Research - Pine incl. Pycnogenol
Inhibitory Effect of a French Maritime Pine Bark Extract-Based Nutritional Supplement on TNF-α-Induced Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Human Coronary Artery Endothelial Cells
Kristine C. Y. McGrath,1 Xiao-Hong Li,1,2 Lucinda S. McRobb,3 and Alison K. Heather4
Oxidative stress and inflammation, leading to endothelial dysfunction, contribute to the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis. The popularity of natural product supplements has increased in recent years, especially those with purported anti-inflammatory and/or antioxidant effects. The efficacy and mechanism of many of these products are not yet well understood. In this study, we tested the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of a supplement, HIPER Health Supplement (HIPER), on cytokine-induced inflammation and oxidative stress in human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs). HIPER is a mixture of French maritime pine bark extract (PBE), honey, aloe vera, and papaya extract. Treatment for 24 hours with HIPER reduced TNF-α-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation that was associated with decreased NADPH oxidase 4 and increased superoxide dismutase-1 expression. HIPER inhibited TNF-α induced monocyte adhesion to HCAECs that was in keeping with decreased expression of vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 and intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 and decreased nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) activation. Further investigation of mechanism showed HIPER reduced TNF-α induced IκBα and p38 and MEK1/2 MAP kinases phosphorylation. Our findings show that HIPER has potent inhibitory effects on HCAECs inflammatory and oxidative stress responses that may protect against endothelial dysfunction that underlies early atherosclerotic lesion formation.
Source : Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
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Targeting Multiple Key Signaling Pathways in Melanoma using Leelamine
- Raghavendra Gowda1,
- SubbaRao V Madhanupantula Dr.2,
- Omer F Kuzu3,
- Arati Sharma3, and
- Gavin P Robertson Dr.4,
Melanoma is a highly drug resistant cancer with resistance developing to agents targeting single proteins. To circumvent this problem, a new class of agent inhibiting multiple key pathways important in this disease is being developed to reduce the likelihood of developing resistant disease. The PI3 kinase (PI3K), MAP kinase (MAPK) and STAT3 pathways are constitutively activated in 50-70% of melanomas promoting disease development. To identify a drug simultaneously targeting the PI3K, MAPK and STAT3 cascades, a natural product library was screened to identify leelamine as a potential inhibitor. Leelamine was 4.5-fold more effective at inhibiting cultured melanoma cell survival than normal cells, with average IC50 values of 2 and 9.3 µmol/L, respectively. It inhibited cellular proliferation at a concentration of 2.5 µmol/L by 40-80% and longer exposure increased apoptosis 600% through a mechanism detailed in the article in the current issue of this journal by Kuzu OF et al. Leelamine inhibited the growth of preexisting xenografted melanoma tumors by an average of 60% by targeting the PI3K, MAPK and STAT3 pathways without affecting animal body weight or blood markers of major organ function. The mechanism of action of leelamine is mediated by disruption of cholesterol transport, causing decreased cellular proliferation and, consequently leading to increased tumor cell apoptosis as well as decreased tumor vascularization. Thus, a unique agent and novel mechanism of action has been identified for the treatment of melanoma that acts by inhibiting the activity of three major signaling pathways regulating the development of this disease.
*leelamine, is a natural compound isolated from pine bark, is a diterpene compound and a weak agonist of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor.
Source : Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
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Pycnogenol® and Centella Asiatica for asymptomatic atherosclerosis progression
Belcaro G. 1, Dugall M. 1, Hosoi M. 1, Ippolito E. 2, Cesarone M. R. 3, Luzzi R. 1, Cornelli U. 1, Ledda A. 1
1 Irvine3 Circulation Sciences, Department of Biomedical Sciences, G. D’Annunzio University, Pescara, Italy;
2 Vascular Surgery, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of the nutritional supplements Pycnogenol and TECA (total triterpenic fraction of Centella Asiatica) on atherosclerosis progression in low-risk asymptomatic subjects with carotid or femoral non-stenosing plaques.
Methods: This was an observational pilot substudy of the San Valentino epidemiological cardiovascular study. The study included 1363 subjects aged 45-60 without any conventional risk factors who had non stenosing atherosclerotic plaques (<50%) in at least one carotid or common femoral bifurcation, allocated into 6 groups: Group 1 (CONTROLS): management was based on education, exercise, diet and lifestyle changes. This same management plan was used in all groups; Group 2 Pycnogenol 50 mg/day; Group 3 Pycnogenol 100 mg/day; Group 4 Aspirin 100 mg/day or Ticlopidine 250 mg/day if intolerant to aspirin; Group 5 Aspirin 100 mg/day and Pycnogenol 100 mg/day; Group 6 Pycnogenol 100 mg/day plus TECA (total triterpenic fraction of Centella Asiatica) 100 mg/day. There was a six monthly follow-up up to 30 months. Plaque progression was assessed using the ultrasonic arterial score based on the arterial wall morphology and the number of plaques that progressed from the non-stenotic to the stenotic group. A secondary endpoint was to evaluate the changes in oxidative stress at baseline and at 30 months.
