Publications by authors named "Claudio Pirozzi"

28 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Oral Bisphenol A Worsens Liver Immune-Metabolic and Mitochondrial Dysfunction Induced by High-Fat Diet in Adult Mice: Cross-Talk between Oxidative Stress and Inflammasome Pathway.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Nov 30;9(12). Epub 2020 Nov 30.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Via Domenico Montesano 49, 80131 Naples, Italy.

Lines of evidence have shown the embryogenic and transgenerational impact of bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical, on immune-metabolic alterations, inflammation, and oxidative stress, while BPA toxic effects in adult obese mice are still overlooked. Here, we evaluate BPA's worsening effect on several hepatic maladaptive processes associated to high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity in mice. After 12 weeks HFD feeding, C57Bl/6J male mice were exposed daily to BPA (50 μg/kg per os) along with HFD for 3 weeks. Glucose tolerance and lipid metabolism were examined in serum and/or liver. Hepatic oxidative damage (reactive oxygen species, malondialdehyde, antioxidant enzymes), and mitochondrial respiratory capacity were evaluated. Moreover, liver damage progression and inflammatory/immune response were determined by histological and molecular analysis. BPA amplified HFD-induced alteration of key factors involved in glucose and lipid metabolism, liver triglycerides accumulation, and worsened mitochondrial dysfunction by increasing oxidative stress and reducing antioxidant defense. The exacerbation by BPA of hepatic immune-metabolic dysfunction induced by HFD was shown by increased toll-like receptor-4 and its downstream pathways (i.e., NF-kB and NLRP3 inflammasome) amplifying inflammatory cytokine transcription and promoting fibrosis progression. This study evidences that BPA exposure represents an additional risk factor for the progression of fatty liver diseases strictly related to the cross-talk between oxidative stress and immune-metabolic impairment due to obesity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9121201DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7760359PMC
November 2020

The anti-inflammatory and immune-modulatory effects of OEA limit DSS-induced colitis in mice.

Biomed Pharmacother 2020 Sep 16;129:110368. Epub 2020 Jun 16.

Dipartimento di Scienze della Salute, Università di Firenze (I), Italy. Electronic address:

Fatty acid ethanolamides acting on proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α are among the endogenous lipid molecules that attenuate inflammatory processes and pain sensitivity. Whereas these properties are well-known for palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), the efficacy of oleoylethanolamide (OEA, first described as a satiety hormone synthesized in the jejunum) has been overlooked. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the effect of OEA administration in a mouse model of colitis. C57BL/6J mice were exposed to 2.5% dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) in drinking water for 5 days. Daily i.p. administration of 10 mg/kg OEA started 3 days before DSS and lasted for 12 days. The DSS-untreated control group received only ultrapure water. DSS mice treated with OEA had a significant improvement of disease score. OEA restored mRNA transcription of PPAR-α, of tight junctions and protective factors of colon integrity disrupted by DSS. The improvement correlated with significant decrease of colonic and systemic levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines compared to the DSS group. OEA antiinflammatory effects were mediated by the selective targeting of the TLR4 axis causing a downstream inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB)- MyD88-dependent and NLRP3 inflammation pathways. OEA treatment also inhibited DSS-induced increase of inflammatory cytokines levels in the mesenteric lymph nodes. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: These results underscore the validity of OEA as a potent protective and anti-inflammatory agent in ulcerative colitis that may be exploited to broaden the pharmacological strategies against inflammatory bowel disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110368DOI Listing
September 2020

Oxidative Stress and BPA Toxicity: An Antioxidant Approach for Male and Female Reproductive Dysfunction.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 May 10;9(5). Epub 2020 May 10.

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, Federico II University of Naples, Via Delpino 1, 80137 Naples, Italy.

Bisphenol A (BPA) is a non-persistent anthropic and environmentally ubiquitous compound widely employed and detected in many consumer products and food items; thus, human exposure is prolonged. Over the last ten years, many studies have examined the underlying molecular mechanisms of BPA toxicity and revealed links among BPA-induced oxidative stress, male and female reproductive defects, and human disease. Because of its hormone-like feature, BPA shows tissue effects on specific hormone receptors in target cells, triggering noxious cellular responses associated with oxidative stress and inflammation. As a metabolic and endocrine disruptor, BPA impairs redox homeostasis via the increase of oxidative mediators and the reduction of antioxidant enzymes, causing mitochondrial dysfunction, alteration in cell signaling pathways, and induction of apoptosis. This review aims to examine the scenery of the current BPA literature on understanding how the induction of oxidative stress can be considered the "fil rouge" of BPA's toxic mechanisms of action with pleiotropic outcomes on reproduction. Here, we focus on the protective effects of five classes of antioxidants-vitamins and co-factors, natural products (herbals and phytochemicals), melatonin, selenium, and methyl donors (used alone or in combination)-that have been found useful to counteract BPA toxicity in male and female reproductive functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9050405DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7278868PMC
May 2020

Palmitoylethanolamide counteracts brain fog improving depressive-like behaviour in obese mice: Possible role of synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis.

Br J Pharmacol 2021 Feb 3;178(4):845-859. Epub 2020 Jun 3.

Department of Pharmacy, School of Medicine, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Background And Purpose: High-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity is accompanied by metabolic and neurochemical changes that have been associated with depression. Recent studies indicate that palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) exerts metabolic effects and holds neuroprotective potential. However, studies on HFD exposure in mice which investigate the effects of PEA on monoamine system and synaptic plasticity are limited.

Experimental Approach: In C57Bl/6J male mice, obesity was established by HFD feeding for 12 weeks. Then, mice were treated with ultra-micronized PEA (30 mg·kg daily p.o.) or vehicle for 7 weeks along with HFD. Mice receiving chow diet and vehicle served as controls. Thereafter, depressive-, anhedonic-like behaviour and cognitive performance were measured. Monoamine analyses were performed on brain areas (nucleus accumbens, Nac; prefrontal cortex, PFC; hippocampus), and markers of synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis were evaluated in hippocampus.

