Leukotrienes generated by 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)-catalyzed reaction are key regulators of inflammation. In ionophore-stimulated (A23187; 1-2.5 μM) human blood neutrophils or differentiated HL-60 cells, vitamin E forms differentially inhibited leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) with an IC(50) of 5-20 μM for γ-tocopherol, δ-tocopherol (δT), and γ-tocotrienol, but a much higher IC(50) for α-tocopherol. 13′-Carboxychromanol, a long-chain metabolite of δT, suppressed neutrophil- and HL-60 cell-generated LTB(4) with an IC(50) of 4-7 μM and potently inhibited human recombinant 5-LOX activity with an IC(50) of 0.5-1 μM. In contrast, vitamin E forms had no effect on human 5-LOX activity but impaired ionophore-induced intracellular calcium increase and calcium influx as well as the subsequent signaling including ERK1/2 phosphorylation and 5-LOX translocation from cytosol to the nucleus, a key event for 5-LOX activation. Further investigation showed that δT suppressed cytosolic Ca(2+) increase and/or LTB(4) formation triggered by ionophores, sphingosine 1-phosphate, and lysophosphatidic acid but not by fMLP or thapsigargin, whereas 13′-carboxychromanol decreased cellular production of LTB(4) regardless of different stimuli, consistent with its strong inhibition of the 5-LOX activity. These observations suggest that δT does not likely affect fMLP receptor-mediated signaling or store depletion-induced calcium entry. Instead, we found that δT prevented ionophore-caused cytoplasmic membrane disruption, which may account for its blocking of calcium influx. These activities by vitamin E forms and long-chain carboxychromanol provide potential molecular bases for the differential anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin E forms in vivo.
Background: Inflammation has been implicated in cardiovascular disease, and the important role of proteasomes in the development of inflammation and other macrophage functions has been demonstrated. Tocotrienols are potent hypocholesterolemic agents that inhibit β-hydroxy-β-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase activity, which is degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Our objective was to evaluate the effect oftocotrienols in reducing inflammation. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used as a prototype for inflammation in murine RAW 264.7 cells and BALB/c female mice.
Results: The present results clearly demonstrate that α-, γ-, or δ-tocotrienol treatments inhibit the chymotrypsin-like activity of 20 S rabbit muscle proteasomes (> 50%; P < 0.05). Chymotrypsin, trypsin, and post-glutamase activities were decreased > 40% (P < 0.05) with low concentrations (< 80 μM), and then increased gradually with concentrations of (80–640 μM) in RAW 264.7 whole cells. Tocotrienols showed 9–33% (P < 0.05) inhibitions in TNF-α secretion in LPS-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. Results of experiments carried out in BALB/c mice demonstrated that serum levels of TNF-α after LPS treatment were also reduced (20–48%; P < 0.05) by tocotrienols with doses of 1 and 10 μg/kg, and a corresponding rise in serum levels of corticosterone (19–41%; P < 0.05) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (81–145%; P < 0.02) was observed at higher concentrations (40 μM). Maximal inhibition of LPS-induced TNF-α was obtained with δ-tocotrienol (10 μg/kg). Low concentrations of δ-Tocotrienols (< 20 μM) blocked LPS-induced gene expression of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and iNOS (> 40%), while higher concentrations (40 μM) increased gene expression of the latter in peritoneal macrophages (prepared from BALB/c mice) as compared to control group.
Conclusion: These results represent a novel approach by using natural products, such as tocotrienols as proteasome modulators, which may lead to the development of new dietary supplements of tocotrienols for cardiovascular diseases, as well as others that are based on inflammation.
Pancreatic cancers generally respond poorly to chemotherapy, prompting a need to identify agents that could sensitize tumors to treatment. In this study, we investigated the response of human pancreatic cells to γ-tocotrienol (γ-T3), a novel, unsaturated form of vitamin E found in palm oil and rice bran oil, to determine whether it could potentiate the effects of gemcitabine, a standard of care in clinical treatment of pancreatic cancer. γ-T3 inhibited the in vitro proliferation of pancreatic cancer cell lines with variable p53 status and potentiated gemcitabine-induced apoptosis. These effects correlated with an inhibition of NF-κB activation by γ-T3 and a suppression of key cellular regulators including cyclin D1, c-Myc, cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), Bcl-2, cellular inhibitor of apoptosis protein, survivin, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), ICAM-1, and CXCR4. In an orthotopic nude mouse model of human pancreatic cancer, p.o. administration of γ-T3 inhibited tumor growth and enhanced the antitumor properties of gemcitabine. Immunohistochemical analysis indicated a correlation between tumor growth inhibition and reduced expression of Ki-67, COX-2, matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), NF-κB p65, and VEGF in the tissue. Combination treatment also downregulated NF-κB activity along with the NF-κB–regulated gene products, such as cyclin D1, c-Myc, VEGF, MMP-9, and CXCR4. Consistent with an enhancement of tumor apoptosis, caspase activation was observed in tumor tissues. Overall, our findings suggest that γ-T3 can inhibit the growth of human pancreatic tumors and sensitize them to gemcitabine by suppressing NF-κB–mediated inflammatory pathways linked to tumorigenesis.
