Publications by authors named "Ragin Alex"

6 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

OX-HDL: A Starring Role in Cardiorenal Syndrome and the Effects of Heme Oxygenase-1 Intervention.

Diagnostics (Basel) 2020 Nov 20;10(11). Epub 2020 Nov 20.

Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.

In this review, we will evaluate how high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and the reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) pathway are critical for proper cardiovascular-renal physiology. We will begin by reviewing the basic concepts of HDL cholesterol synthesis and pathway regulation, followed by cardiorenal syndrome (CRS) pathophysiology. After explaining how the HDL and RCT pathways become dysfunctional through oxidative processes, we will elaborate on the potential role of HDL dysfunction in CRS. We will then present findings on how HDL function and the inducible antioxidant gene heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) are interconnected and how induction of HO-1 is protective against HDL dysfunction and important for the proper functioning of the cardiovascular-renal system. This will substantiate the proposal of HO-1 as a novel therapeutic target to prevent HDL dysfunction and, consequently, cardiovascular disease, renal dysfunction, and the onset of CRS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics10110976DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7699797PMC
November 2020

Milk thistle seed cold press oil attenuates markers of the metabolic syndrome in a mouse model of dietary-induced obesity.

J Food Biochem 2020 12 12;44(12):e13522. Epub 2020 Oct 12.

Department of Medicine, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY, USA.

Milk thistle cold press oil (MTO) is an herbal remedy derived from Silybum marianum which contains a low level of silymarin and mixture of polyphenols and flavonoids. The effect of MTO on the cardiovascular and metabolic complications of obesity was studied in mice that were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 20 weeks and treated with MTO for the final 8 weeks of the diet. MTO treatment attenuated HFD-induced obesity, fasting hyperglycemia, hypertension, and induced markers of mitochondrial fusion and browning of white adipose. Markers of inflammation were also attenuated in both adipose and the liver of MTO-treated mice. In addition, MTO resulted in the improvement of liver fibrosis. These results demonstrate that MTO has beneficial actions to attenuate dietary obesity-induced weight gain, hyperglycemia, hypertension, inflammation, and suggest that MTO supplementation may prove beneficial to patients exhibiting symptoms of metabolic syndrome. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Natural supplements are increasingly being considered as potential therapies for many chronic cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. Milk thistle cold press oil (MTO) is derived from Silybum marianum which is used as a dietary supplement in different parts of the world. The results of the present study demonstrate that MTO supplementation normalizes several metabolic and cardiovascular complications arising from dietary-induced obesity. MTO supplementation also had anti-inflammatory actions in the adipose as well as the liver. These results suggest that supplementation of MTO into the diet of obese individuals may afford protection against the worsening of cardiovascular and metabolic disease and improve inflammation and liver fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jfbc.13522DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7770619PMC
December 2020

Cold Press Pomegranate Seed Oil Attenuates Dietary-Obesity Induced Hepatic Steatosis and Fibrosis through Antioxidant and Mitochondrial Pathways in Obese Mice.

Int J Mol Sci 2020 Jul 31;21(15). Epub 2020 Jul 31.

Departments of Medicine and Pharmacology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.

Aim: Obesity is associated with metabolic syndrome, hypertension, dyslipidemia, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and type 2 diabetes. In this study, we investigated whether the dietary supplementation of pomegranate seed oil (PSO) exerted a protective effect on liver lipid uptake, fibrosis, and mitochondrial function in a mouse model of obesity and insulin resistance.

Method: In this in vivo study, eight-week-old C57BL/6J male mice were fed with a high fat diet (HFD) for 24 weeks and then were divided into three groups as follows: group (1) Lean; group ( = 6) (2) HF diet; group ( = 6) (3) HF diet treated with PSO (40 mL/kg food) ( = 6) for eight additional weeks starting at 24 weeks. Physiological parameters, lipid droplet accumulation, inflammatory biomarkers, antioxidant biomarkers, mitochondrial biogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and hepatic fibrosis were determined to examine whether PSO intervention prevents obesity-associated metabolic syndrome.