Key Results: PEA limited depressive- and anhedonic-like behaviour, and cognitive deficits induced by HFD. PEA induced an increase in 5-HT levels in PFC, and a reduction of dopamine and 5-HT turnover in Nac and PFC, respectively. Moreover, PEA increased dopamine levels in the hippocampus and PFC. At a molecular level, PEA restored brain-derived neurotrophic factor signalling pathway in hippocampus and PFC, indicating an improvement of synaptic plasticity. In particular, PEA counteracted the reduction of glutamatergic synaptic density induced by HFD in the stratum radiatum of the CA1 of the hippocampus, where it also exhibited neurogenesis-promoting abilities.

Conclusion And Implications: PEA may represent an adjuvant therapy to limit depressive-like behaviours and memory deficit, affecting monoamine homeostasis, synaptic plasticity and neurogenesis.

Linked Articles: This article is part of a themed issue on Neurochemistry in Japan. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v178.4/issuetoc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.15071DOI Listing
February 2021

Decreased Metabolic Flexibility in Skeletal Muscle of Rat Fed with a High-Fat Diet Is Recovered by Individual CLA Isomer Supplementation via Converging Protective Mechanisms.

Cells 2020 03 29;9(4). Epub 2020 Mar 29.

Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, 80126 Naples, Italy.

Energy balance, mitochondrial dysfunction, obesity, and insulin resistance are disrupted by metabolic inflexibility while therapeutic interventions are associated with improved glucose/lipid metabolism in skeletal muscle. Conjugated linoleic acid mixture (CLA) exhibited anti-obesity and anti-diabetic effects; however, the modulatory ability of its isomers (cis, trans, C9; trans, cis, C10) on the metabolic flexibility in skeletal muscle remains to be demonstrated. Metabolic inflexibility was induced in rat by four weeks of feeding with a high-fat diet (HFD). At the end of this period, the beneficial effects of C9 or C10 on body lipid content, energy expenditure, pro-inflammatory cytokines, glucose metabolism, and mitochondrial efficiency were examined. Moreover, oxidative stress markers, fatty acids, palmitoyletanolamide (PEA), and oleyletanolamide (OEA) contents along with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors-alpha (PPARα), AKT, and adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK) expression were evaluated in skeletal muscle to investigate the underlying biochemical mechanisms. The presented results indicate that C9 intake reduced mitochondrial efficiency and oxidative stress and increased PEA and OEA levels more efficiently than C10 while the anti-inflammatory activity of C10, and its regulatory efficacy on glucose homeostasis are associated with modulation of the PPARα/AMPK/pAKT signaling pathway. Our results support the idea that the dissimilar efficacy of C9 and C10 against the HFD-induced metabolic inflexibility may be consequential to their ability to activate different molecular pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cells9040823DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7226748PMC
March 2020

Palmitoylethanolamide counteracts hepatic metabolic inflexibility modulating mitochondrial function and efficiency in diet-induced obese mice.

FASEB J 2020 01 22;34(1):350-364. Epub 2019 Nov 22.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α activation controls hepatic lipid homeostasis, stimulating fatty acid oxidation, and adapting the metabolic response to lipid overload and storage. Here, we investigate the effect of palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), an endogenous PPAR-α ligand, in counteracting hepatic metabolic inflexibility and mitochondrial dysfunction induced by high-fat diet (HFD) in mice. Long-term PEA administration (30 mg/kg/die per os) in HFD mice limited hepatic lipid accumulation, increased energy expenditure, and markedly reduced insulin resistance. In isolated liver mitochondria, we have demonstrated PEA capability to modulate mitochondrial oxidative capacity and energy efficiency, leading to the reduction of intracellular lipid accumulation and oxidative stress. Moreover, we have evaluated the effect of PEA on mitochondrial bioenergetics of palmitate-challenged HepG2 cells, using Seahorse analyzer. In vitro data showed that PEA recovered mitochondrial dysfunction and reduced lipid accumulation in insulin-resistant HepG2 cells, increasing fatty acid oxidation. Mechanistic studies showed that PEA effect on lipid metabolism was limited by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) inhibition, providing evidence for a pivotal role of AMPK in PEA-induced adaptive metabolic setting. All these findings identify PEA as a modulator of hepatic lipid and glucose homeostasis, limiting metabolic inflexibility induced by nutrient overload.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201901510RRDOI Listing
January 2020

Butyrate prevents valproate-induced liver injury: In vitro and in vivo evidence.

FASEB J 2020 01 26;34(1):676-690. Epub 2019 Nov 26.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Sodium valproate (VPA), an antiepileptic drug, may cause dose- and time-dependent hepatotoxicity. However, its iatrogenic molecular mechanism and the rescue therapy are disregarded. Recently, it has been demonstrated that sodium butyrate (NaB) reduces hepatic steatosis, improving respiratory capacity and mitochondrial dysfunction in obese mice. Here, we investigated the protective effect of NaB in counteracting VPA-induced hepatotoxicity using in vitro and in vivo models. Human HepG2 cells and primary rat hepatocytes were exposed to high VPA concentration and treated with NaB. Mitochondrial function, lipid metabolism, and oxidative stress were evaluated, using Seahorse analyzer, spectrophotometric, and biochemical determinations. Liver protection by NaB was also evaluated in VPA-treated epileptic WAG/Rij rats, receiving NaB for 6 months. NaB prevented VPA toxicity, limiting cell oxidative and mitochondrial damage (ROS, malondialdehyde, SOD activity, mitochondrial bioenergetics), and restoring fatty acid oxidation (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α expression and carnitine palmitoyl-transferase activity) in HepG2 cells, primary hepatocytes, and isolated mitochondria. In vivo, NaB confirmed its activity normalizing hepatic biomarkers, fatty acid metabolism, and reducing inflammation and fibrosis induced by VPA. These data support the protective potential of NaB on VPA-induced liver injury, indicating it as valid therapeutic approach in counteracting this common side effect due to VPA chronic treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1096/fj.201900927RRDOI Listing
January 2020

Autophagy and NLRP3 inflammasome crosstalk in neuroinflammation in aged bovine brains.

