Creosote bush / Larrea tridentata

Nordihydroguaiaretic Acid, a Lignan from Larrea tridentata (Creosote Bush), Protects Against American Lifestyle-Induced Obesity Syndrome Diet–Induced Metabolic Dysfunction in Mice

To determine the effects of nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA) on metabolic and molecular changes in response to feeding a typical American fast food or Western diet, mice were fed an American lifestyle-induced obesity syndrome (ALIOS) diet and subjected to metabolic analysis. Male C57BL/6J mice were randomly assigned to the ALIOS diet, the ALIOS diet supplemented with NDGA (NDGA+ALIOS), or a control diet and were maintained on the specific diet for 8 weeks. Mice fed the ALIOS diet showed increased body, liver, and epididymal fat pad weight as well as increased plasma alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels (a measure of liver injury) and liver triglyceride content. Coadministration of NDGA normalized body and epididymal fat pad weight, ALT and AST levels, and liver triglycerides. NDGA treatment also improved insulin sensitivity but not glucose intolerance in mice fed the ALIOS diet. In mice fed the NDGA+ALIOS diet, NDGA supplementation induced peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor α (PPARα; the master regulator of fatty acid oxidation) and mRNA levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferases Cpt1c and Cpt2, key genes involved in fatty acid oxidation, compared with the ALIOS diet. NDGA significantly reduced liver endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response C/EBP homologous protein, compared with chow or the ALIOS diet, and also ameliorated ALIOS diet–induced elevation of apoptosis signaling protein, caspase 3. Likewise, NDGA downregulated the ALIOS diet–induced mRNA levels of Pparg, fatty acid synthase Fasn, and diacylglycerol acyltransferase Dgat2. NDGA treatment of ALIOS-fed mice upregulated the hepatic expression of antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase 4, and peroxiredoxin 3 proteins. In conclusion, we provide evidence that NDGA improves metabolic dysregulation by simultaneously modulating the PPARα transcription factor and key genes involved in fatty acid oxidation, key antioxidant and lipogenic enzymes, and apoptosis and ER stress signaling pathways.

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Larrea tridentata: A novel source for antiparasitic agents active against Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia and Naegleria fowleri

Protozoan parasites infect and kill millions of people worldwide every year, particularly in developing countries where access to clean fresh water is limited. Among the most common are intestinal parasites, including Giardia lamblia and Entamoeba histolytica. These parasites wreak havoc on the epithelium lining the small intestines (G. lamblia) and colon (E. histolytica) causing giardiasis and amebiasis, respectively. In addition, there are less common but far more deadly pathogens such as Naegleria fowleri that thrive in warm waters and infect the central nervous systems of their victims via the nasal passages. Despite their prevalence and associated high mortality rates, there remains an unmet need to identify more effective therapeutics for people infected with these opportunistic parasites. To address this unmet need, we have surveyed plants and traditional herbal medicines known throughout the world to identify novel antiparasitic agents with activity against G. lamblia, E. histolytica, and N. fowleri. Herein, we report Larrea tridentata, known as creosote bush, as a novel source for secondary metabolites that display antiparasitic activity against all three pathogens. This report also characterizes the lignan compound classes, nordihydroguairetic acid and demethoxyisoguaiacin, as novel antiparasitic lead agents to further develop more effective drug therapy options for millions of people worldwide.

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Creosote bush monograph

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