Life Extension Magazine®

Youth serum

Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: Life Extension Editorial Staff.

Tart cherry anthocyanins suppress inflammation-induced pain behavior in rat.

The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) has increased in the United States and more patients are seeking CAM therapies for control of pain. The present investigation tested the efficacy of orally administered anthocyanins extracted from tart cherries on inflammation-induced pain behavior in rats. Paw withdrawal latency to radiant heat and paw withdrawal threshold to von Frey probes were measured. The first set of experiments examined the effects of tart cherry anthocyanins (400 mg/kg) on the nociceptive behaviors and edema associated with inflammation induced by intraplantar injection of 1% carrageenan. These studies also included tests of motor coordination. The second set of experiments determined if tart cherry anthocyanins (15, 85, and 400 mg/kg) dose-dependently affected the inflammation induced by intraplantar injection of 25% complete Freund’s adjuvant. We found that tart cherry extracts reduce inflammation-induced thermal hyperalgesia, mechanical hyperalgesia and paw edema. The suppression of thermal hyperalgesia was dose-dependent and the efficacy of highest dose (400 mg/kg) was similar to indomethacin (5 mg/kg). The highest dose anthocyanin (400 mg/kg) had no effects on motor function. These data suggest that tart cherry anthocyanins may have a beneficial role in the treatment of inflammatory pain. The antihyperalgesic effects may be related to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of anthocyanins. A better understanding of the modulatory role of dietary constituents and phytonutrients on pain will offer further therapeutic options for treating patients with persistent and chronic pain conditions.

Behav Brain Res. 2004 Aug 12;153(1):181-8

Degradation products of cyanidin glycosides from tart cherries and their bioactivities.

The bioactive anthocyanins present in tart cherries, Prunus cerasus L. (Rosaceae) cv. Balaton, are cyanidin 3-glucosylrutinoside (1), cyanidin 3-rutinoside (2), and cyanidin 3-glucoside (3). Cyanidin (4) is the major anthocyanidin in tart cherries. In our continued evaluation of the in vivo and in vitro efficacy of these anthocyanins to prevent inflammation and colon cancer, we have added these compounds to McCoy’s 5A medium in an effort to identify their degradation products during in vitro cell culture studies. This resulted in the isolation and characterization of protocatechuic acid (5), the predominant degradation product. In addition, 2,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid (6) and 2,4,6-trihydroxybenzoic acid (7) were identified as degradation products. However, these degradation products were not quantified. Compounds 5-7 were also identified as degradation products when anthocyanins were subjected to varying pH and thermal conditions. In cyclooxygenase (COX)-I and -II enzyme inhibitory assays, compounds 5-7 did not show significant activities when compared to the NSAIDs Naproxen, Celebrex, and Vioxx, or Ibuprofen, at 50 microM concentrations. However, at a test concentration of 50 microM, the antioxidant activity of protocatechuic acid (5) was comparable to those of the commercial antioxidants tert-butylhydroquinone (TBHQ), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and superior to that of vitamin E at 10 microM concentrations.

J Agric Food Chem. 2001 Oct;49(10):4924-9

Sour Cherry (Prunus cerasus L) Anthocyanins as Ingredients for Functional Foods.

In the recent years many studies on anthocyanins have revealed their strong antioxidant activity and their possible use as chemotherapeutics. The finding that sour cherries (Prunus cerasus L) (also called tart cherries) contain high levels of anthocyanins that possess strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties has attracted much attention to this species. Here we report the preliminary results of the induction of anthocyanin biosynthesis in sour cherry callus cell cultures. The evaluation and characterization of the in vitro produced pigments are compared to those of the anthocyanins found in vivo in fruits of several sour cherry cultivars. Interestingly, the anthocyanin profiles found in whole fruit extracts were similar in all tested genotypes but were different with respect to the callus extract. The evaluation of antioxidant activity, performed by ORAC and TEAC assays, revealed a relatively high antioxidant capacity for the fruit extracts (from 1145 to 2592 $\mu $ mol TE/100 g FW) and a lower one for the callus extract (688 $\mu $ mol TE/100 g FW).

J Biomed Biotechnol.2004;2004(5):253-8

Cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant cyanidin glycosides in cherries and berries.

Anthocyanins from tart cherries, Prunus cerasus L. (Rosaceae) cv. Balaton and Montmorency; sweet cherries, Prunus avium L. (Rosaceae); bilberries, Vaccinum myrtillus L. (Ericaceae); blackberries, Rubus sp. (Rosaceae); blueberries var. Jersey, Vaccinium corymbosum L. (Ericaceae); cranberries var. Early Black, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait. (Ericaceae); elderberries, Sambucus canadensis (Caprifoliaceae); raspberries, Rubus idaeus (Rosaceae); and strawberries var. Honeoye, Fragaria x ananassa Duch. (Rosaceae), were investigated for cyclooxygenase inhibitory and antioxidant activities. The presence and levels of cyanidin-3-glucosylrutinoside 1 and cyanidin-3-rutinoside 2 were determined in the fruits using HPLC. The antioxidant activity of anthocyanins from cherries was comparable to the commercial antioxidants, tert-butylhydroquinone, butylated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole, and superior to vitamin E, at a test concentration of 125 microg/ml. Anthocyanins from raspberries and sweet cherries demonstrated 45% and 47% cyclooxygenase-I and cyclooxygenase-II inhibitory activities, respectively, when assayed at 125 microg/ml. The cyclooxygenase inhibitory activities of anthocyanins from these fruits were comparable to those of ibuprofen and naproxen at 10 microM concentrations. Anthocyanins 1 and 2 are present in both cherries and raspberry. The yields of pure anthocyanins 1 and 2 in 100 g Balaton and Montmorency tart cherries, sweet cherries and raspberries were 21, 16.5; 11, 5; 4.95, 21; and 4.65, 13.5 mg, respectively. Fresh blackberries and strawberries contained only anthocyanin 2 in yields of 24 and 22.5 mg/100 g, respectively. Anthocyanins 1 and 2 were not found in bilberries, blueberries, cranberries or elderberries.

Phytomedicine.2001 Sep;8(5):362-9

Cherries and health: a review.