J Cell Physiol 2020 06 5;235(6):5394-5403. Epub 2020 Jan 5.

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy.

NLRP3 inflammasome is a multiprotein complex that can sense several stimuli such as autophagy dysregulation and increased reactive oxygen species production stimulating inflammation by priming the maturation of proinflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β and interleukin-18 in their active form. In the aging brain, these cytokines can mediate the innate immunity response priming microglial activation. Here, we describe the results of immunohistochemical and molecular analysis carried out on bovine brains. Our results support the hypothesis that the age-related impairment in cellular housekeeping mechanisms and the increased oxidative stress can trigger the inflammatory danger sensor NLRP3. Moreover, according to the recent scientific literature, we demonstrate the presence of an age-related proinflammatory environment in aged brains consisting in an upregulation of interleukin-1β, an increased microglial activation and increased NLRP3 expression. Finally, we suggest that bovine may potentially be a pivotal animal model for brain aging studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.29426DOI Listing
June 2020

High-Fat Diet Induces Neuroinflammation and Mitochondrial Impairment in Mice Cerebral Cortex and Synaptic Fraction.

Front Cell Neurosci 2019 12;13:509. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Biology, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Brain mitochondrial dysfunction is involved in the development of neurological and neurodegenerative diseases. Mitochondria specifically located at synapses play a key role in providing energy to support synaptic functions and plasticity, thus their defects may lead to synaptic failure, which is a common hallmark of neurodegenerative diseases. High-Fat Diet (HFD) consumption increases brain oxidative stress and impairs brain mitochondrial functions, although the underlying mechanisms are not completely understood. The aim of our study is to analyze neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunctions in brain cortex and synaptosomal fraction isolated from a mouse model of diet-induced obesity. Male C57Bl/6 mice were divided into two groups fed a standard diet or HFD for 18 weeks. At the end of the treatment, inflammation (detected by ELISA), antioxidant state (measured by enzymatic activity), mitochondrial functions and efficiency (detected by oxidative capacity and Seahorse analysis), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) pathway (analyzed by western blot) were determined in brain cortex and synaptosomal fraction. In HFD animals, we observed an increase in inflammatory parameters and oxidative stress and a decrease in mitochondrial oxidative capacity both in the brain cortex and synaptosomal fraction. These alterations parallel with modulation of BDNF, a brain key signaling molecule that is linking synaptic plasticity and energy metabolism. Neuroinflammation HFD-dependent negatively affects BDNF pathway and mitochondrial activity in the brain cortex. The effect is even more pronounced in the synaptic region, where the impaired energy supply may have a negative impact on neuronal plasticity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2019.00509DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6861522PMC
November 2019

N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenylethyl) butyramide reduces antibiotic-induced intestinal injury, innate immune activation and modulates microbiota composition.

Sci Rep 2019 03 18;9(1):4832. Epub 2019 Mar 18.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II", Via D. Montesano 49, 80131, Naples, Italy.

The use/misuse of antibiotics leads to pathological features referring to antibiotic-induced intestinal injury (AIJ), a clinical issue that plays a prominent role in the development of severe digestive disturbances. AIJ is characterized by loss of intestinal architecture and function, dysbiosis and bacterial translocation into the liver, triggering hepatic inflammation. This study aimed at determining the beneficial effect of N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenylethyl) butyramide (FBA), a butyrate releasing compound, in ceftriaxone-induced intestinal injury. To this purpose, mice receiving ceftriaxone (8 g∙kg/die, per os) for five days, were treated with FBA (212,5 mg∙kg/die, per os) for five or fifteen days. FBA modulated key players of innate immunity in antibiotic-injured gut tissues, reducing inflammatory process and improving the anti-inflammatory and resolving pattern. FBA also improved colonic architecture and intestinal integrity. Interestingly, we also observed a remodeling of gut microbiota composition related to an increase of metabolic pathways related to lactate and butyrate production. At mechanistic level, FBA induced histone acetylation and increased the expression of GPR43 and monocarboxylate transporter 1 in colon. Our data clearly demonstrated that FBA has multiple converging mechanisms in limiting intestinal and hepatic alterations to counteract AIJ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41295-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6423286PMC
March 2019

Characterization of inflammatory infiltrate of ulcerative dermatitis in C57BL/6NCrl-Tg(HMGA1P6)1Pg mice.

Lab Anim 2019 Oct 6;53(5):447-458. Epub 2018 Dec 6.

Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Production, University of Naples Federico II, Italy.

Ulcerative dermatitis (UD) is an idiopathic, spontaneous and progressive disease typically affecting C57BL/6 aged mice with an unknown aetiopathogenesis. For this study, we evaluated 25 cases of UD in C57BL/6NCrl-Tg(HMGA1P6)1Pg mice. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded skin samples were submitted to morphological investigations. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to characterize and quantify inflammatory cells using CD3, CD45/B220, CD4, CD8 and IL-17 antibodies. Mast cell-bound IgE was investigated by immunofluorescence, whereas serum and cryopreserved skin samples were collected for molecular analysis. Student's t-test (two-tailed) was performed to assess significant differences between the two groups. Affected skin showed extensive areas of ulceration and diffuse, severe and mixed inflammatory infiltrates. No relevant changes were observed in control mice. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a predominant CD3 + CD4 + leukocyte population with fewer CD45/B220 and IL-17 immunolabelled cells and mast cell-bound IgE. Increases in TNFα, IL-1β and Il-6 mRNA expression were observed in the skin of affected animals compared to controls. Serum TNFα and IL-6 did not vary between affected and control mice. Inflammatory infiltrates and cytokine expression were consistent with both Th2/IgE and Th17 differentiation, a typical pattern of a type I hypersensitivity reaction. Overall, our data suggest an allergic-based aetiopathogenesis of UD in C57BL/6NCrl-Tg(HMGA1P6)1Pg mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0023677218815718DOI Listing
October 2019

Butyrate Modulates Inflammation in Chondrocytes via GPR43 Receptor.

Cell Physiol Biochem 2018 16;51(1):228-243. Epub 2018 Nov 16.

SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude) and IDIS (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago), The NEIRID Lab (Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Research Laboratory 9, Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Background/aims: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint degenerative biomechanical disorder involving immunity, metabolic alterations, inflammation, and cartilage degradation, where chondrocytes play a pivotal role. OA has not effective pharmacological treatments and new therapeutic targets are needed. Adipokines contribute to the low-grade systemic inflammation in OA. Here, we explored novel molecular mechanisms of sodium butyrate (BuNa) in modulating inflammation and chemotaxis in chondrocytes, demonstrating the direct involvement of its G protein-coupled receptor (GPR)-43.

Methods: ATDC5 murine chondrocytes were stimulated with interleukin (IL)-1β, in the presence or not of BuNa, for 24 h. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis was performed to evaluate the expression of inflammatory mediators and structural proteins.

Results: Butyrate reduced the expression of canonic pro-inflammatory mediators (Nos2, COX-2, IL-6), pro-inflammatory adipokines (lipocalin-2 and nesfatin-1) and adhesion molecule (VCAM-1 and ICAM-1) in IL-1β-stimulated chondrocytes, inhibiting several inflammatory signalling pathways (NFκB, MAPKinase, AMPK-α, PI3K/Akt). Butyrate also reduced metalloproteinase production and limited the loss of type II collagen in IL-1β-inflamed chondrocytes. The chemoattractant effect of butyrate, after different inflammatory challenges, was revealed by increased annexin (AnxA)1 levels and chemokines expression. The chemoattractant and anti-inflammatory activities of butyrate were completely blunted by GPR43 silencing using RNA interference.

Conclusion: Taken together, our data suggest the potential application of sodium butyrate as a novel candidate in a multi-target approach for the treatment of chondrocyte inflammation and cartilage degenerative process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000495203DOI Listing
December 2018

Palmitoylethanolamide counteracts autistic-like behaviours in BTBR T+tf/J mice: Contribution of central and peripheral mechanisms.

Brain Behav Immun 2018 11 5;74:166-175. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II", 80131 Naples, Italy; Task Force on Microbiome Studies, University of Naples "Federico II", 80131 Naples, Italy. Electronic address:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are a group of heterogeneous neurodevelopmental conditions characterized by impaired social interaction, and repetitive stereotyped behaviours. Interestingly, functional and inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases are often reported as a comorbidity in ASDs, indicating gut-brain axis as a novel emerging approach. Recently, a central role for peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)-α has been addressed in neurological functions, associated with the behaviour. Among endogenous lipids, palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a PPAR-α agonist, has been extensively studied for its anti-inflammatory effects both at central and peripheral level. Based on this background, the aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacological effects of PEA on autistic-like behaviour of BTBR T+tf/J mice and to shed light on the contributing mechanisms. Our results showed that PEA reverted the altered behavioural phenotype of BTBR mice, and this effect was contingent to PPAR-α activation. Moreover, PEA was able to restore hippocampal BDNF signalling pathway, and improve mitochondrial dysfunction, both pathological aspects, known to be consistently associated with ASDs. Furthermore, PEA reduced the overall inflammatory state of BTBR mice, reducing the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines at hippocampal, serum, and colonic level. The analysis of gut permeability and the expression of colonic tight junctions showed a reduction of leaky gut in PEA-treated BTBR mice. This finding together with PEA effect on gut microbiota composition suggests an involvement of microbiota-gut-brain axis. In conclusion, our results demonstrated a therapeutic potential of PEA in limiting ASD symptoms, through its pleiotropic mechanism of action, supporting neuroprotection, anti-inflammatory effects, and the modulation of gut-brain axis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2018.09.003DOI Listing
November 2018

New Perspectives on the Potential Role of Aquaporins (AQPs) in the Physiology of Inflammation.

Front Physiol 2018 16;9:101. Epub 2018 Feb 16.

Department of Advanced Biomedical Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Aquaporins (AQPs) are emerging, in the last few decades, as critical proteins regulating water fluid homeostasis in cells involved in inflammation. AQPs represent a family of ubiquitous membrane channels that regulate osmotically water flux in various tissues and sometimes the transport of small solutes, including glycerol. Extensive data indicate that AQPs, working as water channel proteins, regulate not only cell migration, but also common events essential for inflammatory response. The involvement of AQPs in several inflammatory processes, as demonstrated by their dysregulation both in human and animal diseases, identifies their new role in protection and response to different noxious stimuli, including bacterial infection. This contribution could represent a new key to clarify the dilemma of host-pathogen communications, and opens up new scenarios regarding the investigation of the modulation of specific AQPs, as target for new pharmacological therapies. This review provides updated information on the underlying mechanisms of AQPs in the regulation of inflammatory responses in mammals and discusses the broad spectrum of options that can be tailored for different diseases and their pharmacological treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.00101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5820367PMC
February 2018

Galactosylated Pro-Drug of Ursodeoxycholic Acid: Design, Synthesis, Characterization, and Pharmacological Effects in a Rat Model of Estrogen-Induced Cholestasis.

Mol Pharm 2018 01 28;15(1):21-30. Epub 2017 Nov 28.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II , Naples 80138, Italy.

Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is considered the first-choice therapy for cholestatic disorders. To enhance solubility and exploit specific transporters in liver, we synthesized a new galactosyl pro-drug of UDCA (UDCAgal). Ethinylestradiol (EE)-induced cholestasis was used to study and compare the effects of UDCAgal with UDCA on bile flow, hepatic canalicular efflux transporter expression, and inflammation. UDCAgal resulted quite stable both at pH 7.4 and 1.2 and regenerated the parent drug after incubation in human plasma. Its solubility, higher than UDCA, was pH- and temperature-independent. UDCAgal displayed a higher cell permeation compared to UDCA in liver HepG2 cells. Moreover, in cholestatic rats, UDCAgal showed a higher potency compared to UDCA in reducing serum biomarkers (AST, ALT, and ALP) and cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β). The higher effect of UDCAgal on the increase in bile salt export pump and multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 transcription indicated an improved spillover of bile acids from the liver. UDCAgal showed a reduction in CCL2, as well as TNF-α, IL-1β, and cyclooxygeanse-2 mRNAs, indicating a reduction in hepatic neutrophil accumulation and inflammation. Moreover, UDCAgal, similarly to UDCA, heightens bile flow and modulates biliary acids secretion. These results indicate that UDCAgal has a potential in the treatment of cholestatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.7b00626DOI Listing
January 2018

Inflammatory Myopathy in Horses With Chronic Piroplasmosis.

