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Mediterranean diet, Geroprotectors, Metformin, and Skin pigmentation

April 2017


A review of the possible mechanisms of action of tocotrienol - a potential antiosteoporotic agent.

Osteoporosis is posing a tremendous healthcare problem globally. Much effort has been invested in finding novel antiosteoporotic agents to stop the progression of this disease. Tocotrienol, one of the isoforms of vitamin E, is poised as a potential antiosteoporotic agent. Previous studies showed that tocotrienol as a single isomer or as a mixture demonstrated both anabolic and antiresorptive effects in various rodent models of osteoporosis. In vitro experiments further demonstrated that tocotrienol could up-regulate genes related to osteoblastogenesis and modify receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa B signaling against osteoclastogenesis. Additionally, tocotrienol was also shown to be a strong 3- hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase down-regulator with a mechanism different from that of statins. Inhibition of the mevalonate pathway affects both osteoblast and osteoclast formation in favor of the former. Tocopherol, a more commonly used isoform of vitamin E does not possess similar effects. Tocotrienol is also a potent antioxidant. It can scavenge free radicals and prevent oxidative damage on osteoblast thus promoting its survival. It may also up-regulate the antioxidant defense network in osteoclast and indirectly act against free radical signaling essential in osteoclastogenesis. The effects of tocotrienol on Wnt/b-catenin signaling essential in osteoblastogenesis have not been determined. More mechanistic studies need to be conducted to illustrate the antiosteoporotic effects of tocotrienol. Clinical trials are also required to confirm its effects in humans. In conclusion, tocotrienol demonstrates great potential as an antiosteoporotic agent and much research effort should be invested to develop it as an agent to curb osteoporosis.

Curr Drug Targets. 2013 Dec;14(13):1533-41

The biological effects of tocotrienol on bone: a review on evidence from rodent models.

Osteoporosis causes significant health care and economic burden to society, leading to a relentless search for effective preventive agents. Tocotrienol, a member of the vitamin E family, has demonstrated promising potential as an osteoporosis-preventing agent. This review summarizes evidence on the effects of tocotrienol on bone in animal models. Techniques used to examine the effects of tocotrienol on bone in animals included bone histomorphometry, X-ray microtomography, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, bone turnover markers, bone calcium content, and biomechanical strength. Tocotrienol was shown to improve osteoblast number, bone formation, mineral deposition, and bone microarchitecture in osteopenic rats. It also decreased osteoclast number and bone erosion in the rats. Tocotrienol supplementation resulted in an improvement in bone mineral density, although biomechanical strength was not significantly altered in the rats. The beneficial effects of tocotrienol on bone can be attributed to its role as an antioxidant, anti-inflammatory agent, suppressor of the mevalonate pathway, and modulator of genes favorable to bone formation.

Drug Des Devel Ther. 2015 Apr 8;9:2049-61

Naturally occurring p16(Ink4a)-positive cells shorten healthy lifespan.

Cellular senescence, a stress-induced irreversible growth arrest often characterized by expression of p16(Ink4a) (encoded by the Ink4a/Arf locus, also known as Cdkn2a) and a distinctive secretory phenotype, prevents the proliferation of preneoplastic cells and has beneficial roles in tissue remodelling during embryogenesis and wound healing. Senescent cells accumulate in various tissues and organs over time, and have been speculated to have a role in ageing. To explore the physiological relevance and consequences of naturally occurring senescent cells, here we use a previously established transgene, INK-ATTAC, to induce apoptosis in p16(Ink4a)-expressing cells of wild-type mice by injection of AP20187 twice a week starting at one year of age. We show that compared to vehicle alone, AP20187 treatment extended median lifespan in both male and female mice of two distinct genetic backgrounds. The clearance of p16(Ink4a)-positive cells delayed tumorigenesis and attenuated age-related deterioration of several organs without apparent side effects, including kidney, heart and fat, where clearance preserved the functionality of glomeruli, cardio-protective KATP channels and adipocytes, respectively. Thus, p16(Ink4a)-positive cells that accumulate during adulthood negatively influence lifespan and promote age-dependent changes in several organs, and their therapeutic removal may be an attractive approach to extend healthy lifespan.

