• Characterization of Nitric Oxide Modulatory Activities of Alkaline-Extracted and Enzymatic-Modified Arabinoxylans from Corn Bran in Cultured Human Monocytes

      Zhang, Zhengxiao; Smith, Christopher J.; Li, Weili; Ashworth, Jason J.; Manchester Metropolitan University; University of Chester (American Chemical Society, 2016-10-10)
      The ingestion of foods and food-derived substances that may mediate the immune system is widely studied. Evidence suggests cereal arabinoxylans (AXs) have immunomodulatory activities that may impart health benefits in terms of immune enhancement. This study extracted AXs from corn bran using alkali and developed a modification process using three endoxylanases to obtain fractions of lower molecular weight ranges. In vitro studies showed extracted and modified AXs significantly (P < 0.05) elevated nitric oxide (NO) synthesis by the human U937 monocytic cell line (ranging from 53.7 ± 1.1 to 62.9 ± 1.2 μM per million viable cells) at all concentrations tested (5–1000 μg/mL), indicative of immune enhancement compared to an untreated control (43.7 ± 1.9 μM per million viable cells). The study suggested the dose range and Mw distribution of AXs are key determinants of immune-modulatory activity. AXs in the low Mw range (0.1–10 KDa) were the most effective at inducing NO secretion by U937 macrophages at low AX concentration ranges (5–50 μg/mL), with NO production peaking at 62.9 ± 1.2 μM per million viable cells with 5 μg/mL of AX (P = 0.0009). In contrast, AXs in the high Mw range (100–794 kDa) were most effective at inducing NO at high AX concentration ranges (500–1000 μg/mL) with NO production reaching a maximum of 62.7 ± 1.3 μM per million viable cells at 1000 μg/mL of AX (P = 0.0011). The findings suggest that dietary AXs from corn bran may heighten innate immune responses in the absence of infection or disease.
    • The development of immunoassays to identify and quantify species source of gum Arabic

      Ireland, H. Elyse; Clutterbuck, Abigail L.; Cloquet, Jean-Phillipe; Thurston, Miranda; Williams, Peter A.; Cronk, Quentin C.; Dewey, France M.; Williams, John H. H.; University College Chester (Ireland, Thurston, Williams, J H H) (American Chemical Society, 2004)
    • Identifying the cellular targets of drug action in the central nervous system following corticosteroid therapy

      Jenkins, Stuart I.; Pickard, Mark R.; Khong, Melinda; Smith, Heather L.; Mann, Carl L. A.; Emes, Richard D.; Chari, Divya M.; Keele University, University of Nottingham, University Hospital of North Staffordshire NHS Trust, United Kingdom (American Chemical Society, 2014-01-15)
      Corticosteroid (CS) therapy is used widely in the treatment of a range of pathologies, but can delay production of myelin, the insulating sheath around central nervous system nerve fibers. The cellular targets of CS action are not fully understood, that is, "direct" action on cells involved in myelin genesis [oligodendrocytes and their progenitors the oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs)] versus "indirect" action on other neural cells. We evaluated the effects of the widely used CS dexamethasone (DEX) on purified OPCs and oligodendrocytes, employing complementary histological and transcriptional analyses. Histological assessments showed no DEX effects on OPC proliferation or oligodendrocyte genesis/maturation (key processes underpinning myelin genesis). Immunostaining and RT-PCR analyses show that both cell types express glucocorticoid receptor (GR; the target for DEX action), ruling out receptor expression as a causal factor in the lack of DEX-responsiveness. GRs function as ligand-activated transcription factors, so we simultaneously analyzed DEX-induced transcriptional responses using microarray analyses; these substantiated the histological findings, with limited gene expression changes in DEX-treated OPCs and oligodendrocytes. With identical treatment, microglial cells showed profound and global changes post-DEX addition; an unexpected finding was the identification of the transcription factor Olig1, a master regulator of myelination, as a DEX responsive gene in microglia. Our data indicate that CS-induced myelination delays are unlikely to be due to direct drug action on OPCs or oligodendrocytes, and may occur secondary to alterations in other neural cells, such as the immune component. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first comparative molecular and cellular analysis of CS effects in glial cells, to investigate the targets of this major class of anti-inflammatory drugs as a basis for myelination deficits.