Publications by authors named "Bharat B Aggarwal"

393 Publications

Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (4th edition).

Autophagy 2021 Jan 8;17(1):1-382. Epub 2021 Feb 8.

University of Crete, School of Medicine, Laboratory of Clinical Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis, Voutes, Heraklion, Crete, Greece; Foundation for Research and Technology, Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (IMBB), Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

In 2008, we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, this topic has received increasing attention, and many scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Thus, it is important to formulate on a regular basis updated guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Despite numerous reviews, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to evaluate autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. Here, we present a set of guidelines for investigators to select and interpret methods to examine autophagy and related processes, and for reviewers to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of reports that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a dogmatic set of rules, because the appropriateness of any assay largely depends on the question being asked and the system being used. Moreover, no individual assay is perfect for every situation, calling for the use of multiple techniques to properly monitor autophagy in each experimental setting. Finally, several core components of the autophagy machinery have been implicated in distinct autophagic processes (canonical and noncanonical autophagy), implying that genetic approaches to block autophagy should rely on targeting two or more autophagy-related genes that ideally participate in distinct steps of the pathway. Along similar lines, because multiple proteins involved in autophagy also regulate other cellular pathways including apoptosis, not all of them can be used as a specific marker for autophagic responses. Here, we critically discuss current methods of assessing autophagy and the information they can, or cannot, provide. Our ultimate goal is to encourage intellectual and technical innovation in the field.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2020.1797280DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996087PMC
January 2021

COVID-19, cytokines, inflammation, and spices: How are they related?

Life Sci 2021 Feb 16:119201. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA 92109, USA. Electronic address:

Background: Cytokine storm is the exaggerated immune response often observed in viral infections. It is also intimately linked with the progression of COVID-19 disease as well as associated complications and mortality. Therefore, targeting the cytokine storm might help in reducing COVID-19-associated health complications. The number of COVID-associated deaths (as of January 15, 2021; https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/) in the USA is high (1199/million) as compared to countries like India is low (110/million). Although the reason behind this is not clear, spices may have some role in explaining this difference. Spices and herbs are used in different traditional medicines, especially in countries such as India to treat various chronic diseases due to their potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Aim: To evaluate the literature available on the anti-inflammatory properties of some spices which might prove beneficial in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 associated cytokine storm.

Method: A detailed literature search has been conducted on PubMed for collecting information pertaining to the COVID-19; the history, origin, key structural features, and mechanism of infection of SARS-CoV-2; the repurposed drugs in use for the management of COVID-19 and the anti-inflammatory role of spices to combat COVID-19 associated cytokine storm.

Key Findings: The literature search resulted in numerous in vitro, in vivo and clinical trials that have reported the potency of spices to exert anti-inflammatory effects by regulating crucial molecular targets for inflammation.

Significance: As spices are derived from Mother Nature and are inexpensive, they are relatively safer to consume. Therefore, their anti-inflammatory property can be exploited to combat the cytokine storm in COVID-19 patients. This review thus focuses on the current knowledge on the role of spices for the treatment of COVID-19 through suppression of inflammation-linked cytokine storm.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2021.119201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884924PMC
February 2021

Inflammation, NF-κB, and Chronic Diseases: How are They Linked?

Crit Rev Immunol 2020 ;40(1):1-39

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, California.

Most chronic diseases, caused by lifestyle factors, appear to be linked to inflammation. Inflammation is activated mechanistically, and nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a significant mediator. NF-κB, one of the most studied transcription factors, was first identified in the nucleus of B lymphocytes almost three decades ago. This protein has a key function in regulating the human immune system, and its dysregulation has been linked to many chronic diseases including asthma, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation, and neurological disorders. Physiologically, many cytokines have been discovered that activate NF-κB. Pathologically, environmental carcinogens such as cigarette smoke, radiation, bacteria, and viruses can also activate this transcription factor. NF-κB activation controls expression of more than 500 genes, and most are deleterious to the human body when dysregulated. More than 70,000 articles have been published regarding NF-κB. This review emphasizes the upside and downside of NF-κB in normal and disease conditions and the ways in which we can control this critical transcription factor in patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2020033210DOI Listing
December 2020

Calebin A Potentiates the Effect of 5-FU and TNF-β (Lymphotoxin α) against Human Colorectal Cancer Cells: Potential Role of NF-κB.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Mar 31;21(7). Epub 2020 Mar 31.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumour Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, D-80336 Munich, Germany.

Objective: The majority of chemotherapeutic agents stimulate NF-κB signaling that mediates cell survival, proliferation and metastasis. The natural turmeric non-curcuminoid derivate Calebin A has been shown to suppress cell growth, invasion and colony formation in colorectal cancer cells (CRC) by suppression of NF-κB signaling. Therefore, we hypothesized here that Calebin A might chemosensitize the TNF-β-treated tumor cells and potentiates the effect of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) in advanced CRC.

Materials And Methods: CRC cells (HCT116) and their clonogenic 5-FU chemoresistant counterparts (HCT116R) were cultured in monolayer or alginate-based 3D tumor environment culture and were treated with/without Calebin A, TNF-β, 5-FU, BMS-345541 and DTT (dithiothreitol).

