Arab, H. H., S. A. Salama, A. H. Eid, A. M. Kabel, and N. N. Shahin, "Targeting MAPKs, NF-κB, and PI3K/AKT pathways by methyl palmitate ameliorates ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in rats.", Journal of cellular physiology, vol. 234, issue 12, pp. 22424-22438, 2019. Abstract

Excessive drinking of alcohol has been frequently associated with gastric injury; however, its underlying molecular mechanisms have been inadequately investigated. Methyl palmitate (MP) has demonstrated marked hepato-, cardio- and pulmonary protective features; however, its effects on ethanol-induced gastric injury have not been studied. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the potential gastroprotective activity of MP against ethanol-evoked gastric mucosal damage in rats and associated molecular mechanisms, for example, mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs), nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), and phosphoinositide 3 kinase/protein kinase B (PI3K/AKT) pathways. The rat stomachs were examined in terms of the inflammatory, oxidative, and apoptotic perturbations. Current data demonstrated that pretreatment with MP attenuated the gross gastric damage, scores of ulcer index, area of mucosal lesions and histopathology outcomes; actions which were similar to the reference antiulcer omeprazole. MP inhibited NF-κB expression, its nuclear translocation, and the expression of its downstream signals, for example, tumor necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase besides restoration of interleukin-10 levels. Western blot analysis revealed that MP counteracted the disruption of MAPKs signaling via lowering p-c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1/2 (p-JNK1/2) expression and restoring the phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (p-ERK1/2) levels without affecting p-p38MAPK levels. Additionally, MP improved the antioxidant milieu via diminishing lipid peroxides and enhancing glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, total antioxidant capacity and mucosal nitric oxide. In the context of apoptosis, MP inhibited the cleavage of caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) and Bax protein expression with upregulating B cell lymphoma-2 expression (Bcl-2), thus, promoting gastric cellular survival. This was confirmed by MP activation of the PI3K/AKT pathway manifested by enhanced expression of PI3K p110α and p-AKT. Together, the present findings report the gastroprotective actions of MP mediated via its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiapoptotic actions. The underlying molecular mechanisms involve, at least partly, the modulation of MAPKs, NF-κB and PI3K/AKT transduction.

Motawi, T. M. K., N. A. H. Sadik, D. Sabry, N. N. Shahin, and S. A. Fahim, "rs2267531, a promoter SNP within glypican-3 gene in the X chromosome, is associated with hepatocellular carcinoma in Egyptians.", Scientific reports, vol. 9, issue 1, pp. 6868, 2019. Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major health concern in Egypt owing to the high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. HCC incidence is characterized by obvious male predominance, yet the molecular mechanisms behind this gender bias are still unidentified. Functional variations in X-linked genes have more impact on males than females. Glypican-3 (GPC3) gene, located in the Xq26 region, has lately emerged as being potentially implicated in hepatocellular carcinogenesis. The current study was designed to examine the association of -784 G/C single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in GPC3 promoter region (rs2267531) with HCC susceptibility in male and female Egyptian HCV patients. Our results revealed a significant association between GPC3 and HCC risk in both males and females, evidenced by higher C allele and CC/C genotype frequencies in HCC patients when compared to controls. However, no such association was found when comparing HCV patients to controls. Moreover, GPC3 gene and protein expression levels were significantly higher in CC/C than in GG/G genotype carriers in males and females. The CC/C genotype exhibited a significant shorter overall survival than GG/G genotype in HCC patients. In conclusion, GPC3 rs2267531 on the X chromosome is significantly associated with HCC, but not with HCV infection, in the Egyptian population.

Shahin, N. N., N. A. El-Nabarawy, A. S. Gouda, and B. Mégarbane, "The protective role of spermine against male reproductive aberrations induced by exposure to electromagnetic field - An experimental investigation in the rat.", Toxicology and applied pharmacology, vol. 370, pp. 117-130, 2019. Abstract

The exponentially increasing use of electromagnetic field (EMF)-emitting devices imposes substantial health burden on modern societies with particular concerns of male infertility. Limited studies have addressed the modulation of this risk by protective agents. We investigated the hazardous effects of rat exposure to EMF (900 MHz, 2 h/day for 8 weeks) on male fertility and evaluated the possible protective effect of the polyamine, spermine, against EMF-induced alterations. Exposure to EMF significantly decreased sperm count, viability and motility, and increased sperm deformities. EMF-exposed rats exhibited significant reductions in serum inhibin B and testosterone along with elevated activin A, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone and estradiol concentrations. Testicular steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR), c-kit mRNA expression and testicular activities of the key androgenic enzymes 3β- and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases were significantly attenuated following exposure to EMF. Exposure led to testicular lipid peroxidation, decreased catalase and glutathione peroxidase activities and triggered nuclear factor-kappa B p65, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2 and caspase-3 overexpression. EMF-exposed rats showed testicular DNA damage as indicated by elevated comet parameters. Spermine administration (2.5 mg/Kg/day intraperitoneally for 8 weeks) prevented EMF-induced alterations in the sperm and hormone profiles, StAR and c-kit expression and androgenic enzyme activities. Spermine hampered EMF-induced oxidative, inflammatory, apoptotic and DNA perturbations. Histological and histomorphometric analysis of the testes supported all biochemical findings. In conclusion, rat exposure to EMF disrupts sperm and hormone profiles with underlying impairment of steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis. Spermine confers protection against EMF-associated testicular and reproductive aberrations, at least in part, via antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic mechanisms.

