38 research outputs found

    Study of alkaline hydrothermal activation of belite cements by thermal analysis

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    The effect of alkaline hydrothermal activation of class-C fly ash belite cement was studied using thermal analysis (TG/DTG) by determining the increase in the combined water during a period of hydration of 180 days. The results were compared with those obtained for a belite cement hydrothermally activated in water. The two belite cements were fabricated via the hydrothermal-calcination route of class-C fly ash in 1 M NaOH solution (FABC-2-N) or demineralised water (FABC-2-W). From the results, the effect of the alkaline hydrothermal activation of belite cement (FABC-2-N) was clearly differentiated, mainly at early ages of hydration, for which the increase in the combined water was markedly higher than that of the belite cement that was hydrothermally activated in water. Important direct quantitative correlations were obtained among physicochemical parameters, such as the combined water, the BET surface area, the volume of nano-pores, and macro structural engineering properties such as the compressive mechanical strength

    Thymoquinone inhibits tumor growth and induces apoptosis in a breast cancer xenograft mouse model: The role of p38 MAPK and ROS

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    Due to narrow therapeutic window of cancer therapeutic agents and the development of resistance against these agents, there is a need to discover novel agents to treat breast cancer. The antitumor activities of thymoquinone (TQ), a compound isolated from Nigella sativa oil, were investigated in breast carcinoma in vitro and in vivo. Cell responses after TQ treatment were assessed by using different assays including MTT assay, annexin V-propidium iodide staining, Mitosox staining and Western blot. The antitumor effect was studied by breast tumor xenograft mouse model, and the tumor tissues were examined by histology and immunohistochemistry. The level of antioxidant enzymes/molecules in mouse liver tissues was measured by commercial kits. Here, we show that TQ induced p38 phosphorylation and ROS production in breast cancer cells. These inductions were found to be responsible for TQ’s anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects. Moreover, TQ-induced ROS production regulated p38 phosphorylation but not vice versa. TQ treatment was found to suppress the tumor growth and this effect was further enhanced by combination with doxorubicin. TQ also inhibited the protein expression of anti-apoptotic genes, such as XIAP, survivin, Bcl-xL and Bcl-2, in breast cancer cells and breast tumor xenograft. Reduced Ki67 and increased TUNEL staining were observed in TQ-treated tumors. TQ was also found to increase the level of catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione in mouse liver tissues. Overall, our results demonstrated that the antiproliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of TQ in breast cancer are mediated through p38 phosphorylation via ROS generation

    Stem cells in liver regeneration and therapy

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    The liver has adapted to the inflow of ingested toxins by the evolutionary development of unique regenerative properties and responds to injury or tissue loss by the rapid division of mature cells. Proliferation of the parenchymal cells, i.e. hepatocytes and epithelial cells of the bile duct, is regulated by numerous cytokine/growth-factor-mediated pathways and is synchronised with extracellular matrix degradation and restoration of the vasculature. Resident hepatic stem/progenitor cells have also been identified in small numbers in normal liver and implicated in liver tissue repair. Their putative role in the physiology, pathophysiology and therapy of the liver, however, is not yet precisely known. Hepatic stem/progenitor cells also known as “oval cells” in rodents have been implicated in liver tissue repair, at a time when the capacity for hepatocyte and bile duct replication is exhausted or experimentally inhibited (facultative stem/progenitor cell pool). Although much more has to be learned about the role of stem/progenitor cells in the physiology and pathophysiology of the liver, experimental analysis of the therapeutic value of these cells has been initiated. Transplantation of hepatic stem/progenitor cells or in vivo pharmacological activation of the pool of hepatic stem cells may provide novel modalities for the therapy of liver diseases. In addition, extrahepatic stem cells (e.g. bone marrow cells) are being investigated for their contribution to liver regeneration. Hepatic progenitor cells derived from embryonic stem cells are included in this review, which also discusses future perspectives of stem cell-based therapies for liver diseases

    Iodine Atoms: A New Molecular Feature for the Design of Potent Transthyretin Fibrillogenesis Inhibitors

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    The thyroid hormone and retinol transporter protein known as transthyretin (TTR) is in the origin of one of the 20 or so known amyloid diseases. TTR self assembles as a homotetramer leaving a central hydrophobic channel with two symmetrical binding sites. The aggregation pathway of TTR into amiloid fibrils is not yet well characterized but in vitro binding of thyroid hormones and other small organic molecules to TTR binding channel results in tetramer stabilization which prevents amyloid formation in an extent which is proportional to the binding constant. Up to now, TTR aggregation inhibitors have been designed looking at various structural features of this binding channel others than its ability to host iodine atoms. In the present work, greatly improved inhibitors have been designed and tested by taking into account that thyroid hormones are unique in human biochemistry owing to the presence of multiple iodine atoms in their molecules which are probed to interact with specific halogen binding domains sitting at the TTR binding channel. The new TTR fibrillogenesis inhibitors are based on the diflunisal core structure because diflunisal is a registered salicylate drug with NSAID activity now undergoing clinical trials for TTR amyloid diseases. Biochemical and biophysical evidence confirms that iodine atoms can be an important design feature in the search for candidate drugs for TTR related amyloidosis