Cherries, and in particular sweet cherries, are a nutritionally dense food rich in anthocyanins, quercetin, hydroxycinnamates, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and melatonin. UV concentration, degree of ripeness, postharvest storage conditions, and processing, each can significantly alter the amounts of nutrients and bioactive components. These constituent nutrients and bioactive food components support the potential preventive health benefits of cherry intake in relation to cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory diseases, and Alzheimer’s disease. Mechanistically, cherries exhibit relatively high antioxidant activity, low glycemic response, COX 1 and 2 enzyme inhibition, and other anti-carcinogenic effects in vitro and in animal experiments. Well-designed cherry feeding studies are needed to further substantiate any health benefits in humans

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr.2011 Jan;51(1):1-12

Cherry antioxidants: from farm to table.

The dietary consumption of fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower incidence of degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancers. Most recent interest has focused on the bioactive phenolic compounds found in vegetable products. Sweet and sour cherries contain several antioxidants and polyphenols that possess many biological activities, such as antioxidant, anticancer and anti-inflammation properties. The review describes the effect of environment and other factors (such as production, handling and storage) on the nutritional properties of cherries, with particular attention to polyphenol compounds. Moreover the health benefits of cherries and their polyphenols against human diseases such as heart disease, cancers, diabetes are reviewed.

Molecules.2010 Oct 12;15(10):6993-7005

Anthocyanin content, lipid peroxidation and cyclooxygenase enzyme inhibitory activities of sweet and sour cherries.

Cherries contain bioactive anthocyanins that are reported to possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic and antiobese properties. The present study revealed that red sweet cherries contained cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside as major anthocyanin (>95%). The sweet cherry cultivar “Kordia” (aka “Attika”) showed the highest cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside content, 185 mg/100 g fresh weight. The red sweet cherries “Regina” and “Skeena” were similar to “Kordia”, yielding cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside at 159 and 134 mg/100 g fresh weight, respectively. The yields of cyanidin-3-O-glucosylrutinoside and cyanidin-3-O-rutinoside were 57 and 19 mg/100 g fresh weight in “Balaton” and 21 and 6.2 mg/100 g fresh weight in “Montmorency”, respectively, in addition to minor quantities of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside. The water extracts of “Kordia”, “Regina”, “Glacier” and “Skeena” sweet cherries gave 89, 80, 80 and 70% of lipid peroxidation (LPO) inhibition, whereas extracts of “Balaton” and “Montmorency” were in the range of 38 to 58% at 250 microg/mL. Methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of the yellow sweet cherry “Rainier” containing beta-carotene, ursolic, coumaric, ferulic and cafeic acids inhibited LPO by 78 and 79%, respectively, at 250 microg/mL. In the cyclooxygenase (COX) enzyme inhibitory assay, the red sweet cherry water extracts inhibited the enzymes by 80 to 95% at 250 microg/mL. However, the methanol and ethyl acetate extracts of “Rainier” and “Gold” were the most active against COX-1 and -2 enzymes. Water extracts of “Balaton” and “Montmorency” inhibited COX-1 and -2 enzymes by 84, and 91 and 77, and 87%, respectively, at 250 microg/mL.

J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1239-46

Altered hyperlipidemia, hepatic steatosis, and hepatic peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors in rats with intake of tart cherry.

Elevated plasma lipids, glucose, insulin, and fatty liver are among components of metabolic syndrome, a phenotypic pattern that typically precedes the development of Type 2 diabetes. Animal studies show that intake of anthocyanins reduces hyperlipidemia, obesity, and atherosclerosis and that anthocyanin-rich extracts may exert these effects in association with altered activity of tissue peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). However, studies are lacking to test this correlation using physiologically relevant, whole food sources of anthocyanins. Tart cherries are a rich source of anthocyanins, and whole cherry fruit intake may also affect hyperlipidemia and/or affect tissue PPARs. This hypothesis was tested in the Dahl Salt-Sensitive rat having insulin resistance and hyperlipidemia. For 90 days, Dahl rats were pair-fed AIN-76a-based diets supplemented with either 1% (wt:wt) freeze-dried whole tart cherry or with 0.85% additional carbohydrate to match macronutrient and calorie provision. After 90 days, the cherry-enriched diet was associated with reduced fasting blood glucose, hyperlipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, and reduced fatty liver. The cherry diet was also associated with significantly enhanced hepatic PPAR-alpha mRNA, enhanced hepatic PPAR-alpha target acyl-coenzyme A oxidase mRNA and activity, and increased plasma antioxidant capacity. In conclusion, physiologically relevant tart cherry consumption reduced several phenotypic risk factors that are associated with risk for metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes. Tart cherries may represent a whole food research model of the health effects of anthocyanin-rich foods and may possess nutraceutical value against risk factors for metabolic syndrome and its clinical sequelae.

J Med Food.2008 Jun;11(2):252-9

Regular tart cherry intake alters abdominal adiposity, adipose gene transcription, and inflammation in obesity-prone rats fed a high fat diet.

Obesity, systemic inflammation, and hyperlipidemia are among the components of metabolic syndrome, a spectrum of phenotypes that can precede the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Animal studies show that intake of anthocyanin-rich extracts can affect these phenotypes. Anthocyanins can alter the activity of tissue peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs), which affect energy substrate metabolism and inflammation. However, it is unknown if physiologically relevant, anthocyanin-containing whole foods confer similar effects to concentrated, anthocyanin extracts. The effect of anthocyanin-rich tart cherries was tested in the Zucker fatty rat model of obesity and metabolic syndrome. For 90 days, rats were pair-fed a higher fat diet supplemented with either 1% (wt/wt) freeze-dried, whole tart cherry powder or with a calorie- and macronutrient-matched control diet. Tart cherry intake was associated with reduced hyperlipidemia, percentage fat mass, abdominal fat (retroperitoneal) weight, retroperitoneal interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) expression, and plasma IL-6 and TNF-alpha. Tart cherry diet also increased retroperitoneal fat PPAR-alpha and PPAR-gamma mRNA (P = .12), decreased IL-6 and TNF-alpha mRNA, and decreased nuclear factor kappaB activity. In conclusion, in at-risk obese rats fed a high fat diet, physiologically relevant tart cherry consumption reduced several phenotypes of metabolic syndrome and reduced both systemic and local inflammation. Tart cherries may reduce the degree or trajectory of metabolic syndrome, thereby reducing risk for the development of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

J Med Food.2009 Oct;12(5):935-42

Tart cherry anthocyanins inhibit tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and reduce proliferation of human colon cancer cells.