Squalene hydroperoxide (SQ-OOH), the primary peroxidation product of squalene (SQ), accumulates at the surface of sunlight-exposed human skin. There are however only a few studies on the pathogenic actions (i.e., inflammatory stimuli) of SQ-OOH. Here, we evaluated whether SQ-OOH induced inflammatory responses in immortalized human keratinocytes (HaCaT). We found that SQ-OOH caused an increase in the expression of inflammatory genes such as the interleukins as well as cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). In concordance with the upregulation of COX-2 mRNA, SQ-OOH enhanced reactive oxygen species generation, nuclear factor kappa B activation, COX-2 protein expression, and prostaglandin E2 production. Therefore, the pro-inflammatory effects of SQ-OOH may be mediated in part via COX-2. On the other hand, gamma-tocotrienol (gamma-T3, an unsaturated form of vitamin E) was found to ameliorate the SQ-OOH actions. These results suggest that SQ-OOH induces inflammatory responses in HaCaT, implying that SQ-OOH plays an important role in inflammatory skin disorders. As a preventive strategy, inflammation could be reduced via the use of gamma-T3.
The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors regulates genes that are critical for inflammation and immunity. In most cells, NF-kappaB function is induced upon activation of cells by various stimuli. However, constitutive NF-kappaB activity is an equally important aspect of NF-kappaB function that is particularly relevant to chronic inflammation and cancer. Here, we provide a brief overview of NF-kappaB biology and discuss the role of NF-kappaB in mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors is a central player in the regulation of inflammation and immune responses. Consequently, NF-kappaB dysregulation has been implicated in diverse human pathologies ranging from autoimmune diseases to cancers. Additionally, there is considerable interest in the contribution of NF-kappaB-mediated chronic inflammation in aging. Because NF-kappaB-dependent gene regulation is important in virtually all mammalian cell types, it is critical to keep in mind some basic features of its functions when considering interventional therapeutics.
Tocopherol (Toc) such as alpha-Toc has been expected to act as photochemopreventive agent of skin, but the effect of the other vitamin E forms [tocotrienols (T3)] has not been fully understood. We evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of T3 on UVB-induced inflammatory reaction using immortalized human keratinocytes and hairless mice. gamma-T3 suppressed UVB-induced PGE(2) production while similar alpha-Toc doses had no effect. The anti-inflammatory actions of gamma-T3 were explained by its ability to reduce UVB-induced inflammatory gene and protein expression [cyclooxgenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin (IL)-1beta, IL-6, and monocyte chemotactic protein-1]. Western blot analysis revealed gamma-T3 inhibited p38, extracellular signal-regulated kinase, and c-Jun N-terminal kinase/stress-activated protein kinase activation. In HR-1 hairless mice, oral T3 suppressed UVB-induced changes in skin thickness, COX-2 protein expression, and hyperplasia, but alpha-Toc did not. These results suggest T3 has potential use to protect against UVB-induced skin inflammation.
Initially discovered in 1938 as a “fertility factor,” vitamin E now refers to eight different isoforms that belong to two categories, four saturated analogues (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) called tocopherols and four unsaturated analogues referred to as tocotrienols. While the tocopherols have been investigated extensively, little is known about the tocotrienols. Very limited studies suggest that both the molecular and therapeutic targets of the tocotrienols are distinct from those of the tocopherols. For instance, suppression of inflammatory transcription factor NF-kappaB, which is closely linked to tumorigenesis and inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase, mammalian DNA polymerases and certain protein tyrosine kinases, is unique to the tocotrienols. This review examines in detail the molecular targets of the tocotrienols and their roles in cancer, bone resorption, diabetes, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases at both preclinical and clinical levels. As disappointment with the therapeutic value of the tocopherols grows, the potential of these novel vitamin E analogues awaits further investigation.
Aim: Diabetic nephropathy is a serious complication for patients with diabetes mellitus. Approximately 30-40% of patients with type I and 15% with type II diabetes mellitus develop end stage renal disease. The study was designed to evaluate the impact of tocotrienol on renal function and reno-inflammatory cascade in streptozotocin-induced diabetes.
