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Abdelhady, R., N. S. Younis, O. Ali, S. Shehata, R. H. Sayed, and R. I. Nadeem, "Cognitive enhancing effects of pazopanib in D‑galactose/ovariectomized Alzheimer's rat model: insights into the role of RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL necroptosis signaling pathway.", Inflammopharmacology, 2023. Abstract

Necroptosis, a programmed form of necrotic cell death carried out by receptor-interacting serine/threonine protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) and RIPK3, has been found to be implicated in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD). An FDA-approved anti-cancer drug, pazopanib, is reported to possess potent inhibitory effect against necroptosis via interfering with RIPK1. So far, there are no existing data on the influence of pazopanib on necroptotic pathway in AD. Thus, this study was designed to explore the impact of pazopanib on cognitive impairment provoked by ovariectomy (OVX) together with D-galactose (D-Gal) administration in rats and to scrutinize the putative signaling pathways underlying pazopanib-induced effects. Animals were allocated into four groups; the first and second groups were exposed to sham operation and administered normal saline and pazopanib (5 mg/kg/day, i.p.), respectively, for 6 weeks, while the third and fourth groups underwent OVX then were injected with D-Gal (150 mg/kg/day, i.p.); concomitantly with pazopanib in the fourth group for 6 weeks. Pazopanib ameliorated cognitive deficits as manifested by improved performance in the Morris water maze besides reversing the histological abnormalities. Pazopanib produced a significant decline in p-Tau and amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques. The neuroprotective effect of pazopanib was revealed by hampering neuroinflammation, mitigating neuronal death and suppressing RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL necroptosis signaling pathway. Accordingly, hindering neuroinflammation and the necroptotic RIPK1/RIPK3/MLKL pathway could contribute to the neuroprotective effect of pazopanib in D-Gal/OVX rat model. Therefore, this study reveals pazopanib as a valuable therapeutic agent in AD that warrants future inspection to provide further data regarding its neuroprotective effect.

El-Latif, A. A. M., M. A. Rabie, R. H. Sayed, M. A. E. A. Fattah, and S. A. Kenawy, "Inosine attenuates rotenone-induced Parkinson's disease in rats by alleviating the imbalance between autophagy and apoptosis.", Drug development research, 2023. Abstract

Growing evidence points to impaired autophagy as one of the major factors implicated in the pathophysiology of Parkinson's disease (PD). Autophagy is a downstream target of adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Inosine has already demonstrated a neuroprotective effect against neuronal loss in neurodegenerative diseases, mainly due its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We, herein, aimed at investigating the neuroprotective effects of inosine against rotenone-induced PD in rats and to focus on the activation of AMPK-mediated autophagy. Inosine successfully increased p-AMPK/AMPK ratio in PD rats and improved their motor performance and muscular co-ordination (assessed by rotarod, open field, and grip strength tests, as well as by manual gait analysis). Furthermore, inosine was able to mitigate the rotenone-induced histopathological alterations and to restore the tyrosine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in PD rats' substantia nigra. Inosine-induced AMPK activation resulted in an autophagy enhancement, as demonstrated by the increased striatal Unc-S1-like kinase1 and beclin-1 expression, and also by the increment light chain 3II to light chain 3I ratio, along with the decline in striatal mammalian target of rapamycin and p62 protein expressions. The inosine-induced stimulation of AMPK also attenuated neuronal apoptosis and promoted antioxidant activity. Unsurprisingly, these neuroprotective effects were antagonized by a preadministration of dorsomorphin (an AMPK inhibitor). In conclusion, inosine exerted neuroprotective effects against the rotenone-induced neuronal loss via an AMPK activation and through the restoration of the imbalance between autophagy and apoptosis. These findings support potential application of inosine in PD treatment.

Rabie, M. A., R. H. Sayed, J. K. Venkatesan, H. Madry, M. Cucchiarini, and N. S. El Sayed, "Intra-articular injection of rAAV-hFGF-2 ameliorates monosodium iodoacetate-induced osteoarthritis in rats via inhibiting TLR-4 signaling and activating TIMP-1.", Toxicology and applied pharmacology, vol. 459, pp. 116361, 2023. Abstract

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic debilitating degenerative disorder leading to structural, and functional anomaly of the joint. The present study tests the hypothesis that overexpression of the basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) via direct rAAV-mediated gene transfer suppresses monosodium iodoacetate (MIA)-induced knee OA in rats relative to control (reporter rAAV-lacZ vector) gene transfer by intra-articular injection. Rats were treated with 20 μl rAAV-hFGF-2 on weekly basis; on days 7, 14, and 21 after single intra-articular injection of MIA (3 mg/50 μl saline). FGF-2 reduced knee joint swelling and improved motor performance and muscle coordination as evidenced by increased distance travelled, mean speed, rearing frequency in open field test (OFT) as well as fall-off latency in rotarod test together with reduced immobility time in OFT. Moreover, FGF-2 attenuated MIA-related radiological and histological alterations. Indeed, FGF-2 decreased knee joint inflammatory biomarker as demonstrated by reduced mRNA expression of toll like receptor (TLR)-4 and its downstream mediators such as tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and high motility group box (HMGB) 1. In parallel, FGF-2 attenuated knee joint degradation biomarkers as reflected by the downregulation of ADAMTS-5 mRNA expression and matrix metalloproteinase 13 (MMP-13) content together with the up-regulation of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase (TIMP)-1 mRNA expression. These findings suggest a potential therapeutic role for FGF-2 against MIA-induced knee OA in rats via inhibition of TLR4 signaling and activating TIMP-1, resulting in down-regulation of ADAMTS-5 and MMP-13.