Results: The ultrasonic score increased significantly in groups 1, 2 and 4 but not in groups 3, 5 and 6 suggesting a beneficial effect of Pycnogenol 100 mg. The percentage of plaques that progressed from class IV to class V was 8.4% in group 2, 5.3% in group 3, 4% in group 5 and 1.1% in group 6 (P<0.0001) compared with 16.6% in group 4 (aspirin) and 21.3% in the control group suggesting a beneficial effect of Pycnogenol. The lowest rate of progression was in group 6 (Pycnogenol plus TECA). At 30 months, the oxidative stress in all the Pycnogenol groups was less than in the control group. The oxidative stress was lower in the Pycnogenol 100 mg group than the Pycnogenol 50 mg group (P<0.0001). In the combined group of Pycnogenol and TECA the oxidative stress was less than the Pycnogenol alone (P<0.001).
Conclusion: Pycnogenol and the combination of Pycnogenol+TECA appear to reduce the progression of subclinical arterial lesions in low-risk asymptomatic subjects. The reduction in plaque progression was associated with a reduction in oxidative stress. The results justify a large randomized controlled study to demonstrate the efficacy of the combined Pycnogenol and TECA prophylactic therapy in subclinical atherosclerosis.
Source : International Angiology
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Evaluation of the effects of supplementation with Pycnogenol® on fitness in normal subjects with the Army Physical Fitness Test and in performances of athletes in the 100-minute triathlon
Vinciguerra G., Belcaro G., Bonanni E., Cesarone M. R., Rotondi V., Ledda A., Hosoi M., Dugall M., Cacchio M., Cornelli U.
Irvine 3 International Circulation Vascular Labs & San Val. Epidemiology Department of Biomedical Sciences Chieti‑Pescara University, Pescara, Italy
Aim: The aim of this registry study was to evaluate the effects of Pycnogenol® (French pine bark extract) on improving physical fitness (PF) in normal individuals using the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). The study evaluated the efficacy of Pycnogenol, used as a supplement, in improving training, exercise, recovery and oxidative stress.
Methods: The study was divided into 2 parts. In PART 1 (Pycnogenol 100 mg/day), the APFT was used to assess an improvement in PF during an 8-week preparation and training program. In PART 2 (Pycnogenol 150 mg/day), the study evaluated the effects of Pycnogenol supplementation in athletes in training for a triathlon.
Results: PART 1. There was a significant improvement in both males and females in the 2-mile running time within both groups, but the group using Pycnogenol (74 subjects) performed statistically better than controls (73 subjects). The number of push-ups was improved, with Pycnogenol subjects performing better. Sit-ups also improved in the Pycnogenol group. Oxidative stress decreased with exercise in all subjects; in Pycnogenol subjects the results were significantly better. PART 2. In the Pycnogenol group 32 males (37.9; SD 4.4 years) were compliant with the training plan at 4 weeks. In controls there were 22 subjects (37.2;3.5) completing the training plans. The swimming, biking and running scores in both groups improved with training. The Pycnogenol group had more benefits in comparison with controls. The total triathlon time was 89 min 44 s in Pycnogenol subjects versus 96 min 5 s in controls. Controls improved their performing time on average 4.6 minutes in comparison with an improvement of 10.8 minutes in Pycnogenol subjects. A significant decrease in cramps and running and post-running pain was seen in the Pycnogenol group; there were no significant differences in controls. There was an important, significant post-triathlon decrease of PFR one hour after the end of the triathlon with an average of -26.7, whereas PFR in controls increased. In Pycnogenol subjects there was a lower increase on oxidative stress with a faster recovery to almost normal levels (<330 for these subjects). These variations in PFR values were interpreted as a faster metabolic recovery in subjects using Pycnogenol.
Conclusion: This study opens an interesting new application of the natural supplementation with Pycnogenol that, with proper hydration, good training and nutritional attention may improve training and performances both in normal subjects and in semi-professional athletes performing at high levels in difficult, high-stress sports such as the triathlon.
Source : The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness
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