Anthocyanins, which are bioactive phytochemicals, are widely distributed in plants and especially enriched in tart cherries. Based on previous observations that tart cherry anthocyanins and their respective aglycone, cyanidin, can inhibit cyclooxygenase enzymes, we conducted experiments to test the potential of anthocyanins to inhibit intestinal tumor development in Apc(Min) mice and growth of human colon cancer cell lines. Mice consuming the cherry diet, anthocyanins, or cyanidin had significantly fewer and smaller cecal adenomas than mice consuming the control diet or sulindac. Colonic tumor numbers and volume were not significantly influenced by treatment. Anthocyanins and cyanidin also reduced cell growth of human colon cancer cell lines HT 29 and HCT 116. The IC(50) of anthocyanins and cyanidin was 780 and 63 microM for HT 29 cells, respectively and 285 and 85 microM for HCT 116 cells, respectively. These results suggest that tart cherry anthocyanins and cyanidin may reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Cancer Lett. 2003 May 8;194(1):13-9

Taurine in health and diseases: consistent evidence from experimental and epidemiological studies.

Taurine (T) was first noted as beneficial for stroke and cardiovascular diseases (CVD) prevention in genetic rat models, stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). The preventive mechanisms of T were ascribed to sympathetic modulation for reducing blood pressure (BP) and anti-inflammatory action. Recent epidemiological surveys revealed the involvement of inflammatory mediators in the pathogenesis of stroke and also atherosclerosis for which T was proven to be effective experimentally. Arterio-lipidosis prone rats, a substrain of SHRSP selectively bred for higher reactive hypercholesterolemia, quickly develop not only arterial fat deposition but also fatty liver which could be attenuated by dietary T supplementation. CARDIAC (CVD and Alimentary Comparison) Study was a WHO-coordinated multi-center epidemiological survey on diets and CVD risks and mortalities in 61 populations. Twenty-four-hour urinary (24U) T was inversely related significantly with coronary heart disease mortality. Higher 24U-T excreters had significantly lower body mass index, systolic and diastolic BP, total cholesterol (T-Cho), and atherogenic index (AI: T-Cho/high density lipoprotein-cholesterol) than lower T excreters. T effects on CVD risks were intensified in individuals whose 24U-T and -magnesium (M) excretions were higher. Furthermore, higher Na excreters with higher heart rate whose BP were significantly higher than those with lower heart rate were divided into two groups by the mean of 24U-T, high and low T excreters. Since the former showed significantly lower BP than the latter, T may beneficially affect salt-sensitive BP rise. Included among the typical 61 populations, were Guiyang, China or St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada where in which the means of both 24U-T and -M were high or low, respectively. The former and the latter had low and high CVD risks, respectively. Australian Aboriginals living at the coastal area in Victoria were supposed to eat T- and M-rich bush and sea foods and be free from CVD 200 years ago, but they presently have nearly the highest CVD risks indicating that T- and/or M-containing seafood, vegetables, fruits, nuts, milk, etc, similar to prehistoric hunters’ and gatherers’ food should be good for CVD prevention. The preventive effects of T, good for health and longevity, first noted experimentally, were also proven epidemiologically in humans.

J Biomed Sci. 2010 Aug 24;17 Suppl 1:S6

The effect of supplemental dietary taurine on tinnitus and auditory discrimination in an animal model.

Loss of central inhibition has been hypothesized to underpin tinnitus and impact auditory acuity. Taurine, a partial agonist at inhibitory glycine and γ-amino butyric acid receptors, was added to the daily diet of rats to examine its effects on chronic tinnitus and normal auditory discrimination. Eight rats were unilaterally exposed once to a loud sound to induce tinnitus. The rats were trained and tested in an operant task shown to be sensitive to tinnitus. An equivalent unexposed control group was run in parallel. Months after exposure, 6 of the exposed rats showed significant evidence of chronic tinnitus. Two concentrations of taurine in drinking water were given over several weeks (attaining average daily doses of 67 mg/kg and 294 mg/kg). Water consumption was unaffected. Three main effects were obtained: (1) The high taurine dose significantly attenuated tinnitus, which returned to near pre-treatment levels following washout. (2) Auditory discrimination was significantly improved in unexposed control rats at both doses. (3) As indicated by lever pressing, taurine at both doses had a significant group-equivalent stimulant effect. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that taurine attenuates tinnitus and improves auditory discrimination by increasing inhibitory tone and decreasing noise in the auditory pathway.

Hear Res. 2010 Dec 1;270(1-2):71-80

The potential usefulness of taurine on diabetes mellitus and its complications.

Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is a free amino acid found ubiquitously in millimolar concentrations in all mammalian tissues. Taurine exerts a variety of biological actions, including antioxidation, modulation of ion movement, osmoregulation, modulation of neurotransmitters, and conjugation of bile acids, which may maintain physiological homeostasis. Recently, data is accumulating that show the effectiveness of taurine against diabetes mellitus, insulin resistance and its complications, including retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, atherosclerosis and cardiomyopathy, independent of hypoglycemic effect in several animal models. The useful effects appear due to the multiple actions of taurine on cellular functions. This review summarizes the beneficial effects of taurine supplementation on diabetes mellitus and the molecular mechanisms underlying its effectiveness.

Amino Acids.2012 May;42(5):1529-39

Antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects of lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation in rats fed a high fat diet.

BACKGROUND: Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaf has been used to treat obesity. The purpose of this study was to investigate the antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects of lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation in high fat diet-induced obese rats. METHODS: Four week-old male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into four groups with 8 rats in each group for a period of 6 weeks (normal diet, N group; high fat diet, HF group; high fat diet + lotus leaf hot water extract, HFL group; high fat diet + lotus leaf hot water extract + taurine, HFLT group). Lotus leaf hot water extract was orally administrated to HFL and HFLT groups and the same amount of distilled water was orally administered (400 mg/kg/day) to N and HF groups. Taurine was supplemented by dissolving in feed water (3% w/v). RESULTS: The body weight gain and relative weights of epididymal and retroperitoneal adipose tissues were significantly lower in N, HFL and HFLT groups compared to HF group. HFL and HFLT groups showed lower concentrations of total cholesterol, triglyceride and low density lipoprotein cholesterol in serum. HFLT group showed higher the ratio of high density lipoprotein cholesterol/total cholesterol compared to HFL group. HFLT group showed better blood lipid profiles compared to HFL group. CONCLUSIONS: Lotus leaf hot water extract with taurine supplementation showed antiobesity and hypolipidemic effects in high fat diet-induced obese rats, which was more effective than lotus leaf hot water extract alone.