Zaky, D. A., R. H. Sayed, and Y. S. Mohamed, "Liraglutide limits the immunogenic cell death-mediated ROS propagation and PI3K/AKT inactivation after doxorubicin-induced gonadotoxicity in rats: Involvement of the canonical Hedgehog trajectory.", International immunopharmacology, vol. 119, pp. 110212, 2023. Abstract

Chemotherapy-accompanied reproductive dysfunction has lately begun to draw the attention of the scientific community owing to the irreversible impact on the patient's quality of life. Here we tended to investigate the potential role of liraglutide (LRG) in modulating the canonical Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in doxorubicin (DXR)-induced gonadotoxicity in rats. Female virgin Wistar rats were divided into 4 groups; control, DXR-treated (25 mg/kg, single i.p. injection), LRG-treated (150 μg/Kg/day, s.c) and itraconazole (ITC; 150 mg/kg/day, p.o)-pretreated group, as the Hh pathway inhibitor. Treatment with LRG potentiated the PI3K/AKT/p-GSK3β cascade and relieved the oxidative burden-induced by the DXR-driven immunogenic cell death (ICD). LRG also upregulated the expression of the Desert hedgehog ligand (DHh) and the patched-1 (PTCH1) receptor and augmented the protein level of Indian hedgehog (IHh) ligand, Gli1 and cyclin-D1 (CD1). Besides, hypertranscription of IHh, DHh, Ptch1, Smo, Gli1/2 and CD1 genes along with a transcriptional recession of Gli3 gene were reported in LRG-treated group. ITC pre-administration partially abrogated this positive effect of LRG, proving the implication of the examined pathway. Microscopically, LRG ameliorated the follicular atresia noticed in the DXR group; effect that was, at least partially, declined by ITC pre-treatment. These findings end to a conclusion that LRG treatment might hinder the DXR-associated reproductive toxicity, resultant from ROS generated by the cells undergoing ICD, and trigger follicular growth and repair by the PI3K/AKT- dependent switching-on of the canonical Hh pathway.

Zaki, E. S., R. H. Sayed, M. A. Saad, and M. F. El-Yamany, "Roflumilast ameliorates ovariectomy-induced depressive-like behavior in rats via activation of AMPK/mTOR/ULK1-dependent autophagy pathway.", Life sciences, vol. 327, pp. 121806, 2023. Abstract

AIMS: Roflumilast, a well-known phosphodiesterase-4 (PDE-4) inhibitor, possess an anti-inflammatory activity with approved indications in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study aimed to evaluate the neuroprotective role of roflumilast in ovariectomy (OVX)-induced depressive-like behavior in female rats and to shed light on a potential autophagy enhancing effect.

MAIN METHODS: Rats were randomly divided into four groups: sham, OVX, OVX + roflumilast (1 mg/kg, p.o), and OVX + roflumilast + chloroquine (CQ) (50 mg/kg, i.p). Drugs were administered for 4 weeks starting 2 weeks after OVX.

KEY FINDINGS: Roflumilast improved the depressive-like behaviors observed in OVX rats as evidenced by decreasing both forced swimming and open field immobility times while, increasing % sucrose preference and number of open field crossed squares. Histopathological analysis provides further evidence of roflumilast's beneficial effects, demonstrating that roflumilast ameliorated the neuronal damage caused by OVX. Roflumilast antidepressant potential was mediated via restoring hippocampal cAMP and BDNF levels as well as down-regulating PDE4 expression. Moreover, roflumilast revealed anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects via hindering TNF-α level and diminishing Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Roflumilast restored the autophagic function via up-regulation of p-AMPK, p-ULK1, Beclin-1 and LC3II/I expression, along with downregulation of P62 level and p-mTOR protein expression. The autophagy inhibitor CQ was used to demonstrate the suggested pathway.

SIGNIFICANCE: The present study revealed that roflumilast showed an anti-depressant activity in OVX female rats via turning on AMPK/mTOR/ULK1-dependent autophagy pathway; and neurotrophic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic activities. Roflumilast could offer a more secure alternative to hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal depression treatment.

El-Shafei, N. H., M. A. Zaafan, E. S. R. A. A. A. KANDIL, and R. H. Sayed, "Simvastatin ameliorates testosterone-induced prostatic hyperplasia in rats via modulating IGF-1/PI3K/AKT/FOXO signaling.", European journal of pharmacology, vol. 950, pp. 175762, 2023. Abstract

