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  • Korean Red Ginseng water extract inhibits cadmium-induced lung injury via suppressing MAPK/ERK1/2/AP-1 pathway JOURNAL OF GINSENG RESEARCH Mitra, A., Rahmawati, L., Lee, H., Kim, S. A., Han, C., Hyun, S., Cho, J. 2022; 46 (5): 690-699


    Few studies reported the therapeutic effect of Korean Red Ginseng (KRG) in lung inflammatory diseases. However, the anti-inflammatory role and underlying molecular in cadmium-induced lung injury have been poorly understood, directly linked to chronic lung diseases (CLDs): chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cancer etc. Therefore, in this study we aim to investigate the therapeutic activities of water extract of KRG (KRG-WE) in mouse cadmium-induced lung injury model.The anti-inflammatory roles and underlying mechanisms of KRG-WE were evaluated in vitro under cadmium-stimulated lung epithelial cells (A549) and HEK293T cell line and in vivo in cadmium-induced lung injury mouse model using semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), luciferase assay, immunoblotting, and FACS.KRG-WE strongly ameliorated the symptoms of CdSO4-induced lung injury in mice according to total cell number in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and severity scores as well as cytokine levels. KRG-WE significantly suppressed the upregulation of inflammatory signaling comprising mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and their upstream enzymes. In in vitro study, KRG-WE suppressed expression of interleukin (IL)-6, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2, and IL-8 while promoting recovery in CdSO4-treated A549 cells. Similarly, KRG-WE reduced phosphorylation of MAPK and c-Jun/c-Fos in cadmium-exposed A549 cells.KRG-WE was found to attenuate symptoms of cadmium-induced lung injury and reduce the expression of inflammatory genes by suppression of MAPK/AP-1-mediated pathway.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jgr.2022.04.003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000849268000009

    View details for PubMedID 36090678

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9459071

  • Angiopteris cochinchinensis de Vriese Ameliorates LPS-Induced Acute Lung Injury via Src Inhibition PLANTS-BASEL Jang, W., Lee, H., Kim, S. A., Huang, L., Yoon, J., Shin, C., Mitra, A., Kim, H., Cho, J. 2022; 11 (10)


    Growing demand for treatment options against acute lung injury (ALI) emphasizes studies on plant extracts harboring anti-inflammatory effects. According to GC-MS analysis, Angiopteris cochinchinensis de Vriese consists of various flavonoids with anti-inflammatory activities. Thus, in this study, the anti-inflammatory effects of an extract of Angiopteris cochinchinensis de Vriese (Ac-EE) were assessed using RAW264.6 murine macrophages and a lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced ALI model. Ac-EE reduced the nitric oxide production in murine macrophages increased by LPS induction. Moreover, protective effects of Ac-EE on lung tissue were demonstrated by shrinkage of edema and lung injury. Reduced neutrophil infiltration and formation of hyaline membranes were also detected in lung tissues after H&E staining. Semiquantitative RT-PCR, quantitative real-time PCR, and ELISA showed that Ac-EE inhibits the production of proinflammatory mediators, including iNOS and COX-2, and cytokines, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and IL-6. An Ac-EE-mediated anti-inflammatory response was derived from inhibiting the NF-κB signaling pathway, which was evaluated by luciferase reporter assay and Western blotting analysis. A cellular thermal shift assay revealed that the prime target of Ac-EE in alleviating inflammation was Src. With its direct binding with Src, Angiopteris cochinchinensis de Vriese significantly mitigates lung injury, showing possibilities of its potential as an effective botanical drug.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/plants11101306

    View details for Web of Science ID 000801797400001

    View details for PubMedID 35631731

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9143704

  • Caragana rosea Turcz Methanol Extract Inhibits Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Inflammatory Responses by Suppressing the TLR4/NF-kappa B/IRF3 Signaling Pathways MOLECULES Mitra, A., Ahuja, A., Rahmawati, L., Kim, H., Woo, B., Hong, Y., Hossain, M., Zhang, Z., Kim, S., Lee, J., Kim, J., Cho, J. 2021; 26 (21)


    Caragana rosea Turcz, which belongs to the Leguminosae family, is a small shrub found in Northern and Eastern China that is known to possess anti-inflammatory properties and is used to treat fever, asthma, and cough. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of its anti-inflammatory effects are unknown. Therefore, we used lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in RAW264.7 macrophages to investigate the molecular mechanisms that underlie the anti-inflammatory activities of a methanol extract of Caragana rosea (Cr-ME). We showed that Cr-ME reduced the production of nitric oxide (NO) and mRNA levels of iNOS, TNF-α, and IL-6 in a concentration-dependent manner. We also found that Cr-ME blocked MyD88- and TBK1-induced NF-κB and IRF3 promoter activity, suggesting that it affects multiple targets. Moreover, Cr-ME reduced the phosphorylation levels of IκBα, IKKα/β and IRF3 in a time-dependent manner and regulated the upstream NF-κB proteins Syk and Src, and the IRF3 protein TBK1. Upon overexpression of Src and TBK1, Cr-ME stimulation attenuated the phosphorylation of the NF-κB subunits p50 and p65 and IRF3 signaling. Together, our results suggest that the anti-inflammatory activity of Cr-ME occurs by inhibiting the NF-κB and IRF3 signaling pathways.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/molecules26216660