Vet Pathol 2018 01 18;55(1):133-143. Epub 2017 Jul 18.

2 Unit of Pathology, Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Horses affected by chronic piroplasmosis may develop poor performance and muscle atrophy. Here we investigate the pathological and immunopathological aspects of myopathy occurring in chronic equine piroplasmosis. The study included 16 horses serologically positive for equine piroplasms presenting with clinical signs and supporting serum biochemical evidence of a myopathy. Skeletal muscle was evaluated by histopathology, immunohistochemistry, indirect immunofluorescence, and molecular detection of piroplasms and inflammatory cytokines in skeletal muscle. Histologic lesions included muscle fiber atrophy (100% of cases), degenerative changes (13/16, 81%), and perivascular perimysial and endomysial lymphocytic infiltrates (81% of cases). In 15 cases (94%), muscle fibers had strong immunostaining for major histocompatibility complex classes I and II. T lymphocyte populations were mainly CD3+, CD8+, and CD4+ in equal proportions, with a lower number of CD79α+ cells. The serum from affected horses was tested by indirect immunofluorescence for binding of IgG, IgM, or IgA to sections of normal equine muscle to detect circulating autoantibodies against muscle antigen(s). In all cases, distinct sarcolemmal staining was detected in sections incubated with serum from affected horses, in contrast to sections incubated with phosphate-buffered saline or equine control sera. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing of muscles from affected animals revealed a significant increase of interferon-γ, interleukin-12, and tumor necrosis factor-α gene expression compared to healthy controls. Theileria equi or Babesia caballi was not detected in samples of affected muscle by RT-PCR. Thus, inflammatory myopathy associated with equine piroplasmosis may involve an autoimmune pathogenesis with upregulation of inflammatory cytokines that may cause myofiber atrophy and degeneration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300985817716262DOI Listing
January 2018

Butyrate Regulates Liver Mitochondrial Function, Efficiency, and Dynamics in Insulin-Resistant Obese Mice.

Diabetes 2017 05 21;66(5):1405-1418. Epub 2017 Feb 21.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy

Fatty liver, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction are key pathophysiological features of insulin resistance and obesity. Butyrate, produced by fermentation in the large intestine by gut microbiota, and its synthetic derivative, the N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenyl-ethyl) butyramide, FBA, have been demonstrated to be protective against insulin resistance and fatty liver. Here, hepatic mitochondria were identified as the main target of the beneficial effect of both butyrate-based compounds in reverting insulin resistance and fat accumulation in diet-induced obese mice. In particular, butyrate and FBA improved respiratory capacity and fatty acid oxidation, activated the AMPK-acetyl-CoA carboxylase pathway, and promoted inefficient metabolism, as shown by the increase in proton leak. Both treatments consistently increased utilization of substrates, especially fatty acids, leading to the reduction of intracellular lipid accumulation and oxidative stress. Finally, the shift of the mitochondrial dynamic toward fusion by butyrate and FBA resulted in the improvement not only of mitochondrial cell energy metabolism but also of glucose homeostasis. In conclusion, butyrate and its more palatable synthetic derivative, FBA, modulating mitochondrial function, efficiency, and dynamics, can be considered a new therapeutic strategy to counteract obesity and insulin resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db16-0924DOI Listing
May 2017

Extracorporeal shock waves alone or combined with raloxifene promote bone formation and suppress resorption in ovariectomized rats.

PLoS One 2017 3;12(2):e0171276. Epub 2017 Feb 3.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Osteoporosis is a metabolic skeletal disease characterized by an imbalance between osteoclast-mediated bone resorption and osteoblast-mediated bone formation. We examined the beneficial effect of shock waves (SW) alone or in combination with raloxifene (RAL) on bone loss in ovariectomized rats (OVX). Sixteen weeks after surgery, OVX were treated for five weeks with SW at the antero-lateral side of the right hind leg, one session weekly, at 3 Hz (EFD of 0.33 mJ/mm2), or with RAL (5 mg/kg/die, per os) or with SW+RAL. Sera, femurs, tibiae and vertebrae were sampled for following biochemical and histological analysis. SW, alone or combined with RAL, prevented femur weight reduction and the deterioration of trabecular microarchitecture both in femur and vertebrae. All treatments increased Speed of Sound (SoS) values, improving bone mineral density, altered by OVX. Serum parameters involved in bone remodeling (alkaline phosphatase, receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand, osteoprotegerin) and osteoblast proliferation (PTH), altered by ovariectomy, were restored by SW and RAL alone or in combination. In tibiae, SW+RAL significantly reduced cathepsin k and TNF-α levels, indicating the inhibition of osteoclast activity, while all treatments significantly increased runt-related transcription factor 2 and bone morphogenetic-2 expression, suggesting an increase in osteoblastogenic activity. Finally, in bone marrow from tibiae, SW or RAL reduced PPARγ and adiponectin transcription, indicating a shift of mesenchymal cells toward osteoblastogenesis, without showing a synergistic effect. Our data indicate SW therapy, alone and in combination with raloxifene, as an innovative strategy to limit the hypoestrogenic bone loss, restoring the balance between bone formation and resorption.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0171276PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5291474PMC
August 2017

Extensively hydrolyzed casein formula alone or with L. rhamnosus GG reduces β-lactoglobulin sensitization in mice.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2017 05 24;28(3):230-237. Epub 2017 Jan 24.

Department of Translational Medical Science, University of Naples 'Federico II', Naples, Italy.