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is characterized by non-malignant enlargement of prostate cells causing many lower urinary tract symptoms. BPH pathogenesis includes androgens receptors signaling pathways, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and possibly changes in IGF-1/PI3K/AKT/FOXO pathway. Altogether, modulating IGF-1/PI3K/AKT/FOXO signaling along with regulating oxidative stress and apoptosis might preserve prostatic cells from increased proliferation. Beyond statins' common uses, they also have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor effects. This study aims to determine simvastatin's beneficial effect on testosterone-induced BPH. Rats were randomly allocated into four groups, 9 rats each. The control group received olive oil subcutaneously and distilled water orally for 30 consecutive days. The second group received simvastatin (20 mg/kg, p.o.) dissolved in distilled water. The BPH-induced group received testosterone enanthate (3 mg/kg, s.c.) dissolved in olive oil, and the BPH-induced treated group received both simvastatin and testosterone. Testosterone significantly increased prostate index and severity of histopathological alterations in prostate tissues as well as 5-alpha reductase enzyme level in contrast to simvastatin treatment that reversed the testosterone-induced alterations in these parameters. Likewise, testosterone up-regulated IGF-1/PI3K/AKT signaling pathway and down-regulated FOXO transcription factor. It also decreased apoptotic markers level in prostatic tissue BAX, caspase-3, and caspase-9, while it elevated Bcl-2 level. In addition, it alleviated reduced GSH and GPX5 levels and SOD activity. Simvastatin treatment significantly opposed testosterone's effect on all aforementioned parameters. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that simvastatin is a possible treatment for BPH which may be attributed to its effect on IGF-1/PI3K/AKT/FOXO signaling pathway as well as anti-oxidant and apoptotic effects.

Eitah, H. E., H. N. Attia, A. A. F. Soliman, A. A. Gamal El Din, K. Mahmoud, R. H. Sayed, Y. A. Maklad, and A. E. El-Sahar, "Vitamin D ameliorates diethylnitrosamine-induced liver preneoplasia: A pivotal role of CYP3A4/CYP2E1 via DPP-4 enzyme inhibition.", Toxicology and applied pharmacology, vol. 458, pp. 116324, 2023. Abstract

Growing evidence has indicated that vitamin D (Vit D) regulates cell proliferation and differentiation in cancer cells. Accordingly, the present study was conducted to investigate the possible beneficial effects of Vit D on diethylnitrosamine (DEN)-induced liver preneoplasia. The effect of Vit D on HepG2 cells was investigated using MTT assay. Additionally, liver preneoplasia was induced in Swiss male albino mice by giving overnight fasted animals 5 consecutive doses of DEN (75 mg/kg/week). Oral treatment with Vit D (200 IU/kg/day) was initiated either 2 weeks before DEN (first protocol) or 1 week after the first dose of DEN injection (second protocol). At the end of the experiment, tissue levels of GGT, DPP-4, TNF-α, IL-6, CYP2E1, and CYP3A4 were also estimated. Moreover, the histopathological study of liver tissue and immunohistochemical detection of GST-P, PCNA, and NF-κB were performed. Vit D exerted a significant cytotoxic effect on HepG2 cells via significantly increasing BAX, p53, and BAX/Bcl2 ratio, and significantly decreasing Bcl2 mRNA expression. In both in vivo protocols, Vit D was capable of normalizing relative liver weight, PCNA, altered hepatocellular foci, and ductular proliferation. Moreover, Vit D significantly reduced the DEN-induced elevation of AST, ALT, ALP, GGT, DDP-4, TNF-α, IL-6, CYP2E1, liver DNA damage, GST-P, NF-κB, nuclear hyperchromasia/pleomorphism, cholestasis, and inflammatory cell aggregates, but significantly increased CYP3A4 content. In conculsion, current results reflect the potential impact of Vit D in the management of early stages of liver cancer.

Youssef, A., D. A. Al-Mahdy, R. H. Sayed, M. A. Choucry, and H. El-Askary, "A Comprehensive Review of Natural Alternatives for Treatment of Alopecia with an Overview of Market Products.", Journal of medicinal food, 2022. Abstract

Alopecia or hair loss is a widespread issue that has significant effects on personal well-being for both genders nationally and internationally. In addition, alopecia causes extreme emotional stress and negatively impacts the psychological health and self-esteem of cancer patients suffering from chemotherapy-induced alopecia. Unfortunately, available synthetic medications are costly, invasive, or have extreme adverse effects. On the contrary, natural and herbal hair loss products are widely available in the local and international markets in variable pharmaceutical forms with different mechanisms of action, namely, androgen antagonists, nutritional supplements, vasodilators, and 5-reductase inhibitors or dihydrotestosterone blockers. Thus, it is of great importance to encourage researchers to investigate these natural alternatives that can act as potent therapeutic agents having diverse mechanisms of action as well as limited side effects. Currently, natural remedies are considered a fast-rising pharmaceutical segment with demand from a wide range of consumers. In this study, we present a review of reported herbal remedies and herb combinations recommended for hair loss and their mode of action, along with an overview of available market products and formulations, their composition, and declared effects. In addition, a general outline of the different forms of alopecia, its causes, and recommended treatments are mentioned as well. This was all done with the aim of assisting further studies with developing standardized natural formulations for alopecia as many were found to lack standardization of their bioactive ingredients and efficiency confirmation.

Ahmed, L. A., R. H. Sayed, W. R. Mohamed, and E. - S. A. Arafa, "Editorial: Safety of Polyphenolic Compounds and Their Role in Cardiovascular Diseases.", Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, vol. 9, pp. 940967, 2022.
El-Shamarka, M. E. - S., A. E. El-Sahar, M. A. Saad, N. A. G. L. A. A. ASSAF, and R. H. Sayed, "Inosine attenuates 3-nitropropionic acid-induced Huntington's disease-like symptoms in rats via the activation of the A2AR/BDNF/TrKB/ERK/CREB signaling pathway.", Life sciences, vol. 300, pp. 120569, 2022. Abstract

Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease characterized by involuntary bizarre movements, psychiatric symptoms, dementia, and early death. Several studies suggested neuroprotective activities of inosine; however its role in HD is yet to be elucidated. The current study aimed to demonstrate the neuroprotective effect of inosine in 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP)-induced neurotoxicity in rats while investigating possible underlying mechanisms. Rats were randomly divided into five groups; group 1 received i.p. injections of 1% DMSO, whereas groups 2, 3, 4, and 5 received 3-NP (10 mg/kg, i.p.) for 14 days, concomitantly with inosine (200 mg/kg., i.p.) in groups 3, 4, and 5, SCH58261, a selective adenosine 2A receptor (A2AR) antagonist, (0.05 mg/kg, i.p.) in group 4, and PD98059, an extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) inhibitor, (0.3 mg/kg, i.p.) in group 5. Treatment with inosine mitigated 3-NP-induced motor abnormalities and body weight loss. Moreover, inosine boosted the striatal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) level, p-tropomyosin receptor kinase B (TrKB), p-ERK, and p-cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) expression, which subsequently suppressed oxidative stress biomarkers (malondialdehyde and nitric oxide) and pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-1β) and replenished the glutathione content. Similarly, histopathological analyses revealed decreased striatal injury score, the expression of the glial fibrillary acidic protein, and neuronal loss after inosine treatment. These effects were attenuated by the pre-administration of SCH58261 or PD98059. In conclusion, inosine attenuated 3-NP-induced HD-like symptoms in rats, at least in part, via the activation of the A2AR/BDNF/TrKB/ERK/CREB signaling pathway.

Mohammed, R. A., R. H. Sayed, A. E. El-Sahar, M. A. Khattab, and M. A. Saad, "Insights into the role of pERK1/2 signaling in post-cerebral ischemia reperfusion sexual dysfunction in rats.", European journal of pharmacology, vol. 933, pp. 175258, 2022. Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of ERK1/2 inhibition on both the amygdala and hippocampal structures, and to investigate its role in regulating memory for sexual information. This study utilized a cerebral ischemia reperfusion (IR) model to produce a stressful brain condition that highlights the possible involvement of a hippocampal GC/pERK1/2/BDNF pathway in the resulting sexual consequences of this ailment. Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: (1) sham; (2) IR: subjected to 45 min of ischemia followed by 48 h of reperfusion; (3) PD98059: received PD98059 at 0.3 mg/kg, i.p.; (4) IR + PD98059. This study provides new evidence for cerebral IR-induced amygdala injury and the sexual impairments that are associated with motor and cognitive deficits in rats. These findings were correlated with histopathological changes that are defined by extensive neuronal loss in both the hippocampus and the amygdala. The current study postulated that the ERK inhibitor PD98059 could reverse IR-induced injury in the amygdala as well as reversing IR-induced sexual impairments. This hypothesis is supported by the ability of PD98059 to: (1) restore luteinizing hormone and testosterone levels; (2) increase sexual arousal and copulatory performance (as evidenced by modulating mount, intromission, ejaculation latencies, and post-ejaculatory intervals); (3) improve the histological profile in the amygdala that is associated with reduced glutamate levels, c-Fos expression, and elevated gamma aminobutyric acid levels. In conclusion, the present findings introduce pERK1/2 inhibition as a possible strategy for enhancing sexual activity in survivors of IR.

El-Saiy, K. A., R. H. Sayed, A. E. El-Sahar, and E. S. R. A. A. A. KANDIL, "Modulation of histone deacetylase, the ubiquitin proteasome system, and autophagy underlies the neuroprotective effects of venlafaxine in a rotenone-induced Parkinson's disease model in rats.", Chemico-biological interactions, vol. 354, pp. 109841, 2022. Abstract

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms. Impairment of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) and autophagy has been suggested to contribute to α-synuclein accumulation, which is identified as the pathological hallmark of PD. Recently, alteration in histone-3 acetylation has also been found to be correlated to PD. Interestingly, the histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) enzyme, which regulates the acetylation of histone-3, was shown to be involved in autophagy. Venlafaxine is an antidepressant that was proposed to inhibit HDAC expression in depressive rats' hippocampi. In this study, we aimed to examine the ability of venlafaxine to inhibit striatal HDAC6 and to enhance α-synuclein clearance through the activation of the UPS and autophagy, in addition to treating depression, which is the most debilitating non-motor symptom, in a rotenone model of PD. Venlafaxine administration was noted to decrease α-synuclein accumulation and preserve dopaminergic neurons along with restoration of striatal dopamine levels and motor recovery. Its administration augmented the UPS and autophagic markers (beclin-1, p62, and LC3) with consequent modulation of apoptotic indicators (Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, cytochrome c, and caspase-3). Additionally, venlafaxine inhibited HDAC6 with further enhancement of autophagy and restoration of histone-3 acetylation with subsequent increases in survival gene expressions (Bcl-2 and brain-derived neurotrophic factor). Chloroquine (autophagy inhibitor) was used to indicate the proposed pathway. Moreover, venlafaxine hampered depressive symptoms and improved hippocampal noradrenaline and serotonin levels. Collectively, venlafaxine is suggested to display neuroprotective effects with improvement of motor and non-motor PD symptoms.