Ali, S. O., N. N. Shahin, M. M. Safar, and S. M. Rizk, "Therapeutic potential of endothelial progenitor cells in a rat model of epilepsy: Role of autophagy", Journal of Advanced Research, vol. 18, pp. 101 - 112, 2019. AbstractWebsite

Epilepsy is one of the most well-known neurological conditions worldwide. One-third of adult epileptic patients do not respond to antiepileptic drugs or surgical treatment and therefore suffer from the resistant type of epilepsy. Stem cells have been given substantial consideration in the field of epilepsy therapeutics. The implication of pathologic vascular response in sustained seizures and the eminent role of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) in maintaining vascular integrity tempted us to investigate the potential therapeutic effects of EPCs in a pentylenetetrazole (PTZ)-induced rat model of epilepsy. Modulation of autophagy, a process that enables neurons to maintain an equilibrium of synthesis, degradation and subsequent reprocessing of cellular components, has been targeted. Intravenously administered EPCs homed into the hippocampus and amended the deficits in memory and locomotor activity. The cells mitigated neurological damage and the associated histopathological alterations and boosted the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor. EPCs corrected the perturbations in neurotransmitter activity and enhanced the expression of the downregulated autophagy proteins light chain protein-3 (LC-3), beclin-1, and autophagy-related gene-7 (ATG-7). Generally, these effects were comparable to those achieved by the reference antiepileptic drug, valproic acid. In conclusion, EPCs may confer therapeutic effects against epilepsy and its associated behavioural and biochemical abnormalities at least in part via the upregulation of autophagy. The study warrants further research in experimental and clinical settings to verify the prospect of using EPCs as a valid therapeutic strategy in patients with epilepsy.

Abdelmonem, M., N. N. Shahin, L. A. Rashed, H. A. A. Amin, A. A. Shamaa, and A. A. Shaheen, "Hydrogen sulfide enhances the effectiveness of mesenchymal stem cell therapy in rats with heart failure: In vitro preconditioning versus in vivo co-delivery.", Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie, vol. 112, pp. 108584, 2019 Feb 18. Abstract

Stem cell therapy represents a promising therapeutic avenue for cardiac disorders, including heart failure. Although stem cell transplantation showed encouraging preliminary results, the outcomes of clinical studies are still unsatisfactory. This study aimed to compare the outcomes of two therapeutic approaches, in vivo co-delivery of sodium hydrogen sulfide (NaHS) concomitant with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (BMSC) transplantation and in vitro preconditioning of BMSCs with NaHS, both of which are intended to promote the success of stem cell therapy in rats with isoprenaline-induced heart failure. Heart failure developed 4 weeks after the subcutaneous injection of isoprenaline (170 mg/kg) for 4 consecutive days. The in vivo approach involved the co-delivery of intraperitoneally administered NaHS concomitant with BMSC transplantation for a period of 14 days. The in vitro approach involved preconditioning BMSCs with NaHS for 30 min before transplantation. Compared to treatment with BMSCs alone, in vitro preconditioning of BMSCs with NaHS improved left ventricular function as measured by echocardiography and electrocardiography and enhanced stem cell homing, proliferation and differentiation as manifested by higher cardiac expression of GATA-4 and myocyte enhancer factor 2. Moreover, the measurement of cardiac transforming growth factor beta 1 levels and histopathological investigation revealed mitigated fibrosis and myocardial injury scores. Compared with BMSC therapy alone, the in vivo approach enhanced stem cell homing and differentiation, alleviated fibrosis and augmented vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) expression. In conclusion, NaHS can potentiate the efficiency of BMSC therapy for heart failure by in vitro preconditioning or in vivo co-delivery. The in vitro approach is superior with regard to improving cardiac function in addition to enhancing stem cell proliferation, while the in vivo approach is superior with regard to increasing cardiac VEGF and eNOS expression.