Background: Extensively hydrolyzed casein formula (EHCF) has been proposed for the prevention and is commonly used for the treatment of cow's milk allergy (CMA). The addition of the probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) to EHCF may induce faster acquisition of tolerance to cow's milk. The mechanisms underlying this effect are largely unexplored. We investigated the effects of EHCF alone or in combination with LGG on β-lactoglobulin (BLG) sensitization in mice.

Methods: Three-week-old C3H/HeOuJ mice were sensitized by oral administration of BLG using cholera toxin as adjuvant at weekly intervals for 5 weeks (sensitization period). Two experimental phases were conducted: (i) EHCF or EHCF+LGG given daily, starting 2 weeks before the sensitization period and then given daily for 5 weeks and (ii) EHCF or EHCF+LGG given daily for 4 weeks, starting 1 week after the sensitization period. Diet free of cow's milk protein was used as control. Acute allergic skin response, anaphylactic symptom score, body temperature, intestinal permeability, anti-BLG serum IgE, and interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ mRNA expression were analyzed. Peptide fractions of EHCF were characterized by reversed-phase (RP)-HPLC, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, and nano-HPLC/ESI-MS/MS.

Results: Extensively hydrolyzed casein formula administration before or after BLG-induced sensitization significantly reduced acute allergic skin reaction, anaphylactic symptom score, body temperature decrease, intestinal permeability increase, IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, and anti-BLG IgE production. EHCF increased expression of IFN-γ and IL-10. Many of these effects were significantly enhanced by LGG supplementation. The peptide panels were similar between the two study formulas and contained sequences that could have immunoregulatory activities.

Conclusions: The data support dietary intervention with EHCF for CMA prevention and treatment through a favorable immunomodulatory action. The observed effects are significantly enhanced by LGG supplementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.12687DOI Listing
May 2017

An orally administered butyrate-releasing derivative reduces neutrophil recruitment and inflammation in dextran sulphate sodium-induced murine colitis.

Br J Pharmacol 2017 06 3;174(11):1484-1496. Epub 2016 Nov 3.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Background And Purpose: Butyrate has shown benefits in inflammatory bowel diseases. However, it is not often administered orally because of its rancid smell and unpleasant taste. The efficacy of a more palatable butyrate-releasing derivative, N-(1-carbamoyl-2-phenylethyl) butyramide (FBA), was evaluated in a mouse model of colitis induced by dextran sodium sulphate (DSS).

Experimental Approach: Male 10 week-old BALB/c mice received DSS (2.5%) in drinking water (for 5 days) followed by DSS-free water for 7 days (DSS group). Oral FBA administration (42.5 mg·kg ) was started 7 days before DSS as preventive (P-FBA), or 2 days after DSS as therapeutic (T-FBA); both treatments lasted 19 days. One DSS-untreated group received only tap water (CON).

Key Results: FBA treatments reduced colitis symptoms and colon damage. P-FBA and T-FBA significantly decreased polymorphonuclear cell infiltration score compared with the DSS group. FBA reversed the imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (reducing inducible NOS protein expression, CCL2 and IL-6 transcripts in colon and increasing TGFβ and IL-10). Morever, P-FBA and T-FBA limited neutrophil recruitment (by expression and localization of the neutrophil granule protease Ly-6G), restored deficiency of the butyrate transporter and improved intestinal epithelial integrity, preventing tight-junction impairment (zonulin-1 and occludin). FBA, similar to its parental compound sodium butyrate, inhibited histone deacetylase-9 and restored H3 histone acetylation, exerting an anti-inflammatory effect through NF-κB inhibition and the up-regulation of PPARγ.

Conclusions And Implications: FBA reduces inflammatory intestinal damage in mice indicating its potential as a postbiotic derivative without the problems associated with the oral administration of sodium butyrate.

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.13637DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5429328PMC
June 2017

Polyphenol-rich virgin olive oil reduces insulin resistance and liver inflammation and improves mitochondrial dysfunction in high-fat diet fed rats.

Mol Nutr Food Res 2017 03 20;61(3). Epub 2016 Dec 20.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II", Naples, Italy.

Scope: Virgin olive oil is an essential component of the Mediterranean diet. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are mainly linked to phenolic contents. This study aims to evaluate the beneficial effects of a polyphenol-rich virgin olive oil (HPCOO) or olive oil without polyphenols (WPOO) in rats fed high-fat diet (HFD).

Methods And Results: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups based on the different types of diet: (I) standard diet (STD); (II) HFD; (III) HFD containing WPOO, and (IV) HFD containing HPCOO. HPCOO and WPOO induced a significant improvement of HFD-induced impaired glucose homeostasis (by hyperglycemia, altered oral glucose tolerance, and HOMA-IR) and inflammatory status modulating pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1, and IL-10) and adipokines. Moreover, HPCOO and less extensively WPOO, limited HFD-induced liver oxidative and nitrosative stress and increased hepatic fatty acid oxidation. To study mitochondrial performance, oxidative capacity and energy efficiency were also evaluated in isolated liver mitochondria. HPCOO, but not WPOO, reduced H O release and aconitase activity by decreasing degree of coupling, which plays a major role in the control of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species emission.

Conclusion: HPCOO limits HFD-induced insulin resistance, inflammation, and hepatic oxidative stress, preventing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease progression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mnfr.201600418DOI Listing
March 2017

Pollutants make rheumatic diseases worse: Facts on polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) exposure and rheumatic diseases.

Life Sci 2016 Jul 14;157:140-144. Epub 2016 Jun 14.

SERGAS, Research Laboratory 9, NEIRID Lab (Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Institute of Medical Research (IDIS), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Electronic address:

Background: Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants that bioaccumulate in adipose tissue, disturbing its metabolism and the balance of adipokines, related to obesity. The altering secretion pattern of adipokines from the adipose tissue and the increasing mechanical load in weight-bearing joints presented in obesity condition, are risk factors for osteoarthritis development. The most prevalent rheumatic diseases, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, are chronic conditions that target the whole joints, leading to increasing disability and health care cost. The goal of this focused review is to summarize the current knowledge on the role of PCBs in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis.