Ibrahim, W. W., R. H. Sayed, E. S. R. A. A. A. KANDIL, and W. Wadie, "Niacin mitigates blood-brain barrier tight junctional proteins dysregulation and cerebral inflammation in ketamine rat model of psychosis: Role of GPR109A receptor.", Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology & biological psychiatry, vol. 119, pp. 110583, 2022. Abstract

Dysregulated inflammatory responses and blood-brain barrier (BBB) dysfunction are recognized as central factors in the development of psychiatric disorders. The present study was designed to evaluate the effect of niacin on BBB integrity in ketamine-induced model of psychosis. Meanwhile, mepenzolate bromide (MPN), a GPR109A receptor blocker, was used to investigate the role of this receptor on the observed niacin's effect. Male Wistar rats received ketamine (30 mg/kg/day, i.p) for 5 consecutive days and then niacin (40 mg/kg/day, p.o), with or without MPN (5 mg/kg/day, i.p), was given for the subsequent 15 days. Three days before the end of experiment, rats were behaviorally tested using open field, novel object recognition, social interaction, and forced swimming tests. Niacin significantly ameliorated ketamine-induced behavioral deficits, amended gamma aminobutyric acid and glutamate concentration, decreased tumor necrosis factor-α and matrix metallopeptidase 9 levels, and increased netrin-1 contents in the hippocampus of rats. Niacin also augmented the hippocampal expression of ZO-1, occludin, and claudin-5 proteins, indicating the ability of niacin to restore the BBB integrity. Moreover, the histopathologic changes in hippocampal neurons were alleviated. Since all the beneficial effects of niacin in the present investigation were partially abolished by the co-administration of MPN; GPR109A receptor was proven to partially mediate the observed antipsychotic effects of niacin. These data revealed that GPR109A-mediated signaling pathways might represent potential targets for therapeutic interventions to prevent or slow the progression of psychosis.

Saeed, M. M., Á. Fernández-Ochoa, F. R. Saber, R. H. Sayed, M. L. de la Cádiz-Gurrea, A. K. Elmotayam, F. J. Leyva-Jiménez, A. Segura-Carretero, and R. I. Nadeem, "The Potential Neuroprotective Effect of L. Extract in Scopolamine-Induced Cognitive Impairment in Rats: Extensive Biological and Metabolomics Approaches.", Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), vol. 27, issue 20, 2022. Abstract

The aim of the present study is to investigate the phytochemical composition of tiger nut (TN) ( L.) and its neuroprotective potential in scopolamine (Scop)-induced cognitive impairment in rats. The UHPLC-ESI-QTOF-MS analysis enabled the putative annotation of 88 metabolites, such as saccharides, amino acids, organic acids, fatty acids, phenolic compounds and flavonoids. Treatment with TN extract restored Scop-induced learning and memory impairments. In parallel, TN extract succeeded in lowering amyloid beta, β-secretase protein expression and acetylcholine esterase (AChE) activity in the hippocampus of rats. TN extract decreased malondialdehyde levels, restored antioxidant levels and reduced proinflammatory cytokines as well as the Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Histopathological analysis demonstrated marked neuroprotection in TN-treated groups. In conclusion, the present study reveals that TN extract attenuates Scop-induced memory impairments by diminishing amyloid beta aggregates, as well as its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-apoptotic and anti-AChE activities.

Sayed, R. H., A. H. Ghazy, and M. E. F. Yammany, "Recombinant human erythropoietin and interferon-β-1b protect against 3-nitropropionic acid-induced neurotoxicity in rats: possible role of JAK/STAT signaling pathway.", Inflammopharmacology, vol. 30, issue 2, pp. 667-681, 2022. Abstract

3-Nitropropionic acid (3-NP) model serves as a beneficial tool to evaluate the effect of novel treatments for Huntington's disease (HD). The aim of the present study was to demonstrate the neuroprotective effect of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) and interferon-beta-1b (IFN-β-1b) in 3-NP-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Rats were injected with 3-NP (10 mg/kg/day, i.p) for 2 weeks and were divided into five subgroups; the first served as the HD group, the second received rhEPO (5000 IU/kg/every other day, i.p.) for 2 weeks, the third received rhEPO starting from the 5th day of 3-NP injection, the fourth received IFN-β-1b (300,000 units, every day other day, s.c) for 2 weeks, and the last received IFN-β-1b starting from the 5th day of 3-NP injection. All treatments significantly improved motor and behavior performance of rats. Moreover, all treatments markedly restored mitochondrial function as well as brain-derived neurotrophic factor level, and reduced oxidative stress biomarkers, pro-inflammatory mediators, nuclear factor kappa B expression, caspase-3, and Bax/Bcl2 ratio in the striatum. In conclusion, the present study demonstrates the neuroprotective potential of rhEPO or IFN-β-1b on 3-NP-induced neurotoxicity in rats. Furthermore, our study suggests that activation of JAK2/STAT3 or JAK1/STAT3 may contribute to the neuroprotective activity of rhEPO or IFN-β-1b, respectively. We also found that early treatment with rhEPO did not confer any benefits compared with late rhEPO treatment, while early IFN-β-1b showed a marked significant benefit compared with late IFN-β-1b.