    View details for Web of Science ID 000719453400001

    View details for PubMedID 34771068

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8586996

  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Huberia peruviana Cogn. Methanol Extract by Inhibiting Src Activity in the NF-kappa B Pathway PLANTS-BASEL Kim, S. A., Lee, C., Mitra, A., Kim, H., Woo, B., Hong, Y., Noh, J., Yi, D., Kim, H., Cho, J. 2021; 10 (11)


    There is a growing need to develop anti-inflammatory drugs to regulate inflammatory responses. An extract of Huberia peruviana Cogn. had the best inhibitory effect on nitric oxide (NO) production in screening process undertaken in our laboratory. However, the anti-inflammatory effect of Huberia peruviana Cogn. methanol extract (Hp-ME) has not been studied. In this study, the anti-inflammatory effect of Hp-ME was assessed by using an NO assay, RT-PCR, luciferase reporter gene activity assay, western blotting assay, HCl/EtOH-induced acute gastritis model, and LPS-induced acute lung injury model. The phytochemical components of Hp-ME were determined through LC-MS/MS analysis. When RAW264.7 and HEK293T cells were treated with Hp-ME, NO production was decreased dose-dependently without cytotoxicity and the mRNA levels of iNOS, COX-2, and TNF-α were decreased. In a luciferase assay, the activity of transcription factors, NF-κB in TRIF or MyD88-overexpressing HEK293T cells was extremely reduced by Hp-ME. The western blotting analysis indicated that Hp-ME has anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting the phosphorylation of Src. Hp-ME showed anti-inflammatory effects on in vivo models of HCl/EtOH-induced gastritis and LPS-induced acute lung injury. LC-MS/MS revealed that Hp-ME contains several anti-inflammatory flavonoids. The final findings of this study imply that Hp-ME could be used as an anti-inflammatory drug in several inflammatory diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.3390/plants10112335

    View details for Web of Science ID 000724946300001

    View details for PubMedID 34834697

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8619548

  • Genomics of rare genetic diseases-experiences from India HUMAN GENOMICS Sivasubbu, S., Scaria, V., GUaRDIAN Consortium 2019; 13 (1): 52


    Home to a culturally heterogeneous population, India is also a melting pot of genetic diversity. The population architecture characterized by multiple endogamous groups with specific marriage patterns, including the widely prevalent practice of consanguinity, not only makes the Indian population distinct from rest of the world but also provides a unique advantage and niche to understand genetic diseases. Centuries of genetic isolation of population groups have amplified the founder effects, contributing to high prevalence of recessive alleles, which translates into genetic diseases, including rare genetic diseases in India.Rare genetic diseases are becoming a public health concern in India because a large population size of close to a billion people would essentially translate to a huge disease burden for even the rarest of the rare diseases. Genomics-based approaches have been demonstrated to accelerate the diagnosis of rare genetic diseases and reduce the socio-economic burden. The Genomics for Understanding Rare Diseases: India Alliance Network (GUaRDIAN) stands for providing genomic solutions for rare diseases in India. The consortium aims to establish a unique collaborative framework in health care planning, implementation, and delivery in the specific area of rare genetic diseases. It is a nation-wide collaborative research initiative catering to rare diseases across multiple cohorts, with over 240 clinician/scientist collaborators across 70 major medical/research centers. Within the GUaRDIAN framework, clinicians refer rare disease patients, generate whole genome or exome datasets followed by computational analysis of the data for identifying the causal pathogenic variations. The outcomes of GUaRDIAN are being translated as community services through a suitable platform providing low-cost diagnostic assays in India. In addition to GUaRDIAN, several genomic investigations for diseased and healthy population are being undertaken in the country to solve the rare disease dilemma.In summary, rare diseases contribute to a significant disease burden in India. Genomics-based solutions can enable accelerated diagnosis and management of rare diseases. We discuss how a collaborative research initiative such as GUaRDIAN can provide a nation-wide framework to cater to the rare disease community of India.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s40246-019-0215-5

