OBJECTIVES This study aims to compare the differential gene expression resulting from tocotrienol-rich fraction and α-tocopherol supplementation in healthy older adults. METHODS A total of 71 eligible subjects aged 50 to 55 years from Gombak and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were divided into three groups and supplemented with placebo (n=23), α-tocopherol (n=24) or tocotrienol-rich fraction (n=24). Blood samples were collected at baseline and at 3 and 6 months of supplementation for microarray analysis. RESULTS The number of genes altered by α-tocopherol was higher after 6 months (1,410) than after 3 months (273) of supplementation. α-Tocopherol altered the expression of more genes in males (952) than in females (731). Similarly, tocotrienol-rich fraction modulated the expression of more genes after 6 months (1,084) than after 3 months (596) and affected more genes in males (899) than in females (781). α-Tocopherol supplementation modulated pathways involving the response to stress and stimuli, the immune response, the response to hypoxia and bacteria, the metabolism of toxins and xenobiotics, mitosis, and synaptic transmission as well as activated the mitogen-activated protein kinase and complement pathways after 6 months. However, tocotrienol-rich fraction supplementation affected pathways such as the signal transduction, apoptosis, nuclear factor kappa B kinase, cascade extracellular signal-regulated kinase-1 and extracellular signal-regulated kinase-2, immune response, response to drug, cell adhesion, multicellular organismal development and G protein signaling pathways. CONCLUSION Supplementation with either α-tocopherol or tocotrienol-rich fraction affected the immune and drug response and the cell adhesion and signal transduction pathways but modulated other pathways differently after 6 months of supplementation, with sex-specific responses.
OBJECTIVE: This study was performed to determine the effect of the tocotrienol-rich fraction on the lifespan and oxidative status of C. elegans under oxidative stress. METHOD: Lifespan was determined by counting the number of surviving nematodes daily under a dissecting microscope after treatment with hydrogen peroxide and the tocotrienol-rich fraction. The evaluated oxidative markers included lipofuscin, which was measured using a fluorescent microscope, and protein carbonyl and 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine, which were measured using commercially available kits. RESULTS: Hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress significantly decreased the mean lifespan of C. elegans, which was restored to that of the control by the tocotrienol-rich fraction when administered before or both before and after the hydrogen peroxide. The accumulation of the age marker lipofuscin, which increased with hydrogen peroxide exposure, was decreased with upon treatment with the tocotrienol-rich fraction (p<0.05). The level of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine significantly increased in the hydrogen peroxide-induced group relative to the control. Treatment with the tocotrienol-rich fraction before or after hydrogen peroxide induction also increased the level of 8-hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine relative to the control. However, neither hydrogen peroxide nor the tocotrienol-rich fraction treatment affected the protein carbonyl content of the nematodes. CONCLUSION: The tocotrienol-rich fraction restored the lifespan of oxidative stress-induced C. elegans and reduced the accumulation of lipofuscin but did not affect protein damage. In addition, DNA oxidation was increased.
