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  • 1
    ISSN: 1440-1681
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: 1. In an attempt to develop new substances for handling insulin resistance, an aqueous extract of the root of Acanthopanax senticosus (Araliaceae) was used to screen the effect on insulin resistance induced by fructose-rich chow in rats.2. Insulin action on glucose disposal rate was measured using the glucose–insulin index, the product from areas under the curve of glucose and insulin during the intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test. In addition to the modification of feeding behaviour and a marked decrease in bodyweight, oral administration (three times daily for 3 days) of the aqueous extract of A. senticosus root to rats that had received fructose-rich chow for 4 weeks reversed the elevated value of the glucose–-insulin index, indicating that this herb has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity.3. Time for the loss of the plasma glucose-lowering response to tolbutamide (10.0 mg/kg, i.p.) in fructose-rich chow-fed rats was markedly delayed by repeated treatment with the aqueous extract of A. senticosus root compared with the vehicle (saline) -treated group. Thus, an improving effect of A. senticosus root on insulin resistance can be considered.4. An increase in insulin sensitivity following the administration of this herb was further identified using the plasma glucose-lowering action of exogenous insulin in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic rats. Oral administration of the aqueous extract of A. senticosus root at a dose of 150.0 mg/kg three times daily to STZ-diabetic rats increased the responses to exogenous insulin 10 days later.5. The results obtained suggest that oral administration of the aqueous extract from A. senticosus root has the ability to improve insulin sensitivity and delay the development of insulin resistance in rats and, thus, may be used as an adjuvant therapy for patients with insulin resistance.
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  • 2
    ISSN: 1440-1681
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: 1. The effects of endurance training on the anti-oxidant status in diabetes were studied using obese Zucker rats.2. We used a moderate exercise programme consisting of treadmill running at 20 m/min and 0% incline for 1 h/day, 7 days/week, for 8 weeks. At the end of the experimental period, changes in hepatic anti-oxidant enzymes in terms of protein content and mRNA levels were detected using western blotting analysis and northern blotting analysis, respectively. In addition, anti-oxidant enzyme activity was determined.2. A significant reduction in mRNA levels and the protein content of hepatic Mn-superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were observed in non-exercise obese groups, but the mRNA and protein levels of these enzymes were markedly increased after exercise training. In addition, exercise training reversed the decreased enzyme activities of Mn-SOD and GPx in obese Zucker rats.3. The diabetes-related lowering of the glutathione (GSH) concentration was elevated in exercised obese Zucker rats, indicating a marked effect of regular moderate exercise on the endogenous anti-oxidant system.4. There were no marked changes in hepatic Cu/Zn-SOD in terms of mRNA levels, protein content and activity in sedentary obese Zucker rats compared with their lean littermates. Endurance training did not modify the gene expression and activity of hepatic Cu/Zn-SOD.5. The results of the present study suggest that regular moderate exercise could improve the anti-oxidant defence function of Mn-SOD, GPx and GSH in obese Zucker rats.
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  • 3
    ISSN: 1440-1681
    Source: Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
    Topics: Medicine
    Notes: 1. Tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) is one of the active principles contained in Ligusticum chuanxiong Hort. (Umbelliferae), a herb that has been used widely in China to treat vascular disorders.2. In an attempt to elucidate the possible mechanisms of action of TMP, the effect of TMP on intracellular calcium concentrations ([Ca2+]i) was investigated in cultured vascular smooth muscle (A7r5) cells using the Ca2+-sensitive dye Fura-2 as an indicator.3. The increase in [Ca2+]i in A7r5 cells produced by vasopressin (1 µmol/L) or phenylephrine (1 µmol/L) was attenuated by TMP in a concentration-dependent manner. Only inhibitors specific to ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channels or small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SKCa) channels attenuated the action of TMP (10 µmol/L) on [Ca2+]i. However, blockers of other K+ channels failed to modify the inhibitory action of TMP (10 µmol/L) on [Ca2+]i.4. The action of TMP on membrane potential in A7r5 cells was monitored by the fluorescence of bisoxonol. Tetramethylpyrazine caused a concentration-dependent inhibition of changes in membrane potential elicited by KCl (20 mmol/L) or phenylephrine (1 µmol/L), an effect that was totally reversed by glibenclamide (100 µmol/L) and apamin (100 nmol/L) in combination.5. The results obtained indicate that the decrease in [Ca2+]i in A7r5 cells produced by TMP is mediated mainly by opening of KATP and/or SKCa channels.
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