J Biomed Sci. 2010 Aug 24;17 Suppl 1:S42

Taurine supplementation prevents morpho-physiological alterations in high-fat diet mice pancreatic β-cells.

Taurine (Tau) is involved in beta (β)-cell function and insulin action regulation. Here, we verified the possible preventive effect of Tau in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity and glucose intolerance and in the disruption of pancreatic β-cell morpho-physiology. Weaning Swiss mice were distributed into four groups: mice fed on HFD diet (36 % of saturated fat, HFD group); HTAU, mice fed on HFD diet and supplemented with 5 % Tau; control (CTL); and CTAU. After 19 weeks of diet and Tau treatments, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and islet morpho-physiology were evaluated. HFD mice presented higher body weight and fat depots, and were hyperglycemic, hyperinsulinemic, glucose intolerant and insulin resistant. Their pancreatic islets secreted high levels of insulin in the presence of increasing glucose concentrations and 30 mM K(+). Tau supplementation improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity with a higher ratio of Akt phosphorylated (pAkt) related to Akt total protein content (pAkt/Akt) following insulin administration in the liver without altering body weight and fat deposition in HTAU mice. Isolated islets from HTAU mice released insulin similarly to CTL islets. HFD intake induced islet hypertrophy, increased β-cell/islet area and islet and β-cell mass content in the pancreas. Tau prevented islet and β-cell/islet area, and islet and β-cell mass alterations induced by HFD. The total insulin content in HFD islets was higher than that of CTL islets, and was not altered in HTAU islets. In conclusion, for the first time, we showed that Tau enhances liver Akt activation and prevents β-cell compensatory morpho-functional adaptations induced by HFD.

Amino Acids.2012 Oct;43(4):1791-801

Experimental evidence for therapeutic potential of taurine in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

The incidence of obesity is now at epidemic proportions and has resulted in the emergence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a common metabolic disorder that can lead to liver injury and cirrhosis. Excess sucrose and long-chain saturated fatty acids in the diet may play a role in the development and progression of NAFLD. One factor linking sucrose and saturated fatty acids to liver damage is dysfunction of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Although there is currently no proven, effective therapy for NAFLD, the amino sulfonic acid taurine is protective against various metabolic disturbances, including alcohol-induced liver damage. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the therapeutic potential of taurine to serve as a preventative treatment for diet-induced NAFLD. We report that taurine significantly mitigated palmitate-mediated caspase-3 activity, cell death, ER stress, and oxidative stress in H4IIE liver cells and primary hepatocytes. In rats fed a high-sucrose diet, dietary taurine supplementation significantly reduced hepatic lipid accumulation, liver injury, inflammation, plasma triglycerides, and insulin levels. The high-sucrose diet resulted in an induction of multiple components of the unfolded protein response in the liver consistent with ER stress, which was ameliorated by taurine supplementation. Treatment of mice with the ER stress-inducing agent tunicamycin resulted in liver injury, unfolded protein response induction, and hepatic lipid accumulation that was significantly ameliorated by dietary supplementation with taurine. Our results indicate that dietary supplementation with taurine offers significant potential as a preventative treatment for NAFLD.

Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2011 Dec;301(6):R1710-22

Taurine ameliorates hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia by reducing insulin resistance and leptin level in Otsuka Long-Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats with long-term diabetes.

This study aimed to determine whether taurine supplementation improves metabolic disturbances and diabetic complications in an animal model for type 2 diabetes. We investigated whether taurine has therapeutic effects on glucose metabolism, lipid metabolism, and diabetic complications in Otsuka Long- Evans Tokushima fatty (OLETF) rats with long-term duration of diabetes. Fourteen 50-week-old OLETF rats with chronic diabetes were fed a diet supplemented with taurine (2%) or a non-supplemented control diet for 12 weeks. Taurine reduced blood glucose levels over 12 weeks, and improved OGTT outcomes at 6 weeks after taurine supplementation, in OLETF rats. Taurine significantly reduced insulin resistance but did not improve β-cell function or islet mass. After 12 weeks, taurine significantly decreased serum levels of lipids such as triglyceride, cholesterol, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. Taurine significantly reduced serum leptin, but not adiponectin levels. However, taurine had no therapeutic effect on damaged tissues. Taurine ameliorated hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, at least in part, by improving insulin sensitivity and leptin modulation in OLETF rats with long-term diabetes. Additional study is needed to investigate whether taurine has the same beneficial effects in human diabetic patients.

Exp Mol Med. 2012 Nov 30;44(11):665-73

Taurine exerts hypoglycemic effect in alloxan-induced diabetic rats, improves insulin-mediated glucose transport signaling pathway in heart and ameliorates cardiac oxidative stress and apoptosis.

Hyperlipidemia, inflammation and altered antioxidant profiles are the usual complications in diabetes mellitus. In the present study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of taurine in diabetes associated cardiac complications using a rat model. Rats were made diabetic by alloxan (ALX) (single i.p. dose of 120mg/kg body weight) and left untreated or treated with taurine (1% w/v, orally, in water) for three weeks either from the day of ALX exposure or after the onset of diabetes. Animals were euthanized after three weeks. ALX-induced diabetes decreased body weight, increased glucose level, decreased insulin content, enhanced the levels of cardiac damage markers and altered lipid profile in the plasma. Moreover, it increased oxidative stress (decreased antioxidant enzyme activities and GSH/GSSG ratio, increased xanthine oxidase enzyme activity, lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation and ROS generation) and enhanced the proinflammatory cytokines levels, activity of myeloperoxidase and nuclear translocation of NFκB in the cardiac tissue of the experimental animals. Taurine treatment could, however, result to a decrease in the elevated blood glucose and proinflammatory cytokine levels, diabetes-evoked oxidative stress, lipid profiles and NFκB translocation. In addition, taurine increased GLUT 4 translocation to the cardiac membrane by enhanced phosphorylation of IR and IRS1 at tyrosine and Akt at serine residue in the heart. Results also suggest that taurine could protect cardiac tissue from ALX induced apoptosis via the regulation of Bcl2 family and caspase 9/3 proteins. Taken together, taurine supplementation in regular diet could play a beneficial role in regulating diabetes and its associated complications in the heart.

Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2012 Jan 15;258(2):296-308

Taurine reduces nitrosative stress and nitric oxide synthase expression in high glucose-exposed human Schwann cells.

