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   2022| December  | Volume 12 | Issue 12  
    Online since December 23, 2022

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Antidepressant and anti-nociceptive effects of Nigella sativa and its main constituent, thymoquinone: A literature review
Akbar Anaeigoudari
December 2022, 12(12):495-503
Medicinal plants and their ingredients have beneficial effects on human health. Nigella sativa is a herbal plant with multiple biological and pharmacological activities. Previous studies demonstrated the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of Nigella sativa and its main constituent thymoquinone significantly contributes to the antidepressant and anti-nociception effects of this plant. It has been reported that thymoquinone may achieve its antidepressant effect by preventing the elimination of brain neurotransmitters affecting depression such as serotonin. The role of brain-derived neurotrophic factors in the antidepressant effects of thymoquinone has also been documented. Additionally, thymoquinone can attenuate pain by upregulation of intracellular signaling pathways related to nitric oxide and K+ATP channels. The present review summarizes the antidepressant and anti-nociceptive activity of Nigella sativa and its main constituent thymoquinone by searching literature on electronic databases such as PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Google Scholar from the beginning of 2010 until the end of August 2022.
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Voacanga grandifolia (Miq.) Rolfe protects against alcohol-induced liver toxicity in rats
Lal Chand Pal, Shivankar Agrawal, Arti Gautam
December 2022, 12(12):504-511
Objective: To evaluate the ethanol extract of Voacanga grandifolia for hepatoprotective and antioxidant potential against ethanolinduced liver toxicity in rats. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats were administered ethanol (7 g/kg) and then treated with 100 and 200 mg/kg of Voacanga grandifolia extract. The phytochemical constituents and antioxidant potential of Voacanga grandifolia extract were evaluated by GC-MS and in vitro antioxidant assays. Biochemical indicators for liver damage and proapoptotic and antiapoptotic gene expression were determined using biochemical kits, ELISA, and qRT-PCR, respectively. Additionally, histopathological study of the liver was performed. Results: GC-MS identified propanoic acid, meso-erythritol, D-pinitol, myo-inositol, and hexadecanoic acid in Voacanga grandifolia extract. Voacanga grandifolia extract (100 and 200 mg/kg) increased the concentration of enzymatic antioxidants while diminishing the levels of inflammatory cytokines and biochemical indicators. qRT-PCR assay showed that Voacanga grandifolia extracts upregulated antiapoptotic gene expression while downregulating pro-apoptotic gene expression. Furthermore, the plant extract improved the hepatic architecture of ethanol-intoxicated rats. Conclusions: Voacanga grandifolia extract demonstrates hepatoprotective activity against alcohol-induced liver injury in rats and could be a potential hepatoprotective agent.
  1,176 216 -
In-silico and in-vitro evaluation of docetaxel and berberine as potential p53 modulating apoptotic inducers in oral squamous cell carcinoma
Smrutipragnya Samal, Rajesh Kumar Meher, Debasmita Dubey, Showkat Ahmad Mir, Binata Nayak, Mahesh Chandra Sahu, Pradeep Kumar Naik, Goutam Rath, Santosh Kumar Swain
December 2022, 12(12):530-540
Objective: To investigate the interaction of p53 with docetaxel and berberine and their anticancer activities against oral squamous cell carcinoma. Methods: The interaction between p53 with docetaxel and berberine was investigated and their mechanisms of action against oral squamous cell carcinoma were studied. Toxicity studies were performed to determine any toxic impact of the drugs on the vital organs of tested animals. Results: In silico results revealed the molecular interaction of docetaxel and berberine with p53 and the molecules were found to be potential p53 inducers. Docetaxel and berberine inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner. Flow cytometry analysis revealed that docetaxel and berberine at IC50 concentrations upregulated the expression of p53 in oral squamous cell carcinoma cells, thus triggering apoptotic cell death. In addition, no toxicity was observed in the liver and kidney tissues of mice after docetaxel and berberine treatment. Conclusions: Docetaxel and berberine significantly suppressed the proliferation of oral cancer cells by activating p53 expression and causing apoptotic cell death. Both compounds can be potential agents for the treatment of oral cancer, with little to no toxicity at the tissue level.
  954 163 -
Nebulized Mycobacterium vaccae protects against asthma by attenuating the imbalance of IRF4/IRF8 expression in dendritic cells
Qi-Xiang Sun, Si-Yue Xu, Lao-Dong Li, Huan Xiao, Qian-Nan Zhang, Chao-Qian Li
December 2022, 12(12):520-529
Objective: To assess the effects of nebulized inhaled Mycobacterium vaccae on allergic airway inflammation, airway hyperresponsiveness, and Th1/Th2 cell imbalance in mice with ovalbumin (OVA)-induced asthma. Methods: Mice received OVA sensitization and challenge for establishment of the asthmatic model. For intervention, mice received Mycobacterium vaccae nebulization once every other day from the first day of sensitization to the day before challenge. After challenge, pulmonary histological analysis and airway responsiveness measurement were performed. In addition, Th1/Th2 cytokines and OVA-specific IgE levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid were measured by ELISA. Th1/Th2 subset ratios and the expression of interferon-regulatory factor 4 (IRF4), IRF8 and Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) in dendritic cells were evaluated by flow cytometry. Results: Severe inflammatory infiltration and airway hyperresponsiveness were observed in OVA-induced asthmatic mice. Asthmatic mice showed higher Th2 cytokine concentration and increased percentage of Th2 cells, along with lower Th1 cytokine concentration and reduced percentage of Th1 cells compared with the normal control. Moreover, an imbalance of IRF4+ and IRF8+ in dendritic cells was found in asthmatic mice. Nebulized inhaled Mycobacterium vaccae reduced airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation in OVA-induced asthmatic mice. In addition, nebulized inhaled Mycobacterium vaccae enhanced TLR4 and IRF8 expression, and alleviated the imbalance of Th1/Th2 as well as IRF4+ and IRF8+ in dendritic cells. Conclusions: Nebulized inhaled Mycobacterium vaccae protects against asthma by alleviating the imbalance of Th1/Th2 and IRF4/ IRF8 in OVA-induced asthmatic mice.
  1,004 108 -
Midkine ameliorates LPS-induced apoptosis of airway smooth muscle cells via the Notch2 pathway
Qi-Feng Huang, Bo Wang, Yu-Qing Weng, Tang Deng, Li-Hua Li, Jin Qian, Qi Li, Kai-Wen Lin, Dong-Mei Sun, Shuang-Qin Xu, Hang-Fei Wang, Xin-Xin Wu, Yuan-Tian Sun, Xiao-Ran Liu
December 2022, 12(12):512-519
Objective: To evaluate the effect of midkine on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs). Methods: LPS-stimulated acute lung injury model was used to analyze the effect of midkine on ASMCs in vitro. Recombinant midkine and midkine siRNA were used to investigate the role of Notch2 signaling pathway. Cell proliferation was assessed using Cell Counting Kit-8 assay. Additionally, apoptosis was measured by flow cytometry and protein and mRNA expression of midkine and Notch2 was assessed by Western blotting and qPCR, respectively. Immunofluorescence analysis was also conducted. Results: LPS increased the mRNA and protein expression of midkine and Notch2. Midkine silencing reduced LPS-induced midkine and Notch2 expression. In addition, midkine silencing further reduced the viability and increased apoptosis of ASMCs induced by LPS, which was attenuated by recombinant midkine. Conclusions: The midkine/Notch2 signaling pathway plays a regulatory role in ASMC proliferation and apoptosis in airway inflammation.
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