1,562 research outputs found

    Ethanol Extract of Dianthus chinensis L. Induces Apoptosis in Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma HepG2 Cells In Vitro

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    Dianthus chinensis L. is used to treat various diseases including cancer; however, the molecular mechanism by which the ethanol extract of Dianthus chinensis L. (EDCL) induces apoptosis is unknown. In this study, the apoptotic effects of EDCL were investigated in human HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma cells. Treatment with EDCL significantly inhibited cell growth in a concentration- and time-dependent manner by inducing apoptosis. This induction was associated with chromatin condensation, activation of caspases, and cleavage of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase protein. However, apoptosis induced by EDCL was attenuated by caspase inhibitor, indicating an important role for caspases in EDCL responses. Furthermore, EDCL did not alter the expression of bax in HepG2 cells but did selectively downregulate the expression of bcl-2 and bcl-xl, resulting in an increase in the ratio of bax:bcl-2 and bax:bcl-xl. These results support a mechanism whereby EDCL induces apoptosis through the mitochondrial pathway and caspase activation in HepG2 cells

    Effects of an empathy enhancement program using patient stories on attitudes and stigma toward mental illness among nursing students

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    ObjectiveThis study aims to explore the impact of an empathy intervention through patients’ stories and investigate its impact on attitudes and stigma toward mental illness among nursing students prone to hold prejudices against this condition.MethodsUsing a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design, this study focused on nursing students and examined the effects of an empathy enhancement program targeting individuals with mental illnesses on communication, social distance, and prejudice. Ninety third-year nursing students from S and C cities and H and C universities enrolled in psychiatric nursing courses participated in the study. The intervention lasted 4 weeks and used the patient’s story to facilitate a participatory approach to understanding the patient’s life and encouraging mutual growth and expansion of consciousness in the therapeutic relationship. Age was treated as a covariate and analyzed using a two-way repeated-measure analysis of covariance.ResultsThe Empathy Enhancement Program Using Patient Stories (EEP-PS) group and the clinical practicum group showed no significant differences in communication, social distance, and empathy scores between the two groups or across different time points. However, variations were observed when examining specific subdomains within each group and across time points. Informative communication (F = 10.34, p = 0.002) and affiliative communication (F = 21.60, p < 0.001), which are subcategories of communication, increased significantly in the posttest compared to the pretest. Among social distances, interpersonal-physical distance decreased significantly in the posttest compared to the pretest (F = 31.02, p < 0.001). Prejudice of incompetence (F = 6.52, p = 0.012) and prejudice of risk (F = 14.37, p < 0.001) were significantly lower in the posttest than in the pretest.ConclusionBoth the EEP-PS and clinical practicum groups experienced improvements in communication, social distance, and prejudice toward individuals with mental illness. This study suggests that direct patient interactions and the use of patient narratives as indirect methods are effective approaches for enhancing attitudes and reducing stigma toward mental illness among nursing students

    St. John’s Wort Regulates Proliferation and Apoptosis in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cells by Inhibiting AMPK/mTOR and Activating the Mitochondrial Pathway

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    St. John’s Wort (SJW) has been used as an estrogen agonist in the systems affected by menopause. Also, hypericin, a bioactive compound of SJW, has been used as a photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy. In the present study, we investigate the anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects of SJWto demonstrate the chemo-preventive effect in human breast cancer cells. MCF-7 cellswere culturedwith DMSO or various concentrations of SJWethanol extract (SJWE). Cell viability, proliferation, apoptosis, the expression of proteins involved in cell growth and apoptosis, and caspase-3/7 activity were examined. SJWE dose-dependently suppressed cell growth and induced apoptosis ofMCF-7 cells. Mechanistically, SJWE enhanced the phosphorylation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and decreased the expression of p-mammalian target of rapamycin (p-mTOR) and p-eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E)-binding protein 1 (4E-BP1). Also, SJWE inhibited the phosphorylation of protein kinase B (Akt) and showed increases in the expression of pro-apoptotic proteins Bax and Bad with decreases in the expression of anti-apoptotic proteins including B-cell lymphoma 2 (Bcl-2), B-cell lymphoma-extra large (Bcl-xL), and p-Bcl-2-associated death promoter (p-Bad). SJWE at 50 µg/mL showed markedly enhanced caspase-7 activation. Taken together, our results provide evidence that SJWE shows anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic effects via inhibition of AMPK/mTOR and activation of a mitochondrial pathway. Therefore, SJWE can be used as a chemo-preventive agent without photo-activation