Nature. 2016 Feb 11;530(7589):184-9

Proinflammatory cytokine-induced cellular senescence of biliary epithelial cells is mediated via oxidative stress and activation of ATM pathway: a culture study.

Cellular senescence is reportedly involved in cholangiopathy in primary biliary cirrhosis and oxidative stress is proposed as a pathogenetic factor in biliary epithelial cells (BECs). This study investigated the involvement of proinflammatory cytokines (IFN-beta, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha) and ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM)/p53/ p21(WAF1/Cip1) pathway with respect to oxidative stress in cellular senescence of BECs. H(2)O(2) treatment (oxidative stress) induced phosphorylation (activation) of ATM and p53 and also p21(WAF1/Cip1) expression in BECs. Treatment with inflammatory cytokines generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cultured BECs followed by activation of the ATM/p53/p21(WAF1/Cip1) pathway and the induction of cellular senescence. Pre-treatment with ATM inhibitor (2-aminopurine) and antioxidant (N-acetylcysteine) significantly blocked the cellular senescence of BECs induced by oxidative stress or inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, proinflammatory cytokines induce ROS generation and activate the ATM/p53/p21(WAF1/Cip1) pathway, followed by biliary epithelial senescence. This senescent process may be involved in the development of destructive cholangiopathy in humans.

Free Radic Res. 2008 Jul;42(7):625-32

Regulation of Muscle Stem Cell Functions: A Focus on the p38 MAPK Signaling Pathway.

Formation of skeletal muscle fibers (myogenesis) during development and after tissue injury in the adult constitutes an excellent paradigm to investigate the mechanisms whereby environmental cues control gene expression programs in muscle stem cells (satellite cells) by acting on transcriptional and epigenetic effectors. Here we will review the molecular mechanisms implicated in the transition of satellite cells throughout the distinct myogenic stages (i.e., activation from quiescence, proliferation, differentiation, and self-renewal). We will also discuss recent findings on the causes underlying satellite cell functional decline with aging. In particular, our review will focus on the epigenetic changes underlying fate decisions and on how the p38 MAPK signaling pathway integrates the environmental signals at the chromatin to build up satellite cell adaptive responses during the process of muscle regeneration, and how these responses are altered in aging. A better comprehension of the signaling pathways connecting external and intrinsic factors will illuminate the path for improving muscle regeneration in the aged.

Front Cell Dev Biol. 2016 Aug 30;4:91

Myricetin induces human osteoblast differentiation through bone morphogenetic protein-2/p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway.

Myricetin (3,3',4',5,5',7-hexahydroxyflavone), a flavonoid compound, is present in vegetables and fruits. By means of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, osteocalcin, and type I collagen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we have shown that myricetin exhibits a significant induction of differentiation in MG-63 and hFOB human osteoblasts. Alkaline phosphatase and osteocalcin are phenotypic markers for early-stage differentiated osteoblasts and terminally differentiated osteoblasts, respectively. Our results indicate that myricetin stimulates osteoblast differentiation at various stages, from maturation to terminally differentiated osteoblasts. Induction of differentiation by myricetin is associated with increased bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) production. The BMP-2 antagonist noggin blocked myricetin-mediated ALP activity and osteocalcin secretion enhancement, indicating that BMP-2 production is required in myricetin-mediated osteoblast maturation and differentiation. Induction of differentiation by myricetin is associated with increased activation of SMAD1/5/8 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases. Cotreatment of p38 inhibitor SB203580 inhibited myricetin-mediated ALP upregulation and osteocalcin production. In conclusion, myricetin increased BMP-2 synthesis, and subsequently activated SMAD1/5/8 and p38 MAPK, and this effect may contribute to its action on the induction of osteoblast maturation and differentiation, followed by an increase of bone mass.

Biochem Pharmacol. 2007 Feb 15;73(4):504-14

Systems Pharmacology Dissection of the Protective Effect of Myricetin Against Acute Ischemia/Reperfusion-Induced Myocardial Injury in Isolated Rat Heart.