Results: The results showed that TNF-β increased proliferation, invasion and resistance to apoptosis in chemoresistant CRC cells. Pretreatment with Calebin A significantly chemosensitized HCT116R to 5-FU and inhibited the TNF-β-induced enhanced efforts for survival, invasion and anti-apoptotic effects. We found further that Calebin A significantly suppressed TNF-β-induced phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of p65-NF-κB, similar to BMS-345541 (specific IKK inhibitor) and NF-κB-induced tumor-promoting biomarkers (NF-κB, β1-Integrin, MMP-9, CXCR4, Ki67). This was associated with increased apoptosis in HCT116 and HCT116R cells. Furthermore, blocking of p65-NF-κB stimulation by Calebin A was imparted through the downmodulation of p65-NF-κB binding to the DNA and this suppression was turned by DTT.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate, for the first time, that Calebin A chemosensitizes human CRC cells to chemotherapy by targeting of the p65-NF-κB signaling pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072393DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177530PMC
March 2020

Evidence that TNF-β suppresses osteoblast differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells and resveratrol reverses it through modulation of NF-κB, Sirt1 and Runx2.

Cell Tissue Res 2020 Jul 6;381(1):83-98. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumour Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Anatomy, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, 80336, Munich, Germany.

It has been established that inflammation plays an important role in bone formation and bone loss. Although a lot is known about the role of TNF-α in bone health, very little is understood about TNF-β, also called lymphotoxin. In this report, we examine the effect of TNF-β on osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and its modulation by resveratrol. Monolayer and high-density cultures of MSCs were treated with osteogenic induction medium with/without TNF-β, Sirt1 inhibitor nicotinamide (NAM), antisense oligonucleotides against Sirt1 (ASO) and/or Sirt1 stimulator resveratrol. We found that TNF-β inhibits, in a similar way to NAM or Sirt1-ASO, the early stage of osteogenic differentiation of MSCs and this was accompanied with downregulation of bone-specific matrix, β1-integrin, Runx2 and with upregulation of NF-κB phosphorylation and NF-κB-regulated gene products involved in the inflammatory, degradative processes and apoptosis. However, resveratrol reversed TNF-β- and NAM-suppressed MSCs osteogenesis by activation of Sirt1 and Runx2 that led to osteoblast differentiation. Furthermore, downregulation of Sirt1 by mRNA inhibited the effect of resveratrol, highlighting the important impact of this enzyme in the TNF-β signaling pathway. Finally, resveratrol was able to manifest its effect both by suppression of TNF-β-induced NF-κB and through direct activation of the Sirt1 and Runx2 pathway. Thus, through these studies, we present a mechanism by which a T cell-derived cytokine, TNF-β can affect bone formation through modulation of MSCs differentiation that involves NF-κB, Sirt1, Runx2 and resveratrol reversed TNF-β-promoted impairments in MSCs osteogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00441-020-03188-8DOI Listing
July 2020

Evidence That Calebin A, a Component of Suppresses NF-B Mediated Proliferation, Invasion and Metastasis of Human Colorectal Cancer Induced by TNF-β (Lymphotoxin).

Nutrients 2019 Dec 1;11(12). Epub 2019 Dec 1.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumor Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, D-80336 Munich, Germany.

Objective: Natural polyphenol Calebin A has been recently discovered as a novel derivate from turmeric with anti-cancer potential. Pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-β (lymphotoxin α) is a stimulant for cancer cell malignity via activation of NF-B pathway, also in colorectal cancer (CRC). Here, we investigated the potential of Calebin A to suppress TNF-β-induced NF-B signalling in CRC.

Materials And Methods: Three distinct CRC cell lines (HCT116, RKO, SW480) were treated in monolayer or 3-dimensional alginate culture with TNF-β, Calebin A, curcumin, BMS-345541, dithiothreitol (DTT) or antisense oligonucleotides-(ASO) against NF-B.

Results: Calebin A suppressed dose-dependent TNF-β-induced CRC cell vitality and proliferation in monolayer culture. Further, in alginate culture, Calebin A significantly suppressed TNF-β-enhanced colonosphere development, as well as invasion and colony formation of all three CRC cell lines investigated. Calebin A specifically blocked TNF-β-induced activation and nuclear translocation of p65-NF-B, similar to curcumin (natural NF-B inhibitor), BMS-345541 (specific IKK inhibitor) and ASO-NF-B. Moreover, Immunofluorescence and Immunoblotting showed that Calebin A, similar to curcumin or BMS-345541 suppressed TNF-β-induced activation and nuclear translocation of p65-NF-B and the transcription of NF-B-promoted biomarkers associated with proliferation, migration and apoptosis, in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Those findings were potentiated by the specific treatment of extracted nuclei with DTT, which abrogated Calebin A-mediated nuclear p65-NF-B-inhibition and restored p65-NF-B-activity in the nucleus.

Conclusion: Overall, these results demonstrate, for the first time, that multitargeted Calebin A has an anti-cancer capability on TNF-β-induced malignities through inhibitory targeting of NF-B activation in the cytoplasm, as well as by suppressing the binding of p65-NF-B to DNA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11122904DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950382PMC
December 2019

Is curcumin bioavailability a problem in humans: lessons from clinical trials.