OBJECTIVES: Variations in the prevalence of sex-hormone-related diseases have been observed between Asian ethnic groups living in the same country; however, available data concerning their sex hormone levels are limited. The present study aimed to determine the influence of ethnicity and age on the sex hormone levels of Malay and Chinese men in Malaysia. METHODS: A total of 547 males of Malay and Chinese ethnicity residing in the Klang Valley Malaysia underwent a detailed screening, and their blood was collected for sex hormones analyses. RESULTS: Testosterone levels were normally distributed in the men (total, free and non-sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) bound fractions), and significant ethnic differences were observed (p<0.05); however, the effect size was small. In general, testosterone levels in males began to decline significantly after age 50. Significant ethnic differences in total, free and non-SHBG bound fraction estradiol levels were observed in the 20-29 and 50-59 age groups (p<0.05). The estradiol levels of Malay men decreased as they aged, but they increased for Chinese men starting at age 40. CONCLUSIONS: Small but significant differences in testosterone levels existed between Malay and Chinese males. Significant age and race differences existed in estradiol levels. These differences might contribute to the ethnic group differences in diseases related to sex hormones, which other studies have found in Malaysia.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity and the superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and plasma malondialdehyde levels in aging mice and to evaluate how these measures are modulated by potential antioxidants, including the tocotrienol-rich fraction, Piper betle, and Chlorella vulgaris. METHOD: One hundred and twenty male C57BL/6 inbred mice were divided into three age groups: young (6 months old), middle-aged (12 months old), and old (18 months old). Each age group consisted of two control groups (distilled water and olive oil) and three treatment groups: Piper betle (50 mg/kg body weight), tocotrienol-rich fraction (30 mg/kg), and Chlorella vulgaris (50 mg/kg). The duration of treatment for all three age groups was two months. Blood was withdrawn from the orbital sinus to determine the antioxidant enzyme activity and the malondialdehyde level. RESULTS: Piper betle increased the activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase in the young, middle, and old age groups, respectively, when compared to control. The tocotrienol-rich fraction decreased the superoxide dismutase activity in the middle and the old age groups but had no effect on catalase or glutathione peroxidase activity for all age groups. Chlorella vulgaris had no effect on superoxide dismutase activity for all age groups but increased glutathione peroxidase and decreased catalase activity in the middle and the young age groups, respectively. Chlorella vulgaris reduced lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde levels) in all age groups, but no significant changes were observed with the tocotrienol-rich fraction and the Piper betle treatments. CONCLUSION: We found equivocal age-related changes in erythrocyte antioxidant enzyme activity when mice were treated with Piper betle, the tocotrienol-rich fraction, and Chlorella vulgaris. However, Piper betle treatment showed increased antioxidant enzymes activity during aging.
OBJECTIVES: Variations in sex hormones and the calcium balance can influence bone health in men. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between the calcaneal speed of sound and biochemical determinants of bone mass, such as sex hormones, parathyroid hormones and serum calcium. METHODS: Data from 549 subjects from the Malaysian Aging Male Study, which included Malay and Chinese men aged 20 years and older residing in the Klang Valley, were used for analysis. The subjects' calcaneal speed of sound was measured, and their blood was collected for biochemical analysis. Two sets of multiple regression models were generated for the total/bioavailable testosterone and estradiol to avoid multicollinearity. RESULTS: The multiple regression results revealed that bioavailable testosterone and serum total calcium were significant predictors of the calcaneal speed of sound in the adjusted model. After adjustment for ethnicity and body mass index, only bioavailable testosterone remained significant; the total serum calcium was marginally insignificant. In a separate model, the total testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin were significant predictors, whereas the total serum calcium was marginally insignificant. After adjustment for ethnicity and body mass index (BMI), the significance persisted for total testosterone and SHBG. After further adjustment for age, none of the serum biochemical determinants was a significant predictor of the calcaneal speed of sound. CONCLUSION: There is a significant age-dependent relationship between the calcaneal speed of sound and total testosterone, bioavailable testosterone and sex hormone-binding globulin in Chinese and Malay men in Malaysia. The relationship between total serum calcium and calcaneal speed of sound is ethnicity-dependent.