In this paper, we investigated the multi-target effect of myricetin as a therapeutic for cardiovascular disease, using an acute ischemia/reperfusion-induced myocardial injury model to gain insight into its mechanism of action. The compound-target interaction profiles of myricetin were determined using a combination of text mining, chemometric and chemogenomic methods. The effect of myricetin on cardiac function was investigated by carrying out experiments in rats subjected to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) using Langendorff retrograde perfusion technology. Compared to the I/R group, pretreatment with 5 µM myricetin was observed to improve the maximum up/down rate of left ventricular pressure (dp/dt max) and coronary flow, raise left ventricular developed pressure, and decrease creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase levels in coronary flow. In addition, myricetin treatment was shown to have beneficial effects through its ability to reduce both infarct size and levels of cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Myricetin was also observed to have antioxidant properties, as evidenced by its ability to reduce MDA levels, while increasing both SOD levels and the GSH/GSSG ratio. Finally, an upregulation of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase and fatty acid synthase expression and a downregulation of cyclooxygenase-2, cytochrome P450 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase expression suggest that myricetin acts through mechanisms which alter relevant signaling pathways. In summary, our results demonstrate that myricetin has protective cardiovascular effects against I/R-induced myocardial injury.

Cardiovasc Toxicol. 2016 Aug 2

Targeting STAT1 by myricetin and delphinidin provides efficient protection of the heart from ischemia/reperfusion-induced injury.

Flavonoids exhibit a variety of beneficial effects in cardiovascular diseases. Although their therapeutic properties have been attributed mainly to their antioxidant action, they have additional protective mechanisms such as inhibition of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) activation. Here, we have investigated the cardioprotective mechanisms of strong antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin, myricetin and delphinidin. Although all of them protect the heart from ischemia/reperfusion-injury, myricetin and delphinidin exert a more pronounced protective action than quercetin by their capacity to inhibit STAT1 activation. Biochemical and computer modeling analysis indicated the direct interaction between STAT1 and flavonoids with anti-STAT1 activity.

FEBS Lett. 2009 Feb 4;583(3):531-41

Improvement of insulin sensitivity in obese Zucker rats by myricetin extracted from Abelmoschus moschatus.

In an attempt to develop new substances for treating insulin resistance, obese Zucker rats were employed to screen the effect of myricetin, an active principle of Abelmoschus moschatus (Malvaceae), on insulin resistance. Myricetin purified from the aerial portion of the plant was administered intravenously ( I. V.) into animals. A dose-dependent decrease in the plasma glucose concentration of obese Zucker rats was observed 30 min following an I. V. injection. Moreover, repeated I. V. injection of myricetin (1 mg/kg) into obese Zucker rats 3 times daily for 1 week reduced the value of the glucose-insulin index, an index of insulin resistance calculated from the areas under the curve of glucose and insulin during the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. Additionally, repeated myricetin treatments overturned the inability of insulin to increase the expression of glucose transporter subtype 4 (GLUT 4) and to increase the protein levels and phosphorylation of insulin receptor substrate-1 (IRS-1) in soleus muscle of these obese rats. The inability of insulin to increase expression of the p85 regulatory subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) and to promote Akt serine phosphorylation in soleus muscle of these rats were also overturned by repeated myricetin treatments. These findings indicate that myricetin improves insulin sensitivity through increased post-receptor insulin signaling mediated by enhancements in IRS-1-associated PI3-kinase and GLUT 4 activity in muscles of obese Zucker rats. Myricetin might be used as a model substance for the development of antidiabetic compounds.

Planta Med. 2007 Aug;73(10):1054-60

Myricetin: A Dietary Molecule with Diverse Biological Activities.

Myricetin is a common plant-derived flavonoid and is well recognised for its nutraceuticals value. It is one of the key ingredients of various foods and beverages. The compound exhibits a wide range of activities that include strong anti-oxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic and anti-inflammatory activities. It displays several activities that are related to the central nervous system and numerous studies have suggested that the compound may be beneficial to protect against diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The use of myricetin as a preserving agent to extend the shelf life of foods containing oils and fats is attributed to the compound's ability to protect lipids against oxidation. A detailed search of existing literature revealed that there is currently no comprehensive review available on this important molecule. Hence, the present work includes the history, synthesis, pharmaceutical applications and toxicity studies of myricetin. This report also highlights structure-activity relationships and mechanisms of action for various biological activities.

Nutrients. 2016 Feb 16;8(2):90