Expert Opin Drug Metab Toxicol 2019 Sep 29;15(9):705-733. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Inflammation Research Center , San Diego , CA , USA.

: Since ancient times, turmeric has been used in several folklore remedies against various ailments. The principal component of turmeric is curcumin and its efficacy has been advocated in various and clinical studies for different chronic diseases. However, some studies suggest that curcumin bioavailability is a major problem. : This article discusses over 200 clinical studies with curcumin that have demonstrated the pronounced protective role of this compound against cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory diseases, metabolic diseases, neurological diseases, skin diseases, liver diseases, various types of cancer, etc. The review also describes the combination of curcumin with many natural and synthetic compounds as well as various formulations of curcumin that have shown efficacy in multiple clinical studies. : The therapeutic potential of curcumin, as demonstrated by clinical trials has overpowered the myth that poor bioavailability of curcumin poses a problem. Low curcumin bioavailability in certain studies has been addressed by using higher concentrations of curcumin within nontoxic limits. Moreover, curcumin, in combination with other compounds or as formulations, has shown enhanced bioavailability. Hence, bioavailability is not a problem in the curcumin-mediated treatment of chronic diseases. Therefore, this golden nutraceutical presents a safe, low-cost and effective treatment modality for different chronic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17425255.2019.1650914DOI Listing
September 2019

Cancer drug development: The missing links.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2019 05 8;244(8):663-689. Epub 2019 Apr 8.

4 Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA 92109, USA.

Impact Statement: The success rate for cancer drugs which enter into phase 1 clinical trials is utterly less. Why the vast majority of drugs fail is not understood but suggests that pre-clinical studies are not adequate for human diseases. In 1975, as per the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development, pharmaceutical industries expended 100 million dollars for research and development of the average FDA approved drug. By 2005, this figure had more than quadrupled, to $1.3 billion. In order to recover their high and risky investment cost, pharmaceutical companies charge more for their products. However, there exists no correlation between drug development cost and actual sale of the drug. This high drug development cost could be due to the reason that all patients might not respond to the drug. Hence, a given drug has to be tested in large number of patients to show drug benefits and obtain significant results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1535370219839163DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6552400PMC
May 2019

Induction of the Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal Transition of Human Colorectal Cancer by Human TNF-β (Lymphotoxin) and its Reversal by Resveratrol.

Nutrients 2019 Mar 26;11(3). Epub 2019 Mar 26.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumor Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, D-80336 Munich, Germany.

Objective: Tumor necrosis factor-beta (TNF-β), as an inflammatory mediator that has been shown to promote tumorigenesis, induces NF-κB. Natural multi-targeted agent resveratrol in turn shows anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) allows cancer cells to turn into a motile state with invasive capacities and is associated with metastasis and development of cancer stem cells (CSC). However, TNF-β-induced EMT and the anti-invasion mechanism of resveratrol on CRC are not yet completely understood.

Methods: We investigated the underlying molecular mechanisms of resveratrol on TNF-β/TNF-βR-induced EMT and migration of CRC cells (HCT116, RKO, SW480) in monolayer or 3D alginate cultures.

Results: TNF-β, similar to TNF-α, induced significant cell proliferation, morphological change, from an epithelial to a spindle-like mesenchymal shape with the formation of filopodia and lamellipodia associated with the expression of EMT parameters (elevated vimentin and slug, reduced E-cadherin), increased migration/invasion, and formation of CSC in all CRC cells. Interestingly, these effects were dramatically decreased in the presence of resveratrol or anti-TNF-βR with TNF-β co-treatment, inducing biochemical changes to the mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), with a planar cell surface and suppressed formation of CSC cells. This was associated with a significant increase in apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that resveratrol suppressed TNF-β-induced NF-κB and NF-κB-regulated gene biomarkers associated with growth, proliferation, and invasion. Finally, TNF-βR interacts directly with focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and NF-κB.

Conclusion: These results suggest that resveratrol down-regulates TNF-β/TNF-βR-induced EMT, at least in part via specific suppression of NF-κΒ and FAK in CRC cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu11030704DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6471988PMC
March 2019

Evidence that TNF-β induces proliferation in colorectal cancer cells and resveratrol can down-modulate it.

Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2019 01 19;244(1):1-12. Epub 2019 Jan 19.

1 Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumor Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Munich 80336, Germany.

Impact Statement: The mechanism by which natural products such as resveratrol suppresses TNF-β-promoted tumor cell proliferation, invasion, and colony formation is unknown. In this study, we explored for the first time the effect of resveratrol on the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-β-, compared to TNF-α-stimulated proliferative and pro-inflammatory signaling in HCT116 cells. Our findings suggest that expression of TNF-β and TNF-β-receptor, like TNF-α, can lead to activation of inflammatory transcription factor (NF-κB) and NF-κB-regulated gene biomarkers, which are involved in the promotion of cancer proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and cell survival of tumor. Resveratrol can block TNF-β/TNF-β-receptor-induced activation of NF-κB, NF-κB-modulated gene products, and inhibition of caspase-3 cleavage. These results highlight the therapeutic effect of resveratrol-mediated anti-tumor activity by multitargeting cellular signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1535370218824538DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6362535PMC
January 2019

Upside and Downside of Tumor Necrosis Factor Blockers for Treatment of Immune/Inflammatory Diseases.