    View details for Web of Science ID 000514921600001

    View details for PubMedID 31554517

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6760067

  • Association of Elevated Serum GM-CSF, IFN-gamma, IL-4, and TNF-alpha Concentration with Tobacco Smoke Induced Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease in a South Indian Population INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF INFLAMMATION Mitra, A., Vishweswaraiah, S., Thimraj, T., Maheswarappa, M., Krishnarao, C., Lokesh, K., Siddaiah, J., Ganguly, K., Anand, M. 2018; 2018: 2027856


    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a devastating condition with limited pharmacotherapeutic options and exceptionally high public-health burden globally as well as in India. Tobacco smoking is the primary cause for COPD among men in India. Systemic inflammation involving altered regulation of cytokines controlling the host defense mechanism is a hallmark of COPD pathogenesis. However, biomarker discovery studies are limited among Indian COPD patients.We assessed the serum concentrations [median (25th-75th percentile) pg/ml] of interleukin (IL)-2,4,6,8,10, granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF), interferon gamma (IFN-γ), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) using a multiplexed immunoassay. Our study cohort consisted of 30 tobacco smokers with COPD (TS COPD) and 20 tobacco smokers without COPD (TS CONTROL) from South India. The study population was matched for age, sex (male), and tobacco consumption (pack-years). COPD was diagnosed according to the global initiative for chronic obstructive lung disease (GOLD) criteria of persistent airflow obstruction determined by the ratio of postbronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 second/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC) of <0.7. A validated structured questionnaire-based survey [Burden of Obstructive Lung Disease (BOLD) study] and spirometry were performed during house to house visit of the field study. Statistical analysis included nonparametric (two-tailed) Mann-Whitney U and Spearman rank test, as appropriate (significance: p<0.05).Serum GM-CSF [69.64 (46.67, 97.48); 36.78 (30.07, 53.88), p=0.014], IFN-γ [51.06 (17.00, 84.86); 11.70 (3.18, 32.81), p=0.017], IL-4 [9.09 (1.8, 19.9); 1.8 (1.8, 4.46); p=0.024], and TNF-α [20.68 (5.5, 29.26); 3.5 (3.5, 4.5); p<0.001] concentrations (pg/ml) were increased in TS COPD subjects compared to TS CONTROL. A weak correlation between lung function parameters and cytokine concentrations was detected.Our pilot study reveals GM-CSF, IFN-γ, IL-4, and TNF-α as plausible COPD susceptibility biomarkers within the investigated South Indian population that needs to be validated in a larger cohort.

    View details for DOI 10.1155/2018/2027856

    View details for Web of Science ID 000441621800001

    View details for PubMedID 30155241

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6092978

  • Transcriptomic analysis comparing mouse strains with extreme total lung capacities identifies novel candidate genes for pulmonary function RESPIRATORY RESEARCH George, L., Mitra, A., Thimraj, T. A., Irmler, M., Vishweswaraiah, S., Lunding, L., Huhn, D., Madurga, A., Beckers, J., Fehrenbach, H., Upadhyay, S., Schulz, H., Leikauf, G. D., Ganguly, K. 2017; 18: 152


    Failure to attain peak lung function by early adulthood is a risk factor for chronic lung diseases. Previously, we reported that C3H/HeJ mice have about twice total lung capacity (TLC) compared to JF1/MsJ mice. We identified seven lung function quantitative trait loci (QTL: Lfnq1-Lfnq7) in backcross/intercross mice derived from these inbred strains. We further demonstrated, superoxide dismutase 3, extracellular (Sod3), Kit oncogene (Kit) and secreted phosphoprotein 1 (Spp1) located on these Lfnqs as lung function determinants. Emanating from the concept of early origin of lung disease, we sought to identify novel candidate genes for pulmonary function by investigating lung transcriptome in C3H/HeJ and JF1/MsJ mice at the completion of embryonic development, bulk alveolar formation and maturity.Design-based stereological analysis was performed to study lung structure in C3H/HeJ and JF1/MsJ mice. Microarray was used for lung transcriptomic analysis [embryonic day 18, postnatal days 28, 70]. Quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), western blot and immunohistochemical analysis were used to confirm selected differences.Stereological analysis revealed decreased alveolar number density, elastin to collagen ratio and increased mean alveolar volume in C3H/HeJ mice compared to JF1/MsJ. Gene ontology term "extracellular region" was enriched among the decreased JF1/MsJ transcripts. Candidate genes identified using the expression-QTL strategy include: ATP-binding cassette, sub-family G (WHITE), member 1 (Abcg1), formyl peptide receptor 1 (Fpr1), gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) B receptor, 1 (Gabbr1); histocompatibility 2 genes: class II antigen E beta (H2-Eb1), D region locus 1 (H2-D1), and Q region locus 4 (H2-Q4); leucine rich repeat containing 6 (testis) (Lrrc6), radial spoke head 1 homolog (Rsph1), and surfactant associated 2 (Sfta2). Noteworthy genes selected as candidates for their consistent expression include: Wnt inhibitor factor 1 (Wif1), follistatin (Fst), chitinase-like 1 (Chil1), and Chil3.Comparison of late embryonic, adolescent and adult lung transcript profiles between mouse strains with extreme TLCs lead to the identification of candidate genes for pulmonary function that has not been reported earlier. Further mechanistic investigations are warranted to elucidate their mode of action in determining lung function.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12931-017-0629-3

