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Gingerol is a major dietary compound that occurs in several plants belonging to the Zingiberaceae family. In the current study, the protective effect of gingerol on STZ-induced sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (SAD) was determined. Gingerol was isolated from the seeds of Aframomum melegueta K. Schum and tested at doses of 10 and 20 mg/kgbwt for its possible effect on the SAD model in mice, using celecoxib (30 mg/kg bwt) as a reference standard. The curative effects of gingerol were assessed through measurement of β-amyloid (Aβ-42), α-, β- secretases, APH1a and COX-2 levels. In addition, improvement in the cognitive deficit in mice after treatment was confirmed using the water maze and Y-maze with intra-maze cues. Gingerol improved the cognitive and behavioral impairment and AD-like pathology in streptozotocin model mice. These beneficial effects occurred with an increase in α-secretase activity and a decrease in cerebral Aβ-42, β- secretase, APH1a activity and COX-2-linked neuro-inflammation.


The salivary glands of animals have great potential to act as powerful bioreactors to produce human therapeutic proteins. Human nerve growth factor (hNGF) is an important pharmaceutical protein that is clinically effective in the treatment of many human neuronal and non-neuronal diseases. In this study, we generated 18 transgenic (TG) founder mice each carrying a salivary gland specific promoter-driven hNGF transgene. A TG mouse line secreting high levels of hNGF protein in its saliva (1.36 μg/mL) was selected. hNGF protein was successfully purified from the saliva of these TG mice and its identity was verified. The purified hNGF was highly functional as it displayed the ability to induce neuronal differentiation of PC12 cells. Furthermore, it strongly promoted proliferation of TF1 cells, above the levels observed with mouse NGF. Additionally, saliva collected from TG mice and containing unpurified hNGF was able to significantly enhance the growth of TF1 cells. This study not only provides a new and efficient approach for the synthesis of therapeutic hNGF but also supports the concept that salivary gland from TG animals is an efficient system for production of valuable foreign proteins.

Puerarin ameliorated the behavioral deficits induced by chronic stress in rats

Posted by Zhi-Kun Q, Guan-Hua Z, De-Sheng Z, et al. on 2017-08-14 22:56:51


The present study aimed to investigate the mechanisms underlying the antidepressant-like effects of puerarin via the chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) procedure in rats. Similar to Sertraline (Ser), Chronic treatment of puerarin (60 and 120 mg/kg, i.g) elicited the antidepressant-like effects by reversing the decreased sucrose preference in sucrose preference test (SPT), by blocking the increased latency to feed in novelty-suppressed feeding test (NSFT) and the increased immobility time in forced swimming test (FST) without affecting locomotor activity. However, acute puerarin treatment did not ameliorate the antidepressant- and anxiolytic- like effects in FST and NSFT, respectively. In addition, enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and high performance liquid chromatography-electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) showed that chronic treatment of puerarin (60 and 120 mg/kg, i.g) reversed the decreased levels of progesterone, allopregnanolone, serotonin (5-HT) and 5-Hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of post-CUS rats. Furthermore, puerarin (60 and 120 mg/kg, i.g) blocked the increased corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), corticosterone (Cort) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Collectively, repeated administration of puerarin alleviated the behavioral deficits induced by chronic stress which was associated with the biosynthesis of neurosteroids, normalization of serotonergic system and preventing HPA axis dysfunction.

ACF7 regulates inflammatory colitis and intestinal wound response by orchestrating tight junction dynamics

Posted by Yanlei M, Jiping Y, Chenzhang S, et al. on 2017-08-14 20:07:01


In the intestinal epithelium, the aberrant regulation of cell/cell junctions leads to intestinal barrier defects, which may promote the onset and enhance the severity of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, it remains unclear how the coordinated behaviour of cytoskeletal network may contribute to cell junctional dynamics. In this report, we identified ACF7, a crosslinker of microtubules and F-actin, as an essential player in this process. Loss of ACF7 leads to aberrant microtubule organization, tight junction stabilization and impaired wound closure in vitro. With the mouse genetics approach, we show that ablation of ACF7 inhibits intestinal wound healing and greatly increases susceptibility to experimental colitis in mice. ACF7 level is also correlated with development and progression of ulcerative colitis (UC) in human patients. Together, our results reveal an important molecular mechanism whereby coordinated cytoskeletal dynamics contributes to cell adhesion regulation during intestinal wound repair and the development of IBD.

Insulin upregulates betatrophin expression via PI4K/Akt pathway

Posted by Puhan L, Xi C, Zeqing Z, et al. on 2017-08-14 19:08:03


Betatrophin is regarded as a liver-produced hormone induced by insulin resistance (IR). However, it remains largely unknown how IR regulates betatrophin expression. To study whether IR could regulate betatrophin expression and the corresponding molecular mechanisms, betatrophin levels were examined in 6 in vitro IR models which were established using human hepatocytes L02 with different agents, including tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-1β, dexamethasone, palmitate, high glucose and insulin and betatrophin levels were elevated only in the insulin group. These results suggest that it is insulin, not IR that promotes betatrophin expression. In the meantime, PI3K/Akt pathway was activated by insulin and suppressed by above agents that caused IR. Insulin-upregulated betatrophin expression was suppressed by PI3K/Akt inhibitors and IR, suggesting that insulin upregulates and IR decreases betatrophin production through PI3K/Akt pathway. Consistently, the treatment of insulin in mice dose-dependently upregulated betatrophin levels, and the administration of metformin in IR mice also stimulated betatrophin production since published study showed metformin improved PI3K/Akt pathway and IR. In humans, compared with those without insulin treatment, serum betatrophin levels were increased in type 2 diabetic patients with insulin treatment. In conclusion, insulin stimulates betatrophin secretion through PI3K/Akt pathway and IR may play an opposite role.

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