Crit Rev Immunol 2019 ;39(6):439-479

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, California.

Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, the most potent proinflammatory cytokine discovered to date, was first isolated in 1984 from human macrophage cells. Initially, it was thought to be a protein that was cytotoxic to tumor cells. But later, it was regarded as an agent that promotes inflammation and other chronic diseases found in humans. Currently, we know that the TNF superfamily (TNFS) has 19 members that perform a wide variety of functions via > 40 TNF receptors. Of TNFS members, TNF-α has been studied extensively and was found to be implicated in numerous autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, systemic lupus erythematosus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and diabetes. Thus, agents that can inhibit TNF-α have great potential for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. To date, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved many TNF-α blockers, such as etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab, certolizumab pegol, and golimumab. These agents can block TNF-α actions and be used to treat different diseases. However, the uses of TNF-α blockers are not without serious adverse effects. Therefore, natural TNF-α blockers are best for developing safe, efficacious, and affordable agents for prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. The current review details the TNFS, functions of TNF-α in normal and disease conditions, roles of TNF-α blockers, and advantages and disadvantages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2020033205DOI Listing
September 2020

Inflammation, a Double-Edge Sword for Cancer and Other Age-Related Diseases.

Front Immunol 2018 27;9:2160. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, California, CA, United States.

Increasing evidence from diverse sources during the past several years has indicated that long-term, low level, chronic inflammation mediates several chronic diseases including cancer, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and neurological diseases. The inflammatory molecules and transcription factors, adhesion molecules, AP-1, chemokines, C-reactive protein (CRP), cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, interleukins (ILs), 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), nuclear factor (NF)-kB, signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are molecular links between inflammation and chronic diseases. Thus, suppression of inflammatory molecules could be potential strategy for the prevention and therapy of chronic diseases. The currently available drugs against chronic diseases are highly expensive, minimally effective and produce several side effects when taken for long period of time. The focus of this review is to discuss the potential of nutraceuticals derived from "Mother Nature" such as apigenin, catechins, curcumin, ellagic acid, emodin, epigallocatechin gallate, escin, fisetin, flavopiridol, genistein, isoliquiritigenin, kaempferol, mangostin, morin, myricetin, naringenin, resveratrol, silymarin, vitexin, and xanthohumol in suppression of these inflammatory pathways. Thus, these nutraceuticals offer potential in preventing or delaying the onset of chronic diseases. We provide evidence for the potential of these nutraceuticals from pre-clinical and clinical studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2018.02160DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6170639PMC
October 2019

Googling the Guggul (Commiphora and Boswellia) for Prevention of Chronic Diseases.

Front Pharmacol 2018 6;9:686. Epub 2018 Aug 6.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA, United States.

Extensive research during last 2 decades has revealed that most drugs discovered today, although costs billions of dollars for discovery, and yet they are highly ineffective in their clinical response. For instance, the European Medicines Agency has approved 68 anti-cancer drugs, and out of which 39 has reached the market level with no indication of increased survival nor betterment of quality of life. Even when drugs did improve survival rate compared to available treatment strategies, most of these were found to be clinically insignificant. This is a fundamental problem with modern drug discovery which is based on thinking that most chronic diseases are caused by alteration of a single gene and thus most therapies are single gene-targeted therapies. However, extensive research has revealed that most chronic diseases are caused by multiple gene products. Although most drugs designed by man are mono-targeted therapies, however, those designed by "mother nature" and have been used for thousands of years, are "multi-targeted" therapies. In this review, we examine two agents that have been around for thousands of years, namely "guggul" from and . Although we are all familiar with the search engine "google," this is another type of "guggul" that has been used for centuries and being explored for its various biological activities. The current review summarizes the traditional uses, chemistry, and biological activities, molecular targets, and clinical trials performed with these agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6087759PMC
August 2018

Resveratrol Chemosensitizes TNF-β-Induced Survival of 5-FU-Treated Colorectal Cancer Cells.

Nutrients 2018 Jul 12;10(7). Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumour Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Ludwig-Maximilian-University Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, D-80336 Munich, Germany.