Nawwar, D. A., H. F. Zaki, and R. H. Sayed, "Role of the NRG1/ErbB4 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways in the anti-psychotic effects of aripiprazole and sertindole in ketamine-induced schizophrenia-like behaviors in rats.", Inflammopharmacology, 2022. Abstract

Schizophrenia is a common mental disorder affecting patients' thoughts, behavior, and cognition. Recently, the NRG1/ErbB4 signaling pathway emerged as a candidate therapeutic target for schizophrenia. This study investigates the effects of aripiprazole and sertindole on the NRG1/ErbB4 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways in ketamine-induced schizophrenia in rats. Young male Wistar rats received ketamine (30 mg/kg, intraperitoneally) for 5 consecutive days and aripiprazole (3 mg/kg, orally) or sertindole (2.5 mg/kg, orally) for 14 days. The proposed pathway was investigated by injecting LY294002 (a selective PI3K inhibitor) (25 μg/kg, intrahippocampal injection) 30 min before the drugs. Twenty-four hours after the last injection, animals were subjected to behavioral tests: the open field test, sucrose preference test, novel object recognition task, and social interaction test. Both aripiprazole and sertindole significantly ameliorated ketamine-induced schizophrenic-like behavior, as expected, because of their previously demonstrated antipsychotic activity. Besides, both drugs alleviated ketamine-induced oxidative stress and neurotransmitter level changes in the hippocampus. They also increased the gamma-aminobutyric acid and glutamate levels and glutamate decarboxylase 67 and parvalbumin mRNA expression in the hippocampus. Moreover, aripiprazole and sertindole increased the NRG1 and ErbB4 mRNA expression levels and PI3K, p-Akt, and mTOR protein expression levels. Interestingly, pre-injecting LY294002 abolished all the effects of the drugs. This study reveals that the antipsychotic effects of aripiprazole and sertindole are partly due to oxidative stress reduction as well as NRG1/ErbB4 and PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathways activation. The NRG1/ErbB4 and PI3K signaling pathways may offer a new therapeutic approach for treating schizophrenia in humans.

Fahmy, M. I. M., R. H. Sayed, M. F. El-Yamany, R. El-Naggar, and H. A. Eliwa, "Rosuvastatin and co-enzyme Q10 improve high-fat and high-fructose diet-induced metabolic syndrome in rats via ameliorating inflammatory and oxidative burden", Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, vol. 153, pp. 113526, 2022.
Shamma, R. N., R. H. Sayed, H. Madry, N. S. El Sayed, and M. Cucchiarini, "Triblock Copolymer Bioinks in Hydrogel Three-Dimensional Printing for Regenerative Medicine: A Focus on Pluronic F127.", Tissue engineering. Part B, Reviews, vol. 28, issue 2, pp. 451-463, 2022. Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a novel technique applied to manufacture semisolid or solid objects via deposition of successive thin layers. The widespread implementation of the 3D bioprinting technology encouraged scientists to evaluate its feasibility for applications in human regenerative medicine. 3D bioprinting gained much interest as a new strategy to prepare implantable 3D tissues or organs, tissue and organ evaluation models to test drugs, and cell/material interaction systems. The present work summarizes recent and relevant progress based on the use of hydrogels for the technology of 3D bioprinting and their emerging biomedical applications. An overview of different 3D printing techniques in addition to the nature and properties of bioinks used will be described with a focus on hydrogels as suitable bioinks for 3D printing. A comprehensive overview of triblock copolymers with emphasis on Pluronic F127 (PF127) as a bioink in 3D printing for regenerative medicine will be provided. Several biomedical applications of PF127 in tissue engineering, particularly in bone and cartilage regeneration and in vascular reconstruction, will be also discussed. Impact statement The current review highlights the use of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting for regenerative medicine, stressing the manipulation of hydrogels as the most commonly used bioinks. The advantages and shortcomings of using hydrogels for 3D printing procedures are discussed with a particular focus on triblock copolymers and Pluronics. A brief overview of applying bioink Pluronic F127 in applications of 3D bioprinting for tissue reconstruction is also provided.

Shamma, R. N., R. H. Sayed, H. Madry, N. S. El Sayed, and M. Cucchiarini, "Triblock Copolymer Bioinks in Hydrogel Three-Dimensional Printing for Regenerative Medicine: A Focus on Pluronic F127.", Tissue engineering. Part B, Reviews, vol. 28, issue 2, pp. 451-463, 2022. Abstract

Three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting is a novel technique applied to manufacture semisolid or solid objects via deposition of successive thin layers. The widespread implementation of the 3D bioprinting technology encouraged scientists to evaluate its feasibility for applications in human regenerative medicine. 3D bioprinting gained much interest as a new strategy to prepare implantable 3D tissues or organs, tissue and organ evaluation models to test drugs, and cell/material interaction systems. The present work summarizes recent and relevant progress based on the use of hydrogels for the technology of 3D bioprinting and their emerging biomedical applications. An overview of different 3D printing techniques in addition to the nature and properties of bioinks used will be described with a focus on hydrogels as suitable bioinks for 3D printing. A comprehensive overview of triblock copolymers with emphasis on Pluronic F127 (PF127) as a bioink in 3D printing for regenerative medicine will be provided. Several biomedical applications of PF127 in tissue engineering, particularly in bone and cartilage regeneration and in vascular reconstruction, will be also discussed. Impact statement The current review highlights the use of three-dimensional (3D) bioprinting for regenerative medicine, stressing the manipulation of hydrogels as the most commonly used bioinks. The advantages and shortcomings of using hydrogels for 3D printing procedures are discussed with a particular focus on triblock copolymers and Pluronics. A brief overview of applying bioink Pluronic F127 in applications of 3D bioprinting for tissue reconstruction is also provided.

