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Hippocalcin is a member of the neuronal calcium sensor (NCS) protein family that is highly expressed in hippocampal pyramidal cells and moderately expressed in the neurons of cerebral cortex, cerebellum and striatum. Here we examined the physiological roles of hippocalcin using targeted gene disruption. Hippocalcin-deficient (-/-) mice displayed no obvious(More)
Four new diterpenoids (1–4), along with eight known diterpenoids (5–12) were isolated from the acetone extract of Leonurus herb (aerial parts of Leonurus sibiricus L.). The structures of the compounds were determined by spectroscopic methods. Among the isolated compounds, compounds 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10 showed inhibitory activity against human liver cytosol(More)
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP, ADCYAP1: adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide 1), a neuropeptide with neurotransmission modulating activity, is a promising schizophrenia candidate gene. Here, we provide evidence that genetic variants of the genes encoding PACAP and its receptor, PAC1, are associated with schizophrenia. We(More)
To assess the therapeutic potential of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in clinics, we extensively investigated the effects of BDNF on adult motor neurons in a rat spinal root avulsion model. Intrathecal administration of BDNF immediately after the spinal root avulsion greatly protected against the motor neuron cell death. BDNF also showed a(More)
Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) exclusively stimulates the growth of endothelial cells without replication of vascular smooth muscle cells and acts as a survival factor against endothelial cell death. Therefore we hypothesized that a decrease in local vascular HGF might be related to the pathogenesis of peripheral arterial disease. We initially evaluated(More)
PURPOSE To investigate the neuroprotective effects of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) against potassium cyanide (KCN)-induced retinal damage. METHODS Rats were injected intravitreally with iodinated BDNF. Two days later, eyeballs were dissected into various parts, and the level of radioactivity in each part was measured. Retinal damage was(More)
Because of a critical shortage in suitable organs, many patients with terminal liver disease die each year before liver transplantation can be performed. Transplantation of isolated hepatocytes has been proposed for the temporary metabolic support of patients awaiting liver transplantation or spontaneous reversion of their liver disease. A major limitation(More)
PURPOSE We evaluated the relations among the arterial carbon monoxide (CO) concentration, heme oxygenase (HO)-1 expression by monocytes, oxidative stress, plasma levels of cytokines and bilirubin, and the outcome of patients with severe sepsis or septic shock. METHODS Thirty-six patients who fulfilled the criteria for severe sepsis or septic shock and 21(More)
Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) shares structural and functional properties with members of the hematopoietic cytokine family. It is composed of a four-helix bundle structure and shares the transmembrane signal transducing proteins, glycoprotein-130 (gp130) and leukemia inhibitory factor receptor (LIF-R). Structure-function analysis showed that the(More)