The role of taurine in regulating glucose-induced nitrosative stress has been examined in human Schwann cells, a model for understanding the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy. Exposure to high glucose increased nitrated proteins (1.56 fold p<0.05), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and neuronal NOS (nNOS) mRNA expression (1.55 fold and 2.2 fold respectively, p<0.05 both), phospho-p38 MAPK (1.32 fold, p<0.05) abundance and decreased Schwann cell growth (11±2%, p<0.05). Taurine supplementation prevented high-glucose induced iNOS and nNOS mRNA upregulation, reduced nitrated proteins and phospho-p38 MAPK (56±11% and 45±18% (p<0.05 both) respectively) and restored Schwann cell growth to control levels. High glucose and taurine treatment alone reduced phospho-p42/44 MAPK and phospho-AKT to below detectable levels. Treatment of human Schwann cells with donors of nitric oxide and peroxynitrite reduced taurine transporter (TauT) expression (by 35±5% and 29±7% respectively p<0.05 both) as well as the maximum velocity of taurine uptake (TauT Vmax). NOS inhibition prevented glucose-mediated TauT mRNA downregulation, and restored TauT Vmax. These data demonstrate an important role for taurine in the prevention of nitrosative stress in human Schwann cells, which may have important implications for the development and treatment of diabetic neuropathy.

Exp Neurol. 2012 Jan;233(1):154-62

Role of taurine in the vasculature: an overview of experimental and human studies.

Taurine is a sulfur-containing amino acid-like endogenous compound found in substantial amounts in mammalian tissues. It exerts a diverse array of biological effects, including cardiovascular regulation, antioxidation, modulation of ion transport, membrane stabilization, osmoregulation, modulation of neurotransmission, bile acid conjugation, hypolipidemia, antiplatelet activity and modulation of fetal development. This brief review summarizes the role of taurine in the vasculature and modulation of blood pressure, based on experimental and human studies. Oral supplementation of taurine induces antihypertensive effects in various animal models of hypertension. These effects of taurine have been shown to be both centrally and peripherally mediated. Consistent with this, taurine produces endothelium-dependent and independent relaxant effects in isolated vascular tissue preparations. Oral administration of taurine also ameliorates impairment of vascular reactivity, intimal thickening, arteriosclerosis, endothelial apoptosis, oxidative stress and inflammation, associated primarily with diabetes and, to a lesser extent with obesity, hypertension and nicotine-induced vascular adverse events. In rat aortic vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), taurine acts as an antiproliferative and antioxidant agent. In endothelial cells, taurine inhibits apoptosis, inflammation, oxidative stress and cell death while increasing NO generation. Oral taurine in hypertensive human patients alleviates the symptoms of hypertension and also reverses arterial stiffness and brachial artery reactivity in type 1 diabetic patients. However, despite these favorable findings, there is a need to further establish certain aspects of the reported results and also consider addressing unresolved related issues. In addition, the molecular mechanism (s) involved in the vascular effects of taurine is largely unknown and requires further investigations. Elucidation of the mechanisms through which taurine affects the vasculature could facilitate the development of therapeutic and/or diet-based strategies to reduce the burdens of vascular diseases.

Am J Cardiovasc Dis. 2011;1(3):293-311

Adult and umbilical cord blood-derived platelet-rich plasma for mesenchymal stem cell proliferation, chemotaxis, and cryo-preservation.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) was prepared from human adult peripheral blood and from human umbilical cord (uc) blood and the properties were compared in a series of in vitro bioassays. Quantification of growth factors in PRP and platelet-poor plasma (PPP) fractions revealed increased levels of mitogenic growth factors PDGF-AB, PDGF-BB, and FGF-2, the angiogenic agent VEGF and the chemokine RANTES in ucPRP compared to adult PRP (aPRP) and PPP. To compare the ability of the various PRP products to stimulate proliferation of human bone marrow (BM), rat BM and compact bone (CB)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), cells were cultured in serum-free media for 4 and 7 days with varying concentrations of PRP, PPP, or combinations of recombinant mitogens. It was found that while all forms of PRP and PPP were more mitogenic than fetal bovine serum, ucPRP resulted in significantly higher proliferation by 7 days than adult PRP and PPP. We observed that addition of as little as 0.1% ucPRP caused greater proliferation of MSC effects than the most potent combination of recombinant growth factors tested, namely PDGF-AB + PDGF-BB + FGF-2, each at 10 ng/mL. Similarly, in chemotaxis assays, ucPRP showed greater potency than adult PRP, PPP from either source, or indeed than combinations of either recombinant growth factors (PDGF, FGF, and TGF-β1) or chemokines previously shown to stimulate chemotactic migration of MSC. Lastly, we successfully demonstrated that PRP and PPP represented a viable alternative to FBS containing media for the cryo-preservation of MSC from human and rat BM.

Biomaterials.2012 Jul;33(21):5308-16

Induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic and adult fibroblast cultures by defined factors.

Differentiated cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic-like state by transfer of nuclear contents into oocytes or by fusion with embryonic stem (ES) cells. Little is known about factors that induce this reprogramming. Here, we demonstrate induction of pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic or adult fibroblasts by introducing four factors, Oct3/4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4, under ES cell culture conditions. Unexpectedly, Nanog was dispensable. These cells, which we designated iPS (induced pluripotent stem) cells, exhibit the morphology and growth properties of ES cells and express ES cell marker genes. Subcutaneous transplantation of iPS cells into nude mice resulted in tumors containing a variety of tissues from all three germ layers. Following injection into blastocysts, iPS cells contributed to mouse embryonic development. These data demonstrate that pluripotent stem cells can be directly generated from fibroblast cultures by the addition of only a few defined factors.

Cell.2006 Aug 25;126(4):663-76

Clinical transplantation of a tissue-engineered airway.

BACKGROUND: The loss of a normal airway is devastating. Attempts to replace large airways have met with serious problems. Prerequisites for a tissue-engineered replacement are a suitable matrix, cells, ideal mechanical properties, and the absence of antigenicity. We aimed to bioengineer tubular tracheal matrices, using a tissue-engineering protocol, and to assess the application of this technology in a patient with end-stage airway disease. METHODS: We removed cells and MHC antigens from a human donor trachea, which was then readily colonised by epithelial cells and mesenchymal stem-cell-derived chondrocytes that had been cultured from cells taken from the recipient (a 30-year old woman with end-stage bronchomalacia). This graft was then used to replace the recipient’s left main bronchus. FINDINGS: The graft immediately provided the recipient with a functional airway, improved her quality of life, and had a normal appearance and mechanical properties at 4 months. The patient had no anti-donor antibodies and was not on immunosuppressive drugs. INTERPRETATION: The results show that we can produce a cellular, tissue-engineered airway with mechanical properties that allow normal functioning, and which is free from the risks of rejection. The findings suggest that autologous cells combined with appropriate biomaterials might provide successful treatment for patients with serious clinical disorders.