Resveratrol, a safe and multitargeted natural agent, has been linked with inhibition of survival and invasion of tumor cells. Tumor Necrosis Factor-β (TNF-β) (Lymphotoxin α) is known as an inflammatory cytokine, however, the underlying mechanisms for its pro-carcinogenic effects and whether resveratrol can suppress these effects in the tumor microenvironment are poorly understood. We investigated whether resveratrol modulates the effects of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) and TNF-β on the malignant potential of human colorectal cancer (CRC) cells (HCT116) and their corresponding isogenic 5-FU-chemoresistant derived clones (HCT116R) in 3D-alginate tumor microenvironment. CRC cells cultured in alginate were able to migrate from alginate and the numbers of migrated cells were significantly increased in the presence of TNF-β, similar to TNF-α, and dramatically decreased by resveratrol. We found that TNF-β promoted chemoresistance in CRC cells to 5-FU compared to control cultures and resveratrol chemosensitizes TNF-β-induced increased capacity for survival and invasion of HCT116 and HCT116R cells to 5-FU. Furthermore, TNF-β induced a more pronounced cancer stem cell-like (CSC) phenotype (CD133, CD44, ALDH1) and resveratrol suppressed formation of CSC cells in two different CRC cells and this was accompanied with a significant increase in apoptosis (caspase-3). It is noteworthy that resveratrol strongly suppressed TNF-β-induced activation of tumor-promoting factors (NF-κB, MMP-9, CXCR4) and epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition-factors (increased vimentin and slug, decreased E-cadherin) in CRC cells. Our results clearly demonstrate for the first time that resveratrol modulates the TNF-β signaling pathway, induces apoptosis, suppresses NF-κB activation, epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition (EMT), CSCs formation and chemosensitizes CRC cells to 5-FU in a tumor microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/nu10070888DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073304PMC
July 2018

Dietary nutraceuticals as backbone for bone health.

Biotechnol Adv 2018 11 27;36(6):1633-1648. Epub 2018 Mar 27.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

Bone loss or osteoporosis, is a slow-progressing disease that results from dysregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The FDA has approved number of drugs for bone loss prevention, nonetheless all are expensive and have multiple side effects. The nutraceuticals identified from dietary agents such as butein, cardamonin, coronarin D curcumin, diosgenin, embelin, gambogic acid, genistein, plumbagin, quercetin, reseveratrol, zerumbone and more, can modulate cell signaling pathways and reverse/slow down osteoporosis. Most of these nutraceuticals are inexpensive; show no side effect while still possessing anti-inflammatory properties. This review provides various mechanisms of osteoporosis and how nutraceuticals can potentially prevent the bone loss.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biotechadv.2018.03.014DOI Listing
November 2018

Chronic diseases, inflammation, and spices: how are they linked?

J Transl Med 2018 01 25;16(1):14. Epub 2018 Jan 25.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

Extensive research within the last several decades has revealed that the major risk factors for most chronic diseases are infections, obesity, alcohol, tobacco, radiation, environmental pollutants, and diet. It is now well established that these factors induce chronic diseases through induction of inflammation. However, inflammation could be either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation persists for a short duration and is the host defense against infections and allergens, whereas the chronic inflammation persists for a long time and leads to many chronic diseases including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, respiratory diseases, etc. Numerous lines of evidence suggest that the aforementioned risk factors induced cancer through chronic inflammation. First, transcription factors NF-κB and STAT3 that regulate expression of inflammatory gene products, have been found to be constitutively active in most cancers; second, chronic inflammation such as pancreatitis, prostatitis, hepatitis etc. leads to cancers; third, activation of NF-κB and STAT3 leads to cancer cell proliferation, survival, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis; fourth, activation of NF-κB and STAT3 leads to resistance to chemotherapy and radiation, and hypoxia and acidic conditions activate these transcription factors. Therefore, targeting these pathways may provide opportunities for both prevention and treatment of cancer and other chronic diseases. We will discuss in this review the potential of various dietary agents such as spices and its components in the suppression of inflammatory pathways and their roles in the prevention and therapy of cancer and other chronic diseases. In fact, epidemiological studies do indicate that cancer incidence in countries such as India where spices are consumed daily is much lower (94/100,000) than those where spices are not consumed such as United States (318/100,000), suggesting the potential role of spices in cancer prevention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-018-1381-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5785894PMC
January 2018

Curcumin-Free Turmeric Exhibits Activity against Human HCT-116 Colon Tumor Xenograft: Comparison with Curcumin and Whole Turmeric.

Front Pharmacol 2017 12;8:871. Epub 2017 Dec 12.

Department of Experimental Therapeutics, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston TX, United States.

Extensive research within last two decades has indicated that curcumin extracted from turmeric (), exhibits anticancer potential, in part through the modulation of inflammatory pathways. However, the residual antitumor activity of curcumin-free turmeric (CFT) relative to curcumin or turmeric is not well-understood. In the present study, therefore, we determined activities of these agents in both and models of human HCT-116 colorectal cancer (CRC). When examined in an antiproliferative, clonogenic or anti-inflammatory assay system, we found that curcumin was highly active whereas turmeric and CFT had relatively poor activity against CRC cells. However, when examined at an oral dose of either 100 or 500 mg/kg given to nude mice bearing CRC xenografts, all three preparations of curcumin, turmeric, and CFT similarly suppressed the growth of the xenograft. The effect of CFT on suppression of tumor growth was dose-dependent, with 500 mg/kg tending to be more effective than 100 mg/kg. Interestingly, 100 mg/kg curcumin or turmeric was found to be more effective than 500 mg/kg. When examined for the expression of biomarkers associated with cell survival (cIAP-1, Bcl-2, and survivin), proliferation (Ki-67 and cyclin D1) and metastasis (ICAM-1 and VEGF), all were down-modulated. These agents also suppressed inflammatory transcription factors (NF-κB and STAT3) in tumor cells. Overall, our results with CFT provide evidence that turmeric must contain additional bioactive compounds other than curcumin that, in contrast to curcumin, exhibit greater anticancer potential than against human CRC. Moreover, our study highlights the fact that the beneficial effects of turmeric and curcumin in humans may be more effectively realized at lower doses, whereas CFT could be given at higher doses without loss in favorable activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5732987PMC
December 2017

Resveratrol downregulates inflammatory pathway activated by lymphotoxin α (TNF-β) in articular chondrocytes: Comparison with TNF-α.