Search Strategy: A PubMed search was managed using keywords as "rheumatic diseases", "polychlorinated biphenyls", "obesity" and "endocrine disruption".

Main Results Of The Review: The incidence of rheumatoid arthritis has been reported to be increased especially in urban areas in industrialized countries, emphasizing the importance of environment in the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases. Analysis of two cohorts exposed to PCBs food contamination showed high incidence of arthritis. In addition, PCBs in serum correlated positively with the prevalence of self-reported arthritis. Few studies support the hypothesis that osteoarthritis development could be related to PCBs induction of chondrocytes apoptosis.

Conclusion: Evidences have emerged for a relationship between PCBs and development of several types of arthritis. Further research is encouraged to determine the correlation between PCBs exposure and the development of rheumatic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2016.06.010DOI Listing
July 2016

Hydroxytyrosol prevents metabolic impairment reducing hepatic inflammation and restoring duodenal integrity in a rat model of NAFLD.

J Nutr Biochem 2016 Apr 4;30:108-15. Epub 2016 Jan 4.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples "Federico II", 80131 Naples, Italy. Electronic address:

The potential mechanisms of action of polyphenols in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are overlooked. Here, we evaluate the beneficial therapeutic effects of hydroxytyrosol (HT), the major metabolite of the oleuropein, in a nutritional model of insulin resistance (IR) and NAFLD by high-fat diet. Young male rats were divided into three groups receiving (1) standard diet (STD; 10.5% fat), (2) high-fat diet (HFD; 58.0% fat) and (3) HFD+HT (10 mg/kg/day by gavage). After 5 weeks, the oral glucose tolerance test was performed, and at 6th week, blood sample and tissues (liver and duodenum) were collected for following determinations. The HT-treated rats showed a marked reduction in serum AST, ALT and cholesterol and improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, reducing homeostasis model assessment index. HT significantly corrected the metabolic impairment induced by HFD, increasing hepatic peroxisome proliferator activated receptor PPAR-α and its downstream-regulated gene fibroblast growth factor 21, the phosphorylation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase and the mRNA carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a. HT also reduced liver inflammation and nitrosative/oxidative stress decreasing the nitrosylation of proteins, reactive oxygen species production and lipid peroxidation. Moreover, HT restored intestinal barrier integrity and functions (fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran permeability and mRNA zona occludens ZO-1). Our data demonstrate the beneficial effect of HT in the prevention of early inflammatory events responsible for the onset of IR and steatosis, reducing hepatic inflammation and nitrosative/oxidative stress and restoring glucose homeostasis and intestinal barrier integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2015.12.004DOI Listing
April 2016

The novel adipokine progranulin counteracts IL-1 and TLR4-driven inflammatory response in human and murine chondrocytes via TNFR1.

Sci Rep 2016 Feb 8;6:20356. Epub 2016 Feb 8.

SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude) and IDIS (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago), Research Laboratory 9, The NEIRID Lab (Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Santiago de Compostela, 15706, Spain.

Progranulin (PGRN) is a recently identified adipokine that is supposed to have anti-inflammatory actions. The proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β (IL1β) stimulates several mediators of cartilage degradation. Toll like receptor-4 (TLR4) can bind to various damage-associated molecular patterns, leading to inflammatory condition. So far, no data exist of PGRN effects in inflammatory conditions induced by IL1β or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory potential of PGRN in IL1β- or LPS-induced inflammatory responses of chondrocytes. Human osteoarthritic chondrocytes and ATDC-5 cells were treated with PGRN in presence or not of IL1β or LPS. First, we showed that recombinant PGRN had no effects on cell viability. We present evidence that PGRN expression was increased during the differentiation of ATDC-5 cell line. Moreover, PGRN mRNA and protein expression is increased in cartilage, synovial and infrapatellar fat pad tissue samples from OA patients. PGRN mRNA levels are upregulated under TNFα and IL1β stimulation. Our data showed that PGRN is able to significantly counteract the IL1β-induced expression of NOS2, COX2, MMP13 and VCAM-1. LPS-induced expression of NOS2 is also decreased by PGRN. These effects are mediated, at least in part, through TNFR1. Taken together, our results suggest that PGRN has a clear anti-inflammatory function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep20356DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745010PMC
February 2016

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB 101, 153, and 180) Impair Murine Macrophage Responsiveness to Lipopolysaccharide: Involvement of NF-κB Pathway.

Toxicol Sci 2015 Sep 3;147(1):255-69. Epub 2015 Jul 3.

*Department of Pharmacy;

Non-dioxin-like (NDL) polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are persistent organic pollutants, associated with a range of adverse health effects, including interference with the immune system. In this study, we investigate the capability of NDL-PCBs 101, 153, and 180, 3 of the 6 NDL-PCBs defined as indicators, to impair the immune response in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-activated J774A.1 and primary murine macrophages. Our results clearly demonstrate that the exposure of J774A.1 and primary macrophages to NDL-PCB 153 or 180 or all NDL-PCBs mixtures causes a significant reduction in LPS-induced cytokine/chemokine synthesis, such as tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin-6, together with monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, involved in cell recruitment. Moreover, PCBs were found to suppress LPS-stimulated NO production, and to reduce cyclooxygenase-2 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in J774A.1 and primary macrophages. At mechanistic level, PCBs significantly counteract the LPS-driven toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and CD14 upregulation, therefore inhibiting downstream nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation in J774A.1. Furthermore, PCBs determine a significant loss of macrophage endocytic capacity, a prerequisite for efficient antigen presentation. Taken together, these data indicate that NDL-PCBs reduce macrophage responsiveness, particularly when they are combined at concentrations per se inactive, impairing the capability to orchestrate a proper immune response to an infectious stimulus, disrupting TLR4/NF-κB pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/toxsci/kfv127DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7107302PMC
September 2015

Palmitoylethanolamide treatment reduces blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats: involvement of cytochrome p450-derived eicosanoids and renin angiotensin system.

PLoS One 2015 7;10(5):e0123602. Epub 2015 May 7.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy.

Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA), a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α agonist, has been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure and kidney damage secondary to hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR). Currently, no information is available concerning the putative effect of PEA on modulating vascular tone. Here, we investigate the mechanisms underpinning PEA blood pressure lowering effect, exploring the contribution of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, CYP-dependent arachidonic acid metabolites, as endothelium-derived hyperpolarizing factors (EDHF), and renin angiotensin system (RAS) modulation. To achieve this aim SHR and Wistar-Kyoto rats were treated with PEA (30 mg/kg/day) for five weeks. Functional evaluations on mesenteric bed were performed to analyze EDHF-mediated vasodilation. Moreover, mesenteric bed and carotid were harvested to measure CYP2C23 and CYP2J2, the key isoenzymes in the formation of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids, and the soluble epoxide hydrolase, which is responsible for their degradation in the corresponding diols. Effect of PEA on RAS modulation was investigated by analyzing angiotensin converting enzyme and angiotensin receptor 1 expression. Here, we showed that EDHF-mediated dilation in response to acetylcholine was increased in mesenteric beds of PEA-treated SHR. Western blot analysis revealed that the increase in CYP2C23 and CYP2J2 observed in SHR was significantly attenuated in mesenteric beds of PEA-treated SHR, but unchanged in the carotids. Interestingly, in both vascular tissues, PEA significantly decreased the soluble epoxide hydrolase protein level, accompanied by a reduced serum concentration of its metabolite 14-15 dihydroxyeicosatrienoic acid, implying a reduction in epoxyeicosatrienoic acid hydrolisis. Moreover, PEA treatment down-regulated angiotensin receptor 1 and angiotensin converting enzyme expression, indicating a reduction in angiotensin II-mediated effects. Consistently, a damping of the activation of angiotensin receptor 1 underlying pathways in mesenteric beds was shown in basal conditions in PEA-treated SHR. In conclusion, our data demonstrate the involvement of epoxyeicosatrienoic acids and renin angiotensin system in the blood pressure lowering effect of PEA.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0123602PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4423982PMC
February 2016

Preventive and therapeutic effects of Lactobacillus paracasei B21060-based synbiotic treatment on gut inflammation and barrier integrity in colitic mice.

J Nutr 2015 Jun 29;145(6):1202-10. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

Department of Pharmacy and

Background: Although gut microbiota perturbation is recognized as a main contributing factor to the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease, synbiotic therapies, as prevention or treatment, have remained overlooked.

Objective: To verify whether Lactobacillus paracasei B21060-based synbiotic therapy could prevent or repair colon damage in a mouse model of colitis, we performed treatments before and after colitis induction.

Methods: The experimental study lasted 19 d. Experimental colitis was induced in BALB/c mice by giving them dextran sodium sulfate (DSS, 2.5%) in drinking water (days 7-12) followed by DSS-free water (days 13-19) (DSS group). L. paracasei B21060 (2.5 × 10(7) bacteria/10 g body weight) was orally administered 7 d before DSS [synbiotic as preventive treatment (P-SYN) group] or 2 d after DSS [synbiotic as therapeutic treatment (T-SYN) group] until day 19. Another group was not treated with DSS or synbiotic and was given tap water (control group), for a total of 4 groups.

Results: Compared with the DSS group, both synbiotic-treated groups had significantly less pronounced weight loss and colon damage. Consistently, mRNA levels of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 in the colon were reduced in both P-SYN and T-SYN mice compared with the DSS group (51%, P < 0.05 and 72%, P < 0.001, respectively). In the P-SYN and T-SYN groups, neutrophil elastase transcription was also reduced (51%, P < 0.01 and 59%, P < 0.001, respectively). Accordingly, oxidative/nitrosative stress was lower in P-SYN and T-SYN mice than in the DSS group. In P-SYN and T-SYN mice, colonic gene expression of tumor necrosis factor (47%, P < 0.01 and 61%, P < 0.001, respectively) and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (45%, P < 0.01 and 35%, P < 0.05, respectively) was lower, whereas interleukin 10 mRNA was doubled compared with the DSS group (both P < 0.5). Remarkably, epithelial barrier integrity (zonulin and occludin) and gut protection (β-defensin and mucin expression) were completely restored in P-SYN and T-SYN mice.

Conclusions: Our data highlight the beneficial effects of this synbiotic formulation in acutely colitic mice, suggesting that it may have therapeutic and possibly preventive efficacy in human colitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3945/jn.114.205989DOI Listing
June 2015

N-Palmitoylethanolamide protects the kidney from hypertensive injury in spontaneously hypertensive rats via inhibition of oxidative stress.

Pharmacol Res 2013 Oct 2;76:67-76. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Naples 80131, Italy.

Hypertension is an important risk factor for kidney failure and renal events in the general population. Palmitoylethanolamide (PEA) is a member of the fatty acid ethanolamine family with profound analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects, resulting from its ability to activate peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)α. A role for this nuclear receptor has been addressed in cardiovascular system and PPARα ligands have been shown to protect against inflammatory damage especially resulting from angiotensin II hypertension. In this study, we demonstrated that PEA significantly reduced blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and limited kidney damage secondary to high perfusion pressure. To investigate the mechanisms involved in PEA effect, we found that PEA reduced cytochrome P450 (CYP) hydroxylase CYP4A, epoxygenase CYP2C23 and soluble epoxide hydrolase enzyme expression in the kidney, accompanied by a reduction of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid excretion in the urine. Moreover, it markedly reduced kidney oxidative and nitrosative stress accompanied by decreased expression of renal NAD(P)H oxidase and inducible nitric oxide synthase and increased expression of Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase, in the kidney of SHR. Moreover, angiotensin II receptor (AT) evaluation revealed a decrease in AT1 receptor expression and a restoration of AT2 receptor level in the kidney from PEA-treated SHR. Consistently, angiotensin converting enzyme expression was reduced, implying a decrease in angiotensin II synthesis. These results indicate that PEA treatment lowers blood pressure and can protect against hypertensive renal injury by increasing the antioxidant defense and anti-inflammatory response and modulating renin-angiotensin system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2013.07.007DOI Listing
October 2013