidated by HRESIMS, 1D- and 2D-NMR spectra. The 21 known compounds, including 9 furanoflavone, were identified by comparing their NMR data with the previous data in reference. In the known compounds, 5 were isolated for the first time from the species. The anti-inflammatory activities were assayed by assessing LPS-induced NO production in BV-2 cells. 12 compounds can inhibit the production of NO without cytotoxicity at concentration of 50 μM. Among them, compounds 4 can significantly inhibit the production of NO, with the IC50 value of 31.36 μM.

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Formulation Optimization of Gastro-Retention Tablets of Paeonol and Efficacy in Treatment of Experimental Gastric Ulcer.

This study aims to develop a gastroretentive sustained-release drug delivery system of paeonol using floating properties and to investigate its therapeutic effects in rat models. The gastric retention tablets of paeonol (GRT-Ps) were prepared by a direct compression method, and the Box-Behnken design was used to optimize its formulation. The optimized formulation containing 15% NaHCO3 and a 2 : 1 ratio of paeonol and HPMC-K4M floated within 1 min and remained afloat for more than 8 h in the simulated gastric fluid (200 mL, pH=1.2) and simultaneously showed the desired sustained drug release. Moreover, small tablets (3 mm) were prepared according to the same formulation and the process technology of big tablets (8 mm). A similar drug release behavior was observed between two kinds of tablets (f2=52), and then the evaluations of efficacy and retention capacity in vivo were conducted with small tablets. In vivo retention studies showed that the Tmax (2 h) of GRT-P in rat stomachs was significantly extended compared with the Tmax (0.5 h) of normal reference preparation. Compared with the model group, low and high doses of GRT-P could significantly inhibit the increase of malondialdehyde (MDA) in serum. Studies showed that the higher MDA content in inflammation tissue increases the inflammatory response. The ulcer inhibition rates of GRT-P in the high-dose group were 59.0 and 64.1% in the ranitidine group. Results indicated that GRT-Ps had the potential for a sustained drug release and an enhanced gastric residence time with relatively high drug concentrations in the tissue distribution.

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A two-year dietary carcinogenicity study of cyadox in Sprague-Dawley rats.

To investigate the potential carcinogenicity of cyadox, an antimicrobial agent, four groups of Sprague-Dawley rats (50 rats/sex/group) were fed diets containing cyadox (0, 200, 600 or 2000 mg/kg) for up to two years. There were significant decreases in body weight, feed intake and feed efficiency in both genders during most of the period in the 2000 mg/kg group. Significant decreases in serum ALT were observed in the 2000 mg/kg group at weeks 52, 78 and 104. For the control, 200, 600, and 2000 mg/kg groups, the tumor incidence in females was 33.3%, 37.2%, 40.0% and 19.0%, while it in males it was 18.9%, 2.6%, 17.1% and 13.6%, respectively. At histopathology, no increases in tumor incidence were attributed to treatment with cyadox. The mild swelling and fatty degeneration in hepatocytes, and mild swelling and tubular necrosis in the kidney were observed in 2000 mg/kg group. The no-observed-effect-level (NOEL) for carcinogenicity of cyadox fed to rats was 2000 mg/kg diet (132.18-156.28 mg/kg b.w./day). In conclusion, cyadox was not carcinogenic to rats with the liver and kidney as the target organs, and the side chain may be involved in toxicity and carcinogenicity mediated by QdNOs.

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