Lancet.2008 Dec 13;372(9655):2023-30

Bioartificial tracheobronchial transplantation. Interview with Paolo Macchiarini.

We caught up with Paolo Macchiarini to find out more about the international collaboration responsible for creating and implanting the world’s first artificial trachea in June 2011. Paolo Macchiarini, Professor at the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden), has dedicated his career to improving the outcomes of tracheal transplant patients. He became well known in the regenerative medicine field in 2008 when he performed the first adult stem cell-grown trachea transplant and has since carried out several transplants using decellularized deceased donor trachea reseeded with the patient’s own cells. In June 2011, Macchiarini led an international team to successfully implant an artificial trachea, seeded with autologous stem cells, in a human patient, a world first. The patient, a 36-year-old man with late-stage tracheal cancer, has since made a good recovery.

Regen Med. 2011 Nov;6(6 Suppl):14-5

Tissue-engineered autologous bladders for patients needing cystoplasty.

BACKGROUND: Patients with end-stage bladder disease can be treated with cystoplasty using gastrointestinal segments. The presence of such segments in the urinary tract has been associated with many complications. We explored an alternative approach using autologous engineered bladder tissues for reconstruction. METHODS: Seven patients with myelomeningocele, aged 4-19 years, with high-pressure or poorly compliant bladders, were identified as candidates for cystoplasty. A bladder biopsy was obtained from each patient. Urothelial and muscle cells were grown in culture, and seeded on a biodegradable bladder-shaped scaffold made of collagen, or a composite of collagen and polyglycolic acid. About 7 weeks after the biopsy, the autologous engineered bladder constructs were used for reconstruction and implanted either with or without an omental wrap. Serial urodynamics, cystograms, ultrasounds, bladder biopsies, and serum analyses were done. RESULTS: Follow-up range was 22-61 months (mean 46 months). Post-operatively, the mean bladder leak point pressure decrease at capacity, and the volume and compliance increase was greatest in the composite engineered bladders with an omental wrap (56%, 1.58-fold, and 2.79-fold, respectively). Bowel function returned promptly after surgery. No metabolic consequences were noted, urinary calculi did not form, mucus production was normal, and renal function was preserved. The engineered bladder biopsies showed an adequate structural architecture and phenotype. CONCLUSIONS: Engineered bladder tissues, created with autologous cells seeded on collagen-polyglycolic acid scaffolds, and wrapped in omentum after implantation, can be used in patients who need cystoplasty.

Lancet.2006 Apr 15;367(9518):1241-6

Paths to stemness: building the ultimate antitumour T cell.

Stem cells are defined by the ability to self-renew and to generate differentiated progeny, qualities that are maintained by evolutionarily conserved pathways that can lead to cancer when deregulated. There is now evidence that these stem cell-like attributes and signalling pathways are also shared among subsets of mature memory T lymphocytes. We discuss how using stem cell-like T cells can overcome the limitations of current adoptive T cell therapies, including inefficient T cell engraftment, persistence and ability to mediate prolonged immune attack. Conferring stemness to antitumour T cells might unleash the full potential of cellular therapies.

Nat Rev Cancer.2012 Oct;12(10):671-84

Intracoronary bone marrow-derived progenitor cells in acute myocardial infarction.

BACKGROUND: Pilot trials suggest that the intracoronary administration of autologous progenitor cells may improve left ventricular function after acute myocardial infarction. METHODS: In a multicenter trial, we randomly assigned 204 patients with acute myocardial infarction to receive an intracoronary infusion of progenitor cells derived from bone marrow (BMC) or placebo medium into the infarct artery 3 to 7 days after successful reperfusion therapy. RESULTS: At 4 months, the absolute improvement in the global left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was significantly greater in the BMC group than in the placebo group (mean [+/-SD] increase, 5.5+/-7.3% vs. 3.0+/-6.5%; P=0.01). Patients with a baseline LVEF at or below the median value of 48.9% derived the most benefit (absolute improvement in LVEF, 5.0%; 95% confidence interval, 2.0 to 8.1). At 1 year, intracoronary infusion of BMC was associated with a reduction in the prespecified combined clinical end point of death, recurrence of myocardial infarction, and any revascularization procedure (P=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Intracoronary administration of BMC is associated with improved recovery of left ventricular contractile function in patients with acute myocardial infarction. Large-scale studies are warranted to examine the potential effects of progenitor-cell administration on morbidity and mortality.

N Engl J Med. 2006 Sep 21;355(12):1210-21

A degradable, bioactive, gelatinized alginate hydrogel to improve stem cell/growth factor delivery and facilitate healing after myocardial infarction.

Despite remarkable effectiveness of reperfusion and drug therapies to reduce morbidity and mortality following myocardial infarction (MI), many patients have debilitating symptoms and impaired left ventricular (LV) function highlighting the need for improved post-MI therapies. A promising concept currently under investigation is intramyocardial injection of high-water content, polymeric biomaterial gels (e.g., hydrogels) to modulate myocardial scar formation and LV adverse remodeling. We propose a degradable, bioactive hydrogel that forms a unique microstructure of continuous, parallel capillary-like channels (Capgel). We hypothesize that the innovative architecture and composition of Capgel can serve as a platform for endogenous cell recruitment and drug/cell delivery, therefore facilitating myocardial repair after MI.

Med Hypotheses.2012 Nov;79(5):673-7

Adipose-derived mesenchymal stromal cells for chronic myocardial ischemia (MyStromalCell Trial): study design.

Adipose tissue represents an abundant, accessible source of multipotent adipose-derived stromal cells (ADSCs). Animal studies have suggested that ADSCs have the potential to differentiate in vivo into endothelial cells and cardiomyocytes. This makes ADSCs a promising new cell source for regenerative therapy to replace injured tissue by creating new blood vessels and cardiomyocytes in patients with chronic ischemic heart disease. The aim of this special report is to review the present preclinical data leading to clinical stem cell therapy using ADSCs in patients with ischemic heart disease. In addition, we give an introduction to the first-in-man clinical trial, MyStromalCell Trial, which is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study using culture-expanded ADSCs obtained from adipose-derived cells from abdominal adipose tissue and stimulated with VEGF-A(165) the week before treatment.

