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1.
Aging (Albany NY) ; 14(10): 4195-4210, 2022 May 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1863474

ABSTRACT

Previous studies have shown that the polyamine spermidine increased the maximum life span in C. elegans and the median life span in mice. Since spermidine increases autophagy, we asked if treatment with chloroquine, an inhibitor of autophagy, would shorten the lifespan of mice. Recently, chloroquine has intensively been discussed as a treatment option for COVID-19 patients. To rule out unfavorable long-term effects on longevity, we examined the effect of chronic treatment with chloroquine given in the drinking water on the lifespan and organ pathology of male middle-aged NMRI mice. We report that, surprisingly, daily treatment with chloroquine extended the median life span by 11.4% and the maximum life span of the middle-aged male NMRI mice by 11.8%. Subsequent experiments show that the chloroquine-induced lifespan elevation is associated with dose-dependent increase in LC3B-II, a marker of autophagosomes, in the liver and heart that was confirmed by transmission electron microscopy. Quite intriguingly, chloroquine treatment was also associated with a decrease in glycogenolysis in the liver suggesting a compensatory mechanism to provide energy to the cell. Accumulation of autophagosomes was paralleled by an inhibition of proteasome-dependent proteolysis in the liver and the heart as well as with decreased serum levels of insulin growth factor binding protein-3 (IGFBP3), a protein associated with longevity. We propose that inhibition of proteasome activity in conjunction with an increased number of autophagosomes and decreased levels of IGFBP3 might play a central role in lifespan extension by chloroquine in male NMRI mice.


Subject(s)
Autophagy , Chloroquine , Glycogenolysis , Longevity , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex , Proteasome Inhibitors , Animals , Autophagy/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Glycogen , Glycogenolysis/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Male , Mice , Proteasome Inhibitors/pharmacology , Spermidine/pharmacology
2.
Pharmacopsychiatry ; 54(5): 215-223, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217715

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Depression is responsible for 800 000 deaths worldwide, a number that will rise significantly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Affordable novel drugs with less severe side effects are urgently required. We investigated the effect of withanone (WN) from Withania somnifera on the serotonin system of wild-type and knockout Caenorhabditis elegans strains using in silico, in vitro, and in vivo methods. METHODS: WN or fluoxetine (as positive control drug) was administered to wild-type (N2) and knockout C. elegans strains (AQ866, DA1814, DA2100, DA2109, and MT9772) to determine their effect on oxidative stress (Trolox, H2DCFDA, and juglone assays) on osmotic stress and heat stress and lifespan. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR was applied to investigate the effect of WN or fluoxetine on the expression of serotonin receptors (ser-1, ser-4, ser-7) and serotonin transporter (mod-5). The binding affinity of WN to serotonin receptors and transporter was analyzed in silico using AutoDock 4.2.6. RESULTS: WN scavenged ROS in wild-type and knockout C. elegans and prolonged their lifespan. WN upregulated the expression of serotonin receptor and transporter genes. In silico analyses revealed high binding affinities of WN to Ser-1, Ser-4, Ser-7, and Mod-5. LIMITATIONS: Further studies are needed to prove whether the results from C. elegans are transferrable to mammals and human beings. CONCLUSION: WN ameliorated depressive-associated stress symptoms by activating the serotonin system. WN may serve as potential candidate in developing new drugs to treat depression.


Subject(s)
Depression , Receptors, Serotonin/metabolism , Serotonin Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins/metabolism , Synaptic Transmission/drug effects , Withanolides/pharmacology , Animals , Animals, Genetically Modified , Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/psychology , Caenorhabditis elegans , Depression/drug therapy , Depression/metabolism , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Humans , Longevity/drug effects , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2
3.
Molecules ; 26(7)2021 Mar 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1167670

ABSTRACT

Depression and anxiety disorders are widespread diseases, and they belong to the leading causes of disability and greatest burdens on healthcare systems worldwide. It is expected that the numbers will dramatically rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Established medications are not sufficient to adequately treat depression and are not available for everyone. Plants from traditional medicine may be promising alternatives to treat depressive symptoms. The model organism Chaenorhabditis elegans was used to assess the stress reducing effects of methanol/dichlormethane extracts from plants used in traditional medicine. After initial screening for antioxidant activity, nine extracts were selected for in vivo testing in oxidative stress, heat stress, and osmotic stress assays. Additionally, anti-aging properties were evaluated in lifespan assay. The extracts from Acanthopanax senticosus, Campsis grandiflora, Centella asiatica, Corydalis yanhusuo, Dan Zhi, Houttuynia cordata, Psoralea corylifolia, Valeriana officinalis, and Withaniasomnifera showed antioxidant activity of more than 15 Trolox equivalents per mg extract. The extracts significantly lowered ROS in mutants, increased resistance to heat stress and osmotic stress, and the extended lifespan of the nematodes. The plant extracts tested showed promising results in increasing stress resistance in the nematode model. Further analyses are needed, in order to unravel underlying mechanisms and transfer results to humans.


Subject(s)
Antidepressive Agents/pharmacology , Caenorhabditis elegans/drug effects , Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Aging/drug effects , Aging/physiology , Animals , Antioxidants/pharmacology , Caenorhabditis elegans/genetics , Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics , Gene Knockout Techniques , Heat-Shock Response/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Longevity/genetics , Longevity/physiology , Mutation , Osmotic Pressure/drug effects , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
4.
Phytomedicine ; 84: 153482, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051912

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The COVID-19 crisis may dramatically increase these numbers. Severe side effects and resistance development limit the use of standard antidepressants. The steroidal lactone withanolide A (WA) from Withania somnifera may be a promising alternative. Caenorhabditis elegans was used as model to explore WA's anti-depressive and anti-stress potential. METHODS: C. elegans wildtype (N2) and deficient strains (AQ866, DA1814, DA2100, DA2109 and MT9772) were used to assess oxidative, osmotic or heat stress as measured by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), determination of lifespan, and mRNA expression of serotonin receptor (ser-1, ser-4, ser-7) and serotonin transporter genes (mod-5). The protective effect of WA was compared to fluoxetine as clinically established antidepressant. Additionally, WA's effect on lifespan was determined. Furthermore, the binding affinities and pKi values of WA, fluoxetine and serotonin as natural ligand to Ser-1, Ser-4, Ser-7, Mod-5 and their human orthologues proteins were calculated by molecular docking. RESULTS: Baseline oxidative stress was higher in deficient than wildtype worms. WA and fluoxetine reduced ROS levels in all strains except MT9772. WA and fluoxetine prolonged survival times in wildtype and mutants under osmotic stress. WA but not fluoxetine increased lifespan of all heat-stressed C. elegans strains except DA2100. Furthermore, WA but not fluoxetine extended lifespan in all non-stressed C. elegans strains. WA also induced mRNA expression of serotonin receptors and transporters in wildtype and mutants. WA bound with higher affinity and lower pKi values to all C. elegans and human serotonin receptors and transporters than serotonin, indicating that WA may competitively displaced serotonin from the binding pockets of these proteins. CONCLUSION: WA reduced stress and increased lifespan by ROS scavenging and interference with the serotonin system. Hence, WA may serve as promising candidate to treat depression.


Subject(s)
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics , Caenorhabditis elegans/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Receptors, Serotonin/genetics , Withanolides/pharmacology , Animals , Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Receptors, Serotonin/metabolism , Withania/chemistry
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