Results: The PSO group displayed an increase in oxygen consumption, as well as a decrease in fasting glucose and blood pressure ( < 0.05) when compared to the HFD-fed mice group. PSO increased both the activity and expression of hepatic HO-1, downregulated inflammatory adipokines, and decreased hepatic fibrosis. PSO increased the levels of thermogenic genes, mitochondrial signaling, and lipid metabolism through increases in Mfn2, OPA-1, PRDM 16, and PGC1α. Furthermore, PSO upregulated obesity-mediated hepatic insulin receptor phosphorylation Tyr-, p-IRB tyr, and pAMPK, thereby decreasing insulin resistance.

Conclusions: These results indicated that PSO decreased obesity-mediated insulin resistance and the progression of hepatic fibrosis through an improved liver signaling, as manifested by increased insulin receptor phosphorylation and thermogenic genes. Furthermore, our findings indicate a potential therapeutic role for PSO in the prevention of obesity-associated NAFLD, NASH, and other metabolic disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms21155469DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7432301PMC
July 2020

Genetic Polymorphisms Complicate COVID-19 Therapy: Pivotal Role of HO-1 in Cytokine Storm.

Antioxidants (Basel) 2020 Jul 18;9(7). Epub 2020 Jul 18.

Department of Pharmacology, New York Medical College, Valhalla, NY 10595, USA.

Coronaviruses are very large RNA viruses that originate in animal reservoirs and include severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and other inconsequential coronaviruses from human reservoirs like the common cold. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 and is believed to originate from bat, quickly spread into a global pandemic. This RNA virus has a special affinity for porphyrins. It invades the cell at the angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2) receptor and binds to hemoproteins, resulting in a severe systemic inflammatory response, particularly in high ACE-2 organs like the lungs, heart, and kidney, resulting in systemic disease. The inflammatory response manifested by increased cytokine levels and reactive oxygen species results in inhibition of heme oxygenase (HO-1), with a subsequent loss of cytoprotection. This has been seen in other viral illness like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Ebola, and SARS/MERS. There are a number of medications that have been tried with some showing early clinical promise. This illness disproportionately affects patients with obesity, a chronic inflammatory disease with a baseline excess of cytokines. The majority of the medications used in the treatment of COVID-19 are metabolized by cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes, primarily CYP2D6. This is further complicated by genetic polymorphisms of CYP2D6, HO-1, ACE, and ACE-2. There is a potential role for HO-1 upregulation to treat/prevent cytokine storm. Current therapy must focus on antivirals and heme oxygenase upregulation. Vaccine development will be the only magic bullet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antiox9070636DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7402116PMC
July 2020

A Rare Case of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus with Gastric Ulcer and Acute Pancreatitis: A Case Report and Literature Review.

Gastroenterology Res 2018 Aug 8;11(4):321-325. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Department of Medicine, Interfaith Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY, USA.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory disease which can manifest in many different organ systems. Gastrointestinal (GI) involvement is common in SLE, but the symptoms are usually mild. More severe GI complications including acute pancreatitis and peptic ulcer bleeding are rare but represent a significant risk of morbidity and mortality. We present a case of a 25-year-old Hispanic female with a severe SLE flare. The initial presentation included symptoms of hematemesis and epigastric abdominal pain secondary to both gastric ulceration and acute pancreatitis, an atypical presentation of an SLE flare. The non-specific symptom of abdominal pain makes both acute pancreatitis and gastric ulcer disease a clinical challenge; however, clinicians need to have a high suspicion for these conditions co-existing at the same time due to higher mortality rates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/gr1048wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6089583PMC
August 2018

Fatal Acute Liver Failure With Intravenous Amiodarone: A Case Report and Literature Review.

Gastroenterology Res 2018 Feb 23;11(1):62-63. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Interfaith Medical Center, 1545 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11213, USA.

Amiodarone is a drug which frequently causes elevated transaminases. However, acute liver failure has been rarely reported. Here, we present a case of fatal acute liver failure following the administration of intravenous amiodarone. It is important to be aware of this rare but potentially fatal complication of intravenous amiodarone so that it can be withdrawn immediately at the first sign of hepatic impairment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/gr911wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5827905PMC
February 2018