Regen Med. 2012 May;7(3):421-8

Preclinical derivation and imaging of autologously transplanted canine induced pluripotent stem cells.

Derivation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) opens a new avenue for future applications of regenerative medicine. However, before iPSCs can be used in a clinical setting, it is critical to validate their in vivo fate following autologous transplantation. Thus far, preclinical studies have been limited to small animals and have yet to be conducted in large animals that are physiologically more similar to humans. In this study, we report the first autologous transplantation of iPSCs in a large animal model through the generation of canine iPSCs (ciPSCs) from the canine adipose stromal cells and canine fibroblasts of adult mongrel dogs. We confirmed pluripotency of ciPSCs using the following techniques: (i) immunostaining and quantitative PCR for the presence of pluripotent and germ layer-specific markers in differentiated ciPSCs; (ii) microarray analysis that demonstrates similar gene expression profiles between ciPSCs and canine embryonic stem cells; (iii) teratoma formation assays; and (iv) karyotyping for genomic stability. Fate of ciPSCs autologously transplanted to the canine heart was tracked in vivo using clinical positron emission tomography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. To demonstrate clinical potential of ciPSCs to treat models of injury, we generated endothelial cells (ciPSC-ECs) and used these cells to treat immunodeficient murine models of myocardial infarction and hindlimb ischemia.

J Biol Chem. 2011 Sep 16;286(37):32697-704

On the role of thymopoietins in cell proliferation. Immunochemical evidence for new members of the human thymopoietin family.

Thymopoietins (TMPOs) are a group of ubiquitously expressed nuclear proteins. They are suggested to play an important role in nuclear envelope organization and cell cycle control, as has been shown for lamina-associated polypeptides 2 alpha and beta, which are the rat homologs of human TMPOalpha and TMPObeta, respectively. The recent isolation and characterization of seven mouse TMPO mRNA transcripts named TMPO-alpha, beta, beta’, gamma, epsilon delta and zeta, suggest that more than the three previously reported transcripts, alpha, beta, and gamma forms, may exist in humans. Here we report on the demonstration of putative human TMPOdelta and epsilon by immunoblotting of human cell lines using a newly prepared polyclonal antiserum against the common N-terminal region of TMPO. Furthermore, we prepared the first truly TMPO-beta-specific, affinity-purified polyclonal antiserum, using a part of the human analog of the beta-specific domain of mouse TMPO 220-259 for immunization. We showed that human TMPObeta is highly expressed in all cancerous cells tested, while hardly any cross-reactivities with other proteins could be detected. In contrast to the high expression of human TMPObeta in the cancer-derived neuroblastoma cell lines SK-N-MC and SMS-KAN, we found very low expression of human TMPObeta in low-proliferative nerve tissue. These data led us to the assumption that expression of TMPObeta may correlate with the occurrence of cancer, and therefore may serve as a new tumor marker, or even as a new target for cancer therapy.

Biol Chem. 1999 Jun;380(6):653-60

Molecular biology of keratinocyte differentiation.

Epidermal keratinocytes (skin cells) are highly specialized epithelial cells designed to perform a very specific function, separation of the organism from its environment. To accomplish this the cells synthesize precursors and assemble them into two distinct structures, the cornified envelope and keratin intermediate filaments. The intermediate filaments are assembled from keratin monomers and the cornified envelope is assembled from a protein called involucrin and several other proteins. Expression of involucrin and the keratins genes are regulated as a function of the stage of keratinocyte differentiation and by various external agents such as calcium and vitamin A. To study the function of these structures and the regulation of precursor production we have cloned cDNA and genomic clones encoding involucrin and four of the keratin polypeptides. Retinoids profoundly alter the differentiation pattern of human epidermal keratinocytes, but the underlying biochemical basis of this change is not known. In this report we describe retinoid-promoted changes in keratin gene expression that may, in part, be responsible for the alteration in cellular phenotype in the presence of the vitamin. We also describe the novel structure of the human 40 kD keratin, a member of the keratin family that is retinoid responsive and is likely to be important during epidermal development. Finally, we describe the structure of the envelope precursor protein, involucrin, as determined from its DNA sequence and speculate on its role in cornified envelope formation.

Environ Health Perspect. 1989 Mar;80:109-16

Aging of human epidermis: reversal of aging changes correlates with reversal of keratinocyte fas expression and apoptosis.

The goal of this study was to determine the role of Fas-mediated apoptosis in human epidermal aging. Epidermal Fas expression and apoptosis are increased in aged human skin. Aging changes of human epidermis, including decreased epidermal thickness and proliferation, are reversed following grafting of human skin to SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency) mice. Skin from aged participants (n = 14; mean 70.7 years), and young participants (n = 14; mean 23.4 years) was grafted to beige SCID mice, and epidermal thickness, proliferation (Ki-67 expression), apoptosis (TUNEL [Tdt-mediated dUTP nick end labeling] reaction below granular layer), and expression of Fas and FasL were determined by histology and immunochemical staining. Aged skin was associated with thinning of the epidermis, decreased epidermal proliferation, a significant increase in apoptosis below the granular layer, and epidermal Fas expression. Engraftment significantly reversed these aging changes, including apoptosis, and Fas expression. Correlation of reversal of aging changes, with decreased epidermal Fas expression and apoptosis, supports a role for Fas-mediated apoptosis in aging of human epidermis

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 May;59(5):411-5

Influence of carrageenan on the rheology and skin permeation of microemulsion formulations.

Three different microemulsions (A-C) and one semisolid preparation D were investigated in terms of viscoelastic properties and skin permeation of the model compound sodium fluorescein. The influence of the polysaccharide carrageenan on these parameters was investigated. Carrageenan is frequently used as food additive and has very interesting properties like good adhesiveness on skin which can be a benefit for topical application. The viscoelastic properties of the preparations (A-D) and of mixtures with carrageenan (A’-D’) were characterized by oscillatory measurements. It was possible to adjust the rheologic properties of the formulations and to increase the sodium fluorescein permeation through porcine skin by mixing them with carrageenan gels. Therefore, the presented formulations as well as mixtures with carrageenan might be promising alternative drug carrier systems for topical pharmaceutical as well as cosmetics.

J Control Release.2004 Mar 5;95(2):257-65

Seaweed vitamins as nutraceuticals.