    View details for Web of Science ID 000408029900001

    View details for PubMedID 28793908

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5551015

  • Homeobox, Wnt, and Fibroblast Growth Factor Signaling is Augmented During Alveogenesis in Mice Lacking Superoxide Dismutase 3, Extracellular LUNG Thimraj, T. A., Birru, R. L., Mitra, A., Schulz, H., Leikauf, G. D., Ganguly, K. 2017; 195 (2): 263-270


    Superoxide dismutase 3, extracellular (SOD3) polymorphisms have been implicated in reduced pulmonary function development and altered risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. We previously reported that gene-targeted Sod3-/- mice have impaired lung function and human SOD3 variants are associated with reduced pulmonary function in children. Reduced lung SOD3 levels were reported in mice with lower lung function with the greatest difference occurring during alveogenesis phase [postnatal (P) days 14-28]. Interactions between homeobox (HOX), wingless-type MMTV integration site member (WNT), and fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling govern complex developmental processes in several organs. A subset of HOX family members, HOXA5 and HOXB5, is expressed in the developing lung. Therefore, in this study we assessed the transcript expression of these family members and their downstream targets in Sod3-/- mice during alveogenesis (P14). In the lung of Sod3-/- mice, Hoxa5 and Hoxb5 increased. These transcription factors regulate WNT gene expression and were accompanied by increases in their downstream targets Wnt2 and Wnt5A, canonical and noncanonical WNT members, respectively. The WNT signaling target, lymphoid enhancer binding factor 1 (Lef1), also increased along with its downstream targets Fgf2, Fgf7, and Fgf10 in the lungs of Sod3-/- mice. Due to limited knowledge on the role of FGF2 in lung development, we further examined FGF2 protein and found increased levels in the bronchial and alveolar type II epithelial cells of Sod3-/- mice compared to age-matched controls. Thus, our findings suggest that deficient management of extracellular superoxide can lead to altered lung developmental signaling during alveogenesis in mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00408-017-9980-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000399225100015

    View details for PubMedID 28220305

  • Secreted Phosphoprotein 1 Is a Determinant of Lung Function Development in Mice AMERICAN JOURNAL OF RESPIRATORY CELL AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Ganguly, K., Martin, T. M., Concel, V. J., Upadhyay, S., Bein, K., Brant, K. A., George, L., Mitra, A., Thimraj, T. A., Fabisiak, J. P., Vuga, L. J., Fattman, C., Kaminski, N., Schulz, H., Leikauf, G. D. 2014; 51 (5): 637-651


    Secreted phosphoprotein 1 (Spp1) is located within quantitative trait loci associated with lung function that was previously identified by contrasting C3H/HeJ and JF1/Msf mouse strains that have extremely divergent lung function. JF1/Msf mice with diminished lung function had reduced lung SPP1 transcript and protein during the peak stage of alveologenesis (postnatal day [P]14-P28) as compared with C3H/HeJ mice. In addition to a previously identified genetic variant that altered runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2) binding in the Spp1 promoter, we identified another promoter variant in a putative RUNX2 binding site that increased the DNA protein binding. SPP1 induced dose-dependent mouse lung epithelial-15 cell proliferation. Spp1((-/-)) mice have decreased specific total lung capacity/body weight, higher specific compliance, and increased mean airspace chord length (Lm) compared with Spp1((+/+)) mice. Microarray analysis revealed enriched gene ontogeny categories, with numerous genes associated with lung development and/or respiratory disease. Insulin-like growth factor 1, Hedgehog-interacting protein, wingless-related mouse mammary tumor virus integration site 5A, and NOTCH1 transcripts decreased in the lung of P14 Spp1((-/-)) mice as determined by quantitative RT-PCR analysis. SPP1 promotes pneumocyte growth, and mice lacking SPP1 have smaller, more compliant lungs with enlarged airspace (i.e., increased Lm). Microarray analysis suggests a dysregulation of key lung developmental transcripts in gene-targeted Spp1((-/-)) mice, particularly during the peak phase of alveologenesis. In addition to its known roles in lung disease, this study supports SPP1 as a determinant of lung development in mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1165/rcmb.2013-0471OC

    View details for Web of Science ID 000347419400005

    View details for PubMedID 24816281

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4224082