PLoS One 2017 2;12(11):e0186993. Epub 2017 Nov 2.

Musculoskeletal Research Group and Tumour Biology, Chair of Vegetative Anatomy, Institute of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, LMU Munich, Pettenkoferstrasse 11, Munich, Germany.

While Lymphotoxin α (TNF-β), a product of lymphocytes, is known to play a pivotal role in inflammatory joint environment, resveratrol has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects via activation of the histondeacetylase Sirt1. Whether TNF-β induction of inflammatory pathways in primary human chondrocytes (PCH) can be modulated by resveratrol, was investigated. Monolayer and alginate cultures of PCH were treated with TNF-β, anti-TNF-β, nicotinamide (NAM), antisense oligonucleotides against Sirt1 (Sirt1-ASO) and/or resveratrol and co-cultured with T-lymphocytes. We found that resveratrol suppressed, similar to anti-TNF-β, TNF-β-induced increased adhesiveness in an inflammatory microenvironment of T-lymphocytes and PCH. In contrast, knockdown of Sirt1 by mRNA abolished the inhibitory effects of resveratrol on the TNF-β-induced adhesiveness, suggesting the essential role of this enzyme for resveratrol-mediated anti-inflammatory signaling. Similar results were obtained in PCH stimulated with TNF-α. Sirt1-ASO, NAM or TNF-β, similar to T-lymphocytes induced inflammatory microenvironment by down-regulation of cartilage-specific proteins, Sox9, Ki67 and enhanced NF-κB-regulated gene products involved in inflammatory and degradative processes in cartilage (MMP-9/-13, COX-2, caspase-3), NF-κB activation and its translocation to the nucleus. Moreover, resveratrol reversed the TNF-β-, NAM-, T-lymphocytes-induced up-regulation of various NF-κB-regulated gene products. Down-regulation of Sirt1 by mRNA interference abrogated the effect of resveratrol on TNF-β-induced effects. Ultrastructural and cell viability assay investigations revealed that resveratrol revoked TNF-β-induced dose-dependent degradative/apoptotic morphological changes, cell viability and proliferation in PCH. Taken together, suppression of TNF-β-induced inflammatory microenvironment in PCH by resveratrol/Sirt1 might be a novel therapeutic approach for targeting inflammation during rheumatoid arthritis.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0186993PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5667866PMC
December 2017

Food Antioxidants and Their Anti-Inflammatory Properties: A Potential Role in Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer Prevention.

Diseases 2016 Aug 1;4(3). Epub 2016 Aug 1.

The Tsim Tsoum Institute, Krakow 31-534, Poland.

Mediterranean-style diets caused a significant decline in cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in early landmark studies. The effect of a traditional Mediterranean diet on lipoprotein oxidation showed that there was a significant reduction in oxidative stress in the intervention group (Mediterranean diet + Virgin Olive Oil) compared to the low-fat diet group. Conversely, the increase in oxidative stress causing inflammation is a unifying hypothesis for predisposing people to atherosclerosis, carcinogenesis, and osteoporosis. The impact of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents on cancer and cardiovascular disease, and the interventive mechanisms for the inhibition of proliferation, inflammation, invasion, metastasis, and activation of apoptosis were explored. Following the Great Oxygen Event some 2.3 billion years ago, organisms have needed antioxidants to survive. Natural products in food preservatives are preferable to synthetic compounds due to their lower volatility and stability and generally higher antioxidant potential. Free radicals, reactive oxygen species, antioxidants, pro-oxidants and inflammation are described with examples of free radical damage based on the hydroxyl, nitric oxide and superoxide radicals. Flavonoid antioxidants with 2- or 3-phenylchroman structures such as quercetin, kaempferol, myricetin, apigenin, and luteolin, constituents of fruits, vegetables, tea, and wine, which may reduce coronary disease and cancer, are described. The protective effect of flavonoids on the DNA damage caused by hydroxyl radicals through chelation is an important mechanism, though the converse may be possible, e.g., quercetin. The antioxidant properties of carotenoids, which are dietary natural pigments, have been studied in relation to breast cancer risk and an inverse association was found with plasma concentrations: higher levels mean lower risk. The manipulation of primary and secondary human metabolomes derived especially from existing or transformed gut microbiota was explored as a possible alternative to single-agent dietary interventions for cancer and cardiovascular disease. Sustained oxidative stress leading to inflammation and thence to possibly to cancer and cardiovascular disease is described for spices and herbs, using curcumin as an example of an intervention, based on activation of transcription factors which suggest that oxidative stress, chronic inflammation, and cancer are closely linked.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diseases4030028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5456284PMC
August 2016

Calebin A, a novel component of turmeric, suppresses NF-κB regulated cell survival and inflammatory gene products leading to inhibition of cell growth and chemosensitization.

