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Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are heterogeneous diseases with different inflammatory phenotypes. Various inflammatory mediators play a role in these diseases. The aim of this study was to analyze the neutrophilic and eosinophilic airway and systemic inflammation as the phenotypic characterization of patients with asthma and COPD. Twenty-four patients with asthma and 33 patients with COPD were enrolled in the study. All the patients were in mild-to-moderate stage of disease, and none of them were treated with inhaled corticosteroids. Concentrations of IL-6, neutrophil elastase (NE), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), and IL-33 and IL-17 in serum and induced sputum (IS) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The cellular composition of blood and IS was evaluated. Hierarchical clustering of patients was performed for the combination of selected clinical features and mediators. Asthma and COPD can be differentiated based on eosinophilic/neutrophilic systemic or airway inflammation with unsatisfactory efficiency. Hierarchical clustering of patients based on blood eosinophil percentage and clinical data revealed two asthma clusters differing in the number of positive skin prick tests and one COPD cluster with two subclusters characterized by low and high blood eosinophil concentrations. Clustering of patients according to IS measurements and clinical data showed two main clusters: pure asthma characterized by high eosinophil/atopy status and mixed asthma and COPD cluster with low eosinophil/atopy status. The neutrophilic phenotype of COPD was associated with more severe airway obstruction and hyperinflation.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading cause of psychiatric conditions in patients, amongst which, depression and anxiety are more frequent. Despite the preclinical antidepressant-like effects, clinical development of Phospodiesterase-4 (PDE4) enzyme inhibitors has been hampered due to serious side effect profiles, such as nausea and vomiting. Etazolate (ETZ) is a new generation PDE4 inhibitor with encouraging safety and tolerance profiles. In our previous studies we have addressed that ETZ produces antidepressant-like effects in animal models of depression, however, the underlying mechanism(s) following TBI have not been completely explored. Impact accelerated TBI by weight drop method causes depression-like behavioral deficits in modified open field exploration, hyper-emotionality and sucrose consumption paradigms. TBI not only causes immediate mechanical damage to the brain, but also induces biochemical changes that lead to delayed neural cell loss leading to a secondary injury. The present study examines the antidepressant effects of ETZ on the TBI-induced depression-like behavior deficits and attempts to explore the underlying mechanism. In order to understand the underlying pathology of TBI and mechanism(s) of ETZ in TBI molecular markers namely, brain cAMP, cAMP response element binding protein (pCREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were estimated. Additionally, the level of oxidative (lipid peroxidation) & nitrosative (nitrite) stress markers, along with antioxidant enzymes markers, such as, reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were measured. Furthermore, the involvement of hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis activity in underlying mechanism was also investigated by measuring serum corticosterone (CORT) level. The results revealed that TBI significantly altered cAMP, pCREB and BDNF levels. Moreover, a significant increase in oxidativeenitrosative stress markers levels, while, significant decreases in antioxidant enzymes markers level were observed. However, no significant change was observed in serum CORT level. Chronic ETZ (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) treatment significantly attenuated TBI-induced behavioral deficits and restored the TBI induced derangements in molecular and biochemical markers. This study indicates that ETZ modulates cAMP signaling and oxidative/antioxidant markers in the TBI model suggesting its prospect as a potential candidate for the pharmacotherapy of depression.


Cisplatin (CIS) is a chemotherapeutic agent used for therapy of many tumors and has been limited by its toxicity. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Peroxisome proliferatoreactivated receptorgamma (PPAR-g), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor-kappa B(NFkB) in the pathogenesis of hepatic damage induced by CIS, and investigated the modulatory effect of metformin (MET) and/or low dose gamma radiation (LDR) on CIS-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. CIS(7.5 mg/kg, i.p.) hepatotoxicity was evidenced by alteration of serum hepatic indices (ALT and AST) accompanied with decreased hepatic PPAR-g, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and reduced glutathione (GSH) content, whereas the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), total nitrate/nitrite (NOx) and NFkB significantly increased as well as MAPK activity compared with the control, MET and LDR groups. Furthermore, CIS induces apoptosis as indicated by an elevation of hepatic caspase-3. Treatment with MET (150 mg/kg, orally for 14 days) and/or LDR (0.5 Gy), prior to CIS alleviates CIS-induced hepatic damage by mitigating oxidative/ nitrosative stress and PPAR-g activity reduction, hepatic caspase-3 elevation, and inhibition of NFkB, and MAPK activity levels.

Conclusions: Modulation of PPAR-g, MAPK and NFkB might contribute to amelioration of CIS-induced hepatic toxicity.


Background: Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that trans fatty acids (TFAs) are a risk for coronary artery disease. However, the precise mechanism underlying the proatherogenic effect of TFA has not been completely elucidated. To obtain better understanding of the impact of TFA on vascular diseases, this study investigated the effect of TFA on oxidative stress using a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

Methods: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor knockout mice were fed with diet containing 0.5% cholesterol (control), 0.5% cholesterol + 5% elaidic acids (Trans group), and 0.5% cholesterol + 5% oleic acids (Cis group) for 8 weeks. Atherosclerotic lesion and oxidative stress in aortic wall were evaluated. In vitro experiments using smooth muscle cells were performed to corroborate in vivo findings.

Results: The atherosclerotic lesion area was significantly larger in Trans group than that in control or Cis group. Lipoprotein fractionation was similar among groups, while plasma oxidized LDL level and superoxide production in the vessel wall were markedly increased in Trans group. Elaidic acids were accumulated in a variety of tissues including liver and adipose tissue, which was associated with the high level of inflammatory cytokines in these tissues and plasma. Aortic wall from Trans group showed augmented expression of reactive oxygen species and NAPDH oxidase (p22phox) in smooth muscle cells. In vitro experiments confirmed that elaidic acids upregulated expression of NADPH oxidase and inflammatory cytokines in cultured smooth muscle cells.

Conclusion: Excessive intake of TFA contributes to the progression of atherosclerosis by evoking inflammation and oxidative stress in mice.

Anti-osteoporotic effects of an antidepressant tianeptine on ovariectomized rats

Posted by O A. Alkhameesa, A S. Al-Roujayeeb, H M. Abuohashish, et al. on 2017-03-22 20:19:10


In the current investigation, the potential alleviating effects of tianeptine against bone loss induced in ovariectomized (OVX) rats was determined. Two weeks following a bilateral ovariectomy operation, tianeptine treatment (12.5 and 25 mg/kg/twice/d) was initiated and continued for twenty-eight consecutive days. Changes in serum and urinary bone turnover biomarkers and osteoclastogenesisinducing factors were estimated. The femoral bone mineral content was estimated using inductivelycoupled-plasma mass spectrometry. Morphometric alterations of distal femoral bones were observed in the cortical and trabecular structures using micro-CT. Finally, femur bones were assessed for histopathological changes. The lack of estrogen significantly increased the levels of bone turnover biomarkers and inflammatory mediators. Mineral concentrations in the femoral bones were reduced in the OVX group. Furthermore, the femoral bone micro-architecture determined using micro-CT and histopathology were significantly altered by estrogen deficiency. Tianeptine, particularly the higher dose, corrected the elevated levels of bone metabolic products and pro-inflammatory cytokines. Tianeptine also improved mineral concentrations in femoral bones and the disturbed morphometric and histopathological features in OVX rats. In conclusion, tianeptine alleviated the osteoporotic changes in OVX animals, which may be via inhibition of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis stress and osteoclastogenesis-provoking factors, suggesting attenuation of bone matrix degradation and osteoclast stimulation.

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