Saad, M. A. E., M. I. M. Fahmy, R. H. Sayed, M. F. El-Yamany, R. El-Naggar, A. A. E. Hegazy, and M. Al-Shorbagy, "Eprosartan: A closer insight into its neuroprotective activity in rats with focal cerebral ischemia-reperfusion injury.", Journal of biochemical and molecular toxicology, vol. 35, issue 7, pp. e22796, 2021. Abstract

Eprosartan (EPRO), an angiotensin receptor type-1 (AT-1) blocker, exhibited neuroprotective activities in ischemic stroke resulting from focal cerebral ischemia in rats. The current study aimed to clarify the neuroprotective role of EPRO in middle carotid artery occlusion (MCAO)-induced ischemic stroke in rats. Fifty-six male Wistar rats were divided into four groups (n = 14 per group): sham-operated group, sham receiving EPRO (60 mg/kg/day, po) group, ischemia-reperfusion (IR) group, and IR receiving EPRO (60 mg/kg/day, po) group. MCAO led to a remarkable impairment in motor function together with stimulation of inflammatory and apoptotic pathways in the hippocampus of rats. After MCAO, the AT1 receptor in the brain was stimulated, resulting in activation of Janus kinase 2/signal transducers and activators of transcription 3 signaling generating more neuroinflammatory milieu and destructive actions on the hippocampus. Augmentation of caspase-3 level by MCAO enhanced neuronal apoptosis synchronized with neurodegenerative effects of oxidative stress biomarkers. Pretreatment with EPRO opposed motor impairment and decreased oxidative and apoptotic mediators in the hippocampus of rats. The anti-inflammatory activity of EPRO was revealed by downregulation of nuclear factor-kappa B and tumor necrosis factor-β levels and (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression. Moreover, the study confirmed the role of EPRO against a unique pathway of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and its subsequent inflammatory mediators. Furthermore, upregulation of caveolin-1 mRNA level was also observed along with decreased oxidative stress marker levels and brain edema. Therefore, EPRO showed neuroprotective effects in MCAO-induced cerebral ischemia in rats via attenuation of oxidative, apoptotic, and inflammatory pathways.

Abd El Aziz, A. E., R. H. Sayed, N. A. Sallam, and N. S. El Sayed, "Neuroprotective Effects of Telmisartan and Nifedipine Against Cuprizone-Induced Demyelination and Behavioral Dysfunction in Mice: Roles of NF-κB and Nrf2.", Inflammation, vol. 44, issue 4, pp. 1629-1642, 2021. Abstract

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system which injures the myelin sheath. Telmisartan and nifedipine are antihypertensive drugs that recently showed neuroprotective properties against neurodegenerative diseases. This study evaluated the neuroprotective effect of telmisartan or nifedipine in cuprizone-induced demyelination in mice by examining the underlying mechanisms. C57BL/6 mice received a diet containing 0.7% (w/w) cuprizone for 7 days followed by 3 weeks on a 0.2% cuprizone diet. Telmisartan (5 mg/kg/day, p.o.) or nifedipine (5 mg/kg/day, p.o.) was administered for 3 weeks starting from the second week. Telmisartan or nifedipine improved locomotor activity and enhanced motor coordination as demonstrated by open field, rotarod, and grip strength tests. Furthermore, telmisartan or nifedipine restored myelin basic protein mRNA and protein expression and increased luxol fast blue-staining intensity. Telmisartan or nifedipine attenuated cuprizone-induced oxidative stress and apoptosis by decreasing brain malondialdehyde and caspase-3 along with restoring reduced glutathione and brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels. Telmisartan or nifedipine exerted an anti-inflammatory effect by reducing the expression of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB p65) as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines and elevating the expression of IκB-α. In parallel, telmisartan or nifedipine upregulated the expression of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) and the levels of heme oxygenase-1 and NADPH quinone oxidoreductase 1 enzymes. In conclusion, the current study provides evidence for the protective effect of telmisartan and nifedipine in cuprizone-induced demyelination and behavioral dysfunction in mice possibly by modulating NF-κB and Nrf2 signaling pathways.

El-Khatib, Y. A., R. H. Sayed, N. A. Sallam, H. F. Zaki, and M. M. Khattab, "17β-Estradiol augments the neuroprotective effect of agomelatine in depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in ovariectomized rats.", Psychopharmacology, vol. 237, issue 9, pp. 2873-2886, 2020. Abstract

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVE: Estradiol decline has been associated with depression and anxiety in post-menopausal women. Agomelatine (Ago) is an agonist of the melatonergic MT1/MT2 receptors and an antagonist of the serotonergic 5-HT2c receptors. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of combining Ago with 17β-estradiol (E2) on ovariectomy (OVX)-induced depressive- and anxiety-like behaviors in young adult female rats.

METHODS: OVX rats were treated with Ago (40 mg/kg/day, p.o.) for 10 days starting 1 week after surgery alone or combined with two doses of E2 (40 μg/kg/day, s.c.) given before behavioral testing.

RESULTS: Co-administration of E2 enhanced the anti-depressant and anxiolytics effects of Ago as evidenced by decreased immobility time in the forced swimming test, as well as increased time spent in the open arms and number of entries to open arms in the elevated plus-maze. In parallel, Ago increased hippocampal norepinephrine, dopamine, melatonin, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Meanwhile, Ago-treated rats exhibited reduced hippocampal nuclear factor kappa beta (NF-kB) P65 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine level. Ago upregulated estrogen receptor (ER α and β) mRNA expression in the hippocampus of OVX rats and elevated serum estradiol levels. Co-administration of E2 with Ago synergistically decreased NF-kB P65 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokines, and increased BDNF levels.

CONCLUSION: E2 augmented the neuroprotective effect of Ago in OVX rats via its anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic effects. The combined treatment of E2 and Ago should be further investigated as a treatment of choice for depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances associated with menopause.