Phytomedicine 2017 Oct 31;34:171-181. Epub 2017 Aug 31.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: While the anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential of curcumin, which is derived from turmeric (Curcuma longa), has been studied extensively, very little is known about Calebin A, another novel compound from the same source.

Purpose: To determine whether Calebin A exhibits anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential.

Methods: We examined the anti-inflammatory potential of Calebin A by DNA binding of NF-κB. Anticancer properties of Calebin were determined by MTT and FACS analysis and NF-κB regulated expression of proteins was assessed by western blotting.

Results: Calebin A suppressed NF-κB activation induced by various stimuli. This inhibition of NF-κB activation was mediated through the suppression of direct binding of NF-κB/p65 to the DNA. This inhibitory effect was reversed by a reducing agent, and mutation of the Cys38 of p65 to serine abolished the effect of Calebin A on this binding. Suppression of NF-κB activation by Calebin A resulted in the down-regulation of the expression of proteins involved in tumor cell survival, proliferation, inflammation, and metastasis. Furthermore, Calebin A inhibited proliferation and induced apoptosis in a wide variety of tumor cells, as examined by various assays. It enhanced apoptosis induced by chemotherapeutic agents.

Conclusion: Our results demonstrate that Calebin A inhibits NF-κB activation pathway through interaction with p65 and potentiates apoptosis in cancer cells; thus, it has potential in the treatment of cancer. However, further in vivo studies are warranted to define its anti-inflammatory and anticancer potential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2017.08.021DOI Listing
October 2017

Neem (Azadirachta indica): An indian traditional panacea with modern molecular basis.

Phytomedicine 2017 Oct 3;34:14-20. Epub 2017 Jul 3.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA. Electronic address:

Background: For centuries, agents derived from natural sources (mother nature), especially plants have been the primary source of medicine. Neem, also referred to as Azadirachta indica is one such plant that has been so named because it provides freedom from all diseases, and used for thousands of years in Indian and African continents. Different parts of the plant including flowers, leaves, seeds and bark have been used to treat both acute and chronic human diseases; and used as insecticide; antimicrobial, larvicidal, antimalarial, antibacterial, antiviral, and spermicidal.

Purpose: What is there in neem and how it manifests its wide variety of effects is the focus of this review. How neem and its constituents modulate various cellular pathways is discussed. The animal and human studies carried out with neem and its constituents is also discussed.

Conclusion: Over 1000 research articles published on neem has uncovered over 300 structurally diverse constituents, one third of which are limonoids including nimbolide, azadarachtin, and gedunin. These agents manifest their effects by modulating multiple cell signaling pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2017.07.001DOI Listing
October 2017

Regulation of cell signaling pathways by dietary agents for cancer prevention and treatment.

Semin Cancer Biol 2017 10 16;46:158-181. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, CA, USA.

Although it is widely accepted that better food habits do play important role in cancer prevention and treatment, how dietary agents mediate their effects remains poorly understood. More than thousand different polyphenols have been identified from dietary plants. In this review, we discuss the underlying mechanism by which dietary agents can modulate a variety of cell-signaling pathways linked to cancer, including transcription factors, nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), activator protein-1 (AP-1), β-catenin/Wnt, peroxisome proliferator activator receptor- gamma (PPAR-γ), Sonic Hedgehog, and nuclear factor erythroid 2 (Nrf2); growth factors receptors (EGFR, VEGFR, IGF1-R); protein Kinases (Ras/Raf, mTOR, PI3K, Bcr-abl and AMPK); and pro-inflammatory mediators (TNF-α, interleukins, COX-2, 5-LOX). In addition, modulation of proteasome and epigenetic changes by the dietary agents also play a major role in their ability to control cancer. Both in vitro and animal based studies support the role of dietary agents in cancer. The efficacy of dietary agents by clinical trials has also been reported. Importantly, natural agents are already in clinical trials against different kinds of cancer. Overall both in vitro and in vivo studies performed with dietary agents strongly support their role in cancer prevention. Thus, the famous quote "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" made by Hippocrates 25 centuries ago still holds good.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.semcancer.2017.07.002DOI Listing
October 2017

Curcumin mediates anticancer effects by modulating multiple cell signaling pathways.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2017 Aug 5;131(15):1781-1799. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

Inflammation Research Center, San Diego, California, U.S.A.