Motawi, T. K., M. R. Mohamed, N. N. Shahin, M. A. M. Ali, and M. A. Azzam, "Time-course expression profile and diagnostic potential of a miRNA panel in exosomes and total serum in acute liver injury.", The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology, vol. 100, pp. 11-21, 2018 Jul. Abstract

Circulating miRNAs have recently emerged as attractive candidates for biomarker discovery. However, they have a variant distribution in circulation, and the diagnostic significance of their compartmentalization is yet to be elucidated. This study explored the time-course expression profile and the diagnostic potential of miRNAs-122a-5p, 192-5p, 193a-3p and 194-5p in exosomal and total serum compartments in two rat models of acute liver injury (ALI). Exosomes were isolated and characterized in terms of morphology, size and CD-63 surface marker expression. Exosomal, serum and hepatic miRNAs were quantified using q-RT-PCR. An inverse expression pattern of hepatic and total serum miRNAs was observed following acetaminophen or thioacetamide-induced liver injury. Conversely, exosomal miRNAs expression pattern varied according to the type of injury. Overall, ROC analysis revealed superior discriminatory ability of exosomal miRNA-122a-5p following either acetaminophen or thioacetamide injury with earlier diagnostic potential and a wider diagnostic window compared to the corresponding total serum counterpart. Moreover, exosomal miRNAs showed higher correlation with ALT activity in both models. In conclusion, exosomal miRNA-122a-5p shows higher diagnostic performance with a broader diagnostic time window and an earlier diagnostic potential than its serum counterpart in ALI. Furthermore, exosomal miRNAs-122a-5p, 192-5p and 193a-3p exhibit an injury-specific signature in ALI and can be used not only as diagnostic tools in liver injury but also to differentiate between different etiologies of injury.

Shahin, N. N., N. F. Abdelkader, and M. M. Safar, "A Novel Role of Irbesartan in Gastroprotection against Indomethacin-Induced Gastric Injury in Rats: Targeting DDAH/ADMA and EGFR/ERK Signaling.", Scientific reports, vol. 8, issue 1, pp. 4280, 2018 Mar 09. Abstract

The advent of angiotensin II type 1 receptor blockers (ARBs) as intriguing gastroprotective candidates and the superior pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics displayed by irbesartan compared to many other ARBs raised the interest to investigate its gastroprotective potential in a rat model of gastric injury. Irbesartan (50 mg/Kg) was orally administered to male Wistar rats once daily for 14 days; thereafter gastric injury was induced by indomethacin (60 mg/Kg, p.o). Irbesartan reduced gastric ulcer index, gastric acidity, and ameliorated indomethacin-induced gastric mucosal apoptotic and inflammatory aberrations, as demonstrated by hampering caspase-3, prostaglandin E and tumor necrosis factor-alpha levels and cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA expression. This ARB increased mucosal dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase-1 (DDAH-1) gene expression and decreased elevated levels of matrix metalloproteinase-9, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA and phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (pERK1/2). Histopathological evaluation corroborated biochemical findings. Overall efficacy of irbesartan was comparable to ranitidine, the widely used H receptor blocker. In conclusion, irbesartan exerts significant gastroprotection against indomethacin-induced mucosal damage via acid-inhibitory, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic and extracellular matrix remodeling mechanisms that are probably mediated, at least partly, by down-regulating DDAH/ADMA and EGFR/ERK1/2 signaling.

Shahin, N. N., and M. M. Mohamed, "Nano-sized titanium dioxide toxicity in rat prostate and testis: Possible ameliorative effect of morin.", Toxicology and applied pharmacology, vol. 334, pp. 129-141, 2017 11 01. Abstract

This study investigated the effect of short-term oral exposure to nano-sized titanium dioxide (nTiO2) on Wistar rat prostate and testis, and the associating reproductive-related alterations. The study also evaluated the potential ameliorative effect of the natural flavonoid, morin, on nTiO2-induced aberrations. Intragastric administration of nTiO2 (50mg/kg/day for 1, 2 and 3weeks) increased testicular gamma-glutamyltransferase (γ-GT) activity and decreased testicular steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) and c-kit gene expression, serum testosterone level and sperm count. nTiO2-treated rats also exhibited prostatic and testicular altered glutathione levels, elevated TNF-α levels, up-regulated Fas, Bax and caspase-3 gene expression, down-regulated Bcl-2 gene expression and enhanced prostatic lipid peroxidation. Sperm malformation and elevated testicular acid phosphatase (ACP) activity and malondialdehyde level, serum prostatic acid phosphatase activity, prostate specific antigen (PSA), gonadotrophin and estradiol levels occurred after the 2 and 3week regimens. Morin (30mg/kg/day administered intragastrically for 5weeks) mitigated nTiO2-induced prostatic and testicular injury as evidenced by lowering serum PSA level, testicular γ-GT and ACP activities and TNF-α level, along with hampering both intrinsic and extrinsic apoptotic pathways. Moreover, morin alleviated prostatic lipid peroxidation, raised prostatic glutathione level, and relieved testicular reductive stress. Additionally, morin increased testicular StAR and c-kit mRNA expression, raised the sperm count, reduced sperm deformities and modified the altered hormone profile. Histopathological evaluation supported the biochemical findings. In conclusion, morin could ameliorate nTiO2-induced prostatic and testicular injury and the corresponding reproductive-related aberrations via redox regulatory, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic mechanisms, promoting steroidogenesis and spermatogenesis, and improving sperm count and morphology.