Seaweeds are a good source of some water- (B(1), B(2), B(12), C) and fat-soluble (β-carotene with vitamin A activity, vitamin E) vitamins. To ensure that the adequate intake of all vitamins is received in the diet, people (especially people on special diet, strict vegetarians, and vegans) can consume foods enriched with vitamins, for example, in the form of functional foods with vitamins as nutraceuticals, extracted from natural sources such as seaweeds. Seaweed vitamins are important not only due to their biochemical functions and antioxidant activity but also due to other health benefits such as decreasing of blood pressure (vitamin C), prevention of cardiovascular diseases (β-carotene), or reducing the risk of cancer (vitamins E and C, carotenoids).

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2011;64:357-69

Laminin peptide YIGSR induces collagen synthesis in Hs27 human dermal fibroblasts.

The dermal ECM is synthesized from fibroblasts and is primarily compromised of fibrillar collagen and elastic fibers, which support the mechanical strength and resiliency of skin, respectively. Laminin, a major glycoprotein located in the basement membrane, promotes cell adhesion, cell growth, differentiation, and migration. The laminin tyrosine-isoleucine-glycine-serine-arginine (YIGSR) peptide, corresponding to the 929-933 sequence of the β1 chain, is known to be a functional motif with effects on the inhibition of tumor metastasis, the regulation of sensory axonal response and the inhibition of angiogenesis through high affinity to the 67kDa laminin receptor. In this study, we identified a novel function of the YIGSR peptide to enhance collagen synthesis in human dermal fibroblasts. To elucidate this novel function regarding collagen synthesis, we treated human dermal fibroblasts with YIGSR peptide in both a time- and dose-dependent manner. According to subsequent experiments, we found that the YIGSR peptide strongly enhanced collagen type 1 synthesis without changing cell proliferation or cellular MMP-1 level. This YIGSR peptide-mediated collagen type 1 synthesis was modulated by FAK inhibitor and MEK inhibitor. This study clearly reveals that YIGSR peptide plays a novel function on the collagen type 1 synthesis of dermal fibroblasts and also suggests that YIGSR is a strong candidate peptide for the treatment of skin aging and wrinkles.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun.2012 Nov 23;428(3):416-21

Topical vitamins, minerals and botanical ingredients as modulators of environmental and chronological skin damage.

Ageing skin is characterized by fine lines, wrinkles, lentigines, dyspigmentation and increased coarseness. Topical preparations alleged to combat these changes abound in the over-the-counter market. Some of the most popular ingredients used in these products are vitamins, minerals and botanical extracts. Proposed mechanisms for antiageing effects on skin range from antioxidant properties to improved collagen synthesis or protection from collagen breakdown. Despite the media attention and consumer popularity that these ingredients have generated, there have been few scientific studies to support these claims. In this report, we review recent published studies on the most common of these ingredients for the topical photoprotection and the treatment of ageing skin.

Br J Dermatol.2003 Oct;149(4):681-91

Antioxidant activity of proteins and peptides.

Proteins can inhibit lipid oxidation by biologically designed mechanisms (e.g. antioxidant enzymes and iron-binding proteins) or by nonspecific mechanisms. Both of these types of antioxidative proteins contribute to the endogenous antioxidant capacity of foods. Proteins also have excellent potential as antioxidant additives in foods because they can inhibit lipid oxidation through multiple pathways including inactivation of reactive oxygen species, scavenging free radicals, chelation of prooxidative transition metals, reduction of hydroperoxides, and alteration of the physical properties of food systems. A protein’s overall antioxidant activity can be increased by disruption of its tertiary structure to increase the solvent accessibility of amino acid residues that can scavenge free radicals and chelate prooxidative metals. The production of peptides through hydrolytic reactions seems to be the most promising technique to form proteinaceous antioxidants since peptides have substantially higher antioxidant activity than intact proteins. While proteins and peptides have excellent potential as food antioxidants, issues such as allergenicity and bitter off-flavors as well as their ability to alter food texture and color need to be addressed.

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2008 May;48(5):430-41

Thymic involution in aging. Prospects for correction.

The thymus produces several putative thymic hormones: thymosin alpha 1, thymulin, and thymopoietin, which have been reported to circulate and to act on both prothymocytes and mature T cells in the periphery, thus maintaining their commitment to the T cell system. These endocrine influences decline with age and are associated with “thymic menopause” and cellular immune senescence, which contribute to the development of diseases in the aged. Thymus endocrinology is characterized by the action of many hormones and hormone-like substances on the cellular components of the thymus, including thymocytes, thymic epithelial cells, and thymic stromal cells. The intrathymic environment is characterized by a complex network of paracrine, autocrine, and endocrine signals involving both interleukins and thymic peptides, which can be envisioned to operate in a synergistic network to carry the evolving T cell through its stepwise development to a mature T cell. Extrathymic influences regulating the secretory function of thymic epithelial cells and the stepwise evolution of T cells can be ascribed to circulating interleukins, mainly IL1 and IL2, derived from activation and secretion of leukocytes in the periphery. These interleukins act in a synergistic fashion at all levels of T cell development by the induction of high-affinity IL2 receptors and the resultant IL2-dependent proliferative responses. To determine whether exogenous administration of interleukins would induce T lymphocyte development in aged mice, we chemically thymectomized aged mice with a steroid hormone and treated them with mixed interleukins or thymic hormones such as thymosin. We found that mixed interleukins, but not thymosin, restored thymic weight and cellularity and enhanced thymocyte responses to interleukins and mitogen. Thymosin potentiated the effect.

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1992 Dec 26;673:231-9

Proteolytic-based method for the identification of human growth hormone.

Human growth hormone (HGH) is a relatively small protein consisting of 191 amino acids and has an average mass of 22,125 amu. The forensic analysis of proteins such as HGH must meet the analytical sufficiency requirements for the laboratory and consists of a binary approach. A suspected sample is analyzed as the whole protein for retention time and mass determination using high performance liquid chromatography equipped with a photodiode array and liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. Further fragmentation of the protein using a proteolytic enzyme adds another dimension to the specificity of the analysis. Porcine trypsin digests proteins in a very predictable manner and yields peptide fragments of the original protein that can be used as a means for fingerprinting the larger biomolecule. In silico, or theoretical, digestion of HGH by trypsin yields 21 peptides ranging in size from 1 to 23 amino acids in length. The larger fragments containing higher numbers of amino acids give more specificity to identifying a protein based on a fragment produced by the digestion of trypsin. Herein, the analysis of HGH using a proteolytic approach is presented that meets the Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG) recommendations for the identification of unknown substances.

J Forensic Sci. 2009 Jan;54(1):122-7