OBJECTIVE: Human diploid fibroblasts undergo a limited number of cellular divisions in culture and progressively reach a state of irreversible growth arrest, a process termed cellular aging. The beneficial effects of vitamin E in aging have been established, but studies to determine the mechanisms of these effects are ongoing. This study determined the molecular mechanism of γ-tocotrienol, a vitamin E homolog, in the prevention of cellular aging in human diploid fibroblasts using the expression of senescence-associated genes. METHODS: Primary cultures of young, pre-senescent, and senescent fibroblast cells were incubated with γ-tocotrienol for 24 h. The expression levels of ELN, COL1A1, MMP1, CCND1, RB1, and IL6 genes were determined using the quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Cell cycle profiles were determined using a FACSCalibur Flow Cytometer. RESULTS: The cell cycle was arrested in the G0/G1 phase, and the percentage of cells in S phase decreased with senescence. CCND1, RB1, MMP1, and IL6 were upregulated in senescent fibroblasts. A similar upregulation was not observed in young cells. Incubation with γ-tocotrienol decreased CCND1 and RB1 expression in senescent fibroblasts, decreased cell populations in the G0/G1 phase and increased cell populations in the G2/M phase. γ-Tocotrienol treatment also upregulated ELN and COL1A1 and downregulated MMP1 and IL6 expression in young and senescent fibroblasts. CONCLUSION: γ-Tocotrienol prevented cellular aging in human diploid fibroblasts, which was indicated by the modulation of the cell cycle profile and senescence-associated gene expression.
OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study was to determine the antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of hot water extracts of Chlorella vulgaris on hepatoma cell line HepG2. INTRODUCTION: The search for food and spices that can induce apoptosis in cancer cells has been a major study interest in the last decade. Chlorella vulgaris, a unicellular green algae, has been reported to have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties. However, its chemopreventive effects in inhibiting the growth of cancer cells have not been studied in great detail. METHODS: HepG2 liver cancer cells and WRL68 normal liver cells were treated with various concentrations (0-4 mg/ml) of hot water extract of C. vulgaris after 24 hours incubation. Apoptosis rate was evaluated by TUNEL assay while DNA damage was assessed by Comet assay. Apoptosis proteins were evaluated by Western blot analysis. RESULTS: Chlorella vulgaris decreased the number of viable HepG2 cells in a dose dependent manner (p < 0.05), with an IC50 of 1.6 mg/ml. DNA damage as measured by Comet assay was increased in HepG2 cells at all concentrations of Chlorella vulgaris tested. Evaluation of apoptosis by TUNEL assay showed that Chlorella vulgaris induced a higher apoptotic rate (70%) in HepG2 cells compared to normal liver cells, WRL68 (15%). Western blot analysis showed increased expression of pro-apoptotic proteins P53, Bax and caspase-3 in the HepG2 cells compared to normal liver cells WRL68, and decreased expression of the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2. CONCLUSIONS: Chlorella vulgaris may have anti-cancer effects by inducing apoptosis signaling cascades via an increased expression of P53, Bax and caspase-3 proteins and through a reduction of Bcl-2 protein, which subsequently lead to increased DNA damage and apoptosis.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effect of ginger extract on the expression of NFκB and TNF-α in liver cancer-induced rats. METHODS: Male Wistar rats were randomly divided into 5 groups based on diet: i) control (given normal rat chow), ii) olive oil, iii) ginger extract (100mg/kg body weight), iv) choline-deficient diet + 0.1% ethionine to induce liver cancer and v) choline-deficient diet + ginger extract (100mg/kg body weight). Tissue samples obtained at eight weeks were fixed with formalin and embedded in paraffin wax, followed by immunohistochemistry staining for NFκB and TNF-α. RESULTS: The expression of NFκB was detected in the choline-deficient diet group, with 88.3 ± 1.83% of samples showing positive staining, while in the choline-deficient diet supplemented with ginger group, the expression of NFκB was significantly reduced, to 32.35 ± 1.34% (p<0.05). In the choline-deficient diet group, 83.3 ± 4.52% of samples showed positive staining of TNF-α, which was significantly reduced to 7.94 ± 1.32% (p<0.05) when treated with ginger. There was a significant correlation demonstrated between NFκB and TNF-α in the choline-deficient diet group but not in the choline-deficient diet treated with ginger extract group. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, ginger extract significantly reduced the elevated expression of NFκB and TNF-α in rats with liver cancer. Ginger may act as an anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agent by inactivating NFκB through the suppression of the pro-inflammatory TNF-α.