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  • Author or Editor: Z. Qian x
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Berberine, a primary pharmacological active constitute of Coptidis Rhizoma, could inhibit neuronal apoptosis in cerebral ischemia. Here, we aimed to investigate whether and how HIF-1 is implicated in the anti-apoptosis effect of berberine on neurons under hypoxia/ischemia. Viability of PC12 cells treated with berberine prior to or following CoCl2-induced hypoxia was evaluated. Annexin V-PI staining was employed to analyse cell apoptosis ratio. HIF-1α and apoptosis-associated molecules were detected via Western blotting. TUNEL and immunohistochemistry were used to demonstrate apoptosis, HIF-1α and p53 levels in cerebral tissue of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) rats. Berberine pretreatment promoted PC12 cells survival and inhibited apoptosis under hypoxia condition. At the same time, it decreased cell viability and enhancement of apoptosis were observed with berberine treatment under hypoxia. Decreased HIF-1α, caspase 9, caspase 3 and increased Bcl-2/Bax ratio were responsible for the anti-apoptosis of berberine pretreatment. However, pro-apoptosis by berberine under hypoxia was indicated with opposing regulation of those molecules. Significant reduction of apoptosis, HIF-1α and p53 were found in cerebral tissue of MCAO rats treated with berberine. The present study suggests that berberine regulates neuronal apoptosis in cerebral ischemia, which might be dependent on the degree of cell injury. HIF-1 and the followed apoptotic pathway are involved in those effects of berberine.

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In order to study the metabolism of physiological amounts of51Cr (10 μg/100 g of body wt.) intragastrically administered in rats, the activable enriched stable isotope Cr-50 compound Cr2O3 was used as a tracer. The absorption and distribution of51Cr(III) in rats with time were studied. Significant51Cr contents were found in all the organs and tissues of interest. The kidney, liver and bone contain higher amounts of51Cr than others. The fact that specific activities of51Cr are notably high in kidney, bone, spleen and pancreas and decrease gradually with time suggests that there are tighter binding of chromium in these organs. The excretion of51Cr at various time intervals was also studied. Almost totally intragastrically administered dose was excreted in the feces. The increased urinary excretion of51Cr with time indicates that the urine-chromium is the metabolic derivative of organism. In view of the tissues distribution and excretion, it can be concluded that no more that 1% of the dose was absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.

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The content of chromium in the DNA, RNA and protein fractions separated from chromium-rich and normal brewer's yeast was determined by neutron activation analysis (NAA). Our results show that the extracted relative amounts and concentrations of DNA, RNA and proteins have no significant difference for two types of yeast, but the chromium content in DNA, RNA and proteins fractions extracted from the chromium-rich yeast are substantially higher than those from the normal. In addition, the concentration of chromium in DNA is much higher than that in RNA and proteins. It is evident that the inorganic chromium compounds can enter the yeast cell during the yeast cultivation in the chromium-containing culture medium and are converted into organic chromium species, which are combined with DNA, RNA and proteins.

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Chromium speciation was investigated in the liver cytosol, serum and urine of normal and diabetic rats after a single intravenous injection of enriched stable isotope 50Cr tracer solution. Sephadex G-25 gel chromatography combined with instrumental neutron activation analysis was used to isolate and characterize protein-bound chromium in the above materials. The results indicate that Cr is mainly combined with a high-molecular-weight protein either in liver cytosol or serum. A low-molecular-weight, Cr-containing compound (LMWCr) was found in all the observed liver, serum and urine samples of both normal and diabetic rats. Chromium is excreted chiefly as LMWCr in urine.

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Doublesex and mab-3-related transcription factor 1 (Dmrt1) is a Z-linked gene that putatively determines the phenotype of gonads in birds. The sex differential expression of Dmrt1 was examined using wholemount in situ hybridization (WISH) in the urogenital systems during embryogenesis. The results revealed that Dmrt1 showed dimorphic expression in chicken gonads, which increased from day 6.5 to day 10.5. The expression of Dmrt1 in male (ZZ) gonads was not twice as much as in female (ZW) gonads, suggesting the existence of other regulatory mechanisms in addition to Z chromosome dosage effect.

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The iron contents in the hair and blood samples of 37 juvenile athletes who were supplemented with 0, 8 and 16 mg Fe/day, respectively, in the food of ferrous gluconatecontaining chocolate for 3 months were determined before and after the supplementation by INAA, SRXRF and blood analysis. The experimental results showed that after supplementation of the iron-fortified food, the normal ferritin level in the blood of the male athletes was attained and the iron content in the hair was increased with supplementation, but both are not in the positive proportion. Most of the female athletes had similar results. It is suggested that supplementation of 8 mg iron/day to juvenile athletes may be desirable.

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The occupational health impact of atmospheric pollution on exposed workers at one iron and steel complex was studied by instrumental neutron activation analysis of workers' hair samples and medical examination. The experimental results indicate that there is a positive correlation between the high inhalation amounts of iron and other trace elements by the exposed workers and the symptom of their high blood pressure and hypoglycemia, which implies that the atmospheric environment polluted by iron and steel industry has an adverse health impact on the exposed workers. The measures to relieve and abate the occupational diseases caused by air-borne particulate matter should be taken

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