Helmy, H. T. S., M. A. Senousy, A. E. El-Sahar, R. H. Sayed, M. A. Saad, and E. M. Elbaz, "Aberrations of miR-126-3p, miR-181a and sirtuin1 network mediate Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate-induced testicular damage in rats: The protective role of hesperidin.", Toxicology, vol. 433-434, pp. 152406, 2020. Abstract

Recently, oxidative stress was implicated in the environmental contaminant Di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)-induced testicular toxicity, however the mechanism is unclear. We investigated the role of oxidative stress-responsive microRNAs in DEHP-induced aberrations and the protective effect of the citrus flavonoid, hesperidin (HSP). Male Wistar rats were randomly allocated into four groups as vehicle-treated control, DEHP-alone group (500 mg/kg/day) for 30 days, and HSP (25 or 50 mg/kg) for 60 days; testicular damage was triggered by oral administration of DEHP (500 mg/kg/day) after thirty days of oral administration of HSP (25 or 50 mg/kg). DEHP administration reduced testis weight coefficient, serum testosterone, testicular 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase and antioxidant enzyme activities, and elevated serum fatty acid-binding protein-9, testicular malondialdehyde, and Bax/Bcl2 ratio. Aberrant testicular miR-126-3p and miR-181a expression was observed, along with decreased expression of sirtuin1 (SIRT1) and its targets; nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor2, haeme oxygenase-1, and superoxide dismutase2. HSP administration significantly ameliorated these changes and restored testicular function in a dose-dependent manner. We highlight a novel role of oxidative stress-miR-126/miR-181a-SIRT1 network in mediating DEHP-induced changes which were reversed by the antioxidant HSP.

El-Shamarka, M. E. - S., R. H. Sayed, N. A. G. L. A. A. ASSAF, H. M. Zeidan, and A. F. Hashish, "Combined neurotoxic effects of cannabis and nandrolone decanoate in adolescent male rats.", Neurotoxicology, vol. 76, pp. 114-125, 2020. Abstract

Polydrug use among adolescence is a widespread phenomenon and has increased in the last few years. In particular, most nandrolone decanoate (Nan) abusers combine its use with cannabis (Can); thus, studying the consequences of this combination in adolescent subjects is important because potentiation of their effects may increase their neurotoxicity. The present study was designed to study the neurotoxic effects of Nan and Can, alone and in combination, in adolescent male rats by studying the behavioural, biochemical, and histopathological effects. Nan (15 mg/kg, s.c.) and Can (20 mg/kg, s.c.) were given alone or in combination to rats once daily for one month. The combined administration of Can and Nan induced learning and spatial memory deficits, hypo-locomotion, anxiety and aggression in adolescent rats as evidenced by the Morris water maze, open field, elevated plus maze, and defensive aggression tests. In parallel, rats treated with the combination showed severe deleterious effects in the hippocampal and prefrontal cortex (PFC) neural architecture along with a decrease in brain-derived neurotropic factor. Furthermore, combined administration of Can and Nan increased oxidative stress (significantly increased malondialdehyde and nitric oxide levels and reduced glutathione content), elevated brain pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumour necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 1 beta), and upregulated caspase-3, caspase-8, and caspase-9 mRNA expression and cytochrome c levels. In conclusion, abuse of both Can and Nan conferred greater neurotoxic effects than either drug alone that were at least partially attributed to oxidative stress, inflammation, and intrinsic and extrinsic apoptosis in the hippocampus and PFC of rats.

Hindam, M. O., R. H. Sayed, K. Skalicka-Woźniak, B. Budzyńska, and N. S. El Sayed, "Xanthotoxin and umbelliferone attenuate cognitive dysfunction in a streptozotocin-induced rat model of sporadic Alzheimer's disease: The role of JAK2/STAT3 and Nrf2/HO-1 signalling pathway modulation.", Phytotherapy research : PTR, vol. 34, issue 9, pp. 2351-2365, 2020. Abstract

The aim of the present study was to assess the neuroprotective effects of xanthotoxin and umbelliferone in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats. Animals were injected intracerebroventricularly (ICV) with STZ (3 mg/kg) once to induce a sporadic Alzheimer's disease (SAD)-like condition. Xanthotoxin or umbelliferone (15 mg/kg, i.p.) were administered 5 hr after ICV-STZ and daily for 20 consecutive days. Xanthotoxin or umbelliferone prevented cognitive deficits in the Morris water maze and object recognition tests. In parallel, xanthotoxin or umbelliferone reduced hippocampal acetylcholinestrase activity and malondialdehyde level. Moreover, xanthotoxin or umbelliferone increased glutathione content. These coumarins also modulated neuronal cell death by reducing the level of proinflammatory cytokines (tumour necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-6), inhibiting the overexpression of inflammatory markers (nuclear factor κB [NF-κB] and cyclooxygenase II), and upregulating the expression of NF-κB inhibitor (IκB-α). Interestingly, xanthotoxin diminished phosphorylated JAK2 and phosphorylated STAT3 protein expression, while umbelliferone markedly replenished nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2-like 2 (Nrf2) and haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) levels. The current study provides evidence for the protective effect of xanthotoxin and umbelliferone in STZ-induced cognitive dysfunction in rats. This effect may be attributed, at least in part, to inhibiting acetylcholinestrase and attenuating oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and neuronal loss.