Curcumin, a component of a spice native to India, was first isolated in 1815 by Vogel and Pelletier from the rhizomes of (turmeric) and, subsequently, the chemical structure of curcumin as diferuloylmethane was reported by Milobedzka et al. [(1910) 43., 2163-2170]. Since then, this polyphenol has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activities. The current review primarily focuses on the anticancer potential of curcumin through the modulation of multiple cell signaling pathways. Curcumin modulates diverse transcription factors, inflammatory cytokines, enzymes, kinases, growth factors, receptors, and various other proteins with an affinity ranging from the pM to the mM range. Furthermore, curcumin effectively regulates tumor cell growth via modulation of numerous cell signaling pathways and potentiates the effect of chemotherapeutic agents and radiation against cancer. Curcumin can interact with most of the targets that are modulated by FDA-approved drugs for cancer therapy. The focus of this review is to discuss the molecular basis for the anticancer activities of curcumin based on preclinical and clinical findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20160935DOI Listing
August 2017

Curcumin, the golden nutraceutical: multitargeting for multiple chronic diseases.

Br J Pharmacol 2017 06 21;174(11):1325-1348. Epub 2016 Oct 21.

Anti-Inflammation Research Institute, San Diego, California, USA.

Curcumin, a yellow pigment in the Indian spice Turmeric (Curcuma longa), which is chemically known as diferuloylmethane, was first isolated exactly two centuries ago in 1815 by two German Scientists, Vogel and Pelletier. However, according to the pubmed database, the first study on its biological activity as an antibacterial agent was published in 1949 in Nature and the first clinical trial was reported in The Lancet in 1937. Although the current database indicates almost 9000 publications on curcumin, until 1990 there were less than 100 papers published on this nutraceutical. At the molecular level, this multitargeted agent has been shown to exhibit anti-inflammatory activity through the suppression of numerous cell signalling pathways including NF-κB, STAT3, Nrf2, ROS and COX-2. Numerous studies have indicated that curcumin is a highly potent antimicrobial agent and has been shown to be active against various chronic diseases including various types of cancers, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological and autoimmune diseases. Furthermore, this compound has also been shown to be synergistic with other nutraceuticals such as resveratrol, piperine, catechins, quercetin and genistein. To date, over 100 different clinical trials have been completed with curcumin, which clearly show its safety, tolerability and its effectiveness against various chronic diseases in humans. However, more clinical trials in different populations are necessary to prove its potential against different chronic diseases in humans. This review's primary focus is on lessons learnt about curcumin from clinical trials.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed section on Principles of Pharmacological Research of Nutraceuticals. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.11/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.13621DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429333PMC
June 2017

Prevention and Treatment of Cancer: Hypes and Hopes 6th International Translational Cancer Research Conference.

Anticancer Res 2016 09;36(9):4971-5

The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, U.S.A.

Cancer is primarily an "old-age" disease that has an "age-old" history. The overall incidence of cancer is much higher in Western countries, but is rapidly growing in Eastern countries perhaps due to change in life-style. Almost three million studies published to date indicate that cancer is a hyperproliferative disorder that arises from dysregulation of multiple cell signaling pathways. The cancer genome landscape indicates that approximately 140 genes and 12 cell signaling pathways drive almost all cancers. "Targeted therapy," a buzz word in cancer treatment for the past two decades, has provided antibodies, as well as small-molecule inhibitors. These therapies have been successful only in few instances. However, in most cases, minor increase in overall survival has been reported at the cost of huge expense. An alternative strategy is to prevent cancer or to diagnose and treat the disease at an early stage to gain survival benefits. Such interventions are also cost-effective. To address some of these issues, the 6th International Translational Cancer Research Conference was held during February 4-7th, 2016, in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India; the homeland of Mahatma Gandhi. This conference was focused on utilizing multidisciplinary approaches for prevention and early treatment that would likely simultaneously or sequentially target many key pathways. Several distinguished speakers were invited from around the world. This article highlights primary features of this conference.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21873/anticanres.11066DOI Listing
September 2016

γ-Tocotrienol suppresses growth and sensitises human colorectal tumours to capecitabine in a nude mouse xenograft model by down-regulating multiple molecules.

Br J Cancer 2016 09 30;115(7):814-24. Epub 2016 Aug 30.

Department of Experimental Therapeutics, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 1515 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and even develops resistance to chemotherapeutic agents over time. As a result survival for patients with CRC remains poor.

Method: We investigated both in vitro and in vivo effects of γ-tocotrienol (γ-T3) alone and in combination with capecitabine. Apoptosis and cytotoxicity assays were performed by MTT and FACS analysis, whereas expression of proteins was investigated using western blotting and immunohistochemistry.

Results: The γ-T3 inhibited the proliferation of CRC cells with wild-type or mutated KRAS. It also induced apoptosis, inhibited colony formation, and suppressed key regulators of cell survival, cell proliferation, invasion, angiogenesis, and metastasis. Furthermore, γ-T3 enhanced the anticancer effects of capecitabine in CRC cells. In a nude mouse xenograft model of human CRC, oral administration of γ-T3 inhibited tumour growth and enhanced the antitumour efficacy of capecitabine. Western blot and immunohistochemical analysis results indicated that expression of Ki-67, cyclin D1, MMP-9, CXCR4, NF-κB/p65, and VEGF was lower in tumour tissue from the combination treatment group. Combination treatment also downregulated NF-κB and NF-κB-regulated gene products.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that γ-T3 inhibited the growth of human CRC and sensitised CRC to capecitabine by regulating proteins linked to tumourigenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.257DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5046209PMC
September 2016