Motawi, T. K., O. G. Shaker, N. N. Shahin, and N. M. Ahmed, "Angiotensin-converting enzyme insertion/deletion polymorphism association with obesity and some related disorders in Egyptian females: a case-control observational study.", Nutrition & metabolism, vol. 13, pp. 68, 2016. Abstract

BACKGROUND: According to the WHO report in 2015, obesity is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide, and the prevalence of Egyptian female obesity is 37.5 %. Since obesity is highly influenced by genetics, and adipose tissue renin-angiotensin system is over-activated in obesity, the effect of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) insertion/deletion (I/D) polymorphism on obesity and related disorders was studied in several populations, because of its effect on ACE activity. Our objective was to study the association of ACE I/D polymorphism with obesity and certain related disorders, namely hypertension, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, in Egyptian females.

METHODS: Eighty female volunteers were recruited, blood pressure and body measurements were recorded and a fasting blood sample was obtained for the quantitation of glucose, lipid profile, insulin, leptin and identification of ACE I/D polymorphs. Subjects were grouped based on hypertension and obesity states. Comparisons of continuous parameters were made with independent sample t-test between two groups. The frequencies of ACE genotypes and alleles, and the association between gene polymorphism and metabolic parameters were assessed using chi-square or Fisher's exact test.

RESULTS: Genotype frequencies were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium for all groups. Genotype distribution did not differ significantly between controls and cases of all the studied disorders. Although DD carriers had apparently higher parameters of blood pressure, lipid profile and insulin resistance, only diastolic blood pressure was almost significant (p = 0.057). I-carriers were significantly less susceptible to hypertension than DD carriers having normal waist/hip ratio (p = 0.007, OR = 17.29, CI = 1.81-164.96) and normal conicity index (p = 0.024, OR = 7.00, CI = 1.36-35.93). In DD genotype carriers, a significant association was found between insulin resistance and high body mass index (p = 0.004, OR = 8.89, CI = 1.94-40.71), waist circumference (p = 0.003, OR = 9.63, CI = 2.14-43.36) and waist/height ratio (p = 0.034, OR = 6.86, CI = 1.25-37.61), although the variations in percentages between DD and I-carriers were not high enough to conclude an effect of ACE I/D on such an association.

CONCLUSIONS: In this sample of Egyptian females, ACE I/D polymorphism was not significantly associated with obesity nor with any of its related disorders studied. The I allele seemed protective against hypertension in subjects with normal, not high, waist/hip ratio and conicity index compared to DD genotype carriers.

Rizk, S. M., N. N. Shahin, and O. G. Shaker, "Association between SIRT1 Gene Polymorphisms and Breast Cancer in Egyptians.", PloS one, vol. 11, issue 3, pp. e0151901, 2016. Abstract

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer is reported to cause the highest mortality among female cancer patients. Previous studies have explored the association of silent mating-type information regulator 2 homolog 1 (SIRT1) gene expression with prognosis in breast cancer. However, no studies exist, so far, on the role of SIRT1 gene polymorphism in breast cancer risk or prognosis. The present study aimed to assess the association between SIRT1 gene polymorphisms and breast cancer in Egyptians.

METHODS: The study comprised 980 Egyptian females divided into a breast cancer group (541 patients) and a healthy control group (439 subjects). SIRT1 gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) rs3758391, rs3740051 and rs12778366 were genotyped using real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Allelic and genotypic frequencies were determined in both groups and association with breast cancer and clinicopathological characteristics was assessed.

RESULTS: Breast cancer patients exhibited elevated serum SIRT1 levels which varied among different tumor grades. SIRT1 rs3758391 and rs12778366 TT genotypes were more frequent, exhibited higher SIRT1 levels than CC and CT genotypes and were associated with histologic grade and lymph node status. SIRT1 rs12778366 TT genotype also correlated with negative estrogen receptor (ER) and progesterone receptor (PR) statuses. The T allele frequency for both SNPs was higher in breast cancer patients than in normal subjects. Combined GG and AG genotypes of rs3740051 were more frequent, showed higher serum SIRT1 levels than the AA genotype, and were associated with ER and PR expression. Furthermore, inheritance of the G allele was associated with breast cancer.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings reveal that rs3758391 and rs12778366 polymorphisms of SIRT1 gene are associated with breast cancer risk and prognosis in the Egyptian population.