Main Methods: Streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats were treated with tocotrienol (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg), alpha-tocopherol (100 mg/kg) or with vehicle form 5th to 8th weeks. After 8 weeks, urine albumin excretion, urine output, serum creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine and urea clearance were measured. Cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions of kidney was prepared for the quantification of oxidative-nitrosative stress (lipid peroxidation, superoxide dismutase, catalase, non protein thiols, total nitric oxide), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), tissue growth factor-1beta (TGF-beta1), p65 subunit of NFkappabeta and caspase-3.
Key Findings: After 8 weeks of STZ injection, the rats produced significant alteration in renal function, increased oxidative-nitrosative stress, TNF-alpha, TGF-beta1, caspase-3 activity in cytoplasmic lysate and active p65 subunit of NFkappabeta in nuclear lysate of kidney of diabetic rats. Interestingly, co-administration of tocotrienol significantly and dose-dependently prevented biochemical and molecular changes associated with diabetes. Tocotrienol (100 mg/kg) was demonstrated to be more effective than alpha-tocopherol (100 mg/kg). Moreover, diabetic rats treated with insulin-tocotrienol combination produced more pronounced effect on molecular parameters as compared to their respective groups.
Significance: Taken together, the data reveal that tocotrienol modulates the release of profibrotic cytokines, oxidative stress, ongoing chronic inflammation and apoptosis and thus exerts a marked renoprotective effect.
Diabetic neuropathic pain, an important microvascular complication in diabetes mellitus, is recognised as one of the most difficult types of pain to treat. The development of tolerance, inadequate relief and potential toxicity of classical antinociceptives warrant the investigation of the newer agents to relieve this pain. Reactive oxygen/nitrogen species, cytokines and apoptosis are implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic neuropathy. The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of tocotrienol on thermal and mechanical hyperalgesia, allodynia, oxidative-nitrosative stress, inflammation and apoptosis in streptozotocin-induced experimental diabetes. Diabetic rats developed neuropathy which was evident from a marked hyperalgesia and allodynia associated with enhanced nitrosative stress, release of inflammatory mediators (TNF-alpha, IL-1beta, TGF-1beta) and caspase-3. Chronic treatment with tocotrienol (25, 50 and 100 mg/kg body weight; p.o.) for 4 weeks starting from the 4th week of streptozotocin injection significantly attenuated behavioral, biochemical and molecular changes associated with diabetic neuropathy. Moreover, diabetic rats treated with insulin-tocotrienol combination produced more pronounced beneficial effect as compared to their per se groups. The major finding of the study is that insulin alone corrected the hyperglycemia and partially reversed the pain response in diabetic rats. However, combination with tocotrienol not only attenuated the diabetic condition but also reversed neuropathic pain through modulation of oxidative-nitrosative stress, inflammatory cytokine release and caspase-3 in the diabetic rats and thus it may find clinical application to treat neuropathic pain in the diabetic patients.
Chronic alcohol intake is known to induce the selective neuronal damage associated with increase oxidative-nitrosative stress and activation of inflammatory cascade finally resulting in neuronal apoptosis and thus dementia. In the present study, we investigated the comparative effect of both the isoforms of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol against chronic alcohol-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats. Male Wistar rats were given ethanol (10g/kg; oral gavage) for 10 weeks, and treated with alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol for the same duration. The learning and memory behavior was assessed using Morris water maze and elevated plus maze test. The rats were sacrificed at the end of 10th week and cytoplasmic fractions of cerebral cortex and hippocampus were prepared for the quantification of acetylcholinesterase activity, oxidative-nitrosative stress parameters, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta). From the 6th week onwards, ethanol-treated rats showed significant increase in transfer latency in both the behavioral paradigms which was coupled with enhanced acetylcholinesterase activity, increased oxidative-nitrosative stress, TNF-alpha and IL-1beta levels in different brain regions of ethanol-treated rats. Co-administration of alpha-tocopherol as well as tocotrienol significantly and dose-dependently prevented these behavioral, biochemical and molecular changes in the brains of ethanol-treated rats. However, the effects were more pronounced with tocotrienol. The current study thus demonstrates the possible involvement of oxidative-nitrosative stress mediated activation of inflammatory cascade in chronic alcohol-induced cognitive dysfunction and also suggests the effectiveness of vitamin E isoforms, of which tocotrienol being more potent, in preventing the cognitive deficits associated with chronic alcohol consumption.