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Neuroprotective effect of nebivolol against cisplatin-associated depressive-like behavior in rats

Posted by N F. Abdelkader, M A. Saad, R M. Abdelsalam. on 2017-03-26 19:13:11


One-third of cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment often display symptoms of depression leading to poor adherence and decreased quality of life. Thus, this study aimed to investigate the possible protective effect of nebivolol against cisplatin-associated depressive symptoms in adult male rats. Nebivolol is a highly cardioselective β-adrenergic receptor blocker that possesses endothelium-dependent vasodilator properties and antioxidant capacities. Animals were allocated into four groups. Group one was given aqueous solution of carboxymethyl cellulose and served as control, group two was given nebivolol (10 mg/kg p.o., daily), group three was given cisplatin (2 mg/kg i.p. once per week) for 10 consecutive weeks and group four was treated with cisplatin concomitantly with nebivolol as per above schedule. Cisplatin-treated rats showed an increase in both depressive-like behaviors in open-field and forced swimming tests. In addition, histopathological examination revealed cortical encephalomalacia along with hippocampal neuronal degeneration and kidney dysfunction. In parallel, cisplatin administration prominently reduced GABA and elevated glutamate levels in the cortical and hippocampal tissues. Furthermore, it resulted in a significant decline in cortical and hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nitric oxide contents concomitantly with a marked decrease in endothelial- and an increase in inducible-nitric oxide synthase genes expression. On the other hand, treatment with nebivolol effectively mitigated the aforementioned cisplatin-associated behavioral, biochemical, and histopathological alterations without changing its antitumor activity as evidenced by sulforhodamine B cell survival assay. Taken together, our results suggest that nebivolol may offer a promising approach for alleviating depressive symptoms associated with the use of cisplatin.

Zinc oxide nanoparticles as a novel anticancer approach; in vitro and in vivo evidence

Posted by HFH Hassan, AM Mansour, AMH Abo-Youssef, et al. on 2017-03-26 19:04:48


Currently, the outcomes of conventional chemotherapeutic approaches are unsatisfactory. Clinical application of nanoparticles seems promising. We aim to evaluate the possible antitumor activity of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) as a chemotherapeutic approach in in vitro and in vivo experimental models. An in vitro study was performed on three different cell lines, namely human hepatocellular carcinoma (HEPG2), human prostate cancer (PC3), and none-small cell lung cancer (A549) cell lines. An in vivo study using diethylnitrosamine (DENA)-induced HCC in adult male Wistar rats was conducted to investigate the potential antitumor activity of ZnONPs in HCC and the possible underlying mechanisms. Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was induced by oral administration of DENA given in drinking water (100 mg/L) for 8 weeks. Rats were allocated into four groups, namely a control group, an HCC control group receiving DENA alone, a ZnONPs (10 μg/kg per week, intravenous (i.v.) for 1 month) control group, and a ZnONPs treatment group (receiving ZnONPs + DENA). ZnONPs significantly reduced the elevated serum levels of HCC-related tumor markers alphafetoprotein and alpha-l-fucosidase and the apoptotic marker caspase-3 compared with the untreated HCC rats. In addition, treatment with ZnONPs significantly decreased the elevated levels of hepatocyte integrity and oxidative stress markers as compared with the untreated HCC control group. Furthermore, the histopathological study revealed anaplasia and fibrous degenerations which were significantly corrected by ZnONPs treatment. In conclusion, administration of ZnONPs exhibited a promising preclinical anticancer efficacy in HCC and could be considered as a novel strategy for the treatment HCC in clinical practices.



Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are heterogeneous diseases with different inflammatory phenotypes. Various inflammatory mediators play a role in these diseases. The aim of this study was to analyze the neutrophilic and eosinophilic airway and systemic inflammation as the phenotypic characterization of patients with asthma and COPD. Twenty-four patients with asthma and 33 patients with COPD were enrolled in the study. All the patients were in mild-to-moderate stage of disease, and none of them were treated with inhaled corticosteroids. Concentrations of IL-6, neutrophil elastase (NE), matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), and IL-33 and IL-17 in serum and induced sputum (IS) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The cellular composition of blood and IS was evaluated. Hierarchical clustering of patients was performed for the combination of selected clinical features and mediators. Asthma and COPD can be differentiated based on eosinophilic/neutrophilic systemic or airway inflammation with unsatisfactory efficiency. Hierarchical clustering of patients based on blood eosinophil percentage and clinical data revealed two asthma clusters differing in the number of positive skin prick tests and one COPD cluster with two subclusters characterized by low and high blood eosinophil concentrations. Clustering of patients according to IS measurements and clinical data showed two main clusters: pure asthma characterized by high eosinophil/atopy status and mixed asthma and COPD cluster with low eosinophil/atopy status. The neutrophilic phenotype of COPD was associated with more severe airway obstruction and hyperinflation.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading cause of psychiatric conditions in patients, amongst which, depression and anxiety are more frequent. Despite the preclinical antidepressant-like effects, clinical development of Phospodiesterase-4 (PDE4) enzyme inhibitors has been hampered due to serious side effect profiles, such as nausea and vomiting. Etazolate (ETZ) is a new generation PDE4 inhibitor with encouraging safety and tolerance profiles. In our previous studies we have addressed that ETZ produces antidepressant-like effects in animal models of depression, however, the underlying mechanism(s) following TBI have not been completely explored. Impact accelerated TBI by weight drop method causes depression-like behavioral deficits in modified open field exploration, hyper-emotionality and sucrose consumption paradigms. TBI not only causes immediate mechanical damage to the brain, but also induces biochemical changes that lead to delayed neural cell loss leading to a secondary injury. The present study examines the antidepressant effects of ETZ on the TBI-induced depression-like behavior deficits and attempts to explore the underlying mechanism. In order to understand the underlying pathology of TBI and mechanism(s) of ETZ in TBI molecular markers namely, brain cAMP, cAMP response element binding protein (pCREB) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) were estimated. Additionally, the level of oxidative (lipid peroxidation) & nitrosative (nitrite) stress markers, along with antioxidant enzymes markers, such as, reduced glutathione (GSH), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) were measured. Furthermore, the involvement of hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis activity in underlying mechanism was also investigated by measuring serum corticosterone (CORT) level. The results revealed that TBI significantly altered cAMP, pCREB and BDNF levels. Moreover, a significant increase in oxidativeenitrosative stress markers levels, while, significant decreases in antioxidant enzymes markers level were observed. However, no significant change was observed in serum CORT level. Chronic ETZ (0.5 and 1 mg/kg) treatment significantly attenuated TBI-induced behavioral deficits and restored the TBI induced derangements in molecular and biochemical markers. This study indicates that ETZ modulates cAMP signaling and oxidative/antioxidant markers in the TBI model suggesting its prospect as a potential candidate for the pharmacotherapy of depression.


Cisplatin (CIS) is a chemotherapeutic agent used for therapy of many tumors and has been limited by its toxicity. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Peroxisome proliferatoreactivated receptorgamma (PPAR-g), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and nuclear factor-kappa B(NFkB) in the pathogenesis of hepatic damage induced by CIS, and investigated the modulatory effect of metformin (MET) and/or low dose gamma radiation (LDR) on CIS-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. CIS(7.5 mg/kg, i.p.) hepatotoxicity was evidenced by alteration of serum hepatic indices (ALT and AST) accompanied with decreased hepatic PPAR-g, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities and reduced glutathione (GSH) content, whereas the levels of malondialdehyde (MDA), total nitrate/nitrite (NOx) and NFkB significantly increased as well as MAPK activity compared with the control, MET and LDR groups. Furthermore, CIS induces apoptosis as indicated by an elevation of hepatic caspase-3. Treatment with MET (150 mg/kg, orally for 14 days) and/or LDR (0.5 Gy), prior to CIS alleviates CIS-induced hepatic damage by mitigating oxidative/ nitrosative stress and PPAR-g activity reduction, hepatic caspase-3 elevation, and inhibition of NFkB, and MAPK activity levels.

Conclusions: Modulation of PPAR-g, MAPK and NFkB might contribute to amelioration of CIS-induced hepatic toxicity.

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